Disturbing in that way that waking up at 3am and hearing a noise outside is disturbing and very creepy. The stories all weave together as a whole and...moreDisturbing in that way that waking up at 3am and hearing a noise outside is disturbing and very creepy. The stories all weave together as a whole and in a way that seems natural instead of forced.
I think the biggest compliment I can give this is I read it all in one sitting, which I don't do very often. Partly because of the length, but mostly because I just couldn't put it down.(less)
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
This book was a misfire for me. The chapters set in post-war Cornwall kept my attention bu...moreI received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.
This book was a misfire for me. The chapters set in post-war Cornwall kept my attention but eventually suffered from the same weakness that the parts in modern day Norfolk did, which was a complete avoidance of conflict. I don't mean that everything should have ended in EastEnders style bust-ups, but every revelation in this book seems to be calmly accepted by all those involved, almost as if Barker decided that once she'd built up to a conflict she didn't actually want her characters to go through with it because everyone was too nice.
I also nearly gave up after the first chapter from Luisa's point of view. I understand that her development from being an ignored push-over to a woman who people notice again was part of the plot, but it was like wading through molasses to read. The introduction of Kit picked the pace up after that chapter, but not enough to make up for everyone being too nice and the avoidance of conflict.
It's a shame because I really liked Barker's depiction of Cornwall, and I think Felicity was an interesting character. In fact, I found her the most interesting character. I wish the story had been focused on her and then with Felicity building her business instead of being told how she did by Kit.
I first read Metamorphosis about a decade ago, and it didn't have much impact on me then. Maybe it's because I'm older I enjoyed it more this time aro...moreI first read Metamorphosis about a decade ago, and it didn't have much impact on me then. Maybe it's because I'm older I enjoyed it more this time around, or maybe this translation wasn't so dry or maybe it was the context of it being midway through so I'd read more of Kafka's work before getting to it but it was a much better experience this time.
If I'm being facetious I'd subtitle this collection "modernity sucks and I have daddy issues" but they are worth reading and I'd recommend it, and the Penguin Deluxe edition is both a good translation and really nicely presented. (less)
**spoiler alert** I liked this book. I liked it a lot. If I hadn't read Rowell before I probably wouldn't have picked it up, but knowing that she's fa...more**spoiler alert** I liked this book. I liked it a lot. If I hadn't read Rowell before I probably wouldn't have picked it up, but knowing that she's fair to her nerd characters and doesn't mock them for being nerds (I'm using nerd as a descriptive term) made me willing to give it a chance. Books written about fandom by outsiders tend to get it wrong, and this book avoids that by being written by someone who's been in the inside (I mean, that opening portal for Cath's fic writing site? Clearly based on AO3 with a different age rule). There's plenty of professional writers who are snotty about fanfiction, especially those who are almost write fanfiction themselves (yes, Jasper Fforde, that means you), so it's always encouraging to see writers who aren't.
It's more of a coming of age story than anything else, and even though my own first year experience was more like Wren's than Cath's (minus getting hospitalised, I wasn't that much of a freshman) I could relate to Cath's struggle to find a place for herself in a big bad world without her twin. The development of her relationship with both her family and with her new friends and boyfriend felt natural, and I really liked that Cath wasn't expected to give up what she was interested in writing because she gained a boyfriend. Too often there's an expectation that a woman's got to give up whatever she's interested in as soon as she gets a partner, and it's heartening to see a YA book not go down that route. Levi being genuinely supportive of her interests too was a really nice development, even if he's possibly a little too good to be true.
There's a couple of things I would have changed - for one, don't have anyone mention Harry Potter if the series your character's writing for is a parody of Harry Potter and I would have liked to have seen more of both Wren and Reagan. I'm not sure if you could write an entire book about Reagan, but Rowell, if you're reading this, consider it! Or maybe I should write my own fanfic about it. Despite that, I really enjoyed this book and if it sounds like something you'd like to read, I'd recommend it.(less)