This is one of the few cases where I'd say the book and movie are equally amazing, each in their own way. They're almost completely different monsters...moreThis is one of the few cases where I'd say the book and movie are equally amazing, each in their own way. They're almost completely different monsters, but each a joy to watch/read.(less)
I love this book and found it one of the most lovely works I've read in awhile. (Well, months. I've stumbled upon some excellent books lately.)
Allen's...moreI love this book and found it one of the most lovely works I've read in awhile. (Well, months. I've stumbled upon some excellent books lately.)
Allen's books all have that feeling of coming home. They offer beauty and gentleness, told with gorgeously evocative language. While I fell in love with Garden Spells first, and it probably remains my first love among her stories, this is a neck-in-neck second place winner.
Sarah writes the kind of stories I want to write, so I gladly look up to her as an excellent example of effortless and exemplary writing. While her books won't likely win major awards, they offer something more: heartfelt tales and characters and lives that stay with you long after the book closes.
Now I'm just anxious for her next to come out. Spring seems a long way off . . .(less)
I adore this book so much. I want to capture the feelings of homeyness and magic that permeate Garden Spells, to keep them with me all the time. It is...moreI adore this book so much. I want to capture the feelings of homeyness and magic that permeate Garden Spells, to keep them with me all the time. It is a sweet, gentle story that I treasure.(less)
I wish I could increase the stars on this book, but as many reviewers have previously mentioned, Roberts spends way too much time detailing how to tra...moreI wish I could increase the stars on this book, but as many reviewers have previously mentioned, Roberts spends way too much time detailing how to train dogs and the step-by-step process of using search-and-rescue dogs. If you cut 90% of that description out, the book would surely drop 100 pages and be much better for it.
It's a nice read, and I really like the characterization of Simon. He is a straight-talking, no-nonsense guy who says exactly what he thinks, with most of it unflattering to the heroine. For some reason, it strikes me as honest and authentic, and I adore it.
Unfortunately, Fiona comes off very controlling and boring with the insane tendency to treat the whole world—family and friends included—as dogs to be trained. Normally I wouldn't mind, but the overanalyzing thoughts bog down the narrative and make the character flat, though not quite unlikable.
Otherwise, an enjoyable story. So to be fair, it's more of a 3 1/2-star book, though it still misses out on its full potential.(less)
Wherein I express my eternal hatred of Jude the Obscure:
Thomas Hardy is a fascinating guy and excellent writer, though depressing as hell. He liked to...moreWherein I express my eternal hatred of Jude the Obscure:
Thomas Hardy is a fascinating guy and excellent writer, though depressing as hell. He liked to eavesdrop on his neighbors and then put them as characters in his novels, which is why said neighbors all hated him. He also had a huge chip on his shoulder because he wasn't allowed to divorce his wife to marry another woman, which has major significance in Jude because (view spoiler)[ the two lovers who should end up together instead die alone and saddled to despicable spouses because they couldn't divorce and thus marry. Though not worrying about the fact that they were cousins. (hide spoiler)]
That said, I HATE Jude with a passion greater than the force of a gabillion suns imploding. It is the only book that has ever left me feeling so impotent with depression and rage that all I could do was lie in bed and watch as it sucked all of the happiness from my soul like a colossal Hoover. I might be overstating a tad, but it really is my most-hated book of all time forever and ever amen.
If it were possible, I'd give it negative stars, I hate it that much.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I read this book when I was 12—much too young to understand and analyze the contents of this book. It horrified me for years. Then a few years ago I w...moreI read this book when I was 12—much too young to understand and analyze the contents of this book. It horrified me for years. Then a few years ago I went back and read it again. This time I could appreciate the story. It's still not a favorite, but if I had first read it when I was more mature—maybe even 18 or maybe older since the themes (view spoiler)[ of rape, incest, and unwanted pregnancy (hide spoiler)] are very heavy—I imagine I would have liked it more.
So as a note for others, it's a worthwhile book, but I would suggest it for adults or mature teens. ["br"]>["br"]>(less)
As I've mentioned before, I'm a sucker for a good ghost story, even when it scares the schnikeys out of me. The Restorer is one of those creepily good stories that goes for the perfect chilling factor.
Book one in the Graveyard Queen series (doesn't that just sound so awesome?) introduces us to Amelia Gray, a cemetery restorer who sees ghosts. These aren't Casper-friendly ghosts, either. These are scary, wet-the-bed nightmarish ghosts, so Amelia has held to her father's edict to never let ghosts know she can see them. She's done a good job—until now.
How could a ghost story get even better? Add in genteel Southerns entrenched in secret societies and sacrificial murders, plus a handsome potential love interest with a mysterious past, and you've got a realistically fright-worthy read.
While this book is published by Harlequin, it focuses more on the mystery than the romance, which I really appreciated in this story. I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy. (less)
It's a love-hate relationship for me. I love reading spooky tales, but I hate how scared I get after reading them. I've...moreOriginally posted at Libri Ago.
It's a love-hate relationship for me. I love reading spooky tales, but I hate how scared I get after reading them. I've been known to scare myself witless after reading ghost stories. Oh, I'm fine while reading; it's afterward when I have to turn out the lights and every noise or shadow shifts into its true nightmaric form that I huddle shivering under the covers.
No, I'm not a 12-year-old girl. I'm a grown woman who's been doing this with scary books since she was 12. You'd think I'd have outgrown it by now, or at least given up reading the scarier ones. You'd be wrong.
So what is it about Anna that had me eagerly anticipating a frightful night hiding under the blankets? Here's the basic premise: a teen ghost hunter kills the dead who kill the living. The ghost of a murdered girl tears apart anyone who enter her house. Then the kicker: The ghost spares the life of the ghost hunter, even while killing others around him. Mystery? Yup. Intrigue? Oh, yeah.
To say that the story is creepy would be putting it mildly, but that's not what makes this book so fascinating. From the horrifying first encounter with Anna, the story progresses from mystery to secrecy, and, yes, even to romance. Anna is a fully fleshed-out character (badum-ching!) who becomes increasingly complex as the story progresses. I have to say, she was my favorite part of the book.
I honestly didn't get as scared as I thought I would, but that's a good thing because I stayed up much too late finishing it. One straight shot through the whole book. It really was that good.
The rating was docked half a star because I might have over-hyped it in my mind a bit, leading to a tiny bit of disappointment, but not enough to ruin how much I enjoyed it overall. (I'm probably hyping it a bit too much here, too. Oops.) I'm hoping that the sequel (Yes!) will deliver that last half star to make this an incredible series.
For an author's debut, this is very well done. I'm definitely keeping an eye on Kendare Blake. There are delicious frights to be had in future books, if Anna Dressed in Blood is any indication.
Note: For those who are sensitive to language and violence, this has both. While it's aimed at YA readers, I'd suggest it's better suited on the older end of that spectrum.(less)