I picked up this book during a kobo sale and I thought it was a lot of fun. It was a fluffy read, but I really liked some of the characters and I sped...moreI picked up this book during a kobo sale and I thought it was a lot of fun. It was a fluffy read, but I really liked some of the characters and I sped through the book. It mostly covers four perspectives: Annabelle, the poor little rich girl whose mom has just been shot and is dating a loser coke head; Carolyn, mistress to a powerful senator; Denver, an up and coming lawyer who has proven herself in some high publicity cases; and Bobby, a successful heir who also made his own money running nightclubs. All four of them went to the same school, and now a murder causes them to reunite. Many parts of the story seem familiar to news that is splashed on the tabloids and is relevant to current pop culture.
Denver is definitely my favourite and the one that we seem to be rooting for. She's got a firm head on her shoulders and we follow her through several romantic interests. Annabelle is definitely annoying and definitely lives in la-la land. She is very self-centered and uses people as much as she can. She is very reminiscent of American heiresses that end up on the tabloids. Carolyn is an ok character, but I didn't make much of a connection to her throughout the story. She's a sweet girl, but very blinded by her love for the Senator and you're constantly yelling at her to see through what's happening. Bobby is a great alpha male for a romance novel - handsome, rich, strong, and I definitely wanted the couple to happen at the end.(less)
The Blondes is about Hazel Hayes, an academic who in is NY when a pandemic like rabies spreads through the world. In this case, the disease only seems...moreThe Blondes is about Hazel Hayes, an academic who in is NY when a pandemic like rabies spreads through the world. In this case, the disease only seems to attack blondes and those who shave are less likely to become infected. Throughout the story, the details are vague and the science is unclear. The more interesting part is how society reacts.
I thought this would be much more exciting and more of a popular fiction type of novel, but it definitely seems to stray more toward being a high brow or academic novel. I'm not sure how well it succeeds. Although it touches on many interesting pop culture, gender studies, and media studies issues, the topics are only lightly discussed.
As a Canadian, I did enjoy seeing Toronto and Canadians being a part of the book.(less)
This is the first Danielle Steel novel I've read and I am really not motivated to read any more.
This book was so painful to read through. It was reall...moreThis is the first Danielle Steel novel I've read and I am really not motivated to read any more.
This book was so painful to read through. It was really dry and most of the characters were so flat. My favourite character was Marya, who was one of the roommates, but otherwise everyone else was quite static. The love that blossomed with the protagonist felt completely out of nowhere and I just didn't believe in it.
There was not enough dialogue. There would be a description of a character having a conversation with someone about needing to someone else. Then a description of the person thinking about talking to said person. Lastly, a description of the person actually having the conversation. The book was dry and repetitive and not a lot of fun.
Character growth happenned all at the end of the book and just felt too phony. In addition, it was just very reaffirming of women being passive. The characters of Eileen and Francesca's mom were just used to show what happens if you don't act in an appropriate manner and if you try too hard to date men. You end up alone, raped, or murdered.(less)
This book was definitely not what I expected. Libba Bray makes the satire very open and in your face; as a reader, you can see the connections between...moreThis book was definitely not what I expected. Libba Bray makes the satire very open and in your face; as a reader, you can see the connections between the fictional product or person and what is being sold to you in real life. It gets a little bit dry though to just be so over-the-top silly. It makes it really hard to connect to any of the characters.
My favourite character had to be Adina. She was the most fully-fleshed out character and was strong and independent. Early on, she is represented as a sole voice of reason in a group of crazy pageant girls.
The rest of the girls start to grow on you, but the problem is that Bray shows touching moments that dig into people's psyche and then just makes it ridiculous and silly.
After noticing that most girls were quite interesting after looking into their backgrounds, I started to look forward to the back-story of Taylor, the head die-hard pageant girl. It actually turns out to be quite touching but then right after, she turns into a completely crazy caricature of herself.
Beauty Queens had some touching moments, but it was just too in obvious in its satire and caricature. I am all for books that analyze our culture and promote a view of feminist thoughts and gay rights, but I don't really enjoy books that spoon-feed you what to think. As a reader, there was no work to be done, just compliant acceptance of the message. It was not that enjoyable at all and I don't think I would recommend the book to anyone.
The first time I took it out from the library, I was just not hooked into reading it. The main character, Mariah, was just so depressing and weak that...moreThe first time I took it out from the library, I was just not hooked into reading it. The main character, Mariah, was just so depressing and weak that I was completely turned off.
I ended up taking it out from the library again and this time I just plowed through the opening and was swept into the story. It really was an interesting story about a child seeing God, leading to the many different religions that all get mixed into the fiasco, including Ian Fletcher the teleatheist.
I really loved the connection that ended up blossoming between Mariah and Ian and felt that there was huge character development for both of them. I didn't really like either of them that much at the beginning, but by the end of the book I really was rooting for both of them.
Like many Jodi Picoult books, the book revolved around family, medical issues, religion, and law courts. Even so, I didn't feel that the book was formulaic and too predictable. Picoult seems to have done her research and it was overall a pretty good read if you get past the beginning.(less)
In and Out of Step follows the life of a first year female school teacher, Cassie. As the cover states, the book revolves around the question "Will Ca...moreIn and Out of Step follows the life of a first year female school teacher, Cassie. As the cover states, the book revolves around the question "Will Cassie's past continue to choreograph her present?" Cassie deals a rocky past that causes her to carry baggage around. This book dealt with a lot of serious topics, such as abortion, death of a baby, rape, abusive relationships, and natural disasters so much so that it didn't go into too much depth on the issues that were presented.
A major part of the book deals with heterosexual relationships and I thought it was really interesting how Knight chose to use dance as a metaphor for life partnerships. Traditionally, ballroom dance features a dominant male leading the female. Over and over in the book, Cassie states that she doesn't want to just be the passive female or the wallflower. This made me think that the book would quite interesting and I was excited to see how Cassie would fight against a chauvinistic society.
In the end, I was left disappointed with how gender politics were dealt with. Nearly all the men in the story are slimeballs - Cassie's ex, Jake; Jake and Cassie's fathers; the men that work in the school; the male students in her trouble class; and Mavis's abusive boyfriend. I thought the novel built too much of a stereotype between the genders - at one point in the novel, it is even literally stated that the gender stereotypes hold true - one male is grieving a major loss and none of the other males can help him. Only the women can fill that role. Although Cassie wanted to fight against the set role of the passive woman, it felt that most of the novel reinstated the status quo in terms of how genders are dealt with. In another instance, Cassie tries to talk a woman out of an abusive relationship, telling her that violence is never acceptable, and then later in the book, kicks a man in the shins for not understanding how she is feeling. I felt that this was a sort of double standard since the man wasn't really threatening her and just wanted to talk and understand her feelings. I understand that being kicked in the shins is not equivalent to getting one's face smashed in, but why couldn't words be used instead?
Overall, it was an interesting read and a nice way to experience Australian culture in literature. The dance scenes were beautiful and I especially enjoyed the one near the end of the novel. Many deep issues were dealt with, but I wish that maybe there were less of them so that the book could deal with the issues more deeply.(less)
Wow, like other people reviewing this book, I had read it in a junior high class. I think it was in grade 8. It was the shorter version which was clea...moreWow, like other people reviewing this book, I had read it in a junior high class. I think it was in grade 8. It was the shorter version which was cleaned up free of any references to sex. When I found out there was a longer version, I wanted to go back and read what I missed.
Even knowing where the book was going, I was still so heartbroken by the end of the novel. This book really made me review on the rights of the disabled society. It really reminded me of the Alberta Eugenics Board where I live (Alberta, Canada) when people with low IQ's (the technical term was morons) were sterilized to prevent them from ever having children. Watching videos of those who were sterilized (i.e. Leilani Muir) showed how society really didn't see them as people. This really jived with how Charlie was portrayed. Repeatedly it was stated by the scientists that Charlie was not a "person" before the experiment gave him greater intelligence. This book reminds me to reflect on mine and my society's views on intelligence, on how we value intelligence and what it means on our behaviour to people.(less)
I really enjoyed this book. It is a retelling of the Arthurian legends focusing on the women of the story. Throughout the novel I was rooting for the...moreI really enjoyed this book. It is a retelling of the Arthurian legends focusing on the women of the story. Throughout the novel I was rooting for the matriarchal Avalon religion to prosper over the patriarchal Christian religions, but everyone knows the story of King Arthur and of course Camelot became predominantly Christian.
The book dealt with many modern concerns such as religion, women's right, homoeroticism, love triangles, and the ability to choose. In addition, there is a strong underlying theme of fate/will of the gods. It is interesting to see how most of the characters believe they are acting to carry out the will of their Goddess or God and as a reader, decide whether they are actually only acting out in their own best interests.
Gwenhwyfar is really not a sympathetic character in the novel. She becomes a fanatical Christian and is very close-minded. On the other hand, the classic villian, Morgan le Fay, is represented by Morgaine, my favourite character in the novel. She is a devout priestess, but for Avalon instead of Christianty. Morgaine does many things to try to save Avalon from falling into obscurity, but in the end is the most open-minded person - accepting Christianty, but not the views of the priests that labelled her and her religion things like witches and sorcery.
The book is quite long and follows several generations of families that are central to the plot of King Arthur's story and some parts are quite slow with no actual movement in the plot, but keep reading through it and hopefully you'll be as deeply entrenched in the novel as I was. I highly recommend it to those that love Arthurian legend, fantasy novels and strong women characters.(less)