**spoiler alert** Decided to stop reading this after 64 pages. It's a depressing read, with the prose too young-YA for my taste. My attention just isn**spoiler alert** Decided to stop reading this after 64 pages. It's a depressing read, with the prose too young-YA for my taste. My attention just isn't being held, not with the way the narrator, Mia, cuts in and out of the present to throw in snippets about the past: meeting and dating her boyfriend, Adam; becoming friends with Kim; etc. Right after reading the part about Mia "playing Adam like a cello" and Adam "playing Mia like a guitar", I was slightly weirded out and decided that this book isn't for me. I can't make myself care about what happens to any of the characters.
I might be okay with seeing the movie, but my interest in reading this series is gone. ...more
This was some cute, light Christmas fluff. According to the author's note at the beginning, the book came after the 1947 movie, with just a few alteraThis was some cute, light Christmas fluff. According to the author's note at the beginning, the book came after the 1947 movie, with just a few alterations in plot. Since I've seen both movies, the 1947 and 1994 versions, reading this was a bit too much like watching the movie, especially the 1947 original, scene by scene. ...more
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 likeThis 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.)...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 title**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. ...more
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 thI 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. ...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 t**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. ...more
I flew through this book in less the a week, practically unheard of for me, the slow reader that I am (with the exception of the Twilight and Hunger GI flew through this book in less the a week, practically unheard of for me, the slow reader that I am (with the exception of the Twilight and Hunger Games series). I loved it, the intelligent, beautifully written prose, the voices of the women and all of their accomplishments and friendships. (I did not like Hilly or Stuaret or Leroy one bit though.) More reviewing when I have more time. For now I will just say this is a new favorite book and I'm highly anticipating (if and when) Kathryn Strockett's next book. ...more
**spoiler alert** This book really surprised me. I had wanted to read it when it originally came out, but I just didn't, and then when I saw it was be**spoiler alert** This book really surprised me. I had wanted to read it when it originally came out, but I just didn't, and then when I saw it was being made into a movie, my interest returned. (But to be honest, I'm slightly afraid to see the movie now that I've read the book.) I really loved this book, all its dark twists, its creative uniqueness. It was a true-love story, a murder mystery, a fantasy, a horror, a story of revenge, all of it and more, sweet and bittersweet and horrific and terrible and beautiful. I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised—I really loved and enjoyed Joe Hill's "Heart-Shaped Box", with all of its scary, dark twisty turns.
I really loved the way everything wrapped up, it seemed perfect for characters too flawed to ever get that perfect ending—well, as perfect as lovers reuniting in death, a sociopath and a psychopath getting their just-desserts, and a bad girl and the trusted brother starting up something romantic. I also loved that every time I thought I knew where the plot was going, the direction would change and keep up my interest. The book was very hard to put down.
One of the twists I found interesting was how Lee wasn't born a sociopath but became one because of a childhood head injury that was never treated. Maybe it's one too many episodes of "Law & Order: SVU" and/or "Criminal Minds," but this is often a plot point, a reason as to why an ordinary person changes into a killer.
I also loved Merrin and Ig reuniting in the burning Tree House and appearing at Terry's bedside. And Lee's snake demise. Perfect. ...more
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 BarnesThe 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. ...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**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. ...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 charact**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! :)