I decided to read this as a bit of light relief, having just read a procession of classics. I'm not usually a huge fan of chick lit - most books in th...moreI decided to read this as a bit of light relief, having just read a procession of classics. I'm not usually a huge fan of chick lit - most books in the genre tend to ruin my faith in humanity within the first few chapters. With Bridget Jones's Diary, though, I was pleasantly surprised. Bridget is hilarious, frustrating and completely relatable. She is painfully honest about her many vices - drinking, smoking, obsessive calorie counting - not in a way that encourages them but simply as a fact of life. I found her to be very endearing, and quite astute in her social observations. Very funny, and minimal effort to read. Perhaps it's not a literary masterpiece, but I would definitely recommend it nonetheless. (less)
I first read the Twilight series when I was thirteen, and oh, how I swooned. Yet when I tried to reread them more recently I found myself absolutely b...moreI first read the Twilight series when I was thirteen, and oh, how I swooned. Yet when I tried to reread them more recently I found myself absolutely bored to tears. Could this be personal growth? In any case, it was with a fair amount of trepidation that I picked up another book by Stephenie Meyer. My mum had bought it as a present, she was watching me expectantly... so I opened the stupid thing.
I've given it four stars, so clearly I got something out of it. Hell, the book's about six hundred pages long! I have no scruples about abandoning a bad book, so something must have kept me going. And yet... I'm still not sure how I feel about this one. I like a lot of the general ideas she comes up with, and the writing itself is good enough to propel you across the page. I like that she tried a sci fi novel, and that some of her descriptions of other worlds actually showed some thought and creativity. I especially loved the way she writes about the desert, about how it smells almost spicy after it rains. I miss the desert. But why oh why is she so FRUSTRATING when it comes to her characters?
There are some interesting ones. I liked Jeb, and I developed my own little crush on Doc. Jamie is apparently a perfect little teenage boy; never sulky and not at all bothered that his sister has been hijacked by an alien. Jared is an absolute tool, yet he apparently causes the two heroines to fall in love with him. WHY? Other than being pretty, does he have one single redeeming feature?
I think that's my real problem with this book. It reads like a teen daydream. Real men in the real world do not habitually jog around carrying fully grown women as if they weighed no more than a chihuahua. (Incidentally, good luck trying to transfer that to the film! That should be fun.) Men who are irrationally jealous, controlling and casually violent are not sexy. And preachy narrators who have no real personality or opinions, preferring instead to indiscriminately aim to please, are annoying too.
(view spoiler)[ Actually, my biggest gripe was the ending. I think the book would have been a lot more poignant and ultimately satisfying if they had let Wanderer be buried. The way it ends seems so forced, so determined to be a happy ending. It's supposed to be an adult novel, it doesn't need to end on a warm, fuzzy note. On the other hand, maybe I'm just grumpy. (hide spoiler)]
Even these things, I can overlook. The two dimensional characters, the sappy dialogue, the holier-than-thou narrator... fine. Because for some reason, I still think this book is worthwhile. The idea of two people in one head, the descriptions of the desert and the caves, such a subtle alien invasion. Some parts of this book are just plain cool. And I did find it undeniably gripping, hence the four stars. It's the junk food of reading.
Oh, I don't know. I'm talking myself in circles. There is one thing I'm sure about: despite its many flaws, this book is far superior to the Twilight series.