I felt this story was too focused on delivering A Message - so much so that it took away from the rather meagre plot. And it was less than subtle. JusI felt this story was too focused on delivering A Message - so much so that it took away from the rather meagre plot. And it was less than subtle. Just felt really preachy, I don't know. The writing itself wasn't pleasant to read - especially the bolded statements every now and then, which felt jarring. The whole thing was just a mess, really....more
Novels often make wonderful films and TV series, but films and TV series rarely make good novels. I wasn't expecting much from The Angel's Kiss - justNovels often make wonderful films and TV series, but films and TV series rarely make good novels. I wasn't expecting much from The Angel's Kiss - just a light-hearted excursion with River-but-not-River - and I got no more or less than I'd hoped for. My main criticism is that I really didn't like the author's depiction of River-but-not-River. Yes, River is sexy and witty and very comfortable in her own skin. But the way she was written seemed really... off. I just feel like the author doesn't have a good grip in River as a character. (Yes, I know the story isn't TECHNICALLY about River, but it also IS, y'know?) I also felt the story was too easily resolved, but I suppose that's all one can expect from a hastily-written TV spin-off novella. I still enjoyed it, though....more
This series started off so promisingly, but it was so disappointing. The word that comes to mind is "shallow". The world that Lowry had created for JoThis series started off so promisingly, but it was so disappointing. The word that comes to mind is "shallow". The world that Lowry had created for Jonas seemed fascinating, and I really wanted to know more about it, how it came to be, and really, I wanted more of a story. But the plot lacked depth. Very little happened. In the second book, while I was disappointed that Jonas and his story seemed to have been abandoned, Kira's community seemed interesting too, another facet of some post-apocalyptic future world. The plot in this book was slightly better, but still seemed quite "shallow". In this third book, however, I lost interest in the series. I think Lowry kind of abandoned the whole post-apocalyptic thing and moved into more of a fantasy-kind of thing, with all these people and their powers. I don't feel like it fit. And the end of the story, while a little bit sad, lacked believability. Also, in this book we find out that everything in both Kira's and Jonas's communities were all hunky-dory. The people of the respective communities had seen the error of their ways, and everything was sunshine and rainbows. This is another aspect that took depth away from the story. HOW did they come to see the error of their ways? WHAT did The Giver do in order to change things in Jonas's world - HOW did he convince the Elders that their way of life was not ideal? WHAT did Kira do about her own village? HOW did she influence the council and the villagers to change? I feel like The Giver series is a bunch of stories that Lois Lowry started and then got bored of half way through, so that when we move into the next one, we find that everything in the previous book has been resolved, even though we aren't told how. I think it's a lazy way of writing, to be honest, and I feel like there's a lot of untapped potential in this series....more
4.6 stars My only problem with this book was that my Mum really talked it up and it wasn't quite as amazing as she'd made it sound. But it was a beauti4.6 stars My only problem with this book was that my Mum really talked it up and it wasn't quite as amazing as she'd made it sound. But it was a beautiful story, and sad, and cute, and not quite what I was expecting....more
Okay, I'm reading an uncorrected proof, but... "with great power comes great responsibility." REALLY ALYSON NOEL? A Spiderman quote? Did you really thiOkay, I'm reading an uncorrected proof, but... "with great power comes great responsibility." REALLY ALYSON NOEL? A Spiderman quote? Did you really think nobody would notice? UPDATE: I didn't quite finish this book because the only reason I picked it up in the first place is that my Kindle had a delayed reaction to a drowning incident and I had nothing in the house except a copy of this book, an uncorrected proof that my mother had been given and passed on to me (she's a book store manager, I normally get all of the YA stuff). I stopped because I got given a better book and I didn't feel like this one was worth finishing when there are so many good books in the world and so little time to read them. So... yeah....more
I really struggled with the idea of this book, even though I was terribly excited for something new from my favourite childhood author. I was worriedI really struggled with the idea of this book, even though I was terribly excited for something new from my favourite childhood author. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to form an unbiased opinion on it, or that I would compare it unfavourably with the Harry Potter series... but I was more worried that I would be really disappointed. I wasn't disappointed. J.K. Rowling has always been known as a children's author. But I will tell you now that if you're going to compare The Casual Vacancy to Harry Potter, you're going to have a bad time. Frankly, I think she writes children's literature better than adult's literature. That's not to say that she doesn't write really, really good adult's literature though. I have to say, The Casual Vacancy was amazing. It was more than I expected. It took some getting used to, though. It was so very odd to be reading words like "erection", "fucking" and "cunt" within the first few chapters, knowing that they were written by the same author whose previous, ever-so-innocent stories, I read as a child... but I quickly got used to it. (and to anyone put off by the idea of too many expletives, they were used well within context, and not excessively) The premise for the novel itself sounded extremely boring. Local elections in a small English town? Ugh. And for the first few chapters, I struggled, because there were SO many characters - I was tempted to write a reference chart for myself like I did with Battle Royale because I simply couldn't keep up with everyone. It was rather tedious, in the beginning. But then things started happening. All the separate puzzle pieces formed by the expansive list of characters started coming together. And I became more and more enthralled. I loved the interconnectedness of all of the plots. I loved how all of the characters had their own story arcs - some more elaborated-upon than others - and how they all seemed to resolve in the end. It was terribly clever - it showed that Rowling's talent for intricacy extends beyond the Potterverse. And just the way the tension built ever so slowly, barely noticeable, was really great. I love a story with a good climax, and this one didn't disappoint. Sukhvinder was one of the characters that stood out the most for me (apart from Krystal Weedon, of course) - mostly because of her struggle with self-injury, which I can identify with. I think Rowling handled this issue really accurately and with much insight. In fact, I really liked the way she handled a range of adult issues, which is not something she could have done in a children's novel - drug addiction, rape, the complexities of relationships, ignorance and bigotry. She did a fabulous job. Also, ugh, Rowling is SO GOOD at writing despicable characters. I don't think there's ever been a story-book villain I detested more than Dolores Umbridge - but there are so many characters in The Casual Vacancy that I loathed - oh, but I loved it. In conclusion, I don't know if I gave this book five stars - and I don't know if I enjoyed it as much as I did - just because it was written by J.K. Rowling. If I had read the blurb of the book in a bookstore, with some anonymous writer's name on the front cover, I doubt I would have taken any interest. But I'm so glad I read it, and I do believe that it deserves five stars. It was an excellent novel in its own right, without the Rowling brand attached to it. And I will continue to read anything that Rowling writes, whether aimed at children or adults - because she has proven that she is much more than capable of writing in either genre.
EDIT: forgot to add that the characters were all wonderfully complex. It was near impossible to completely hate or love any one character - all were filled aspects that inspired disgust, sympathy, amusement... in short, they were REAL people, not one-dimensional. I probably completely hated Shirley Mollison though, that bitch. Also, I really went into reading this book with some skepticism and wanting to be critical. I knew that most readers would be split into either people who would love it even if it was awful, just because it was written by J.K. Rowling; and people who would refuse to enjoy it, even if it was really good, because it wasn't Harry Potter. And, though I'd probably lean towards the former attitude, I was determined to not be either of those people. So, even with my skepticism and criticalness (yes I know that isn't a word), I still loved it. Okay, shutting up now....more