*sigh* Boy, am I in the minority here! Every friend of mine has given this at least three stars, and here I am not even being able to finish it. Still...more*sigh* Boy, am I in the minority here! Every friend of mine has given this at least three stars, and here I am not even being able to finish it. Still, I don't hate this book, so before giving my reasons for not liking it, I will be fair and go over what I did like.
Our heroine, Miss Alexia Tarabotti, hasn't had an easy life. Besides being put on the shelf at the age of fifteen by her mother, she's had to deal with unjust criticism. While the people of today spend countless dollars on cancer-causing tanning beds and spray on tan in a cans that make them look like a walking Orange Julius, in Alexia's day and age it is simply not the fashion to have a little darker skin. Nope, alabaster is where it's at! So as you can imagine, the vampires fit in quite nicely. But not our poor Miss Tarabotti! She has been shamed and ridiculed for even having lightly tanned skin practically since she popped out of her mother's womb. And what about that dreadfully large nose Miss Tarabotti sports? Well, we can't have that, now can we? No, no, no! We'll have to take the hedge trimmers to that thing! Pfft. As I'm sure a lot of people have, I've been on the receiving end of this kind of backwards thinking that Alexia's received from her family and peers, and it doesn't feel good. So I can sympathize with Alexia. She holds her head — and her nose — high, and lets it roll off her beautifully clad shoulders. I admire that. And . . . I'm afraid that's where my interest ended.
I have read of the neck nibbling (or gnawing, as the case may be) that ensues later on, and, for obvious reasons, I sincerely tried to make it to that part. But I guess even some good smut couldn't make me continue. For me, the writing made this nearly impossible to get into. Somehow it manages to read like fanfiction while still confusing me. I had to reread several passages in order to get even a semblance of what was happening in some scenes.
Besides these reasons, I couldn't get into the world Carriger created and, other than Miss Tarabotti, none of the characters (no, not even Lord Maccon) appealed to me. I realize this could've changed had I given it more time, but as of now I don't have the interest to do so. I believe that 50 - 100 pages is enough to tell if a book is for you or not, and I gave it 80.
To all fans of this series, especially those that are my friends, I'm sorry. I tried. :((less)
A note to anyone who chooses to read the following: I am critiquing this book solely based on the first 80 pages or so as I simply didn't have the wil...moreA note to anyone who chooses to read the following: I am critiquing this book solely based on the first 80 pages or so as I simply didn't have the will to continue any further.
There are some spoilers, but only for the first 80 pages.
Have you ever been sitting with a group of friends and one of them tells a joke and immediately everyone but you starts laughing? And then you sit there looking like the stupefied idiot who's just not getting it? That's how I felt while reading The DUFF. So many of my GR friends have liked this, and I've read many reviews proclaiming how awesome it is . . . but I just didn't get it. The DUFF has been blurbed by Elizabeth Scott and Simone Elkeles, both of whom are authors that I trust the opinions of. Or rather, did trust. While I'd like to say that The DUFF starts off good but wanes, it doesn't. The DUFF starts off with Bianca sitting in a club, watching her friends dance while she drinks pop at the bar. Not long after, Wesley Rush comes up and starts telling her how he's interested in her friends, and how she's going to help him make them be the next notches on his belt. (That isn't a direct phrase from the book, just to be clear.) And, to add to the insanity, he also so graciously informs her that she is the DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend. And so, naturally, Bianca is disgusted with him for this fact and because he's basically her school's male slut. But what happens next is what really had my head hitting the wall: She decides to use him as a distraction (where have I heard this plot line before? Hmm . . . could it be a dime store romance novel? Why yes, that's it!) and kisses him on the spot. The guy's a brazen asshole who's trying to use you to get into your friends pants—all while telling you that you're a statistically ugly fat chick—and so you decide to make out with him? WTF? No wonder he has no respect for you!
Skip ahead a little ways and you'll find Bianca and her friends discussing Wesley's character and kissing capabilities (you know, since Bianca is an expert in that department now): her friends think that he'd be great in bed, but Bianca thinks that any one that sleeps with him is liable to get an STD shortly thereafter. Good observation, Bianca—except—it is only around 30 or so pages later that Bianca sleeps with him herself! WTF? And am I the only one who thinks that the first time Wesley and Bianca are together is maybe even a bit wrongly handled? When Bianca was beginning to think to herself that maybe she doesn't want to have full-blown intercourse with him, and then immediately following that thought she thinks that they are now, in fact, having sex? Again, WTF? I'm not saying that it was rape—since there was no outowards discouragement from her—but, doesn't that seem ridiculous for Bianca to allow him to continue, what with her having those doubts in her head at that very moment? Does she honestly have that little of self-control? self-worth?
And as for Wesley, let me just say this: I love arrogance in a guy (I ♥ Barrons, BTW), but only a certain brand. Wesley's brand of arrogance is obnoxious and deplorable; it's not charming or redeemable in any way to me.
I don't know—perhaps trying to read something like this after having just finished a respectable, well-written novel like Emma was a bad idea, but there you have it.
(And, because I don't like to count DNFs towards my challenge, I'll just say Attempted reading on 6/28/11.)(less)
Listened to the first disc and I honestly have no inclination to continue. I think I started to fall asleep around the time Bree and Diego started dis...moreListened to the first disc and I honestly have no inclination to continue. I think I started to fall asleep around the time Bree and Diego started disposing of the bodies. And it's not as if I don't already know the conclusion.(less)
Ever felt left out? I felt that way when I tried reading Vision in White back in May of this year, and I felt that way again trying to read its succes...more
Ever felt left out? I felt that way when I tried reading Vision in White back in May of this year, and I felt that way again trying to read its successor, Bed of Roses. I attempted to read this about two months ago after having finished and disliked the first book in this series. Normally I would drop a series after disliking the first installment to the degree that I did with Vision in White, but since I own the first, second, and fourth installments in this series I thought I'd give it another go. Plus I felt left out. Many women love Nora Roberts, and after having fallen for her In Death series that she writes under the pseudonym J.D. Robb at the end of last year, I figured, why not try her other works? How different could they be? At the very least, shouldn't the characterization be as good? That was my reasoning . . . but that just isn't the case IMO. For me, this series is very flat and fluffy; the characters are cookie-cutter, the plots seem to be slight variations of one another, and because of the uninteresting characters there's not much to say about the sexy factor. I think what makes a series and/or its characters sexy is having good character development and good chemistry between the MCs - but I'm just not seeing that with this series.
And I'm sorry to all NR fans out there, but I honestly can't imagine her other works being any more suitable to my reading tastes, either. I shall stick with her alter ego, J.D. Robb, where I know I'm in for a treat.(less)
If you know me then you know I love books set in this period. For that reason and others, I believed I would enjoy this. I wanted to enjoy this, I tru...moreIf you know me then you know I love books set in this period. For that reason and others, I believed I would enjoy this. I wanted to enjoy this, I truly did. The premise sounded good; the prologue, however strange, intrigued me. But it didn't take long for me to realize that I wouldn't be able to read over 300 pages of Briony's narrative. It is undoubtedly the strangest I've ever come across. So strange, in fact, that I'm not sure I can describe it properly. It's like an odd mix of pessimism, self-hatred (which I'm sure is explained and turned around later on), and dreariness (although to be far, the book itself seemed to have a rather dreary atmosphere from what I read). Sprinkle on some idiosyncrasies and a mother-hen mentality due to her sister's issues and you've got Briony Larkin. I'm not saying that any of this is bad, it's just not for me. I prefer to be able to connect with the main character, perhaps even relate to him/her in some way. It didn't take me long to figure out that that is impossible for me with Briony.
Based on my own taste and experience, I can't recommend this; but I can't not recommend it, either. I saw a lot of potential in the story, and I'm sure a lot of people would really enjoy Chime. I recommend picking this up from your library — rather than purchasing it — if you're interested.
Note: My default rating for books I can't finish is one star, but I recognize that the writing was good and therefore I'm going with one and a half with a round up of two.(less)