Dreamland was kind of a tough one for me this time around. I love Sarah Dessen. She's defiantly good at what she does. I just had a really hard time w...moreDreamland was kind of a tough one for me this time around. I love Sarah Dessen. She's defiantly good at what she does. I just had a really hard time with the main character, Caitlin. Caitlin is the victim of abuse. The thing I had a hard time with is her contrasting characteristics. On one hand, she actually was a strong person, someone who never would have tolerated anything that she actually put up with. On the other hand, she was working so hard at being someone other than who she was, it was almost as if she trapped herself in the situation. Drug abuse didn't help matters. I have no personal experience with drugs, but I've known enough abusers to know that they do have a bit of a numbing effect about them, and I could see this coming out in Caitlin's character - she was allowing the drugs to help her fade out of herself, out of existence, so she no longer had control over who she used to be nor who she was becoming.
Why I had such a problem with Caitlin? She KNEW the abuse was wrong. She KNEW that the relationship could not get better, nor would it. She knew she was falling - but she could not find the drive to do anything about it. I found that very frustrating. (less)
This is the first audio book I've ever listened to. At work we are allowed to have an IPod, as long as it's kept quiet. I've been missing out on readi...moreThis is the first audio book I've ever listened to. At work we are allowed to have an IPod, as long as it's kept quiet. I've been missing out on reading books, so I got this ingenious idea to listen to them instead. So I went to the library and searched through our very limited books on CD and found this.
I really enjoyed Sweet Ruin. Elayna having gone through one of the most difficult things I can imagine, is struggling to come out of her depression and resurface into the world, only to find that she is seeking passion, to be loved, to feel loved. There are parts I can relate to in the story, such as making decisions for her daughter and reasoning out scenarios of what is good or right or okay for her 6 year old. And what is right for herself as well. She is just trying to begin to live again while her husband is shut up in an office working long hours, and barely has time for her. Cathi's writing style is beautiful. I know in the past I've mentioned that I prefer character development over very potent descriptions - but for Sweet Ruin; the descriptions, the language - which is poetic, is what make this story so good. The character development is very strong as well. You can feel the emotion, and the love, and the hurt and betrayal of each character. This book is simply written beautifully! (less)
The funny thing about this book…I didn’t actually mean to read it. I was looking for a book I had read several years back that basically started out a...moreThe funny thing about this book…I didn’t actually mean to read it. I was looking for a book I had read several years back that basically started out at a masquerade and after briefly reading the synopsis, I thought that this must have been the book. I was wrong.
It had been so long ago that I read the book (which I now know for sure which one it is – and it is already loaded on my Nook, to be read), that even though the first few chapters didn’t seem familiar like they should, I still was a bit unsuspecting. Back then, I wasn’t paying as close attention to the books I was reading, and most certainly wasn’t blogging about them – which was my reasoning for not realizing I had the wrong book sooner. What did it was when Lizzie (aka Elizabeth Ann Fitzgerald), our leading lady, was not actually compromised at the masquerade. I knew then, something was off, however I was sucked in to the characters and plot at this point.
Brenda Joyce has a bit of a love for Jane Austen, I suspect. From the beginning I was a bit shocked to discover the book was drawling a lot of “Pride and Prejudice” thoughts from me. Mainly in Lizzie’s family and their status, intentions, as well as many of their names; outside of that the story was its own, really. I was not thrilled by how Lydia (Lizzie’s mother) was an exact replica of Elizabeth’s (Pride and Prejudice) own mother. I can understand drawling a lot of inspiration from someone else’s book – but I am a bit put off by replication. That’s not really your character, in my opinion; but alas – I continued forward. She really wasn’t front in forward in the book enough to really bother me.
Lizzie was continually called “shy” and referred to as a “wallflower,” both descriptions I didn’t really see play out that much in the book. She was actually rather forward (although internally admitting it was a bit out of her own character) which she would then play off by a downward cast of her eyes, or by turning her head away from whoever she was speaking too. She was, however, accurately described as selfless. She gave up everything, continually, for the welfare for others. But on the flipside, she is human and kept a few things for herself, despite their consequences; Ned being her biggest self indulgence.
Tyrell was the perpetual hero, and a very worth gentleman all the way up until the onset of his and Lizzie’s affair. At that point, even I as a reader was starting to question his character. Thankfully he was able to recapture his gallant disposition and, in the end, save the day…er, story.
While this book was not the one I was expecting, I was delighted with the story. A romantic fairy tale, and if you are also a Jane Austen lover, you’ll find the book familiar and fun as well.(less)
I could see this book playing out in real life. Based on outside appearances, Claire seems to have the perfect life. She’s got a job as a book editor...moreI could see this book playing out in real life. Based on outside appearances, Claire seems to have the perfect life. She’s got a job as a book editor and a gorgeous, sweet, loving man. Perfect. But deep down, the flaws are many. She puts up with the boss from hell, and while her boyfriend seems to think of everything and say and do all the right things he’s also overly committed to his work and finds appearances and doing the “right” thing most important.
I really enjoyed Claire’s relationships in this book. Her relationship with Bea, her best friend, is strong and supportive. Bea is always there for her when she needs her even though Claire herself, at times, seems to be detached from everything real. Her relationship with Randall, who was her high school mega crush and is super sweet and says and does all the right things…when he’s around. I especially liked how it was Claire who helped him realize that the relationship wasn’t really working, or as she put it “it’s not enough.” Finally, her relationship with Luke, which is very friendly and fun and interesting as they begin to share more and more about themselves with one another.
I think the only disappointment I had with the book was at the end I really wanted more of a declaration from Luke. I wanted him to step up back up to the plate. Or Claire to run after him. That, would, of course take away the "this could happen in real life" realm and placed the book more on the romantic "sigh" type book. The relationship was there, it just wasn't as grand of an finale as I wanted. (less)
I just kept waiting on this book to get good, or to just go somewhere. For whatever reason, it just seemed more like a long drawn-out running commenta...moreI just kept waiting on this book to get good, or to just go somewhere. For whatever reason, it just seemed more like a long drawn-out running commentary on a depressed teenage boy’s life for about 6 months. While some of his thoughts and ideas I could relate to, mostly he had a really depressed outlook on life in general, and really just could not look at the bright side of anything. At the end of the book, I’m not even sure he had grown as a person at all. His mom, sister, and pretty much every other human contact in his life seemed condescending, and didn’t even attempt to try very hard to see his point of view. Not that James made it easy.
I found this book in the young adult section of the library, but I can hardly see how any young adult would like this. Maybe I’m wrong. I can guess there might actually be a few out there who could relate to James, heck there actually were points that I could relate to James in – but the fact that he doesn’t seem to get better, try to get better, or really see too much outside of himself, his wants and needs. If this had not been an audio book, I would not have finished it. Since it was relatively short and the only thing I had to listen to at work at the moment, I trudged through the entire thing, but cannot recommend anyone else to do the same.(less)
Another vampire series to fill that vampire shaped hole that has made it's way into my normal reading attire. While this is no Twilight by any stretch...moreAnother vampire series to fill that vampire shaped hole that has made it's way into my normal reading attire. While this is no Twilight by any stretch of the imagination, I felt this book was very cute and interesting. The story was typical mysterious family meets goth girl who is obsessed with black, things that are different, and vampires.
The characters in the story were a bit sub-par for my taste. At times I felt the things that Raven would say sounded more like a thirteen year old than a seventeen year old, as well as some of the behavior. What saved the book for me was the story itself. I enjoyed Raven and Alexander's relationship, even though it took half the book or more for Alexander to even make an appearance.
Favorite Character: Alexander. He was a shy, compassionate guy who was not only hot stuff, but also seemed to be genuinely good. The strong silent type.(less)
Vampireville was quite a bit better than the previous book of this series, Coffin Club. I also need to be careful, while I’m used to reading young adu...moreVampireville was quite a bit better than the previous book of this series, Coffin Club. I also need to be careful, while I’m used to reading young adult books geared towards the 16-18 range, I’m pretty sure this series is more for the 12-14 year old crowd, which has probably been my problem all along.
I felt the story line was less jagged in this book, although Raven never did learn her lesson about listening, and got herself into trouble on more than one occasion, she did seem a little bit more mature this time around. I did like that she and Luna struck up a bit of a friendship, and would have liked to see that progress into something more – sort of like turn your enemies good and show them the light instead of driving them out of town.(less)
I really like Raven, really I do. I like Alexander more. I just feel like these books are lacking in maturity. Yes, I know, they are young adult books...moreI really like Raven, really I do. I like Alexander more. I just feel like these books are lacking in maturity. Yes, I know, they are young adult books, perhaps even as young as 13, when I’m looking for the 15-18 type stuff. Maybe that is the main problem. Mostly, I feel like the book didn’t really go anywhere. Oh, there was a plot, a climax, and sort of a wrapping up (okay, maybe not a true wrap-up, but it is a series, and she wants to keep us reading), but to me it sort of just stayed flat-line throughout. Even the new antagonist, Jagger, is mild. There was also a lot of blurry lines and sudden decisions, i.e. visiting Aunt, leaving Aunt’s early. No adult thinks this stuff is weird? Does she really have this much control of her life, and yet in some cases seems to act younger than her 16 years?
I’ve already go the next two books in this series, and I’ll probably read on at some point. I just think that there are better books out there.(less)