What a ride! It's creepy and mysterious and beautiful. I love that this takes place in the present; it allows it to have the dystopian feel but stillWhat a ride! It's creepy and mysterious and beautiful. I love that this takes place in the present; it allows it to have the dystopian feel but still be fresh and exciting. The characters are excellent, I particularly love Roland. I think it's a fascinating concept, and I would definitely recommend this!...more
I have mixed feelings. I guess I'll talk about the good. You can't write a review of this book and not talk about the design; it's gorgeous. I love thI have mixed feelings. I guess I'll talk about the good. You can't write a review of this book and not talk about the design; it's gorgeous. I love the way the photos are worked into the story, the full color chapter pages, the little signature detail on the cover of the book (under the jacket). It's lovely. I love the concept, I think it's a very clever and interesting idea. And I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of the book. I liked the spookyness and the mystery of this world, I like the edge-of-your-seat foreboding that you feel in certain scenes, where you're positive something is going to pop out and scary the pants off you. I think that's all brilliant.
But. It goes downhill a bit when we start getting answers. I always think it's hard to be properly scary when dealing with monsters, because it's just tough to describe them and not sound silly. And, when you get answers, you of course loose the creepy charm that this book had going for it. And finally, I think this is another book that would have benefited from being a stand alone. Alone, it's a really great concept. As a part of a series, it may start getting gimmicky...
In summary, I think it's worth a read; the first part of the book is wonderful and spooky and creepy, and the pictures work seamlessly into the text. If you can appreciate that, it's ok that the ending doesn't quite live up to the beginning....more
I enjoyed reading about Parkour and XP, and the plot was intriguing, but overall I was disappointed. I don't believe this makes a good series, and I rI enjoyed reading about Parkour and XP, and the plot was intriguing, but overall I was disappointed. I don't believe this makes a good series, and I really don't have any desire to read the next book. The characters were just ok, and most of their interactions felt false. The narrator's voice didn't ring true, and it felt too much like an adult trying to write like a teen. Just so-so overall....more
I don't know what I can say about TFIOS that hasn't been said already. I could talk about the brilliant heartbreaking brilliance with which John GreenI don't know what I can say about TFIOS that hasn't been said already. I could talk about the brilliant heartbreaking brilliance with which John Green captures the beauty and comedy and tragedy of living. I could talk about truth, it’s power and it’s ugliness and how necessary and refreshing it is. I could talk about how TFIOS makes you laugh one minute and cry the next, and sometimes you do both at the same time. I could talk about the importance and the beauty of art and novels. But that’s all been said before, and by many more intelligent and talented writers and reviewers than me.
So here’s what I’ll talk about. In Mrs. Dalloway, Mrs. Dalloway reflects that it is “very, very dangerous to live even one day.” And I feel that, in a lot of ways, TFIOS is about how very dangerous it is to live even one day, and also why it is so important and rewarding to face that danger. In one of the more beautiful moments, Hazel describes herself as a grenade, telling her parents that she is just going to detonate and hurt everyone around her. But of course we are all grenades, and every day we live, we risk hurting more people, and we risk hurting ourselves. Yet TFIOS shows the rewards that come with facing that risk: the beauty, the friendship, the love. The strength we find in each other, and the strength we provide to each other.
As you can tell from my reverting to essay-type bull, I honestly don’t know how to talk about TFIOS. It’s powerful and it’s elegant, and I can’t think of a way to tell you about it that will do it justice. So just read it. It is wonderful and heartbreaking and brilliant. It is everything I have come to expect from John Green. Just read it. Keep some tissues handy and read it. It’s worth it. ...more
**spoiler alert** I've had this book since the summer, and it was one of those that was going to be really good or really not good. Unfortunately, it**spoiler alert** I've had this book since the summer, and it was one of those that was going to be really good or really not good. Unfortunately, it was disappointing. The premise was sort of promising, and it did have potential to be a fun, romantic novel, but it fell short. First, the main character was an idiot. I wanted to shake her the entire time I was reading. Her failure to ask questions just didn't make sense, and I didn't believe her. I just didn't believe she could be real. And then there was the romantic interest Ethan/Iain, who you're supposed to be in love with, but I just didn't see it. He was a giant cliche, and while you were clearly supposed to doubt his love for Haven as she did, it didn't actually work. The ending was just bizarre and it totally didn't make sense. The end felt like Miller forgot to give us a whole bunch of information, so she just threw everything in at the last minute.
I could deal with all the religious themes, but it felt sort of like the imagery was beating you over the head after a while. I got sick of it, and I ended up feeling alienated from the characters because the religion in their life didn't feel real. I like the idea of religion being both an antagonistic force in some cases and a healing force in others, but it wasn't executed well enough to make it not feel like a lecture.
Miller had a nice writing style, and she had some really brilliant, creative moments of description that gave me hope, but in the end, I just felt sort of "meh" about this whole book....more
I really wanted to enjoy this, but I was not impressed. The plot was pretty predictable, but that can be nice. The characters had potential, they wereI really wanted to enjoy this, but I was not impressed. The plot was pretty predictable, but that can be nice. The characters had potential, they were nice if not a bit forgettable, and the story wasn't bad, but what really frustrated me was the fact the author explained what EVERY SCENE MEANT. She lives in a glass house. I can figure out the deeper implications of that without being told. We get it, there are themes and symbolism. When you point them out every single time, your readers just get annoyed. Or at least I get annoyed.
The killer was the climactic moment, when Annabel finally tells the reader what happened and has to decide whether to speak up or run away...it's at a concert for the Truth Squad. REALLY? TRUTH Squad? I groaned out loud. At that point I just wanted to give up, I was sick of being beaten over the head with the themes. A little explanation goes a very long way, and explaining every scene and every theme is frustrating. I found it amusing that in a book about listening and having opinions, the author didn't let you come to your own conclusions....more
Disappointing. I really enjoyed The Forest of Hands and Teeth, so I was really looking forward to The Dead-Tossed Waves. Ryan has a very poetic styleDisappointing. I really enjoyed The Forest of Hands and Teeth, so I was really looking forward to The Dead-Tossed Waves. Ryan has a very poetic style of writing that makes zombies tragic and beautiful, and while that was still present, I was really disappointed. It felt like Ryan was trying too hard to be deep. It really felt less like an exploration of what it meant to be human and more like Ryan was repeatedly beating you over the head with what she thinks it means to be human.
As for the story itself, I found the main character to be painfully annoying. Despite all the troubles of her friends, all Gabry can do is play the martyr and blame herself. It feels like she goes through the same scene three or four times trying to come to terms with her guilt...which could be beneficial, except it feels like exactly the same scene everytime. By the end, I was sort of wishing she'd just get bit by a Mudo so she'd stop whining about how she'll never compare to her friends and her mother. Because honestly, she's right. I would much rather read a story about Catcher, Elias, or Mary than reread Gabry's tale....more
This review should be preceded by a number of what-if's. What if I'd read this when I was still super psyched about dystopian? What if I had just pickThis review should be preceded by a number of what-if's. What if I'd read this when I was still super psyched about dystopian? What if I had just picked this up in the library? What if I hadn't heard several people going on and on about how great this was?
If those things had (or hadn't) happened, maybe I'd have liked this more. It was an interesting idea; I liked the Lord of the Flies vibe, and premise is really interesting. I might keep reading the series just to figure out what's going on, so it does have that in its favor. However, the characters were sort of awful. I just didn't care about any of them. They were flat and lifeless and I couldn't work up the energy required to invest myself in them. And the monsters...weren't scary. I actually pictured the Grievers as kind of funny.
All that said, I think the major problem is that this isn't a book is for me. It would be great for reluctant teen boy readers, or for middle grade readers who like to read up. ...more
After reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I went through a creepy futuristic novel kick. Unwind was one of the books Amazon recommended for meAfter reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I went through a creepy futuristic novel kick. Unwind was one of the books Amazon recommended for me based on this, and it sounded interesting, so I picked it up. And then I couldn't put it down.
A fast-paced thriller of a novel, Unwind raised challenging questions about bio-ethics and life. The characters were interesting, and the idea of unwinding was truly horrific. In fact, this book contains one of the most horrible scenes I've ever read, to the point I had to take a break before I could continue. I give Neal Shusterman major credit for this, as I'm not squeamish in the slightest. He gave me chills, in the best way possible.
Unwind is not for the faint of heart, but if you're looking for a novel full of adventure, great characters and a challenging look at the nature and value of life, Unwind is for you....more