I had no sympathy at all for the main character of the book at the beginning of the story, but she slowly grew on me over time. I was able to figure oI had no sympathy at all for the main character of the book at the beginning of the story, but she slowly grew on me over time. I was able to figure out the "whodunit" aspect of the plot about halfway through, but the ending was still very climatic, and I enjoyed seeing how the main characters slowly pieced everything together in the end. ...more
The art in this series is gorgeous! It's like eye candy! And Kamala is such an interesting and loveable character that I can't get enough of her! TheThe art in this series is gorgeous! It's like eye candy! And Kamala is such an interesting and loveable character that I can't get enough of her! The action/superhero scenes are kind of cheesy and boring, but Kamala's relationship with her friends and family, and her struggles with being a normal teenager while still being a faithful Muslim has me coming back for more. ...more
What if you could see the future? And what if that future was horrible and frightening? Would you try to fix it?
Glory O’Brien’s world is turned compleWhat if you could see the future? And what if that future was horrible and frightening? Would you try to fix it?
Glory O’Brien’s world is turned completely upside down the day that she discovers the Bat. Petrified and kept in a jar, the Bat’s remains eventually turn to dust, and on a drunken night with her friend Ellie, those ashes get mixed in with their beer. After drinking down the beer/bat concoction the unthinkable happens…the two girls can see the future and the past and everything in between.
The future that Glory sees is confusing and frightening. Women have lost all of their rights, people are living in trees, and peace is a thing of the past. But what can she do to help? As Glory attempts to find the source of this horrifying future, she learns that she is stronger then she thinks, and that she will play a big role in the impending war to come.
I loved this book! I absolutely adored it! Full of magical realism, and even a bit of suspense, Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future is a one of a kind book. The story started out dark, which initially put me on edge. Haunted by her mother’s suicide, Glory is confused and worried that she might be destined to suffer the same fate. Once Glory began having visions, however, the book was difficult to put down! I became obsessed with finding out what would happen to Glory and the future of the world that she was envisioning.
Not only was the story compelling, but the writing was gripping and thought provoking. A.S. King is an amazing writer, and I absolutely devoured her words as they fell from the page. I loved the voice that she gave Glory, which was full of anger, confusion, grief and honesty. Typically Glory isn’t a character that I would overly like, but A.S. King’s writing makes the reader view her with understanding, and ultimately I became one of Glory’s biggest fans.
The Bottom Line: Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future is a dark and magical story that I couldn’t put down. Readers will be swept away by Glory’s visions of the future and A.S. King’s brilliant writing. A definite must read! Even if magical realism/dystopia isn’t your typical genre of choice, it is worth giving it a try!...more
After the first 30 pages of All the Broken Things, I knew that I was reading something special. Moving, tragic, and full of impact, Kuitenbrower’s stoAfter the first 30 pages of All the Broken Things, I knew that I was reading something special. Moving, tragic, and full of impact, Kuitenbrower’s story of 14-year old Bo’s struggle to heal his family and find acceptance was beautiful and heart-breaking. The novel takes place in Toronto in 1983. Despite having lived in Canada for several years now, there are only two things that Bo cares about: fighting, and his little sister Orange. Born severely disfigured as a result of Agent Orange, a herbicide and defoliant used by the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, Orange is the family secret who is kept hidden away. Bo’s mother, Rose, is repulsed by Orange. Unable to come to terms with the fact that Orange was born from her body, Rose is depressed, distant, and unable to find any joy in life.
Bo’s life is completely changed when he is discovered by Gerry, a bear trainer who sees a talent and promise in this tough kid that everyone else seems to ignore. Taking Bo under his wing, Gerry introduces him to the world of traveling fairs and bear wrestling. Giving Bo a bear cub of his own to train, Bo finds his world being opened up to new possibilities. Tragedy strikes, however, when Gerry’s boss, Max, begins dating Bo’s mother. Determined to have Orange in his freak show for the CNE, Max will stop at nothing to get his hands on Bo’s sister. When Bo wakes up to discover both his mother and his sister gone, he sets out to find them, with Bear by his side.
While the description above may make All the Broken Things sound strange and outlandish, the story itself is actually quite stunning. My heart immediately went out to Bo from the very beginning, as he struggled to find himself, and come to terms with his mother’s emotional absence and his sister’s disability. Despite the tragic moments of the novel, beauty can be found in Bo’s journey of self-realization. Through his struggles, Bo manages to find his own path in life, and finally sees his family in a whole new light. The sense of community that builds as the story progresses filled me with hope, and allowed me to feel optimistic about Bo and Orange’s future together.
Amongst this magical tale, Kuitenbrower seamlessly weaves together a number of historical facts that both shocked and amazed me. I was horrified to discover that Agent Orange had been produced in Elmira, Ontario for supply to the U.S. military throughout the Vietnam war. Kuitenbrower skillfully brought the horror of this destructive chemical to life through the character of Orange, whose very name (let alone her appearance), is a constant reminder of it’s presence in the background of the story. The novel’s glimpses of life at the CNE and the world of bear wrestling (which wasn’t outlawed until 1976), was also very fascinating, as I always viewed the use of bears for entertainment as something from the 19th century.
Exploring issues of responsibility, acceptance, heroism, and community, All the Broken Things is a masterful piece of writing that will pull at your heart-strings while also filling you with a sense of wonder and awe. This is a great work of Canadian fiction that deserves more buzz and fanfare than it has been getting. With plenty of topics to discuss, All the Broken Things would certainly make a great choice for book clubs! One thing is for sure, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with Bo and Bear, and will find yourself cheering them on until the very end. Rating: 4.5 Stars...more
Attacked in a parking lot after leaving a college party, Jacqueline finds herself being saved by a handsome stranger, who turns out to be in one of heAttacked in a parking lot after leaving a college party, Jacqueline finds herself being saved by a handsome stranger, who turns out to be in one of her classes. With his tattoos, piercings and dark floppy hair, Lucas appears to fit the description of the typical “bad boy.” Drawn to him, Jacqueline soon discovers a completely different side to this secretive guy, and finds herself slowly falling for him. I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I love a good romance and some drama (which this book has lots of), but I couldn’t help wanting to give Jacqueline a good shake at the beginning of the book. After being nearly raped, she decides not to report her attacker to the police, even after he starts stalking her. Stupid girl!!! Lucas more then made up for Jacqueline’s stupidness though, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with him a bit myself. So is this book a bit ridiculous? Yes. But is it easy to put down? Heck no!...more
I’m not sure about you, but big books scare me. There is something about picking up a 600+ page book that fills me with reluctance and horror. I tendI’m not sure about you, but big books scare me. There is something about picking up a 600+ page book that fills me with reluctance and horror. I tend to avoid them like the plague. I think my aversion to big books is linked to my “so many books, so little time syndrome.” After all, I could easily read 3 smaller books in the time it would take me to finish one enormous novel. Despite my hesitation to pick up big books, I’ve yet to read a 600+ page novel that has disappointed me! Some of my favourite books are amongst the biggest ones that I’ve read: Gone With the Wind, The Name of the Wind, 1Q84, Dune, and now The Goldfinch.
At 771 pages, The Goldfinch is bigger than some dictionaries, but far more satisfying! Absorbing and spellbinding, The Goldfinch is a beautifully written masterpiece that left me feeling breathless. I soon forgot how big and scary the book initially seemed, and instead found myself wishing that the story would never end!
The Goldfinch by Fabritius (and yes, it is a real painting!) The Goldfinch focuses on the character of Theo Decker, a young boy living in New York City who survives a horrifying bombing at an art museum that takes the life of his mother. Emerging from the rubble alone, Theo manages to escape from the museum with a painting of a strange and mesmerizing little goldfinch. Without his mother to care for him, Theo is bounced back and forth from house to house, with the painting as his only source of solace. As he grows older, however, Theo finds himself in a sticky situation, and is dragged down into the dark shadows of the art underworld.
While the plot of The Goldfinch was intriguing, the aspect of the novel that impacted me the most was the characters. Tartt breathed life into each individual personality that she created. Her characters aren’t just composed of ink and paper, but blood, and bones, and heartbeats. Theo, the main narrator, especially leaves an impact. His words were so intimate and moving that I felt like I could reach out and touch him. Self-destructive and pessimistic, Theo was far from the perfect protagonist, and I loved him for it.
And then there is Boris. Charismatic, explosive, and erratic Boris. When people talk about loyalty, they have yet to meet this crazy Russian who will steal your heart. I distrusted Boris and his intentions at first, but his relationship with Theo was inspiring in its own twisted sort of way. I initially blamed Boris for some of Theo’s self-destructive behaviour, but the reality is that Theo was already on the path to self-destruction before Boris ever stepped into his life. Instead, Boris gives Theo one of things he needs most in the world, unfailing friendship.
In the end, it’s kind of ironic that a novel about a work of art turns out to be a work of art itself. The Goldfinch is beautiful and has left a lasting impression on myself. I’m certainly happy that I managed to put aside my fear of big books to give this one a try, and I look forward to reading Tartt’s other novels in the months ahead.
Wow! Talk about a moving and inspiring book! Counting by 7s is the story of Willow Chance, a 12 year-old super genius, who finds herself an orphan aftWow! Talk about a moving and inspiring book! Counting by 7s is the story of Willow Chance, a 12 year-old super genius, who finds herself an orphan after the tragic death of her parents. As described on Goodreads, “The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy.” Far from it! This story is about the way in which the lives of other characters are completely changed for the better after meeting Willow. Willow’s ability to alter the attitudes and perceptions of the people she encounters was beautiful and moving. And the narration in Counting by 7s was absolute perfection! A fantastic read that deserves the buzz and awards it has been getting!...more
Looking for a great book that will make you feel warm and fuzzy all over? Then let me introduce you to The Rosie Project! Funny, cute, and charming, TLooking for a great book that will make you feel warm and fuzzy all over? Then let me introduce you to The Rosie Project! Funny, cute, and charming, The Rosie Project is a fantastic story that will leave you with a smile on your face! I absolutely loved it!!!
The book centres on Don Tillman, a 39 year old genetics professor who is socially challenged to say the least. Living with undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome, Don is extremely intelligent, but lacks the most basic of social skills. When a random acquaintance remarks that Don would make a wonderful husband, his first reaction is shock. Intrigued, Don decides to start “The Wife Project,” and uses a sophisticated questionnaire of his own devising to find himself the perfect romantic partner. She must be punctual, tidy, logical, and most definitely not a smoker! Rosie Jarman, however, is none of these things, and yet Don can’t help but find himself being drawn to the fiery, intelligent barmaid who stumbles into his life. But can Don put aside his need for organization and logic in his life in order to make room for love?
Already an international bestseller, The Rosie Project is being called the “feel-good-hit” of 2013, and I 100% agree! Graeme Simsion’s story is both heartwarming and fun! I think Chelsey from Chels and a Book described it perfectly: “This book deserves a hug. And you deserve to read a book that deserves a hug!” As soon as I finished reading The Rosie Project my first reaction was to give it a huge bear hug! I wanted to hug the author and Don and Rosie…. even Gene the womanizer deserved a warm embrace!
What is it that makes The Rosie Project so special? Some would say its quirky love plot and characters that you can’t help but root for. Other’s would answer that it is the novel’s underlying questioning of society’s norms, our ability to empathize, and the need for human connection. All I know is that I LOVED this book and it belongs on my shelf of all time favourites. This is one story that I definitely plan to re-read one day! ...more