Adore! Magic realism, interesting perspectives, and corn fields FINALLY used as something positive instead of the scenes of horror movies. CharactersAdore! Magic realism, interesting perspectives, and corn fields FINALLY used as something positive instead of the scenes of horror movies. Characters rendered intriguing by unorthodox characteristics: Polish, disability in recognizing faces, etc. A mild comparison to a well known myth emerges late in the game, wasn't overwhelmingly trying to stay true the specifics, but subtly referenced them instead. (I saw you, pomegranate filling in Polish cookies).
Only reason it wasn't five stars: it was a little slow in the beginning. It was interesting, but it wasn't until maybe half of the way through that I found myself unable to put the book down (hence writing this in the wee hours of the morning-- I stayed up all night to finish it because I HAD to know what was coming next).
Verdict: Yes. Very yes. Different, page turning deliciousness. ...more
I liked the first half much more than the second half. The adventure into the clock disappointed me. I was hoping for more... I don't know. Steam-punkI liked the first half much more than the second half. The adventure into the clock disappointed me. I was hoping for more... I don't know. Steam-punky-ness? Not a beach and glacier? The clock wife herself was interesting. Not what I had expected, but I did like her, yes. And I think the false twist really let me down. You know, that moment in the clock, where you're all "so-and-so wife has done this before? Could she be the one behind all of this? Could she actually be in love with Himself and do these things to the other wife?" It took me off guard and I was thrilled by the idea, but then it turns out to be a big misunderstanding, and I just want to throw the book on the floor because it just lost like 5 dimensions.
So, yeah. First half was better than the second half. Don't go looking for anything really clever or deep, and you won't be disappointed....more
Nope. Way over-hyped. It's non-sensical, the supposed "is it magic, is it not?" is completely unconvincing, and the idea that the Midnight staysNope.
Nope. Way over-hyped. It's non-sensical, the supposed "is it magic, is it not?" is completely unconvincing, and the idea that the Midnight stays with the lunatic in the end is insane, and frankly, kinda creepy. The promotion of the book makes a huge deal about "one is a villain. One is a hero. But who is who?" and it's supposed to have all the twists, but it doesn't really. And then, once a villain is basically established, there's all this talk about "but no one is truly all hero or villain. So and so is hero and villain. So and so is flesh and blood. So and so is good and evil." WELL THEN DONT TELL ME THAT THERE IS GOING TO BE ONE HERO AND ONE VILLAIN AND ONE LIAR. I mean, duh, obviously people are more than one thing. So don't set it up like they aren't, just to make some dumb point about human nature. This isn't some sappy realist fiction novel. It's supposed to be some dark, supernatural stuff, and I expect to get what you tease on the back of the book, you morons.
It simply didn't make sense, just like Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea didn't. It was supposed to be deep and lyrical and thought-provoking and "is it magic realism? Or is not?" But it fails on all levels.
Don't be sucked in just because of the GORGEOUS cover. You'll be stuck with a pretty book with ugly insides....more
I'm trying to figure out just what I didn't like about this book. Because, for the most part, I did like it. It was cute, and sweet, and had some funnI'm trying to figure out just what I didn't like about this book. Because, for the most part, I did like it. It was cute, and sweet, and had some funny bits (the stuff with the Bundt cake? I died). But... Okay.
First, the timing felt off to me. Perhaps this is because I read the book during a grueling 14-hour travel day through multiple airports and many mishaps, therefore skewing my own sense of time for the day. Technically two days. It was a really awful day. If you wanted to know.
Second, there were a few underdeveloped elements that I wish we're explored more. Like Kara, Olly's sister. He says she is his favorite person in the world, and she even seeks Maddy out once. But that's all we hear from her, in the whole book, "Well, that's very rude." Other than slamming car doors maybe twice and smoking a few cigarettes, that's all she is to us. How very rude indeed. Also, what about those theatrics of Olly and Maddy's interactions? He staged Bundt cake suicides and funerals and hospital scenes right out of soap operas! Why did the shows stop? He had a gift! You can't go from personifying and killing a cake to simply IMing like every other teenager in the world. How lame.
The ending. SPOILERS AHEAD. Not acceptable. Just not. For a book so obsessed with feeling not just real life sorrow and pain and grief, but the self inflicted kind, too, a fairy tale ending such as this is not acceptable. Can it be a happy ending, SURE! But not a fairy tale, "we see each other again after 5 months of nothing, and after a cheesy, mysterious clue, he finds me, having come to him, come to my senses after all, and when our eyes meet, he smiles the smile of forgiveness, true love, and world peace, and all is well with the world again. THE END." No. There is anger and resentment there, after having been shutout like that, and it needs to be addressed, not just vaporized at the sight of his true love come to him again. There needs to be real life hashing things out, because acknowledging the things we did to hurt each other is respecting one another. You can't just NOT have that in what we are to believe is a true love relationship.
So, all in all, a few things felt incongruous, but it was still a good read. Emotional, cute, romantic. ...more
Okay. I really like this ending. I really, really do. I love the subtle fairytale aspect of it all working out in the end, but not without some sadnesOkay. I really like this ending. I really, really do. I love the subtle fairytale aspect of it all working out in the end, but not without some sadness and sacrifice. I LOVE the afterward. Best part of the whole series. BEST PART. I still like my own idea that if Alina had gotten pregnant, it would have erased the need to kill "the Firebird"... but it worked out in the end. I'm glad I stuck out the series, because this ended up being really good.
BUT HARSHAW... WHY?!?! Someone better be keeping good care of Oncat....more
Dang, I love this book. I love the skipping time line, the way the chronological order was all over the place aUh, whoa!! Holy roller coaster, Batman!
Dang, I love this book. I love the skipping time line, the way the chronological order was all over the place and yet set just so. It was impressive, to say the least!
As for the ending, the reveal of who-done-it, you think it isn't going to be revealed at all. It looks like it's going to be left ambiguous for us to come to our own conclusions. And then, BAM! Last three pages, it's explained, and suddenly you're racing back through the book, trying to fit in this new information. Had I guessed it? It was one of my theories. One that I had dropped further down the list of plausible explanations during the last 2/3's of the book, but it was still a theory floating around my mind. Definitely clever! And a rather satisfying ending as well, at least for me.
I'll definitely be seeking out more from this author!...more
Sweet is a fun, creepy imagining of the serious consequences that could occur when we rush into quick fixes to change our phHoly crap, that was great.
Sweet is a fun, creepy imagining of the serious consequences that could occur when we rush into quick fixes to change our physical selves. While that alone would have been awesome, it was compounded by the fact that Laybourne attacks the real-life issue of recent cruise vacations turning awry, and even tragic. I mean, come on. That's great stuff right there.
It's original, it's unique, it's thought provoking, and it's a little horrifying. And it didn't need paranormal forces to make it that way, which I had originally thought it would. And that kinda makes it even more scary, to consider just what human nature can be capable of.
Overall: interesting concept, lame execution. I would have much rather had a book about Sleeping Beauty set in the real world, not just in Fairytale LOverall: interesting concept, lame execution. I would have much rather had a book about Sleeping Beauty set in the real world, not just in Fairytale Land. Actually, that was what I was expecting, so it was a serious let down.
You know, I'm not certain what exactly I was expecting, but I don't think I was expecting what Love Fortunes and Other Disasters turned out to be. I wYou know, I'm not certain what exactly I was expecting, but I don't think I was expecting what Love Fortunes and Other Disasters turned out to be. I was expecting cheesy, and there was, indeed, a good amount of cheese. Some sap, too. But there were some interesting points made throughout the story about fate vs. choices and effort, and a rather unexpected exploration of self worth and love. In the book, there are two communities, the Spinster Villas, and the Bachelor Villas, where those "destined" to have a loveless life go to live. At the villas, they take on the harsh stereotypes of adults who were never able to find love: all the spinsters have a million cats or are super eccentric with their appearances or become dowdy because that's what they feel HAS to happen. The men are immature or brash and all complete slobs. And the villas themselves are run-down and crappy and often smelly, but nobody ever says anything, because they feel like that's what they deserve. The librarian spinster friend mentions that she won't ever visit with the people she met while traveling years ago, because now that she's officially a spinster, she has such a different life from them and wouldn't want to bother them. She says specifically that her friends probably wouldn't even recognize her now as the girl she used to be, which is awful. Why should some label like that change you so much? Why should it define who you are, who you become? In real life, we don't have the same black and white definitions of these labels, but they exist. Are we letting them define us? Are we letting the label bully us into thinking that because we aren't in a relationship, we are less than? I guess this really stuck out to me because I refer to myself as a spinster sometimes, because all my friends/peers are married and having children and I'm the last one to find a meaningful relationship.
Back to the book. Aside from these broad themes, this book wasn't very deep, which I think was the most disappointing for me....more
So... Is this it then? Will there be more books? That was so anticlimactic. No... The whole thing was anticlimactic. It didn't really go anywhere. TheSo... Is this it then? Will there be more books? That was so anticlimactic. No... The whole thing was anticlimactic. It didn't really go anywhere. There didn't seem to be much of a point. The one point-- the trials-- seemed like a subplot when things were actually going, and then they just cancelled, and everything stops, and was there ever really a purpose to it, really? I feel so confused. The first one was so good, but this one makes no sense...?...more