i'm glad i read the introduction to this book before i started. i don't generally, because they tend to give too much away, but this one was a reallyi'm glad i read the introduction to this book before i started. i don't generally, because they tend to give too much away, but this one was a really nice intro from powers himself, reminiscing about when he wrote this book 20 years ago. see, i thought it was a new book when i clicked it on netgalley, and finding out that it was written in his writer-infancy was good to know going into it.
not that this is a bad book, or an immature book at all. in fact, it was cool to see that a lot of what is great about tim powers was there, right at the beginning of his career. i have only read his vampire books, but what i was struck by most in them (besides the quality of his research when writing about byron and shelley etc - a rare thing indeed) was the density of his prose. he makes sentences that matter. he is also very good at his world-building, which is impressive enough when you are layering a veil of supernatural explanation over the actions of real people whose lives are well-known and somehow making it seem plausible and not silly, but with this one he has created a whole post-apocalyptic landscape packed with its own creatures and religion and social hierarchy and music, currency, cults, drugs, thugs - the whole package. and it makes sense! not in the way of, "this is probably what will happen in the future," but "these characters are behaving in a way that is consistent with the world in which they live." it's a kind-of, sort-of retelling of the eurydice/orpheus myth, but with some tim powers twists and turns.
rivas is a wonderful creation.he is neither hero nor antihero - he exists in that liminal space where he could be both or nether at any given time. his moral code is all grey. he is holding on to the memory of a love he lost years ago, and for her sake he allows himself to be led back into a life he thought he had left behind, enduring pain and danger to rescue her, but he is not at all the selfless hero. he does change along the way, as any character in a journey-narrative will, but it is a transformation that is a combination of redemptive/practical. very grey all around. but he is likable. and he does go through a lot of shit to get the girl. and it is such a hushpad situation, at the end of it all. (if you get that reference, i love you)
so, yes - a very good blast-from-the-past book from tim powers, and it will not be the last i read from him. read the book, read the intro, and tell me it isn't adorable when he is remembering the way he came up with the names and groaning at some of his youthful pretensions.
in closing, i love the hemogoblins, and the hemogoblin/tumbleweed scene was a killer. brief, but i loved it!!...more
this book has crazy-high ratings and here i come in like a monster to muck it all up for everyone.
i just think this book is...lacking. it is anouh-oh.
this book has crazy-high ratings and here i come in like a monster to muck it all up for everyone.
i just think this book is...lacking. it is another example of what happens when something gets overexposed. do we need another YA dystopian novel? well, i love them, so i would have to say "yes," but the problem is that when the market is flooded, some of the books are going to be waterlogged. and this one just doesn't measure up to the so-many-better ones out there. too many dystopias! leave them to people who can really build a satisfying world!
and it's not dreadful - i never wanted to stop reading it, but it doesn't bring anything new to the genre.
how did we get here???
at least try to come up with something, please. it doesn't have to be the most convincing backstory ever, but give me a reason. why are things the way they are, why are people being executed for these infractions? what happened and who is in charge and why do the rules keep changing and how and when and wtf??
throw me a bone, here.
oh my god, how hard is it to talk to someone??
this is one of my biggest pet peeves in books, where sooo many things could have been avoided with a single conversation. it is the laziest way for an author to create tension - by letting the audience know more than the characters because they just can't possibly say what they are feeling. get a new bag of tricks, this one has been played out.
oh, characters... how like yo-yos you are. i love you i hate you i gaze longingly at you i scowl at you YOU CANNOT KNOW WHAT I AM FEEELING!
cuz i sure ain't gonna tell you. that would make this book like a hundred pages.
oh my god, seriously??
sweetheart, when someone tries to rape you or kill you and they are baaaad because this is a dystopia, you cannot just let them go. sometimes you gotta kill someone. i know it's hard, i know it's not ideal, but your world isn't ideal - these people are going to come for you. and you gotta kill them. in a world where you can be executed for (view spoiler)[having a kid out of wedlock (hide spoiler)], sometimes you are going to have to get your hands dirty.or let your lover do it for you. because you are not so good with a gun. or a nightstick.
again - it's not terrible. there are some good action sequences, but the "romance" is pretty dopey and too angsty for me. it doesn't feel like a two-star to me, but it is a really low three....["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
second books are always hard, particularly the middle book of a trilogy. so many times, they just opewait, so book three is out soon, right?? RIGHT???
second books are always hard, particularly the middle book of a trilogy. so many times, they just operate as filler - adhering the beginning of a story to its conclusion with unnecessary stickiness. most trilogies should probably just be duologies, you ask me.
there are always exceptions: the border trilogy, chaos walking trilogy - where the middle book is actually the strongest, and books like kjaerstad's jonas wergeland trilogy, where each book is a perfect luminous gem. but usually, the second book will let you down.
and this is NOT a bad book. it's just my expectations were too, too high.
i loved divergent. loved it. and that was despite its having one of the more ridiculous premises i have come across in YA fiction. but it didn't affect my enjoyment of the book one bit, because her writing was so remarkable, and the pacing was so blindingly fast, i barely had time to register the silliness. and by the end, when i stopped to think, "wow, there are some ridiculous foundations to that story," it didn't matter at all, because i had had such a wonderful time reading that book.
this book is a much slower and more deliberate story, with more psychological character development that slows down the pacing just enough to really highlight its weaknesses.
tris is a fantastic character. i really love her. she is tough and foolish and headstrong and capable and athletic without losing her femininity. she is completely believable. and even though she gets lost in her own head for a great deal of this book, and that can be really frustrating, it is also very believable. i mean, with everything that has happened to her and those around her, i think giving her a little me-time to mourn and wallow is completely reasonable. i'm glad that she doesn't just bounce right back after everything, and that it affects her relationship with four and others around her. realism is appreciated.
and her relationship with four is so refreshingly real. this is a very mature treatment of a relationship that isn't blinded by neediness or delusions of the others' perfection.i was really touched by them, if you want to know the truth. they each have their own shit going on, and a lot of this book finds them dealing with that shit independently, but they keep believing in each other and the strength of their bond. i love his expectations of her. he never tries to shield her or protect her because she is such a capable character, even with all her human frailties. she never needs to be put in a corner, even when she doubts herself.
my biggest problem was just, again, the factions. i thought they were silly in the first book - these very limiting designations where everyone is one of five ways with very little deviation. silly. this one just made it a little sillier, with people leaving factions and going undercover into other factions, and blending with other factions in sanctuary, and i just got a little muddled trying to remember who is wearing what color and what that means and who is double-crossing and wearing a disguise and no one can tell because they are wearing red, so everything else is overlooked...i found it hard to believe in the built world, even though she manages to give enough details that it can be accepted as "their world, not our world." suspend your disbelief,and you should be fine.
you should read this book. you know you want to. just know that it is a more meditative volume. there is plenty of action (oh, boy, is there ever!), but overall, it is a more sedate and in-depth study of tris' world, and the way it affects the populace.
this book has absolutely nothing in common with the hunger games. sure, there are kids who fight, but the circumstances are entirely different. most othis book has absolutely nothing in common with the hunger games. sure, there are kids who fight, but the circumstances are entirely different. most of the kids in h.g. have not been trained to fight, they are being forced to fight for the entertainment of the capitol. the main character of h.g. is not a girl who has been honed to kill monsters that attack her community, nor one who has been raised in such a sheltered and specific educational-track focused entirely on fighting that emotions are uncomfortable and unfamiliar. katniss had attachments - she loved her sister and her mother, even though she saw her mother as a disappointment - she still had a family bond. deuce has no ties to her family - in the enclave, people rarely know who sired them, so it is an irrelevant distinction.
but enough comparisons.i just got way ahead of myself. i was just peeved that this book is advertised as a "new hunger games," when they are such dissimilar books. it may very well be the case that fans of hg will also be fans of this, but they might also be fans of artichokes - it is not a given.
so - quick rundown. in this book, a twenty-five year old person is considered elderly, which should give you some idea of the state of things: danger, disease, threats, light deprivation. living in abandoned subway tunnels, after a "game over" caliber epidemic, deuce's particular community has never been topside, and spend their days surviving in one of three broad societal groupings. just so you know, i hate it when books are reductive like this - that there are only x-number of categories for people to fall into and everything else just gets willfully ignored by the author. but i can overlook it, because it is a trend that is not going away, but it really should. even in the most rigid dystopia, there should be grey areas.
builders, breeders, and hunters. surely there is more to a society. but not here! builders build, breeders breed, and hunters kick the asses of the feral humanoid monsters with the teeth and the claws and provide meat (from other sources) for their people.
and of course, there is a boy, raised outside the enclave, but adopted into it despite having ideeeeas from before. he is barely tolerated by the enclave. enter deuce, and her irresistible attraction to the bad boy and it looks like you got yourself a YA dystopian novel!
it's bleak, and there are some squidgy bits here - deuce is a character raised within a very narrow framework of possibilities. she is a warrior, with a warrior's values. fight or die, and never quit. if you are defeated, but not dead, you have done something wrong. and that can be uncomfortable for a reader, when the book kind of breezes over things like rape, which in a normal world, would maybe be treated more sensitively. pedophilia is punished - its perpetrators cut, exiled, and left in the tunnels where their blood will attract the cannibalistic tribes that also live there, but rape is mostly a means-to-an-end situation. and that's totally gross, but in this world, with people dying so young, the population does need to increase to survive. is this concept too horribly practical for YA?? too callous?? i don't know. me, i just glossed over it to get to the fighting, but i did have some reservations later (view spoiler)[ when one of the potential rapists who was a rape-enabler of others was seen as a possible love match for her. on the one hand, i can see how her character would be drawn to him - their sensibilities are very similar. she is just learning about emotions like some female terminator, and her more sympathetic love match is full of emotions that she wants to understand but isn't quite there yet. and here is this young thug who has survived as a gang leader for years, and survived as an autodidactic fighter who never needed to cultivate his emotional side - he only needed to keep his people alive by any means necessary. (hide spoiler)] it is very complicated. but it is one of those situations where we cannot place our own value system upon a different culture, even when the culture is an imaginary underground world in a YA book. and it's not like all the fighting and murdering and kill kill killing is any better than rape. this is not a pretty world.
but i did enjoy it. i liked the characters, i liked different tribes that were described, along with their different codes and methods for survival. i am always the first one to thumb my nose at science, so plenty of implausibilities i just danced around to get to the good stuff.
it's short, it's a quick read - i am looking forward to the next one. i particularly liked where this book left off, and am curious to see the direction she is going to take this baby.
2 more quick complaints. "deuce" is also slang for poo. not a great name for your badass female protagonist.
also - the author mentions the mole people in her acknowledgments, calling it "fantastic." this is incorrect. it must be a typo, because the mole people is a smug and irritating book written by someone with zero sensitivity to her subject matter. bluck. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
no one told ally condie that the second book in a trilogy is not a resting place, not an opportunity to catch your breath and count your cash. you got no one told ally condie that the second book in a trilogy is not a resting place, not an opportunity to catch your breath and count your cash. you gotta write something, too. is that mean? probably.is it true? definitely.
even though i wasn't crazy about matched, i wanted to read the next installment just to see where she was going with her brand of dystopia, and with these characters. and also, truthfully, because i am such a sucker for covers, and i love these. i think she might put more time and care into maneuvering the art direction than the book's contents.
i am reading only YA fiction now, because it is fast and i don't have to focus too much on it because i have all sort of school that is more important than leisure reading. but this. who told YA fiction it could be boring? and ponderous? and be basically a set piece to store your leftover overblown teen-angst poetry? it is still brisk-paced, but you never get the sense that anything is actually happening, it is just a collection of words broken up by flashes of descriptive writing in italics that is meant to sound poetry but instead just gives unpleasant flashbacks to me at 16, weeping into my journal.
everyone seems heavily drugged in this. there is a lot of ruminating on the nature of beauty and color and art and loooove and poetry (god such bad poetry) and it just seems lazy. okay, so you are going to use two narrators in this one - good move, ambitious, but this is a split-narrative between two people who have the exact same voice! no wonder they are in love, it is as though they are the same. exact. character. with the same. exact. way of expressing themselves. what are the odds of these crazy kids finding each other?
and it's not just them - none of the characters come into relief, for me. they are all hollow-seeming, mouthing their lines and emotions, working towards this idea of rebellion without seeming to understand what that means. i just don't get a sense of urgency. should we leave the canyons?? yeah, after the rain. let's read some more poems. are people after us?? shrug, prolly.
ramp this up!
this is what happens to people taken out of the rigid confines of the society? they lounge around looking through old maps and remember their mommies and manage to have a love triangle even when only two of its members are even in the book? the rising is going to eat you alive, unless everyone in that group shares the same voice, too, which would not surprise me, actually.
matched was ersatz dystopia, this book is ersatz survival, as the characters evade what has to be the slowest threat ever, and huddle together in caves and go rafting and climbing like some outward bound program for extremely sheltered teens. but leaving them plenty of time to become dewy-eyed with love and scribble away.
i marked a map for every death for every ache and blow my world was all a page of black with nothing left of snow
i bet xander's "big secret" is that he is glad cassia is gone because she is so flimsily constructed, and he is going to go into another book and try his luck there. love triangle - collapsed! ' i do feel bad, but i am not saying anything i don't feel to be true, and this woman is going to make a ton of money with this series and the inevitable movie rights, so i don't need to be overly charitable here. this book just isn't very good. but it won't matter.
and because of my nature, i will indeed be reading the third book. but it had better SHINE. and not just the cover art this time....more
i feel like this is a book that mistook its audience.it is like the not-as-good version of Ship Breaker. if it is supposed to be a cautionary tale for i feel like this is a book that mistook its audience.it is like the not-as-good version of Ship Breaker. if it is supposed to be a cautionary tale for adults told in a briskly-paced "fantastic" atmosphere, it is just too raggedy. characters move forward from one illustrative peril to another, in some "parade of characters" set piece, each more unrealistic than the one before; there is no breathing room between episodes in the race to the top of mount crazy. and the whole goody-good good guys vs. mustachioed villains is too much like "what if avatar was a book??" ugh, gimmie some nuance. but at the same time, if it is for teens, the boring, didactic shit is going to put them right off, i guarantee. the characters are flat and insipid, and the action sequences are cartoonish. that's what's so weird about this book. the action parts read like they were intended for a much younger-than-teen audience,needing constant stimulation (LGM) to stay focused, but the preachy parts...well, here:
the steel steps glistened, but rust had already begun to wear through on the risers. like everything else about bluewater, the shiny surfaces hid corrosion and corruption. the entire edifice was a monument to ignorance. the truth was that butterflies could not disrupt an entire ecosystem simply by beating their wings. it took willful neglect and deliberate blindness, the refusal to see the obvious even as the land grew toxic before our eyes. but i still held out hope that we could change our ways
gack city. this makes me want to go out and poison the water supply my damn self. with poison.
the whole thing just put me off, as i was alternately condescended to, as a reader, and distracted by new characters and locations every three pages or so. and i don't even want to talk about the ending. and you can't make me....more
the fact that i can't think of a single thing to say about this book should be review enough, right? and yet, that could be misconstrued as one of thothe fact that i can't think of a single thing to say about this book should be review enough, right? and yet, that could be misconstrued as one of those "if you don't have anything nice to say" remarks. and that's not it. it was a "good" "read," i am just having difficulty saying anything interesting tonight.
i will just sit here and hope the votes pour in without any effort on my part...
okay, i will give it a go.
yes, yes, it is another YA dystopia. (half of you have officially tuned out) and the idea has potential, but it is another construct that collapses if you start to scrutinize it. if you play the "this is the way it is and just shut up and read it" game, it is a fine story. (i have lost half of the remaining half.)
and it won a "rhode island teen book award", which is extremely prestigious. shhhh them's my people!
i don't know, man, it isn't terrible, but if you have other things to read, i would read those things first. "some dude" let me borrow this, and even though he hasn't read it and i shouldn't feel guilty, i do. thanks for the candy, though!
and i am still interested in reading the continuation - like i said, it has potential, and there are at least two major questions left unanswered. and i have curiosities.
i think i am probably just not in the review-writing mood, but a lot of it is how little impression this book left upon me.
this is one i might be too old for. a lot of people compare this to The Giver, and i get it, in that they are both these forced-utopias, but thenyeah.
this is one i might be too old for. a lot of people compare this to The Giver, and i get it, in that they are both these forced-utopias, but then, so is The Stepford Wives, yeah? but since i didn't like the giver, i can't really complain that this was a rip-off, because neither of them did very much for me, so i'm not going to go waving any flags around in either's defense. you are on your own, books...
but if i had to.
this one may have been slightly more entertaining to me because it was less dated. and of course, they both take place in a temporal neverland, so it's not that it is actually dated, but that the ideals of the society just feel more shiny chrome in this one. but this is a utopia with cracks. and they are starting to show. and i like that.
i like reading these dark-future novels just for the details - to see how they differ. and even in the ones i am not in love with, there are always one or two details that make me think - "oh - interesting take on the subject"
in this version, everyone is beautiful and fit - everyone automatically receives their required amount of calories so no one is overweight or enjoys food - it is purely fuel, except on v special occasions.
books and ideas are stripped down to 100 poems, 100 songs, etc.
museums are for unnecessary things like jewelry and trinkets from the past
marriages are arranged between teenagers to create the most productive pairing/offspring
everyone dies at 80.
those are the facts, but at the end of the day, it is still a pretty basic love triangle, so - yawn.
it is frustrating because there seem to be so many opportunuties for rebellion, but no one really takes advantage of that, including the author. there are tiny, teen-angst rebellions, but they are almost factored into by the society as inveitable, as part of a learning curve. i wanted to hear more about that, and the ripple effect those had to group dynamics and obedience in adults. maybe in the sequel?? which i will read because even books like this that are only okay have enough page-turning-ness to keep me interested.
or maybe i am just a sucker.
it's a pretty tame, pretty unchallenging read - probably good for those reluctant teen readers, it just doesn't push the YA envelope enough for my old haggard tastes.
i need to make something perfectly clear. i am well aware that i gave 4 stars to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. and i am giving 5 stars to this one.
thei need to make something perfectly clear. i am well aware that i gave 4 stars to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. and i am giving 5 stars to this one.
the world is a tough and inconsistent sphere.
because Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a much much better written book. it's no contest. she is lush and lyrical and there is a gravity to her writing that makes you stop every so often to murmer "well said, laini taylor, well said..."
this book is just fun. fun fun fun fun fun fun fun fun
this is unexpected pillowfight, marshmallow syrup on strawberry ice cream, kitten in a bag fun.
it was recommended to me on here by a different karen, and i borrowed it from work almost immediately. before that,i had never even heard of it, which is strange, because it appears to be something of a sensation. and i definitely get why.
if you are someone who needs your dystopian fiction to, you know, make sense, you probably won't like this. no one is going to read this book and think, "oh, man - that is exactly where our society is headed! i can see that becoming a reality in five years' time!!" nope.
it is more like a board game: there are rules and you accept them and you play. "but why are you a scottie dog and i am a thimble?? that makes no sense!!"
because that's how that game is played. stop asking so many questions and roll the dice.
fun fun fun fun violence fun fighting fun fun fun (view spoiler)[fucking BUTTER KNIFE in THE EYE!!! (hide spoiler)] superfun whaaaaaaat? fun pow.
i love this character, i love this book, i love the construct, as little as it holds up to scrutiny. all i know is it grabbed my attention and i refused to stop reading. there was no grilled cheese that night, let me tell you. i want this entire series to be written, now, and i want to climb out onto my fire escape with a package of iced oatmeal cookies and my rabbit and some pink lemonade and not be disturbed for a week or so. depending on how long this series is going to be.
oh, but bad cover. bad, bad cover. i would never have picked this up without the rec.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
here be f-bombs!! in the book, not my review. i am a lady.
i don't know. this book is all right, i just didn't really get caught up in it, despite my highere be f-bombs!! in the book, not my review. i am a lady.
i don't know. this book is all right, i just didn't really get caught up in it, despite my high expectations.
my annotation for the world's best RA group reads thusly:
Mal's brother has vanished. Laura's parents do not recognize her. People on the streets are glued to their devices and do not interact. A building that no one seems to notice, one which is bigger on the inside than the outside, contains doorways that lead to farflung places in the city. Set in a dystopian New York City, several people attempt to find answers to the questions that haunt them, and try to salvage what remains of humanity.
(yeah - when i annotate, i use capital letters, so what?)
but it sounds fun, right? well, it is only so-so. my gripes include the big bad force being called global dynamic which, even though i have totally missed this last season of fringe, still sounds awfully familiar. in fact, a lot of this book could play as a mid-series x-files or a fringe episode. and that's fine, i like teevee, but i was hoping for something a little more "wow," a little less familiar, something with zazz.
the character of mike was pretty poor, in my mind. an adult character, regardless of whether the book is intended for teens, should behave like an adult character. as a teacher, even a disillusioned teacher who has begun to dislike students, resorting to playground-style taunts and mannerisms w/r/t the deepening closeness of mal and laura is just absurd. i can't picture any of my high school teachers, even the cruelest of them, performing the equivalent of "ooooh - you like a girrrrrrrrl" dance, even drunk at the prom. surely by that point some dignity has been achieved?
but it had definite high points: i did like the ending, i appreciated that there was no falling into a hallmark feel-gooderie zone,it had good energy and characters with a lot of damage, the way i like...
so - yeah - this is utterly unhelpful to anyone considering reading this. sorry. it is a fine way to pass the time, but all in all, i am glad i borrowed this from work instead of owning it for all time....more
it had a good amount of violence and intrigue, it had a well-developed sense of atmosphere, i liked the beginning 1/3 of it very muthis book is fine.
it had a good amount of violence and intrigue, it had a well-developed sense of atmosphere, i liked the beginning 1/3 of it very much, but then... i don't know. i'm not sure whether my mediocre response is justified or if i had just read too many books right before this that i enjoyed a whole bunch more. this one just kind of beigely occurred. it just felt like something i would put on the tv while i fold the laundry - the book equivalent of NCIS or without a trace.
i do think boys would like this. it has a male protagonist, there is a crush situation, but it's not all languid gazing and sparkling kisses, and there is bloodshed and growth and a pretty good father-son showdown. i think it is better written than a lot of fiction targeted towards boys, so i give it a thumbs-up in that department.
there are a couple of squitchy moments where a little agenda may have slipped in in the form of global warming schooling, but it skirted by just this side of preachy. that and the very conscious inclusion of every racial group, ("yes, one of those and yes, one of those, and oh - let's have two of those...") was kind of off-putting just because i could sense there was a PC checklist somewhere, and it made me blarg a little. haha this review is going to get me a republican reputation!! dana - come tell me how to be a good republican!! i just felt like i was in some educational pamphlet at times, is all.
it's like - today, i was reading a book of essays and stories and poems about queens. the borough. and there was this poem which i think is bad because it sounds like something the chamber of commerce would put on a mural or something to promote queens. here is a portion. this is part of a poem:
Queens Museum and Colden Center are community landmarks to frequent with family and friends. Queens Theatre erupts with vitality and emerald trees with concerts by Ugandan children and more to excite us. Hall of Science for budding scientists and curious. In Queens there's so much to do, or relax and stare at a rainbow or invite black, white, red, yellow and brown for rainbow gatherings. Play a little music for your community of neighbors. A little Billy Joel, Lena, Cyndi Lauper with Queens ties, or toss on a bit of Sinatra and Ella for friends to enjoy.They know thoughtful or buoyant talk abounds with us. They leave admiring the breeze and the trees.
sorry, that is just terrible. this woman has 6 published books of poetry.
i don't know why i am talking about this here, except to note that her poems were so self-consciously diverse, it makes me want to hide. i hate overenthusiastic inclusion poetry. i mean - rainbow gatherings?? if those are anything like rainbow parties, count me right out.
hmm - i feel like i have strayed from the matter at hand. alas. blame it on the theraflu, my friends......more
i may just be giving this five stars out of surprise... i was dreading reading all these teen books - not all of them look bad or anything, but therei may just be giving this five stars out of surprise... i was dreading reading all these teen books - not all of them look bad or anything, but there are just so many and i am so far away from my teenage years... but this one is a hoot! (if a book about war and death and eating disorders and all horrible things can be said to be a hoot.for my purposes i say yes) i liked the characters voice, it was just the right combination of faux-sophistication and vulnerability. and all the survival stuff was great, it reminds me of my all-time favorite childrens book which i may write a review for later. and now i am really looking forward to my class!! meet me at the mall! ...more
i always want more. even when i enjoy a book - especially when i enjoy a book... i love the concept of this book, and while its true there are some imi always want more. even when i enjoy a book - especially when i enjoy a book... i love the concept of this book, and while its true there are some implausibilities here, and while it gets a little thin in places, it is easy to overlook because it is such a delight to read. yes, a delight.
i am tacking on a little more to this sad and short excuse for a review because i was thinking about this book today, after i finished reading "on the beach". if anyone needs a dissertation topic or just has the free time to write something for fun, you could do worse than to explore the placement of coca-cola in post-apocalyptic fiction. i think it would be fun. feel free to use this book, the road, on the beach, and many others. what does this say about the permanence of american commercialism? to whom do we assign responsibility? is its inclusion meant to evoke wistful nostalgia or cynical consumerism? discuss....more
i have a long and troubled relationship with the russians. for years i didnt want to read them, because i felt that i wouldnt understand them with thei have a long and troubled relationship with the russians. for years i didnt want to read them, because i felt that i wouldnt understand them with their troubled political history, their interchangeable names, their fucking ability to endure that is so intimidating and making-me-small-feeling. and then i read bulgakov. and i felt a little more confident.... then i got a little older and i thought... maybe im ready for some dostoevsky... and then i wondered what i had been so worried about, because it was all so accessible. then in my twenties i read kurkov, solzhenitsyn, nabokov, makine, zamyatin, chekhov... i have been around the russian block, my friends... and yet... theres still this barrier between us. i feel like there is so much subtext i am just missing... that unless you are russian, there is something gently exclusionary about the writing - that you could know all there is to know about russia and its history and its peoples and still - this is not intended for you. anyway, this book was very good but im sure that a real russian would appreciate it in some more deeply personal way than i ever could. ...more
okay i finally read it. and although i hate hate hate the art (which is why i didnt read it long ago until everyone kept telling me it was better thanokay i finally read it. and although i hate hate hate the art (which is why i didnt read it long ago until everyone kept telling me it was better than the art) the story is mostly very good. there are a couple of cringe-y things in there, mostly just dated material that cant be helped, but i am glad i read it, and you all can stop shouting at me now. ...more
so i decided that this is the summer i read all the books i "should" have read by now- all the classics i have not gotten around to. this was, oddly,so i decided that this is the summer i read all the books i "should" have read by now- all the classics i have not gotten around to. this was, oddly, sparked by that asshole that said to alyssa "this is why small bookstores are better - no one in big bookstores knows anything about books". which is, of course, inaccurate and ridiculous - poor alyssa is a nineteen year old girl who has not read any philip roth, and wasnt able to recommend a title to the (fifty year old) man but has probably read more books than most people you will pass on the street today. (unless you live on bookland ave) and i love small bookstores, but that is not the point. another thing that is not the point is that there are other people in the store besides the nineteen year old girl who is really not the target audience for philip roth, and between tom and greg alone, all the philip roth books have been read. so i just started thinking about all the books i havent read that are canonical (not philip roth - ive read four and its plenty) but, say, fahrenheit 451. so long review short, i read this yesterday. and its pretty much what i expected. even if you havent read it, you know what it is about, and i think it makes important points, but it just wont make my all-time-favorite list. but im glad i read it. his afterword is very good - i think i may have liked it more than the novel itself. so....more
oops, i accidentally liked this book. i swear it was unintentional. i was all set to hate it, especially after greg's review (which to be fair, was leoops, i accidentally liked this book. i swear it was unintentional. i was all set to hate it, especially after greg's review (which to be fair, was less about hating the book and more about hating the people this book might be hoping to educate) the wariness i had about it being in kidcode teenspeak was unnecessary - it was like reading clockwork orange or irvine welsh or anything else in dialect. i thought it was going to be written in contemporary teentalk, which is retarded, but if it's made-up speculative teen-ese, its less annoying. weird, right? if you want to read a good review of the book, read greg's, because all i am going to say is - the moon sucks, i totally agree. and they have a filet mignon park with a steak labyrinth. you can't have a dystopia with a steak labyrinth, because it sounds too much like heaven. and as the only person without an i-pod, cell phone, blackberry, or watch, i can now say i am "resisting the feed"!! but i never would. ...more
allow me to be relevant for a moment: oh my god, this book is outstanding!! it is all good things; battle royale, blood of heroes (one of the best movallow me to be relevant for a moment: oh my god, this book is outstanding!! it is all good things; battle royale, blood of heroes (one of the best movies ever made - dont argue with me), and all the best elements of this survivalist gary paulsen jag i am on. it kept me up way past my bedtime last night, because i could not stop reading, even though my eyes did not want to be awake. and now we veer, as ever, into the personal. this book is my comeuppance. i suppose it is factually my second comeuppance. i used to be a sneerer at grownups reading harry potter and twilight and all the stuff that is supposed to be for the kiddies, and was disgusted by the infantilizing of our adults tastes. and then i decided to take a teen lit class this summer for my mls degree, so i could have a class with greg before he graduated. i figured it would be easy reading and not too challenging and a nice way to spend my summer; getting A pluses and hanging out with my friend. but of course, after i had read a few books from the syllabus, we realized that we had signed up for the wrong class, and all the teen books i had been reading (and for the most part enjoying) were not for our class. and the books i was actually supposed to be reading were for much much younger readers. and then i was disappointed that i wouldnt be reading all those teen books after all. first comeuppance: regretting mocking teen fiction because now i have to read actual books for babies, which is so much more infantilizing. and now, my second comeuppance, i read this book and its not on either of the reading lists, and i dont even know if i can use it for this 10-book annotated bibliography because it might be for too old of a reading age, but i dont even care. i am now an adult who reads teen fiction. i have to reevaluate everything i thought i stood for. i still wont read harry potter, because i am stubborn, but i might have to sneer a little less at others. and that,i assure you, that is going to hurt....more
another great survival book! this one was surprising because it didnt feel dated at all, even though it was written in 1959. it makes me wish there weanother great survival book! this one was surprising because it didnt feel dated at all, even though it was written in 1959. it makes me wish there were maybe 200 more pages, particularly about rita, who is how i would want to be in the aftermath: shotgun. high heels. stockpiles.i love the image, but the reality is more that i would be in the library, probably rereading this book for tips. meta. to sum it up in a few words: armadillos, glasses, honey, kaboom. and two things i learned, to continue my lists: do not pick up jewelry after the blast, and buy extra glasses.helpful review?? nope, they never are......more