This book read like a college student's thesis in my mind. It started out fairly well but increasingly felt like simply a one-sided presentation of thThis book read like a college student's thesis in my mind. It started out fairly well but increasingly felt like simply a one-sided presentation of the Progressive Movement. Great overview of the movement and its ideals, but not an in-depth look at the era....more
I love Cecilia Ahern's novels. They're light and entertaining books without being totally brainless fluff.
I borrowed this in e-book format from my libI love Cecilia Ahern's novels. They're light and entertaining books without being totally brainless fluff.
I borrowed this in e-book format from my library and couldn't put it down. The story is wonderful, and I found my heart being wrenched all over the place near the end. Ivan is a little too childish at times, while Elizabeth is way too serious. They are just what each other needs to understand how to enjoy life.
What I find thought-provoking is that those who don't like this book are the ones who probably need to understand it the most. The story is more about the importance of blind faith, love, and (especially) imagination and belief than it is a realistic romance. It's about not taking life too seriously, even though life is serious. Have fun with it. I don't think we're meant to analyze this novel as high literature. The great thing about this book is the small amount of fantasy in an otherwise completely believable world; a perfect combination and a good recommendation on how to go through life. If the story still doesn't work for you, that's fine...but I feel a little sorry for you....more
This was my first Nora Roberts novel. As someone who works in libraries, I figured I ought to know more about one of the most popular novelists. I picThis was my first Nora Roberts novel. As someone who works in libraries, I figured I ought to know more about one of the most popular novelists. I picked this book up for two reasons: 1. It takes place in my new home state. 2. It concerns old inn restoration, which I like.
The story itself strikes me as a little formulaic. While it is almost definitely among the better chick lit novels I've read (except for Cecilia Ahern's novels), there's nothing in here too surprising. We've got the strong, manly, yet kind young man; the independent yet gentle woman; three young boys to make you go 'aww;' two little puppies to make you go 'awwww;' a couple of brothers and friends for comedic relief and support; and the setting of a small town to make it all feel cozy and American. There's even a ghostly character at the inn to add some supernatural intrigue. None of this is in any way bad. No complaints here. I'm just saying it's nothing new - but after 170-some novels, I'd have to throw a parade in honor of Nora Robert's imagination if it were different.
I did enjoy the story line, believe it or not. It's a well-written book (barring some odd comma usage) that doesn't wholly insult my intelligence. Beckett and Clare and their community are all very likable, and it's a sweet story. The drama is not high and this would be a good novel to read at the beach or at bedtime. I did find it a little difficult to finish the snippet of the next installment in the series, since it just felt like the same story rehashed, but I might pick it up anyway this summer......more
I chose this book for two reasons: 1. I've not read much Christian fiction, and I've heard mixed reviews so I thought I'd give it a shot. Karen KingsbI chose this book for two reasons: 1. I've not read much Christian fiction, and I've heard mixed reviews so I thought I'd give it a shot. Karen Kingsbury has sooo many books. 2. But! This one is set primarily in Bloomington, IN, a place I lived in for two years. It's always nice to revisit places you loved through literature, right?
Well, it became clear a third of the way through the novel that Kingsbury's Bloomington has nothing related to my Bloomington, so that was out the window. I rather liked Bailey and Cody so I pushed aside my minor disappointment with the setting and read on. I am not used to novels being so...is preachy the right word? So charismatic? I do know a few people who try to live their lives as the Flanigans and the Baxters do - so perfectly Christian - but it was not something I could relate to. I do admit it inspired me a little to try to be more like that, more thankful and more in contact with my faith, and I can only imagine that this is Kingsbury's intent in writing a family so sweetly perfect. Even my husband's family - the most Christian, the most faithful, the most energetically wholesome family I've ever met - doesn't reach the level of the characters in this novel. So that was something that came as a little shock.
It was a lot easier to take in the beginning of the book, but as devastating problems kept being thrown at the characters in rapid succession (problems that normal people would surely buckle under) it got a little unbelievable how the characters dealt with it. They seemed so detached from human feelings. Two people woke out of comas because a loved one was singing a Chris Tomlin song in the hospital room. Two. Maybe it is a miracle, or maybe Kingsbury is trying to prove something that's gone over my head, but it was difficult to believe. As other readers have said, it's very hard to relate to these characters because they're just so perfectly Christian. I guess I was bothered by the fact that the characters ask so much of God in the novel, and the few times God doesn't deliver, they kind of look around in confusion and say "Oh well, He knows what He's doing." Of course He does. He's God. He always answers prayers, but in the novel He seems to do it in good time for the characters.
Another thing that bothered me was the lack of secondary characters. We meet only the Flanigans, the Baxters, and their close friends. (One more thing that's unbelievable? Basically the entire plot line with famous Hollywood star Brandon Paul - why isn't he ever just called Brandon? - and a seemingly random 21-year-old girl from Bloomington.) We never meet anyone else. Anyone who's not Christian or a pivotal plot mover is never mentioned by name. That only adds to the happy-little-bubble quality of Bailey's world.
One last thing - I do admit that I have not read the preceding series to this novel, and therefore do not wholly understand the connection between the Flanigans and the Baxters, but it was very odd to read two novels in one. Ashley and Landon Baxter's story has nothing to do with Bailey and Cody, and the novel felt a little disjointed because of the inclusion of both stories.
Well, I hadn't been expecting to write so much about this book, which proves it left an impression. All in all it was not a bad read, and I am not forever expelling Karen Kingsbury from future consideration for my reading list. I just found it to be an odd novel....more
**spoiler alert** Hmm. This was a free Kindle novel and I'm all for free Kindle novels. I've read better and I've read worse. This story was odd. As o**spoiler alert** Hmm. This was a free Kindle novel and I'm all for free Kindle novels. I've read better and I've read worse. This story was odd. As other readers have stated, the main character (Tessa) is a little unlikeable, but I'll blame that on the fact that she doesn't really develop during the story at all. We just jump right into the story without getting to know Tessa very well (sure, extreme clumsiness is cute, but that doesn't make me want to root for the protagonist), so it's difficult to stand by her while she remains the most obliviously stupid character in free e-book-dom. Until she manages to realize she likes Christian (which really shouldn't be a spoiler, seeing how predictable that scenario is) I wondered if Tess even recognized the emotion of love. Seriously. Who is that blind to a relationship that's been building for 20 years? After she and Christian finally get together, Tess doesn't even tell him she's moving to Chicago in less than two weeks for a promotion (and to get away from Christian so as not to hurt him...when she also knows full well that she's going to hurt him by moving. What?). Way to be an adult. I understand it's a difficult conversation to have, and I know it would be initially weird to date someone you've been friends with since you were 5, but Tess should have more gumption than what she shows in her private life. I didn't see a connection between Tess' two lives - she's a success as a hardworking marketing VP (which she does so well) but is completely unable to recognize, much less go for, what she wants in her private life...that was what bugged me most about this novel.
I know I sound like I hated the book, but really I didn't. I like Stephanie Haddad's writing style and I think she could be a really good chick lit novelist - with a different plot and different protagonist. I had a neutral opinion of the novel for maybe the first half, then I loved it once Tessa got it together and acknowledged her feelings for Christian - but as soon as she "crapped all over it" (her words) I wanted to punch the lot of them. If the novel is able to evoke those strong feelings about the characters, then it's got to be worth reading!...more
Great introduction to Theodore Roosevelt, but a little heavy on the praise. Good amount of quotes and pictures throughout to keep adolescents interestGreat introduction to Theodore Roosevelt, but a little heavy on the praise. Good amount of quotes and pictures throughout to keep adolescents interested....more
If I could give this book 3.5 stars, I would. It's a solid history of Eleanor of Aquitaine's time period: very well researched and easy to follow. I dIf I could give this book 3.5 stars, I would. It's a solid history of Eleanor of Aquitaine's time period: very well researched and easy to follow. I do wish in some parts that there had been more detail, but there are a great deal of events and characters that come into play in this story and so it's probably impossible to include everything. I agree with other reviewers that the book reads more like a history of Eleanor's sons and husbands, but the author does her best to bring Eleanor out as much as she can, given the sources she has to work with.
My one major gripe about this book is that the author will not let you forget for long just how oppressed and politically unimportant women were in Eleanor's time period. I can understand the need to explain medieval thinking once or twice for readers who don't know much history, but it's prevalent throughout the book. On top of that, the author comes across as holding a great disdain for the medieval Church, which I find somewhat odd for a woman who writes medieval histories for a living. I respect that Alison Weir can hold her own opinions, but she lets her opinions color her account of history. This is always the problem with writing biographies, though. It does make me wonder about her objectivity, but I believe Weir does her best to present a mostly objective view of Eleanor's actions.
All in all, this is an enjoyable account of Eleanor's life and a fascinating glimpse into an even more fascinating period....more