Just about perfection. THIS was just what I needed. Stephanie Perkins, you have done it again.
I'm almost at a loss for words. Also,5/5
Just about perfection. THIS was just what I needed. Stephanie Perkins, you have done it again.
I'm almost at a loss for words. Also, since I'm just wired this way, I noticed 4 grammatical errors in my *finished* copy. Nothing too major, otherwise I'd probably report it, haha. Just thought I'd say it for the sake of saying it.
San Francisco seeps out of this book like a soothing song. The story of Delores 'Lola' Nolan had me feeling and doing very, very similar things to when I joined Anna Oliphant's journey in France. It really makes me breathe a sigh of relief that it wasn't just the setting of France that had me so caught up in ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS. I smiled, I giggled/laughed/chuckled, cried, fought back tears (losing in the end), felt frustrated, annoyed, confused. Perkins just has that effect on me. :P
In LOLA AND THE BOY NEXT DOOR, we have Lola Nolan, a budding designer with a wacky and totally awesome sense of style. She's got a badass rocker boyfriend who is exactly five years senior to her seventeen years of age. And her best friend Lindsey and gay parents Andy and Nathan care deeply for her. Everything in her life seems to be really heading up as her impending future becomes more and more realistic. Until. The Bell family move into the house next door, again. And Lola deals with the struggle as waves of unresolved feelings for the boy next door resurface. When she discovers that one piece in her life really did not - and never did - fit, what happens next for them?
Crappy non-spoilery synopsis for an awesome book. I love the dynamic between Lola and Cricket, the 'boy next door'. I loved his little quirks - the wristbands, the writing on the back of his hand, the hair that consistently sticks up, the 'tight pants' (hehe), his insect-like-ness. Lola's such a complex character, and I love that she fights this inner turmoil about her identity. Who is the real Dolores? Her sewing prowess sounds like a force to be reckoned with, and I loved reading about the costumes she wears. Together, they are really cute. The development is just so realistic. Cricket comes and goes, and he has this whole life outside of his waning love for Lola. It's painful watching them go around in circles, but it just makes their ending that much more satisfying.
Anna and St. Clair make their appearance, as Perkins promised. It's great that we get to see their future, that they're stronger than ever and they complement each other to the max. I was actually expecting the couple only to be a really tiny part in the story, but they played a much bigger part than I thought. If you were suffering from post-ANNA withdrawal, you'll be pleased to know that they're as humorous and sickeningly sweet and perfect for each other, just as they were. They offer a nice support for Lola during her times of distress and help her come to terms with her tumultuous feelings. Seal of approval!
So. Gay parents. Never before in my life have I read a book whose main character's parents were gay. And they are awesome, Andy and Nathan. I'll admit that at times I had a hard time differentiating the two, but they are great parents who act like TWO protective parents. One a little more forgiving and sensitive than the other, as is the norm with 'normal' parents. Also, Nathan's younger sister, Norah. No spoilers there, but I enjoyed her presence in Lola's life.
Writing-wise, you can expect a style in a similar vein to ANNA. First person. Lola has a great voice and it really comes through in LOLA. Some of the humour present in this book actually comes from her narrative voice and how it relates to what's really going on. Perkins' writing is pretty solid, apart from the four errors (and there might be more) that the editors didn't pick up.
As YA romances tend to be, LOLA is predictable. And that's not a bad thing in any sense of the word. There are little subplots that really make this book, among ANNA, stand out among the genre. Lindsey and her own problems, Calliope Bell's ice-skating career . . . Perkins masterfully sculpts a story that's hard to pull away from. I loved it all! Now, for Isla's story in ISLA AND THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER! I'm so excited to really read more about Isla's character - we barely got a glimpse at all in ANNA....more
!!!WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS!!!
I'd be lying if I said I was utterly blown away by BEAUTIFUL DAYS. H!!!WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS!!!
I'd be lying if I said I was utterly blown away by BEAUTIFUL DAYS. However, with that said, this eagerly awaited sequel really brought me back to the Jazz Era - along with the lives of Cordelia Grey, Astrid Donal and 'Letty Larkspur'. There's mystery, romance, intrigue, fun, tragedy and beautiful days and roaring nights among it all.
The girls are back! Cordelia (on cover this time) is dealing with her father's recent murder, and with the confusing circumstances surrounding that elusive and cold pilotman Max Darby. Astrid is about to be wed with Charlie Grey but yearns for the constant excitement that only a night out in the town can provide. And little miss Letty is going to go after her dreams of making it big - no matter what.
Once again, in this review I'd like to say that I have not read the THE LUXE series, so I can't draw any comparisons between the two series. If you're looking for a great summer read - this will be among the top of the list. BEAUTIFUL DAYS takes place during the LAST SUMMER of the Jazz Era, which can only mean one thing for the next instalment to the series. ;) I for one can't wait for the drastic changes!
Godbersen continues to utilise the third person multiple perspectives style that she has used in all her past novels. Anyone who has read any of Godbersen's novels will know exactly what to expect, writing-wise. What Godbersen continues to do well is switch between these girls with such ease that you're barely even aware of it. I love how she does go over the appearances of each scene and notable character, so that you're actually able to visualise every scene precisely how Godbersen has imagined it.
The girls are even more glamorous in this book. I rekindled my love for both Letty and Cordelia, but I just couldn't stand Astrid most of the time. She's pretty whiney and in her naivety gets into so many stupid situations. I don't even want to talk about her that much. I applaud Charlie for his patience, no matter how slight they were. He was going through so much crap throughout this book, what with his bootlegging business, that he didn't need his silly fiance to ruin things for him. Anyway, Letty really matures during the course of this book, and it shows. I think she's always been my favourite of the three, just because she has that unmasked sincerity and girlish charm to her that never goes away. Cordelia revels in her luxury, and although she does have a few hiccups here and there, she's self-assured and confident and a glittering picture of the Jazz Era.
There is so much romance/flirting in this book! Nothing that really swept me off my feet or had me swooning, mind you, but you can't review this book without mentioning the voluptuous amount of suitors for each girl. Okay, maybe it wasn't a whole hoard or anything, but still. The pairs that matter are Cordelia x Max, Letty x Grady (he's back!) and Astrid x Charlie. My favourite is definitely the first - I just soaked up the events that follow their relationship.
One thing that did bother me (other than Astrid) was the almost lack of direction in this installment. There isn't one really undercurrent storyline running throughout the book, more like a bundle of stories that are intertwined together. I guess it is hard for that to happen in this kind of era, but I don't know. Anyone else feel that way?
What I really love is that Charlie Grey takes on such a large role during this book, compared to BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS. I didn't like how he kept secrets from his fiance - which gave her even more the reason to oppose him and go do stupid things - but...I liked his character.
For fans of a delectable read, BEAUTIFUL DAYS picks up where BRIGHT YOUNG THINGS left off. This time, the summer is hotter, and the romances and betrayals even stronger. Godbersen hits the nail on the head with maintaining a solid storyline for each girl, and intertwining these stories to form a coherent plot.
"My father has been dead barely a month." Her voice trembled a little, but her words fell with violent precision. "He wasn't a bad man, and he did all he could for himself and his family. He didn't begrudge other people their choices, and he left a life grander than the one he was born into. So you'll not say 'bootlegger' to me in that righteous tone again." She took another sip of the drink, and then thrust both the glass and the pitcher forward with sudden force, so that Max had no choice but to take them. Then, learning forward, holding his gaze, and almost hissing, she concluded: "Don't expect me to act like some ashamed nothing just because you talk so high and mighty. I know who I am."
(p. 51, Cordelia - kicking ass as always)
"I've eaten some bad meals in my time." He paused for effect, and more or less subdued the smile he'd been wearing since she'd begun to act carefree again. "This may possibly be the most inedible plate of food I have even been served in my long years of eating." "You bastaard!" she hooted. "The worst? You're in trouble now, my friend--earlier I was going easy on you when it came to our little game, but now I shall show you no mercy." "Ah, it's on then?" he replied with a wise smile. "Indeed it is, mister." She sat up straight in her chair and focused on her hand.
(pp. 168-169, Astrid and Victor - Charlie's man ~ Astrid cooked dinner for Charlie, and burnt the roast and oversalted the potatoes in the process. In the end, Charlie had 'things to do' and so she was left with a babysitter. Victor. Astrid and Victor just had dinner and now they're playing gin rummy.)
" Letty's feet were heavy and her chest felt like one big days-old bruise that keeps getting kicked. She wished ... Gracy had any girl but Peachy at his side. For the sight of her long legs had always made Letty seem short, as her rich dress made Letty feel poor, and the length of her neck and the way she carried her head perched on top of it could reduce Letty to nothing. The bruised sensation spread outward from her heart to the pit of her stomach and up to her temples, and she began to take in the full scope of her loss.
(p. 295, Letty on Grady)
" In a black dress, with her face framed by a gold headress, Letty was a vision of a much more experienced performer. Her eyes danced across the audience and she raised her arms, slow and sure, as her voice swelled. Cordelia thought of her when they first became friends, when they were still girls and Letty blushed when anyone said even the most casual thing to her. It was incredible that this was the same girl. If Cordelia had told any of the men along the bar watching Letty, rapt, that she was just seventeen and had only arrived from Ohio in May, she knew they would have fallen off their stools in surprise.
(p. 313, Cordelia on Letty as she performs)
Sorry for the long quotes. Godbersen writes really long passages and they're only effective when they are quoted in their entirety.
THANKS TO PENGUIN AUSTRALIA FOR THE REVIEW COPY....more
My 'review' for Delirium (linked above) was written straight after I read that cliffhanger/tearjerker of an ending, and so therefore I let my emotions run rampant along the screen. As a result . . . well, I didn't reflect my thoughts on the book in full; much of it was just the shock-wowza factor, and for that I gave the book a 5/5. I recently re-read it and I'd give it a 3.5/5 now because, overall, it's a snoozer (for me). I liked everything all right; it's just that nothing really got to me, until I got to the end.
Bursting with action, the second book in Oliver’s dystopian trilogy where love is seen as a disease (Deliria Nervosa) kept my attention from abrupt beginning to fist-clenching end. I may be in the minority with this, but I actually liked Pandemonium more than Delirium! There was just so much more going on. In Delirium, there were bouts of panic and action, but much of the book I’ll admit left me bored. Not the case in Pandemonium. I couldn’t peel my eyes away!
The old Lena is dead... buried... behind a wall of smoke and flame
From page one of Pandemonium, we are thrown straight into the action and it takes a while to make sense of what's happening. Lena tells us both the NOW and THEN after the events of Delirium, separated into two distinct but linked plot arcs. History repeats itself as Lena starts to fall for another man (not Alex) and the Resistance against the "Zombies" (Cureds) grows stronger still.
Pandemonium hits off with Lena still distraught over her loss of Alex when they tried escaping over the border into the Wilds. The old Lena is dead, buried behind a wall of smoke and flame. I found the NOW and THEN plot device to be a clever way to really bring home the changes that living in the Wilds does to Lena. Also, each section would end on a tense note, which just urged me to read on and find out what happens next. At the edge of a broken city . . . This, for us, is heaven.
In Pandemonium we are given even more insight into the new world. More than that, we see the ugliness that exists outside the safe walls of Cured lands. Lena is with her new 'family', a group of Invalids who started to grow on me. The harsh life that they have to lead chilled me to my core, especially when winter rolled around and supplies ran low. Even so, they have each other. They depend on and care about each other.
"For now, there is only a homestead built of trash and scraps, at the edge of a broken city, just beyond a towering city dump; and our arrival--hungry, and half-frozen, to a place of food and water, and walls that keep out the brutal winds. This, for us, is heaven." (p. 289)
We'll let Lena do the rest of the talking.
What never changes about Oliver’s books is her eloquent writing style. She has such delectable written expression, and she can build worlds and environments with ease. Her writing is akin to poetry. It’s no wonder she’s doing so well as an author! There's a good mix of action and description. I think Oliver keeps a better balance of this here when compared to Delirium.
He is not Alex. You don't want DERP (guy name). You want Alex. And Alex is dead.
I think much of what may repel readers from continuing on after Delirium is the romance aspect. We know that Alex has died – or is at the very least on the cusp of death and captured by the system – so where does that leave Lena? Surely she doesn’t find another . . . oh wait! She does! I’m still not sure how I feel about this new love interest, but I must admit they share some really sweet scenes together. He's not quite the sweeping romantic that Alex was, the guy who showed Lena what it was like to really be alive and free. He actually pales in comparison, but by the end of Pandemonium we see a glimmer of hope. For what? You'll have to read it yourself to find out!
Following what was one of the most gut-wrenching YA I’ve ever read comes a truly captivating sequel in Pandemonium. The complexly drawn storytelling will keep you reading well into the night, and once you’ve flipped the final page you’ll want more. Another Oliver book not to be missed!
To be completely honest I'm surprised that this series finale didn't disappoint me. Not in the slightes[Review to be posted on my blog tomorrow.]
To be completely honest I'm surprised that this series finale didn't disappoint me. Not in the slightest. I remember that Delirium was the very first book that I read for review through Netgalley. It proposed an original and somewhat fluffy dystopian concept, but more importantly it was written by Lauren Oliver -- I had just recently read her debut novel Before I Fall, which I was highly impressed with, both for its story progression and writing style. Even now, three years after I've read my first Oliver book her writing and talent continues to amaze me. I'm not going to say this book was perfect but it was a constant rollercoaster ride, entertaining; full of twists and turns that seems to come with the dystopian genre; it tied up the series well, and it was full of emotion and yet more lovely quotes.
Requiem is told in two perspectives: Lena and her best friend Hana who she had left behind in Portland. I haven't read any of the short stories so perhaps my viewpoint isn't entirely informed, but I loved that Oliver chose to include Hana's point of view as we don't know what had happened to her after Lena escaped. The writing style is uniformly good. I adore the way Oliver writes. At times it was a bit hard to differentiate the two voices since I found them to be a little bit similar, but I don't really have any complaints.
The story progressed at a satisfyingly constant and steady pace. There was a good balance between moments of emotion and reflection, and action. I'm actually surprised by how satisfied I am by the way Oliver ends the series. It's not completely closed-off, there is definitely potential for a follow-up, but I actually prefer a tiny bit of ambiguity (though everything is answered, it just feels like there could be more). There wasn't really any point in the book where I felt bored or overwhelmed with too much dialogue or explanation or description. I felt that it was all very well balanced.
Character-wise, I still like Lena, and I liked getting to know Hana all over again. The way that Oliver intertwines their stories (which is expected, considering the dual perspective) is clever, poignant and drives home the difference between Society and the Wilds, how a little time away can change people and split people apart. Lena is even more headstrong in this book; but despite that she is still a young girl in love, torn between a great man and her first love who introduced her to this new life. Hana has been cured and is promised to the mayor's son; she is perfectly content with his position until she discovers something about her fiance... I can't wait to read her short story. I find her to be an interesting character and I want to know more about what happened to her after Lena escaped. The exploration and development of their friendship is so bittersweet and deeply resonates in me personally. I think anyone can relate to that horrible drifting apart from a friend that you once loved so much.
Alex... Julian... I never really jumped aboard a ship, I guess, until Oliver chose for me. They both have their moments, with Lena. Alex was the Invalid who brought her to this world, who introduced her to life outside of Zombieland. I still remember every moment they've shared, and I think their development was more dramatic, therefore making it more favourable and memorable in my heart. Julian was this big, prominent political figure back in Zombieland; Lena saved his life and brought him to the Wilds. She taught him what it was to love, to feel supported and safe and wreckless, fearless, free. While love triangles don't always sit right with me I wasn't too bothered with this one. Couldn't really tell you the reason why, though.
As for the other characters, such as Raven and Tack, Hunter and Bram, Coral, Pippa... Lena's mum... all fairly memorable and likeable. Even Coral, who I disliked for the majority of the story, grew on me. Lauren Oliver has this way of tapping into the core of the human spirit and imbued each of them with something real. I'm not very good at visually representing characters, so I guess they're vaguely drawn in my mind, but I think that they will stick with me for a while yet.
It's possible that Requiem is my favourite in the trilogy, though I found the whole series to be thrilling and wholly enjoyable. Lauren Oliver can do no wrong in my eyes. This one is definitely on my to-reread list, and I can't wait to read Panic as well as The Spindlers (which managed to escape me upon its release), as well as many more of her works to come in the future. The concept of this imagined dystopian world--what if love were a disease?--may seem a bit arbitrary, elementary, ridiculous. However, Oliver touches on important and relevant themes, such as sacrifice, love, the price of power and control, the importance of choice, humanity, life, death....more
Urge to read this . . . rising. I remember the name Orion, but I can't remember anything past the fact that he did some bad, murderous stuff. Did he dUrge to read this . . . rising. I remember the name Orion, but I can't remember anything past the fact that he did some bad, murderous stuff. Did he die or something? GAH this is why I hate series sometimes. I suck at remembering crap!
I can not believe the sequel is releasing this year -- I had no idea! I'm actually quite excited about this one. The Poison Diaries was by no meanWow.
I can not believe the sequel is releasing this year -- I had no idea! I'm actually quite excited about this one. The Poison Diaries was by no means perfect, but I do remember being thrown on an emotional rollercoaster. I love that the cover of this one matches the first one. :)...more
Second attempt at reading this book. I remember getting a bit over 100 pages in and just giving up because it was so slow. I'm really determined to geSecond attempt at reading this book. I remember getting a bit over 100 pages in and just giving up because it was so slow. I'm really determined to get through all 766 pages this time around.
YES YES YES YES YES! Finally finished this book! I'm so proud of myself. Only two more books to go! I'll have a 10 min break and then get to watching the film (again). :D Great addition to the series. I can see why it's so highly revered among the series, but I also understand why the opinions are split. I simply can't believe I finally finished this book... 766 pages!
* Dumbledore's Army!
* The moment when Umbridge's life is turned upside down. She's such a bloody awful woman--she deserved everything.
* The plot thickens. More is revealed about the specialness of Harry Potter, with the Prophecy.
* Death eaters. Neville's story. Yeah.
* The beautiful imagery of the Thestrals...
* It's never explained what happened in the Ministry... HOW exactly did they break in? Were all the guards and people incapacitated or what? Was it explained and I just missed it? Confused.
* Harry Potter or Neville Longbottom, the prophecy. I like how it plays out a bit more in the last book (I DID watch the movies!)
* Didn't really like Harry's 'tude for much of the book. He's REAL good at pushing people away. And he was pretty thick when it came to Cho, but it makes sense.
* More insight into Snape's past as well as Harry's father, James, and mother, Lily. I liked Snape before this book... but still.
* The handful of chapters after the dementor attack in Winging was painfully slow. No wonder I gave up on the book years ago. But I pushed on this time and it was worth it!
* The OWLS.
* Everything that was mentioned played some significance to the plot in some way. The thestrals at the beginning become their mode of transport near the end. Hagrid's disappearance at the start vs. near the end. The visions were significant. And also there were ties from previous books, like the giants and the centaurs and the Forbidden Forest.
* I love that Hermione is constantly nagging Harry, but at the end of it, when it matters most, she'll stay by his side. And Ron, how they're starting to act like this married couple. Friendship.
* Not to mention SIRIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
* And lol at Hermione's continued attempts with SPEW.
* And the Quidditch stuff. Poor Ron. And when he actually does well his best friends aren't there to see it all. WEASLEY IS OUR KING! (Y)
* When George and Fred defy Umbridge and leave Hogwarts. When they did their Acio broomsticks...and pulled a Weasley. Right now they are doing GREAT. Do not remind me what happens in the future...
I'm scared to read the next book in the series, to be honest. Because I know what happens. So, I'll be taking a break from Harry Potter--in March my "big book read" will be THE HOST--and come back in April-ish with Harry Potter and the...er, what's the name? Oh right, Half-Blood Prince. Gee, I wonder why THAT title. Alright, now... movie time!...more
This HAS to be the most reviewed pre-order 2012 YA book to date! Keep the comments rolling in, I say. Look at that cover. Be dazzled by itFIRST ENTRY:
This HAS to be the most reviewed pre-order 2012 YA book to date! Keep the comments rolling in, I say. Look at that cover. Be dazzled by its desolate but intoxicatingly mesmerising tree swirls! Throw objects at the tiny train silhouette and plaster it all on the walls.
Smell the month of May 2012 slowly approaching and bask in its ultimate glory. This will be awesome. I command Veronica Roth not to screw this up! Don't kill off Tobias. Don't make Tris a weakling. Don't formulate a love triangle. DO write awesomely instead. 8D
*sigh* So overwhelmed by it all! And then the movie will come out. AND THEN THE MOVIE WILL COME OUT!
UPDATE: INSURGENT!!!!!! So I have pre-ordered, but oh it's not enough it's not enough it's not enough until I have the book in my hands! I cannot, cannot wait!
YESSSSSSSSSSS!!! Hell. Yeah! Hell. Yeah! My preorder arrived in the mail at approximately 1 pm and OMG it's so beautiful! No amount of exclamation points is freaking enough! I'm kind of sad, since I'm already 1/5 through and by the end I know that it'll be another arduous, painful wait--another year!--before we continue. Come tomorrow guys I'll be right where (most of) you are: waiting for the next book.
5 stars for the book fairies. Only received my preorder 3 days after the release date! Are you kidding me? That is HUGE! I love you, TBD. <3 Now off I go to eat something before I read more.
Well that was a long book. Very long, yes, hm. I read as much and for as long as I could at a time. It still took me two days. My Divergent-Insurgent WORD document has now reached 13 pages, including character/faction/plot/playlist-y info for each book. Needless to say I loved it. BUT. A few details bugged me, which are spoiler-ific. Guys! What was that ending? Hurr... I was alternating between whimpering and shouting out "WHAT" after I realised that that was the ending. WHATTTTTTTTTTTT?! Yeah.
Short notes for my review...
+ The cover & the hardcover are perfect! That green has been lovely to stare at in between readings. + Same writing style as Divergent: fast paced, quick and simple (excluding Erudite conversations, of course!) + Fourtris! We see more complexities in their relationship and that they argue and disagree, and it felt very real. It's not all just "Oh, I LOVE YOU!", although at the beginning I felt like that was the case. + We get a feel for EVERY faction in this book, as opposed to Divergent where much of the book focused on Dauntless. I just loved it. + Unexpected twists along the way. Tris, being the part-Erudite Divergent she is picks up on a lot of them. + Tris undergoes heaps of inner turmoil, about what happened to her parents, about what she did to Will and so on... + I love the whole unexpected bad guy heroes, and we explore so much of the perspectives of what is good, what is bad? What is beyond this world they know? How can we all fight when we don't exactly what we're fighting for? + I felt the humour was more abundant in this one. Though there were many sad moments, it almost balanced out. + Still no love triangles! + Emotionally draining at times, emotionally uplifting at others. I just felt it went over the effects of a war really well: how it changes people, how circumstances change with relationships, how the gap between beliefs either get closer or spread further apart. And so on. ~ People die. But some just die for the sake of it, so that I just don't care about that specific character dying. There were a few that affected me though, so...yeah. - I want book 3 now. It is a crime that Veronica ended with that! I've got too many questions right now. @_@ - There is one thing that really sticks out in my mind: (view spoiler)[how does Tobias still have his gun after he's been incarcerated in the Erudite HQ? It makes no sense to me! Considering how cunning Jeanine is, I doubt she'd forget to inspect Tobias' premises for weapons. UNLESS. Did Peter give it to him before they escaped? Blah. Any explanations, guys? I might've missed something... (hide spoiler)] - Also, I still can't completely buy into the whole dystopian society thing just yet. It bugged me a bit, but Tris goes over it, and they're all starting to question the system. I really just wanted more of an explanation at that end part, it wasn't enough! But it was good! But I wanted more!!!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I don't even know what I think of the way this series ended. I don't even know how to talk about this book without spoilers...
I have NEVER read a book or seen/followed a story where THAT happened. Like, that's one of the biggest taboos in storytelling, right? Who does that? Veronica Roth, why????? I can't even rant because I know I'm going to get all spoilery...
So I'll talk about something else then.
* Tobias addresses his parental issues and finally comes to terms with it all = good, I thought a few moments with Evelyn at the end were a bit contrived and forced, but heartfelt and nice all the same.
* Grief is a major theme in this book. I expected to feel a whole lot more emotional considering how much it is addressed and really pressed forth. But. If you look back, a lot of people did die... and it's kind of like, only now in Allegiant do you really find out what they died for.
* The strain in Caleb and Tris's relationship I thought was very well portrayed/represented. Looking at it this angle I kind of understand and appreciate the angle that Veronica Roth took, but still... just... pfft.
* I like that the end of this book kind of works as a bookend, the end reflects the beginning (of the series).
* I like the breakdown of the factions... that each faction has their good and bad points.
* The dual perspectives = both a good and bad thing. I liked that we were offered both points of view on the new community, the world, etc, etc. and it does reflect how their relationship develops. But. Their voices were almost identical (in my opinion).
* Pacing was pretty good
* Writing style + prose = on par with the other books... some really nice quotes here and there, but otherwise straight-forward prose
No rating yet as I have absolutely no idea how to rate this book. My feelings are still all over the place.
2.5/5? Somewhere from 2-3/5... I was just disappointed....more
DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE DARK DIVINE! THERE IS NO WAY TO REVIEW A SEQUEL WITHOUT SPOILING THE FIRST BOOK/S! Unless you like being spoi4.5/5
DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE DARK DIVINE! THERE IS NO WAY TO REVIEW A SEQUEL WITHOUT SPOILING THE FIRST BOOK/S! Unless you like being spoiled, then by all means go ahead. But don't complain to me! Now, if I spoil The Lost Saint for you, THEN you can complain. :P
Bree Despain ends The Dark Divine on unsteady and unresolved grounds, and luckily I did not have to wait for the next instalment because it was already on my shelves! Packed with raw energy and heart-racing danger, it was hard to peel my eyes away. The Lost Saint picks up where The Dark Divine left off and fans of the first book will not be disappointed. I sure wasn't!
In fact, The Lost Saint thrilled me right from the beginning. Readers who have had to wait a year for the sequel will easily be able to relocate themselves in the mind of Grace; Despain reintroduces all of the characters and the situations at hand in a "In the last episode of..."-kind of way.
In the first chapter we have Grace and Daniel training together. If you'll recall, Grace got bitten by Jude, Grace's brother, at the end of The Dark Divine, and Daniel is cured of the wolf curse. The relationship between the two seems stronger than ever at this point, until it suddenly begins to weaken. Daniel avoids Grace, and as the reader I took Grace's side and was hurt along with her, wondering what happened. Despain's writing style allowed me to assume Grace's perspective while also being able to take a step back and see Grace's own faults and naivety.
All of the characters in The Dark Divine (that made it to the end) reappear in The Lost Saint. Grace remains a pretty genuine character that I couldn't help liking. Although a hypocrite and naive and whiny at times, I thought that her rationale was reasonable. She grabs onto her newfound powers, deeming her overly confident and dangerous. It was easy to understand her though. Daniel, however? I felt just about as uncertain and hurt as Grace did whenever he just wouldn't tell her what he was up to. Jude (spoiler?) just lets me down big time.
Redemption is the word though, as every character gains some opportunity to reclaim my trust at the end. Except for Jude. He's just pathetic in my eyes now. Hopefully in the next book he can gain some of his dignity back. Despain's new characters are just as interesting as her old ones and I found myself wanting to know more about them. I will leave them to YOU to discover, because a lot of the fun of this new book is the mystery revolving around those characters.
[SPOILERS] I love the relationship between Daniel and Grace. Although half of the book was kind of just a runaround between the two, I loved them when they get together at the end. What a romantic revelation. Although it had potential to be sappy and cheesy, I just soaked it all in and even now it is one of the most momentous things in this book. [/SPOILERS]
The Lost Saint brings on a new dimension to the werewolf and other creaturely mythology, one that is REALLY well thought out. Fact: I loved and enjoyed this even more than The Dark Divine. BY THE WAY!! THIS cover ALSO bears significance to the plot! And the title! Once I'd read the book, just like with The Dark Divine, I just thought OHHHHHH!!! Hehe....more
Sorry, this review is going to be really shaky and all over the place. It's been months since I've written a review, and I'm hoping to catch up heaps!Sorry, this review is going to be really shaky and all over the place. It's been months since I've written a review, and I'm hoping to catch up heaps! (20++)
Fire, set much before the events in Graceling, was one book I was just so eager to get into. Even after setting down Graceling, there was such a longing to just continue and trap myself in the world of the Seven Kingdoms. Fire is actually set to the east of the Kingdoms, over the mountains to the Dells. I have yet to read a high fantasy novel I couldn't wrap my mind around, that I just could not get into. This one was no exception - I was captivated all the way through!
Summary, sort of... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Although this book is set in the same world as Graceling, it's not exactly in the same places we've explored before, so it's like a whole new world. Instead of the Gracelings, which do still exist in this time, there are Monsters in the Dells. Beautiful, magnificent beings that span all the colours of the rainbow. Our main character and heroine is a Human Monster - her father was the Monster, both inside and out. Her hair glimmers all shades of reds and oranges, even with a few pinks, and her pull on people and creatures alike is contagious. Anyone who sees her is hooked. She also has a special ability: she can enter the minds of living things and even manipulate their thoughts.
And she's been locked away from the public eye for so long. Her special friend Archer protects her. Her father was a Monster, a calamity. He was the King's commander and also had the same ability that Fire has, so you can see why Fire would be so frightened to use these powers she's been given. Where he used those powers for evil and self-gain, Fire could set things right, for the Dells are nearing a war. There are three entities of concern: the King, Lord Mydogg (in the north) and Lord Gentian (to the south); she could help bring control back to the Dells.
Fire is our main girl, and though she can be stubborn, weak and silly, more often she's clever, strong-willed, quick to act, brave and compassionate; which means that I loved her! She makes mistakes, but she draws knowledge from those mistakes - she thinks about what could have been done differently. We're so often in her head despite the third-person narrative that it's hard not to let her character in. She also has this wit, a sense of humour in that she says things that one might find cleverly humourous [I think I went around in a circle there]. Cashore never skims on the details of her appearance either. It's easy to make a character beautiful and let the personality dwindle or have her appear vain, but our good author here never crosses over that line.
I love the characters we meet along the way! I tried so hard to keep hold of all the family ties along the way but it's kind of complicated and I got confused... Seriously though, in such a plot and setting-driven story, we see lots of depth in some of these characters. I actually cared about what happened to Fire and her friends. I never quite got to the point where I loved Archer's character, but I did grow an understanding of why his personality came to be. For those who have read Fire, my favourites are Brigan, Small and Horse, Hanna and Blotty, Queen Roen and Clara.
Writing? Beautiful. I will admit that I had to re-read some passages to understand their meaning. Cashore utilises this unique style that rises far beyond younger-YA. I don't doubt that adults who are used to adult fantasy wouldn't have any problems with it being too juvenile-sounding [Does that make sense? Too many negatives for me to count at the moment].
That said, I would definitely class Cashore's books as older-YA. While there's nothing too gory or obsene for younger readers, the characters are of older ages and also have more mature mentalities as such.
Finely conceived and tautly written, Fire is a welcome companion to Graceling. As far as I'm concerned, Kristin Cashore can do no wrong! Readers who were looking for more of a political side to war in Graceling will find it in Fire. This one's a keeper. I cannot wait to get my hands on Bitterblue (PB) so that I have an excuse to re-read this fine series. :)
Bleh. Hopefully after I write a couple more reviews I'll get my mojo back. Let me know what you thought of Fire if you've read it!...more
Would anyone care to PM me the rundown for The Lost Saint? I can only remember the LAST point *that someone cannot shift back from werewolf*, but otheWould anyone care to PM me the rundown for The Lost Saint? I can only remember the LAST point *that someone cannot shift back from werewolf*, but other than that my memory sucks....more
Grr...Leck! And OMG Queen Bitterblue! I really want to know where Bitterblue is going, now that she snuck out of hRead the preview... (prologue + ch1)
Grr...Leck! And OMG Queen Bitterblue! I really want to know where Bitterblue is going, now that she snuck out of her room. That is all. I'll be waiting for the paperback release. :P
Also, why are Kristin's books all published by different publishers?
Edit: Just preordered my paperback of Bitterblue! Graceling and Kristin Cashore are both quite special for me... I'll be sad to leave this series behind but it's going to be amazing from start to finish. I can barely contain myself! Cashore got me into high fantasy. Her characters are impeccable. It would be better if all three books were published by the same house, but that's okay - they'll still look amazing together.
Wow. I don't even know what to say. I appreciate how much effort the author put into weaving together all of the intricacies of her story and world. I loved this trilogy so, so much. It was my first venture into high fantasy and for that reason it, and Kristin Cashore, will always hold a special place in my heart.
I loved Bitterblue. I admired her desire to always do good. Her intelligence. Her loyalty and pursuit for knowledge, no matter how painful it may be. The fact that she's gone through so much throughout her childhood and she's had a massive amount of pressure and responsibility pushed onto her so suddenly and she WANTS to be the queen that her mother would have been proud of, the kind of queen worthy of that title. And all the other characters from previous books (the important ones)!!!