Basically: the premise was fantastic, the idea was great, but the execution was long-winded and under-achieved. That being said, I'd say I liked it moBasically: the premise was fantastic, the idea was great, but the execution was long-winded and under-achieved. That being said, I'd say I liked it more than I didn't. ...more
I really enjoyed this book! There seemed to be a lot of moving parts, a lot of layers to it that made it more than just your typical fantasy-school-atI really enjoyed this book! There seemed to be a lot of moving parts, a lot of layers to it that made it more than just your typical fantasy-school-at-a-castle. Naturally, in the castle boarding school scenario there's always that unconscious "Harry Potter? Hogwarts?" moment, where you can't help comparing them. But this is high fantasy-- and it's awesome! ...more
You know, if you ever had a hankering to see The Great Gatsby mixed with John Green's Paper Towns, you're in luck! Cause that's exactly how I would deYou know, if you ever had a hankering to see The Great Gatsby mixed with John Green's Paper Towns, you're in luck! Cause that's exactly how I would describe this book.
Here we follow Charlotte, dubbed "Charlie," who enters a new world of the rich, political class of society when she enters an obsessive like friendship with an odd, clearly damaged, seeking-a-better-reality girl named Julia. Charlie falls in love with Julia and her lovely family of fun characters, and half lives a life with them for a year or two, and even begins- and complicates things by- dating Julia's brother, Sebastian. Soon, however, she realizes that Julia's family, while truly loving her also, depend on Charlie to be a caretaker and guardian for Julia, and when Charlie fails to do so, their relationships crumble. How much of their affection was love for her, Charlie, just as herself? How much was for their appreciation for her and what she does for Julia? How much was for what she represented- the hope and idea that maybe, just maybe, Julia would be able to move past the tragedy in their family's past, and they might be normal once again? And what, exactly, does Julia appreciate of her? And will she push her away, like she's done to her other friends, like she's done to Charlie before?
When the answers are not what she'd want them to be, she decides that the Buchanan's world is one she doesn't fit into, one she doesn't WANT to fit into. Despite the love and friendship and wonderful, yet flawed, relationships they shared, moving on and drifting apart and no longer depending on each other is the best decision. The Buchanan's need to regroup and learn to rely on each other. They need to open up about the pain they're holding walled inside, and fix it along with the new pains that have found them. They need to find strength within each other, not relying on outside sources to take care of their family members. And Charlotte needs to find herself and her own way in the world, not be the add-on to another lovely, damaged family. And perhaps once she's done that, has become her own person, she can go back and pick up some of the pieces with the Buchanan's. But only when she can be with them, but not try to be a part of them. Was that the fatal flaw of their relationships? Possibly. Could they have survived the tragedies and psychotic breaks if Charlie was more of a friend and less of an obsessed admirer? Who knows. All that matters is that Charlie herself says that even if she got the chance to do it all again, to never meet Julia, to never experience it at all, she'd do everything the same. She says loving them all, taking the flaws and heartbreaks with the joy and fun was worth it....more
Basically, my opinion boils down to this: I enjoyed the story and the history and the people involved, but the writing and story-telling was lacking.Basically, my opinion boils down to this: I enjoyed the story and the history and the people involved, but the writing and story-telling was lacking.
Also, the random videos at the ends of the chapters were weird and incredibly cheesy. Stick to a "Note From the Author" at the end to explain your feelings about the characters and history and what you wanted to portray so a) it doesn't break up the plot line so much and b) many of us can skip over it, because we don't really care that much and c) the horrible cheese factor doesn't ruin what respect we do have for your characters. Yeah, kudos for the creativity, but it really was a bad choice overall....more