I am mildly torn about how to review this properly. First and foremost, I did enjoy the general plot of the story-- a group of friends and their livesI am mildly torn about how to review this properly. First and foremost, I did enjoy the general plot of the story-- a group of friends and their lives following their meeting in kindergarten through early adulthood (& the triumphs and successes that precede them). This premise was and is intriguing to me, as I tend to really enjoy novels with a handful of main characters and finding out how their lives intertwine. Steel most definitely has a knack for choosing story lines.
However, that is unfortunately where my good graces for this book ends. I have never expressed outwardly (as I am listening to it in my car) my upset over so many things in a book prior to this. At first I thought it had to do with the plot points-- many of them were a bit outrageous and things that just wouldn't happen in real life. So many situations were simply unbelievable. However, of course fiction is not "real life" therefore I can allow for creative liberties, so to speak. The main, most prominent issue I have with this book is how redundant and poorly written it was. If we ignore the fact that it broke almost every traditional writing rule (it had no structure, no climax, no vamping up to the big moment of the book-- just a series of events that she mentioned in sequential order), I can focus on how the whole novel seemed to be "She did this with him and then this happened and they were exicited and they did this again with happiness and then that occurred." Tons and tons of run-on sentences, repetitive phrasing, and NO descriptive writing what-so-ever. She was the total opposite of "show-don't-tell" writing. She only told. There was no expansion on anything, and she seemed to only focus on silly, minute details but barely give any depth to super important events in the characters lives (graduations, weddings, funerals, promotions, etc). The five main characters stories were unequally given "screen time"-- it focused on only 3 of them (until they started dying off) and Steel would jump from story to story with no lead-ins, so sometimes you had no clue who she was talking about. For instance, one of the 5, Andy, barely was mentioned until minutes before he was killed off the book. It was written like an autobiography in 3rd person. There was no storyline; it seemed as if Steel just kept adding events as they suited her. But the most horrible part of her writing style was how REPETITIVE she was with information. Every single time she mentioned Sean's brother Kevin, she ALWAYS, throughout the WHOLE BOOK, had to say, "Kevin, who was Seans older brother and the only other child of Mike and Connie...". It was as if she didn't trust her reader to remember these details. Alllllll the events were repeated, like a TV show where you have to remind the viewer what happened the prior weeks. I swear I could have skipped whole CDS and still got all the info from following tapes. It was terribly annoying, and I doubt I'll listen to another one of her books. And how is it plausible that three main characters died so radically and so close together? It's as if the main-main character, Izzie, couldn't be friends with anyone or they'd die. Did she have no other friends? And these characters were written (all teenagers) with the mindsets of 60 year olds. You could definitely tell Danielle Steel is an older woman, because she cannot write with the mindset of a teen. No teenager would be so wise and mature about the situations they were put in. And you could immediately tell that it was written so falsely.
I took three stars away for the three characters she killed off, non-sensically. I would give this 1 star but I don't have the heart. Sorry Steel, not your best!...more
I was hesitant to read this one by Giffen because, after loving her first 3 books, I hated the 4th and haven't gone back to her since. However, I am aI was hesitant to read this one by Giffen because, after loving her first 3 books, I hated the 4th and haven't gone back to her since. However, I am a bit shocked with how many 1 star reviews I saw on the books' page! I flew through this, it grabbed me immediately. This isn't because it's a classic or I LOVED the subject matter (falling in love with your best friends dad months after his wife died? ew) but it was captivating, intriguing, and kept me wanting to know what happens. That's how it gets a 4 star rating. I liked the main character enough, and was impressed with all the football talk. I like when an author really does their research into a subject! It was neat to see how the main character interacted with her Tony-Romo-esque boyfriend and how she took the glamour off the relationship for something superficial. I liked the twists and turns and how things progressed. However, the fact that she seemed to be in love with her BFF's dad the whole time (her whole life, really... head football coach of the best college school in the south, and she loves football, a LOT) just grossed me out. I get it, it happens, I'm not judging. But it just seemed odd. Not something affecting my review, but I think she could have gone through a different relationship. All in all, I liked the book a lot!...more
I think these books are so dang fun. I can see as the series progresses, the "fantasy" part takes hold and just intensifies over and over again. As muI think these books are so dang fun. I can see as the series progresses, the "fantasy" part takes hold and just intensifies over and over again. As much as I can see how it would frustrate readers, I just love the incorporation of the fairies and shifters and weres and all these fantastical creatures. And I must say I didn't see the killer of Crystal as being who it was. I am so curious how it all plays out as I near the end of the series. It seems like everyone is just going to be killed off. I know how the series ends on TV, and am interested to know if it at all will relate. I like how Harris incorporates themes for the characters that relate to things happening in the real world, like the coming-out of the shifters and weres. Definitely make-believe world, but still relateable and why I keep enjoying them. The only thing that threw me for a loop in this book was the tiny explanation of the different types of were animals. Were-Seals, really?! ...more
Flew through this one. Not quite sure why.... It was cute! A little fluffy and idealistic but I didn't mind too much. It's easyto relate to that initiFlew through this one. Not quite sure why.... It was cute! A little fluffy and idealistic but I didn't mind too much. It's easyto relate to that initial obsessive love feeling early in relationships. And then subsequently how it can fizzle. I liked this one... Not bad but not the best. ...more
I borrowed this from the library while on vacation. I truly love these books - they're fun and sometimes silly, but short and sweet. Like her or not,I borrowed this from the library while on vacation. I truly love these books - they're fun and sometimes silly, but short and sweet. Like her or not, Sookie Stackhouse is a super fun character and I really enjoy her in the books (as opposed to the show)-- she is feisty and strong and a total ass-kicker, but a southern gem as well. Really enjoyable to listen to on audio book.. the voice actor is awesome for this series! Sookie comes alive, and she gives life to the other characters as well. As far as the story, I like how the series is unfolding compared to how the show went. The slew of characters are quite interesting, and I'm glad that the Quinn story line is over (for now, at least). Niall is strange to me, and I didn't particularly care for his addition to the plot. Eric is irritating with how much he fawns over Sookie, but other than that, these books are fun and a good diversion/alternative to music in the car. As always, Team Alcide. Forever!...more
I have such high expectations for all of Picoults novels that anything that doesnt have her WOW factor is just not as exciting. I would have given thiI have such high expectations for all of Picoults novels that anything that doesnt have her WOW factor is just not as exciting. I would have given this 3.5 stars if I could. This book was very interesting, especially everything to do with her father and the wolves. I can't imagine the effort and research the went into those parts. They were by far the most intriguing and I wish we had seen more of them. Your heart aches for Cara, and the emotional toll this havoc wreaked on her. But the court drama, which usually is the most invigorating and surprising part of her novels, just want thrilling enough. Don't get me wrong-- you want to know what happened, but it's between a brother and sister and as the story unfolds you find yourself rooting for both of them. As a reader, I want to pick a side, and it was near impossible. I also was waiting for a big drama to take place, a cliff hanger, a huge TADA or GOTCHA! Which never really came. Her brothers attempted murder gets introduced and thrown out within 10 pages, and at the end there was a todo with her father that was surprising but not detrimental to the story or outcome or anything, just makes you like him a little less. It was a good book! For sure, worth reading and investing time in. But it fell below my standard expectations for a Picoult novel giving it a slightly lower rating....more
Wow. Seriously, just wow. I can't say enough about this wonderful book. I am so sad it's over! Firstly, I had high expectations because of the contentWow. Seriously, just wow. I can't say enough about this wonderful book. I am so sad it's over! Firstly, I had high expectations because of the content... Being a piece of historical fiction. Because this was a college major of mine and that I consider myself somewhat of an expert on general history/historical accuracy, and also that the American history and most specifically colonial/post colonial American history was the majority of my focus in study, I knew what I was looking for I terms of accuracy. This was particularly important to me that it dealt with southern slavery... A topic that is SO misconstrued in much literature and highly stereotyped. Therefore, I was beyond pleasantly surprised... Delighted, really.... When I was reading Grissom's novel. It's about an Irish little girl who came to America from Ireland.. Her parents died on the ship and the captain made her an indentured servant on his plantation. The whole novel explored the dynamic between master and slave, and how Lavinia, the Irish girl, and also white, fit into the rankings. I was so happy that Grissom explored the different rankings in the slave system, how the white slave owners both exploited and loved their slaves, used them yet listened to their needs at times. Novels too often make the slave system of tis era completely "black and white".. Excuse the pun. A majority of slaves did want to stay on their plantations, because it was the only home they ever had, and the only family (of slaves) they ever had, regardless if they had freedom papers. This is not to say these people were abused, tortured, etc etc. but the dynamics were so complicated and not always so easily defined. This book also explored how often white men impregnated their slaves... Something that was SO commons yet most books say white men thought their slaves repulsive. Grissom really did her research. I can't say enough about how wonderfully accurate her commonalities were. She clearly made a story of the complicity that was the slave system. One of the best things about her novel was that she didn't shy away from the harsh realities and consequences slaves suffered, but she didn't go into detail about the severeness. It was bluntly stated, but not gruesome by any means, which I appreciated. Whether that is thanks to Lavinia's character or not, I'm glad for it. I don't just recommend it to you, I will personally make sure you all read this! Cough T, N, MD, Cough. This will hook you in, similarly to the Help. Such a great book.. I eagerly await more from Grissom. ...more
This one... I guess I'd give it a B. I had REALLY high hopes, the beginning was really wonderful. Intriguing, simple story, but filled with loads of dThis one... I guess I'd give it a B. I had REALLY high hopes, the beginning was really wonderful. Intriguing, simple story, but filled with loads of drama. Basically, a teenage son of a well-to-do-ish family living in NYC gets a "sexy video" sent to him via email by a 13 year old girl he hooked up with (aka just kissed?) whom he told was "too young". Let the drama unfurl, right?! You never get the details of the video, thank goodness, but enough to realize its breaching that 'line'. I really wanted something to happen.. to find out what happens to the guy, the girl, the family? You see how the kid gets suspended and how it all affects the family..... and then it goes into superspeed where you see the mom move back to Ithaca with her kids (leaving still married hubby in the city) and then a flash of the young girl when she's older. And thats it. You kind of get it all wrapped up, but very quickly. You never find out really "what happened". It's good, I liked it. It's a no-brainer kind of read. I'm glad I read it. But do I think its one of the most notable books of 2011, as the NYTimes claimed? Meh. It's a little abstract for me. All in all, I liked it. ...more
I liked this one. But that being said, it's by no means my favorite Nicholas Sparks novel. I liked the drama of Miles' wife dying. But I really didn'tI liked this one. But that being said, it's by no means my favorite Nicholas Sparks novel. I liked the drama of Miles' wife dying. But I really didn't like Mile's temper. And though I knew it was Brian through most of the book, the end wasn't very suspenseful. I was kind of dissapointed! I liked that it wasn't a heart-wrenching, terrible ending like some of his books but I wasn't WOWed. It's still a good solid romance and I REALLY loved Sarah. I picture Jamie's teacher from OTH to play her in a movie. ...more
I'm super bummed because I had this hugely long review written, and my computer died! SO we'll see if I can recreate it now. I must say, I reveal a feI'm super bummed because I had this hugely long review written, and my computer died! SO we'll see if I can recreate it now. I must say, I reveal a few of spoilers. Sorrry! This was a really great read - just as much as I was expecting, my guilty pleasureful Jamie fix. It was a riveting story and I loved it from start to finish! Yet it wasn't necessarily perfect. There were just a few things that probably would have knocked it down a .01 review point (naturally by Jamie default this one gets rounded up to a 5!). I REALLY wish that Claire wasn’t away from Jamie so much in this one. Yes, she was back in the 1960s for like 200 pgs with her daughter and all but I think one of the reasons I inhaled the other books was their relationship being together. Then they were away from one another again for at least 100 or so pages when they were separated onto different boats going to the Indies. What the heck! It made for a good story, yes, but I love the Jamie-Claire thing. Those parts in Claire’s POV weren’t as enthralling. I also was a little put off with the fact that they were no longer 20 something’s, and instead in their 40s. I guess as a 20something, I’m not as interested in relationships of 40 something’s? Is that awful? Guilty, I guess. So I basically spend the whole time picturing them the same as they were in their twenties. I found some parts confusing – SO much was going on and I was sometimes questioning where they were, who people were, etc. Granted, I should have read slower? Either way, I probably would need to read it again in order to fully grasp more details. So despite those things, I was immensely happy with the story! I obviously loved that Claire traveled again, and found Jamie. Super romantic! And that they didn’t separate time-wise again. I love that Jamie is constantly on the run, and how he handles all the crud life tends to hand him! Really like Lord John Grey, too. Interested in reading the books about him. Also I really hope we learn more about Brianna and her possible future husband, back in the 60s. I definitely love where J and C ended up at the end… psyched to see what life will be like for them! Did I mention that I love that this book spanned about 3-4 months instead of a few years like the others? I don’t think I’d care to hear about their romps when the two of them are like 60+. But regardless I will read anything about these two. I’m so hooked. Already feeling some Jamie withdrawal, but Drums of Autumn is too grotesquely huge to bring on the plane to Florida! I recommend this to everyone… these books are amazing! ...more
Okay, now time for review! Haha. I enjoyed this one. I doubt I would have bought this for myself had itI liked this much more than I though I would!!
Okay, now time for review! Haha. I enjoyed this one. I doubt I would have bought this for myself had it not been a lovely gift from a friend. But I'm glad I have the series. It was a little melo dramatic. And unrealistic, obviously but It was a sweet story, I liked Sam a lot! Really the ideal guy, besides the wolf part, for any teenage girl. He was very attentive, protective and charming. I think that the reason why I wasn't into it in the beginning is because this book is really set up as the first in a trilogy.,, giving LOTS of background info on the characters, the setting, etc that made it slow and detailed. Normally I love detail! But there was a lot of nothing going on for the first hundred pages. This is okay, though, because are two sequels, and I believe the author intended for this to happen. I bet if you put all three together it would be like reading one really long book that flows well together. I will read the others, for sure!...more
Wow! Can't say enough about this one. I had some aphrehension after starting this, that it would be long and drawn out. Was I wrong!! I am floored. IWow! Can't say enough about this one. I had some aphrehension after starting this, that it would be long and drawn out. Was I wrong!! I am floored. I got hooked into this book within the first few chapters. It's an amazing tale, written in two time frames: in midieval 1340, when the real Romeo Marescotti & Guilietta Tolomei lived in Siena, Italy (the story from which Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet was inspired) and their descendants, Julie and Allessandro tale of meeting and trying to figure out the "treasure" that Julie's mom left for them to find. All while breaking the "curse upon your houses!". Brilliant. I was so enthralled with the story of Guilietta and Romeo. To think, he held her in his arms til the very end! And it was Romeo who died valiantly, stabbed while holding his Guilietta, and it was Guilietta who drank the poison. Not that I don't love Juliet's willingness to stab herself, but I like the idea of Sienese Romeo's death better than Shakespeares poison. Can't say enough about this one-- definitely one I will recommend to any who are looking for a really good read, especially those who like The DaVinci Code! It's like that, but "girlier". That being said, it is a lengthy, detailed read. Not something you fly through, and need some patience for. But, man is it worth it!! 5 totally deserving stars. ...more
I liked this one a lot. I love ALL Jodi books so it wasn't a surprise. The only thing that I wasn't necessarily THRILLED with was, well, the ending. DI liked this one a lot. I love ALL Jodi books so it wasn't a surprise. The only thing that I wasn't necessarily THRILLED with was, well, the ending. Don't continue reading if you don't want to be spoiled!!! We find out in the beginning that this Amish teen had a baby and it was found dead. Obviously, this teen was going to be the prime murder suspect. I really thought it was intense the whole way through, but the very end of the trial was really... lackluster for me? It was good, and I really liked how it ended - a relatively happy ending. But I was hoping for some great revelation that someone else did it, or the girl was drugged into forgetting or whatever. Instead, the girl needed to kind of admit that there was tons of evidence against her and instead of jail time, she was put on probation at home with a bracelet thingy. Meh. If this was reality, I'd be jumping for joy. But for a legal thriller like this I was hoping for some big revelation. And the girl basically resides herself to never knowing what happened to the baby. BUT the very last page you find out her mother had something to do with it - she admits it to the lawyer (Ellie). But no more than, she had to do what she could so she wouldn't lose her daughter (Katie). We still never find out exactly WHAT she did, only that she did it. And honestly, I suspected her mother for most of the book. I LOVE how Jodi laced together these characters, the Amish twist was interesting and fun to read about, and I LOVED Coop. (But why was she bleeding still, but everything was ok? Could anyone answer that for me?) It wasn't my favorite, but it was still quality Jodi work none the less. ...more