This was a decent, quick read. I veered from really enjoying it to being frustrated to death by the stupidity of the characters and the neat stereotyp...moreThis was a decent, quick read. I veered from really enjoying it to being frustrated to death by the stupidity of the characters and the neat stereotypes they filled, but it was just a cheap chick lit and it was enjoyable for the most part.
I do think the editing was a bit weird - the kindle version had a bit of a bug where it just switched to another POV without much of a break. At least Fi's parts were in first person so when it switched to Sean's (and I must say his name makes me want to go watch the Quiet Man again) it wasn't that confusing, but still, a bit more care on that front would have been appreciated.
All in all, it was cute - predictable but I've definitely read worse.(less)
I think I would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't recently read the superior and much more emotionally affecting Still Alice so recently which dealt...moreI think I would have enjoyed this more if I hadn't recently read the superior and much more emotionally affecting Still Alice so recently which dealt with a similar storyline, but somehow managed to do it in a much better way. It's not that this book is terrible, but it just doesn't measure up to the first book.
I think there were moments when it almost became a great book, but just as it was about to get there, it felt like the author chickened out and decided to play it safe. The twist at the end was one such moment - what had been one of the stronger parts of the book, one of the most heartbreaking and sadly realistic parts, just got ~fixed to make it all tidy. That was what was most disappointing - I feel like perhaps the author wanted to go places with this and then forced herself to pull back. The most convenient moments of lucidity, the ridiculous confrontation in front of an old boyfriend's new family, the tying of all lose strings got rid of the most tragic aspect of this very sad story, meaning that little things that weren't sanitised, like almost losing her child, like forgetting her husband, like being cruel to her family were forgotten about.
It's disappointing - I think it could have been great, but instead it felt like a sanitised version of a tragic story, with all the edges smoothed off in order to make it a bit more palatable.
I love retellings but this one was so half-hearted that it missed all the charm of taking a classic and updating it, because it felt like she had just...moreI love retellings but this one was so half-hearted that it missed all the charm of taking a classic and updating it, because it felt like she had just taken a classic and decided 'now it's set in the future, but everything else is the same'. I think the author's intentions were good - that Austen had written a story well enough that it could transfer straight to modern times, but in reality, that isn't the case. It was too close to the original and the modern references felt like they were thrown in to just remind people that yes, it really was set in present day. It didn't work for me at all and I had to fight to get through it.
Sense and Sensibility was never my favourite to begin with, but this updating just didn't do it, or the characters, justice.(less)
After finishing The Ballad and falling so madly in love with it, I immediately went to Amazon and got this. What I loved so much about the first book...moreAfter finishing The Ballad and falling so madly in love with it, I immediately went to Amazon and got this. What I loved so much about the first book was the relationship between Chloe & Adam, and I knew going in that these novellas weren't going to cover that so I was maybe a wee bit wary about whether that would affect my enjoyment of this world.
It was a dumb thing to worry about, because I was not disappointed at all. The book has four novellas in it - one teenage Chloe before Natalie goes to Connecticut and the pre-Adam years of spontaneity encouraged by a psychic & the last one showing a teenage Adam crashing a party in Toronto with his friends...fate is a funny thing.
I did love Adam and Chloe's stories here...I love them so it is not a hardship to read about them in their younger years, but as hard as it was to believe going in, I think I actually enjoyed the other two novellas even more that focused on Chloe's cousin Natalie (who we met briefly in The Ballad) and her new best friend/lover/perfect match Zach.
Zach's a marine and pretty amazing and they seem perfect for each other, but life gets in the way for them as he disappears off to Afghanistan leaving her with his apartment to stay in (rent free for a year) and a job in the big city. I don't know how it's going to end for these two (view spoiler)[although I can imagine that last letter Zach was working on is not coincidental since Natalie seems to be with and pregnant to Chris in The Ballad, who was a colleague of Adam...my heart is kinda hurting over that, but hey, at least I'm prepared...kinda prepared. Ok, not prepared at all, but by the time the book comes along I will be totally prepared. (hide spoiler)] but the last letter in The Intermezzo novella was beautiful and haunting and made me root for these two almost as much as I was rooting for Chloe and Adam. I don't think I will ever be able to hear Edith Piaf sing that song without thinking of Zach and Natalie...I cannot wait to see what becomes of them, for good, for bad or for worse.
Anyway, this is a wonderful little universe and if you loved The Ballad, then this is a really nice accompaniment and you won't be disappointed.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I really, really loved this. A love story told backwards so you know how they got to the Happy Ever After - the good and the difficult and how you ove...moreI really, really loved this. A love story told backwards so you know how they got to the Happy Ever After - the good and the difficult and how you overcome them when you are in love.
Chloe is an impulsive, sometimes over-emotional singer songwriter who is happily married to Adam, an intense lawyer who sometimes works too hard, but who is insanely in love with his wife. This story starts on Chloe's 35th birthday and then takes us back, moment by moment through Chloe and Adam's life together. The wonderful thing about this format is that we can see the moments that made them who they are - in one scene we hear them talk about their first date and then we actually get to see it towards the end of the book (and you get to see who remembered it right.) It should be weird to read a story in reverse, but I loved it - and I won't lie, it takes the angst out of reading when you know the payoff is worth it in advance.
It is a beautiful story and it is told realistically - we see the bumps in the road and how they can be overcome, and although it is only small moments we see, you are left with this overwhelming sense of knowing them. In fact, although I wish the book were twice as long just so I could experience more of Adam and Chloe's life together, at the same time, I'm not sure I would have gained any further insight into them - the parts we got built up such a vivid picture of them that anything else would have just been a nice bonus. Saying that, I absolutely wouldn't object to more either.
The characters are likeable, and the author has done an amazing thing in creating a realistic heroine who occasionally makes you want to wring her neck (briefly - just a couple of times) but who manages to keep you firmly with her throughout. You are rooting for her, and for them and it's just refreshing to read because people aren't perfect - sometimes people do over-react, or work too late, or feel insecure.
I can't really recommend this enough - it's a wonderful book about a wonderful couple and I cannot wait to read more.
Also - it really is worth firing up your spotify account and making up the playlist the author mentions before the story starts. The songs really add to it.(less)
To be honest, this isn't a great book or a great testament to two iconic women, but it has a soapy quality that makes you keep reading just to watch i...moreTo be honest, this isn't a great book or a great testament to two iconic women, but it has a soapy quality that makes you keep reading just to watch it unfold and as such, I finished it quickly but then felt kinda flat - like why did I devour what was pretty average writing?
The women in question are what makes this book - the idea that they could have had a correspondence is actually delivered well so you realise that although this is fictionalised, it isn't outwith the realm of possibility that in another universe, they could have been friends. Some letters work better than others, some nuances of the women's character and relationship are hit, others miss...it's all just ok. The thing that keeps you reading is eagerly waiting for the discovery - for Jackie to catch on, for what she'll do...and then it happens and it's all a bit meh.
I love Marilyn Monroe, I don't know much about Jackie O, but regardless, I can't help but feel like the allure of them both is what makes this book readable and not so much the writing.(less)
I am so easy when it comes to Pride & Prejudice inspired books, but I don't even care enough to be embarrassed about it - I love everything Mr Dar...moreI am so easy when it comes to Pride & Prejudice inspired books, but I don't even care enough to be embarrassed about it - I love everything Mr Darcy and pretty much every spin off and retelling I've ever read, I've adored. I am not even going to pretend that I'm a reliable critic when it comes to this genre, because I'm not.
As it was - I thought the author captured Mr Darcy really well, it was great to see key scenes from his perspective (I especially enjoyed the letter scene) and I loved getting a little glimpse at Elizabeth and Darcy's life after marriage.
I think a book like this is entirely down to what you like - I am a sucker for all things Pride and Prejudice, so I adored it and I thought the diary format was an interesting way to tell the story. I guess if you aren't as much of a sucker for this type of book, it wouldn't have been as great for you but it ticked every box I ever had and I imagine I will be re-reading it frequently in the future.(less)
I really, really liked this. I am a comic book girl so a novel based on a female superhero appealed to me, especially by putting her in a chick-litty...moreI really, really liked this. I am a comic book girl so a novel based on a female superhero appealed to me, especially by putting her in a chick-litty book. I know some people won't enjoy it 'oh, how sexist, we put She Hulk in a book and have her worrying about getting a boyfriend, or her job - how boring!' but I enjoyed it. The humour was right, the action was right and I actually really, really loved the romance and the resolution of the book.
It wasn't perfect - the super-villain reveal was predictable and a bit dumb, as were some of the minor tussles Jenny/She Hulk (I REFUSE to call her Shulky!)but at that stage I had enjoyed it so much that I actually didn't care.
It was fun and I really do hope we will get a follow up. I hope this might be the start of a series - I'd definitely read it.(less)
This was a strange read - I love stuff on South America and the ancient civilisations that lived there but I felt like this book, which concerns itsel...moreThis was a strange read - I love stuff on South America and the ancient civilisations that lived there but I felt like this book, which concerns itself with the question about what happened to the explorer Percy Fawcett, his son Jack and Jack's friend when they went into the Amazon to try and find the Lost City of Z, or Eldorado. The trio disappeared and locating them had become a quest for numerous other adventurers over the years and it should have made a good basis for a book.
I found though that the book started too slowly and then, once it got going, ended too abruptly. In fact, over a quarter of the book was solely notes and references, which although interesting, didn't really sate my curiosity after discovering what was probably the City that Fawcett and co were looking for, and although I understand why the author cut his trip short (and therefore his book), I still didn't feel any sort of closure regarding Fawcett's party. Perhaps it was just me wanting things tidied up, but I feel like it just ended when it got the most interesting.(less)
I don't know what I was expecting when I read this, but it wasn't what I got. Whilst reading I wasn't sure if I liked it - a 60 year old woman finding...moreI don't know what I was expecting when I read this, but it wasn't what I got. Whilst reading I wasn't sure if I liked it - a 60 year old woman finding herself, after buying a cottage in the woods whilst falling in love with a brooding younger man didn't seem like something I would buy into, but it was so much more than that.
Rebecca is the lead character, a once famous photographer who finds herself in money trouble due to looking after her aging parents and suffering a downturn in her career. She decided to move from the city to the country to cut her expenses and on one of her first nights in her new home, she's invaded by a raccoon, which is then trapped and shot by a roofer named Jim, who is a good guy - brooding, man of few words and Rebecca's potential love interest as the book progresses.
So far, so predictable. I think for most of the book I would have rated this a two or three at a push book, but the last quarter is exceptional. Whilst Rebecca is in the woods she finds random crosses with items against them and begins photographing them. It is when we discover what those crosses represent that the book is elevated to memorable.
This is a good read, the characters (both main and secondary) are well developed and it is quirky. It is nice that it didn't turn out to be more than just a good read though - I really do think I will go back to this and re-read it again one day. It is a feel good book that has a bit of depth as well and I appreciated that.(less)
This starts a little dry, and you get the impression that it is a very biased account so it doesn't read as a particularly reliable portrayal of histo...moreThis starts a little dry, and you get the impression that it is a very biased account so it doesn't read as a particularly reliable portrayal of history, but despite this, it progresses into a very good, and informative read on an extraordinary woman in a fascinating period of history.
This covers a lot of stuff, taken primarily from her letters and writing. It takes a while to pick up...it doesn't have the colour or warmth that a lot of biographies can have so it is a bit of work to get through, but if you can stick through the first portion, it is worth the effort as it picks up about a quarter of the way through.(less)
I enjoyed this but I didn't love it. I think the author caught Alcott's personality pretty well (well as well as I believe anyone can based on the inf...moreI enjoyed this but I didn't love it. I think the author caught Alcott's personality pretty well (well as well as I believe anyone can based on the info we have on her) but as great a writer as she was, that personality doesn't make a particularly likeable protagonist. As such, although there were certain times I had sympathy for her, often I was frustrated and at times even annoyed. Perhaps it is unfair to judge the book on the traits of a real person, but yeah...it is impossible for me not to.
Nevertheless, it was an intriguing idea of inventing a fictionalised summer in her life and executed really well. I think the child in me who never got over that first reading of Little Women may have just been hurting from watching Laurie being toyed with and rejected all over again (and in this case, over and over and over again.) so maybe that's why I judge it a bit harsher than most.
It's a good read though - quick and well written and especially worth reading if you are a Little Women fan.(less)
I have been a bit wary about starting new YA series because of the complete crapfest that The Infernal Devices turned out to be and the apparent neces...moreI have been a bit wary about starting new YA series because of the complete crapfest that The Infernal Devices turned out to be and the apparent necessity for every YA series to have a love triangle in it. I am so glad that I didn't give up in the genre entirely because I would have missed this and this is definitely a book that should not be missed.
It mixes everything I enjoy - past lives, fantasy, love, angst, magic and it does it seemlessly. It jumps back and forth at times, but it is never confusing with it. This book introduces and builds the world in the best way, and it is a really nice surprise that the world is filled with shades of grey - the right and wrong aren't clearly defined, and the only thing we can be sure of is that at the heart of it, is a wonderfully tragic love story, but even that might not be enough.
The only problem with this book is that the ending makes me so glad that I have the second book to start right away, although if it ends the way this one did, I may have a problem! (less)
I didn't read this expecting brilliance but tbh, I think I would have rated this higher if a quarter of the way through the book the author didn't dec...moreI didn't read this expecting brilliance but tbh, I think I would have rated this higher if a quarter of the way through the book the author didn't decide to take a rather large bible and whack the reader around the face with it every other page. I have no issue with religion at all, but there is a limit to how many times you can read a character pray or recite scripture or plead with God etc etc without it interfering with the actual enjoyment of the book and the characters.
That aside, the story was fun - I figured that it would be a nice chicklit easy, fun read (which I needed after reading Still Alice) but, unfortunately it didn't really deliver in that regard simply down to execution. The idea and plot was sound for the genre it is, but yeah...it was just ok, it started promisingly, but...yeah, it's probably just me but there is a way of depicting faith in a story without feeling preached at, and this book certainly didn't achieve that for me.
Apparently the author is a Christian romance writer which I didn't know prior to reading, so perhaps I am guilty of expecting something else while reading it - in which case the fault is mine. I wouldn't read a Nicholas Sparks book and then complain about routine smaltzy emotional exploitation, so likewise, maybe this level of preachiness is normal for that genre and I'm the odd duck in the equation. If that's the case, I get it and if that sort of thing doesn't bother you, all the better. It is a good enough story without that side of things and I think if you liked that genre, it would appeal to you.(less)
This is a heartbreaking and terrifying book of what Alzheimers is like from the perspective of the sufferer, Alice - a 50 year old Harvard professor w...moreThis is a heartbreaking and terrifying book of what Alzheimers is like from the perspective of the sufferer, Alice - a 50 year old Harvard professor who believes her bad memory is a symptom of menopause. Instead of that though, she discovers that she is a victim of early onset Alzheimer's and that she may have passed the gene onto her children.
It's not a perfect book, but in a way, that's part of the appeal because it makes it feel real. We have questions, unresolved things, things we suspect happened but can't be sure about solely because we only see things happen from Alice's perspective, and as we know, Alice is a very unreliable narrator as the book progresses. It should be frustrating but somehow it just adds to the poignancy of the book because in reality, things aren't always wrapped up nice and cleanly and in this case, what we see happen, may not have happened like that at all.
I hope the film adaptation of this doesn't deviate too far from the book - I think what makes it successful is seeing it purely from Alice's perspective. It's heartbreaking, but it's what sets it apart from other books of a similar subject matter. (less)
This was actually a pretty fun read. It was maybe a bit repetitive in places, and there was a bit of a flat ending but it all actually worked quite we...moreThis was actually a pretty fun read. It was maybe a bit repetitive in places, and there was a bit of a flat ending but it all actually worked quite well considering the genre. I'm on a bit of a western kick so I was really just looking for a non cheesy book of that era and although this maybe didn't deliver on that score, I still really enjoyed it for what it was.
If you're looking for something fun and relatively brainless, you could definitely do worse. (less)
I couldn't put this book down when I was reading it - I just found it fascinating and despite being Scottish, I actually didn't know anything about th...moreI couldn't put this book down when I was reading it - I just found it fascinating and despite being Scottish, I actually didn't know anything about this prior to reading the book.
The biggest compliment I can pay is that after finishing, I immediately googled for more information and started trying to plan a trip to see it, although perhaps that is more a testament to the actual men of Camp 60 and less to do with this book.
The book though is an easy read, that gives you plenty of information and moves at a brisk pace. There are fictionalised elements in the book but for the most part, everything you read actually happened. The author helpfully provides some notes and an epilogue which fills in the blanks and clarifies what is real and what was embellished. Perhaps some of the characters could have been fleshed out a little more but for me, it worked and I appreciated hearing what happened to them after they left the island.
I'd definitely recommend trying the book - I don't think anyone would be disappointed if they have any sort of interest in this sort of subject.(less)
I think I would have enjoyed this more, if there were less Simon Snow segments and pages of the fanfic. I love fanfic more than most, but i found myse...moreI think I would have enjoyed this more, if there were less Simon Snow segments and pages of the fanfic. I love fanfic more than most, but i found myself skimming it.
Outwith that - I think Rainbow Rovell is proving to be a dab hand at writing secondary characters, perhaps even better at writing them than writing main characters. I didn't really warm to Cath for a while, although I did get her more as the story progressed. I loved Levi a lot (who doesn't?) and Cath's dad and Regan were all wonderful characters. The relationship between Cath and her trying to be independent twin sister was handled really well too. Nick...I think the Nick character and his motivations were obviously designed to contrast with Cath and her's (what is borrowing and what is stealing) but I never felt it was resolved. In fact, I felt like the whole book was left a bit too open ended. Maybe that was the point...the Freshman year being like a dog year thing...where a lot happens and not a lot is resolved, but still.
It was a good, quick read. The romance was sweet and made you smile and it made me think back to my own first few months at uni and everything that was going through my own head at that time, but beyond the superficial, I don't think it's a book I'm going to be itching to re-read, or even remember much beyond this reading.(less)
I wanted to love this because I love Sarah Addison Allen books, but I just couldn't get into this as much as I usually do with her books. It felt a bi...moreI wanted to love this because I love Sarah Addison Allen books, but I just couldn't get into this as much as I usually do with her books. It felt a bit formulaic and all the parts were there, but it just didn't mesh as normal. I wasn't invested enough in the characters, and all the quirky charm I love wasn't enough to make me overly care about the characters.
It was still a decent enough read, but just didn't have the spark that her books usually have.(less)
I can't decide if I loved this or just really liked it. Whilst reading it I was engrossed, but when it was over I didn't really have the 'must tell ev...moreI can't decide if I loved this or just really liked it. Whilst reading it I was engrossed, but when it was over I didn't really have the 'must tell everyone about it' feeling I usually get from books that I love. I loved the premise, I found both Eleanor and Park engaging, I LOVED the secondary characters (in particular Park's parents), and it had a wonderful last page which left you feeling optimistic and hopeful (which was definitely needed!)...all in all, it's a book that I should have loved. I don't know why then I feel like it just missed the mark a tiny bit, but the more I think about it after finishing, the more I feel like it was less than the sum of it's parts.
Definitely worth reading and recommended, but maybe just not as amazing as I thought it was when I was reading.(less)