Class Collision: Fall from Grace was an impulsive buy from Amazon.com recently. Between liking the cover, and the award it had recieved for Reader's F...moreClass Collision: Fall from Grace was an impulsive buy from Amazon.com recently. Between liking the cover, and the award it had recieved for Reader's Favorite in 2011, I figured I'd give it a shot. $.99 is not a huge risk, you know?
What really drew me to the book was the story of rich man falling into the normal class - or in this case, below. I don't know why, but something about being humbled like that seemed like it would make a good story. Heartwrenching is more like it. David goes through so much in just this one book, it's hard to imagine another full book after this one. At the open of this book you really, really want to hate David. He is arrogant to a fault, and he's just a boy. But as he and his brothers are kidnapped and the events there after, it becomes harder and harder to read. It feels like no matter what, David cannot catch a break.
What I Loved: David finds humility. While it is found in the worst, most horrible ways in some cases, it's still nice for him to be knocked off of his pedistool. Unfortunately, he ends up surrounded by really bad people for many years, but this experience does not make him a worse person. He ends up growing into an honorable, hard working, young adult. He despises violence, and stands up for wrongs if he can. No matter how many blows he takes, he seems to get back up and carry on with life. In the end, the reader really loves David. So when he starts falling for Linda, the sweetness, and innocense of his emotions is very appealing.
Not So Much: The first half of the book was kind of long. There were moments, mostly the orphanage, that seemed like could have been shortened a chapter or two. I had a point where I almost felt done with the book.
In the end, this book was very clean, and honorable. While the book is written for the New Adult era, this book would be just fine to read as a teenager, though I'm not sure the characters would be quite as appealing as something that was written for that age group.(less)
I love Robin Hood! Just the entire idea of this fairy tale makes me smile. Of course I've said this before in many of my past reviews. I've recently r...moreI love Robin Hood! Just the entire idea of this fairy tale makes me smile. Of course I've said this before in many of my past reviews. I've recently reviewed Scarlet, and Lady Thief which is another Robin Hood series that I've been reading lately. I'm pretty sure this book is a stand-alone though - so don't think I'm getting you wrapped up in another three-year long series! (yes, even I am relieved sometimes when a book is...just a book!) And though I always knew there were books depecting Robin as a girl, this the first one I have ever picked up.
I found Robin: Lady of Legend in one of those Amazon emails - Young Adult books. This book was listed as an emerging book, or break through book, something like that. Given that, and the good reviews, I decided to give it a go.
I loved how the author worked in all the pertinant characters, and quirks and characteristics everyone knows and loves about the Robin Hood stories. I especially liked how, though she was a girl, Robin came off as not only an inspirational leader, but she also had that quirkly, slighly sarcastic, witty personality. Honestly, her dialogue is probably what I enjoyed the most about this book. That, and the fact that despite the obvious, the author did not really change too much about the book. (I, of course, kind of like the opposite when it comes to the Scarlet series, so apparently it doesn't matter as long as the overlying theme is there!) This light heartedness, and "merry-ness" is something I really, REALLY loved. While the characters are oppressed, and outcast, they are happy and have found a life, and a sense of purpose in this book, which is kind of a relief from some of the other depections (books and movies alike). They get angry, of course, and desire justice, but the book as a whole is not painted in this meloncholy light as others have been.
Another good point in this book is that while Robin is excellent, she was not completely and utterly awesome, the best ever ever! She was pretty humble, and even had doubts on her own abilities. She had short comings, and needed help (though she wasn't overly good at asking for it.) She was a leader, so there was an air of arrogance, but it wasn't overwhelming; in fact I loved her half-smiles of confidence when she knew her plan was unfolding just as she'd planned. This, in my mind, makes her even stronger than the characters who just happen to be the best at everything and barely have shortcomings to speak of.
I felt like this story got long in some areas, and in other areas I wanted more. There is a bit of romance (which I will not reveal much about in this review), and I wish a bit more time was taken in formulating this side of the relationship. A little passion, maybe? I also would have liked to have seen more heists; stopping of the rich in the streets, etc. We only were "there" for a few of them - although my favorite was when the sherriff himself was taken!
All-in-all, I did really enjoy this book. It is very tame on the violence, and nothing inappropriate to speak of at all. Very clean, and yet, entertaining. Proving to the world that cussing, gory blood, drugs, sex, alcohol (oh wait...there was a bit of that! But this IS a Robin Hood book.) really aren't necessary to make a book entertaining! I would allow even a younger teenager pick up this book, should they want!(less)
Review: Shackled Lily is a beautiful story of redemption. Kaitlyn (Issy) is an out of control young adult who has grown up splitting her time with a m...more Review: Shackled Lily is a beautiful story of redemption. Kaitlyn (Issy) is an out of control young adult who has grown up splitting her time with a mother haunted by heartache and depression, and a controlling father, his new wife and their son. The other family that she loaths and resents. Issy is on a true road of self destruction filling her life up with alcohol, dancing and guys. She's a master of manipulation, and wearing masks so well that hardly anyone knows who is really underneath.
This is the first book that I've read by T. L. Grey, although not the first book in The Winsor Series. I admire T. L.'s boldness and finess in writing a book that so obviously fulfills the recently developed "New Adult" genre, a genre that I find a bit risky to begin with, but to tackle it and throw in God's principles of love and forgiveness; such a tall order, and so well done! She has written realistic characters (although a bit more extreme than anyone I've ever crossed) and real life issues; partying, alcoholism, and even some drug abuse, and makes the love of Christ available even to these who some would look down upon, what could be more real than that?
The book itself was captivating. At first, I thought Issy was going to turn out to be more devastated by her mother's attempted suicide, and was a broken, selfish rich kid learning to trust and love those around her. I was pretty wrong. It took a while to get past her drinking and partying to see that she truly was trying to numb and fight against the ruling hand of her father. The matters of her heart, and her inability to love stemming from her inability to trust or believe that people weren't there just to use her. A fact that she proved with every conquest, and in her own using of people anyway. Her story was a very rocky road, and she went down it kicking and screaming the entire way.
What I Loved: The redemption of Issy's life, as well as Grant's unwaivering love. He stood by her and was a rock that she could stand on (or run away from) until she found her way. When they were able to come together and love each other freely - it was that satisfying "ah" moment at the end of a good novel. I also loved that in this book - even those who knew Christ made mistakes. It was a great picture of God's grace, and how we are always a work in progress.
Not So Much: Everybody was in love with this girl, and quite honestly - outside of being extremely charasmatic and intelligent; she herself was a bit "trashy" (to use her own words). She was obvious at throwing herself at guys, and pretty honest and up front about using them. Regardless, everytime she turned around it seemed like one of them was in love with her. (less)
Roomies was a very fun, quick read about two girls who are anticipating starting college at Berkley. Each girl receives a letter informing them about...moreRoomies was a very fun, quick read about two girls who are anticipating starting college at Berkley. Each girl receives a letter informing them about their roommate assignment, as well as the contact information for the other person. While Elizabeth (EB) is excited about the whole college experience, getting to know new people and make new friends; Laurne was hopeful for some quiet time alone, and a single room assignment. Lauren has a big family, and currently shares a bedroom with sisters who are quite a bit younger than she is.
I loved the dynamic of this book, each girl experiencing similar issues; what is going to happen with their current best friends, dealing with a summer love, and just getting ready for college in general. However, both girls are unique, and are dealing with their situations differently. Lauren, while she seems to be ready for some time alone, she is afraid of loosing her spot in the family, and she really does love hanging out and helping out around the house. Elizabeth's home life is a bit more dramatic in nature.
At first I was a little concerned that having a book written by two completely authors with alternating chapters might seem a bit disconjointed, however I think the entire project worked out very well. I felt bad for Elizebeth, however. I kind of felt like, while Lauren was having some dramas of her own throughout the book, her load seemed pretty light compared to some of the things Elizabeth was getting handed. Not only that, if my friends said some of the things that Elizabeth's friends said to her, they really would not be my friends anymore. Anyhow, in the end, I think what Lauren's father told her is a very good summerization of the point of this book:
"Live in the present, take care of the relationships in front of you now. Most friendships have a natural life, and when you've lived that out, you'll know."
This book is very age appropriate for young adults (High School age), while the topic of sex is dealt with, it is not a graphic scene, and all mentions of the subject seem to point to the choices that need to be made in life rather than glamorizing it in a way that is too mature for the age group. (less)
Review: I have read a few books that take place mostly from within the walls of a psyche-ward, or a home for troubled teens, etc. I usually like these...moreReview: I have read a few books that take place mostly from within the walls of a psyche-ward, or a home for troubled teens, etc. I usually like these books because there are time in which you feel like you get inside the head of someone who is a little off, or has trouble coping, or is just depressed to a very strong degree. I like to see character growth and recovery, which is why I pick these type of books up. It is almost guaranteed that you will “loose” a character in these novels, as the author seeks a realistic scenerio and also to display the gravity of the situation. Going in with this mindset usually causes me to be on my guard from growing to attached to characters, especially supporting characters.
So here we have A Million Little Snowflakes, which I have already indicated is not a “new” concept at all. One of the things that drove me toward requesting this book on NetGalleys was that it was narrated from the male perspective, and given the types of books I enjoy, this doesn’t happen very often. Plus, that cover is very pretty and a bit heartwarming. I wish that the story were the same. Honestly, while the concept was there, this book lacked in so many areas. I cannot complain about not liking how the story turned out – it’s not my story to tell – although I didn’t. I can, however, complain about the lack of depth. Oliver, instead of coming off as depressed, comes off as a typical teenager with a very extreme family. Honestly, had he just reached out to his father (instead of his mother) the entire hospital trip would have been avoided, and probably a million other things as well.
Reading this book was like reading a long narration of day-to-day events, but the descriptions and interactions lacked, big time! While yes, there was character interactions, it felt choppy and lackluster, at best. While each of the characters were described, I didn't feel like I got to "know" any of them really well. The “treatment” portion of the book seemed unrealistic. I mean, this guy walks into an office, has a three minute evaluation and is diagnosed with depression and is Bi-Polar? Based on what, one off-the-wall statement made at a dinner table and the narrators own confession of depression? If it really works this way, I want NOTHING to do with this kind of treatment. The very few therepy-type sessions we are included in as readers show no growth, no improvement. It’s just a basic, “how are you?” “I’m fine,” type deal, with a few additional details here and there, and Oliver coming unhinged at random intervals. The thing is, outside of making a stand for "his women," this doesn't happen any other time. Once again, I feel like we are looking in on a life of a normal, every day teenager. The biggest bulk of the book is dediated to Oliver's feelings toward Lacey, and descriptions on what is going on with her (most of which internal debate). One minute he can’t figure this girl out, the next minute he’s all but confessing love. The “romance” is so skewed, with no real dept, there really just isn’t anything to latch on to or enjoy.
I feel like I'm being mean, and I actually feel bad that I'm going to post this review. I typically will avoid reviewing a book I didn't care for out of respect for the author, but I was asked to post an honest review and that is what I'm attempting to do. I cannot know what it takes to try and put an entire book down on paper. I know for sure that it's a whole lot harder than it is for me to sit and read, and make judgements based on my own thoughts and opinons. I want to honor and respect anyone who can and is willing to sit and write books, since most of my "entertainment" hours are spend reading said books. It is also my hope that authors take what they can of bad reviews and use whatever good feedback they can and throw out everything that is completely useless, without a second thought.(less)
I'm a sucker for Jane Austin re-makes. EspeciallyPride and Prejudice. It's my favorite Austin novel, as well as my favorite movie of all times! So it...moreI'm a sucker for Jane Austin re-makes. Especially Pride and Prejudice. It's my favorite Austin novel, as well as my favorite movie of all times! So it is always hard to pass up a modernized version. I recently found a mime on Pinterest that said "All women want a Mr. Darcy. Unfortunately all men have no idea who that is." My guess is that this is about 99% truth. (I tested it, asked my husband, "Do you know who Mr. Darcy is?" The answer was no. Which is surprising, since I watch the movie at least once a quarter. Or at least every time I pick up a P&P remake. It took everything in me not to put down this book and put in the movie this time around.
And there you have my review. Sort of. The modernization was good enough. It centered around the dog show arena and of course the rich and...not-so-rich. The book included plenty of Darcy, and Elizabeth moments, many of which avid fans will recoginize either from the book or by the movie. In fact, many of the key phrases from the book were utilized here. Elizabeth, true to the original, was a master of misunderstanding Darcy, but in this version it was almost to a fault. In fact, I think that both the pride and the prejudice fell to Elizabeth most strongly in this rendition. Mr. Darcy was constantly putting his foot in his mouth, and more than once I felt that Elizabeth's responses and disdain were uncalled for. I got a bit frusterated with her refusal to hear Donovan Darcy out, and if I were him, I most certainly would have given up on trying after so long. Mr. Darcy was charming and compassionate and understanding. He was apparently quite handsome, although for some reason I had a hard time picturing this particular Darcy in my head.
The dog shows, while the common ground between Elizabeth and Darcy in this book, were really a rather small part of this novel. I did enjoy the the bits that were there, but I think when I requested the book part of me had actually hoped on a few funny scenes and dog antics, but other than a scene of a dog peeing on beautiful carpet there really wasn't any thing like that. I guess they were show dogs, and were trained to absolute perfection.
While I guess I didn't LOVE, love this book, I still always enjoy an Elizabeth and Darcy rendition, in its (at this point) many varieties. I love the different interpretations of the brooding, overly-handsome Darcy, and Elizabeth's fumbling of the relationship. If you're an Austin fan, and enjoy modernizations, I see now reason why you wouldn't enjoy this novel.(less)