This book is my first Ahern book, and will probably also be my last.
The reviews have said it all - this book is utterly, utterly heart-wrenching, inThis book is my first Ahern book, and will probably also be my last.
The reviews have said it all - this book is utterly, utterly heart-wrenching, in an effortless way most novels try to achieve with maudlin sentiments. How persuasive the reviews are at convincing you of the sheer bleakness of this novel simply depends on how convincing they are with their words, and how much they can give away without ruining the story.
However,there really is no plot for this one. A-third into the book, your brain simply refuses to put the book down simply because it is curious to figure out (view spoiler)[when the heck Lily and Alex will get together, at what age the both of them will end up together, and why in the bleeding hell are they so goddamn stubborn or blind enough to see that the best thing that has ever happened to them was simply right in front of them (hide spoiler)]. A simple book that completely overturns all existing scientific theory that hey, there is really no such thing as friend-zoning.
This book completely ruined my week - you read it right. One thing unique about this book was that it is not written in the typical narrative style. Rather, we learn of the depth of the friendship romance between Alex and Lily by reading their email correspondences, mails, etc. By being detached from the actual happenings of our lovebirds' lives, we are constantly being taunted by the author - while berating Alex and Lily for being so stupid, what are we missing out on from our own lives? have we been, by any chance, equally stupid or cowardly as well?
The feeling is not a tasteful one. I could skin Alex alive for being such an ass (my feminist side refuses to blame Lily for this one, she had it infinitely worse in this novel, trust me). But perhaps the only reason why we as readers seem to be in pain more than Lily and Alex themselves is because ignorance is indeed bliss. And to an outsider, including Ruby, Phil, Mrs and Mr Dunne, Katie and the readers, there really isn't anything more pathetic than a lost opportunity.
This book is beautiful. Ahern has a gift with words and thoughts that capture the entire essence of life, laughter, and love. It is almost sadistic that she has used her gift this time to shatter the hearts of her readers with this number. I simply cannot go through the roller-coaster ride of emotions another time. This book is definitely recommended - before you know it, you'd be on the last page knowing that from the journey, you have grown up a teeny bit, and that a part of you will always mourn for the time lost between Alex and Rosie. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book is probably the only book that could make me sad and laugh and the same time. This book is only another reason, apart from Finikkin of the RThis book is probably the only book that could make me sad and laugh and the same time. This book is only another reason, apart from Finikkin of the Rock, that proves why Marchetta is probably one of the best authors in this industry. There is something impeccable about the way she writes, how her style is deliberately off-handed to conceal something so much deeper and thoughtful. She is not only an amazing writer, but also an amazing story-teller.
The story introduces us to Taylor, a young girl troubled by a past she can't remember but is affecting the way she values her self worth. She believes that the answers lie in finding her mother - again after hr first attempt was foiled by a uber-hot guy whom she met at the train station that day.
The characters - how I love them! In the best way describable, they were all so broken, so hurting. They all broke my heart and patched it up again.
The story was unclear for me in some aspects, there were some issues I raised eyebrows at - is this house rivalry thing feasible in the present day? - but with Marchetta and her mastery in writing, the story does more than hold its own. This book was not necessarily an easy read, and my head is still reeling from what it has just gone through, but I know that this book has changed me in ways I still have to figure out. Another masterpiece by Marchetta.
I hear that a movie on this book will be produced soon. I don't think I can watch it. I'm afraid that it fails to portray the inner turmoil and depth of this story. Then again, I'm afraid it might be good. I can't bear to watch all this pain and anguish play out on the silver screen - and go through all this sorrow again. ...more
4 to 4.5 stars!!!! Move over, chick-lit heroines like Princess Diaries, here's a deep, entertaining, and to a certain extent, believeable masterpiece4 to 4.5 stars!!!! Move over, chick-lit heroines like Princess Diaries, here's a deep, entertaining, and to a certain extent, believeable masterpiece that you all will always aspire to be.
I had 2 books available to me at the library and I was deciding between this book and the other. I'm glad I picked this one. I can't even remember the other book's name.
The plot here is pretty simple: a princess, the last in line to the royal throne, has been betrothed since infancy to the crown prince - whose father took the throne after the a blood feud wiped out all of Princess Tatiana's family. Forced into hiding, Tatiana flees to the land of the free, only to be brought back when the last of the family nemeses are obliterated. While hiding, Tatiana was supposed to received ample education, and a life fit for the Gods, but one mishap led to another and ... enter Tanya, the abused tavern wench.
Twenty years later, the Crown Prince reluctantly goes to retrieve her for his wedding ceremony, to fulfill his father's dying wish, and boy, is he in for a surprise.
I loved Tanya in this book! Despite her harsh upbringing, she's tough, rough, yet she doesn't pass off as one of those rustic whores that everyone assumes her to be. In her own way, she has her air of grace, dignity, but she still doesn't take shit from anyone. And do the men in this book give her a lot.
What I loved about her is that while she is resigned to her fate, she still makes the best out of the circumstances. And she isn't gullible and bimbotic to believe simply anyone that she is of royal blood. I mean, while pursuing the American Dream, what are the chances that one is actually a princess in hiding? Tough luck. Tanya has worked hard to get to where she is toady, and she isn't going to simply believe that she can simply throw all of it away. The risk is too great. But either way, for what she has put up with, she deserves all of her good luck. Royal blood and all.
Stefan (STEE-FARN? STEH-PHEN?), oh what should I do with you.... if someone could take this book as target practice, I can certainly see why. This guy is rough to the bones, and doesn't take shit from Tanya either. Hence the clash of wills, a conflict bigger than the blood feud itself. While it is sometimes understandable how he sometimes treat Tanya, I wish he had more communication with her, I mean, she may be a princes, but she sure ain't a mind reader. And the mistress thing! HELL NO!!! But personally, because Stefan isn't such a perfect guy, as they usually are in chick lit, I found it absolutely hilarious when Tanya manages to outsmart Stefan. No pity for Stefan, and Tanya didn't look like she was being annoyingly stubborn and hot-headed. Why, his flaws only served to highlight Tanya's perfection (feel free to disagree).
However, by the second half of the book, once all the action waned, my interest in the book just died as well. A pity really, since I was so dead set on awarding this book a solid 5 stars. Mostly there was just talking, misunderstandings, and making out. *Yawn* The romance wasn't great either (must be Stefan's fault), I would have simply preferred the 2 lovebirds to be at loggerheads.
On the whole, I was thoroughly entertained, even despite the second half of the book and the very abrupt ending. This author is definitely one I'd watch out for!...more
Only a good author can turn a really really simple plot into a masterpiece. Everyone has more or less heard of this plot before - but what Harmon doesOnly a good author can turn a really really simple plot into a masterpiece. Everyone has more or less heard of this plot before - but what Harmon does is that she shows that sometimes, a good book is all in the delivery of the novel. What I liked most is that the romance between the 2 protagonists is so ... unique. Focused more on friendship rather than physical intimacy, their romance succeeds in touching hearts in a different way which most of the books I have in the "porn" shelves fail to do. Their romance for each other is realistic and believeable - readers will understand, with utter conviction, that the love between Josie and Samuel will stand the test of time. One thing that really really scared me with regards to the relationship between the two is that it exists in circumstances that seem so grey and morose. Like a candle in the darkness, their love for each other does not make their lives sweeter and more passionate, but rather, without it both of their live will just suck. Their companionship acts like a safety net, a preventive barrier from letting both of them to shrivel and wither due to them living apart. And even if they eventually get together (no spoilers here), their lives don't seem to necessarily take a turn for the better. Well, this is hat I got from reading this book, with the aid of my very limited and cynical interpretive mind. The hardships and setbacks both all of the characters face here are pathetic and tear-gland-stimulating, highlighting what true altruism and heroism really is about. By the end of the book, nobody really knows whether the hardships are overcome - and for that I think that is what makes the book such a good standalone, for a second installment would kill the suspense and the poignancy. On the whole, this book is a great read. Harmon must really really love Utah and what she does to come up with a novel portraying everything she says she is so passionate about. ...more
Really? That's the title? Oh, I can think of thousand better titles for this one. The idiot. The prick. The loser. The asshole. You see, titleThe Duke.
Really? That's the title? Oh, I can think of thousand better titles for this one. The idiot. The prick. The loser. The asshole. You see, title and all, there is one rule Hawkscliffe should always remember: don't you mess with us females. You got that right. Even if in your days society wouldn't punish you for your horrible, horrible actions - or if anyone disagrees, at the very least his stubbornness and arrogance is something we can shake hands on - you will get your payback from the secret service of the sisterhood. Why, I think I just might be in the frontline. Whatever good or social justice you may have been doing before meeting the perfect, gorgeous, and breath-taking Bel, I kinda forgot all about it after reading about you and Bel. Uh, you disappoint me. And just to make it clear, regardless of whatever Bel's history was, or what her station may be, she is worth a thousand times more than you.
*Ok, objectively, impartially speaking, of course Hawk redeems himself, so of course all is right with the world eventually. But I honestly think such heroics were way overdue. Of course, his haughtiness and cowardice made the book last waaay longer, but at least we had more of Bel and her perfection of a fantastic, ideal woman. Which again keeps reminding us how much superior Bel is to Hawk. God will he ever learn.
Ok, honestly-objectively speaking (this time), Hawk is pretty ok. Without his stubbornness and his holier-than-thou-you-insignificant-midget antics, he is pretty much a cool guy. I guess my prejudice was a bit restless today. Thank god for him Bel was kind enough to give him a second chance. On the whole, this book was great. Superb. It gives one a fresh perspective in live, to remind ourselves (especially me) to stop constantly judging others, especially strangers whose background and history we have no clue of. Put me in my seat, really. Definitely a series to look out for....more
This book was a light, refreshing read. For the scores of books that had a setting in the 18th century era, what I rally liked about this book was thaThis book was a light, refreshing read. For the scores of books that had a setting in the 18th century era, what I rally liked about this book was that less emphasis was placed on carnal activities between the 2 protagonists and more on the non-lustful development of their romance. I have always find this form of narration of romance more interesting, more believeable and much, much more romantic. Kudos for this book not ending on my no-politer-word-for-porn shelf. One selling point of this book is that its writing style is quite different from what I have ever read. This book focuses on hyperbole, with the plot bordering on ridicule and slapstick. Not a single character is spared from the author's sadistic humour. More often that not I have cringed and laughed out loud simultaneously. While I must must admit that I am not a fan of such brain-cell-depleting, humour, the narrative style of the author was good enough to draw me in to the storyline, and kept me sufficiently hooked so as to finish the book in an entire sitting, absurdity or not. That said, I do have a few strictly personal opinions on the book which I think could have been improved on. However, not only are these comments strictly a matter of personal opinion, they are also relatively minor and do not really affect the quality of this book in any way.
1. The plot is hardly original. While reading this book, famous tales such as My Fair Lady, Anastasia and Pocahontas 2 come to mind. Because of that, the story was rather predictable. However, such a plot could never ever go wrong, especially when a female reader is concerned. Who doesn't like an underdog-turned-ms-perfect story? It sure makes me feel less hopeless of my own disposition. Especially my love life haha
2. This is, again, my personal opinion, but I did not find the main character, Penelope, as endearing as I would have liked to have. While I did appreciate her for her lively mind, originality and her unpredictability, sometimes her eccentricity got onto my nerves. Many times did my eyebrows shoot up to my hairline in horror/shock/utter disbelief. I do believe there is a limit as to how much eccentricity and ignorance to basic etiquette can be found to be endearing. Furthermore, I felt that her luck was more often than not smiling down her most of the time. Her good qualities, while existent, was highly overrated by the other characters (again, THIS IS MY PERSONAL OPINION). However, i did like Lady Anne, Penelope's good good friend, and her story very much. No spoilers here, but you'd have to read the book to find out.
3. I did hope that more insight was given as to the lifestyles an cultures of the characters during that era. I felt that the setting did not play an important role at all in improving the storyline much. And a peek into the era then would have been an excellent form of escapism. As rather little reference was made to the settings and the plot of the story, it was insufficient for me to reach an epiphany/hypnosis while reading this book.
On the whole though, it was a fantastic, light, and entertaining read. I definitely recommend it....more
I haven't written a review in a while, but honestly, this book is too good to not deserve one (no comment on whether my reviews do the book a favour oI haven't written a review in a while, but honestly, this book is too good to not deserve one (no comment on whether my reviews do the book a favour or not). Hand has written a really good series where the final instalment does not die down on the energy, suspense and quality. Bravo. Firstly, this book has the most pathetic of love triangles. oh, I don't mean the both-guys-are-good-but-the-girl's-a-useless-prick kind, what I mean is that all the melodrama and conflict is called for. Trust me. Yes both men are hot, but the best part is that Clara is fantastic. The kind every whiny, indecisive and bimbotic girl should aspire to be. Frankly, she doesn't deserve anything less than both the guys and they in turn all the more deserve someone as awesome as her. Yet Clara can't really pick one without breaking the other (and the readers!)'s hearts. This book aptly portrays he conflict that so many authors have endeavoured to write well. First thing that came to my mind...thanks, Hand, for telling me, in the most depressing way possible, how horribly mundane my pathetic mortal life is. I wanted to shake and shake Clara for thinking our life was better than hers. I don't think I'll get a remote chance to do half of anything Clara's done. Geez, homework? Exams? (Wait! My.best yet: reading Boundless when your assignments are.due the next day) ah forget it. Stating my.life facts bores even yours truly. I don't really like the ending, even despite the fact that they turned out to be the way I wanted it eventually. After all that bad luck, suddenly things turned out to be too optimistic too suddenly I was like, "Oh please, Clara is still under a very very bad luck charm by God. things don't turn around so fast in real life." Don't get me wrong, Clara deserved the luck, if I may call it. But the sudden serendipity seemed too coincidental, even for the superior triplare beings. Everything seemed too abrupt. Too fortunate. Too unfair. (No spoilers here, but someone eventually gets hurt. Kinda happens every time in a love triangle anyway) This book connected many dots from the past few instalments, though it did leave a few questions annoyingly unanswered. Definitely a good read, though I'd suggest that one start from the beginning of the series to feel the full force of the emotions that will come into play from developing that camaraderie with each and every character.
strangely, I came to really like Clara's mum in this book, although she wasn't even alive haha. I simply loved her tale with Sanjeeva: just when you thought "Oh please, a trip to one of the most dangerous places on earth (OK, so not technically) in exchange for a puny story that Sanjeeva's probably heard of anyway? Bad bargain dude", Hand comes up with the most tragically, painfully sweet tale that one would think, hey, Sanjeeva could be on the winning end after all....more