The only complaint that I have is that the main character was written in a voice that seemed much older than her actual age of 32. Her "voice" and narThe only complaint that I have is that the main character was written in a voice that seemed much older than her actual age of 32. Her "voice" and narrative definitely seemed like a much older woman in her 40s or 50s. ...more
Ugh... I really wanted this to be good. But, it so wasn't. I kept getting the feeling I was reading something that the author wrote during NaNoWriMo,Ugh... I really wanted this to be good. But, it so wasn't. I kept getting the feeling I was reading something that the author wrote during NaNoWriMo, that went awry and he somehow got a book deal out of it. The writing was poor and there was no character development, nor a single likable character. ...more
I've been reading this book for a REALLY long time. I do love travel memoirs, however I haven't read many and if I recall correctly I've only read oneI've been reading this book for a REALLY long time. I do love travel memoirs, however I haven't read many and if I recall correctly I've only read ones by Bill Bryson, who is quite hilarious and entertaining. It took me a while to get acquainted with Sara Wheeler's writing style. I really don't know if I ever got used to it.
I think what took me so long to get through is that I found the first quarter of this book where she is traveling through the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile painfully boring. I love deserts, so I suppose it wasn't the desert itself, but not much actually happened. I mean, yeah, she did travel through it, but all she wrote about was in this style, "I saw this, I talked to this person, we got back on the road."
I left this book alone for months, I put down somewhere in the desert. I decided to give it a go again and as Sara moved further South the book became considerably more interesting. I loved parts where she traveled to remote islands off the coast and down through Patagonia and into the Archipelagic Chile. Those areas just seemed absolutely breathtaking and interesting.
One thing that got me though, was that every time something interested was about to happen to the author, she would immediately change the subject. She would state that this interesting thing was about to happen, and then... on to the next thing. It never made any sense. Maybe she didn't quite know how to record those memories or maybe she was simply saving them for herself.
Anyhow, my interest in Chile has certainly increased. Right before I picked this up again, I actually acquired a pen pal from Chile and I'm looking forward to both practicing my Spanish and learning more about modern Chilean culture through her. This book was published in the very early 90s after the country had gone much political and economic upheaval. I'm interested to see how things are nowadays. I admit that Chile is a country I know very little about. The country does seem incredibly dynamic.
I do think that I might one day other books by this author as she has another in which she travels through the arctic in some countries of particular interest to me such as Canada, Greenland, and Norway. She has another written about Antarctica. She did travel to Chilean Antarctica in this book and it was quite interesting so I think I'd like to read one where she has a more long-term stay there.
All in all, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars. ...more
Love Finds You in Miracle, Kentucky is one of the many books (50+) in the Love Finds You series. Love Finds You is a Christian Romance series where eaLove Finds You in Miracle, Kentucky is one of the many books (50+) in the Love Finds You series. Love Finds You is a Christian Romance series where each book features a different character, in a different time, and place. Mostly they are women moving to a small town with a quirky name, the women are almost always starting over in a small town where they know nobody and then they end up falling in love. That was the case with LFY in Miracle, Kentucky. Actually, that's the case with most Christian Romances...
In this book, the main character is Meg Jorgensson. Meg just broke up with her poet boyfriend who she was living in Chicago with, where she was a teacher at an inner-city school. She decides to move in with her grandma (who she doesn't know very well) to start a new life away from her toxic boyfriend. She gets a position teaching at a small charter school in Miracle where she meets Vance and Cammy Bayer. Vance is a single dad and Cammy is his disabled, wheelchair-bound daughter.
Cammy really wants Meg and her dad to date and she would love to have her favorite teacher as as a new mom (hers died in the car accident that paralyzed her). Cammy is really pushy and sneaky when it comes to setting up her dad and teacher, which most people might find cute. It was a bit to Hallmark Channel for me. Way too sappy. Disabled child plays matchmaker for her dad and teacher? Blah.
I don't really know the though process behind me choosing this LFY book to read. I mean, I know what it was, I thought, "I own a lot of these that I still haven't read, I know! I'll read them in chronological order from the time they were published!". I probably should have just read whichever I really felt like reading, probably one of the historical ones which are usually my favorite (I'm not a big contemporary romance person). This one was just too cheesy with the whole disabled daughter, it was too Southern too. Kentucky is just not really a state that I have ever had interest in reading about. I'm have pretty much no interest in the life of a person who listens to country music, that whole "redneck" lifestyle. Even though, the main character wasn't a country girl and country life sounds a bit pleasant, they're just not really at the top of the list for subcultures I'm intrigued by (typically I find the whole "redneck" attitude obnoxious).
But, once I really started reading the book it went by pretty fast. It was a cute story and I actually liked the main character, Meg, a lot. She was smart and had a good moral compass (despite the fact she actually didn't start going to church until after she moved to Kentucky- gasp! Scandalous!). She also was realistic enough for a woman her age. I'm going to give Love Finds You in Miracle, Kentucky 3 out of 5 stars....more
I know this is a bookworm faux pas, but I've never read a book by Rainbow Rowell before. I actually wanted to read her others more than this one, butI know this is a bookworm faux pas, but I've never read a book by Rainbow Rowell before. I actually wanted to read her others more than this one, but when I was on Audible trying to determine how to spend my credits, I was tempted by how much I love the cover of her newest novel, Landline.
From what I understand, Rowell's previous novels were in the Young Adult genre. This one definitely felt adult to me. I wouldn't call it Adult Fiction/Literary Fiction, but maybe Chick-Lit? Probably most definitely Chick-Lit. The main character, I already forgot her name, is a writer for a popular sitcom. However, her dream has always been to be a writer for her own sitcom, which is a dream that she and her best friend Phil share. They finally have the opportunity during the Christmas season to have their show picked up, but they'll need to submit the scripts for four episodes over the course of, like, a week or so. This is great!! Butttt, she's supposed to be leaving for Omaha with her husband and two young daughters to spend Christmas with his mother.
For some reason, the MC is shocked when her husband doesn't want to cancel the family's Christmas plans and stay in LA so she can write for her show. Instead, like a sane person who has probably just spent tons of money on plane tickets and is excited to see his mother, he takes the daughters and they proceed with the travel plans, leaving her behind to work. However, he's kinda a jerk and for some reason once he's in Omaha (actually once he's at the airport in LA) he never texts or calls her, like over the span of 10 days never once contacts his wife.
Meanwhile in LA, the MC can't even get her iPhone to work and she's in a horrible depression thinking she's made the wrong decision by following her dreams and not going to Christmas in Omaha with her family. So, she ends up living at her mom's house (which is closer to her job anyways) during the time her family is away. Lucky thing is, her mom has an old landline phone that she can use to call her husband. Odd thing is, whenever she calls her husband's mom's landline phone (remember he's not actually answering his cell phone for her) the Neal that picks up isn't the same Neal that left LA, it's college-aged Neal. The Neal she first met in the 90s.
So, this is a weird sort of time travel / Magical Realism type book. But, no one really time travels, she just calls the past somehow (which is never explained) with her magic landline phone. I liked the book, but I think if it wasn't an audiobook I probably would have been pretty bored by the story. It wasn't really exciting and I wasn't a big fan of any of the characters except her best friend and sister. I really couldn't bring myself to care about the MC's relationship. She and her husband (Neal) just didn't really seem right for each other or like they even liked each other that much. I really didn't understand why the MC was pining over this guy the whole time, he was a jerk, he had no personality, and other than when they were in college when he drove 27 hours to surprise her with an engagement, I don't recall anything romantic ever happening.
All in all, I give Landline 3 out of 5 stars. I do plan to read Rainbow Rowell's previous novels, which will hopefully have more likable characters and better storylines....more
I wanted so bad to like this book. I loved Jeanette Winterson's hilarious and poignant memoir, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? This is basicallyI wanted so bad to like this book. I loved Jeanette Winterson's hilarious and poignant memoir, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? This is basically that memoir, put into novel form and not 100% non-fiction.
The main character, also called Jeanette, is adopted as baby into a strict Pentecostal household. Her adoptive mother believes that Jeanette will one day become a missionary and trains as a very young child for her "destiny" as a missionary. As a young adult, Jeanette begins several love affairs with women, thus causing her religious and family trouble. The book is told in a humorous, yet sincere manner.
So the problem for me, was the writing I think. It was very British. I know this sounds really ignorant, but it was hard to understand the language, just with the British English. For example, in one chapter, the word "mac" kept being used. I thought this was macaroni-and-cheese until the author speaks of putting it on. Sure, I could have Googled the British words I didn't know, but really while reading it's not really something I usually feel like doing since it disrupts the flow. There was also a lot of parables that disrupt the flow of the story. In the middle of the story at any given time she'll tell another short almost fairy-tale like story or might just insert what seem like small non-fiction essays. Just reflections on life.
Unfortunately, I'm going to give Oranges Are The Only Fruit 2 out of 5 stars....more
The Book of Mormon Girl is a memoir of growing up Mormon, but as an adult having political and cultural disagreements regarding the faith that you werThe Book of Mormon Girl is a memoir of growing up Mormon, but as an adult having political and cultural disagreements regarding the faith that you were raised in and love deeply. It's about juggling personal feelings about topics such as feminism and gay rights with the conservative doctrine and culture of one's own religion. Really, you don't have to be Mormon to enjoy The Book of Mormon Girl, anyone who has felt like they don't quite fit into their culture or upbringing could relate to Joanna Brook's struggle as a Mormon feminist and gay ally.
This book was of particular interest to me. I'm a Mormon convert and have only been in the church for about a year. Growing up fairly secular, I too sometimes have a hard time agreeing or understanding certain aspects of Mormon culture. I, like Joanna Brooks, am a feminist and supporter of gay rights. I'm not as vocal or entwined in those subcultures, but it is scary to me that people who don't agree wholeheartedly with the church's views of cultural and political topics can be excommunicated. This is something the author is constantly worried about as she dearly loves the Mormon church.
The book kept my interest for the most part. The writing wasn't always super interesting and was mostly her lamenting how hard it is to be a feminist/gay activist and be Mormon and how she doesn't fit in anymore. That's the point of the book, I guess, but at times she did come off as almost whiny and a little too poetic and sentimental. I also couldn't tell who the books intended market was. Was it Mormons or non-members? I'm thinking her target audience are fellow Mormons, as many of the things she talks about in the book in regards to the church aren't explained. Non-members would be highly-confused with so little explanation of Mormon jargon and traditions. Even I, as a member, albeit a convert, found things I had to look up.
The book is relatively short and sweet and with enough time and a good attention-span (which I lack... on both counts) could probably be read in a few hours. I'm a lover of memoirs and I especially love learning about different religions and cultures so I would recommend this book to others who enjoy the same subjects. I am giving The Book of Mormon Girl 3 out of 5 stars....more
When I saw that there was a book written about the Columbine High School shooting of 1999, I just had to read it. The horrific school shooting happeneWhen I saw that there was a book written about the Columbine High School shooting of 1999, I just had to read it. The horrific school shooting happened when I was in middle school and definitely changed the way my peers and I felt about our safety in school and "outsiders" on the fringes of our school's social structure. I feel like I certainly learned a lot about the shootings. Actually, pretty much everything I thought I knew was pretty much false (thanks to the media).
This book was super educational and it took a totally unbiased approach. Eric and Dylan, the two boys responsible for the school massacre, were brilliant to be honest. They were true masterminds and masters of deception. They weren't goths or fans of Marilyn Manson. They weren't even necessarily unpopular. They were just two regular guys, maybe a little on the shy side, but still totally normal. The book really does a great job at portraying this.
The author also has a unique writing style, especially in the sections dedicated to Eric and Dylan. He takes on the tone of an angsty teenage boy, it's almost like he's one of them. In the book you see the shooting, both the planning leading up to it and the aftermath, from the perspectives of the shooters, the victims, the survivors, the school system, law enforcement, and the media. It paints a very intricate and intriguing picture.
I highly recommend this book if you're a fan of true crime novels or have a fascination with what drives seemingly normal people to kill. I give Columbine 4 out of 5 stars. It was VERY interesting....more