I’m giving this one 2 stars for the first half, the whole thing just felt contrived and the characters were too bland, and 3 stars for the other half,...moreI’m giving this one 2 stars for the first half, the whole thing just felt contrived and the characters were too bland, and 3 stars for the other half, because even though it was hard to believe, it did get better, and I actually laughed at a particular scene. Still, not one of JD’s best books.(less)
Unlike what happened with the last book I read by the author, A Gentle Rain didn’t engage me right from the start, which left me discouraged. I don’t...moreUnlike what happened with the last book I read by the author, A Gentle Rain didn’t engage me right from the start, which left me discouraged. I don’t know if I liked the story, I think I liked more the idea of the story, and not the way it was built. I expected so much more, considering all this range of fantastic and captivating characters, combined with beautiful scenery, this story could have been what The Crossroads Cafe was for me, an inspiration. Unfortunately, I didn’t like this one as much; I found it too unrealistic, predictable, with too many eccentricities overlapping one immediately after the other. And don’t get me started on the ridiculousness of some scenes, like the poker game. There should have been some kind of counterbalance. The romance could have balanced the story, no doubt, but it wasn’t much explored. I think the author had all the elements to write a beautiful story, but didn’t combine them appropriately, hence my disappointment. The writing also left too much to be desired, the insubstantial and quick switch of the chapters, the poor dialogue, not to mention a few loose sentences, the kind that makes me reread again and again, to be sure of what I have just read, only to be left with the certainty that it makes no sense... Sadly, because I really wanted to like this book, this was not what I was expecting, I can only take consolation on the illusion of what it could have been, and that is a good book.(less)
My first debut novel of author Deborah Smith was simply delicious, and I don’t have that much to say about it, because when I really like a book, some...moreMy first debut novel of author Deborah Smith was simply delicious, and I don’t have that much to say about it, because when I really like a book, sometimes I can’t put into words this feeling, because I know words aren’t enough. You just feel it, pure and simple. And I felt the whole story, almost from the beginning, when I felt that wonderful click, and my brain registered the potentiality of what I was reading, right until the end. The story, the captivating characters, the wonderful scenery, invoking my own childhood, the phenomenal writing, and good development of the book, this is beauty. I only regret not having had the opportunity to spend more time with the characters in that pure harmony environment after the storm had passed, but major developments create great stories, and this is a great story.(less)
Nunca vou compreender esta necessidade de modificarem o título original de um livro com a tradução para a nossa língua. É fácil de perceber qual é o m...moreNunca vou compreender esta necessidade de modificarem o título original de um livro com a tradução para a nossa língua. É fácil de perceber qual é o maior amor do mundo, mas a história também explora a camada de dor que todos nós temos de suportar de forma a alcançar a felicidade, daí o original The Underside of Joy. E depois de ter terminado o livro, senti, de facto, o outro lado, aquele que se esconde por detrás da ilusão da felicidade. Confesso que fiquei surpreendida pelo nó na minha garganta. Primeiro, porque quando se trata de temas sérios, a escrita simples e esparsa nunca me cai bem, acho que a complexidade do tema exige a mesma complexidade de narração. No entanto, e apesar da sua simplicidade, ou talvez por causa dela, não sei, conseguiu comover-me e cheguei ao fim com um sorriso no rosto. É um livro encantador, emotivo e cheio de esperança. E vale sempre a pena lembrar que mãe é quem ama e cuida... "Parir é dor, criar é amor."(less)
It's a young adult, so I know I couldn’t expect much more than a reasonable reading. It’s not a bad book, at all, but I would say that it's more targe...moreIt's a young adult, so I know I couldn’t expect much more than a reasonable reading. It’s not a bad book, at all, but I would say that it's more targeted to young people, not just teenagers but also children, because the writing is very juvenile, as if we were telling a story to a child, hence my suggestion. Nevertheless, it’s an easy and quick read, and it can be enjoyable with a little bit of fun, although I will never, nor do I want to, really, understand the issue of age and romance. It brings a new meaning to the word creepy. The talking animals and the well, added an emotional tone to the story. It’s a very strange little book. Personally, I don’t believe in an afterlife, but I thought the regression process created by the author was creative. (less)
Geez, what a nightmare! I couldn't recommend this to other people even if I wanted to, or because the movie is coming out, which is why I decided to r...moreGeez, what a nightmare! I couldn't recommend this to other people even if I wanted to, or because the movie is coming out, which is why I decided to read it in the first place. Big letdown for the part of me who likes to follow the read-before-watching-the-movie rule. It's riddled with clichés, annoying characters, a ridiculous plot, and no emotional depht. I can't imagine this being made into a movie, let's hope it's better, at least.
Better than Dark Places and Gone Girl, I think, it kept me interested till the end, but I got to say, this is one hell of a disturbing read, and much...moreBetter than Dark Places and Gone Girl, I think, it kept me interested till the end, but I got to say, this is one hell of a disturbing read, and much more dark, gritty, and sick. Once again, though, and here I go again, it seems, the author does not invest in the characters, and keeps rushing the endings, which makes the whole experience anti climatic. The suspect did this and that, end of story. A little more substance never hurt anybody, it only adds to the credibility of the story. It wasn’t a shock to discover the killer’s identity, as some of the blurbs suggested; to me it was obvious and predictable, which was disappointing, because I really wanted to be caught by surprise by one of the latest writers of psychological thrillers, and lately I can’t find one single book capable of that feat. I still think Gillian Flynn is a good writer in the genre, but has some improving to do, perhaps in a future book. Among her published books, this is the one I would most like to see adapted to the screen. (less)
Solid three star rating. Reading Gone Girl made me want to look into other books by Gillian Flynn, just so I could see how her twisted mind would work...moreSolid three star rating. Reading Gone Girl made me want to look into other books by Gillian Flynn, just so I could see how her twisted mind would work around another horror story. Now, I like her writing, it’s simple but blunt, proof she doesn’t need fancy vocabulary to make a point, the power of her dark and gloomy imagination, but even with all that combined this book failed to be thrilling. The parallels between now and then were great, it was certainly interesting to follow two different times of their life at once, to try to understand the dynamic of the family, getting clues to unravel the mystery of their deaths, but they were too close together, and small, too small for us to really acknowledge, giving us little time to spend with the characters, and thus making me feel disconnected from their story. I can’t say I was compelled by a single character in this book, and it’s not because they were mean, or had bad blood, it’s simply because I feel like they could have been better developed. There were also some things that were plain dumb, like the devil worship bit, but as a whole I consider it a good book. As for the ending, well, I definitely expected more out of that mystery. (less)
Esta é a minha estreia com o autor, e gostei, embora tenha achado a parte intermédia um pouco confusa. Aproveitando uma das expressões prefer...more3,5 stars
Esta é a minha estreia com o autor, e gostei, embora tenha achado a parte intermédia um pouco confusa. Aproveitando uma das expressões preferidas do autor, andei um bocado às aranhas. Não sei porquê mas este senhor gosta muito de aranhas. Todo o enredo é inteligente e ao chegar ao fim já estava completamente agarrada. Mas tenho de admitir que o final é esquisito. (less)
Some titles fit so perfectly, it almost seems like foretelling. And this one is pretty ironic, since this book really doesn’t have a soul. I cannot sa...moreSome titles fit so perfectly, it almost seems like foretelling. And this one is pretty ironic, since this book really doesn’t have a soul. I cannot say I was disappointed, something like this was to be expected, because after the somewhat fiasco of the second book, I lowered my expectations significantly, and rightly so. Still, it’s frustrating to read an extension of a book that I loved and feel that I have lost interest in my favorite characters. Not only the characters, but the story in itself became ordinary, something you read and quickly forget because what made the first book so good is gone, and you know no matter how many books the author writes it’s never going to be the same.
I reiterate that it has too many unnecessary POV’s, the plot is too drawn-out and repetitive, and some details we could very well live without, no need to keep reminding us of the same thing, over and over again, as if we’re morons and couldn’t get it the first time.
The fact that it took me so long to finish it is in itself a clear indication of my lack of interest.
The first book in the Finishing School Series, Etiquette & Espionage, was not, by all means, perfect, but it certainly added a little flair to the...moreThe first book in the Finishing School Series, Etiquette & Espionage, was not, by all means, perfect, but it certainly added a little flair to the steampunk genre with the premise of young ladies trained in the art of espionage. The plot was not stimulating, but I managed to have a little bit of fun. In this second installment, though, I found it all too dreary. The same difficulties I had with the first book, which kept me from enjoying it to its fullest, were amplified in this sequel. Ridiculous names that, for the life of me, I couldn’t keep track of, an uninteresting plot, made weary by convoluted conspiracies. Overall, it just lacked fuel to engage the story. The only part of the book that raised my interest was the final scene, when very cleverly, I must say, Sophronia goes to the rescue of the Plumleigh-Teignmott siblings. Professor Niall in wolf form, followed by the kerfuffle in Countess Nadasdy’s living room, was hilarious and one of the most well orchestrated scenes. Still, after an entire book of dreariness, it left a bittersweet taste.
I still like the steampunk elements, especially Bumbersnoot (who can resist Bumbersnoot?), and all the connections to the Parasol Protectorate series, but as I’ve said before, I much prefer the adult side of Gail Carriger. It doesn’t mean that I’ll quit the series; I just won’t be anxiously waiting for the next book. (less)
I’ve got to be honest; I only picked up this book because of my read-before-you-watch-the-movie rule. I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it either, bu...moreI’ve got to be honest; I only picked up this book because of my read-before-you-watch-the-movie rule. I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about it either, but I figured, with the movie coming out, I ought to read it and see what made people turn it into a motion picture. Unfortunately, I don’t see it. Really, there’s nothing spectacular about it, it’s just a regular, run of the mill story about a teen going through the motions of life, and nothing we haven’t read or seen before. But there are definitely some good things about it, it’s well-written, Sutter’s voice is great, and it has some good moments. However, the plot and character development leaves too much to be desired, and we get no closure at the end. I probably never connected with the story or characters, because Sutter is the kind of guy I can't stand, and Aimee got on my nerves chasing him like a puppy. I mean, have some respect, girl, and open your eyes.
But I will say this, Sutter might have been wrong about a lot of things, but he was right about this: live in the now, embrace the weird.
Now, Sutter, do us all a favor, and get a life, would you?
**spoiler alert** All I have to say about this book, I am sure many people have said in different words, but sharing the same feeling, disappointment....more**spoiler alert** All I have to say about this book, I am sure many people have said in different words, but sharing the same feeling, disappointment. And feelings are so treacherous in a way that, ironically, they end up forming their own "allegiant", joining our noble cause of revolution. Shock, also a fellow allegiant, not so much because I was not at all taken by surprise, since, sadly, after the second book, I had given up on all expectations.
I'll start with the first part of the book, which is basically a boring rinse and repeat of Tris and Tobias making out, being cute or fighting, a lot. As for an actual plot, there’s zilch. At one point, I asked myself, where does this lead me? I don’t need to be constantly reminded they are a couple in love, and thus love kissing. So I posed the question differently, how about continuing the story and stop using teen romance as an excuse to fill the pages?
And that’s what she did, after how many pages? Let’s see: GD’s and GP’s, serum this, serum that, walks around the compound, Tobias and Tris eating muffins, or fighting, or being stupid and whiny, or contemplating, there’s a lot of contemplation in this book, leisurely scenery routes, ready, set, rinse and repeat. And this is where the author starts killing off characters, like a mercenary committed to its mission, which is to destroy a book that was never destined to succeed.
How many did she kill? I’ve lost count.
Then, in a rare glimpse of our kick-ass girl, she decided to take action and put all the guys on the go, in case, you know, some of us were already sleeping. There’s a whole well orchestrated scene if we forget the whole Bureau of Welfare charade. Ok, it was the author's explanation for everything that happened so far, and it’s not a bad one at all, but for me it was far from what began in the first book of the trilogy. So the bad ass divergent are genetically pure, huh? And their mission is nothing less than to procreate in front of an audience.
And after all this, that’s when we understand why the killing. Because every great story is made of tragedy, because tragedy sells, and because Nicholas Sparks can do it, so can I, I will adopt his method and kill a bunch of people to numb the readers, so then I can catch them completely by surprise by killing the main character of the story.
Right, because that hasn’t been tried before, Veronica. And failed, I might add.
After a successful first book, and the downfall of a second and third book below average, this only shows that the author lost track of the story and got lazy.
Call it what you will, but for me, this is not a trilogy, nor should it have been. A stand alone novel would have been fine and unblemished by what followed.
So this is the part where I answer my first question, remember? Where did it take me ?
About two months ago, my relationship with Nicholas Sparks was shaken by the events that transpired in his ill-fated book The Guardian, where, once ag...moreAbout two months ago, my relationship with Nicholas Sparks was shaken by the events that transpired in his ill-fated book The Guardian, where, once again, despite all my pleading to the contrary, he committed his usual act of atrocity. Therefore, it’s no wonder I picked up this rebound book with lots and lots of hesitation. At the same time, however, as always happens when I want to read one of his books, I always hope that this is a good one. And I'm happy to say that this is, indeed, one of the good books by Nicholas Sparks.
Two completely different stories, but united by the same feeling, love, that is how we are introduced to Ira and Ruth, Sophia and Luke, two couples who are living it up at different stages of their lives, the beginning and the end. This contrast was very well thought out, and passed to writing with emotion. I found both interesting views, but I confess that the story of Ira and Ruth was most touching. The younger couple would have much more to offer if it were a book focused only on them, but I still enjoyed their story.
There are a few things that bugged me, such as the irresponsibility, the cheating ex. boyfriend who doesn’t take the hint, and the traitor best friend. It was all too much teen drama for my taste, but fortunately it was brief and quickly the plot took another turn. And there’s always the issue of predictability, which we all know to expect from his books, so we cannot do anything about it but just go along with it. It's kind of fun, actually, the guessing game part. Since the beginning of the book that I knew how their stories would converge, and it wasn’t difficult to figure out how everything would work out in the end, but despite all of it, I’m really glad the author gained some common sense and provided me with another great story. (less)
It's the first time I read the author, and I am quite satisfied with this debut. This Midwife’s Confession is really something that shocks, paralyzes,...moreIt's the first time I read the author, and I am quite satisfied with this debut. This Midwife’s Confession is really something that shocks, paralyzes, destroys the node that we long to hold securely, containing our emotions. I think no one can remain indifferent to this tragedy that drove Noelle to take her own life.
I like the way the story is structured, divided into chapters, each appearing when more suited to hear the side of such a person. And yes, it reminded me of Jodi Picoult, as has already been suggested by many readers, but the big difference between the two authors is that Jodi Picoult writes profoundly and with more emotion.
This author is different, she can describe the characters and all their struggles and feelings, make us feel for them, but she doesn’t exactly linger on the subject when it’s necessary, very quickly she changes direction, which in this story resulted in a mismanagement of chapters. She does make us constantly wonder and doubt what’s in store for us in the book, and when we least expect it there’s a new twist changing the whole plot, and that's something that not all authors can do in a subtle way, but Diane Chamberlain doesn’t feel forced, I just think she’s a little too fast in the narrative. Even though I enjoyed the pace of the story, I think I needed more time to delve deeper into the new changes and feel them on a more intimate level. I feel like I only got to meet the characters and not what they were really like on the inside. And those are the only negatives I have to point out.
I really liked the story, the twists, the friendships, the relationship between mother and daughter, and the big secret, because this is one of those that I look for in all the books, and nowadays few authors can still surprise and shock me at the same time. This author just earned a place in my to-read list, I can’t wait to read another one of her books. (less)
There's a first time for everything, and this was my first time reading Dorothy Koomson. I must say I was a little disappointed not to have been swept...moreThere's a first time for everything, and this was my first time reading Dorothy Koomson. I must say I was a little disappointed not to have been swept away by the story, both for being a cherished author by readers, and also because this is the goal I want to achieve when I open a book. I think it was due to the content of the story; it’s not a subject that interests me to the point of devouring pages eagerly. Instead, it was a fluid read, and one of its strengths is it never becomes boring despite its length. The writing is very good, deep and compassionate, and although the debated issue is not something I like to deepen, the author managed to keep my attention and wanting to know how the drama would unfold to its end.
The ending was also disappointing. I think everything was handled too casually. The suspect was never a real suspect because it was never introduced into the story, just as a minor character, nothing important. And a story of a crime requires development so that its conclusion is satisfactory, and that includes victim and perpetrator. In this case, the author made a mistake by giving more emphasis to the drama and leaving aside the criminal part. I was under the impression that she neglected this aspect, which leads me to think that the crime was unnecessary to the story, because all the drama eventually encompassed the entire book. The last bit of the book also could have been better, after all the build up about the Rose Petal Beach. It felt a little flat.
However, despite these flaws, and some inconsistencies, as a whole, I think it was a good book, but definitely not something I would like to read a second time.(less)
**spoiler alert** I should explain, since this has already happened so many times, that I don’t have a tendency to pick hyped books, but when I do, I...more**spoiler alert** I should explain, since this has already happened so many times, that I don’t have a tendency to pick hyped books, but when I do, I do have a tendency to not be so hyped up about them as everyone else. And surprise surprise, Gone Girl fits right into the why the hype category. Will this stop me from avoiding these kind of books? Not in the least, sometimes, the hype is warranted, but other times, oh boy, does it make me frustrated!
I should also tell you that, although the glowing spectacularness wasn’t that spectacular after all, I discovered a new author who knows how to write a good thriller, despite my disliking of her conclusions. Writing, characterization, and structure are excellent. When it comes to the story, however, I had a few setbacks. I think the first part dragged a little, I found myself much more interested and engaged in the story on the second part of the book, when there’s the first “big” twist. I don’t think it was a twist, per se, I think by then, with all the information we had, plus more than two hundred pages yet to read, we all had to at least assume something like that would happen. What I assumed was that, perhaps, trying to escape from an abusive husband, Amy staged her own homicide and ran away to have a new life. Turns out I was right about the staged crime scene, the rest, not so much. It never crossed my mind that she could be this psycho bitch, and Nick the “innocent” person in all this, given that he too has his fair share of guilt. I thought: “Good, this should be interesting, a psycho woman for a change.”
And it was interesting, and twisted, and complexed, but at the end of it all I feel like it wasn’t that thrilling. Somehow, it lacked. Don’t get me wrong, I think this was a good thriller, it just wasn’t great. Maybe this is because of that damning last part which I didn’t really like. I appreciated all the media attention and perversity that came with Amy’s return, but this is where the story went downhill. It went from an intelligent, thoughtful and complexed thriller, to plain sloppy.
And the ending was the worst that could have happened for such a solid book. I hated it. For such a wicked story, it needed a more than average ending. You had the fuse of an explosive couple; all you had to do was light it up with an explosive ending. Big flop.
Nevertheless, Gillian Flynn is an author to keep an eye on, and I’m curious to look into her other books. (less)