I was torn between rating this 1 star because it is ridiculous, and 5 stars because it is possibly the most I've laughed in months. And yeah, I actualI was torn between rating this 1 star because it is ridiculous, and 5 stars because it is possibly the most I've laughed in months. And yeah, I actually downloaded it from smashwords and read it because I am a masochist like that. Truly side-splitting stuff.
Just one of my favourite quotes:
“...if it is for a very tiny country, it doesn't take much to be the #1 reviewer and best reviewer in your country. Especially a country where the majority of the population can ill afford books, computer equipment and eReaders in order to be a member of Goodreads.”
Oh, you pesky third-worlders thinking you're the big #1 when most of your country can't even read. Stop being so insensitive and start feeling sorry for the authors who get put on “wouldnt-pee-on-it-if-it-was-on-fire," shelves.
I must say... even though I've had many issues with Hoover's books in the past, she and Tarryn Fisher have weaved one hell of a compelling tale here.
TI must say... even though I've had many issues with Hoover's books in the past, she and Tarryn Fisher have weaved one hell of a compelling tale here.
The only real downside to this first installment is how quickly it was over, leaving us hanging with an evil cliffhanger that won't be resolved until May! This strange little book gives up so few of its secrets - a fact I might have withdrawn stars for if it wasn't such a damn intriguing pageturner.
I'm going to be honest: Colleen Hoover has been responsible for many of my rants in the past and some might think me a masochist for even trying to enjoy another of her novels. I hated the way she glorified controlling boyfriends in Hopeless. I thought the writing in Slammed showcased an author who had not yet found her footing. And Maybe Someday had more than its fair share of slut-shaming.
But... I've said in my past (negative) reviews that I like Hoover's easy-to-digest style of writing that demands you turn the pages. I like how her characters are mostly three dimensional and not all typical NA stereotypes. So I cast aside my reservations and tumbled into this... mystery? Romance? Paranormal thriller? The jury's still out.
This book opens with our two narrators having absolutely no memory of who they are, where they live, who their friends and family are... or how they managed to get in this state. Piecing together clues about their lives and their relationship, it seems like the more they discover the weirder everything gets. Who were they before? How did they lose their memories? Do they even want to find out?
Romance does come out when Charlie and Silas are trying to figure out the details of their relationship - as well as many skeletons in the closet - but unlike Hoover's other works, this story feels like so much more than a romance. It's dark, mysterious, even creepy at times. Probably not for readers who like a clear distinction between the realistic and the supernatural because I'm still not sure which applies here.
Characters I care about, complex relationships (not just of the romantic kind), and a whopping great mystery... I'm ready for the sequel. Now please.
I can see already why this book won't be for everyone. It's like a Cloud Atlas for young adults. Complex, mind-benMarcus Sedgwick is nuts. I love him.
I can see already why this book won't be for everyone. It's like a Cloud Atlas for young adults. Complex, mind-bending and thought-provoking. I don't even know how to classify this book. It is essentially four very different short stories wound together with the strangest of links. A link that is never-ending, that has been with us since the dawn of time and will continue long after we are gone.
Are you intrigued? Oh, you should be.
Imagine... • A story of the Paleolithic era; a free verse weird little story about a girl, her tribe, other tribes, death, and the mysterious caves where humankind will leave their first artwork for the future to find.
• A historical tale of a woman wrongly accused of witchcraft. As the evidence piles up against her, more and more of the people she once called friends turn their back and the hangman's noose draws ever closer.
• A "lunatic asylum" in 1920s America where a new doctor discovers the dark truths lurking within the halls of the mental hospital he has just arrived at.
• A story set in the future; a spaceship hurtles through the universe to find a new Earth-like planet after ours has become too overcrowded. But when the ship's sleeping occupants start to die mysteriously, it seems like someone somewhere must be awake on the ship. Or perhaps the truth is far far worse. Will they ever make it to the planet alive?
These mesmerizing stories can be read in any order; the links between them remain unchangeable. The characters are three-dimensional, vivid, alive and demand our sympathy. For somebody like me who isn't a big fan of short stories, it was quite wonderful to have them all speak to me, drag me in and make me need to see what the next would offer.
I will issue one warning: the first story (if read in order) was a little confusing to me, possibly made more so by the use of free verse. As it moved on, I became more intrigued by where Mr Sedgwick was taking it, but I didn't fall in love with this book until the second story. My love was then cemented by the third and fourth. But if the first doesn't grab you, I would say read on.
This book contains a running symbolism throughout, revealed gradually in both the smallest, most mundane of details, and the central themes. What I like most is that the stories really do stand on their own as individual masterpieces. Sedgwick is painting a bigger picture but the four stories he uses to do it are wonderful, heartbreaking and clever in their own right.
This book made me sad, angry, curious and excited. Putting it down was like walking out into the sun after being in a movie theatre... a little lost and dazed. I'm half sad that this sophisticated book will probably be judged negatively because it is "YA", and half thrilled that teens are lucky enough to have such an amazing author writing in their corner.
"If I seem to recall, you had your tongue down some tiny chick's throat half the night." "Tongue in the throat, cock in the c**t, it's all the same,""If I seem to recall, you had your tongue down some tiny chick's throat half the night." "Tongue in the throat, cock in the c**t, it's all the same," he says.
You know, I really do like a lot of Halle's novels - especially Sins & Needles, Shooting Scars and Dirty Angels - I like them because they're dark, gritty and push boundaries. I like the unlikable characters. And I especially admire Halle's talent for creating flawed female protagonists who get drunk, make mistakes and sleep with all the wrong guys.
But, in the end, this is a romance novel. The central plot is about getting Steph and Linden together and, therefore, my enjoyment of the novel kind of hangs on my ability to care about their relationship and whether they'll fall in love, have hot sex, or just drive each other crazy.
And I didn't. Care, that is.
To summarize, the book is about two best friends who have made a pact to marry one another if both are not in serious relationships by the time they reach thirty. When they made the promise, did they mean it? Only time will tell. I think it should be mentioned that I never got the sense that Linden and Steph had a remotely platonic relationship; Steph was drooling over Linden on the first page and Linden would have gladly slept with Steph, given the opportunity. It was never a "best friends turned lovers" thing for me, but a "two people who flirt with each other for a long time finally act upon it" kind of thing.
The book gets an extra star for Steph. Because like all the other female characters Halle creates, I liked her. Maybe "like" isn't even the word, but I was interested in her story and cared when bad stuff happened to her. I looked forward to her chapters way more than Linden's and I liked how insecure, imperfect but ultimately strong she could be.
But I pretty much hated Linden. And I think that's worse than not liking the female narrator for someone like me - an heterosexual female reading a romance novel. I'm supposed to LUST after him. But no. For one thing, he was a dick who made me nauseous with sentences like the one I quoted above. For another, was he any different than any other beautiful, smart, rich, arrogant asshole that appears in NA books?
Here's the description of him:
Linden McGregor is funny, kind, smart, handsome and ambitious. He's got a BA in business and is almost done getting his helicopter pilot's license. He's one hot package that any girl would be lucky to snatch up. But he's also egotistical, cocky, arrogant and a player.
*yawn* I could go find myself a cardboard cutout that's more interesting.
I forced myself to finish just to get to the conclusion that I knew was inevitable. But I didn't give the slightest damn about Linden, nor did I find him attractive, so their relationship did nothing for me. Sucks.