Edit 11/12/14: I am over my guilt. I have now moved on to the acceptance stage. This is definitely a two star read.
I feel a deep feeling of guiltEdit 11/12/14: I am over my guilt. I have now moved on to the acceptance stage. This is definitely a two star read.
I feel a deep feeling of guilt giving a Lauren Oliver book a three star rating, which is perhaps why I ducked out of reading the rest of Panic and just haven't finished it "yet".
When starting this book I was very excited to read a work where she is able to discuss sex with more detail when not being constrained by the YA label of her other books. In this she delivered with the storyline of Minna who uses sex as a outlet to hide from her loneliness. Unfortunately, I felt this book meandered quite a bit, with snippets that felt out of place in the overall puzzle of the book and felt like they were just thrown in for added length. I can easily imagine this story without Katie who is the cardboard cutout version of a manic pixie dream girl (I know this term is overused, but I can think of no other way to describe her right now) and whose storyline is given no genuine resolution. Katie is just another character hitting us over the head with the overall theme of the book: That we are all lonely. That is only one example.
What I disliked most about this book was the ending. It was so, so painfully contrived. Nothing about the way these characters were connected was organic in the least. What they all had in common was loneliness and the rooms of a house but the plot forced their connections to be more. The relationships in the book were like a puzzle where all of the pieces fit just perfectly but the picture you wind up with as an end result is a blob of neutral tone pieces that form no shape at all. Sure, they fit together, but should they? Do they amount to anything?
Why three stars then? Well, while there weren't a lot of wow moments for me this time around, Lauren Oliver's writing is enjoyable. Peaceful to me, like an old friend, easy to read, easy to enjoy no matter what else is going on around you. Her take on ghosts is the best of all. What if we become beings without bodies when we die? Attached to the places and people we left behind? Our bodies in tune with a house and confined to become one with it? No form of our own? It's actually rather spooky and writing about it is giving me the creeps. It was both a beautiful approach and a tragic approach and Oliver nails the delivery of the ghostly side of this story just right.
All in all the way to sum this book up is good but forgettable. A hotel room without a view....more
I love this to pieces and I'm really excited Spiderwoman is in it as well. Gorgeous colors, representation, humor. Oh, and did I mention an appearanceI love this to pieces and I'm really excited Spiderwoman is in it as well. Gorgeous colors, representation, humor. Oh, and did I mention an appearance by one of my favorite Marvel ladies? Yes, thanks, excellent....more
Not even the ending was enough to save this book. Of course, the ending, which I found predictable but still found the implications intriguing, will bNot even the ending was enough to save this book. Of course, the ending, which I found predictable but still found the implications intriguing, will be the thing that gets me to finish this series. ...more
DNF at 20%+. I can see how Murakami's unique style would call to some people but to me it's just rigid, extraneous, and above all a very boring way toDNF at 20%+. I can see how Murakami's unique style would call to some people but to me it's just rigid, extraneous, and above all a very boring way to tell a story. It's safe to say that Murakami and I are never ever getting back together....more
How I live in a literary format vs. how I live in the movies. Two very different Elizabeth's, or Daisy's, as it were.
Our Daisy of the book was quite sHow I live in a literary format vs. how I live in the movies. Two very different Elizabeth's, or Daisy's, as it were.
Our Daisy of the book was quite subdued. Things happened to her. She was upset about them, but never in action, never in voice. Her mother died during child birth. She is shipped off to another country as a teenage girl. Things happen to this Daisy but she does not happen to them. She falls into an illicit love and she falls into a new family, never questioning, already feeling at home due to these new affections from the blood relations of a mother she's never known.
We see this Daisy at as an adult, despite being several years older and having experienced a war in which she cared for little Piper, she has not changed much at all. Her love for Edmond is still strong and all consuming, and she travels far, and suffers much, if only to find the end of her story at what she considers to be a home.
Daisy of the movie is immediate sass. She's hardened, hurt, bitter, calloused and not needing. She's been sent off and she's mad about it. Being shipped to an entirely different culture in war time by the only family she's ever barely known, it's given her a fierceness, a fire, a judgmental nature for this very odd and quirky family she's never quite known. Having never been able to explore that side of herself she's immediately suspicious of this family and their laid back nature. Dogs at the table and dishes in the sink and yet still more feeling than she's likely ever known. She spends a few careful moments with her aunt and eventually opens herself to the possibility of not being alone. Of needing someone who can leave her. She's still got her fire but she's learning to cool it in order to touch.
The movie is visually stunning and the images are placed in a ethereal and timeless space. At first glance you are not sure of the time period and by the end you don't really care. If you can forget who Edmond is you can easily find the sweet in the fact that he wants to help her break her obsessive compulsive rules, and if you want to delve deeper into the human muck of perversion and misplaced sexual and romantic feelings, you can see how a child in war time who has never been loved by anyone and is not being parented by anyone can fall for the only person close to them they can, despite matters of culture or blood.
The story itself is a little bit messy, a little bit outside of our social norms, but for Daisy, it's just how she lives and in my opinion, she does it best on a movie screen....more
One of the best parts about this novel is that Kirby is drawn very realistically.
"She's pissed that he's in awe of what happened to her. It's not thatOne of the best parts about this novel is that Kirby is drawn very realistically.
"She's pissed that he's in awe of what happened to her. It's not that great. Girls get murdered all the fucking time."
She is tired of being the thing that happened to her in other people's eyes instead of Kirby. She has trouble dating guys because they all want to save her and kiss her scars and "magic them away" or use her for their hipster film project and she can't stand it. She wants them to look at her or not at all. Yet she's still coated in the experience, determined to find her attempted murderer, to what? Get back to being Kirby, whoever that is, rather than The Girl Who Was Almost Murdered, perhaps. She's complex, and her motives seem varied, and that's what makes her an interesting and human character.
Her relationship with Dan was one of my favorite parts of the book... at first. They reminded me of Frank and Cassie in Tana Franch's Dublin Murder Series books. Two misanthrope smartasses with a vastly large age difference coming together to be partners in crime and witticisms. I spent much of the book hoping the author wouldn't go THERE and then she hinted about going THERE and I'm still in denial that it happened because I like everything else in this book and I refuse to acknowledge this thing. This is like if Buffy and Giles decided to get together and suck face. No. Why? No. Dan also got weirdly possessive and the subtle or not-so-subtle jealous comments were completely irritating. The whole dynamic is just weird to me. Kirby lacked a father figure. Dan was unable to produce children. He talks to her like she's a child, calling her kiddo every chapter, and then thinks about her when he's masturbating. THAT'S NOT WEIRD AT ALL. So now they want to make out? No, stop, no.
The house is clearly the evil twin of the TARDIS and is easily distracted by shiny things... and blood. [Note to self: Do not shine bright like a diamond. Rihanna, settle down.] I think the fact that the house only wants girls who possess some unique and special potential is quite interesting. It reeks a little bit of Special Snowflake Syndrome but I'm sort of narcissistic so I'm ok with this. I think the house and its purpose could definitely have been fleshed out. There was a missed opportunity here to explore the mythology of the house and give this book a lot more meat.
This book is largely about women's issues throughout time. The author uses the time travel device to explore different problems women face in each decade while still managing to make the majority of the characters come to life as more than the face of an issue. Lesbians in the 50's and women succeeding as architects despite sexist (and attempted rapist) male coworkers, oh my! I love you, Willie, you artistic and wine loving lesbian. So many feels. There was also a transgender character and a character who assisted girls with (then) illegal abortions prior to Roe v. Wade.
"You can bury your radical magazines, and tear up your sexually perverse sketches, and burn your sheets, but how do you erase who you are?"
My feelings for Willie are only rivaled by my feelings for the dog Tokyo. I have never wanted to go home and hug my Border Collie more.
I have to say that the beginning of this novel was stronger than the end. The ending was rushed, Kirby made some ridiculous and unrealistic decisions, and the romance was mildly nauseating and unnecessary. My actual rating for this book would likely be a 3.5 but I'm rounding up for the excellent cast of diverse characters and interesting spin on a serial killer story by using time travel. As a Doctor Who and Gillian Flynn fan, I was the ideal candidate to love this book, and it was definitely an enjoyable read, even if the storytelling didn't quite measure up to the timey wimeyness of DW or psychological punch packing writing of Gillian Flynn. ...more