Poppy in the Field is a continuation of Poppy by Mary Hooper. As the title suggests, we, once again, follow the hopeful young VAD Poppy who decides4/5
Poppy in the Field is a continuation of Poppy by Mary Hooper. As the title suggests, we, once again, follow the hopeful young VAD Poppy who decides to apply for a position at a base hospital in France in the wake of turbulent heartbreak that has come with the recent news of her love Freddie's marriage to a sophisticated debutante.
Hooper has evidently done extensive research and in amongst the pages there is ample amount of descriptive detail that places you right in the time period. From the character portrayals to the world building to the language used, Hooper excels at creating the right environment in her writing.
Poppy is such a relatable character. As a newly registered nurse myself (I will not make any distinction between myself and her - a VAD, which I believe is the equivalent to an AIN), I could empathise with many of the struggles and hurdles that Poppy had to overcome during her nursing career. The cases of men in this book are, of course, of a more critical nature than my own patients (being a paediatric nurse that is only natural), but I think back to when I did my training... I felt very at home with her character - traces of her personality and situations I could see in myself. She is, overall, just here to do good. She wants to make the world a better place and oftentimes comments on the meaninglessness of the war and mortality. I can identify with her strong moral conduct easily, and found her to be a generally well-written heroine.
There is a romance in this book, as expected, and the love interest could be seen from miles away (hint: he was in the first book!). This predictability, however, did not detract from the sweetness and adorableness of the progression of their relationship. Although a bit hasty, but I suppose that can be related to the nature of the world they live in. In all honesty I got excited whenever they were together. It's possible that my reading this book was relatively quick was due to the fact that I wanted them to just GET TOGETHER ALREADY!!!
The writing style is easy to follow. In light of the difficult subject matter I was able to breeze through this novel, Hooper is to be commended in this way. The dialogue seemed quite authentic too.
The ending felt a tad rushed, like the author just wanted to get this book done ASAP. I was left wanting more detail, more insight into the future for all of the characters... but maybe it was the author's decision to leave some missing pieces, for the reader to fill in the blanks. In any case, the bigger issues and plot points had been tied up. I guess I just want more....more
OKAY. I'M DONE! NO MORE, I CANNOT DEAL... No more My Fifty Shades, no more "Oh My!", no more "inner goddess" and "my subconscious" and Mrs Robinson anOKAY. I'M DONE! NO MORE, I CANNOT DEAL... No more My Fifty Shades, no more "Oh My!", no more "inner goddess" and "my subconscious" and Mrs Robinson and Jose and...
The reason I am not giving this book 1 star is simply because I finished it, therefore it is, to some degree, "readable". I will not be reviewing this book properly because I will not really be able to analyse it objectively... so here's just a jumbled mess of my thoughts towards this book.
I WILL concede that the book IS better than the film adaptation. The relationship that is formed between Anastasia and Christian feels more real, and overall I didn't absolutely hate how it progresses. I feel like it can be a very real portrayal of an abusive relationship... not so sure about a BDSM relationship (I really don't have the experience or knowledge to delve into this topic; another reason why I cannot review this book properly).
I remember reading a lot of criticism from fellow reviewers over Anastasia Steele and her being "weak" and "boring", etc. I feel that I have become slightly more flexible; the decision to mould and shape their characters is up to the author. I don't find her as weak as I had first envisioned. She resists and fights back on a few separate occasions, which came as a welcome surprise. Perhaps their statements over her being "weak" relate to how she continues this relationship with him even though she knows "hearts and flowers" is something he cannot give to her. And I agree that her pull to him, especially once she first discovers about his Red Room of Pain/Pleasure (depending on one's perspective), was pretty unrealistic and flimsy. I'm sure any normal girl, who has ZERO experience, would run for the hills and live the rest of her days in hiding (nevermind that Christian would find her, insane psycho-stalker that he is). You can rattle on about how she is brave and strong because she stayed and survived so long, but to me her reaction is utter bullcrap.
Ana's best friend reminds me of my own in some ways. The bond shared between them was quite nice. I absolutely love reading books that include good and supportive friendships in them... though, who doesn't? Her budding romance with Christian's brother serves as a stark and obvious contrast to that of Ana & Christian. I really don't have much of an opinion for the brother to discuss this topic further.
The writing... wasn't very good. As a predominantly YA reader I am familiar with what others would consider "juvenile" writing, but I know for a fact that a good chunk of the YA I have read has at least matched, if not surpassed, the reading level of that of Fifty Shades. E.L. James is so heinously obvious in her attempt to sound intelligent (*ahem* I smell thesaurus-whoreing), but fails to follow through. Anastasia is so inconsistent. As an English lit major you would expect at least an air of semi-maturity in her thought processes. Some of the things she says is so very childish and makes her appear incapable of expressing herself clearly. [I would include examples if I wasn't so lazy.]
Jose. He is basically a sack of potatoes. Cast aside constantly by Ana, and like a puppy dog (she even describes him as like a puppy many times) he always comes right back. Gah! And some of the things he says, things he does, is tremendously cringeworthy. He is a walking cliche, the quintessential "friend zone: level 1000". I felt pity for him, but then again, his whole character is so flat that I didn't really care. At least in book 1, his character has zero development.
I actually liked the ending. What's not to like? XD Anyway, no I will most probably NOT be continuing on with the series. Once I had turned the last page my first thought was, "OMG IT'S OVER!", not "OMG I CAN'T WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!" I will say, however, this was a mildly-moderately entertaining book and I don't regret spending time to read it. Plus, this book and I spent a lot of time together between the times of 12am-6am (night shift at the hospital)... and you know how minds tend to wander and go loopy in the dead of night. So I thank you, Fifty Shades, for the entertainment, the ideas and for establishing in me that I do not ever want to enter into a BDSM relationship... at least not to that extreme where I must sign a blasted contract (and perhaps like Anastasia, still go through with it even though SHE NEVER SIGNS THE BLOODY THING!).