How sad. The writing got to me and the story made me wish things could have been different even knowing that considering they were technically brother...moreHow sad. The writing got to me and the story made me wish things could have been different even knowing that considering they were technically brother and sister, it could not be different. This is the second book I've read in which the brother has killed himself and quite frankly, I'd like a different ending. (less)
I love this book. At times it was difficult to read, and at times I actually thought if I had real human emotions I could cry. #JK But seriously, this...moreI love this book. At times it was difficult to read, and at times I actually thought if I had real human emotions I could cry. #JK But seriously, this book was fantastic. It didn't hold back from showing the nitty gritty of Matthew and Amy's relationship. When they were up they really up and when they were down, it felt like you crashed and burned with them. They screwed up big time, but out of those moments Amy and Matthew strengthened their bond when they were able to rebuild their relationship.
I could not put this book down, it was just so very well done. A must read. (less)
Ann is overweight. About 45 pounds overweight. She is in a size 17, which I'm pretty sure does not exist as a size. She is super self-conscious and of...moreAnn is overweight. About 45 pounds overweight. She is in a size 17, which I'm pretty sure does not exist as a size. She is super self-conscious and often stops herself from doing things because she fears what other people will think of her. She constantly compares herself to thin/skinny people and finds herself lacking in several ways. Her mother is hyper critical of everything Ann puts in her mouth and is super critical of herself as well so it's no surprise that Ann has a skewed version of healthy eating.
I felt sorry for Ann. She stops herself from doing so many things that are fun because she is afraid of how she looks doing them and doesn't seem to realize that no one CARES. There are always going to be assholes that see the extra poundage but then there is the cute boy Jon she attracts the attention of - who is just as awkward as she is in social situations - and Raynee, her co-worker, who ends up being a really great friend.
I could relate to Ann in several ways, for I have felt (and still sometimes feel) that worry that everyone is looking at me and seeing only my extra weight. I sometimes stop myself from doing things that will be fun because I worry about what others will think of me and how I will appear to them. This book made me think - what the hell for? Why stop myself from having a good time because of the few jackasses in the world?
All in all I really did enjoy this book. A quick, fun read. (less)
This book is amazingly good. I could not put it down. I would have gladly read it all through the night when I started it had I not had stuff to do th...moreThis book is amazingly good. I could not put it down. I would have gladly read it all through the night when I started it had I not had stuff to do the next day, and therefore needed sleep.
Every character in this book is cracked in some way. I think that's what I love about it. I've always been fascinated by people that have some serious psychological issues, and boy this book is rife with them. I felt as though I had stepped into a world I was not familiar with and I felt creeped out at times. These sort of people exist out there in the world, I may now know them personally, I may have crossed paths with them here and there, but I've never delved into their world. In this book I was given a window, and allowed to watch how they effed up their lives or tried to make them better.
I don't want to give away the story, but I know this book will stay with me for a while, and I know that I will be recommending it like mad. (less)
I loved this book so much! As a reader and writer of fanfiction I could TOTALLY relate to Cath. I know it's not something you're supposed to admit to,...moreI loved this book so much! As a reader and writer of fanfiction I could TOTALLY relate to Cath. I know it's not something you're supposed to admit to, but hey, it exists and many people either read or write it so there you go.
I love Rainbow Rowell's characterizations and her dialogue slayed me. I found myself wishing I knew a Cath, Levi & Reagan in real life.
Cath and her twin sister Wren are off to school for the first time and Cath is a mess about it. Her sister opted to not room with her so now Cath has the daunting task of rooming with someone who is a little rough around the edges (Reagan). She fears meeting people and is terribly shy, but she ends up meeting many people - some good, some not so good - along the way.
What I really liked aside from Cath's love interest Levi: Cath & Wren's mother abandoned them when they were young and their mother tries to worm her way back in. Cath wants no part of it, and Wren tries, but it's all very superficial and at arms length. I like that Rowell didn't have this insta-fixed relationship between the mom and the girls. Their mother was just who she was - distant and not very invested and that was that.
I absolutely loved their Dad, too. He was manic-depressive and had a manic episode in the book and I thought it was just done very well. This book was a keeper and I didn't want it to end, ever! (less)
This book was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the psych terms and definitions at the beginning of each chapter.
Leigh was a great heroine. She fell int...moreThis book was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the psych terms and definitions at the beginning of each chapter.
Leigh was a great heroine. She fell into the trap most psych majors do - she overanalyzes things to death and in the process misses out on a few things along the way. For example: The fact that she shouldn't have been worried about how she and her boyfriend Andrew were going to make it through school and if they were going to have sex. Instead, she should have focused on the fact that he treated her terribly and was entirely self-centered.
Nathan, his roommate on the other hand. *sigh*. There were times I wanted to shake Leigh for how oblivious she was being!
Great fun! I will definitely read more from this author. (less)
I really enjoyed this book. I've always been a sucker for stories like this - those with mental health problems. I suppose I just have an odd morbid c...moreI really enjoyed this book. I've always been a sucker for stories like this - those with mental health problems. I suppose I just have an odd morbid curiosity for things like this.
Bea isn't your run-of-the-mill person with OCD. Typically you hear about the ones that have to wash their hands a billion times a day and have to check and recheck the locks on their doors before they leave the house.
Bea has an obsession with checking on Austin & Sylvia at their posh apartment in Boston. She discovered them while waiting for her sessions with her therapist to start. Sylvia & Austin see the same therapist and Bea discovered she could hear part of the therapy session going on and her OCD with them bloomed from this discovery. She kept a notebook on them - on every single detail she could absorb from what they said to what they wore and when she feels her anxiety ratchet up, she reads the notebook for relief and often "checks" on them once a day. She feels if she does not "check" and make sure they are okay, then they could die.
She has other compulsions as well - like pinching her thigh to keep some of her compulsions in check, and driving 20 mph because she fears hitting someone. Sometimes she will make loops to continually check on someone walking outside to make sure she did not hit them while driving.
She starts group and officially meets Beck, a boy she "met" at a school dance at the beginning of the book, and things begin to unravel. As her relationship with Beck starts to develop, Bea's OCD gets worse and worse. Beck and Bea together is a bit odd and strange and yet somehow works. It begs the question of what happens when two OCD people get together? Do they try to help each other to stop the other person from compulsing, or do they enable each other because they understand the anxiety that can ensue if they don't get to compulse.
I really enjoyed going on Bea's journey with her and how it all came to a head for her and what she ultimately had to do in order to control her compulsions. Very well done! (less)
This book was fantastic, and heart-wrenching, too. Set in the 80's, Eleanor & Park are teenagers who meet on the bus and develop a relationship th...moreThis book was fantastic, and heart-wrenching, too. Set in the 80's, Eleanor & Park are teenagers who meet on the bus and develop a relationship that is deeply profound and rife with the rush of heady first loves.
Eleanor comes from a broken home - her father left the family and her mother has taken up with Richie, a man that abuses Eleanor's mother and causes everyone else in the house to walk on eggshells. The dude is seriously creepy. For example, there is no door to the bathroom so Eleanor is forced to take baths before Richie gets home to avoid him possibly looking in on her - and you definitely get the feeling he would, too. Plus there are other creepy things he does along the way...
Park comes from a loving family. He and his Dad butt heads a bit, but when it comes down to it Park's Dad would do anything for him. Eleanor manages to find refuge in Park and in Park's family, but you're left with the feeling the whole time that it is time out of time and will not last.
This book was so wonderful and I will definitely read future works by this author! (less)
Not what I thought I was going to read. I hate it when that happens. Totally misleading. There was the makings of a real abusive relationship between...moreNot what I thought I was going to read. I hate it when that happens. Totally misleading. There was the makings of a real abusive relationship between Rae and Nathan, but Rae was too strong of a girl to let someone run roughshod over her. And it's not that I am complaining about that, but the back cover said it'd be about one thing and it delivered another.
There was an abusive relationship in the form of Rae's mother and her stepdad. I kept thinking that with that set up Rae would fall into the same pattern, but nope. Her mother continued to be an idiot until it all culminates into something I saw coming.
I just felt as though there wasn't enough character development going on. Unless you count Nathan ending up as a crack head as development. There just didn't feel like enough meat to really hold this book together. I think we were supposed to correlate Rae's relationship with Nathan to the one her mother was in with Dean, but that fell utterly flat. I didn't even really care about Leo, I thought there was potential for Nathan, but there were so many missed opportunities with this book. It was just one terrible thing after another happening to Rae, and Rae just keeping a stiff upper lip about it all. Boooorrrrring.
I saw the movie first so I went in with a working knowledge of the book, but expecting as always that the movie and book will be completely different....moreI saw the movie first so I went in with a working knowledge of the book, but expecting as always that the movie and book will be completely different. And it mostly was.
For one, Perry is more of a presence in this book, but not his living self. His dead self as it "lives on" in R. He is sort of like the kick in the pants R needs when things get a little tough. He spurs R on to get things done when R needs it, but goes when it's time for him to go.
I won't do a complete rundown of how the movie was v. the book, but I liked the book. I liked Issac Marion's writing style and I liked the idea of a world ravaged yet there still being a spark of hope among those who want to see it thrive again. R and Julie are that hope and they spread it to others. There were some twists and turns to the book I had not anticipated, but I liked it - could we really expect R to go completely off human flesh? Not so much... There were some unanswered questions in the book and so I eagerly anticipate the sequel. (less)
The predecessor to this book, "Pushing the Limits", will always have a special place in my heart. I LOVED that book. That is not to say I didn't enjoy...moreThe predecessor to this book, "Pushing the Limits", will always have a special place in my heart. I LOVED that book. That is not to say I didn't enjoy this one, too, because I did. I got to see a different side of Beth in this one and understood where she was coming from. In "Pushing the Limits" I just thought she was a raving bitch. I knew she had issues, but I wasn't much of a fan of hers. I went into this a little wary as a result.
I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about Ryan being the one for her instead of Isaiah, but it made sense to me. Isaiah is from her old world and they never would have grown together. Ryan pushed her to grow and evolve and trust.
The only thing that bugged me about Ryan was how upset he was with his brother for not staying and fighting to stay in the family fold after he came out. Ryan made it seem as though this was a slight against him not once taking into the consideration how hard it was for Mark to come out to the family and then be kicked out of said family. I was with Beth on this one - Ryan was being a douche about it. He did finally reach understanding but I was just irritated with him that he couldn't see things from his brother's perspective.
Other than that I felt the book was realistic. There was no happy endings for all involved - Ryan & Mark's father didn't change much and though he backed off you could tell he was not happy about it. Ryan's parents did not miraculously fix their marriage, and Beth's mother did not all of a sudden become this fantastic mother and get off heroin. I liked that bit of realism, it was true to life. (less)
Oh Good Lord. This book made me cry. I don't think since Prue died in The Hunger Games have I cried during a book. This book though...it slayed me.
I...moreOh Good Lord. This book made me cry. I don't think since Prue died in The Hunger Games have I cried during a book. This book though...it slayed me.
I originally bought this book for the shock and awe factor - siblings in love? With EACH OTHER? Yes, I know, very Flowers in the Attic - which I never read. Only saw the movie. The other reason: this was put out in the Young Adult section at Barnes & Noble. I was wildly fascinated as to how this would play out for this younger crowd. Now I know the VC Andrews stuff is racy in the way of "oh my god, she slept with her brother who was really her uncle and then her father who is in love with her tried to kill them both!" I wanted to see what this author would do with this taboo subject.
However, whereas in Flowers there were nefarious reasons to keep the children locked up in this book the children are left to their own devises because their mother is a reluctant mother and an alcoholic. She doesn't want the kids, never wanted them, and certainly not after her husband left and she had to be responsible for them all. So, she waitresses and dates all the wrong men and drinks her life away. She goes from periodically being around to just not being around at all.
The two siblings who pick up the slack are 16 1/2 year old Maya and 17 1/2 year old Lochan. They, as a team take care of Willa, Tiffin and Kit. (FYI: This is the second book I've read in which the character Kit was a huge dick).
Okay, yes there is the factor of Maya and Lochan falling in desperate love with each other, but there is also the bit about all the responsibilities these teens have. Their siblings are not just hindrances to Lochan and Maya, they are flesh and blood and they are desperate to keep their family together and to keep social services from finding out just how much they are shouldering.
There were so many times in this book that I wanted to leap in and help them out. I wanted to give them money, new clothes, help them help the kids with their homework. It was so heart-wrenching the way these teens were not allowed to be teens at all. They had to be adults and they worked together so well as a team, not to mention the severe dysfuntionality of the family, it was almost easy to see how these two ended up where they ended up.
Lochan as a character tore at my heart. He was severely socially phobic and seeing him struggle so hard in school and around his classmates was so sad. When push came to shove a few times in this book and he had to be there for one of his siblings for one reason or another in the face of adults, it was so hard to read Lochan struggle to speak clearly and not stutter his way through. This is why Maya was so perfect for Lochan. She knew how he suffered and what he gave up for all of them - and she gave up her fair share too - and loved him so much that it was hard not to feel those emotions that leaped off the page.
This is why I love this book so much. I felt everything. I ached and longed and wanted to shout and cry with them. The story goes so much deeper than an incestuous relationship. And while this may make me sick, I so wanted Lochan and Maya to find a way to be together throughout. I have read several romances in my day and never have I read something so poignant as this. If an author can sell me incest, then she is a fine writer indeed.
This book is sort of like an onion. There are things you could point to and say "Well, this is why they ended up doing this", but if you were to pose the question to Maya and Lochan, it was simply because they loved each other. They were each others support, each other's best friend and confidante. Without the other to help them get through all the crap they had to wade through, I don't think they would have survived.
I won't spoil the end of this book. Needless to say though, this one will stay with me for a very long time and will have a place on my bookshelf, never to be given away. (less)