In looking at the reviews, I see that Bones should be my new book boyfriend. While I'm enjoying the narration in general, the Cockney, Jacky Faber-esqIn looking at the reviews, I see that Bones should be my new book boyfriend. While I'm enjoying the narration in general, the Cockney, Jacky Faber-esque accent the reader has given Bones isn't working for me at all. I'll try again later in print....more
I try hard to avoid any blurbs or early reviews of books that I'm really anticipating, but somehow things just seep into my consciousness and I'm notI try hard to avoid any blurbs or early reviews of books that I'm really anticipating, but somehow things just seep into my consciousness and I'm not even sure how they got there. So in addition to having my own ridiculously high hopes for this book, I'd come across things like "Hill's magnum opus!" and "his best work to date!" which ratcheted my expectations even higher. I was being setup for a letdown and it wasn't even Hill's fault.
This might actually be my least favorite of Hill's books. I should have reviewed this earlier so I could get more specific but here goes.
Harper, the main character, irritated the everloving crap out of me. She felt real alright--a little too real--so I do have to give the author mad props for that. She has a personality type that I come across fairly often in my line of work and I just don't handle these people well. She knows the absolute best thing for everyone. It doesn't matter what anyone else's background is, she inevitably believes that she knows more and knows better and will run right over anyone else's opinion. No, she won't even register that anyone else has an opinion. She's a nurse and ends up being the only healthcare provider that a lot of people have access to. She has tough decisions to make and impossible situations to deal with. I get that. She does her best with them. But had there been a doctor present, she still wouldn't have sat back and let him or her handle anything; she would have been in the way, doing whatever she wanted to anyway. I just wanted her to listen to other people and actually think about what they had to say. Sure, question their motives and angles; I'm not advocating mindless following. Just listen. Ugh. She hit a nerve. Can you tell? I don't even know how much of this she really did and how much of it I just projected from personal experience!
I wanted to know a lot more about the fireman, but in reality, I think his character worked so well for me precisely because he was so mysterious. He randomly appears, does miraculous things, then disappears back into the night. A burning crusader, if you will.
I liked or disliked the other characters as I was supposed to. Other characters actually did listen, evaluate, grow and change, a lot of them in good ways. There were some big old stinking surprises that caught me completely off guard as other characters showed their true colors.
This is obviously dystopian or post-Apocalyptic fiction but in addition to that, I don't know that I would necessarily call it a horror novel, although it certainly has those elements. People are spontaneously bursting into flames, for heaven's sake! What might be even more subtly horrifying is an element of going along and getting along that becomes necessary for survival. It's hard to explain without getting into spoilers. But independent thought becomes almost life-threatening, and not for the reasons you would think. I had cold chills when I realized what was going on.
The pacing was all off for me. In my mind, there are three overall sections to the book. The buildup was excellent. It set up a lot of conflict, kept me reading, and was very visual. I could just see this disease working on people. I want to say that it would make a great movie, but the effects people could never capture what I imagined. Anyway. The second part dragged on a bit too long for me. I just wanted to get on with it already. And then the final section was just over. I kept getting more worried as the number of pages left in the book kept dwindling and I still had a lot of questions. There was just no way that everything could be wrapped up to my satisfaction in that space. I was right.
I've now looked at other reviews here on GoodReads and I'm in the minority. It seems that everyone agrees that this is Hill's best work. Except for me. But Hill on what I consider a mediocre try is still better than most other authors writing popular fiction/horror/suspense. Go ahead and pick this one up.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me an early copy for review....more
I needed these Lunar short stories to get some closure after the emotional turmoil of Winter. (See my review. I was so angry at Levana that I almost gI needed these Lunar short stories to get some closure after the emotional turmoil of Winter. (See my review. I was so angry at Levana that I almost gave up on the book. It was that torturous). When I realized that this book was happening, I jumped on it as soon as I possibly could at the library. Most of the stories are prequels to Cinder, but there is one that's simply set in the same world, and another that's a true sequel to the series.
"The Keeper" details how Michelle Benoit came to have care of both her granddaughter, Scarlet, and a young, comatose Cinder. I have always wished that we'd gotten to see more of Michelle in the actual series, so this story was a nice addition.
"Glitches" describes Cinder's trip to the Eastern Commonwealth with Garin and her reception in his household. I've read this story somewhere before. I liked reading about a young Cinder but I can't say that I felt the need to listen to it again.
"The Queen's Army" is about Wolf being torn from his loving family and transformed into an (in)human killing machine. Or not. Wolf's story has always broken my heart a little bit and this only made me feel worse for him.
"Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky"--I wish I could remember what he told us about his past with Kate because this is about his first meeting with her. I know he tells the story in one of the books but the details are long gone from my memory. Still, a young Captain Thorne is every bit as irrepressible as you would expect him to be.
"After Sunshine Passes By" left me incredibly angry at Levana again. A young, sweet, trusting Cress is chosen for a special assignment by Lady Sybil. I was almost in tears at the end.
"The Princess and the Guard" expands on one small story from Winter's life and explains why she chose to stop using her Lunar Gift. I can't make up my mind exactly how I feel about Winter or Jacin, but I did respect Winter more after listening to this story.
"The Little Android" was my second-favorite tale from the collection. None of the main characters show up in this Lunar retelling of "The Little Mermaid" but I appreciated the way that Meyer stayed so very true to the original story.
"The Mechanic" describes Cinder and Kai's first meeting from Kai's point of view. These two are so cute together that I just loved it.
"Something Old, Something New" was my absolute favorite entry. In this sequel, Scarlet and Wolf are getting married and I am finally, finally getting the happily-ever-after that I so desperately needed to read!
I would recommend reading this anthology after reading the other novels in the series, but definitely pick it up if you've enjoyed them. It was a nice way to check in with and say goodbye to characters that I've grown ridiculously attached to....more
Cara Kryzik has struggled to get her florist shop, Bloom, to a point where it's financially stable, but she finally seems to be getting there. She's lCara Kryzik has struggled to get her florist shop, Bloom, to a point where it's financially stable, but she finally seems to be getting there. She's landed some huge society weddings and her clients are spreading the word about her fabulous work. Unfortunately, some stiff new competition has just moved to town, and he's determined to be the top florist in Savannah at all costs.
While Cara's professional life is hitting some rocky ground, her personal life seems to be taking off. After a messy divorce, she's finally met a truly nice guy. She has a puppy that she adores, and her assistant is her best friend and sounding board. Until that all starts to go haywire too.
I really, really want to give Save the Date four stars, and I would have, but somewhere about halfway through I got fed up with Cara. Up to that point, she'd been such a little fighter that I'd been rooting for her all along. And sure, she has a lot on her plate, but then she goes looking for--and creates!--trouble where none needs to be. She has a huge blowup with someone that felt completely unrealistic and forced. Then she starts making other questionable decisions that seemed out of character for her and I got fed up. I knew I would finish the book, but I also knew that I'd lost all respect for Cara.
Jack, the love interest, on the other hand, is wonderful. He's got a little bit of a temper, but he's sweet and thoughtful. He's also willing to admit when he's wrong and give other people second chances. What more could a girl ask for?
I do wish that "the bad guy" had gotten more of a comeuppance. I do feel that Cara handled their final conflict the best possible way, but I wish someone else had stepped in and gotten him in some serious trouble. I don't have any patience for people who like to go around starting trouble.
The story itself was pretty cute. The stressed-out bride, the identical pups, the tyrannical landlady, the messy family dynamics that everyone seemed to have, the nasty ex-girlfriend, the nasty ex-husband, all created realistic tensions that most readers will probably relate to.
Kathleen McInerney read the book wonderfully, as always.
This isn't my favorite Mary Kay Andrews book, but it is good enough. I wish Cara's character had been a bit more consistent, but otherwise the story was fun. Fans of the author should give it try. I'd recommend that new readers start with a different one though....more
I'm giving up on the audio at 4 parts into a 10-part book. I truly can't stand these characters and I've decided life is too short. I had the same reaI'm giving up on the audio at 4 parts into a 10-part book. I truly can't stand these characters and I've decided life is too short. I had the same reaction to Gone Girl so there must be something to all of the comparisons between the two books....more