I liked this a LOT and had a hard time putting it down. I know a lot of readers have dystopia fatigue, but I'd put this on the top of the pil...moreDystopia.
I liked this a LOT and had a hard time putting it down. I know a lot of readers have dystopia fatigue, but I'd put this on the top of the pile of Hunger Games readalikes; I'm eager to read the sequel ASAP. It made me think quite a lot about selflessness and bravery. The one thing I definitely have fatigue about is the romance setup where the girl is ignorant of her destiny and the guy knows everything and remains secretive to "protect" her, and his slow doling out of information and her naivete counts as their "attraction" to each other. Enough of that already.
"His absence will haunt their hallways, and he will be a space they can't fill. And then time will pass, and the hole will be gone, like when an organ is removed and the body's fluids flow into the space it leaves. Humans can't tolerate emptiness for long."
"My father says that those who want power and get it live in terror of losing it. That's why we have to give power to those who do not want it."
"Mom used to say that politeness is deception in pretty packaging."
"Those who seek peace above all else, they say, will always deceive to keep the water calm."
"I have realized that part of being Dauntless is being willing to make things more difficult for yourself in order to be self-sufficient."
"Something about him makes me feel like I am about to fall. Or turn to liquid. Or burst into flames."
"I used to think the Dauntless were fearless. That is how they seemed, anyway. But maybe what I saw as fearless was actually fear under control."
"'Maybe there's more we all could have done,' he says, 'but we just have to let the guilt remind us to do better next time.' I frown and pull back. That is a lesson that members of Abnegation learn -- guilt as a tool, rather than a weapon against the self."
"Caleb has a place in every memory of my childhood; he is part of my foundation."
"Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again."
"Half of bravery is perspective. The first time I did this, it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. Now, preparing to jump off a moving train is nothing, because I have done more difficult things in the past few weeks than most people will in a lifetime."
"The harrowing events unfold through emails, text messages, web pages, Twitter feeds, and instant messaging--the natural modernization of Bram Stoker'...more"The harrowing events unfold through emails, text messages, web pages, Twitter feeds, and instant messaging--the natural modernization of Bram Stoker's original Dracula, which was written in letters, diary entries, and news clippings." --Goodreads description
So, I actually kind of liked this. It's super-fast to read, and fun to piece together the plot based only on electronic communication (including a very suspenseful use of "delivery of your message has been delayed"!). I wonder how soon the texting interface will change, making this book a relic. The author dedicates it to her son, her husband, and her cell phone.(less)
Romantic, creepy, and vivid novella about the forbidden love between two cousins in a large, falling-apart family. The title refers to the island wher...moreRomantic, creepy, and vivid novella about the forbidden love between two cousins in a large, falling-apart family. The title refers to the island where Viola washes up in "Twelfth Night." Cousins Maddy and Rogan are cast together in their high school production, and I've never read such a good description of the "drug" that theatre can become. I gobbled this one up and still find myself thinking about its many layers (family, talent, art, love, guilt, secrets, acting, and that magical discovery in the wall of the attic and what it means). I wasn't expecting where it went at the end, though.
"The wisteria looked beautiful, blade-shaped leaves and clusters of blossoms like grapes made of blue tissue."
"A creepy archaeology of wallpaper peeled in layers from the walls -- fox hunters, lurid pink lilacs, Humpty Dumpty."
"'But talent -- if you don't encourage it, if you don't train it, it dies. It might run wild for a little while, but it will never mean anything. Like a wild horse. If you don't tame it and teach it to run on a track, to pace itself and bear a rider, it doesn't matter how fast it is. It's useless.'"
"'Think of it like this: you're building a house, a beautiful house, a little bit at a time out of all these things -- your voice, your body, your memory, how you move. If you do it right, if you put all the elements together, something happens. Something comes to live in that space you've made, inside you. Then you go onstage and people see it. They see you, but they also see this other -- thing -- that you've created. That you've built, that you're inside of.'"
"The bleak horror I'd felt earlier returned; the sense that I had somehow missed the real meaning of the world, which everyone but me had always known."
words I didn't know: susurrus, louche, intransigent, helices
Great cover. The reviews for this weren't glowing, but it was pretty good for the paranormal romance genre, I thought. I liked the theater/Shakespeare...moreGreat cover. The reviews for this weren't glowing, but it was pretty good for the paranormal romance genre, I thought. I liked the theater/Shakespeare angle (which will appeal to teens interested in acting and drama), and I also liked how much of the suspense was driven by FIRST sentences of chapters (opening with a different POV than the previous chapter). Includes a preview of the next in the series, Darklight.
My favorite part was the description of Central Park's Tavern on the Green, which I now want to visit:
"Inside it was a maze of mirrored halls, rococo stained glass, stag antlers mounted on chestnut-paneled walls, and fairy-tale murals. The main dining room was a glass gazebo festooned with a whimsical assortment of chandeliers of all colors and sizes, fracturing light into rainbows that danced across walls painted with cloud castles and winged horses. Outside in the courtyard, every tree was wrapped with strings of tiny electric lights, and garlands of paper lanterns swung between the overarching branches. The bushes that surrounded the garden were trimmed into fantastic shapes--a prancing horse, a mermaid..." (less)
Maia, I finally read it! It was nice to dip back into FLB's writing, having not read anything of hers in a while. This wasn't my absolute favorite of...moreMaia, I finally read it! It was nice to dip back into FLB's writing, having not read anything of hers in a while. This wasn't my absolute favorite of her books (I'll always be partial to Weetzie Bat), but I appreciated that she took the popularity of vampire teen lit and gave it a twist. Charlotte is a vampire who lives disguised as a human and hates immortality -- it's made her witness to more death and destruction than she cares to remember. But this story begins with signs of her slowly returning to being human...
"Emily, none of this is worth it. Not this endangered blond hair, not this house full of shining things, not the velvets and pearls and shiny red-soled shoes of fortune, not even this beautiful curse of immortality. What you had, even with the pain -- that was life. What I have, especially now, without you, without the other one I loved and lost, is just living. Dead."
"When you become only art and not the artist, the girl in the shocking-pink dress, what becomes of your soul?"
"We talked about the way artists had suffered and changed their pain into beauty. How it saved some but not others."(less)
Send-up of Twilight spotted on Alison N's to-read list.
"About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe...moreSend-up of Twilight spotted on Alison N's to-read list.
"About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe. Second, there was a vampire part of him–which I assumed was wildly out of his control–that wanted me dead. And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me." (less)
Complete Twilight readalike, and in spite of a lot of eye-rolling (just how many times can the word "smoldering" be used to describe a guy?), I wanted...moreComplete Twilight readalike, and in spite of a lot of eye-rolling (just how many times can the word "smoldering" be used to describe a guy?), I wanted to keep reading to find out how things would end for main character Ever. Ever, like Bella, is a high school wallflower who thinks of herself as a freak that no boy would ever notice, and this is partly because since her family was killed in a car accident, she can hear people's thoughts and see their auras. This makes daily life pretty torturous for her, so imagine the intrigue when a hot new guy dressed in black arrives, and not only does he have a thing for Ever, but he can also silence the voices in her head. Also, he's "emancipated." (What does this mean? Seems to mean a teen who can live alone without parents? Pretty convenient...)
There were a lot of points where I felt that this book was trying to give its girl protagonist more backbone and set itself apart from "vampire lit" (Damon isn't a vampire, BTW), and while I appreciate that, it wasn't enough to set this apart from Twilight in my mind. But Twi-hards will gobble this up. Some language and violence. I did like the relationship between Ever and her gay friend, Martin, and also her younger sister, Riley.
'"Oh, yeah? Prove it! [you're not a vampire:]" I say, my voice shaky, my eyes on his, fully convinced I'm just a rosary, garlic clove, and wooden stake short of ending all this.'
"But the one thing I didn't expect was how lonely I felt. I guess I failed to realize just how much I relied on Damon and Riley to fill up the gaps, to seal all the cracks in my life."