I tried reading this book three different times before I could finally finish it. I really couldn't get into the characters or the writing. I feel bad...moreI tried reading this book three different times before I could finally finish it. I really couldn't get into the characters or the writing. I feel bad for not liking it because it such a classic, but I guess it just wasn't for me. (less)
Every once in a while you will find a book that touches you so deeply that it feels like it has become part of you. For me, Night Road was one of thos...moreEvery once in a while you will find a book that touches you so deeply that it feels like it has become part of you. For me, Night Road was one of those books. I finished reading (listening) yesterday, and have not been able to stop thinking about it since. I thought maybe if I wrote my thoughts down I would be able to put it behind me and move on with my life. Here's hoping.
First off, this was my first Kristin Hannah book. If all of her books are like Night Road, I am going to be reading them all. The writing was amazing; the story was compelling but heartbreaking. One of my favorite things about the story was Lexi and Zach's relationship. It was a sweet, slow building love that simmered for years before finally bursting into flames. It is the kind of love that little girls dream of and mothers hope for their children someday. Throughout the entire book I was rooting for them, even though it seemed hopeless. Their love for each other was strong, but life and bad choices – even if they were for the right reasons – got in their way.
As for the characters: Lexi – She had an amazing heart. From the very first page I knew I would love her. She had a rough life with a drug addicted mother and foster home after foster home. All she wanted out of life was for someone to love her and someplace to belong. Throughout the story she always tried to do the right thing, but it seemed like no matter what she did someone always got hurt. My heart really hurt for her as she struggled with her choices, conscious, and emotions. Lexi did make mistakes – a lot of them – but she was young and naive, and she believed that good would always win out in the end. She saw the world as black and white, right and wrong, and always did what she knew was right in her heart.
Mia – She was so much fun. She was such a great friend to Lexi and loved unconditionally. She saw the good in people and the good in life. Awkward and shy, anyone who gave Mia a chance would have no choice but to fall in love with her.
Zach – I had a love/hate relationship with Zach. Like Lexi, he was young and made mistakes. His biggest mistake was letting his mother run his life. He loved her and wanted to make her happy, but his own happiness that suffered because of it. Many, many times in this book I wanted to just YELL at him to stop being such a coward and stand up for what he wanted – for what he KNEW was right!! He let his mother hurt Lexi over and over because he was afraid to stand up to her and fight for his love. I hated him for that. But I loved him for the way he loved Lexi.
Jude – I had a love/hate relationship with Jude as well. She tried to be the perfect mother, but her drive for perfection, to give her children everything she had not had growing up, drove her to be overbearing and nearsighted. Her children loved her and would do anything to make her happy. Anything. That was her downfall – not listening to them and letting them live their own lives. As a mother, I completely understood her feelings and reasonings throughout the story, both the good and the bad. But she made bad choices as well, all in the name of love.
Just a warning, you will cry when reading this story – and when I saw cry I mean bawl like a baby. If you don't, you must be heartless. So, with that in mind, don't read in public (or anyplace people are going to be asking you over and over if you are okay), wear waterproof mascara, and have a box of tissues (or two) close at hand. There is so much emotion infused into this story, it's amazing to me the way the author used her words to weave this story so perfectly together. Part of me wishes this book was part of a series and we could see these characters in the future, but the other part of me is glad the story ended where it did and left the future to my imagination. It ended well and left a lasting impression.
Audio Review: The narrator of this book did an excellent job. She was the perfect Lexi. She had voice infections and emotions down perfectly. I'm not sure this story would have had quite the impact it did had I been reading it instead of listening to it. In my mind I could picture Lexi speaking, and it really helped bring the story to life. She also used a variety of vocal intonations for different characters, not necessarily trying to be the character but enough to show a different speaking style. It was enjoyable to listen to. (less)
I came across the audio for Shadowland, so I thought I would give it another try. However, I didn't find it any better the second time around. I thoug...moreI came across the audio for Shadowland, so I thought I would give it another try. However, I didn't find it any better the second time around. I thought the narrator did a good job; I just didn't find the story engaging or entertaining. The narrator was actually a good choice for this book. She had a young-sounding voice, playing up Ever's immaturity.
Original review September 8, 2011 -
I had read the first two books in this series and thought they were pretty good…this one I could hardly even finish. I had to force myself to get through to the end to make sure I wasn't missing anything, and nope…I wasn't.
Shadowland continued the story from the first two books, but the story did not really go anywhere. It was pretty much the same thing all over again. In a series I look for development of the storyline and the characters, and I was very disappointed with Shadowland since the series had started out so good. (less)
If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you?
As usual, Stephen King has rocked my world. His ability to weave a tale and get into...more If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you?
As usual, Stephen King has rocked my world. His ability to weave a tale and get into the minds and lives of his characters is second to none. When I first opened this book (or as it was, turned on my iPod), I was expecting a story about traveling back to stop an assassination. While that did happen, it turns out it was not the main story. True to King fashion, he took us on an incredible journey to get to the heart of the matter. There were many side stories, which turned out to all tie into the big story. It was an incredibly complex journey, but as a reader it was easy to follow along and enjoy the ride.
Jake, the main character and narrator of the story, is an easily likable English teacher with a simple life who is drawn by chance into this crazy world of time travel. Back in "the land of ago," he becomes George, another likable character but by circumstance has to be more hardhearted and indifferent to goings on than Jake.
I really love how King intertwines his stories. If you have not read some of his other books you would not get the references, but you would not be feeling like you were missing anything; you would just think it another side story. But, they are there for us who know King. It is like being on the right side of an inside joke.
I listened to the audio of 11/22/63. The narrator, Craig Wasson, did an excellent job of creating his characters and fleshing each of them out. Though not a terribly emotion-ridden book, he was able to add it in through his voice where needed. I would love to listen to more of his work. (less)
I loved the humor in this book. I seriously cannot think of a book that made me laugh so much. I love sexy and fun Diesel, and Wulf seemed interesting...moreI loved the humor in this book. I seriously cannot think of a book that made me laugh so much. I love sexy and fun Diesel, and Wulf seemed interesting. I have a feeling he's going to be making some mischief later in the series. I think those two are going to be fun to have together. I really enjoyed the banter between Lizzy and Diesel, and Lizzy's friends were funny, too. For these reasons, I will definitely continue the series. Oh yeah, and how can you go wrong with a monkey? I love Carl!
The only thing I have to say negative about the book is that nothing really happened. It was all setup for the rest of the series, I guess, and never really went anywhere. Not much action in the book. It was a quirky, fun read. The basis of the story is the seven deadly sins, and the road the author took with it will be interesting.
As a side note, after reading some other reviews I realize that this is sort of a spinoff of the Stephanie Plum series, which I have not yet read but am planning on reading soon. Apparently Diesel and Carl the monkey first appeared in the Stephanie Plum series. (less)
Firefly Lane is a novel about two girls, Tully and Kate, who become best friends despite their many diff...moreI listened to the audio book of Firefly Lane.
Firefly Lane is a novel about two girls, Tully and Kate, who become best friends despite their many differences. They meet when they are just 14 years old. Tully, the popular one, and Kate, the geeky one, both are secretly jealous of the other, wishing they had what the other one did. The novel takes us through their adolescence to adulthood, sharing with us memories, both good and bad, and how their friendship develops over the span of years, through thick and thin.
I honestly did not expect to like this book as much as I did. The author does a great job in getting into the character's heads. We do not get overloaded with unnecessary information, but she is still able to bring them to life and share their hopes, dreams, and insecurities in such a way that makes you fall in love with them. I loved that this book spanned so many years, and during each phase of the girls' lives there were references to pop culture, clothing descriptions, etc., that really brought the story to life.
This is a coming of age story of friendship, hardship, choices, and ultimately following your heart. This was my first Kristin Hannah novel, and I will definitely be reading more of her books. (less)
Katniss lives in a world where teens between the ages of 12-18 are all possible candidates for the Hunger Games, a contest to the death. The stated pu...moreKatniss lives in a world where teens between the ages of 12-18 are all possible candidates for the Hunger Games, a contest to the death. The stated purpose of this contest is to remind them and their families of the rebellion against the Capital that had been lost many years before. The real purpose of the contest is for the entertainment of the people of the Capital.
When her younger sister's name is chosen for the Games, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. With her superior hunting skills and fiery temper, Katniss quickly becomes a favorite of the Games and of the people. As the story unfolds we are able to watch Katniss grow emotionally as she learns of friendship, heartache, loss, and possible love. Katniss is young and confused as to what she wants and needs. She is a very likeable character, and it is hard to watch her struggle to find her way.
I loved the humor in the book, and it was well written. I found it hard to put down! (less)