I tend not to review the books that fall into the category of erotica anymore. Mostly because what else is there to say? "Your book made me feel hot aI tend not to review the books that fall into the category of erotica anymore. Mostly because what else is there to say? "Your book made me feel hot and bothered and it was awesome" seems to pretty much be the high end of that spectrum.
But Special Forces - Soldiers (the first of the trilogy) just belongs into another class. There's definitely erotic scenes in here. But it's more akin to an NC-17 film than a plain raunchy porn tale.
You can read this book just for some hot, sweaty, military boy action, but at the end of the day, you'll find yourself staying for the story.
This book starts out very dark (there is rape), then it continues being terrible (there are many war scenes from Afghanistan) and then it ends on an impossible spot (not spoilering this). But in between there are moments of purity. Of kindness. Even freedom.
At the end of the day, this is the story of two humans trying to find some happiness in the world. In a world that seems to be hell bent on keeping them apart for such mundane reasons as racism, homophobia and doing your duty to your country. ...more
Wow, I think this is my most favorite Sarah Addison Allen book to date! I think it might be because she kicked it up a notch, storytelling-wise. We geWow, I think this is my most favorite Sarah Addison Allen book to date! I think it might be because she kicked it up a notch, storytelling-wise. We get a lot more details on the Waverly family past, but also of a lot of the other families in town. There's a small little mystery / intrigue going on, on the side, which we also haven't seen from Allen before. But it didn't detract from the story, even if it was a different element.
I love the magical realism. I love the romance. I love the magic. And I love these books. ...more
The writing was supbar, which was a shame since the plot was actually an interesting one. I think I would have appreciated more painting and less of tThe writing was supbar, which was a shame since the plot was actually an interesting one. I think I would have appreciated more painting and less of the kinky times, surprisingly enough!...more
Thank you to my friend to recommend this to me. I can't believe that I hadn't found this book before! I must have stumbled across it somewhere... probThank you to my friend to recommend this to me. I can't believe that I hadn't found this book before! I must have stumbled across it somewhere... probably...
Whilst reading, I had to keep two things in mind. First and foremost that this was a classic. Secondly, that it was French.
The fact that it's a classic bit of literature is pretty relevant. Mostly because when a book like this was written in earlier times, it was incredibly scandalous. Which meant that it would be banned and all other such horrible things would occur. I tend to consider the Marquis de Sade's works to also be in this vein.
On that note, I definitely had to keep in mind that this was a French book. I am not drawn to French literature or culture and indont care much for France, but very often when I have picked up a novel by a French author, I have loved it. It amazes me anew each time. Also, I had to keep in mind that France was always a bit more open and less prudish when it came to sexuality.
Read this book pretty much in 2.5 sittings. It was that... Interesting. I won't say 'good' because it is too unique for such an average word. The writing style was both dry and yet very detailed. Often things were left to the readers imagination, while one sentence later mundane events would be described in elaborate detail. This swinging between very mundane details and superficial coverage of the interesting parts *wink wink* probably also stems from the fact that it was written in a different era. But, I kept reminding myself that this is all relevant to the story and plowed ahead.
The part I always find most interesting in books that deal with the BDSM lifestyle is the psychological aspect. I found myself wishing for more details of O's mind. Often she would react in a situation in such a way that I felt I didn't really know her. And in that way this was less a story about O and more a fictionalized work of what happened to this character. The aloofness of the character at most times bespoke of her actual treatment, I suppose.
My favorite quote from the book: But she had finally come to accept as an undeniable and important verity, this constant and contradictory jumble of her emotions: she liked the idea of torture, but when she was being tortured herself she would have betrayed the whole world to escape it, and yet when it was over she was happy to have gone through it, happier still if it had been especially cruel and prolonged.
This quote really speaks to me on a level of the human brain. If O was real, she would certainly be a fascinating character to interview.
Other books that I figured are tied up with this one based on plot and characters and setting :
----- I wrote this review in a tired mess... apologies for any non coherent thought processes that went on!...more
As adaptions of other novels go, this one was pretty amusing. Based on Sherlock Holmes (and he does come up as an absent character) and his types of aAs adaptions of other novels go, this one was pretty amusing. Based on Sherlock Holmes (and he does come up as an absent character) and his types of adventures, this is an erotic twist on the whole thing. It was a series of 5 or 6 short stories in which Ambrose Horne has to solve some sort of erotic-based mystery.
Because of Sherlock appearing in absentee, I'm sure you've surmised that this book is set in the same era. That was about the most interesting part for me, mainly due to the fact that the characters would say awesome things like "Let us speak frankly." and then proceed to keep talking around the subject (at least in a modern sense!)
This book had me more reflect upon the writing style, and how the author was certain that she was actually getting the proper diction of such fascinating folks set in such an interesting time, rather than the supposed mystery occurring, or the erotic bent of the whole thing. I doubt that was the intention, but it really did give me some fun ideas on how to procure proper writing styles for peasants of the 1800's.
Anyway, an amusing book, but without the fun mind trip it would have been really dull. ...more
I tend to stay away from time travel stories ever since I read The Time Traveler's Wife. Don't know why, but that book rather ruined the whole phenomeI tend to stay away from time travel stories ever since I read The Time Traveler's Wife. Don't know why, but that book rather ruined the whole phenomena for me.
Thankfully, this book has rekindled my fire!
The Rose Garden is part romance, part time travel mystery, part historical adventures and part pure whimsical magic. And somehow Kearsley managed to wrap them all together into a really well written piece of art!
Eva's sister has just died, and in order to 'bring her where she belongs' she returns to their childhood summer spot of the Cornish wilds of England. But while dealing with her grief there, she manages to slip between the veils of time about 300 years into the past. While drifting in between with no logic that she can grasp, Eva ends up falling in love with a smuggler who is living in the house back in the early 1700's. She's torn between staying with him and staying in her time, but realizes that there is ultimately nothing keeping her in the present.
Or is there? She has very good friends and perhaps a love interest there as well. Not to mention a really great future in her career. And yet is love worth leaving your own time for?
The things that got me the most in the book were the heart-wrenching details of love (hopeless romantic here) and the nifty sci-fi time travel bits. At first I wanted to figure out the logic of it all as well, and was planning on writing a pretty scathing review tearing the logic to shreds, but by the end of the story it all made perfect sense.
Now, as a California girl, I'd love to go visit this rough and tumble coast and see it's magic firsthand. Definitely dropping by one day!...more
I love fairytale adaptions. I find them to be some of the most creative work out there. Mainly because within the rigid structure of what everyone seeI love fairytale adaptions. I find them to be some of the most creative work out there. Mainly because within the rigid structure of what everyone see's as the main "tale" there are a lot of plot twists and interesting turns that an author can build into a story. Mostly this makes for better tales. Occasionally, such as in this case, it just leaves the reader a bit annoyed, somewhat pleased the story is finally over and perhaps a bit joyous at the transpired events.
For me, I felt most of the latter with this adaption. It's unfortunate, but compared to the gist of the other works in this genre that I've read, this one is really badly written. There were a lot of gaping plot holes which made me re-read passages to figure out what happened to the action (in a type of manner that suggest the author had to cut page length down) and then there was the whole incredulity factor.
I realize that the author took a bit of freedom with the 'historical' aspect of the tale, but talking about curing irons just made me consider electrical ones... I have no clue how they would look like back then. (Just know how regular iron's looked, and those had to be regulated extremely carefully least they burn a hole in the masters clothing! I wouldn't want to see an inexperienced maid come near all those wigs... or the real hair!)
Anyway, aside from all the issues I had, it was a nice, flouncy, kinda silly romance. I did enjoy how the story tied up again from beginning to end, but there just seemed to be an elemental bit missing.
Still, since the third in this series came recommended by a friend, I'll continue with number two and then see about number three. Perhaps the author learned in the meantime? :)...more
It has been a long time since I found a book well worth dropping everything else, just to read it. Even sleep. Especially sleep, I might add! I read tIt has been a long time since I found a book well worth dropping everything else, just to read it. Even sleep. Especially sleep, I might add! I read this whole book in under 7 hours, which for it's size is saying something! (For those of you who are curious, the last book that I can recall that I wanted to immerse myself into this much was The Night Circus.)
I'll try and address all the many things that went through my mind while reading this amazing novel, but I doubt I'll recall them all.
First off, the book had flaws. One of the most annoying ones was that the kids were all around 20 years of age, and yet spoke, acted and generally behaved as though they were between the ages of 14 and 16. Now, this is easily explained away by saying that it's a future-society and such mental regression is probably very likely. Anyway, it bothered me, but most of the time I hardly noticed.
Next, this novel is fucking amazing. It combines something like a billion different movies, tv shows and novels into a masterpiece. The ones that my mind kept referring to were Gamer (2009), The Bourne Identity (2002) and , Wargames, the game Kingdom of Loathing, , , plus about a million others I can't remember right now. Suffice to say, Cline was a genius in writing this book... he managed to combine a futuristic world and the 80's decade while wrapping the whole thing up in a race with enough geek flair tossed in to even make it exciting for me, someone who was born at the end of the 80's (and yet still managed to "get" a lot of the references!)
I have no idea how long the author spent hiding his own Easter eggs into this book (I bet that there are many, but I really do not have the stamina to search them all out!) and I most certainly enjoyed a lot of the little bits of "trivia" tossed out at the reader. (In fact, I squealed and probably had a bit of a geek-gasm each time I got a quote, scene or just an off-comment xD)
For anyone who has a passing interest in SciFi&Fantasy novels, old arcade games (or just computer games in general), the 80's genre, the development of computers, futuristic life, or just about anything mentioned in this book, then you might want to find a copy of Ready Player One. It'll definitely be worth your while!
P.S. I really wish NetHack had been mentioned in the text-based adventure games section. Seriously....more
This was a terribly fun and amusing book to read. Perfect to consume on my quiet pre-Halloween Sunday!
Okay, so my finger is healed up now, and I canThis was a terribly fun and amusing book to read. Perfect to consume on my quiet pre-Halloween Sunday!
Okay, so my finger is healed up now, and I can type again! Woot!
So this book was very charming. There were a few flaws, but overall the whole concoction was so hilarious and life-worthy that they quickly lost their focus.
I especially love how unrealistic the whole thing is. Unless you really do make a huge personality change, things like this don't happen to most people. I create an exciting life for myself, mainly because I hate being boring and I want to be the sort of person who has exciting stories to tell, but this book really takes 'exciting' to a whole new level!
(See the chapter where the main character decides to volley off Niagara Falls!)
Anyway, this was a sweet, cute, charming, funny, hilarious, romantic, exciting and cozy book to read. Especially over the long Halloween weekend! (Although, in retrospect, I wish I had spent that time studying xD)
Recommended for chick-lit fans, but also for those looking for a cute story!...more
So, I got about twenty percent and then I had to give it up. I really cannot beleive how stilted the dialogue is... And it just gets worse and worse.So, I got about twenty percent and then I had to give it up. I really cannot beleive how stilted the dialogue is... And it just gets worse and worse. If you're going to set up a character to make super huge blunders you need to do it properly: subtly! Making a character bring up a very sensitive subject and then two lines later say "I'm sorry. I understand." and then stop talking about it is NOT subtle. Making said character repeat this same interaction more times than I can count just means you suck as a writer.
The fact that it's all of the dialogue that's tough to work through is what made me give this up. Find a decent beta reader and this story could really become something. The plot line isn't half bad after all.
On a different note, this is the first time that I've read free online fiction that came so highly recommended by this site and it utterly failed. ...more
Sometimes short stories are really so much better than long ones. This is a case of that. Although a longer super-length novel may have been nice, I fSometimes short stories are really so much better than long ones. This is a case of that. Although a longer super-length novel may have been nice, I feel like Rylan's and Niel's relationship was presented wonderfully in these 21 chapter segments.
For being online fiction it really is that much more delicious! It only took me a few hours to read... great pre-betime fun for me!
Only four stars because it still felt like some "amazing quality" was lacking, though. Not quite sure exactly what that would be, but there you have it. ...more
All I can say is "wow". There aren't many words to describe a novel of this nature; this length and depth and breadth and convoluted plot details so fAll I can say is "wow". There aren't many words to describe a novel of this nature; this length and depth and breadth and convoluted plot details so filled with characters both striking and mundane that evolves with such unpredictability and sharpness.
You, P.L. Nunn are a genius.
I loved the first book I read by this author, Bloodraven, which was passionate and had a plot and yet so dark as to be nearly depressing. Somehow this book was both better and worse than that one. There wasn't a clear aim to the plot line, a point in the distant horizon that the characters were working towards (well, other than their own happiness) and I felt like a lot of possible thread-lines were unfortunately dropped (say, the whole Gunthar attacking plot) but overall it really was a much happier and smoother story to read through.
I love Nunn's writing style. It's so clear and easy to follow. Yet filled with enough details to let us really feel what is going on around the characters. I adore his character development the most, though, I believe. He really has a way of making you admire and yet perhaps even despise a little one of his main characters (or perhaps even both).
I had a terribly lovely time reading this book, and it may have taken me almost two weeks, but that was mostly due to being in midterm session right now.
I really cannot believe that I have finished. It was an incredible journey. I really did not want the story to be complete! And somehow, I know that Ashe and Illya will continue to live on. Happily ever after....more
I think what I loved most about this book was less the erotic appeal but rather more that it was about cherishing what it means to be a woman.
The autI think what I loved most about this book was less the erotic appeal but rather more that it was about cherishing what it means to be a woman.
The author found so much more truth in these classic fairy tales than the brothers Grimm seemed to have done. Albeit, it's all based on a woman's point of view, but since we're the half of our race that's pushed down and beaten and subdued overtly, I think it's definitely more than fair play.
I was really looking forward to each and every tale. Mainly to see how they'd be twisted to show a different, more positive, perspective, but also because of the positive light they'd release. It's so rare to come across novels or stories or tales releasing feelings of warmth and happiness and positive light these days. Most of which is released is fake; a thin bit of sheer cloth that barely covers underlying problems. In these short stories reality was shown; often scoffed at, and yet all the women felt more empowered afterwards, even if thier situations didn't call for it. They all found happiness one way or another.
And that is why I give this book five stars. Some erotic novels are just well written. This one is well written and leaves a long lasting good feeling in my mind!...more
My gosh... this book was just... wow. It's not even done yet (free online fiction) and I have no idea how much more there will be. But as of right nowMy gosh... this book was just... wow. It's not even done yet (free online fiction) and I have no idea how much more there will be. But as of right now I've read ~27 chapters (more or less) and just feel blown back by the everything!
I have found so often that free online fiction published works are so much more appealing than a lot of the published fiction out there. Usually just because those that publish online actually make an attempt to write something original, and to write it well. I can think of so many examples of authors who sell shoddy, inferior, terrible work and then wonder why they make no revenue, and then compare that to so many published online tales that have enormous fan followings, where each chapter has comments going up into the hundreds of pages range. It's a shame, but at the same time I am so glad that people take the time to write and publish and give it all a chance, especially if they're not making a profit.
That aside, this tale was like a mix of George R. R. Martin's A Game of Thrones series mixed in with some real-life slavery. Most of "slave fiction" deals with a billion sex scenes, so that the reader is bored by the time the next one comes around, but Freece really just knows what's important, what needs focus, where the action should go, and then goes with that. There are no side trips down rape-alley or long stops at pleasure houses. Everything that is put down in relation to the pleasure slaves is necessary to set the scene, show the characters of the people and is important at a later date. I can not stress how much this stood out to me. There have been a lot of works that I've read that just leave a bad taste in my mouth, because most of the focus is put onto the slave's expansive sex life. I am just so glad that that wasn't the case here.
I bring up Martin's work because this novel felt like a much better version of his work. It was realistic. It wasn't over the top. It had battles and bloodshed and intrigues, but they didn't leave me feeling unclean. Martin really adores blood and killing his characters. Freece's characters have honor and integrity and aren't totally blind to pride. It was refreshing and enjoyable!
The writing, in general, was a bit simple. Skimped on the details, in retrospect. But while reading I never acutely felt that I was lacking any pertinent information. Everything necessary was there to let the story just flow (and flow it did!); it was more than just everything necessary too.
I am so glad that Goodreads Recommendations led me to this book (the first book I actually found via Goodreads Recommendations which interested me).
I think even those fantasy lovers who might feel a bit squeamish at some overtly sexual descriptions (I would think the scene that most includes this is where the Rabatian Prince gives direct commands as to how his new slave, the Prince in disguise, Damen, should be given fellatio. But even that wasn't sexual... it was clinical!) would still appreciate the story. Especially once Laurent takes his troops down to the boarder with the other kingdom (name?) to protect it, and meets rebellious factions instead. The writing of the war scenes is as precise, if not better than Martins. And that's saying something.
I appreciate this author, and I loved this story. I certainly hope that future chapters will be coming out promptly, since I'm waiting not so patiently to read them!!...more
Oh my gosh I cannot believe that I finished this book. I want to cry, scream, yell for more!! Bloodraven and Yhalen cannot be done!!
As terrible, horrOh my gosh I cannot believe that I finished this book. I want to cry, scream, yell for more!! Bloodraven and Yhalen cannot be done!!
As terrible, horrible and absolutely wretched as so many of the scenes in this book were, I am amazed that I loved it nevertheless. At the first part alone I was willing to give up and trash this book as being WAY too graphic, but after reading a few review I persevered. And boy am I glad I did!
The first 10% of the book deal with the terrible rape that Yahlen endures at the hands of four ogres. Andthen his subsequent punishments and debasements as a slave to another half-ogre, Bloodraven. Yet, somewhere alon the 10-20% mark I found myself caring about what happened next... Pondering how Bloodraven and Yahlen would find their ways out of their respective predicaments.
To be honest, the tale doesn't get less graphic. I almost felt at times that the author was just lulling me into feeling peace and harmony in order to dunk me into another ice-cold bath of filth and misery that was being dolled out to the characters that had become so close to my heart. I almost cried for their pain, almost couldn't stomach reading some passages due to the abhorrent violence involved.. And thenthere would be minor triumph and happiness and sweet times again.
This novel took me on the proverbial emotional rollercoasted, and I am SO very glad that I decided to stay on for the ride.
On another note, the writing was superb. I felt like I was living with the characters due to the clarity and fluidity of the writing. War scenes, bed scenes, magical tempest scenes; all were written with the same note of reality and descriptiveness that never edged into boredom. Quite to the contrary! I spent way too many nights staying up and reading while not getting my much needed rest!
This novel deserves at least one star more than the limit of five. If I had my druthers it'd be even more than that. Superb writing, setting, characters and plot; this is one gem I am so glad that I uncovered. ...more
Alright, if you would delete all pages from about 30% to 75% this book might have gotten 4 stars.
First off, no one can identify with these charactersAlright, if you would delete all pages from about 30% to 75% this book might have gotten 4 stars.
First off, no one can identify with these characters. The women are all totally pessimistic and broken, the children are your typical American kids: spoiled brats and all the men have macho-man issues (with the exception of John Walsh, but we don't get to know him well enough). I understand that sometimes life gets you down and occasionally you might feel like there's nothing left except despair, but seriously, I just hate people who hide all their problems inside and then are surprised when they get sick physically. Like, Hello! You're internalizing all this poison and then you're surprised when your body reacts? Come on...
Secondly, the author sucked at writing. Perhaps some of her other books are better, but in this one (the first one I ever read by her) I just felt that it was very disjointed. She was aiming to go towards a slowly uncovering all the past, step by step, type of telling and instead I just felt bored out of my skull for the gist of the book. Yeah, we know Brenda hurt a painting. You've alluded to how it happened 12 times already. Now we get the full details described in 15 pages and yet I don't feel like I learned anything new.
There were a whole bunch of other, smaller, flaws as well. The author just writes about the setting as though we've all been there. I haven't. I don't even know where Nantucket it... except maybe that it's pretty far from Connecticut that you need to fly there. Caribbean? Canada level? Up near Greenland? In the Pacific? No clue! The only time I've ever even heard of the island were those bottled juice drinks they sold at specialty high-level stores and breakfast places made by Nantucket... presumably from the island but who knows? That aside, I figured out it was an island and not just a peninsula or a block of land a while of the way in.
So why did I give this book 2 stars, and not just 1? Well, the story itself wasn't bad. The premise was interesting and the flow wasn't horrendous. As an editor I would have cleaned up a bit (more?) and changed things and simplified other things, but in general, overall, the book wasn't bad.
I am still seething over the character depictions (very controversial at times!) and how much mind mud I had to slog through to get to the end of the novel. So I'll just try and focus on the beginning and how much more lovely that was in comparison to the rest of the book.
Not sure if I'll be picking this author up again.
P.S. This was a summer-read choice for my bookclub, Serious About Books....more
This book makes me feel like Sarah Addison Allen's works do. This book makes me feel like the yumminess that is Jenna's pies in the movie Waitress. ThThis book makes me feel like Sarah Addison Allen's works do. This book makes me feel like the yumminess that is Jenna's pies in the movie Waitress. This book gives me hope and joy and happiness. It makes me want to have a daughter and raise her on my own while baking pies together and sewing our own dresses and keeping a magical herb and flower garden together.
This book definitely puts another stone in my Happy Wagon!
I really love how everything works out... although there is sadness and perhaps even despair, at the end everyone has a plan, and is happy (or at least the good characters are!) and it looks like there will be plenty of happiness in the future for them as well!
This book doesn't make me want to bake as badly as Sarah Addison Allen's do, but it's a close second. Plus, I've been reading all these cupcake books lately... so maybe that's what I'll end up making tomorrow. Experimenting with cupcakes so that one day I can open my own cafe or so!...more
Anyone who can read this book and not feel affected by Stargirls innocence, love of life and her pure soul isn't a human being. This has been one of tAnyone who can read this book and not feel affected by Stargirls innocence, love of life and her pure soul isn't a human being. This has been one of the purest stories that I have read in a while; not just enjoyable, but it actually taught me a few things.
The way Stargirl acts reminds me a lot of my little sister, in a way. She's not so nice anymore but inside her heart is always in the right place. I wish I had the courage to act more like Stargirl.
Here's a favorite quote of mine from the book (that I emailed to all my family and close friends):
The other item was on a bookshelf. It was a tiny wagon about the size of my fist. It was made of wood and looked like it might have been an antique toy. It was piled high with pebbles. Several other pebbles lay about the wagon wheels. I pointed to it. “You collecting stones, or what?” “It’s my happy wagon,” she said. “Actually, it could just as well be called an unhappy wagon, but I prefer happy.” “So what’s it all about?” “It’s about how I feel. When something makes me happy, I put a pebble in the wagon. If I’m unhappy, I take a pebble out. There are twenty pebbles in all.” I counted three on the shelf. “So there’re seventeen in the wagon now, right?” “Right.” “So that means, what, you’re pretty happy?” “Right again.” “What’s the biggest number of pebbles ever in the wagon?” She gave me a sly smile. “You’re looking at it.” It didn’t seem like just a pile of pebbles anymore. “Usually,” she said, “it’s more balanced. It hangs around ten, a couple to one side or the other. Back and forth, back and forth. Like life.” “How close to empty did the wagon ever get?” I said. “Oh…” She turned her face to the ceiling, closed her eyes. “Once, down to three.” I was shocked. “Really? You?” She stared. “Why not me?” “You don’t seem the type.” “What type is that?” “I don’t know…” I groped for the right words. “The three-pebble type?” she offered. I shrugged. She picked up a pebble from the shelf and, with a grin, dropped it into the wagon. “Well, call me Miss Unpredictable.”
Today I will go out and find pebbles that have meaning, and create my own Happy Wagon. It seems like such a necessary part of life to have such an object. I can't believe we don't all have one anyway!! I'd put one pebble into it for every time I thought "wow, what an amazing perspective, what an amazing point of view! Please give me more of this books, this girl and this idea!"
This book taught me a lot, but I don't want to go more into the details. Needless to say, go read it yourself, since you'll end up wanting to be better and nicer too....more
When going into a dystopian-themed novel, you're always aware of what's going down: there's a government in control, almost in too much control, of itWhen going into a dystopian-themed novel, you're always aware of what's going down: there's a government in control, almost in too much control, of its people. There is too much regulation, for "your own safety". Rules put in place meant to "protect you from [evil bad people]". And then there is always a crisis: someone tries to take down the corrupt system, or the system falls apart naturally... either way, there is always someone out to fight Big Brother (to borrow from 1984).
Super Sad True Love Story isn't all that different. We have Leonard and Eunice as our two main characters who tell us their stories via the former's diary and the latter's GlobalTeens messages. In this day and age everyone has an äppärät on which to not only communicate on, but which essentially is their whole life. You think that today's people are too into their iPhones? Well, when all systems crash, and people can't connect on their äppärät's anymore, some of the people commit suicide. It's not just about being connected and getting the latest information, buying the latest merchandise or staying in contact with friends. To the people of this world it's mostly about getting ranked (essentially anyone with an äppärät has an account at GlobalTeens, where they get Fuckability rankings (the higher, the cooler you are) and other such "coolness" ratings).
One thing that Shteyngart really showed me was how freaking iPhone obsessed I may have become in these last years. It's not quite an äppärät, but it's not far from it either.
Anyway, the story: we don't actually get told a story, instead we get insights into Leonard's and Eunice's lives. His Jewish/Russian heritage mixed with his New York job at a company that promises eternal life. Her Korean history mixed up with physical abuse from her father and her inability to do anything to make herself happy.
I hated them both as characters at first. I didn't understand what was so cool, so good, about them. And there really is nothing all that special about them, other than the fact that they had a relationship, talked about it, and lived through one of the most pivotal times of their history. But then, slowly, their characters and personalities grew on me. I still don't like them as people... I'd never hang out with them, that's for sure, but somehow, something about them endeared them to me. Perhaps I just started caring, is all.
Another thing about dystopian books is how they like to teach us a lesson. I suppose you could say that George Orwell started it all with 1984, back when he was trying to tell people in 1948 what will happen in only a few short decades if they continue to proceed the way they do. There were a lot of lessons to be learned in this novel... but I feel like the real lesson was that everything changes, nature will always reclaim it's own and that although love can hurt, it still is beneficial to experience it!...more
I read this book together with the Serious About Books group for August 2011.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this book. Based on the cover it looksI read this book together with the Serious About Books group for August 2011.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to read this book. Based on the cover it looks like a Nicholas Sparks novel (and there is always so much sadness in them!) and from the blurb it felt a bit like one too. But that really wasn't the case.
This story taught me quite a bit about love, companionship, relationships, growing older and marriage. I felt so connected to the characters, even though the parents (John and Irene) are in their fifties, inside they had never really grown up, or grown together. I could identify less with Sadie, their daughter, although she's closer to my age. She is confidant and knows what she wants and reaches out to take it. That was never me. I felt a lot closer to Irene, who keeps screwing up each of her relationships and works too hard (at being a mother, and at her job).
One thing that really amazed me was the story structure. I had thought (from the blurb) that the tragedy that Sadie endures would be the pivotal part of the story: everything leads up to it, and everything after it is affected by it. Yet, that wasn't the case. Any other author would have pushed this incident into the foreground, but Berg decided instead to focus on the positive relationships between everyone; to show how they mature and become the people they should have been.
This book has given me more confidence to work with my own life. For once, I am really glad that the SAB group picked this book. :)...more