**spoiler alert** This book reminded me quite a bit of Voltaire in its satirical criticism. People make choices whether they are bound to do so (as su**spoiler alert** This book reminded me quite a bit of Voltaire in its satirical criticism. People make choices whether they are bound to do so (as suggested in Vonnegut's fictional religion) or simply because they are indifferent to the consequences of their actions (as suggested by the narrator a few times). Either way, criticism of science, religion, and community in general abound. I didn't find it quite as funny here as I did when reading Candide; instead, it seemed much more depressingly dark humor. Perhaps people making callous choices that affect others hit me a little too close to home in these roller coaster days? Perhaps. Regardless, I've far preferred the other Vonneguts I've read, and would rather re-read those than this....more
**spoiler alert** This was a fascinating look into the world of Jane Austen, not just because I enjoy her as an author, but because of how closely her**spoiler alert** This was a fascinating look into the world of Jane Austen, not just because I enjoy her as an author, but because of how closely her letters match her novels. The writing style is of course, similar, but even the wit behind some of the lines would just fit delightfully into one of her books. I particularly liked her descriptions of the people around her, which seemed so very in line with her characters, and her comments referencing how her newly published books had been received, which was interesting. I also enjoyed the letters in which she helped her niece with her writing with critiques (as well as praise), and her other niece with her affairs of the heart. She was filled with wisdom as well as wit.
What did make these difficult to read is how obviously some letters are missing or have been edited or censored. This makes perfect sense to me, as this was real correspondence between two actual people and I'm sure there are things that she and her sister would rather not have seen published. I'm glad her family was sensitive to that. It does make it difficult to follow certain trains of thought and references to people and places, especially when there are large time gaps, but during the times where things do follow, it's an interesting picture of how people in general and she in particular lived and thought and communicated at the time.
I probably won't revisit these letters too often, but I was glad I read it overall. I don't often highlight in my Kindle, but there were a couple of times where I just couldn't help it. She was just so clever, and I both wanted to write letters of my own and read her books all over again while reading these letters....more
**spoiler alert** This book looks lovely, and I admit that was what first caught my attention about it. The second thing that caught my attention was**spoiler alert** This book looks lovely, and I admit that was what first caught my attention about it. The second thing that caught my attention was that it's a graphic novel about two young girls, when girls are often not considered "the target audience" for that genre of books (don't get me started on why that is ridiculous). I was obviously immediately curious and I've been hanging onto it for a while (sorry, local library readers) until my reading slump was starting to fade.
While the inside of the book was just as pretty as the outside, the story is not. It's sad and full of troubled topics which the young girls, particularly Rose, have to face during their lakeside summer. As Rose's parents are dealing with the aftermath of a heartbreaking miscarriage, Rose and her friend Windy become the audience for the drama taking place between two local teens. These two teens' relationship goes south quickly when the girl becomes pregnant and her boyfriend panics and denies responsibility. While the two dramas the girls observe are interesting, I feel like the girls themselves do not play enough of a role in the stories to really make as meaningful an impact as it could. The stories did not seem to change them or help them progress as characters, and they do not end up playing a meaningful role in either story. There are some times when an unresolved story is an interesting or at least just right feeling, but this time, I just felt like it left the story at a low point, and I wanted something more. Especially with such heavy issues, it would have been nice to see real growth in the characters. Still lovely to look at though, and I would try another graphic novel by the Tamakis....more
**spoiler alert** It is interesting that this book isn't at all what I expected it to be from the description of it, and yet, I really enjoyed it. Lak**spoiler alert** It is interesting that this book isn't at all what I expected it to be from the description of it, and yet, I really enjoyed it. Lakey has created a really interesting world here, and I liked the story as told from the perspective of Cheobawn as the young psychic. As a child wise beyond her years, her perspective is both enlightening due to its perceptive nature, and due its empathizing with the other children in the story.
There were so many things in this world which were not explained in detail, which I thought I would mind more. But in the end I liked it, as the reader doesn't really need an explanation. Most things can be eventually deduced by context, and there's a glossary at the back to help with what can't be (which is very little). The story itself leaves little room for explanations, as it's so brief. It actually feels mostly like a setup for the rest of the series, but it's so fast-paced and easy to read that I don't think that's a problem at all! I definitely want to read more in this series....more
**spoiler alert** Sometimes when a book is presented to me with a reference to another book, it can make me nervous to read the book, due to the high**spoiler alert** Sometimes when a book is presented to me with a reference to another book, it can make me nervous to read the book, due to the high expectations set. In this case , I did not let the comparison set my expectations too high, but was pleasantly surprised anyway. I really enjoyed this book, and found the plot fun to follow. The Game was interesting and I partly wish that there had been more of seeing how the characters played, rather than primarily seeing results.
What we got instead though was a great deal of perspective from each of the main characters, which was just as good, if not better. All the characters were interesting and likable, and understandable in their own ways. I didn't agree with all their choices or actions, but by the end, I really wasn't sure how exactly I wanted it all to end.
All in all, it was a really fun book, with many lovely descriptions, which not only made me eager for the next book, but also made me want to learn more about Russia, Imperial Russia specifically....more
**spoiler alert** I was warned before reading this story that the book was “weird.” It is, in fact, weird, but I get where the author was trying to go**spoiler alert** I was warned before reading this story that the book was “weird.” It is, in fact, weird, but I get where the author was trying to go with it. It was an interesting world with an interesting premise, and I think I would have liked it if it had been told in a more traditional fashion. As it was, the jumps back and forth through time and the multiple interruptions in the narration really just made the book uninteresting at first (because the reader doesn’t have enough information to actually care), frustrating later (because the information coming is now confusing or not communicating the stakes well enough), and a slog by the end (because you're just tired of trying to make sense of it all). The ending got a lot better, but there was still a lot missing. I think there could have been so much done with this world, these creatures, these themes, but it just didn't pull together in time for me....more
**spoiler alert** I love Gideon and Sofia as characters. I found their difficulty trusting and communicating with each other was really relatable. I a**spoiler alert** I love Gideon and Sofia as characters. I found their difficulty trusting and communicating with each other was really relatable. I also liked how the story arc finally came full circle and began to unfold - and I really liked seeing the story from the rift entities' perspective. However, while I really liked the connections between all the characters, the protagonists of this book really didn't feel necessary to the overall story (for that matter, neither did Flynn and Jubilee). Their link in the chain of solutions was fairly tenuous, as I feel like anyone could have jumped through the rift. Also, that as a solution was odd in the first place, considering it was one of the first suggested and discounted. That seemed to be the problem with a lot of the characters' planning: despite the fact that it kept leading them toward where their next stop, it didn't seem to have a lot of sound logic underneath it. But it was still nice to see where the story ended up at the finale of it all....more
**spoiler alert** I liked this installment in the series far better than I expected. I'd thought the initial description of Maria as dreamy and not-al**spoiler alert** I liked this installment in the series far better than I expected. I'd thought the initial description of Maria as dreamy and not-all-there sounded a little dull, but she turned out to be much more fun and down-to-earth than I expected. In fact, Amy Tribble's interpretations of her dreams were far more out there than the dreams themselves (though still not quite as hilarious as Clarissa!). My real complaint about this book was the fact that the Tribbles don't really have a part in the book until nearly 20% into it, and then there are a few times when they seem a little uncharacteristically callous. Otherwise, it was nice to see them again. ...more
**spoiler alert** This was a really interesting story, and while I enjoyed it, there a few things that didn't quite hit the mark for me. For example,**spoiler alert** This was a really interesting story, and while I enjoyed it, there a few things that didn't quite hit the mark for me. For example, I really enjoyed Maya being taken to Amar's palace and exploring the various rooms as he tested her. I loved how she explored and began to put together the pieces of where she was and who Amar was. I wanted to see more of that world though. I wanted her to be less limited in her explorations, and I wanted to hear the eventual explanations of Amar and Gupta. I found the past-life exploration interesting, but a little rushed. The writing was lovely, if almost too lovely in a few places, but how can you complain about that?
I definitely would read more from Roshani Chokshi. 3.5 stars....more