Well, I must have liked The Compound because I could not put it down. I found myself reading the pages as fast as I could so that I could find out wh...more Well, I must have liked The Compound because I could not put it down. I found myself reading the pages as fast as I could so that I could find out what was going to happen. Good sign, right? The 4 stars are simply for the fact that this book entertained me and wanted me to keep reading. However, there were some flaws.
HERE COME THE SPOILERS!!
I'm not going to lie. I had a feeling from the get-go that something was amiss with the "world is ending" reasoning. I just couldn't imagine a father (who cared so much for his family's well-being that he built the most elaborate bomb shelter ever) not trying to save one of his children and having such a cavalier attitude as, "it happened, he's gone, we move on now." After that dramatic opening, the story moves forward 6 years and we begin following Eli's day to day life in the underground bunker/mansion. Eli's father has thought of everything. He has provided his family with every creature comfort to make their 15-year hiatus from the real world (which according to him has been destroyed by a nuclear bomb) as easy as possible. Every movie ever made! Workout equipment! Bedroom suites for all! However, Bodeen begins dropping hints that there is something sinister going on under ground. About midway through the story the plot really starts to move. We learn that Eli's father has come up with a grotesque solution to their pending food shortage (I still feel absolutely "ick" over that part of the story). Eli also begins to realize that he and his family have been living a lie created by their evil-genius dad. Shortly after Eli's IM session with Eddy, Bodeen rapidly begins escalating the action. This is the point where I start to have some issues. It seemed as if she was trying to rush an ending out of the story and wasn't taking the time to flesh out the story properly. One minute, Eli's dad is laying on what we assume is a near-death bed in the Compound's infirmary and the next minute he is healthy enough to be chasing Eli all around trying to stop him from opening the hatch. I was also disappointed with the fact that it was never really explained as to why the father did this. The only conclusion that I could come to was that he was considering these 15 years to be "research" for his future bomb shelter business?? Also, I was a bit bothered and icked out by the fact that the mother seemed to be a willing participant in birthing the "supplements." *Shudder* That part still seems to be unnecessary to the story and only included to make it extra creepy. Well, the story has what we are to think is a happy ending. I still expected the father to pop up out of nowhere and start spewing crazy every where. It's funny - after writing this review I keep thinking, "A 4?! I gave it a 4?" But the fact is, I really was on the edge of my seat and this would be a really easy sell to a lot of teens looking for something to read. (less)
I liked Heart of the Matter. After really enjoying Something Borrowed and kind of liking Something Blue (and...moreFirst of all, I'm Team Tessa all the way.
I liked Heart of the Matter. After really enjoying Something Borrowed and kind of liking Something Blue (and then being pretty disappointed with Baby Proof and Love the One You're With), I didn't know what to expect from Emily Giffin's latest.
Honestly, my favorite parts were probably the ones where familiar characters from Something Borrowed/Blue popped up. It's nice to see that there truly was a happily ever after.
So, I did appreciate the alternating points of view in this book. It really goes to say that there are always two sides to every story. However, no matter what the underlying storyline was with Valerie, I just did not like her character. I would feel my stomach getting twisted while reading her parts just knowing what was inevitably going to happen with her and Nick and when it did I was even all the more bothered by it. Heart of the Matter really did seem to dissect the evolution of an affair - from the initial flirtation/crushing to the ending of it all. I just didn't feel sorry for Valerie getting, for lack of a better word, dumped.
Truly, I didn't understand why Tessa would even want Nick back. I feel that Giffin did such an excellent job with making me really loathe him that I felt a little duped at the end when he's allowed to come back as the doting husband/father again. I think that it would have made for a better ending (and left room for a Tessa-centric sequel) if the marriage truly ended and allowed Tessa to pursue a new love interest.
Hate List didn't disappoint me. It didn't exactly wow me either, but that was mostly due to the ending.
I liked the way that the story went back and fo...moreHate List didn't disappoint me. It didn't exactly wow me either, but that was mostly due to the ending.
I liked the way that the story went back and forth from present day in Valerie's life to the day of the shooting. I also really liked how many of the flashback chapters started with an obituary-like article about one of the victims.
It's easy to see both sides in this story in spite of Valerie being the narrator. While I really do want to sympathize with her (ugh, her parents are so incredibly terrible to her), it's easy to see how she let her venting and moaning get out of hand with Nick. I was actually really surprised to see how little family support she receives throughout her ordeal. Her parents truly do blame her and seem almost to decide that they aren't going to offer her any support. Her brother's character was pretty realistic, I thought. It showed that although the two of them had been close, he had come to resent her for all the attention, both positive and negative, she was receiving as well as for the fact that her actions/inactions had turned his familiar family life upside down.
My biggest disappointment with the book was the ending. It had a very, "... and they all lived happily ever after," feel to it which I just didn't feel was right for a book that was all about revenge, and hurt, and murder. It just didn't seem realistic that all of her peers would come to forgive Valerie for whatever role she played.
All in all, it was a book that kept my interest throughout. Unfortunately it is a very current subject at this point in time. However, with that, I feel that it would interest a lot of the young readers it was intended for.(less)
Kendra learned early on that her brother's issues with OCD meant that she had to be the "perfect" kid her parents needed. After years of striving to...more Kendra learned early on that her brother's issues with OCD meant that she had to be the "perfect" kid her parents needed. After years of striving to gain their attention and praise, the pressure has finally cracked her. With just a few weeks of school left til graduation, the cheating ring she orchestrated is coming to light. In a moment of panic and desperation, she finds herself driving out of town with her brother Grayson asleep next to her. Her panic leads them out of their home state of Missouri and across the country as she takes them to California. Along the way, she makes friends with a runaway teen mom and helps her escape from her cruel, much older husband. In spite of her parents frantic calls and her brother's suffering from not having his medication, she is determined to not only figure out her own mistakes, but to see if she can help her brother with his issues as well. Jennifer Brown has once again written an engaging story with characters that you will truly come to care about. Kendra's panic is nearly palpable and she is a teenager that many readers will relate to. After all, who hasn't gotten themselves into a jam and had that sinking feeling wash over them when they are about to get caught. I enjoyed the way that she didn't tell Kendra's whole story (or stories if you count the one between her and Zoe) at once but rather peppered it throughout the story - although the cheating scandal was pretty easy to figure out early on. While I didn't love this story quite the way I did with Brown's Bitter End, it was still an enjoyable, quick read. An easy one to pass on to older female readers.(less)
Your book, Fast Food Nation, has truly changed my dietary habits. Due your graphic, investigative book, I won't even buy so much a...moreDear Eric Schlosser,
Your book, Fast Food Nation, has truly changed my dietary habits. Due your graphic, investigative book, I won't even buy so much as a soda from anything with a drive-thru window.
Although you were truly, truly gross and graphic in your descriptions of the fast food world "behind the scenes," I feel as if you did the world a great service by allowing them to learn exactly what is in that $0.89 hamburger.
I will tell you that I was especially grossed out when I read about the conditions of the slaughter houses and meat-packing facilities. You really do have a way with words.
Although I, and my arteries, certainly appreciated your "expose" of the fast food world, I can't say that all of my friends and family feel the same way. When they bite into that burger and I teasingly say, "Oh I would never eat a McDonalds/Burger King/Wendy's hamburger again. (long pause) "At least not since I learned what was really in it," I am often met with the disgusted looks that can only be described as "don't ruin it for me." It has literally been years since I have so much had a sip of fast food chain Coke or taken a bite out of a McDonald's fry and I have you to thank for that.
Sincerely, Jodi Kelly
PS: I did appreciate the back story of these chains. It is nice to know that in spite of what these places ended up as, it was not the intention of Ray Crock to serve his customers - well, you know ... .(less)
I forced myself through this book while choking down my lunch the entire time. So, so graphic. It is a miracle that I've been able to go to a dentist...moreI forced myself through this book while choking down my lunch the entire time. So, so graphic. It is a miracle that I've been able to go to a dentist again after reading about James Frey's novacaine-less teeth pulling.
Yet, like a champion, I got through it - cheering for Frey along the way and becoming immersed in his fellow rehab-ers.
Just when you get through it and think about what an amazing life he has had you find out it was all made up.
So, out of this book, I got that fiction is just more interesting than non-fiction and that the dentist is the scariest person in the world.(less)
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it as required reading in 9th grade and loved it from the start. It's one of those...moreTo Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all-time favorite books. I read it as required reading in 9th grade and loved it from the start. It's one of those books that I will re-read every few years and I always find some other part of the story to think about.
The characters are well-developed and complex. The story doesn't lag but rather increases in drama and intensity.
The ending, to this day, will leave me wanting more. I just want there to be a sequel where Boo Radley and Scout just hang out on the porch drinking lemonade and talking about the neighbors.(less)
Honestly, all I can really say about Nicholas Sparks is that I find his books way too sappy and over the top. That being said, maybe I haven't given h...moreHonestly, all I can really say about Nicholas Sparks is that I find his books way too sappy and over the top. That being said, maybe I haven't given him a fair chance. However, I did base my opinion on Message in a Bottle which just seemed like an exhausting exercise in sentimentality and conflicting emotions.(less)
I remember seeing this book on the store shelf and thinking that it was going to be some inspirational story abou...moreDavid Sedaris had me at "tanorexic."
I remember seeing this book on the store shelf and thinking that it was going to be some inspirational story about some kid who had a really super special ed teacher/speech therapist. So, having the goal of being an influential teacher someday, I picked it up.
What waited for me between the covers was a journey into the insane world of the Sedaris clan. Whether their father is tricking them into thinking they are getting a summer house or the kids are trying to dupe the weirdo neighbors out of their good Halloween candy, I laughed my way through this book.
David Sedaris' dry humor and vivid family descriptions suck you in. I find myself desperately wishing I could have been a neighbor to that family growing up (close enough to observe the insanity but far enough to not be a part of it). I don't think that I could ever pick a favorite Sedaris essay, but I will say that anything involving The Rooster is worth a repeat-reading.(less)
Dreamland tackles the tough, but important, story line of abusive teen relationships. After Caitlin's perfect sister Cass runs away in the middle of...more Dreamland tackles the tough, but important, story line of abusive teen relationships. After Caitlin's perfect sister Cass runs away in the middle of the night, her family feels lost. No one understands what could have caused such a change in Cass and struggle with getting past the fact that they truly didn't know her. Caitlin, feeling lost, finds herself drawn to Rogerson who provides her with a lifestyle that is an escape from everything she has ever known. Through Rogerson, Caitlin develops a drug habit and begins withdrawing from her family, friends, and activities. It's no secret that Rogerson can be aloof and has a strong temper which Caitlin tries to keep in check by making sure she always does what he expects of her. However, after finding herself unable to meet him after school one day, she finds herself receiving the full force of his anger when he hits her. Soon after, Caitlin finds herself frequently being abused by Rogerson - however, still believing that she loves him (and he her) she cannot break out of the vicious cycle. One night, when Rogerson takes things too far, Caitlin's secret that she's been desperately trying to keep comes out. I know that this book was published a few years ago. It's funny because I've only just began reading Sarah Dessen's novels these past few weeks and I've found myself hooked on her stories and characters! Dreamland has been dramatically different from her other fluffy, fun romances and I applaud its content. Dessen takes on a very serious subject that isn't often found in YA stories. I found this to be an engaging, and gut-wrenching story and became attached to Caitlin and her struggles. I would still list this under Jennifer Brown's Bitter End in terms of dealing with the concept of abusive relationships, it is still an incredibly important read that I will easily pass on to others. Due to content, it is better suited for older YA readers.(less)
Another one of those books that never gets old. I think that what I enjoy the most about The Great Gatsby are the characters. They are all so fully-de...moreAnother one of those books that never gets old. I think that what I enjoy the most about The Great Gatsby are the characters. They are all so fully-developed that they are what draw you in to the story. The plot is some sort of crazy love-pentagon that's set in the roaring 20's. Love, betrayal, mint juleps ... what could be better?(less)