The harvest is the end of this world, and the reapers are the angels.
I've read countless books in my life and through them I've been introduced to litThe harvest is the end of this world, and the reapers are the angels.
I've read countless books in my life and through them I've been introduced to literally thousands of characters. Some of them I forgot almost instantly. Others I need to be reminded of and even then remember only faintly. Then there are some I remember clearly because a part of them was important to me. But there is also a very small number of characters that stay with me always, characters that follow me around like shadows... shadows that once taught me an important lesson I'll never forget. One of them is Stephen King's Dolores Claiborne. Alden Bell's Temple is another.
This woman, this young girl, this child, is sixteen characters folded into one, and yet on the surface she is as simple as a girl can be. She is a character that makes your heart ache and your head spin. She is someone you have no choice but to love... someone you'll do your best to understand... someone you'll always want to be.
At first I was expecting a paranormal YA novel... I didn't read any of the reviews and I guess I just made a stupid assumption. Temple IS fifteen years old and the book really HAS zombies, but that's where the similarities with all the novels we usually read end. The Reapers Are the Angels is NOT a YA novel! It's post-apocalyptic fiction at its best. Actually, it's not a novel that people under the age of 18 should read. It has violence, sex and more violence and it's scary and horrible at times. But it is also wonderful and deep and mature and not to be taken lightly at all. The psychological developement of Bell's characters is astonishing, almost incredible.
If you have a strong stomach and you want to take a break from all the predictable fiction that surrounds us, The Reapers Are the Angels might be the novel for you. It doesn't follow any rules, it will make you skip dinner, and it will definitely make you cry. But most of all, it will surprise you with its simplicity and its depth and it will probably teach you a thing or two about yourself... and about who you want to be when world as we know it comes to an end.
Alden Bell's gorgeously written and bloody tale, which mutates from a zombie story into something of beauty and meaning. . . . Bell clearly owes great literary debt to Cormac McCarthy's "The Road" and the Southern Gothic school of Faulkner and O'Connor, but The Reapers Are the Angels shows the reader that they need not settle for mere blood 'n' guts when horror tales can, and should, go many extra miles. —Sarah Weinman, Summer Reading Pick, Salon.com...more
3.5 stars I have a feeling I will be telling my grandchildren long stories about my struggles with this book. Eon (both the book and the character) did3.5 stars I have a feeling I will be telling my grandchildren long stories about my struggles with this book. Eon (both the book and the character) did not make it easy for me to like them, oh no. Instead, I constantly had to battle my desire to abandon them in favor of something easier to read, or a more likable heroine at the very least.
Sometimes, when a book is extremely popular and well-loved by everyone in the known universe and possibly beyond, I dig in my heels and simply refuse to read it for no good reason. This was the case with Eon – it has been sitting on my shelf for ages*, and the more people talked about it, the more reluctant I was to read it. So I kept postponing it over and over again until it became just another book on my to-read list I stopped noticing altogether. It probably would have stayed there were it not for my friend Catie who Made Me Do It over at The Readventurer. The challenge was just the push I needed; this isn’t a book that should be missed.
However, to say that it wasn’t what I expected would be an understatement. I honestly thought it would be more juvenile and with everyone talking about Eona, I thought she would be a character to admire. Boy was I ever wrong.
Eona’s only way out of salt farms and abject poverty is to learn Dragon Magic and become the next Dragoneye apprentice, but girls aren’t allowed to even enter the selection, which is why she’s spent the last four years living as a boy. The only person who knows the truth is her Master and teacher, a former Dragoneye, and the secret could easily kill them both. When the sword ceremony doesn’t go as planned and Eon ends up in the middle of dangerous Imperial games and with powerful enemies to boot, the secret becomes much bigger, and the stakes much higher. Suddenly, destiny of an entire empire rests on Eon’s shoulders.
The double nature of Eon/Eona does not end with gender alone. He (and I’ll stick with he here because he was consistently male until the very end) is a character built on contradictions, so much so that it makes him hard to describe. His ability to live a double life, especially in spotlight where every wrong move means a certain death, speaks of great bravery and prowess. And yet, when his goals were accomplished (and then some), said bravery quickly turned into outright cowardice under pressure.
"I did not understand this idea of equality. There was rank even amongst slaves; it was the nature of men."
What saved this book for me (and what could save any book for me) is the extremely intricate worldbuilding. A gorgeous blend of Eastern cultures, Eon’s world is cruel but captivating, exhilarating and rich in detail. It can be a bit too overwhelming at times but I am very patient with worldbuilding which made Dragoneye Reborn a perfect read for me, at least in one very important way.
In truth, secondary characters were far more interesting than Eon himself. The enlightened, almost kind Emperor won me over quickly, as did the rest of his family, not to mention Lady Dela, a woman in a man’s body, and her faithful bodyguard, eunuch Ryko. Romance is sparse in Eon, but hints of a relationship between these two, however improbable it may seem, more than made up for it. Watching them dance around each other and their feelings for each other was sweet and strange and exhilarating and entirely unforgettable.
Based on the reviews I’ve read so far, Eona is a far better read than its predecessor, and I am very much looking forward to it. While I didn’t much care for the heroine herself, there are many characters whose fates I absolutely have to learn.
* Hah! See? I didn’t write “eons”, I am VERY mature.
I wish I could pay someone to write this review for me… I think it will turn out to be one of the hardest I’ve ever written. Or one of the easiest… whI wish I could pay someone to write this review for me… I think it will turn out to be one of the hardest I’ve ever written. Or one of the easiest… who knows with these things?
First of all, don't you just love this cover? Maybe you need to read the book to fully appreciate it, so all of you who haven't… what are you waiting for? There aren’t many authors who can portray emotions and transfer them to the readers like Eagar does. Her writing style is readable and clear, and still it draws you in completely, making you feel so many different things. For me, sometimes those feelings were pleasant, but most of the time powerlessness and sense of detachment overwhelmed me, so much so that I feared I would suffocate. That probably sounds like a bad thing, but it depends on what you’re looking for in a novel.
Some of the most beautiful and the most honest moments in Raw Blue are related to surfing, and while I don’t know anything about it, and despite not being a water person at all (terra firma for me, thank you!), I can certainly understand the passion and the single-mindedness behind it.
Carly is one of those characters that crawl under your skin and stay there. And Ryan… he is the perfect person for Carly precisely because he’s not perfect at all. He doesn’t feed her insecurities by having none of his own. He’s a guy with many flaws, but he’s also the one to find all the undamaged parts of Carly’s personality and bring them to the surface.
I thought that the awkwardness of having sex with someone for the first time was amazingly well described. It makes me happy that there are YA authors who write sex scenes the way they should be written, removing any illusions and silly expectations. We’ve all been there: the little insecurities, self-consciousness, fear of not being accepted, of doing something wrong. Carly worries about all that and much more because her mind is not that of a normal 19-year-old.
The value of this book lies partly in the secondary characters: the neighbor Hannah, whose life is so messy that her symmetrical name is the only thing she’s proud of; Danny, the precious 15-year-old with synaesthesia; Emilio the café manager and others that make this story far more real.
I've posted most of my favorite quotes as status updates.
There are three things in this world I truly believe in. That the truth will set us free; that lies aWorry not, my dears, this review is spoiler-free.
There are three things in this world I truly believe in. That the truth will set us free; that lies are the prisons we build for ourselves; and that Shaun loves me. Everything else is just details. - Georgia Mason
There's not much I can say about the Newsflesh trilogy that I haven't said a million times before, nothing spoiler-free at least, and I refuse to spoil even the smallest detail for any of you. As a result, this will be more of an emotional outburst than an actual review, so feel free to abandon ship if you’re not a fan of my all-too-frequent displays of sentimentality. I apologize in advance.
How do you bring down a massive government conspiracy? You don’t. You do what the crew of After the End Times does: you run for your life, save a few people, bury more than a few, tell the truth, and make sure to get it all on camera. Oh, and you pay attention when the villain starts explaining his actions because there might me more to it than he’s ready to admit. And when you stop to think about it and realize that it’s not worth it at all, you keep doing it because there’s nothing else you can do, and you hope for the best.
I didn’t dream of funerals this time. Instead, I dreamed of me and Shaun, walking hand in hand through the empty hall where the Republican National Convention was held, and nothing was trying to kill us. Nothing was trying to kill us at all.
As the story progressed and the science in it became more and more wild, I kept expecting to reach the point where I’d stop believing it, where it would be too much, but I never did. Therein lies the talent of Seanan McGuire – she is able to make the craziest things sound entirely convincing. It helps that her sense of pacing is nothing short of extraordinary, not to mention her ability to emotionally manipulate her readers. It’s not easy to keep people engaged and utterly fascinated through more than 500 pages, and yet Seanan McGuire accomplished it no less than three times.
I could (and should) say that the Newsflesh trilogy has ended with Blackout, but it hasn’t for me, not really. After 1800 pages, so much laughter, countless tears and a few frustrated screams, I know I’ll be back to reread it often. In fact, I’d already reread both Feed and Deadline more than once. Why would Blackout deserve any less? In any case, I’ve gained more from this experience than just a book I can label as my all-time favorite. I’ve bonded with people over it, and today I have the privilege of calling some of them my friends. We are a diverse group, but we started with this one thing we had in common, and in time, we developed some more. Therefore, it seems vastly unfair to call this just another trilogy. For me, it was much more than that. It was a chapter of my life and a truly life-changing experience.
Aside from the already released Countdown, Mira Grant will write two more novellas in the Newslesh universe, San Diego 2014: The Last Stand of the California Browncoats, and How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea. Seanan McGuire will also launch another duology with Orbit: Parasitology and Symbiogenesis, as Mira Grant. The story will have nothing to do with the Masons, but I’m sure it will be amazing. I guess we still have something to look forward to after all.
We know that we were in the right (The coming dawn, the ending night). So here is when we stop the lies. The time is come. We have to Rise. -From Dandelion Mine, the blog of Magdalene Grace Garcia, August 7, 2041.
First of all, let me just say that reading this as an ebook is a crime against literature and should be punisEach time someone dies, a library burns.
First of all, let me just say that reading this as an ebook is a crime against literature and should be punished as such. The edition I’m holding resembles a diary with its worn cover, wonderful illustrations, little handwritten notes, blue ink and a rubber band holding it all together. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, the prettiest book I’ve ever seen. If you can’t get your hands on a paper edition, wait until you do or you’ll be robbing yourself of the most wonderful experience.
Second, I think it’s safe to say that this book isn't for everyone. The mixed reviews have already proven as much. Many of you would probably be severely irritated by this dreamlike experience. Besides, a lot of people find Lennie to be quite unlikeable and I must admit that I can see why. She makes so many horrible mistakes. She is lost, insecure, her actions can often be interpreted as selfish and she is very skilful in telling lies. If that’s all someone can see in her, there’s no reason to even try to like her. But I saw a different layer of her character, one that is confused, scared and alone and it didn’t take long for her to win me over.
I put aside for a moment the fact that I’ve turned into a total strumpet-harlot-trollop-wench-jezebel-tart-harridan-chippy-nymphet because I’ve just realized something incredible. This is it - what all the hoopla is about, what Wuthering Heights is about – it all boils down to this feeling rushing through me in this moment with Joe as our mouths refuse to part. Who knew all this time I was one kiss away from being Cathy and Juliet and Elizabeth Bennet and Lady Chatterley!?
Writing a plot summary or trying to explain The Sky Is Everywhere in any way would probably do more harm than good. If I tried to write about Lennie’s story, about her sister Bailey who died of arrhythmia while rehearsing for the role of Juliet, I’d be running the risk of making this book sound so ordinary. The Sky Is Everywhere is nothing short of extraordinary in every way that counts.
Joe… must I go there?! I’m trying to be an adult here, a serious, calm, respectable adult. But Joe can take that away in a second and turn me into a useless, gushing teenager with his joeliciousness, his musicality, his gentleness, his humor, his boldness and his Frenchness and those damn eyelashes. Bat. Bat. Bat. *swoon*
The secondary characters are just as amazing: the hippie Gram who grows flowers famous for their aphrodisiac powers, the five-times-married-five-times-divorced uncle no woman can resist and the sweet and charming brothers Fontaine. They all had a huge part in making this story so special, so unlike any other story I’ve ever read.
And Jandy Nelson, where on earth did you come from?!? Your writing is like this huge energy ball that found its place in my stomach and just exploded over and over and over again, making me cry, laugh or jump with excitement, turning me into whatever you wanted me to be at that particular moment. You had a remote control for my moods and you weren’t afraid to use it and for that you have my eternal love and respect. Yes, I had a Maggie-sized hole in my heart and yes, I thought you might fill it for a second, but instead I ended up with a Maggie-sized hole and a Jandy-sized hole right next to it. You are nobody’s replacement, lady. You are far too good for that.
I will shut up now and try to preserve some semblance of dignity.
Oh, but I forgot my favorite quote: This is our story to tell. He says it in his Ten Commandments way and it hits me that way: profoundly. You’d think for all the reading I do, I would have thought about this before, but I haven’t. I’ve never once thought about the interpretative, the storytelling aspect of life, of my life. I always felt like I was in a story, yes, but not like I was the author of it, or like I had any say in its telling whatsoever. You can tell your story any way you damn well please. It’s your solo. ...more
If we only look at the surface, it’s pretty clear that Brooklyn, Burning is about gender identity and sexual orienta4.5 stars **Minor spoilers ahead.**
If we only look at the surface, it’s pretty clear that Brooklyn, Burning is about gender identity and sexual orientation issues. But looking at the surface is not nearly enough. By concentrating too much on things like gender identity, we fail to see what’s underneath, and we miss everything that’s beautiful. Now, I know that sounds like a terrible cliché, but it’s a lesson that can’t be repeated enough.
This book, much like its main character, refuses to be categorized. It’s really about many things: loneliness, feeling of not belonging, honesty, big dreams, love and acceptance. It contains some of the most beautiful passages I’ve read recently, comparable only to Ultraviolet.
No more – no more love, no more songwriters, no more long and gorgeous fingers in my hair. Purity of voice and purity of heart doesn’t mean purity of soul, and certainly not purity of body. You’d be gone in weeks, I knew, and I wasn’t going to let you into my heart before then.
I have zero tolerance for bad parenting. If you aren’t ready to deal with every possible outcome, you shouldn’t be a parent at all. Sure, unpredictable things can happen, but even if they do, you’re still a parent. Quitting that particular job is simply not an option. But a father did give up in Brooklyn, Burning, and I’ll spend the rest of my life hating him for it. I would have loved to hurt him, but all I could do was grit my teeth.
Kid has gender identity and sexual orientation issues – or more precisely, other people have issues with Kid’s gender identity and sexual orientation. Kid is also very lost, lonely and unhappy. Kid’s father threw Kid out of the house because he refused to accept that Kid is different. So instead of living in a house like a normal teenager, Kid was forced to live in an abandoned warehouse, with a junkie musician Kid couldn’t help but fall in love with. You may have noticed how I’ve been avoiding the use of personal pronouns here - that’s because I don’t know which pronoun to use. I don’t know, and I certainly don’t care.
There’s not much I can say about Brooklyn, Burning without spoiling it. I highly recommend it to anyone who cares about the quality of prose. The story is touching and Kid is one of those characters you don’t easily forget. My maternal instincts are still screaming from the need to hug and protect that child!
Favorite quote I don’t remember what he sang about; I’m not sure I ever knew. It was his voice, gritty but gentle, like my father’s hands when I was too small to see past them, and the slow way his melody moved along its path, not in any hurry but enjoying every note for itself, rather than looking forward to the next note, and the next, until the song’s end. This song would have no end; it couldn’t possibly. This song was forever.
I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Oh, and thanks, Wendy! You are one great fairy godmother.
I don’t know how to review a book that took my breath away. Shiver left me with a feeling of complete satisfaction, joy spiced with sadness6.5 stars!
I don’t know how to review a book that took my breath away. Shiver left me with a feeling of complete satisfaction, joy spiced with sadness - as weird and paradoxical as that sounds. I’m so grateful to have read this book after all…
There aren’t many books on my 'books that changed me' shelf. In fact, there were only seven until today. But Shiver deserved its place, and now there are eight. What’s so special about it? I’ll try to be polite and refrain from gushing, but it won’t be easy.
Boy saves girl, girl falls for a boy and they end up living happily ever after. Only the boy isn’t a boy at all, and the happily ever after is meant for some other people, in some other story. I was suddenly struck by how dissimilar we were. It occurred to me that if Grace and I were objects, she would be an elaborate digital clock, synced up with the World Clock in London with technical perfection, and I’d be a snow globe – shaken memories in a glass ball.
Grace is an amazing character! I love how strong and decisive she is, always scared but never really showing her fear. She reminds me of a girl I used to be know. After the way she surrendered to the wolves at the beginning, I was afraid she would be another one of those characters. But only a few chapters later, a huge white she-wolf showed up at her window, and instead of cowering in some corner, Grace snarled back at it! Not many authors can make you feel such pride at the very beginning of a novel!
When can you say for sure that you’ve fallen in love with someone’s writing? If your mind isn’t registering words at all, but sounds and colors and emotions so strong that you can feel them twirling inside of you, beautiful, agonizing and powerful.... that’s it – you’re in love! I know this because it happened to me with Maggie Stiefvater. Obviously not everyone feels the same way, and that’s ok. There are times when I too appreciate a very different writing style, more economical and crisp. But sometimes I just want to marvel at other people’s talent, and Stiefvater gave me that chance.
I’m pretty sure Shiver will become my comfort book, familiar and soothing like the blanket I wrap myself in when I’m not feeling well. There are only a few books I keep going back to: The Master and Margarita when I need to restore my faith in love, Dolores Claiborne when I need courage, Harry Potter when I need optimism, lately I’ve added The Reapers Are the Angels for when I need strength, and now I have Shiver to remind me that there’s beauty everywhere.
That's it! I'm moving to Australia! Oooh, boy. You truly can’t go wrong with Aussie YA authors! I’ve read some awful books lately and by the time I piThat's it! I'm moving to Australia! Oooh, boy. You truly can’t go wrong with Aussie YA authors! I’ve read some awful books lately and by the time I picked up Thyla, I was becoming quite desperate. Kate Gordon saved my life, or at the very least the rest of my vacation.
Amazing writing. And I mean AMAZING writing! Not as good as Raw Blue, but close enough. Gordon has this way of making you picture everything in your head without being overly descriptive. In fact, her writing is not descriptive at all. If anything, it’s pretty simplistic. The woman knows how to write dialogues and she’s very good at paying attention to details.
What would you do if you woke up in the bush one day, badly injured and with a complete memory loss? How would you explain to your new classmates that you have no idea if you like waffles or that you don’t really know whether you have a boyfriend or not? Tessa doesn’t know what a TV is, she can’t remember what food she likes and her period completely freaks her out. She only knows her name and that she does not cry. Ever.
'How can you have never seen a TV?' you asked. Then, when you saw I was becoming more and more distressed by the tiny people in the small black box, you said, 'It's nothing to be scared of, Tess. You're right. It's just moving photographs. It's pretty boring, actually.'
Originality is this novel’s strong point. I can’t remember the last time a YA paranormal surprised me completely. New names, new creatures, new situations – Kate Gordon did it all. There were some minor things that were predictable, but the most important parts were utterly surprising. Thyla is not a story you will easily forget.
The only thing that bothered me was the unresolved ending. It wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger but I kept hoping that one more chapter will magically show up and make me feel better. There will be a second book, but not until 2012, and that’s a really, really long time. I hate it when authors do that. That said, this book is definitely worth reading. Highly recommended! ...more
You know that feeling when you’re floating on water? All your senses are dampened, you are weightless, careless and completely relaxed. There5.5 stars
You know that feeling when you’re floating on water? All your senses are dampened, you are weightless, careless and completely relaxed. There aren’t any loud sounds, you are safe, perfectly happy and everything else seems a mile away... That’s EXACTLY how Maggie Stiefvater’s writing makes me feel. I want to hug this book and never ever let it out of my sight.
Grace and Sam are finally together, but they live in fear. They are constantly afraid that things will go back to the way they were before, and unfortunately, it’s not something either of them can control. There are several new wolves in the woods and it’s up to Sam to take care of them all now – the old and the new. In addition, Grace’s parents finally started noticing things and decided to start honing their parenting skills.
Linger brings us two additional POVs. We get to see some of the events through the eyes of Isabel, to whom we were introduced in Shiver, and Cole, one of the new wolves. The two of them are so very different from Sam and Grace and having four POVs instead of two brought amazing balance to the story. While this would certainly bother me in Shiver, I was thrilled by it now. That doesn’t mean that I like Grace and Sam any less. In fact, if I had feelings for those characters before, it was nothing compared to how I feel about them now. They are both beautiful and strong in their own way. I’ve noticed that my favorite quotes usually come from Sam’s chapters, although Grace has her moments, too. There’s a reason for that, of course. Sam is just the type of gentle soul I can start loving in a heartbeat, and after all, he’s supposed to be good with words. There isn’t a character in YA literature I could ever love more than I love Sam. A look in his eyes is all it takes to make me cry!
I did my best to find a flaw in Linger – this may sound odd, but I wanted to have at least one small thing to complain about because I thought it would add credibility to the rest of my review. I tried my best and failed miserably. Oh, I’ve read my friends’ reviews but I simply don’t agree with any of them. The first half was not slow for me, it was soft and beautiful. Isabel and Cole weren’t irritating, they were troubled and interesting. The prose wasn’t purple, it was… I already said that, didn’t I? I could go on and on for days, but it wouldn’t do much good. This is the second book in a series that needs to be read in order. If you liked Shiver, you are going to like Linger too, I have no doubt about it. ...more
< i>Every time he looked at me I felt like I’d touched my tongue to the tip of a battery. In art class I’d watch him lean back and lis4.5 stars.
< i>Every time he looked at me I felt like I’d touched my tongue to the tip of a battery. In art class I’d watch him lean back and listen and I was nothing but zing and tingle. After a while the tingle turned to electricity, and when he asked me out my whole body amped to a level where technically I should have been dead. I had nothing in common with a sheddy like him, but a girl doesn’t think straight when she’s that close to electrocution.
Wow. My GoodReads friends are all people with excellent taste. I thought so before, but I’m sure of it now. A few of you took the time to notice what I like and recommend this book to me. Thank you! And a special thanks to Lisa O. and her lovely review for making me read this when I did. Anyway, where was I?
The strength of Crowley's novel isn’t so much in the story itself as it is in the poetic writing that left a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong: her writing isn’t overly descriptive. She doesn’t go on and on about places, events or works of art. Somehow she says more in one sentence than most people are able to say in twenty. She also has an excellent sense of humor and I found myself crying with laughter over some of her passages.
I know they still love each other, but I guess love is kind of like a marshmallow in a microwave on high. After it explodes, it’s still a marshmallow. But, you know, now it’s a complicated marshmallow.
Lucy doesn’t date regular guys. She went out on one date in her life and ended up breaking the guy’s nose. The fact that her parents spent two straight months screaming at each other isn’t helping her at all. Instead, she dreams about meeting a graffiti artist called Shadow, convinced that he is the guy who could never disappoint her.
Ed left school when it became obvious that he won’t be able to hide his dyslexia much longer. It also happened to be right around the time when Lucy broke his nose on their first date. Words don’t mean anything to him, but he draws the most amazing graffiti all over town. He is Shadow and his best friend Leo is Poet. And he wishes Shadow was as amazing as Lucy seems to believe he is.
Jazz and Leo are both weird in their own way but they might be compatible. He only needs to find the courage to tell her that he’s actually Poet, the guy whose works she’s been admiring all over town. It may sound easy, but once you get tangled in your own lies, it’s very hard to tell the truth.
All of them end up together in a pink van where the truth must come out - whether they like it or not.
There’s something in this book for everyone: amazing writing, poetry, flawless characters, a funny story, love, glass, art, pink van and criminals. Highly recommended. ...more
Actual rating: 4.5 stars! Lately I’ve been lucky enough to add a few books to my all-time-favorites list, all of them Australian. Raw Blue, for exampleActual rating: 4.5 stars! Lately I’ve been lucky enough to add a few books to my all-time-favorites list, all of them Australian. Raw Blue, for example, left me with this feeling of beauty and despair that just won’t go away. I realize that I’ve been going on and on about Aussie authors and that I’d even threatened to move there at one point, but I see no reason to stop. Good Oil is just another proof of how special and engrossing their writing style usually is.
This story is about 15-year-old Amelia, 21-year-old Chris and a group of young people working at Woolworths grocery store in Sydney. The narration is equally divided between Chris and Amelia, and although I definitely preferred Chris’ point of view, I felt that both their voices were captured really well.
Amelia is the girl that doesn’t really fit anywhere. Her family life is a mess and, as a rule, she isn’t getting enough attention from her parents or other people. Chris, on the other hand, gets too much attention. He is one of those people who fill the room with their presence. Loud, very intelligent, completely messed up, extroverted and fun, he’s everyone’s favorite guy. He draws Amelia to him like a magnet and they spend a lot of time talking about books and feminism.
She's amusing - all frizzy-haired and fiery. I suspect she can, like, construct sentences and read books.
This is a book you will need to think about. My rating was all over the place while I was reading. At first I thought it will end up being a 4-star book. Then, after reading the last page, I felt very confused and tempted to go with 3 stars, but now, not a day after, I’ve decided to make it 4.5. Processing a book that doesn’t distance itself from reality is always harder than dealing with something you know in your heart is fiction. It’s strange for someone who claims to be such huge fan of realism to have problems with very realistic novels, but that’s me - a walking contradiction.
Usually when I read a book I know exactly how I’d like it to end. I was at a loss this time because no matter how much they have in common intellectually, at the end of the day, Amelia is a kid, and Chris is… not. I was very curious to see how Laura Buzo would handle that particular mess, and I have to admit that I was very impressed, regardless of my initial (conflicted) feelings.
I could go on and on about this book because, unlike most of my friends, I find it much easier to write about books I loved, but I see no point. I loved it. That's all you need to know. I’m asking you all to read this. I promise you won’t be sorry. ...more
This will seem like an odd thing to say, but the Newsflesh world is my world. I would love to live there with George, Shaun, Buffy and the rest of theThis will seem like an odd thing to say, but the Newsflesh world is my world. I would love to live there with George, Shaun, Buffy and the rest of the characters. Yes, yes, I’m well aware of the zombies, but I honestly don’t care. Given the choice, that’s where I’d want to be.
The point of my little confession is that I welcome every word Mira Grant decides to write. This is not a novella per se because it doesn't have a single storyline, it’s nothing like Apocalypse Scenario #683: The Box. Instead we get to go back to the year 2014. and see how everything started. Nobody can accuse Mira Grant of being superficial. She created a world that is as detailed and as palpable as the one I’m living in, if not more. Everything is thought out. Everything makes perfect sense. Everything is properly explained.
We finally meet Amanda Amberlee, cured of leukemia and getting ready for her prom. No matter how many times Georgia and Shaun mentioned Amanda in their blog entries, it was still nice to find out a little more about her and what she was like when she was alive. We also get to meet Dr. Kellis, the idiots who stole the untested cure for cold and the journalist who wrote the famous article about it. Step by step we find out about the first outbreak and all the events that led to it.
Countdown consists only of facts, Grant didn’t attempt to provoke emotions of any kind or create connections between her readers and the characters. Of course, in doing so, she succeeded in depicting the very nature of the Kellis-Amberlee virus.
I’m sure I don’t need to convince fans of the trilogy to read Countdown.
Mira Grant will NEVER get 4 stars from me. Seanan McGuire is something else entirely. ...more
“When death captures me,” the boy vowed, “he will feel my fist on his face.” Personally, I quite like that. Such stupid gallantry. Yes. I like that a lot“When death captures me,” the boy vowed, “he will feel my fist on his face.” Personally, I quite like that. Such stupid gallantry. Yes. I like that a lot.
A few days ago, when I was starting The Book Thief, my mother stopped by and saw the book on my coffee table. Having just read it herself (and knowing me better than anyone else in the world, I might add), she was determined to save me from myself. She did her very best to convince me not to read it. She described in detail the three day long headache all the crying had caused her and the heartache she now has to live with, but I’m nothing if not stubborn. I guess I never learned to listen to my mother. I’m pretty sure her parting sentence was: “Don’t come crying to me.” And I didn’t. I huddled in a corner and cried inconsolably instead.
Death himself narrates the story about a little girl named Liesel growing up with her foster parents in Nazi Germany. At the beginning, I felt somewhat intimidated by the idea of Death as a narrator. I assumed that his voice would be dark and thunderous, but for the most part, he was a ray of light illuminating earth’s saddest time. Incredibly insightful observations and occasional dry humor are only some of the things no one but Death could have brought into this story. Besides, we hear people calling God’s name every day for many reasons, but when Death calls to Him in despair and even those calls fall on deaf ears, no one can fail to understand the gravity of the situation.
I do not carry a sickle or a scythe. I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold. And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. You want to know what I truly look like? I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue.
The Book Thief is not one of those books you read compulsively, desperate to find out what’s on the next page. No. It is, in fact, better to read it slowly, in small doses, in a way that allows you to savor every word and absorb the power and the magic it contains. All the while, you know what’s going to happen. Death has no patience for mysteries. However, anticipation of the inevitable makes it even worse. My whole body was tingling with fear because I knew what was coming and I knew that it was only a matter of time. Zusak found a way to give a fresh approach to a much-told story. He offered a glimpse at the other side of the coin. Really, should we feel sorry for the people hiding in a basement in Munich suburbs? Sure, bombs are falling on their heads, but most of them are members of the Nazi Party, willingly or reluctantly. Some of them truly think that Jews are no better than rats. Some, on the other hand, are hiding a Jew in their own basement. Some are just innocent children. But the more important question is, are we any better at all if we don’t feel compassion and sorrow? Death does a great job of asking all these questions in a calm, unobtrusive way.
I’m not pretentious enough to believe that my clumsy words can ever do this book justice. I won’t even try. Time will speak for it, as I’m pretty sure it will survive for decades and generations to come. The Book Thief and Markus Zusak should find their place in every school textbook all over the world.
Seven thousand stars could never be enough for this book.
Does this book really need another glowing review? A book with 225 reviews on GoodReads alone and 4.62 average rating? What can it possibly change? MaDoes this book really need another glowing review? A book with 225 reviews on GoodReads alone and 4.62 average rating? What can it possibly change? Maybe not much, but yes, I believe that it does.
Melina Marchetta is extraordinary. Duh. I won’t sing her praise in this review. Almost everyone who ever gave one of her books a chance knows how brilliant she is. Writing about it here seems unnecessary and a little bit silly since it’s the one thing we all agree on, regardless of our favorite among her books or her characters. And that’s just it, there is no doubt about it: we all have plenty to choose from and we love them all, but we all have a favorite – that Melina Marchetta book we simply cannot live without. My favorite is Froi of the Exiles.
You can try, if you so wish, to convince me that Froi of the Exiles is not a real person. You can tell me that Finnikin, Perri, Phaedra or Lady Beatriss are all products of someone’s imagination – a brilliant someone perhaps, but just characters nevertheless. You can talk at me until you turn blue, you can offer any number of convincing arguments, you can even bring Melina Marchetta herself to tell me to my face that she made them all up (I doubt she would, though), and I still won’t believe you. Here’s a fact: I’ve never seen my best friend in the flesh, and nobody’s trying to convince me that she’s not real. So why wouldn’t Froi be? I just know that he’s somewhere right now, counting to ten before opening his mouth.
The protectiveness I feel towards him after reading “his” book is something I hadn’t anticipated. I went from despising him in Finnikin of the Rock, just tolerating him later on, to loving every little thing about him, the strengths and the many flaws. But I cannot count Froi among my fictional crushes. His story and his raw vulnerability appeal to my maternal instincts and nothing else. (Finnikin is another matter entirely, though, but if I could choose, I’d choose Trevanion.) And in this book, he finally met his match.
Where can I even begin with Quintana of Charyn? First of all, who the hell is she? I still don’t know. Isaboe was so easy to love, but Quintana is nothing like her. Where Isaboe is fierce, Quintana is avoidant. Where Isaboe is kind, Quintana is far more likely to bite your head off. But I’m grateful for the difference between them. With this, Marchetta showed that she is perfectly capable of creating not just easily acceptable heroines, worthy of admiration by anyone’s standards, but also unpolished and infinitely crazy girls you’d die for in a second.
I won’t lie to you, there were events in this book I was able to predict. But the way they were done, the way secrets were brought to light and my emotional reactions to them exceeded all my expectations. There were parts I had to reread three times in order to fully process them and move on. There were parts where I had to stop for a while and do something else because they were too painful. There were moments that made me laugh out loud and there were parts that left me with my mouth open in sheer and utter amazement. There was a bit of everything, except for a part that left me indifferent. That I have yet to find in one of Marchetta’s books.
Now this is where I should write something short and witty to conclude this outburst of admiration review, but I’m drawing a blank. If you live on planet Earth, you’ve probably heard it all anyway. So here’s a useful info instead: the lovely Chachic at Chachic’s Book Nook is celebrating Melina Marchetta throughout the week. There are and will be some pretty awesome guest posts, including a not-quite-awesome one by your two favorite nocturnal librarians.
"It was a little after midnight, and I was trying to sleep mostly out of self-defense."
My initial rating for this book was 4.5 stars. Then, while I w"It was a little after midnight, and I was trying to sleep mostly out of self-defense."
My initial rating for this book was 4.5 stars. Then, while I was trying to write a review (I say trying because all my attempts have been pretty unsuccessful by my standards), I just went ahead and changed it to 5. It felt like the right thing to do. I suppose it would be easy enough to start pointing out flaws, complain about this and that, compare this book to Linger and especially Shiver, but I don’t want to do any of that. Not to Forever. The truth is, even if it didn’t have as many breathtaking moments as the two books before it, I was still very happy with how it was done. Besides, Maggie Stiefvater deserved better than that. What she gave me with this trilogy cannot be measured in stars. It cannot be taken apart or put into words. I’d always believed that there’s nothing beyond language, but this time, words really are inadequate. And, my dear GoodReaders, you have no idea how much it costs me to admit it.
Maggie Stiefvater has a way of making me see beauty in the simplest things. She doesn’t create it, she just uses her words to point out what was already there and show it in a completely different light. Never before have I stopped to notice the quiet sadness in the most mundane, repetitive moments but it doesn’t surprise me at all that it was Stiefvater who pulled that particular heartstring and woke me up. And I do feel awakened, at least for now.
All these characters started as one thing, and ended up as their true selves. People keep talking about Cole and how much he’s grown in Forever, but Grace did too, just in a less obvious way. Cole found purpose, Isabel found softness, Sam found determination and Grace found completion. Honestly, what more can you ask?
"It was like I’d unfolded all my paper crane memories and found something unfamiliar printed on them. Somehow along the way, hope had been folded into one of those birds. My whole life, I had thought that my story was, again and again: Once upon a time, there was a boy, and he had to risk everything to keep what he loved. But the real story was: Once upon a time, there was a boy, and his fear ate him alive. I was done being afraid."
While rereading these books will certainly not be the same as reading them for the first time, the very fact that I will be rereading them, and probably many times at that, gives me a reason not to say goodbye right now. I can never do this book justice. I will never be able to write anything worthy of Stiefvater’s beautiful prose, so I might as well stop trying. After 1150 pages full of emotions and truth, all I can say is: Thank you. ...more
Exactly a year before, the Soviets have begun moving troops over the borders into the country. Then, in August, Lithuania was officially annexed intoExactly a year before, the Soviets have begun moving troops over the borders into the country. Then, in August, Lithuania was officially annexed into the Soviet Union. When I complained at the dinner table, Papa yelled at me and told me to never, ever say anything derogatory about the Soviets. He sent me to my room. I didn’t say anything out loud after that. But I thought about it a lot.
Despite her father’s caution, 15-year-old Lena Vilkas, her 10-year-old brother Jonas and their mother Elena are charged as criminals and arrested in their home in Lithuania by Soviet officers. Lena’s Papa didn’t return from work the previous day and they don’t even know if he’s alive. The three of them are forced into a train car with forty-six other people, mostly women and children. Among them are Ona and her newborn baby, taken from the hospital just as soon as the umbilical cord was cut, Miss. Grybas, a perfectly harmless spinster teacher, a mean bald man, supposedly a stamp collector, Mrs. Arvydas, wife of a murdered Lithuanian officer, and her 17-year-old son Andrius, who has to pretend to be feeble-minded in order to stay with his mother. Needless to say, they are all treated like cattle.
After spending more than 8 weeks in the train car with only two buckets of water and a bucket of food a day for all of them, they arrive to a beet farm where they’re expected to work all day, most of them digging in frozen ground with hand shovels and bare hands. For months they have nothing but hunger and disease in labor camp, and just when they think things couldn’t possibly get any worse, they get moved to Siberia - supposedly to build a factory, but in reality, they’re just expected to die.
Lena’s story is powerful for many reasons. Of course none of us can stay indifferent to a story about so much suffering and Ruta Sepetys chose a very smart way to tell it. Her writing is very matter of fact, her sentences are short and to the point. She allowed herself very little emotion, thus giving the reader a chance to fill in the gaps. I think it was the only way to tell such a horrendous story without overdoing it.
When I finished this book last night, I was completely grief-stricken. I thought: “What am I supposed to do now? Am I supposed to just stand up and walk around like I didn’t just take a long, hard look at the ugliest side of humanity?” For the first time in my life, I felt that my education has failed me. How is it possible that we just went around all this, barely mentioning it? We dedicated so much time to Hitler and his victims (and we should have), but we’re talking about 20 million people here! 20 million people they just omitted to tell us about. I’m not saying I was completely clueless about it all, far from it, but I was never really confronted with it. And I absolutely needed to be.
I think everyone should read Between Shades of Gray. Saying that it will help you appreciate the little things sounds like a horrible cliché, but it’s also undeniably true. Just get ready to be crushed into pieces by all the atrocities and suffering this relatively short book describes....more
We were completely different. Danny was tall, sweet, graceful despite legs that went on forever. I was little, moody, uncoordinated. We didn4.5 stars
We were completely different. Danny was tall, sweet, graceful despite legs that went on forever. I was little, moody, uncoordinated. We didn't like the same music or the same movies. He put onions and mushrooms on his pizza and never wore socks and could sleep through a pipe bomb. I survived on bananas and yogurt and always wore hats and got carsick unless I chewed gum with my headphones on. It didn't matter. I loved him.
As soon as she entered puberty, strange things started happening around Wren: flying objects and exploding light bulbs became a regular occurrence. This wasn't completely unexpected: all the women in Wren's family can do the same, but for some reason, Wren's mother refuses to talk about it or teach her how to control it. So when Wren’s boyfriend Danny dies in a car accident, Wren decides to use her power and bring him back to her. Unfortunately, Danny that rises from the grave isn’t the same easygoing Danny they buried two weeks earlier. The new Danny, angry and confused, is not nearly as harmless as Wren thought he would be. Just keeping him hidden and compliant might prove to be too big a challenge for one seventeen-year-old girl.
I enjoyed the new take on zombies. Garvey wrote: My zombie, such as he is, isn’t George Romero’s, as you probably figured out. He’s closer to the kind of zombie you might create with Haitian vodou magic, a corpse reanimated and then controlled by a sorcerer. While zombies we’re used to reading about are usually scary in a grotesque way, Danny was creepy and deeply disturbing. Every time Wren kissed him or placed her head on his silent chest, I felt the coldness of his body on my own skin and I shuddered involuntarily. He really made my skin crawl. It was easy enough to forget that he was once a warm and loving boy and that none of it was his fault.
I never even realized how thoroughly I’d connected with Wren until I caught myself siding with her even when she was obviously wrong. I don’t think I even noticed the other (living) characters, not in their own merit at least. They meant to me what they meant to Wren, and if she suddenly changed her mind about one of them, I changed my mind together with her.
The funny thing is that Wren isn’t a character I’d normally like, but that’s where Garvey’s strength lies. Create a selfless, heroic character and everyone will be crazy about him/her under any circumstances, but write a girl who is self-indulgent and careless and make me care about her - and you'll have accomplished something not many authors can.
I think that’s what every emotional reader seeks – a character he/she can connect with entirely. But Cold Kiss is also thought-provoking and original, and Amy Garvey’s marvelous writing skills add more magic to this powerful, compelling and haunting story. I will not only read whatever she decides to write next, I’ll probably preorder it as well.
Favorite quote: Love like that is what they make movies about. It's the thing you're supposed to want, the answer to every question, the song that you're supposed to sing. But love like that can be too big, too. It can be something you shouldn't be trusted to hold when you're the kind of person who drops the eggs and breaks the remote control. Love doesn’t break easily, I found. But people do. ...more