For the writing itself, I would give 4 stars but I found the content so disturbing that I had to peg it down to a 2. I found the story and storytellinFor the writing itself, I would give 4 stars but I found the content so disturbing that I had to peg it down to a 2. I found the story and storytelling style very compelling, making it hard to put down even though I considered not finishing it several times.
I'm still mulling over this book, and an undecided on how I feel about it; especiall what message (if there is a message) it gives and who that message is directed to. ...more
Reading 4 to 16 Characters is the experience of diving into the complex world of Jane Shilling. Make that worlds. To the outside world she's a friend Reading 4 to 16 Characters is the experience of diving into the complex world of Jane Shilling. Make that worlds. To the outside world she's a friendless misfit who recently lost her mother and has a father who has turned to alcohol to numb the pain. Jane turns to the online world and disguises herself in many different identities, from someone who is popular & perfect or others that are emo & suicidal; each characters shows a different part of Jane that she wants to be or needs to express. The book is written in her created world of multiple personas, and we experience it as such through chat logs, emails and online posts. I'm a big fan of nontraditional narrative styles, so I was thrilled to dive into the complicated world she creates. The ability for Jane to manage so many created identities, and speaking though them, is fascinating. Which moments is she speaking the truth? Is she ever speaking the truth? This writing style makes it a very engaging reading experience, as the reader can interpret what Jane is trying to say through each persona. Although we see things entirely from her perspective, Jane isn't an accessible character, and sometimes she isn't very likable, but I enjoyed her realness. And her smarts. The unconventional narrative style could take a bit to get used to, but it's worth it. There is so much heart in the outpour of emotion of Jane. You feel her pain, her angst, her frustration and it all feels so real. I was very impressed by 4 to 16 Characters and would strongly recommend it for readers who enjoy books that focus on complex characters with strong, emotionally driven stories. 4 out of 5 stars. ...more
I absolutely adored this book. Adored. When I heard Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, Parenthood) had written a book I wanted to read it RIGHT AWAY. ConsiI absolutely adored this book. Adored. When I heard Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls, Parenthood) had written a book I wanted to read it RIGHT AWAY. Considering the length of the queue for it at the library, I certainly wasn't the only one who felt that way. The book is based on a fictional version of her experiences in the acting scene during mid-90's New York. I loved it on so many levels. Performing arts, check! Living in the city, check! Awesomely-but-not-overly descriptive, check! Female protagonist, check! Personal journey, check! One of the things I loved most about it was that the main character has a great sense of humour. I never think to read a book that's 'funny', but this one reminded me to keep that in the mix. I adored the main character from her determination to her worries and the craziness of life that happens in, around and in between everything else. It's one of my favourite books I've read this year, and a book I highly and widely recommend.
The only thing I ran into that wasn't awesome, was that it included some images that were fun things like datebook pages with handwriting and such. I love these departures from regular text, and love to pour over them. But, I read the book via my Kobo Mini and the screen was just too small to really enjoy (or sometimes read) these pages. I know they are kind of a fun add-on, but not being able to fully enjoy them was a bit of a let down. This is the first time I've encounter anything like this while reading in eBook format. I still loved and would highly recommend the book, and I might even want to get a physical copy for myself so I can dive into those pages as well.
If this sounds like something you are interested, I strongly recommend checking it out. You'll likely continue to hear even more about as their is also a TV adaptation in the works with The CW. ...more
I knew instantly that I wanted to Women in Bed: Nine Stories, from the description of the book in the first email newsletter I received from Net GalleI knew instantly that I wanted to Women in Bed: Nine Stories, from the description of the book in the first email newsletter I received from Net Galley: "...nine stories that thematically address variations of love, love of self, family, and sexual relationships. From loneliness and isolation, desperation and rejection to need and passion, forgiveness and, finally, to love found." I was drawn to the book with my curiosity piqued on what the stories would be like. So I read it. And I loved it. I loved how each story had an unique character whose emotions were so real and raw. It featured women whose motivations weren't easy to pin down, who had layers of complexity to them and a refreshing realness. Reading the stories was an emotional roller coaster, with tales of love that swooped and swelled while others of loneliness and detachment held grace with the unforgiving and uncomfortable reality of emotional plateau. I appreciated this book on so many levels. It is very powerful and gutsy; sharing both the dark and the light of true emotions with equal honesty. I highly recommend checking it out. 5 of out 5 stars....more
Rating does not reflect writing or story (which were great), but rather that it was a distressing experience to read.
This was an extremely challengingRating does not reflect writing or story (which were great), but rather that it was a distressing experience to read.
This was an extremely challenging read from an emotional perspective. I was drawn to read it as it's received loads of acclaim as well as an upcoming film adaptation. Once I get an inkling that I want to read them, I don't tend to read synopsis or descriptions because I often feel they spoil the experience of letting the story unfold. This book challenged that choice, made me feel differently on the importance of knowing what you are getting into as I was completely unprepared for the harsh, realistic content in contained. This also makes discussing this book very complicated because I still feel strongly about not giving out spoiler-y information, but I also feel like it I can't recommend it without sharing what I believe it's really about. For a book that starts with a YA and mildly romance feel, I wasn't expecting an emotionally gutting experience. It's way heavier that I had any idea it would be. It is very well written, and I thought the characters were fascinating but it was way too heavy for me. As such, I'm at a loss of what to say about it (if you want a synopsis, Wikipedia can hook you up), other than I felt I needed to recover from reading it. ...more
Every once in a while I like to challenge myself with a reading choice, and this was my challenge. I can honestly say I read every word and understoodEvery once in a while I like to challenge myself with a reading choice, and this was my challenge. I can honestly say I read every word and understood almost nothing, but nonetheless I enjoyed the epic nature of the story and the challenge of continually having to look up words (got to love that Kobo's come with one-tap dictionary resources). I think I will have to revisit this one again and see how much more of the story sticks on a second reading....more
I'm going to say something I normally don't, which is that this is my actual favourite book I read this year (2012). No. 1, hands down, no contest. ItI'm going to say something I normally don't, which is that this is my actual favourite book I read this year (2012). No. 1, hands down, no contest. It's so beautifully written yet has a very different take and tone from other books. I love the sensitive nature it has without covering up any of the sticky bits. It feels so honest, and so hard, but so real. I loved it from start to finish, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. ...more
Oh my. This one was a challenge to get through, but I will give it that it had a lot of interesting ideas and a unique perspective, plus I did feel liOh my. This one was a challenge to get through, but I will give it that it had a lot of interesting ideas and a unique perspective, plus I did feel like it it was worth reading all the way through, but it is not a book for me. I'm certain I'm not the target audience by far. That being said, I did enjoy it way more than the film version (which you can hear a spoiler-filled discussion of it over at Before the Dawn with my buddy Marina)....more