Interesting premise, I would say. The plot is good, and I really wanted to find out what happened to the motley cast of characters. Tilly, however, wa...moreInteresting premise, I would say. The plot is good, and I really wanted to find out what happened to the motley cast of characters. Tilly, however, was annoying to say the least. Before her dose of 'clarity,' I wanted to tell her to grow up and move on. She couldn't accept change at all. When anyone made the utterly audacious decision to uproot themselves and leave the medium-sized town of Westlake (gasp!), she just could not understand their reasoning. A personal quibble that I had involved Westlake, a town of 81,000. In my opinion, this should not be the tiny 'everybody knows everybody' type town (at least not in my experience). While that size is small and obviuosly is not a city atmosphere, I don't feel like the gossip would be quite as intense as Winn Scotch tried to make it, and I definitely don't think it's the kind of thing where you never leave the house without seeing someone you know. I've lived in a 'small town' of that size for many years have never had those kind of experiences that Tilly comes to loathe. Obviously, this wasn't integral to the outcome of the book, but it bugged me!
I also disliked the sentence structure (many, many, many commas, colons, semi-colons), flow of time (one paragraph it's morning, another evening, another 5 days later), and rapidly used profanity. I can tolerate curse words sparingly; it just naturally comes out in everyday conversation and in thought processes as well. However, Tilly would just go off on these furious rampages, and I just wanted to tell her to chill. Personally, I think an educated character like Tilly should have been able to express her emotions more rationally no matter how angry or outraged she might have been. Since I've only ranted thus far, I should say that the cover is awesome! What an amazing shot. Also, the writing was descriptive and vivid on the whole. For this reason, I'll try another Allison Winn Scotch novel another time.
But overall, I struggled with this one. I kept reading because the premise won me over and had me flipping pages. If you like chick-lit with a magical yet realistic twist, then try The One That I Want. I had lots of personal problems with it, but you all aren't me (whew!) so maybe your experiences will be different!
On that fateful day, Merry and Lulu's father comes into their apartment in a drunken rage and does the unthinkable - kills their mother and wounds the...moreOn that fateful day, Merry and Lulu's father comes into their apartment in a drunken rage and does the unthinkable - kills their mother and wounds the youngest daughter, Merry. After being shuffled between several dysfunctional family members, the daughters live at an orphanage and are eventually taken into foster care. The rest of the book chronicles the girls' lives and how they are forever changed by their father's terrible crime.
Sorry to be a negative nancy and a debbie downer for what seems like the 27th review in a row, but I do not recommend this book and here's why: 1. I read the first 150 pages at an engrossing pace. The last 150 took a week. For me, the author handled Lulu and Merry's childhood much better than their adulthood. 2. The girls don't grow. There is no character development or maturation. This was depressing. 3. The daughters are hot messes. I appreciate the author's realistic portrayal of how domestic violence destroys lives, but really Lulu and Merry are never happy and cannot overcome their circumstances. Once again, depressing.
So, while the subject is interesting and unique, it is dealt with depressingly and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Also, just a friendly warning, there is pointless language & sexual content throughout. (less)
I wanted to like Hassan. I really did. Truth is, however, I did not care what happened to him. There was no connection, and I did not understand his v...moreI wanted to like Hassan. I really did. Truth is, however, I did not care what happened to him. There was no connection, and I did not understand his voice and views throughout the novel. A couple of bad things happened to him, and I found myself unsympathetic and uncaring - harsh, I know! I felt more for a couple of his family members than for him (the protagonist), which wasn't a good sign. Several years of Hassan's life are just omitted or barely referenced, so this may have been the cause for my lack of attention on his behalf.
Another issue - this read more like nonfiction to me, which is not a compliment in this case. I did not fully appreciate all of the cooking descriptions (very detailed), and I am someone relatively interested in the subject matter. The details were weighty and there were just too many in my opinion.
On the bright side, this book was short and could be read quickly if one wanted. I found myself fighting through it, but the writing is simple enough that it would not take most very long. Also, I liked the fact that there were multiple settings and that they were diverse. I liked how issues of discrimination and racism were handled throughout the story as well; the clash of the cultures was definitely present in this book! If you have a deep interest or appreciation for cooking and you can get past the lack of strong character connections, then maybe you will like The Hundred-Foot Journey more than I did.(less)
Imagine the best phase of your life - a trip, a job, an opportunity of some sort, a time you reflect upon now with fond memories and a desire to be tr...moreImagine the best phase of your life - a trip, a job, an opportunity of some sort, a time you reflect upon now with fond memories and a desire to be transported backward in time. Summer at Tiffany describes just this type of phase experienced by Marjorie and her best friend, Marty. Their summer adventure takes place in 1944, as the two college girls attending the University of Iowa decide to take a chance and move to New York City in search of jobs at a ritzy department store and a glimpse of the glamorous, fast-paced lifestyleThe Big Apple had to offer. Their hopes of finding work in a clothing store fizzle, but they catch a major break and discover an opportunity at Tiffany working as female pages (the first the store had ever employed). This book is a collection of Ms. Hart's memories from that lovely summer - what they learned, the people they met, the celebrities they encountered, and they ways in which their journey changed them.
For me, this book was delightful to read. It was not something that I had to sit down and read in one sitting; rather, I enjoyed reading it a bit at a time, here and there. It did not captivate or wow, but it did provide me with simple enjoyment as I imagined the adventures of Marjorie and Marty.
My first reaction to this memoir was to dismiss it as oversimplified and lacking depth, but then I had a moment of realization - Ms. Hart wrote this book in her eighties trying to capture the feelings and expressions of her twenty year old self. This would have been no easy task for her, and approaching the writing with this attitude really allowed me to enjoy the book and appreciate it for what it was: a short glance into the past, into a world that is no longer, into a beautiful summer adventure. It is rare even now, 2010, to hear of a smalltown guy or gal jetting off to the 'big city' to risk it all. With this in mind, I was able to admire Marjorie and Marty's courage and gumption even more.
If you are looking for a simple, but delightful read I recommend Summer at Tiffany - maybe if you recently came off of a challenging book or are looking for a pleasant and light choice to wind down these dwindling summer days. (less)
(3.5) Overall, I loved the immigration premise, the voice of Kimberly, and the concept of using education as a means to a better life. I did not, howe...more(3.5) Overall, I loved the immigration premise, the voice of Kimberly, and the concept of using education as a means to a better life. I did not, however, love the ending or what led to it. The audio production was great. The narrator had knowledge of the Chinese phrases and communicated Kimberly's strong voice beautifully!
Vivid scenic details, a good cast of diverse characters, and a plot that brings them all together seamlessly. This book is an excellent summer read an...moreVivid scenic details, a good cast of diverse characters, and a plot that brings them all together seamlessly. This book is an excellent summer read and will make you want to get in touch with old friends and do something a little daring or risky that you might normally not do! See a full review at http://windowseatreader.blogspot.com/...(less)
The main character, Mma Ramotswe, goes against the mindset of her fellow citizens in Botswana and starts a detective agency. She investigates various...moreThe main character, Mma Ramotswe, goes against the mindset of her fellow citizens in Botswana and starts a detective agency. She investigates various crimes throughout her city and almost seems to have an intrinsic abililty to find solutions.
Pleasant is the one word that comes to mind as I reflect on this book. The pace is calm and slow, and the subject matter is relatively light. The author captures bits and pieces of the African landscape in a way that I really enjoyed. It was something that I enjoyed reading when I had the opportunity, but it was not the kind of book with which I could not bear to part. For a light read that isn't too scary or intense, I would recommend this series!(less)
A beautiful portrayal of a time in history that has long since passed; recommended for those of you who like heartwarming coming-of-age stories and do...moreA beautiful portrayal of a time in history that has long since passed; recommended for those of you who like heartwarming coming-of-age stories and do not mind a slower moving plot.(less)
For fans of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire will not disappoint. It's a fast-paced, action-packed read with the same cast of intriguing characters and...moreFor fans of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire will not disappoint. It's a fast-paced, action-packed read with the same cast of intriguing characters and even some new additions. Sometimes I knew what was coming, but there were also several surprising twists as well.
The only thing that wore on me was the attempt at romance. I thought in The Hunger Games the relationship between Peeta and Katniss was confusing but cute. Well, in Catching Fire the emphasis was definitely on confusing in my opinion. Poor Katniss, it was constantly Peeta, no Gale, but what about Peeta, but then there's Gale. It must be nice to have two guys in your life that care about you like Peeta and Gale care about her, but the back and forth indecisiveness became irritating. I guess that indecisiveness occurs in everyday life, but I was begging Katniss to commit one way or another - guess we'll have to wait until Mockingjay too see her romance issues resolved!
Ultimately, I think people should read this series because of the symbolism between the Capitol and the United States. I elaborate more on this in my review of The Hunger Games, but the symbolism certainly continues into Catching Fire. The section in which Katniss was dining at the President's banquet was particularly indicative of America's gluttony. When Katniss begins to get full from enjoying the huge feast, a stylist, Flavius, offers her of a drink to make her purge her entire dinner in order to make room for more food.
"All I can think of is the emaciated bodies of the children on our kitchen table as my mother prescribes what the parents can't give. More food... And here in the Capitol they're vomiting for the pleasure of filling their bellies again and again. Not from some illness of body or mind, not from spoiled food. It's what everyone does at a party. Expected. Part of the fun." (80)
Overall, this series is simple yet stunning, straightforward yet symbolic. I like it, and I hope you will as well!
I liked this historical fiction novel! If it wasn't so somber, I'd say I loved it, but I just can't honestly say that because of the emotional intensi...moreI liked this historical fiction novel! If it wasn't so somber, I'd say I loved it, but I just can't honestly say that because of the emotional intensity of the time period. At any rate, I recommend this for any fans of historical fiction or anyone who appreciates solid literary fiction. I can honestly say that I learned so much about the Plague and the terrible side effects that it carried. http://windowseatreader.blogspot.com(less)
I read this book because I always admired how calm and sincere Laura Bush acted in the public eye. The first part of the book about her childhood was...moreI read this book because I always admired how calm and sincere Laura Bush acted in the public eye. The first part of the book about her childhood was my favorite part by far. The way she described her everyday life as a child in Midland, TX was entertaining for me. When she married and entered politics alongside her husband, the emotional details became more vague in my opinion, and I was left wanting more. With that aside, however, I enjoyed the chronological description of their eight years in the White House. I also enjoyed learning about all of the humanitarian projects in which she was involved. If you've always admired Mrs. Bush, then you will probably like this book like I did!(less)