I almost feel that the author wrote this book in two halves. The first half she wrote while at the pique of her ability and enthusiasm. The second halI almost feel that the author wrote this book in two halves. The first half she wrote while at the pique of her ability and enthusiasm. The second half she wrote while on some very impressive anti-depressants.
The first half of this book is sweet, wistful, beautiful and touching.
The second half of this book is heart breaking, depressing and sloppily written.
I finished this book wondering what the hell I'd actually gotten out of it. My not-so-startling conclusion was: nothing.
When I read a book, I like to come away with something - even if it's merely a story worth remembering to cherish in my mind, or a lesson well learned, or an experience I'll probably never have but I now felt as though I'd had.
This book offers none of that and I'm wondering why Ms. Niffenegger actually wrote it to begin with? What was she trying to say with this story?
Marriage sucks? Religion is for the young and naive? True love lasts until the first heart breaking obstacle?
Outlander is not a book for everyone. I'll put that right out there. If you think you can stomach extreme sexual violence as well as themes of sadismOutlander is not a book for everyone. I'll put that right out there. If you think you can stomach extreme sexual violence as well as themes of sadism then go ahead. If you can understand good characters doing things in their historical context that would be seen as abuse now, then give it a try.
You won't be disappointed.
Gabaldon has finely crafted a novel that is radically different to the stereotype. This is no average love story. Her research is extensive and flawless; bringing to life a world that is rich and dynamic in detail and character.
Her prose a beautiful and well constructed and the characters. Where do I even start with the characters? They have depth. They're lovable. They're real.
The problem with this book lies in two aspects:
It's pacing. It's fantastic, non-stop drama and action right up to the last 200 pages or so where it trickles down to a grinding halt. The other problem with it is that many people are going to be uncomfortable with some of the things that happen in the book. Remembering the time difference and the culture that the male protagonist comes from is often hard when we judge his actions by today's standards.
But to readers who can over look these things, I highly recommend it as a book that is both incredibly well written, enjoyable and addictive.
*This post was inspired by the fantastic videos over at www.howitshouldhaveended.com. Italicized text is the original publiciHow I Would Have Ended It
*This post was inspired by the fantastic videos over at www.howitshouldhaveended.com. Italicized text is the original publicized text from the book and is entirely the work of Becca Fitzpatrick.
This rendition is entirely satire. It is not meant to offend and I mean no discourtesy. I recognize that authors put a lot of time and work into their novels and I am not trying to disrespect that. Writing a novel is hard work and is something I have never done and I certainly don’t think I could do a better job. I am simply, with light-hearted intention, using humour and imagination to spark book discussion and fun and point out some issues I had with the novel.
And lastly, please don’t sue me. I have no money. And I have children to feed. And I have a cat to feed as well. You wouldn’t want a cat to go without food, would you? Also, pretty please with a cherry on top. I’ll be your friend?*
I was backed up against the counter, my palms digging into the edge. “You’re mad because I didn’t go to Delphic.” I raised one shaky shoulder. “Why Delphic, Patch? It’s Sunday night. Delphic will be closing soon. Any special reason you wanted me to drive to a dark, soon-to-be deserted amusement park?”
He walked toward me until he was standing close enough that I could see his black eyes beneath his ball cap.
“Dabria told me you have to sacrifice me to get a human body,” I said.
Patch was quiet a moment. “And you think I’d go through with it?”
I swallowed. “Then it’s true?”
Our eyes locked. “It has to be an intentional sacrifice. Simply killing you won’t do it.”
“Are you the only person who can do this to me?”
“No, but I’m probably the only person who knows the end result, and the only person who would attempt it. It’s the reason I came to school. I had to get close to you. I needed you. It’s the reason I walked into your life.”
I looked at him for a moment, his intense gaze shooting through me as I considered the information he’d just confirmed.
“Okay,” I said, straightening up and slipping out from his overbearing presence to put some space between us.
“Okay, I’m out of here.”
“You can’t go!” Patch said, his face twisting into a confused expression.
“Well, you’ve pretty much admitted that you were going to kill me, in a very personal way, might I add. I think that justifies a quick and hasty exit,” I spat at him, straightening my outfit in indignation and standing up to him with more confidence than I felt.
Patch spluttered for a moment, blinking his eyes disbelievingly. “But… I wasn’t… I mean…” he looked lost for a moment before visibly collecting himself and slipping back into his usual, confident demeanor. “You want me to come clean, I will. I’ll tell you everything. Who I am and what I’ve done. Every last detail. I’ll dig it all up, but you have to ask. You have to want it. You can see who I was, or you can see who I am now. I’m not good,” he said, piercing me with eyes that absorbed all light but reflected none, “but I was worse.”
I arched an eyebrow and stared at him in disbelief. “Well, I have a different plan, Patch. Mainly revolving around the fact that you purposely entered my life in order to stalk, harass and murder me for your nefarious schemes. So I think this would be a pretty good time for you to quit the mysterious bullshit and be extremely transparent about everything I need to know. I mean, you haven’t even assured me, at this point, that you’re not actually going to kill me. And I don’t mean to harp on this point – but that’s a pretty important facet of this discussion for me.”
He stalked close to me again, affecting a brooding, intense expression and causing my heart to thud painfully in my chest. His boots were flush with the toes of my tennis shoes. “I’m not going to kill you, Nora. I don’t kill people who are important to me. And you top the list.”
I exerted considerable effort to contain an eyeroll, but it slipped through at the last minute. “You’re impinging on my private space,” I said, inching backward in distaste.
Patch gave a barely-there smile. “Impinging? This isn’t the SAT, Nora.”
I pressed my finger-tips to his chest. He glanced at the spot where we touched and then back up to my eyes. “If my vocabulary is causing you distress,” I whispered huskily, looking up to him with a wicked smile on my face, “then let me express my displeasure in the only way you seem to understand.”
Patch’s brow creased in confusion a moment before my heel came down hard on his instep. He hopped back in pain, looking at me with both hurt and bewilderment. “Personal boundaries, Patch. Respect them when I ask you to. See, I have this rule about letting would-be murderers within ten feet of my very stab-able body. Now, tell me. Is Dabria going to be coming after me.”
Patch, miraculously less interested in encroaching on my personal space, shrugged from where he was. “You could take her, Angel,” he said. “I’ve seen both of you in action,” he looked down at his injured foot and winked, “and my bet’s on you. You don’t need me for that.”
“I don’t think I need you for much of anything,” I sneered, turning on him and heading to the door.
“Door’s locked,” he said from behind me. “And we have unfinished business.”
“Listen, the only unfinished business we have is between my knee and your crotch if you come near me again.”
The cell phone in my pocket rang to life. “In fact,” I said as I pulled it out, “you’re going to go away and I don’t ever, EVER want to see your broody, mopey face again. You have forever cured me of badboys. When this is over, it’s strictly accounting nerds and banking types for me! This was absolutely the WORST way to punish my mother for her absence, assert my independence and act out my grief from losing my father. I should have just stolen money from my mother’s purse and bought alcohol like a NORMAL teenager!” I pressed the accept button on my cell. “What?!”
“Babe!” Vee said. We had a bad connection, the crackled of static cutting across her voice. “Where are you?”
“Where are you? Are you still with Elliot and Jules?” I flattened a hand against my free ear to hear better.
“I’m at school. We broke in,” she said in a voice that was naughty to perfection. “We want to play hide-and-seek but don’t have enough people for two teams. So… do you know of a fourth person who could come play with us?”
An incoherent voice mumbled in the background.
“Elliot wants me to tell you that if you don’t come be his partner –hang on- what?” Vee said into the background.
Elliot’s voice came on. “Nora? Come play with us. Otherwise, there’s a tree in the common area with Vee’s name on it.”
I groaned in disbelief and promised myself that if I survived this, I’d choose friends who weren’t complete and utter dumbasses.
“Who was that?” Patch asked.
I sighed heavily. “That was my brainless, dropkick friend phoning me to pass along the message that Elliot and Jules are going to murder her violently unless I go meet up with them.”
“What was that you were saying about never again seeing my broody, moping face?” Patch asked, his confidence returned trifold and an enormous grin spread across his face.
I resisted the urge to smash my face into the tiled wall repeatedly. “Oh, shut up and come on. I’ll probably end up nobly sacrificing myself and saving your ass anyway, so cut the shit, Patch.”
He unlocked and opened the door, letting me out ahead of him.
“Still going to settle for an accountant or banker?”
“You had better be so damn awesome in bed or I am going to stab you through the eye with your own literalized ego.”
“I have ninety-nine problems, Nora, but performance in the sack is NOT one of them.”
***Warning: won't contain spoilers cause I didn't get far enough to give a fuck and discover anything worth spoiling.***
Okay, so let me get this out s***Warning: won't contain spoilers cause I didn't get far enough to give a fuck and discover anything worth spoiling.***
Okay, so let me get this out straight. I have never NOT finished a book before. Okay, I'm lying. The History of Sexuality Volume 1 by Michel Foucault remains unfinished as does Villette by Charlotte Bronte. Why? Because they were boring.
Because, as I read them, I wanted to take a cheese grater to my skull and rub vigorously just to have something to do!
But I have never NOT finished a Young Adult paranormal novel before. And I've read some BAAAAAD books. But I didn't finish this book because it goes beyond bad. It makes the History of Sexuality seem amazingly interesting and colourful.
To be fair to Ms. Clare, I was not actually "reading" her novel so much as listening to the Audiobook. The Narrator, Graynor, did a particularly craptastic job.
To be fair to Ms. Graynor, she didn't have much to work with. I tuned her out, I swear, I was focusing on the actual prose, taking in the story, trying to get interested. But the writing was terrible. It was painful. The characters were annoying.
Now, I've been fair to Ms. Clare and I've been fair to Mr. Graynor. So there's only you left to be fair to now.
And in order to do that, I have to admit that I wasn't EXPECTING to like this book. I was, however, expecting to be pleasantly surprised, and I'll explain why.
Many years ago, Cassandra Clare was Cassandra Clair - a VERY popular FF author in the Harry Potter and LoTR circles. I actually greatly enjoyed her Draco Trilogy. I've read it many times. I had heard that this book was very similar to DT and so I was expecting to find it to be a guilty pleasure. Something my moral compass told me to leave behind, but that I would actually enjoy too much to do so. But I was wrong.
Yeah, she plagiarized that work and I won't really go into it except to post a link because in the end, I'm not reviewing her, I'm reviewing her work.
But here's the problem. Jace is really just Draco from DT. Simon is really just Ron and Harry amalgamated into one. Clary is really just Ginny. The bad guys seems too much like good ol'Voldie. The plot is painfully similar to DT. It was like reading her old work all over again. And I think, because she was really just redressing her old characters, she didn't even both to give them any growth in this story.
To be honest, I didn't read far because the writing was boring (oh my lord, the similes! Someone save me from them) and poorly constructed; the characters were boring and poorly constructed and the plot was boring and poorly constructed.
I'd already read DT so I didn't need to read this....more
I originally wrote this review in a more innocent time. A time, if you can imagine, when I was a lot less cynical and a lot more likely to give booksI originally wrote this review in a more innocent time. A time, if you can imagine, when I was a lot less cynical and a lot more likely to give books a break.
So I did the obligatory drool over the Black Dagger Brotherhood men whilst expressing frustration at the multiple POV's (SO MANY!). I complained about the content and nature of Wrath and Beth's relationship but let it slide because, hey it was just some light-hearted fun.
A couple of years ago I was at my mother's house when a large, terrifying spider began its battle charge toward me with murderous intent gleaming in its eyes (witness accounts may vary...)
In case you are unaware, I have a deep and unabidding terror of anything with more than six legs.
The spider racing toward me looked something like this:
Nobody else at the scene of the event picks up details like I do...
Because she loves me (presumably) and to put a stop to my earsplitting girlie shrieks of "Kill it! Kill IIIIIIIIITTT!" (less presumably) my mother whacked it triumphantly with a shoe.
It is at this point that hundreds of small, though equally malevolent spider spawn emerged from the crushed remains of their mother, all equally intent on destroying me one little piece at a time.
[image error] Each one was chanting this in their tiny babyspider voices as they rushed toward me with evil in their heart and malice in their eyes...
I count this as the most traumatic moment of my life. I find it extremely ironic that it was a vacuum cleaner, the bane of my life, that rescued me that night while I jumped on the couch in a fit of apoplectic terror.
And it is with equal terror that I look upon the undead spawn that has filled the market since Dark Lover first emerged into the reading sphere....more