This book tries to handle a lot all at once. Like any juggling act, eventually when you're juggling multiple items you get tired and fail. This book wThis book tries to handle a lot all at once. Like any juggling act, eventually when you're juggling multiple items you get tired and fail. This book wasn't bad or a failure or even a waste of time to read. I think it's a great historical fiction novel but struggles with some aspects in the modern portion of the novel.
I loved the parallels of the two time periods throughout the novel. It was very interesting to see how history really does repeat itself. Donnelly does such an amazing job of giving us this history lesson without making the reader feel like they're getting a history lesson. Revolution made me want to research the French Revolution (spoiler: Amade Malherbeau is not a real person). Perhaps more importantly, it made me want to research the French Revolution from both sides of the story, which is actually a point made in the novel.
I mostly found issue with Donnelly's portrayal of Andi's relationship with her father. Andi seems very immature in the scenes with him; picking up the phone and yelling at the doctor, come on, really? I don't mind the note their relationship ended on but I wish it had felt more valid. Perhaps if I had read this as a teenager I would have been more understanding but from my adult perspective Andi just doesn't understand some things about life. You can be an artist but art can be all that you are. Sitting in your chair and painting portraits of your dead son day after day is not coping.
Hand in hand with that note, I also found issue with Donnelly's use of Qwellify throughout the novel. I'm pretty certain it's a made up prescription so I suppose Donnelly can make up whatever side effects she wants to. Typically anxiety meds have pretty nasty side effects when you start to change the dose and have withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them. This wasn't really shown in the novel. Had Qwellify just been some meds that Andi was taking it wouldn't have been a big deal, but Qwell was practically a character in this novel. Knowing what I know about anxiety meds this took me out of the novel.
I really enjoyed this book for its portrayal of history. Unfortunately, and perhaps this is because I don't read YA as often as I used to, the level of teen angst that was being emitted by Andi made me not respect her as a narrator. I never want to roll my eyes at the main character of a novel. I want to feel sympathy for the main character and root for them and see them grow. My biggest issues with the book are probably minor to some people. I think that it would be great for people who prefer to read contemporary but want to read historical fiction. Jennifer Donnelly blends 21st century teen narrative and 18th century teen narrative very well. ...more
I'm very glad that I finally got through this book. It's been on my TBR for years. I caved and bought the audio for it and that helped get me throughI'm very glad that I finally got through this book. It's been on my TBR for years. I caved and bought the audio for it and that helped get me through it since the beginning of the book is a tad slow. Deborah Harkness's background in acadamia showed through with all the research and knowledge that had to have gone in to this book. Even though there were some moments in the book that were dense with information I never felt too overwhelmed by any of it. There's a large cast of characters but they all are quite different and serve their own purposes making them easy to tell apart. I loved the detail in this book and I'm usually not one for detail.
I'm still not sure if I like the main character of Diana or not. She's a bit of a Mary Sue in that she's extremely smart (job at Yale, studying at Oxford), a great athlete, a brilliant witch (but doesn't use her powers because reasons(view spoiler)[this is actually explained in the book with a better reason than just because but it still felt a bit ridiculous that she had these magical powers that she "never"used (hide spoiler)]. In fact the only thing negative ever described about Diana was that her hair is unruly (but that's because she's a witch). She also dealt with anxiety... but that was again because she was a witch.
Matthew was also the typical romance character in that he comes in and starts to take over Diana's life and control aspects of it but all in order to help her! He's controlling throughout the novel and while there are moments that Diana tells him to back off she ultimately listens to him. This felt weird because before Matthew had been introduced Diana felt like a woman who was strong and independent. I don't mind the instant romance that happens but I would have liked to have seen Diana push back a little bit more. Just because someone is older than you doesn't mean they know better.
Despite my issues with the two main characters I still really liked this book and look forward to finishing the series. I loved the well researched and well thought out mythology and world that is in this book. I can't wait to see what continues to happen and how Diana and Matthew grow as a couple.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
If you are reading Kitty Thomas you're probably looking for a good story rather than good story telling. At least, that's what I go for when I pick upIf you are reading Kitty Thomas you're probably looking for a good story rather than good story telling. At least, that's what I go for when I pick up a novel by Kitty Thomas. I feel that she has all these great ideas and characters and then just never fleshes them out enough. That's fine though because I know what I'm getting in to when I start the book! Sometimes all I want is a quick story to read through!
Dark Night of the Soul definitely falls in to that category. I loved the concept of this book. The world that Thomas thought up was amazing, but just not fleshed out enough. Even for a Thomas novel. Due to the dystopian content I really wanted more detail of what their world was like and how they survived. There was a lot glossed over in this story with lots of jumps in time which I found very frustrating. Lots of details were lacking, even details for what the characters looked like.
I also found the ending unsatisfying. Although Thomas typically leaves us wanting more this seemed a bit extreme. I do hope she plans to write a sequel but I'm not crossing my fingers.
This story still gets high marks from me because I loved the concept of it and I knew going in that there were going to be lots of things that I wished had been written in more detail. ...more
This is so difficult. I'm enjoying this series and will continue to read this series and yet this book drove me up the wall! So many editing issues whThis is so difficult. I'm enjoying this series and will continue to read this series and yet this book drove me up the wall! So many editing issues when it came to consistencies in the timeline of the book, weeks would pass and then in the next chapter those weeks hadn't happened. There was also a lot of narrative wasted on talking about everything that had happened. "While going to the hospital I thought about how far Drake and I had come..." or something to that effect. It would have been fine had it added to the plot but I never felt like it did. These books also have the tendency to show all women aside from the main character in a negative light. Unless your Kate, if you're a young woman you're obviously crazy and out to destroy her life.
That being said I'm still gonna sit over here and wait impatiently for the next book! ...more
I became frustrated with this book because the entire time I was just wishing that the two of them would communicate. Then when everything is hashed oI became frustrated with this book because the entire time I was just wishing that the two of them would communicate. Then when everything is hashed out they agree that they should have just communicated better. For some reason or another I had hoped that these two characters were beyond that typical issue found in books like this. I did like that Kate admitted that she was having difficulties seeing herself as submissive. So often that idea is just brought up by a character and then just accepted. This is a nice journey to see....more
Here and there, there were some eye rolling lines, but overall this book was a step above most in its genre. I enjoyed this book a lot and can't waitHere and there, there were some eye rolling lines, but overall this book was a step above most in its genre. I enjoyed this book a lot and can't wait to read the next ones. I liked the fully fleshed out cast of characters. Kate had a life beyond Drake which doesn't always happen in this genre....more
Dessen definitely upped her game with this novel. I loved the the focus on Sydney's relationships with her family rather than the romantic relationshiDessen definitely upped her game with this novel. I loved the the focus on Sydney's relationships with her family rather than the romantic relationship. While I liked the darker aspect of Ames I didn't really understand why he was there or why he was necessary. I also wanted to know how Peyton felt about him in the end. Still, this was 5 stars as it was a nice break from the typical mix of angst/fluff that Dessen gives her readers....more
Good idea, poor execution. A sex addict and a sex addiction counselor. That might as well be New Adult fiction's version of Romeo and Juliet. I likedGood idea, poor execution. A sex addict and a sex addiction counselor. That might as well be New Adult fiction's version of Romeo and Juliet. I liked the concept of this book but I found the back and forth of the two narrator's perspectives clunky. The guy's narrative read like what you would hope guys think like, but probably don't. The story could have saved itself but it fell subject to the same problem I've been seeing in a lot of stories lately where the author has chosen to end the novel before any of the plots wrap up in order to write a sequel. I'm all for cliff hangers and characters not ending up together in the first book but there needs to be some kind of resolution in a story in order to make it a story and I wasn't feeling that here....more
My take away from this is that Scott Westerfeld had the idea for Afterworlds (the novel in the story) but couldn't flesh it out enough to write a fullMy take away from this is that Scott Westerfeld had the idea for Afterworlds (the novel in the story) but couldn't flesh it out enough to write a full novel so he went totally meta with it. I love the idea and I really enjoyed how Darcy (the author) speaking about her novel allowed us to see all the changes that can happen to a novel from beginning to publication. I liked Afterworlds (the novel in the story) but due to it sharing the stage with Darcy's story it felt like there was something lacking. As if Darcy had to take away some detail from Afterworlds (the novel...) in order to exist. I found Darcy to be incrediably irritating. I loved Scott Westerfeld several years back and never found too much irritation in his characters. Perhaps because I was the same age as them. Now, being several years older than the main character I just found her luck and naivete to be annoying. Like, the apartment doesn't fit in your budget. Who cares if it has good writer vibes; you can't afford it! I don't particularly like when I can see a character making stupid mistakes from the get-go. Three stars for the novel within the novel. If it had just been Darcy's story I wouldn't have finished this....more
Ian and Penny continue to be utterly adorable in these two novels. While I was disappointed that there was such a heavy topic covered in this novel, IIan and Penny continue to be utterly adorable in these two novels. While I was disappointed that there was such a heavy topic covered in this novel, I wasn't sure if it was because I wanted a sweet sappy romance novel or because I never want anything bad to happen to this sweet cinnamon roll of a couple. As per usual, I devoured this too fast and I can hardly wait for the next installment....more
This had a lot of potential but the abrupt ending killed it for me. There wasn't really any conflict in this story and I like my romance novels to atThis had a lot of potential but the abrupt ending killed it for me. There wasn't really any conflict in this story and I like my romance novels to at least pretend to have some kind of plot....more