Wow. This book was nothing like what I was expecting. And I mean that in a good way!
I loved how All These Things I’ve Done was set in the near future,...moreWow. This book was nothing like what I was expecting. And I mean that in a good way!
I loved how All These Things I’ve Done was set in the near future, so the world hadn’t progressed drastically. I liked being able to recognize things from today. For example, when Anya goes to Liberty Island (which wasn’t a tourist spot anymore), she talks about a statue of feet wearing sandals which I recognized to be the remains of the Statue of Liberty. But things still had changed. Water is rationed, paper books are rare, and caffeine is illegal.
Anya was an awesome protagonist. I loved how she was realistic about relationships; it was something I could relate to. I also loved how her relationship with Win had development, and it wasn’t over-emotional or angsty. But that doesn’t mean it was lacking in the passion which comes in later. (Yay for development!)
I also found the crime-family aspect to be very intriguing. Anya’s father was head of the chocolate mafia before he died, so often his old friends and colleagues showed up to create conflict and suspense that made this book so much more enjoyable.
Original, engrossing, and stunning. This is the first book by Gabrielle Zevin that I’ve read, but it surely will not be the last! I can’t wait for the sequel to All These Things I’ve Done!(less)
Gay romance, music, theatre, and a Texas setting all in one book? What's not to love?
I'll confess, I had misgivings before reading because as a homose...moreGay romance, music, theatre, and a Texas setting all in one book? What's not to love?
I'll confess, I had misgivings before reading because as a homosexual individual myself, I'm wary of LGBT books written by non-LGBT people. (How could they possibly understand, right?) But the author of Don't Let Me Go proved me wrong by showing just what it's like to be a gay teenager, and how it feels to have to fight to have what others take for granted.
One of the elements of this book I loved was the theatrical aspect. Adam had been acting since he was a child, and an off-Broadway job was the whole reason he went to New York in the first place. Even though I'm more of a techie, I smiled at all the mentions of rehearsals and cast parties. Music played an important part in the story as well. It was something Nate and Adam fell in love over, and many important events took place at Mr. Ratcliffe's music store.
Another fun thing for me was that this book was set in the Houston area! It made it easier for me to see the descriptions in my head, because I knew what was being described. I nearly squealed the first time it mentioned Market Street.
I loved reading about how Nate and Adam's spark of romance grew into the love of a lifetime, then felt sad when it flashed forward to the state of their relationship with Adam in New York. They were very codependent, but I don't think that has to be a bad thing. However, they got more and more dysfunctional as the book went on, to the point where you wonder if they could ever go back to being what they once were.
I wasn't fond of the character Danial at first, but I grew to like his snarky, sarcastic personality, and felt sympathy when we learned the truth about his past.
This book wasn't afraid to show the ugly side of dealing with homophobia, for which I was thankful. I wish it weren't true, but people really are that ignorant, and their ignorance can turn into bigoted hate. It wouldn't have been realistic unless Nate and Adam had dealt with hate, even if not on a colossal scale.
Because of where the near end of the book was heading, I was worried that this would become one of those books with a good but sad ending that keeps me up for days. While the words "Ten Years Later" were a relief, this book will be on my mind for the weeks to come.
Bittersweet and honest, Don't Let Me Go is a terrific work of LGBT fiction. I'm looking forward to more from J. H. Trumble!(less)
This may sound unusual, but what drew me to this book was not the cover, but the title. If I Stay. It just sounded so…songlike. I guess you could say...moreThis may sound unusual, but what drew me to this book was not the cover, but the title. If I Stay. It just sounded so…songlike. I guess you could say that I judged this book by its title. However, I was unsure when I found out it was realistic fiction. I usually steer clear of contemporary/realistic fiction because it tends to be too melodramatic and sappy for my liking. I don’t think I would have even gotten around to reading this if Gayle Forman wasn’t going to be at the TLA this year.
I read this book in three hours. But those three hours were unforgettable.
It’s difficult to tell what the book is about from reading the summary, so I’ll tell you that If I Stay was about Mia, the protagonist, deciding whether she should keep on living after a tragic car accident, or join her family in death. But this book wasn’t only about death. It was also about life, family and love, as you can see from Mia’s flashbacks throughout the novel.
Surprisingly (at least to me), this book wasn’t melodramatic at all. The characters and their situations were realistic and truthful. This book was touching as well. I mean, it wasn’t Between Mom and Jo-touching, but one of my eyes slightly leaked at the end.
I also loved the musical aspect. I’m not a huge fan of music-themed books, but I can’t imagine If I Stay without the music. It flourished and upheld the story, which made this short book even more engrossing.
Quite possibly my new favorite Cinderella retelling. I'm even ready to forgive the blatant predictability of Cinder's past, because every other aspect...moreQuite possibly my new favorite Cinderella retelling. I'm even ready to forgive the blatant predictability of Cinder's past, because every other aspect of this book had me enthralled.(less)
Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect of A Northern Light. I rarely read historical fiction set in the States. I borrowed this from the library only...moreHonestly, I didn’t know what to expect of A Northern Light. I rarely read historical fiction set in the States. I borrowed this from the library only because Donnelly’s other novel, Revolution, is receiving a lot of critical acclaim. However, I was not disappointed in the least.
Mattie was a strong heroine. She had to deal with raising her sisters after her mother died and her brother left. Yet she still dreamed of going to college in New York City and becoming a writer. Because women often didn’t receive higher learning in 1906, you could say that there was a feminist undertone. But not in an in-your-face kind of way. All the side characters had depth and were likeable as well.
I praise Donnelly for not sugarcoating any of the issues presented, such as racism and marital infidelity. Everything about this book was raw and honest. I don’t think I’ve ever used the work “raw” to describe writing before, but in this case it’s the best word I can use. This was not at all a “light” or “fun” read.
My only criticism is that there were too many plot lines going on at once. Donnelly could have taken out the murder and still have had a good story about a young woman with aspirations but who is tied to her family by a promise. In fact, I had to drag myself through the chapters in which Mattie read over Grace’s letters, because I longed to be back in Mattie’s story.
Overall this was a very good book. I was happy with the outcome and the ending was satisfying. I’d recommend A Northern Light to anyone who likes YA historical fiction.
Needless to say, I’ll be sure to check out Revolution soon to get more of this wonderful author.(less)
I really loved that the supernatural elements of this book were in the same spirit as Michelle Zink's other novels (though with far less biblical lege...moreI really loved that the supernatural elements of this book were in the same spirit as Michelle Zink's other novels (though with far less biblical legends), but I wish there had been more focus on the back story concerning the Dictata and the Keepers. All the details on similar matters is part what made me like the Prophecy of the Sisters series so much. I don't usually dislike third-person, but I think I wouldn't enjoyed this book more if it had been in first-person. I really liked Helen, and it would have been nice to see the inner workings of her brain some more. That aside, I have no quarrels with this book. Really looking forward to more from this author! (less)
I really liked Jackson Pearce’s other book, Sisters Red, and thought it was her only book until I discovered As You Wish. By the way, please do not ma...moreI really liked Jackson Pearce’s other book, Sisters Red, and thought it was her only book until I discovered As You Wish. By the way, please do not make the mistake of judging this book by its cover. The cover makes this book look like cheesy chick-lit. Even the summary sounds cliché. But As You Wish was neither cheesy nor cliché.
I loved the dialogue, it was funny and realistic. Viola and Lawrence and Ollie and Xander could very well be people I know. The plot was simple yet thought-provoking, especially when you’re reading from Jinn’s POV. The paranormal aspect was simple too. It was nice to see that Jackson Pearce knew she didn’t have to come up with a complicated mythology to have a good supernatural story.
In any other paranormal romance, I’d say that a little over a week is too soon for people to fall in love. But since Jinn and Viola spent a lot of time together, their relationship had plenty of time to develop and nothing seemed rushed.
As You Wish was generally fun and feel-good. And now that I know that Jackson Pearce has written more than one good book, I can expect whatever she writes next to be worth reading.(less)