I don't know quite how to review this book. It does such a wonderful job of making you really feel it, that I didn't spend much time thinking about itI don't know quite how to review this book. It does such a wonderful job of making you really feel it, that I didn't spend much time thinking about it critically. It's an extremely powerful look into personal grief and love. There's even a wonderful discussion between Lexie, the main character, and her English teacher, Mrs. Blackburn about love and the science versus the belief of love. It's a book about relationships - those with parents, friends past and present, lovers, and more. It's a book that understands the power of words. And of course, its about how to say goodbye when we lose someone.
I had to put the book aside many times to compose myself. And I have to admit, a book that can make you feel that much emotion, in my opinion is a book worth reading. The plot is truly about coming to terms with grief, but its done with some intrigues along the way. The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a quick read (when you discount the pauses for tears) and it's well worth reading. But do so knowing it will make you feel things. ...more
Plantefall is a wonderful science fiction story of humans leaving earth, guided to a new planet by a ‘chosen one’, the Pathfinder. The story begins wiPlantefall is a wonderful science fiction story of humans leaving earth, guided to a new planet by a ‘chosen one’, the Pathfinder. The story begins with a colony settled on the new planet and the tale of how they got there unfolds slowly, tantalizingly so, as Renata Ghali’s life and lies begin to crumble around her when a newcomer arrives at the colony.
As many of the best science fiction books do, Planetfall gives us a startlingly look at humanity and in Ren’s case at certain mental disorders. Her ways of coping with the trauma of Planetfall and all that’s transpired are unhealthy to say the least. From the beginning of the story, we are teased with what actually happened as opposed with the knowledge the majority of the colony has. Emma Newman makes us work for that knowledge. We are almost a third of the way through the story before we start to collect bits and pieces and two-thirds through before we can actually piece together more. And all the while, we are treated to the workings of the colony and those of Ren’s own mind.
It’s a book about resources and environmentalism (living with a minimal footprint and zero-waste). But it’s also a book that considers questions of humanity, faith, belief, and ultimate purpose. And like many great stories, its ending leaves you questioning not only the story but also your own beliefs and your own self.
I received a free copy of Planetfall from the publisher. My review is my own personal and subjective opinion and I have not received compensation for it. ...more
This book presents some fascinating arguments for interpreting one of Robert Frost's seminal poems, The Road Not Taken. I'd never given much thought tThis book presents some fascinating arguments for interpreting one of Robert Frost's seminal poems, The Road Not Taken. I'd never given much thought to the opposing ways the poem could be read. David Orr explains different viewpoints based on perspectives of Frost's own life, the poem itself, the chooser, and the choice. The detail and research and alternative theories are really thought provoking. I have an all new respect for Robert Frost and The Road Not Taken (even if I now question my own choices and whether or not I actually am making choices)....more
The title itself intrigued me. And then I saw the cover. The image of the throne set in front of a Parisian landscape that includes the Eiffel tower aThe title itself intrigued me. And then I saw the cover. The image of the throne set in front of a Parisian landscape that includes the Eiffel tower and burning feathers floating down from the sky is stunning. The opening of the book did not lessen my intrigue. The book begins with fall of an angel and proceeds to explain and detail the disaster that Paris has become and the danger that the Fallen face and can create.
We learn that the Fallen, though they rule the city of Paris from within separate “Houses”, are not necessarily safe, especially if newly fallen. Parisians not dedicated to a House prize the Fallen for their parts in order to perform magic and maintain a magical high. Our three main characters, Philippe, Isabelle, and Madeline each embody the main aspects of this world. Isabelle is a newly Fallen. Madeline is an alchemist who belongs to a house and continuously seeks the damaging magical high created from inhaling Angel Essence or the dust of angel bones. Philippe is somewhat of a mystery, but hates the Fallen and who they represent and so tries to live outside of the House system.
These three characters are forced together in a somewhat incongruous way and the story unfolds through their viewpoints. At its core, The House of Shattered Wings is a simple mystery – one built upon discovering whom has created an elaborate plot of revenge against House Silverspires. The revenge is built upon a frightening curse. It is dark and palpably scary. And yet, I wanted more from the book.
I wanted more discussion of theology and philosophy. I wanted to more characterization of many of the Fallen and their faith or lack thereof. I wanted more thought, feeling, and discussion about the rights and wrongs of the War, the House system, and the Fallen’s role in the world. Philippe spends some time considering his place in the world and the way things are, but it is rather superficial. I wanted so much more of this and from more of the characters.
Despite spending a majority of the book with Philippe, Isabelle, and Madeline, I only felt like I truly got to know Madeline. While the book is beautifully written and the descriptions are wondrous (multiple sensations were frequently described), I found the plot and its pacing slightly discordant. I feel like the book the author wasn’t quite sure what she really wanted her book to be – a tale of the Fallen and other Immortals once they become mortal or a tale of a post-war future. Even the discord between Houses and the House system itself could have used more detail. It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly I found lacking, but I just know I wanted more. And as a result, the ending felt slightly unsatisfactory and abrupt.
Overall, I recommend The House of Shattered Wings as an entertaining and intriguing story. But do not look to it for deeper implications and philosophies. ...more
I think Victor put it best when he referred to Gabe and Lea as 'annoyingly cute.' That's exactly how I'd classify this book. It's adorable, almost sicI think Victor put it best when he referred to Gabe and Lea as 'annoyingly cute.' That's exactly how I'd classify this book. It's adorable, almost sickeningly so. But it's a quick easy read and sometimes its exactly the kind of fluff you need.
The book tales the story of two college kids, a freshman girl (Lea) and a junior, boy (Gabe) who like each other but can't seem to get together. The twist is that it is told from others' points of view. And everyone seems to know that Gabe and Lea like each other except for them. There are a lot of POVs (not Game of Thrones many, but still a lot) and each is so quick it is sometimes hard to remember whose POV you're currently in. I enjoyed most of them but could have done without the bench and the squirrel (Victor was my personal favorite).
It's a cute book and there really isn't much more to say about it. ...more
The book started off really well for me - it had a great epigraph (from Oscar Wilde) and the opening paragraph with Robyn was something I truly identiThe book started off really well for me - it had a great epigraph (from Oscar Wilde) and the opening paragraph with Robyn was something I truly identified with. It was nice, entertaining quick read but not something I'd rave about.
I didn't read the first book (Leaving Amarillo) so this was my first introduction to these characters. I have a suspicion that that was probably a good thing, but who knows. Robyn and Dallas have history and a connection. There is hot sex. The steamy scenes weren't overly sexual but hot enough to leave you wanting more, but that may actually be due more to the desire/need each character had for each other than the sex itself. It was nice to get that sense of mutual desire and attraction. '
There is also a lot of poor communication which ultimately drives the plot of this story (and is all the more frustrating due to the alternating point of views). It's a quick and fairly predictable read with some tropes, but I didn't mind that. I did mind how the end kind of glossed over how Robyn would deal with and/or change her goals accordingly, especially since so much of the story was based on each character wanting to each their dreams.
I enjoyed it, but I don't know that I'd go back to read the first book or continue to read the second (though Dixie and Gavin do seem like interesting characters from the little bit you get in this book). ...more