"When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under." That is part of...moreMore Than the Sum of Her Parts
"When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love – and just how hard it pulled you under." That is part of the blurb from the back of the book, and no statement could be truer. Reading Eleanor & Park was like taking a trip down memory lane. Not the bad stuff, of course (because there is a sad side to this book), but the new love. The slow development through mixed tapes and comics, the aching to stay up late and talk… The excitement and depth of your feelings for another teenager… Rainbow Rowell captured these feelings spectacularly.
He was still holding the end of her scarf, rubbing the silk idly between his thumb and fingers. She watched his hand. If he were to look up at her now, he'd know exactly how stupid she was. She could feel her face go soft and gummy. If Park were to look up at her now, he'd know everything. He didn't look up. He wound the scarf around his fingers until her hand was hanging in the space between them. Then he slid the silk and his fingers into her open palm. And Eleanor disintegrated.
Eleanor is not what one would call naturally pretty. She's a little too chubby, her clothes are a little too strange, and her hair is wild, tangled, and bright red on her head. She's new to town and on her first day of school she immediately becomes the butt of the 'cool kids' jokes. Park, who grew up in the predominately white town is half Korean and has never quite felt as though he belongs, grudgingly allows Eleanor to take the seat next to him on the bus when nobody will give her a place to sit. At first they go out of their way to ignore each other completely, however as they continue to ride next to each other day by day they find themselves drawn to each other over music and comics.
This slow building relationship gave me tummy flutters and a case of the giggles. This 34 year old woman immediately reverted back to being 15 and got caught up in the spell of first love. It was so sweetly romantic, some would say cheesy but not me. I love cheesy in a YA love story. My spirit fell in love with Park right along with Eleanor. He never tried to rush her or push her into anything that made her uncomfortable. His love for her was so pure and precious, I just ate it up.
And how they saw each other... ugh, it was heartbreakingly beautiful. I'm sorry; I'm trying not to inundate you with quotes (I think I quoted this book more than almost any other). But I have to share these two casual descriptions of Park and Eleanor because it sums up how they see each other so perfectly...
Park through Eleanor's eyes
Park was the only person she knew who wore his backpack actually on his shoulders, not slung over one side - and he was always holding onto the straps, like he'd just jumped out of a plane or something. It was extremely cute. Especially when he was being shy and letting his head hang forward. She pulled the front of his bangs. He smiled, all shiny cheeks and full lips. Don't bite his face, Eleanor told herself. It's disturbing and needy and never happens in situations, comedies, or movies that end with big kisses. "I'm sorry about yesterday." she said. He hung onto his straps and shrugged. "Yesterday Happens." GOD, it was like he wanted her to eat his face clean off.
Eleanor through Park's eyes
"You always look nice." "I never look nice." she said. Like he was an idiot. "I like the way you look," he said. It came out more like an argument than a compliment. "That doesn't mean it's nice," she was whispering, too. "Fine then, you look like a hobo." "A hobo?" Her eyes lit. "Yeah, a gypsy hobo," he said. "You look like you just joined the cast of Godspell." "I don't even know what that is." "It's terrible." She stepped closer to him. "I look like a hobo?" "Worse," he said. "Like a sad hobo clown." "And you like it?" "I love it." As soon as he said it, she broke into a smile. And when Eleanor smiled, something broke inside of him. Something always did.
I mean, how sweet IS that?! It's just not right. Even rereading the quotes made me chuckle and shake my head at the adorableness of it.
There's one little complaint, through the book there's strife on Eleanor's side of the story. You know that at some point it's all going to come to a head and things will come crashing down. Such as it is in most every book, I suppose. Suffice to say it happens. I knew it would. I just wish that we had gotten more of a clear ending. I know, authors like to leave it up to us to imagine an ending which occasionally is fine. In THIS case, though, I think I wanted to READ it. This book had too many beautiful moments to not give us the most beautiful moment in the end. That is the only reason that it's at a 4.5 rating.
Park ran his hand out to her hip and back again, catching his thumb under her sweater. She swallowed and lifted her chin. He pulled her sweater up farther and, then, without thinking about why, he pulled up his shirt, too, and laid his bare stomach against hers. Eleanor's face crumpled, and it made him come unhinged. "You can be Han Solo," he said, kissing her throat. "And I'll be Boba Fett. I'll cross the sky for you."
Nothing was dirty. With Park. Nothing could be shameful. Because Park was the sun, and that was the only way Eleanor could think to explain it.
Vivienne used to say that sometimes the best you can do is to try not to be one of the bastards.
I can not stop crying! Isa, this book seriously affec...more
Vivienne used to say that sometimes the best you can do is to try not to be one of the bastards.
I can not stop crying! Isa, this book seriously affected me and I'm not sure if I should be blessing you or cursing you! I finished this hours ago and I still, every time I let myself stop and the thoughts creep in, I can not stop the crying.
Friday Brown is emotionally lost. Her mother is gone and her world has been turned upside down. Life leads her into the city and to a ragtag group of street kids all working for the good of their little family, it appears.
Friday lacks confidence, she doubts and she pushes away anyone she feels may get too close to her. She's used to living her whole life on the move, never putting down any roots and only ever loving just one person, her mom Vivienne. But all of that is challenged when this group enters her life. Some of them she likes right away, others are more trying. But it's her relationship with Silence, the slightly younger boy that befriended her, that really penetrates her heart. This is not about romance, it's about connection.
Silence... it's been a really long time since a character has blindsided me like Silence did. I love him. I know, he's fictional, but it doesn't matter. I love him. It's not a 'oooh, i have such a book crush' kind of love, because I don't have a book crush. I love him the way I love my very best friend. I love his soul. As we readers all know, despite the fact that they are words on paper, a brilliant writer has the ability to breathe a soul into their characters. Silence has a beautiful soul. I love him.
Honestly, there have been only a handful of books that have affected me like this. I can seriously count them on two hands. (So can you, actually... they're all listed on a shelf called soul books.) This book got to me on the same level as A Fault in our Stars. It has held me in it's thrall, similar to Jellicoe Road. I wish I had this in print so I could hold it and stroke it. So I could open it and touch the pages.
Anyone who picks this book up, come back here. Send me a note. Talk about it with me. I need to talk about it. I need others to read this.
There in the silence of the hills, I shall find peace that soothes and stills the throbbing of the weary brain, for I am going home again.
Grave Mercy was such a surprise! Yay for YA-MA for forcing me to read this book in a group read, because I likely would...moreMisericorde & Garrote Wire
Grave Mercy was such a surprise! Yay for YA-MA for forcing me to read this book in a group read, because I likely would never have picked it up on my own.
Ismae is the daughter of death, and after a hard life she is spirited away to the Convent of St Mortain. Once there she discovers that they would like to train her as a Handmaiden of Death to be an assassin for the old God/Saint Mortain. Ismae is thrilled with this, as her hard life has made vengeance sound wonderful.
After three years of training she finally is given an assignment and soon she finds herself caught up in the political intrigues of the Duchess Anne and the fight for Brittany's freedom against the French.
"But the two sisters could not be more different. Amourna was happy and giving, but her sister, Arduinna, was fierce, jealous, and suspicious, for such is the dual nature of love."
This is the very first book I have read that pairs a true Historical Fiction with an element of Fantasy. Sure sure, Outlander was a Historical Fiction and had a dash of Fantasy because of the time travel. I don't count that though, because in Outlander the time travel was secondary, or possibly even further down the list, of ways I would classify that book. The time travel was a paradox thought to happen due to the 'auld ones', and as Scotland is full of magic and legends of magical/mystical things happening I never felt that it could be classified as true Fantasy. But Grave Mercy, the Fantasy is just as prominent as the Historical Fiction. They coincided magnificently and really balanced each other well, bringing a new spin to an old genre.
In the group read thread I stated that while I thought the characters were well-developed I never thought they were personable. I still stand by that statement, however by the end I found that cared about them anyway. Isn't it true that sometimes, once you get through the exterior, even the reserved can still be loveable?
And lastly, while there is a romance in the book, I never felt that it overshadowed the core of the story which was Ismae and the convent, and the fight to save Anne's Duchy. The two characters that slowly grew to love each other did so gradually, and never once did they put their burgeoning feelings for each other ahead of their goals for the good of the country. And, bottom line, THAT is why it was a great story with admirable characters.
I have an understanding now on the way their relationship was, and I can completely believe that she would be swept u...moreI'm not so impressed with Javier.
I have an understanding now on the way their relationship was, and I can completely believe that she would be swept up by him. He's sexy, dangerous, seductive... and he says all the right things. Except, for me as the reader, it was almost too right. It was creepily right. It felt like when the snake charmer calls out the cobra to dance and you just know that one wrong move and that charmer is toast.
Could things have turned out differently if she'd chosen a different path with him? If she had taken advantage of shared opportunities... I think so, actually. I think that, as much as he could, he loved her. He may have surprised her... surprised her like someone insane, but it could have spelled a different story.
Now I'm especially excited for Shooting Scars, and to see how Cam will handle Javier now that I know more about him. And how Javier plans on handling Ellie... annnnnnd is the person that Cam working with Gus?! I hope so, because Gus was my favorite part of On Every Street!(less)
Under the Dome and I, we needed to have a heart to heart for a few days. I needed to let my thoughts stew and settle a bit more before I could articul...moreUnder the Dome and I, we needed to have a heart to heart for a few days. I needed to let my thoughts stew and settle a bit more before I could articulate what I want to say about this book.
So here goes...
That was nuts! One week... this whole book spans the course of one WEEK. Are people really that destructive? We couldn't hold a town together for just one week? The scary thing is, the human reactions didn't seem all that farfetched to me. Scared people will do awful things. But wow... one week.
What did I take out of this lengthy read? Well, I think that the core of this book was about bullying, how easy it is to fall into a mob mentality. The theme across the characters seemed to be about moments in time when they acted in shameful ways, or were treated in shameful ways, due to group frenzy. It was also about mercy; not necessarily mercy from compassion, but mercy that comes from pity. Hey, I think we should take Mercy any way we can get it.
So, if the concept of the book sounds good to you, plus you like nonstop action, adrenaline and anxiety, pick it up. It's huge, but it goes by fast!
And for all you girlies out there that like a swoon-worthy hero, Corporal Dale Barbara (Barbie, as they call him) won't disappoint. He's a reluctant hero who, despite being scared sometimes, is pretty badass and sexy. YUM. First Stephen King book that gave me a man I wanted to sink my teeth into. I'll be very eager to watch Mike Vogel bring him to life in the television adaptation starting June 24th!
This was one hell of a Fantasy series. Han and Raisa really grew up in the 2 years spanning these book...moreOh! Oh, that epilogue! So beautiful, so tragic!
This was one hell of a Fantasy series. Han and Raisa really grew up in the 2 years spanning these books, from Spoiled Princess to a Warrior Queen, from Streetrat to well I can't tell you that, silly! It would ruin the end of the book!
And Dancer, He became one of my favorite characters. And Crow, ugh, the scene when (view spoiler)[he was begging Dancer to storm Aerie Castle and rescue our hero from the Bayars (hide spoiler)]! I really grew to love that crotchety old man, and honestly the only thing that I wish is that somehow they would have been able to (view spoiler)[clear his name. He deserves for people to know the truth. Alger was no demon, Hana was no Saint, they were two humans in love (hide spoiler)].
Amazing! Hillary! You rock! I may never have started this if you weren't pushing it.
(I read that too darn fast, I'm so upset with myself....)
I hate when this happens, where all my GR friends love a book and I just don't like it. I hate to be one who poopoo's a book. I'm sorry guys! This jus...moreI hate when this happens, where all my GR friends love a book and I just don't like it. I hate to be one who poopoo's a book. I'm sorry guys! This just wasn't for me, I guess.
2.5 - 3 stars *wince*
I did really like the way it was written. It wasn't very fluffy, compared to what I would call a 'bodice ripper'. The sex was hot and I didn't feel like the terminology was overly cheesy. It was a beautiful love story, and there were so many moments that I laughed or smiled at the antics of Wolf and Cymbra. I also thought that the author really tried to keep the spirituality of the Vikings, and tried to show the brutality of their world without losing the 'romance novel' quality. I can easily see why so many loved this story.
Unfortunately, here's what I didn't like: I felt like the harshness of the world was really toned down. Maybe it's not fair of me to say that as it is usually toned down in a romance novel, but I was really hoping that she wouldn't hold back and just tell it like it was and I'm not sure that think she did. I picked this up hoping for something closer to Outlander in terms of having the characters react in a way that was realistic to the times. I know that so many people were angry that Jamie spanked Claire, but that is exactly what would have happened in the 18th century (or worse). I wanted to see Wolf act like a true Viking and while I was told how dangerous he was, with the exception of one scene, I never really felt like we saw it. Cymbra's beauty and generosity tamed him at first sight and I just didn't buy it, I guess. In fact, I found it funny that Wolf didn't kill anyone when he took Cymbra from her home. I understand he wanted an alliance, but I just couldn't believe that a group of Vikings would come and not one person would die.
Maybe my problem is that I read The Lord of Hawkfell Island, many many times as my paperback is literally falling apart, and I can't help but compare the two. Very similar stories... in this one the Viking lord Wolf steals Cymbra to take revenge on a slight he believes her brother committed against him by very rude refusal to enterain a marraige between him and Cymbra. In Lord of Hawkfell Island the Viking lord Rorik comes to kill Mirana's brother in revenge for the death of Rorik's wife and children. He winds up stealing Mirana instead. Granted, one is WAAAY worse than the other, lmao. BUT, the point remains that these two men do not know these women at all. Both women were beautiful, compassionate, well bred... Wolf took one look at Cymbra and immediately wanted to cherish her, but with Rorik those feelings came slowly and in the beginning he was cruel and rough. It was definitely toned down in Hawkfell Island also because it's also a romance novel first, but I feel like Catherine Coulter held back LESS. Rorik does things in her book that upset you, I won't get into it in case you read it, but they WERE a brutal people and at the onset he acted like a brutal man. They didn't often show mercy.
One last thing before I stop being such a drag, I didn't like how Wolf found himself praying to the Christian God, and it bringing him peace. I recognize that this book takes place at a time where Vikings were changing but I really felt that it was gratuitous and didn't fit into the story at all. There was no reason to have this quick little scene in the book other than perhaps the author herself is Christan and wanted to... I don't know, put a leaning on which belief system was the better. I also felt the same when Cymbra would argue with Wolf about their legends and whatnot, I felt like the author showed a slant toward Christianity, though that was more acceptable for me because it was between two characters who had different views.
Anyway, for what it's worth, I recognize that just because I wasn't as much a fan others may like it much more than I did. For more positive review's please check out my bud's Stacia and Leea's reviews. (less)
When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction.
Devin Jones is in loooove with Wendy Keegan. He daydreams about marriage and babie...moreWearing The Fur
When it comes to the past, everyone writes fiction.
Devin Jones is in loooove with Wendy Keegan. He daydreams about marriage and babies and a future with his college sweetheart, and that's despite all the signs he's been given that all is not peachy in paradise for this couple. Wendy takes a trip with her roommate and this leaves Devin free for his summer vacation, so he takes a job at Joyland, a privately owned, barely keeping it's head above water, amusement park in North Carolina.
"I hope you'll always look back on your time in Joyland as something special. We don't sell furniture. We don't sell cars. We don't sell land or houses or retirement funds. We have no political agenda. We sell fun. Never forget that. Thank you for your attention. Now go forth."
What follows is a coming of age, NA, story all about selling joy and finding peace within yourself. It's full of ghosts and friendships that last a lifetime, and it's full of internal reflection and broken hearts. And ladies and gentleman it will make you cry! It will make you sob buckets. Read this book, but read it prepared. Bring your box of tissues and prepare to have your heart put into a vise. Stephen King wrote an amazing little story in 280 pages, and it's soared to the top of my favorite Stephen King books easily. There didn't need to be horror and evil aliens; there didn't need to be anything but a 21 year old man at an amusement park meeting a host of amazing wonderful characters in the early 70's.
I remember once having a talk with some girls in one of the groups I was in at the time. The subject was on male characters who read like they've been...moreI remember once having a talk with some girls in one of the groups I was in at the time. The subject was on male characters who read like they've been castrated after settling down with the female characters. Like, once the relationship is full steam ahead they lose the part of themselves that makes them original and unique and they just become secondary flat counterpart to the female main character. While I'm not necessarily there yet, with Dex, I worry that it's bordering on that precipice. Please, please, don't lose the aspects of Dex that make him special. In Come Alive, I thought that the problem was being in Dex's head for too long. But even in Ashes the crudeness went beyond what I used to praise as 'the ability to write and think like a man' to something that felt overly exaggerated. His crude trait very nearly eclipsed the deeper more fundamental parts of Dex; they were his aspects that balanced his immature dirty jokes. I love Dex. He's one of my favorite fictional guys. Don't let go of what makes him 'Dex'.
Also, another thing that bothered me, and this has been across the board for the last handful of books, is Perry's immaturity. I'm really over her flying off the handle over such minor revelations. I mean, really, Dex had a life before Perry and she's not going to immediately know everything, nor should she. I keep waiting for her to grow and realize her mistakes, but she doesn't. When is her inner 'am I being selfish' dialogue going to trigger her realizing that she is. Which should cause her to make a real effort to change and better herself. (Like Dex did!) But that's a personal issue with the character. All good characters have flaws, and that's Perry's. Kudos to Karina Halle for writing a character and sticking to the core of her character, even if it does drive me crazy. (Here's hoping she can do the same with Dex.)
What was great about this book was the actual case. That sanatorium was seriously creepy! I clutched my blankets and looked over my shoulder while reading and books don't usually affect me that way. And, regardless of the character issues I had, I always always love reading Dex and Perry. I am very excited for what is still in store and I am still 110% committed to this series and the books that Karina Halle writes.(less)
I love Suzanne Brockmann. I don't think there's anything she's written, of those I've read, that have let me down.
I read all the Troubleshooters book...moreI love Suzanne Brockmann. I don't think there's anything she's written, of those I've read, that have let me down.
I read all the Troubleshooters books, and when I finally got to the last one I was really sad that I had reached the end and that there may not be anymore coming. So, imagine my excitement when I see that Brockmann is doing a spin-off series! I was thrilled.
I jumped into this read with both feet and it got me out of a much too long reading slump. So thank you to Brockmann for continue to put out enjoyable reads about amazing people. I will absolutely recommend this book to others!(less)