This is the second novel by David Maine that I've read (I gave Fallen 5/5 stars a couple weeks ago.) I love Maine's writing style and simple dialogue...moreThis is the second novel by David Maine that I've read (I gave Fallen 5/5 stars a couple weeks ago.) I love Maine's writing style and simple dialogue and the way he crafts the interpersonal relationships between his characters.
I was particularly fascinated with the women of the story -- without their strength, wisdom, acceptance, faith, etc. could they have survived the Flood? Even though the men often didn't recognize the weight of their contributions, or else were surprised by them, still there were such small moments of appreciation and tenderness that really moved me.
There were a number of love stories here, but none so sentimental. Rather, they are practical and matter-of-fact and realistic partnerships given the far more pressing matters of survival and obedience. It's because of this that, in the midst of the destruction and the isolation and uncertainty, the smallest moments can evoke the strongest emotions -- such as Noe saying The Wife's name after so many years.
I look forward to reading more of Maine's work. (less)
I hated to put Fallen down. Even when I was frustrated with a character (I'm talking to you, Eve,) I was nonetheless riveted by how the four character...moreI hated to put Fallen down. Even when I was frustrated with a character (I'm talking to you, Eve,) I was nonetheless riveted by how the four characters dealt with such issues as temptation, obedience, jealousy, pride, shame, fear and hope all within the construct of their various interpersonal relationships (Siblings, Man-Woman, Father-Son, and Mother-Son.) Having the story told in reverse was just the right mechanism, in my opinion, for revealing to the reader what made each of these characters who they are.
I appreciated most that I could have one opinion of a character based on one book, only to change that opinion to something completely different when another's point of view is revealed. I disliked and yet loved all four. (Well, maybe I didn't love Eve, but I could empathized with her dislike of her own need to nag and the matter-of-fact need to get on with things like survival. If not for spoilers, I could go on and on for all four characters.)
The longer I muse on Fallen, the deeper my appreciation grows. Through the author's retelling of the first humans, all those traits that make us human are fittingly examined and, in some cases, their origins questioned. This is the first book by David Maine that I have read, but I already put The Preservationist on hold at my library, because I can't wait to read more of his work.(less)
The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl is a book I want my kids - and every teenager - to read. It deals with some serious and sensitive s...moreThe Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl is a book I want my kids - and every teenager - to read. It deals with some serious and sensitive subject matter in a way that I think is very real and relatable. In my opinion, it establishes itself as an instant young adult classic.
My youngest checked this out of the library and I picked it up to see what he's reading, and I was immediately drawn in. I could relate to Fanboy, remembering as I read that awkwardness and shyness I felt as a teenager. Fanboy is a kid after my own heart, and my heart broke with his at points in the story. I celebrated his triumphs and was proud for those moments when he grew up in bits. Lyga does a superb job of conveying that self-centered teenage angst when whatever-that-one-thing-is-that's-important-to-you is the most important thing in the world. At the end of the book I was left wanting more (way more!) and was sorry to see the story end there. (less)
I finished this in a day as I couldn't put it down once I started reading. The format of alternating chapters from the perspective of each Will Grayso...moreI finished this in a day as I couldn't put it down once I started reading. The format of alternating chapters from the perspective of each Will Grayson was a great choice. Both their voices immediately drew me in -- Not always PC, but real and relateable. And don't get me started on how much I love (and appreciate!) Tiny, who is the heart of this story in more ways than one. Tiny may be over the top at times -- well, a lot! -- but he's believable enough. While the sum of his parts may be exaggerated and campy, it's those parts that individually I recognize in myself and various persons in my life.
I loved Will Grayson, Will Grayson for its angst, its humor, its acceptance and its intelligence. My heart broke and my heart celebrated at various moments through their stories. I've never read works by either author, but their collaboration here was, in my opinion, brilliant. I'll definitely be interested in checking out their other works.
I hope this gets made into a movie, because I desperately want to see the staging of the musical. (less)
Ella Minnow Pea was clever and engaging, and I recommend it for anyone who loves the written word. I loved the humor -- as did my 12 year old, who hoo...moreElla Minnow Pea was clever and engaging, and I recommend it for anyone who loves the written word. I loved the humor -- as did my 12 year old, who hooted as we read passages from the letters. Beyond the humor, though, is a fable of censorship and the resulting dystopia that is skillfully crafted. I look forward to reading more from Mark Dunn.(less)
This is an amazing story of a woman's search for understanding and compassion for her son who is autistic. The story itself is very engaging, and I fo...moreThis is an amazing story of a woman's search for understanding and compassion for her son who is autistic. The story itself is very engaging, and I found myself very emotionally invested -- I cried for Sachiko's heartbreaks and I cried happy tears for the good days, too. I appreciate that the story gives some useful information without getting too into the medical aspects, making it accessible for anyone. I appreciate as well the emphasis that everyone with ASD is unique and have different struggles. I consider With the Light... Volume 1 to be a great introduction to those unfamiliar with ASD to glean what it may be like for children with the disorder and their families/caretakers.
This was my first experience with manga, and it was easy to get used to. I found it to be a very enjoyable experience, only one that went by too fast! I cannot wait to read the next volume and continue her family's story. (less)
I enjoyed Cecelia Ahern's The Book of Tomorrow. Tamara Goodwin felt real as a formerly spoiled teenager for whom everything is crashing around her sin...moreI enjoyed Cecelia Ahern's The Book of Tomorrow. Tamara Goodwin felt real as a formerly spoiled teenager for whom everything is crashing around her since the suicide of her father. Her growing concern for her mother's mental health, her shock-inducing language when speaking with her adults and admitting to knowing better, her reassessment of who her friends are -- these and more are why I loved this character. I liked the other characters, especially Sister Ignatius, who is the type of friend every women needs in her life -- the older, wiser, accepting and unpreachy sort who will always be honest if asked directly, but will keep things to herself when it's not her place to share.
I also enjoyed the story and the mysteriousness surrounding the family background. There were enough twists that I couldn't see everything coming. What prevented me from giving this five stars, was that the ending felt too rushed -- too much telling of what happened in the past, rather than allowing the discovery by Tamara, which I think would have made it better. That's just personal opinion, and I did truly enjoy The Book of Tomorrow. I think it is great YA fiction, and the fantastical elements were not so over-the-top that readers who generally aren't fantasy fans (such as myself) couldn't enjoy it. (less)
A lifelong reader now in my later 30’s, it’s rare that I finish something and declare it one of my all-time favorites. I mean, that is reserved for the books that I have loved for decades and have read and re-read more than I can remember. I think the last books to be added to my favorites were Sons and Lovers and The Rainbow, both by D.H. Lawrence, that entered the list in my early 20’s.
Enter the newcomer — Steffan Piper’s Greyhound. I hope it finds a wide audience and gets the recognition it deserves. This is a coming-of-age journey along the lines of Catcher in the Rye and Huckleberry Finn. I’m not sure if it’s because I can relate to the setting better (I was born in 1972 and would be only slightly older than the protagonist) or because of my own issues with one of my parents, but this novel captivated me even more than those. I know that’s a pretty bold statement, but I will stand behind it.
The writing was beautiful and not a word wasted. (I don’t know if I can explain what I mean by that, I realize, but maybe some readers will understand.) Even though some of the events were unbelievable — or rather, that the sheer number of these events happened on one trip — it never felt over the top or like reading fantasy. I’d need to write my own book just to give my analysis of the characters, so I’ll just say that the author did a superb job crafting them, and leave it at that. Well, and to say how important characters like Marcus are for showing the reader that good is not always found in the most likely places.
I think Greyhound was brilliant and I highly recommended it. I can’t wait to read more from Steffan Piper.
I would have rated Megan McCafferty's Bumped higher than three stars, if it were not for the jargon. I understand that were such a situation to exist...moreI would have rated Megan McCafferty's Bumped higher than three stars, if it were not for the jargon. I understand that were such a situation to exist as the Virus, that naturally language would evolve to depict life in those times, but so much of the terminology was just plain crass. Totally unnecessary, in my opinion. I could put up with a lot of it, but it was just too much. (Pro Boner work? Really?) The jargon was forced, not at all witty (despite the blurb on my book jacket) and detracted from what was otherwise an enjoyable read.
The positives: 1) The premise is intriguing; 2) It had a brisk, fun pace and I wanted to keep reading; 3) I liked how Melody and Harmony's attitudes evolved and their characters revealed.
The ending was frustrating, but forgiveable (provided the sequel is good.) I'm glad there is a sequel in the works. I look forward to reading it. (I just hope the annoying jargon is toned down a bit.)(less)
I'm torn about my rating for Listen. Don't get me wrong -- I enjoyed reading Listen. I did... mostly anyways. I felt the ending was a disappointment,...moreI'm torn about my rating for Listen. Don't get me wrong -- I enjoyed reading Listen. I did... mostly anyways. I felt the ending was a disappointment, like the author had gotten tired of writing it and rushed an ending that was a little too neat and tidy and didn't really feel just to me. But I would read more of the author's work, because there was a lot that I did enjoy. It just kind of didn't fully meet my expectation after what I though was a mostly strong first half.
The premise was certainly interesting, and there were characters (Frank -- loved him) and parts of characters (Damien's love of words, crosswords) that I enjoyed. But there were elements that weren't believable enough for me. (Sorry, but Damien is in what, his 40's and works for a newspaper -- no way he'd be so incompetent with computers.` Even a laggard would know how to perform a simple web search, and he's a guy who was so anxious to do investigative journalism? Can't buy him as a character because of this.) When I read fiction I don't need for it to be realistic, but I do require some degree of believability in the characters as far as what they'd do, what they're like, etc., given the situation they're in (even fantasy can accomplish this.) But I didn't fully believe in Damien, or Kay, or most of the parents, or the kids. I wanted to like it more that I actually did. (less)