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....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
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
What would you do to save a human life? And, better yet and perhaps more importantly, what defines a human life? In Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration ofWhat would you do to save a human life? And, better yet and perhaps more importantly, what defines a human life? In Mary E. Pearson's The Adoration of Jenna Fox these are the two underlying issues of the book. On top of that though, is the dilemma every teen faces. Jenna is trying to figure out who she is.
It's hard to rave about this book without giving too much away. Even with what I've said already I'm scared that I'll have ruined the book for someone. The Adoration of Jenna Fox is a beautiful mystery. Pearson has crafted it very well. I "read" the book in audio format, usually listening to it when I walked home from work. Instead of pausing it and finishing it the next day I went and sat on my bed for the last few hours of the novel, the mystery was just that engaging!
The narration of the book is very lyrical. In fact, had I not bought hardcover of the book (yes! that's right, after having the book in audio I went out and bought a hard copy just so I could have it on my shelves) I never would have known that some of the book is actually written in poetry.
Jenna's character is very enduring because she faces many of the same problems that teens do. A main point in the book is her desire for freedom, even teens not in Jenna's circumstances deal with this. All the characters were very real, they could easily jump off the page. Lily, Allys, Ethan, Jenna's mother and father. All well done. This book has been optioned for a movie and I really hope that it doesn't fall apart because it could be something very beautiful.
Aside from the fact that this is one of the very few novels that really kept me on my toes and constantly guessing and re-guessing what was going on, I really liked how the mystery and science of the novel was still based on the issue every teen is dealing with. Jenna wants to know who she really is, and it's because of this that the book resonates so well.
I know this review doesn't say much. It's because the book is so chock full of mystery and suspense that there is very little I can really say about the book without ruining it for you, since the mystery makes the book I simply can't let that happen.