I came into The Moment Collector, also known as The Vanishing Season, knowing that it's subpar compared to Tiger Lily, so it reallyActual rating: 4.5
I came into The Moment Collector, also known as The Vanishing Season, knowing that it's subpar compared to Tiger Lily, so it really surprised me how much I ended up loving this novel. Tiger Lily will always be my favorite book from Anderson but The Moment Collector is definitely beautiful in its own right.
“This is what I think the world is showing me. We are souls at a common cause. We are only here to love. That was my great story all along. We are here to take chances, and fail, and keep trying.”
Words are failing me right now. I don't think my review will give this book the justice it deserves, but I'll try my best, and I will start with what everybody should know by now: Anderson is a wonderful writer. I've always loved her writing. It has a languid quality to it that will enfold you and ease you right into the story. I am so glad this book came at the right moment, right when I'm looking for a novel that will leave me an emotional wreck.
The Moment Collector introduces us to Maggie, Liam, Pauline, and the lonely ghost that watches over them. These characters had somehow managed to steal pieces of my heart right under my nose. It seemed impossible at the beginning but something clicked along the way, and I was swept up by the three of them and if I only knew what was coming, I would have kept my heart heavily guarded.
This is not a ghost story nor it is a mystery novel and many will grumble and find themselves disappointed that this novel is marketed as such. If anything, the seemingly misleading blurb became a diversion, cleverly blinding the readers' eyes from the bigger picture. I was intrigued all throughout, trying to find scraps of clues that never came, only to be blindsided by something that never even entered my mind in the first place. The Moment Collector is a character-driven story. It depicts real characters in real situations with real relationships. I am aware that this would not appeal to all readers, but when it does find its rightful reader, it will resonate and leave a mark. I know, because it did for me.
"We're like two angels floating over heaven. It's our perfect moment, and it never disappears. Even now, I can see us, even long after the moment is gone. Love can't be taken back once it's given.”
I'm actually crying as I'm writing this review, something I haven't done in a long while and I am at a loss as to what to do first: Should I clutch my heart to help ease the pain or should I wipe my tears away because it's blurring my vision? The Door County became my home. Hesitantly at first, but just like Maggie, I felt like I lost something in the end. For a short while, Maggie, Liam and Pauline became my persons and I just know I will read this again, maybe tomorrow, next week, a year after today, and I'd willingly get my heart broken once more.
Nothing ever really happens in The Moment Collector but this could be the best book I will read all year. Without any doubt, Jodi Lynn Anderson has earned a special place in my heart as one of my most favorite authors.
This review is also posted at Smitten over Books. A copy was provided by the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review....more
“It's only been a year and some change since Joe. And now, here I am again, waiting, trying to stop hoping. And drowning in what I could have done to
“It's only been a year and some change since Joe. And now, here I am again, waiting, trying to stop hoping. And drowning in what I could have done to save someone I love.”
Words and their Meanings is a tough book to read. It's a kind of story that pleads silently for any comforting gesture but lashes out at the slightest of touch. It has sucker punched me in all my vulnerable places and I have no idea how I've survived it. Reading this book trapped me in an awful, depressing bubble that I don't know how to shake away, even now. I feel like doing my own coffin yoga, practice my own blank stare, and will away my existence, even just for a short while, because feeling all these feels is hurting me.
“You can't let emotions consume you.”
— Ha, book! Are you referring to me?
Grief is the weirdest thing. I've seen it time and again. From people I don't know, from acquaintances, and from people who are close to me. Everyone reacts differently. Coping varies from one person to the next. One thing is a constant though, it never fails to make itself known. It might hit you the way a raindrop casually falls from an oncoming downpour or it might felt like being ran over by a bulldozer. In Words and their Meanings, I've suffered both and I am still not sure how and why.
“What I feel is not in the human vocabulary.”
Its intensity and rawness is unflinching in its pain. Its words carried a weight that begs to be endured and understood and absorbed. I cried—no, I leaked. My unrelenting tears was a direct result of the emotional gutting I've received from this sad, sob-fest of a story. But the most surprising thing was underneath the crushing waves of agony and sorrow, it was punctuated by tiny nuggets of hope and healing for these characters, which comes unexpectedly in hilarious moments. A minor respite but enough to fill me with optimism that they could come back from all these, stronger as a person and tighter as a family than ever.
“How do I say Mateo reminds me of the poem that cut deepest? The one so full of fear that one break in stillness is enough to bring joy and hope and life?
I feel obligated to talk about the characters' humanness, fragility and realness. I feel like I need to discuss the genuineness of the friendship, the family dynamics, and the wonderful portrayal of love and its complexity. I feel like I need a separate section for Mateo alone, or for Joe, or for Anna, or for Anna's parents or her Gramps, or her sister or her bestfriend. But I won't try. I don't have enough in me to try. But I was there for them and I hope that's enough.
“Think about how weird it is to feel broken and mended all at once. Sad and happy. Sappy.”
— Tell me about it, book. *sniffs*
I felt so drained. So emotionally exhausted. So wrung out. This book scared me with its darkness and pain. My head hurt, as what happens, when I cry too much and I don't think I could ever go through this again. But I might, I might just have to, because if every reread is equivalent to a pat on the shoulder, or an embrace, or even a simple nod of understanding, I'd do it all again for these characters and their story.
“Everyone gets one last line. But first lines, stories of love and loss and hope floating on backs of paper cranes? We choose how many of those we get to tell.
All we have to do is breathe deep. Breathe life in.
My eyes slip closed, and I do. I breathe. I breathe. I breathe.”
This review is also posted at Smitten over Books. Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. __________________________ I need a moment of silence.
Sometimes you read a book synopsis and you can't help but get excited.
You feel extra squeally and giddy when the cover is rHOLY FRAKINGSHIDOOODLIOUS!
Sometimes you read a book synopsis and you can't help but get excited.
You feel extra squeally and giddy when the cover is revealed and early positive reviews come trickling in.
It makes you wanna dance
When the world is feeling especially gracious and generous you'd be lucky enough to read a sneak peek. And from the first line and a measly 108 pages, you just know. It's too early to say but let me call it. I love The Archived.
I love it so much I want to taste it
It has been on my pre-order list, on my wishlist, on my i-will-die-if-I-don't-get-to-read-this-soon list, and on any other list possible. I still can't believe that I've read the sneak peek and I am not so sure whether I should be ecstatic that I did or miserable because January is like 5 months away.
5 months! 5 freaking months. My feelings! My feelings! Sneak peeks will be the death of me.
**This review focuses more on the feelings I had in Code Name Verity rather than about the characters. This waOriginally posted at Smitten over Books.
**This review focuses more on the feelings I had in Code Name Verity rather than about the characters. This was intentional to keep myself from giving away major spoilers.
Excerpt: "All I have done is buy myself time, time to write this. I haven't really told anyone anything of use. I've only told a story. But I have told the truth. Isn't that ironic? They sent me because I am so good at telling lies. But I have told the truth."
Code Name Verity was one of a kind. I believe it was the first book I ever come across that did not make any sense, well at least to me. Everything I read was pure technical, war details, pilot stuff and I couldn't care less. I was ready to drop this and just get on with my life--I was bored, in short.
But there was something really compelling about its narration. Told from two perspectives, you just want to find out what would happen next and even though you know that freedom is next to nil, you still wish for it.
Verity is a British spy. When she made a seemingly minor but fatal mistake of blowing her cover by looking at the wrong side of the road, she was arrested and held as a prisoner of war. This started her confession and she was then branded as a collaborator.
She started this confession by saying, "I am a coward." I believed her. She was indeed a coward but what I did not realize was she was brilliant and cunning. If only I knew how good she was as a spy, I would've prevented the inevitable. Before I knew it, I was cradling my heart like a broken limb suffering from what I called the book-heart attack. That "KISS ME, HARDY! Kiss me, QUICK" wrecked my heart in two. *sobs*
It amazes me how Wein managed to snagged my heart where it mattered. She planted tangents and those tangents knitted itself together taking the story with it. As I was reading, I thought I have no idea what the characters were talking about but I kept guessing correctly at everything!
Don't be fooled by Code Name Verity. It is not solely a novel about World War II. It was the undercurrent, yes but Code Name Verity is so much more. It is a novel about friendship and loyalty, how you will do anything to save someone precious to you. It was everything the book cover was trying to sell.
It is so hard for me to write this review, more so in rating it. Logically, Code Name Verity is a book I would not like. It was slow and it does not make any sense half of the time. But the saving grace of this book definitely overshadowed its weak points. Code Name Verity made me feel so much. There was just too much conflicting emotions running around inside of me that I simply do not know what to say. But if there was one feeling that stood out from the rest, it would be heart ache. I was heartbroken, crashed and trampled upon by this heartrending tale of friendship and sacrifice.
Resilience and patience pays in the end my friends, and I was definitely glad I decided to finish this book.
An advance copy was provided by the publisher at no cost via Netgalley....more