This just wasn't for me. I read to 50 pages and I was bored, in spite of being surprised that the writing was well-done and the characters fairly like...moreThis just wasn't for me. I read to 50 pages and I was bored, in spite of being surprised that the writing was well-done and the characters fairly likeable. I only picked it up because I had happened to see the movie (which was okay, too), but I found it a little "jarring" to read the book and find discover the whole thing is set in the UK.
Also, I thought reading such a thing for a book addict (me) would be fun, but the way Rebecca obsesses over her purchases and feels nothing at spending constantly was hitting a little too close to home for me. XD (I want to read to de-stress, not stress out more.)(less)
**spoiler alert** Last Christmas I saw the movie version of this book on the Hallmark channel, but had no idea it was based on a book, since the title...more**spoiler alert** Last Christmas I saw the movie version of this book on the Hallmark channel, but had no idea it was based on a book, since the titles were different. (The movie is called "Trading Christmas".) So I when I found the book, I thought it might be a cute, fun and light holiday read. It was all that, but it was also too sentimental for my taste, and had too many repeated phrases, such as "absentminded professor" (five times!) and dated sounding dialogue.
There was also the matter of every "bad" situation in the book having quick, clean and almost ideal closures—such as each woman finding unexpected romance in a different city and having these romances move from first time meetings to marriages in less than a year. There was also the matter of characters seeming "out of character", which sounds a little ridiculous since this appears to be a standalone novel, but the changes in characters (and in character) from the beginning of the book to the end seemed . . . almost unbelievable. The "absentminded professor" of the story starts off as a grouch who hates everything to do with Christmas because a lover jilted him on Christmas Eve some number of years before. But due to a series of "unfortunate" events, he trades homes with a woman who lives in "Christmas town" and ends up rooming with the woman's good friend who has flown in from California to surprise her. At first he's all gruff with her but sets up an arrangement where she can stay as long as she prepares meals for him and leaves him in peace so he can write his book—which struck me as some 1950s attitude and was pretty off-putting. The friend walks on eggshells around him, afraid he's going to cast her out into the snow. But as time passes, the grouch turns into a "happy guy" and they end up falling in love with each other.
I know I'm supposed to suspend my disbelief—and I should be able to do that, given the number of crazy holiday movies with unusual and often unbelievable premises I watch every holiday season—but it seemed like these romances and huge character changes were so rushed, as if it were a movie that had to solve all of its problems and come to a suitable resolution in the span of 90 minutes.
I did like reading it, but it was really little more than romantic Christmas fluff—much like its movie adaption. (less)
I was very surprised that I enjoyed this so much (I sort of have a suspicious wonder that the authors who seem to be so prolific are just rewriting th...moreI was very surprised that I enjoyed this so much (I sort of have a suspicious wonder that the authors who seem to be so prolific are just rewriting the same story as their very first book—well, it's possible that this could be true for the rest of her series, but as a first book, it was pretty solid). It was well-written, well-plotted, with good pacing and a good mystery with good, well-rounded, believable and likeable main characters. It was funny and honest—Stephanie Plum starts her series as a former lingerie buyer who turns to skip tracing out of sheer desperation for an income. She's not a bad-ass who knows what she's doing right out of the gate, but she has real determination to see the operation through—bringing in Joe Morelli, a one time fling, who's been accused of murder—and collect her $10,000.
This is one of those books that started to sound intriguing via its movie release. Haven't seen the movie yet but since the trailer looked funny, I thought I would give the first book a try. It was one that was actually worth it. I loved it, and have just started the second in the series. (less)
**spoiler alert** After about 60 pages, I have decided to stop reading this one. I really wasn't sure about it when I began reading, but did give it t...more**spoiler alert** After about 60 pages, I have decided to stop reading this one. I really wasn't sure about it when I began reading, but did give it till 50 pages, and it seemed interesting enough to keep going after that. But today I got to a very graphic scene where one of the female characters is attacking the man who tried to blackmail her with a power drill. After reading that "pieces of white bone and black blood" came out of the wound, I flinched violently and put the book down. Obviously just not for me. I only really wanted to give this book a try because they had recently made a TV movie about it with Mark Harmon as Lucas Davenport. I guess I should have been warned right away by the graphic rape scene that opens the book, but as I mentioned, I wanted to see where I stood after 50 pages, because the writing is very good, it's image driven and vivid, so I'm disappointed that I can't continue it because I might throw up if I have to read any more scenes like those. (less)
The prose is exquisite, stunning, beautiful. I can't believe I missed reading this book for so many years; when I happened to pick this up at a Barnes...moreThe prose is exquisite, stunning, beautiful. I can't believe I missed reading this book for so many years; when I happened to pick this up at a Barnes & Noble and started reading it, I was instantly hooked. I knew I had read this book. It was AMAZING. I know that many people who had either read it or had heard about the graphic subject matter dissuaded me from it, but the graphic parts are over fast, and then there's this whole world of beauty and pain stretching out as Susie and her family try to deal with her death.
I saw the movie only about 200 pages into the book, so at first I found the adaption to be hard to swallow, but as I continued to read and finish, I actually find the movie to have done well, and made the little things described in the heavens or on Earth more visual.
I really fell in love with Sebold's descriptive prose; I loved to look at the world via Susie's POV. This book was one of the best ones I've read in a long time and I know I'm going to miss reading it. (less)
**spoiler alert** I read this back in high school, after I had heard it was on the "banned book" list. I could see why . . . it's about a young mother...more**spoiler alert** I read this back in high school, after I had heard it was on the "banned book" list. I could see why . . . it's about a young mother who slowly uncovers/ discovers the truth about her heritage and that her young daughter, Rhoda, is more than just an innocent child— she's a sociopath and killer. The writing is so well done and taut— beautiful and chilling. I want read it again. (less)
**spoiler alert** I really loved reading this. I would give a 4.5 if we were allowed to do half stars, though maybe a 4.8 instead. I loved the charact...more**spoiler alert** I really loved reading this. I would give a 4.5 if we were allowed to do half stars, though maybe a 4.8 instead. I loved the characters; I found them believable, as well as was the universe created, of "Casters". At times, I felt a little like Ethan—disoriented at learning so much supernatural information about his small town that he had thought he knew so well, but just like him I tried to keep up. I liked that the story was told almost entirely from Ethan's POV; just about every other series I've read about a female with some kind of power or strength or love has been from her POV (though I'm not saying this is a bad thing!), it was just, in this case, pretty cool to see the story unfold from Ethan's eyes, to watch him fall deeply in love with troubled girl soon-to-be Dark or Light Caster Lena, who is, seemingly, not in control of her fate.
My only complaints would be that in some places, the language/sentences seemed to be too simple, as if trying to reach exclusively the teen set (which I guess *is* the target audience); also that some of the content was extremely repetitive, such as Lena's constant fears that she can't stop what will happen to her on her 16th birthday and Ethan's also constant pleas that they will find a way to change her fate.
I also saw the movie while I was reading this (though about 150 pages from the end) and HATED IT. The movie was an utterly terrible representation of the book, with several plot points changed and rearranged. The movie was boring, the characters were flat (except for Ethan), action was both slow to be dull and rushed, especially at the end, and there was way too much exposition and revealing of mysteries too soon. Those are my two cents. Don't see the movie.
More on the book review later: still processing. For now, onto the next in the series! :)
This is one of my mom's "scary mass market paperbacks" that I considered lumping in with the rest of the horror/ fantasy/ sci-fi/ etc. to sell on crai...moreThis is one of my mom's "scary mass market paperbacks" that I considered lumping in with the rest of the horror/ fantasy/ sci-fi/ etc. to sell on craigslist, but then I saw that it has these funny movie stills on the back of it, and the tag line on the book is just so over the top. So maybe I'll try it before I list it with the others. Who knows. (less)
Overall, I enjoyed reading this Halloween tale of Ray Bradbury's. At first I was delighted and excited by the prose and the plot, but in the middle so...moreOverall, I enjoyed reading this Halloween tale of Ray Bradbury's. At first I was delighted and excited by the prose and the plot, but in the middle some of the plot dragged, and I started to think of the story as much too dated. But then the story ended strongly.
I had seen a movie version of this in 1993, a cartoon that had 3 boys and a girl traveling with Mr. Moundshroud trying to find Pipkin, and I feel that I prefer the movie to the book. Still, I'm glad I got the chance to read the book and that I pushed myself to finish it. Since it's only 181 pages (with several illustrations taking up whole pages), it seems silly not to read it. (less)
I kind of got bored reading this. It was different than other scary Joyce Carol Oates' books, and well-written and interesting, but it kind of dragged...moreI kind of got bored reading this. It was different than other scary Joyce Carol Oates' books, and well-written and interesting, but it kind of dragged. I was on 190 but I just skimmed the end. I'm not sure if I want to go back and actually read the rest. Maybe. It was a good read though. (less)
**spoiler alert** This is one of my favorite books of the series so far. It was beyond amazing, super-engaging and over all wonderful. It never trivia...more**spoiler alert** This is one of my favorite books of the series so far. It was beyond amazing, super-engaging and over all wonderful. It never trivialized a single detail, told the story with the raw overtones of adult drama while maintaining the atmosphere an idyllic and self-contained magical world. Obviously Hogwarts and the entire wizarding community grew less and less idyllic and more and more like a police state as the events wore on. The suspense of the entire plot built perfectly, the usual exposition paced out well without leaving the reader longing for anything to be "hurried up", and the battle between Harry, his friends and the Order against Voldemort and the Death Eaters was stunning, visual, dangerous and real feeling.
I surprisingly enjoyed the parts with Neville, including also that he *might* have been the one chosen by Voldemort "to be his equal", according to the prophecy. This is totally unlikely, but it throws an even deeper light onto the character of Neville. I liked that he tried his best to learn all the spells Harry taught, and that he and Harry were the ones still conscious enough to try to fight back in the battle, and that he didn't give up in spite of Harry wanting him to.
Sirius's death and the ending of the book were extremely poignant but wholly satisfying. I could taste and feel Harry's grief, it was so strong and realistic.
Loved this book, love this series. And now I think I can appreciate the movie more. (less)
**spoiler alert** Amazing, delightful and highly engaging read. Loved it. This one was infused with seriously sinister darker goings-on then any of th...more**spoiler alert** Amazing, delightful and highly engaging read. Loved it. This one was infused with seriously sinister darker goings-on then any of the last three, but it still retained the good-natured camaraderie, loyalty and love of the tight knit circle of friends and family throughout.
The only plot I really could have done without was the entire thing with the house-elves. All of the Rita Skeeter stuff was a little too involved too, but it was okay to include. And Voldemort's ongoing return-to-power monologue was a little drawn out for me, only because it was difficult to picture, and because it was slightly redundant since most of what he said was encompassed in the past three books. (I know the Death Eaters wouldn't have known that, thus the reason he had to tell them all that went on.)
Since I'd had seen most of the movies first, it was good to see some explanation of Dumbledore's plans (which seem to continue into the next movie [and hopefully book, too, which I'm just beginning to read now]) and the dissolution of his ally with the Ministry of Magic and Mr. Fudge. (less)