The Time Traveler's Wife is a unique love story that uses a fantasy premise of unintentional time travel to analyze completely real topics of death, i...moreThe Time Traveler's Wife is a unique love story that uses a fantasy premise of unintentional time travel to analyze completely real topics of death, infertility, loss, and love. The non-linear timeline is a wonderful and interesting way to tell this rare love story.
I read somewhere that this book was like two books crammed into one. One book was an amazing love story that could move you to tears and the other book was a boring list of grocery items, punk bands, book titles, and abstract painters. I think this book just tried to be too much all at once. I little more careful editing to cut out some of the sulfurous detail would have made this book a home run.
As it is The Time Traveler's Wife is still a great romance that really touched me. I really liked how the time travel added a new dimension to their relationship. Claire knows what has happened and Henry knows what will. I also really liked the aspects of this book that dealt with child bearing and infertility. I thought that was really interesting and it dealt with those topics in a very strong way. I also really liked Alba and her interactions with Henry. She was my favorite character; touching, sweet, and gentle with her parents.
Overall The Time Traveler's Wife is a beautiful love story that sometimes gets bogged down in the details. I still highly recommend it for anyone interested in an adult novel that deals with all of the pain and happiness associated with loving someone.
Sidenote, I listened to the audio book and I thought it was really well done. The actor for Henry was especially talented. I really enjoyed the emotion shown in the audio book.
Another sidenote, the movie was a great adaptation of this book. It took all of the important parts and made a great representation of the heart of the book. Well done.(less)
ok I can't do it. This book is just awful, and I can't finish it. I made it about half way and while a lot of people told me it would get better in th...moreok I can't do it. This book is just awful, and I can't finish it. I made it about half way and while a lot of people told me it would get better in the second half, I'm sorry this book is almost 900 pages. If you have literally zero plot in 400+ pages then it's not worth finishing. I think this book needed a much firmer editor. Just in the first half I'd say 50-100 pages could easily have been cut, largely due to the complete lack of story. The whole first half of the book goes like this:
Claire - 'Cuz we are living in a post WWII world, and I am a 1940s girl....
****MAGICAL TIME TRAVEL ROCKS ACTIVATE****
Evil Englishman - ARRRR RAPE!
Sexy Scotsman - Rape save!
Claire - 1700s Scotland!? dafaq?...ooh a kilt...OK!
Other Scotsmen - ARRRR RAPE!
Sexy Scotsman - Rape Save!
Roadway Bandits - ARR RAPE!
Sexy Scotsman - Rape Save!
****300 pages of them living in Scotland doing nothing except living in Scotland****
Sexy Scotsman - Now we have to get married because...reasons!
Claire - but I'm already married...oooh a kilt...OK!
Evil Englishman - ARRRR RAPE!
Sexy Scotsman - Rape save! Wife Beat! ARRR RAPE!
Claire - I'm mad I hate you...ooh a kilt....OK!
****Loch Ness Monster (no really)****
That's literally it.
The thing about this book that really grinds my gears is the general acceptance of rape. Basically the main character lives in constant threat of rape from everyone. The villainous Englishman, the Scottish clansmen, and even her (second) husband. It's one thing if the villain is doing the raping, it makes him more evil. What I completely don't understand is when the romantic interest does the raping or threatening of rape and we as readers are supposed to find it manly and sexy. I'm sorry, but threatening your wife with assault is NEVER attractive.
ANOTHER THING. So many people have defended the rape in this book because it's "historically accurate" and "that's just how things were back then". It's true that women didn't have many rights and were treated like property, but that DOESN'T MAKE IT RIGHT. Rape is ALWAYS wrong, even if it's the 1700s and even if it's your husband. For Claire to be so accepting of it and for other readers to still find Jamie attractive and heroic is just disgusting. We need to stop making excuses for rapists and abusers, regardless of time period, culture, childhood, or whatever else you want to try and use. (less)
The Forest of Hand and Teeth gets one star for the description of the zombies (though not their explanation) and one star for the awesome title. That'...moreThe Forest of Hand and Teeth gets one star for the description of the zombies (though not their explanation) and one star for the awesome title. That's about it for the positive aspects of this book.
There needs to be an explanation for why the zombies exist, and the science has to make sense. I am a stickler about there being science in science fiction and that science is based on fact. If a virus causes the zombies I need to know how the virus is spread, where it originated, if it had an intended purpose or if it was just an accident, how it works in the body, ect. I also need to know how the zombies specifically act in this story. Are they fast or slow? Are they thinking and planning zombies or mindless one? Do they live until their bodies wear out or do they have to feed to survive? I need to understand the cause of the zombies and how they act and why they act the way they do.
There needs to be an explanation for the way society deals with the virus. How do they adapt and what strategies have they developed to protect themselves from the zombies? If there is a government still in place, why does it work, why do the citizens live the way they do, and what are the motivations of the governments decisions? The heroes/heroines need to be smart. They need to have an understanding of their enemy and survival needs to be their main focus. They have to be imaginative, determined, and ready to fight. That's the only way to survive a zombie apocalypse.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth had none of these elements. There was no explanation for the existence of zombies, just that they existed. There seemed to be some knowledge hidden by the "government" of the village, but it was never revealed even though there were many opportunities for the main character to do some sleuthing. There was almost no history about the zombie outbreak and how the village came to exist. I got absolutely no understanding about how the zombies worked and how to best defeat them.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth was way too focused on the completely illogical romantic drama. If the villagers believed that they were the last of humanity in the entire world, why would they force women into becoming nuns? Shouldn't every viable womb be used to keep the population up? I can understand forcing teens to marry in order for this to happen, but if a girl cannot find a match when she is 16 it made no sense for her to be forced into a life of celibacy. Polygamy would have been a more logical system. The particulars of Mary's relationship were also similarly mind boggling. The teens involved inflicted a lot of unnecessary stress upon themselves. They should have all just gotten together and talked about it. A round table would have saved them all a LOT of problems.
I also really hated the attitude taken towards the zombies. There seemed to be absolutely no protection and preparation beyond a few vaulted platforms and a chain link fence. And where did all of the technology go? This book read more like historical fiction than science fiction. If it were me, people would be training every day in combat and survival skills, and they would all have the knowledge about zombies that was available.
I'm surprised that these people lasted as long as they did because there was no preparation for a breach in their defenses. They always seemed to be taken by surprise by a zombie attack, even though they had weeks to prepare. The characters needed to get their priorities straight.
Overall I think this author had too many ideas and couldn't wrap them up. None of my questions were answered or even hinted at having answers and it felt like the author cared more about the love story than the survival story. The Forest of Hands and Teeth focused too much on creating a complicated love square and didn't focus on the more pressing issue at hand, the fact that zombies were trying to eat some brains. The zombies seemed like an afterthought added in to make a romance story more marketable. (less)
The mermaid chair was the first book I read by Sue Monk Kidd, being attracted to her books after seeing the movie of The Secret Life of Bees. While I...moreThe mermaid chair was the first book I read by Sue Monk Kidd, being attracted to her books after seeing the movie of The Secret Life of Bees. While I really enjoyed the movie, my first step into her books was sadly disappointing.
I found the plot of The Mermaid Chair to have great themes, but poor execution. It's a story about how relationships can fizzle out after a while and the temptation to find that spark in someone new. It's also about how the sense of duty and propriety can prevent a person from choosing their own happiness. But at the same time The Mermaid Chair is also about how people can have a life changing experience with a person even though they only know them for a short while and that meaningful relationships don't have to happen over twenty years. I just didn't like how these themes were displayed. There is very little room for the reader to draw their own conclusions, for the author will spell out each and every (obvious) symbolic meaning.
The biggest problem was my inability to care about the characters. On one hand I can totally understand Jessie and the choices that she made, having been there myself, but in reading her thoughts all I could think was that she was selfish and shallow. I didn't feel any sense of empathy towards her and couldn't bring myself to understand why she felt the way she did about her husband. I also didn't believe her "love" with Whit. It was definitely more of a case of lust and using a lover to hide from depression than true romantic love.
(view spoiler)[I want to make it clear that I didn't mind the affair, I can actually completely understand why she did that and her emotions behind it. I just didn't like how it seemed like she was fooling herself by calling it love. I wish she has at least cared enough about her husband to let him go first. He seemed like a honest man and didn't deserve her betrayal. Why are we all so afraid to admit our unhappiness to the people we care about before we do something that will end up hurting them way more than just telling the truth? (hide spoiler)]
Whit was probably the best character. I could really identify with the choices he made in going to the monastery and his inner conflict trying to decide to stay or go, both from the monastery and his relationship with Jessie. I like the theme of taking that cave time to heal from something bad, but then also realizing when it is time to come out of the cave and begin to create a new path in life. The religious aspects and events that can totally shake the foundation of your faith and make you question everything you've always believed to be true was very interesting and well handled.
Overall I really liked the themes in The Mermaid Chair, and some of the setting and imagery was very nice, but the deliverance of the themes in general fell flat and unemotional. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Perfect Chemistry is a modern day West Side Story. It's a classic tale of two star crossed lovers from opposite sides of the tracks defying social nor...morePerfect Chemistry is a modern day West Side Story. It's a classic tale of two star crossed lovers from opposite sides of the tracks defying social norms to be together.
I really enjoyed the beginning of the book, when Alex and Brittany both had preconceived notions about each other's motivations. I liked that as the reader I had insider knowledge and knew just how wrong each was about the other. I also really enjoyed some of their sweeter moments as Brittany and Alex learned the truth about each other (the wedding scene in particular was excellent). I also really enjoyed Alex's relationship with his family and how he tried to protect them from the gang while still appearing loyal. He walked a fine line, and it was really interesting to read.
There were a few parts of the books that weren't bad, but did leave me a little disappointed. Once Alex and Brittany recognized they liked each other it got a little cheesy and cliche for my taste. I tend to be a pretty cynical person so sometimes I didn't fully believe the character's motivations. Also Alex is in a gang but I didn't feel like there was enough gang violence. Gangs are really serious, and I can't help but feel there should have been more intimidating Alex into doing more bad things. I didn't feel like the gang was as in control of Alex as they should have been. And let me just say that I know this book is YA, but this is a romance people, I needed a little more in the sex scenes! Lots of good making out, not enough doing it.
The one thing that bumped this review down from a 4 star to a 3 star is the epilogue. I felt like the book had a good, concise ending until I read the epilogue. That took the book into ridiculously perfect happily ever after territory and I just couldn't take it seriously anymore.
Now don't get me wrong. I still really enjoyed this book, I just think it wasn't quite what I was expecting. So many people raved about it so I think I set myself up for failure. Perfect Chemistry is a great book for people looking for a forbidden love/Romeo and Juliet type story.(less)
Ugh this book. It's really bad you guys. The characters are boring or stupid, the plot is a scattered mess, and the writing is full of really bad desc...moreUgh this book. It's really bad you guys. The characters are boring or stupid, the plot is a scattered mess, and the writing is full of really bad descriptions and terribly lame jokes. It's just not good. The only reason I didn't give this a 1 star is because the ending was moderately interesting and City of Ashes didn't fill me with blinding rage like my other 1 star reviews. I think the best way to review City of Ashes is to talk about the characters, because there really isn't much plot to speak of.
Let's start with Clary and Jace. They sends shivers of disgust down my spine. Seriously, every time I read anything with Clary and Jace together I felt like I needed to take a shower. With a Brillo pad. and some bleach. I don't get squicked out by many things, but incest is one of them. I honestly feel like this whole brother/sister thing isn't true and is just added in for some tension that will be revealed later to not be true when it's inconvenient.
Simon. He pissed me off so bad at the beginning of this book. Look, just because you're a "nice guy" doesn't mean your girl "friend" has to like you back or should consent to your advances! Like seriously, if the only reason you're being nice to a girl is because you think she'll one day wake up and realize she's been in love with you the whole time, you're not a very nice guy!
***spoilers but I have to rant***
When Simon all of a sudden was a vampire I was seriously just like whaaa?? That came out of left field! They like leave the Seelie court and Simon storms off then it literally cuts to him being almost dead and changing. We don't get any kind of transition, it was just like Simon's a vampire now ok?
The Inquisitor is totally the Dolores Umbridge of The Mortal Instruments. She basically exists to get in the way and to be as antagonistic as possible without any reason (ok we kind of get a reason at the end of the book, but in my opinion it's not justified. How did this person get elected to such an important position if they're unable to be rational or objective? SMH)
Other random thoughts:
The faeries in this are rather weak. Seriously, the biggest mischief you can get up to is forcing a brother and sister to kiss? Boring! The snark that I enjoyed in City of Bones is completely gone. These characters do not sound like teenagers, they just sound lame. Magnus has that creepy I'm-a-900-year-old-supernatural-being-who-creeps-on-18-year-old-mortals vibe going on *cough*Edward Cullen stalker*cough* (Seriously though, I feel like Clare put Alec and Magnus together because she can't bare to have one of her characters be single. They so do not work together, they are awkward and in my opinion it really drags down Magnus's character, who could be really awesome if Clare let him). Clary is such a special snowflake. I really hate how her special rune power seems to have no limitations. I had to get through 75% of this book (roughly 340 pages) for anything interesting to happen and to really see any development in the main story arc. That is not good friends. Not good. So yeah. To say I was not impressed was an understatement. At this point I'm only reading this series so I can know what other people are talking about and because I own most of these so I might as well read them before I get rid of them. (less)
I can't believe I actually liked a Cassandra Clare novel. I never thought I would see the day. This is my fifth Cassandra Clare book and the first one...moreI can't believe I actually liked a Cassandra Clare novel. I never thought I would see the day. This is my fifth Cassandra Clare book and the first one I can say I honestly enjoyed. Even though the main plot didn't really go anywhere (much like Clare's other middle books City of Ashes and City of Lost Souls) I wasn't bored, unlike the other middle books.
Honestly, the character development in the Infernal Devices is so much stronger than in The Moral Instruments it feels like two different authors. I don't understand how engaging the characters of The Infernal Devices can be and how flat and dull the characters are in The Mortal Instruments. There are a lot of writing faults in The Infernal Devices. The word "startlingly" is used way too much! It's like Cassandra Clare thinks that everyone in Victorian England walked around jumping at literally everything they see "ooh your eyes are blue!", "ooh you are handsome!", "ooh your skin is pale!". Just stop, seriously, it's so bad. I also feel that Will is incredibly anachronistic. I know he's supposed to be a rapscallion, but the way he talks is just too modern.
I thought the romance was really well done. I mean, this is of course the over used love triangle trope, but The Infernal Devices is actually successful because we don't know who Tessa will choose. Both Will and Jem are viable options and we as readers actually have to read the rest of the series to see what will unfold. So even though Will was a huge idiot (seriously, didn't he ever think to I dunno, talk to someone about his issues? Why would he just take everything he was told as the truth and believe it blindly? I don't understand) and I don't thing Jem (my boo) has a snowballs chance in hell, I'm excited for clockwork princess.
Overall The Infernal Devices series is turning out to be leaps and bounds better than the Mortal Instruments. If I may be completely truthful I would recommend just skipping the Moral Instruments all together and starting with Clockwork Angel. You get the same characters and plot, but more interesting versions. (less)
I don't know how to feel. I hated how Jem was treated. Not what happened, but how he was brushed off, both by characters and the author. All of his ma...moreI don't know how to feel. I hated how Jem was treated. Not what happened, but how he was brushed off, both by characters and the author. All of his major plot points happened "off screen". it was infurating.
With that said I did like what happened with Will. I think I liked Tessa's relationship with Will and Tessa's relationship with Jem, but not both of them happening at the same time. Maybe I don't like Tessa...and maybe I don't like her because I see so much of myself in her, and she is flawed.(less)
Look at this cover. Look at it. It is phenomenal. Seriously, take off the words and I'd hang that on my wall. But sadly I cannot say the story inside...moreLook at this cover. Look at it. It is phenomenal. Seriously, take off the words and I'd hang that on my wall. But sadly I cannot say the story inside the book was as wildly exciting as the cover. I rarely think that books are overwritten, but There were so many plot twists it got to be too much and I found myself figuring out everything long before they were revealed and rolling my eyes.
The biggest problem in Across the Universe is world building, as is often the case with lack luster science fiction. I did not understand why there needed to be a society of people to maintain the ship in the first place. Couldn't there be a group of frozen technicians who are awaken at certain intervals? Couldn't most of the ship's functions be run by computers? Also, what was the point in the mission at all? I don't remember if that was explained but I never really knew why Amy and her parents were frozen in the first place.
I found myself really disliking Elder and Amy, the two main characters. I felt like there wasn't anything special enough about either of them to make them stand out and I couldn't relate. Amy was particularly bland. I came away from the novel knowing she was different because she had red hair, liked track and field, and spent a lot of time whining about her parents, her ex-boyfriend, and how different life on the ship is. I got a bit of a better feeling for Elder, mostly because he had the opportunity to develop as he learns more about Eldest and the deceptions of the ship's government. What really bothered me about these characters was how terrible things could happen to them but then they'd get over it in a matter of minutes. Amy, in particular, had some very unbelievable reactions. The romance between these two was boring and poorly paced. By the time they finally meet we're a third of the way through the book and I found it very difficult to care.
There were some good themes in Across the Universe, namely does quality of life matter if something can survive? It questions government control through various means: medicinal, class structure, and religion. It was like Revis had these great ethical themes that were bogged down with poorly built science fiction and tiresome romance.
Across the Universe looks like a beautiful romance set in outer space, but don't let that cover fool you. The book plods along with a clunky and more than slightly creepy romance and while there are some huge plot twists, they're hinted at with extremely obvious clues and then solved with extremely convenient solutions. This would have been a one star read, but that stunning cover is worth a star all on it's own. (less)
Eh it was ok. I was very interested despite the slow pace at the beginning, but it fizzled in the second half. I didn't care about the characters at a...moreEh it was ok. I was very interested despite the slow pace at the beginning, but it fizzled in the second half. I didn't care about the characters at all and there wasn't enough on the society to make it very interesting.(less)
Girl at Sea is an adorable tale of a young girl searching for herself, love, and buried treasure on the Mediterranean Sea. This book does a really gre...moreGirl at Sea is an adorable tale of a young girl searching for herself, love, and buried treasure on the Mediterranean Sea. This book does a really great job explaining the different dynamics of Clio's relationship with her friends, her father, and her budding romance with Adian. The characters are totally believable. The strongest part of Girl at Sea is the character development. I had a clear sense of every character's opinions and goals even though the story was told from the perspective of Clio. The romance with Adian was developed realistically. There was not love at first sight, nor did some huge catastrophe bring them together.
Girl at Sea book is not just a love story though. There is an interesting mystery where Clio tries to discover the purpose of her father's mission and then the mysterious objective of the mission itself. The historical experts add a fun bit of insight into their mission.
I also LOVED the setting of Girl at Sea. I've been to Italy a couple of times and I've traveled to every location mentioned in the book. Maureen Johnson did a wonderful job describing the Italian scenery and atmosphere.
Overall Girl as Sea is a fun book about a girl growing up oh the high seas. She encounters many adventures, some exciting and some dangerous, and through it all learns to forgive and love.(less)