The first line of the book: “This is what I remember…”
The last line (implied): “This is what I’ll never forget…”
“The Lovely Bones” was how I first hea...moreThe first line of the book: “This is what I remember…”
The last line (implied): “This is what I’ll never forget…”
“The Lovely Bones” was how I first heard of Alice Sebold, first the movie, and then the book. Unfortunately I wasn’t as much fascinated by the book as I was with the movie, which I think captured the real essence of what was supposed to be the book. “Lucky”, a true account of the brutal assault and rape of Alice Sebold, was the precedent to “The Lovely Bones”, her first novel. I was immediately intrigued and surprised, I must admit, that someone would open a personal book for the whole world about such a tough subject. Now that I’ve read it, I think this worked as some closure for her.
Because I was so shocked, I never got past the first few pages of the book, and kept putting it aside for some other time. The main reason was that I already knew I would be living horrible things with 18-year-old Alice Sebold. Her raw descriptions of the rape were so disturbing I had to stop myself a couple of times to regain composure. When you read something like this you start asking questions that you can’t really give an answer to.
While I was reading this book I kept thinking I was inside a nightmare, and once I woke up I’d be free… but am I really? Is she? The author’s strength is inspiring, and this book is an empowering testimony. Though I’m not so sure this is a nightmare you can wake up from, one thing I know… Alice Sebold survived. (less)
Wow! I finished reading “The Hunger Games” late night and i’m still at a loss for words, or is it sleep?! Saying this book is AMAZING is an understate...moreWow! I finished reading “The Hunger Games” late night and i’m still at a loss for words, or is it sleep?! Saying this book is AMAZING is an understatement. This is beyond AMAZINGNESS!!!
In a dystopian future, where North America is now called Panem and has been divided into 12 districts, there’s a tradition called “The Hunger Games”. Each year, two teens between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected by a lottery system to participate in this gruesome and brutal contest. What makes it the more shocking is that people from all Panem are watching this young contestants struggle to survive in the wild and fight to death through the televised reality show.
Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from district 12, volunteers to take her little sister’s Prim place in the deadly game and is sent to the arena along with her fellow competitor, Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son and the boy who saved her family from starvation years ago after her father died in a coal mine accident.
The stage is set, tributes in place, lights… camera… action! Who will win the 70th Hunger Games?
This is one of the best books i’ve read in a long time. It pulled me into the story right from the start. A few books are capable of making me read with such compulsion, unfortunately, so i’m glad i decided to give it a try. By the end i was thinking, why did i take so long? I was so hooked that i couldn’t put it down until i finished, and when i did, i immediately wanted to go get the next installment to the series! Don’t know if i can wait that long :S
Suzanne Collins is a great writer. She develops an original storyline with engaging characters that is both gripping and captivating. It feels as if you’re living it right along with the characters.
Can’t wait for Catching Fire and Mockingjay!!! (less)
I picked this book on a whim, and read a few pages to see if I might be interested enough to continue and the stor...moreRead: October 2011 Re-Read: June 2012
I picked this book on a whim, and read a few pages to see if I might be interested enough to continue and the story held me till the very end.
I can see why this book is being considered "Twilightish", there are indeed a lot of similarities, so possibly the author has some Stephenie Meyer’s "Twilight" influences, but gladly she’s a much better writer. I like how the book is written from Grace and Sam’s perspectives, this way I was able to understand both sides of the story. Their relationship, although too rushed at the beginning is beautiful and sweet and the whole plot was captivating enough to have me run through the pages like a wolf, but I don’t know if I can call that addictive… maybe I was like Grace, just longing for my own wolf! I also like how in this new take on werewolf mythology the moon has no association with the transformation, it’s the freezing cold that brings out the wolf and the human is lost, and within time may be forever gone.
It’s nicely written, the winter descriptions felt so real I could almost imagine myself bracing against the cold, and there’s a distinct melancholy ambiance within the pages that makes it seem all the more beautiful.
I think I shivered a few times… let’s see if it Linger(s). (less)
Songs of the Humpback Whale disappointed me as a book, and Jodi Picoult disappointed me as an author. While I was reading, I couldn’t help but think t...moreSongs of the Humpback Whale disappointed me as a book, and Jodi Picoult disappointed me as an author. While I was reading, I couldn’t help but think that this is not the typical Jodi Picoult, who researches her material thoroughly and creates realistic stories with real characters living them. This book lacks a good story, characters that build a plot, and the proper development. I found the characters to be unbelievable and the storyline unrealistic. Maybe this is due to the constant lapse in time, everything is a mixed and inconsistent chronology of events. First we’re in an orchard, then we go back to being on our way to the orchard, one more jump and we’re back to the orchard, rewind and we’re back again being on our way to somewhere… anyway, very confusing.
I kept reading hoping that at least the author was going to salvage the book with a good ending, but it backfired. The end just made things worse. It wasn’t just the fact that the main character decided to accept her abusive husband back… I think all women know that when there’s a first slap, the second can’t be far from happening… it was also the fact that this woman showed no signs of actually being in love with him, and still, along she went with him hoping for what exactly? There was no complicity between characters. This was like watching a really bad TV show about dysfunctional families that will eventually be canceled. I didn’t buy the love-hate relationship between Sam and Jane, or Rebecca and Hadley. And Joley… ugh… weird. Dr. Oliver Jones… I suspect the author made him up to be some kind of Indiana Jones of the Humpback Whales, but he never becomes a figure worth admiring. The poor development conditioned my reading, and I never really felt them as real live people who could go through this situation.
Oh, this book was annoying! And frustrating! It seemed like a puppet show, and the words were the thread pulling this story. There are some errors I couldn’t miss. For example, in a chapter written solely in the present time, suddenly it’s in the past tense. I don’t know, however, if this is an edition error, or the author herself. The writing didn’t surprise me, it’s not badly written, it’s okay really, but I think it needed improvement. Her recent works are more praising than the past, and I’m glad because that can only mean her work will keep getting better with time. (less)
I had no expectations when I started reading this book, and sometimes it’s the best thing to do, just jump head on and face whatever comes your way, o...moreI had no expectations when I started reading this book, and sometimes it’s the best thing to do, just jump head on and face whatever comes your way, or more to the case, stare hell in the face like ours truly, Avalin Marsh. I do know that I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did so this story was a very nice and refreshing surprise. It’s an easy, quick and enjoyable read that caught my attention from the beginning and kept me interested till the very end.
There were a few things that bothered me, though, regarding edition work. I noticed some grammar errors, lack of commas between sentences and some gaps I thought were unnecessary. But that didn’t stop me from being invested in reading. It was just a matter of getting used to, I think.
I loved Avalin Marsh’s character; she’s just my kind of girl. She’s kick-ass, strong, sarcastic, outspoken, and a bit of a tomboy… okay, a lot considering she practically speaks and acts like a guy. Life made her that way, I think, since the day of her eleventh birthday when her mother killed a person. Avalin practically grew up building walls around her for protection. I liked the subtle way the author made her gradually break down the bricks of the wall to let Albert enter her world. Albert is also a charismatic character, acting all mysterious and pulling us to his mystery in the hopes we can solve it. Their relationship starts in the wrong foot (or should I say the wrong kiss?), alternating between embarrassing and dangerous situations, perfectly balanced by relaxed and funny moments. I really liked the characters sense of humor, and I couldn’t help but laugh with Prajna at the beginning when they’re discussing the shapes of the drawings in the cars. That was hilarious, and I wish we could have known more about Prajna and Lyle.
The premise of this book is unique and totally different from anything I’ve read before in the supernatural world. The author created the Twined, a race that depends on humans for their survival. There were some elements that might have escaped me because they were not explained thoroughly, but I think there’s a good chance of it happening in the second book as the story unfolds. Speaking of second book, what a cliffhanger! I turned the page to see if that was really it, and it was, I have to wait for the sequel to come out. That was a perfect opening for the continuation of the series.
Overall, a good YA book, with a plot full of action, and a few side snarky remarks from dear Avalin, totally worth it just so you can get to know her awesome personality, interesting take on the supernatural and great characters! And the waiting for the second book to come out begins now. (less)
Sadie Forsythe is a good writer, and it’s noticeable from the first page when we are confronted with an unusual story about an ordinary woman who live...moreSadie Forsythe is a good writer, and it’s noticeable from the first page when we are confronted with an unusual story about an ordinary woman who lives a happy life alongside her husband and daughter, but who suddenly finds herself transported to an alternate reality in which happiness is an equivalent to struggle, particularly Chiyo’s struggle with her inner beast. Despite being interested in the course of the story, it took me a while to get used to because I’m not really into the Japanese world, in spite of being fond of games and movies addressing the concept of the samurai. What could have been a book taking the risk of becoming easily boring, it was enhanced by the multiple action scenes and the journeys in the company of three unlikely warriors, Chiyo, Muhjah and Senka.
What captured my interest in this book was the synopsis, particularly this one question: “It questions the true meaning of evil and asks also what monster is not an innocent?”. I was instantly curious to know how an author can balance good and evil in order to create this magnificent dance between the three main characters. And I have to say the author does so with such intelligence, almost subtly, I would say if we don’t take into account the few subtleties of these warriors. I was both surprised and shocked at how easily I accepted Chiyo, Muhjah and Senka by their heroic qualities as opposed to their darkness. The blood shedding became as natural to me as it was for them to kill their adversaries. The downside is I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, perhaps because there’s lack of background story. I would’ve liked to learn more about the enigmatic Senka. Sometimes his silence was annoying, but also a part of being an enigma. I feel like there was a lot left to say about the lives of these unlikely companions, and the book would have beneficiated from an in-depth exploration of their stories.
All in all, this book is different, but interesting, with a kick-ass heroine, a peculiar plot with a lot of action scenes and great characters. I think it could have been improved with more character development and descriptions of this strange world. However, that final touch in the end was nice, with a mysterious epilogue that leaves the reader in suspense.
Will there be a sequel?
Favorite Quote “You know, when I was very little, I was afraid of the dark – afraid of what monsters might be lurking out there just past where the eye could see.” She gestured into the darkness. “Even as an adult I’ve always been uneasy in the dark, but here I’m sitting with two practical strangers in the dead of night under an unknown sky, and I’m not afraid of the dark. There’s too much else to fear, and it’s all so much more frightening than the mere unseen.”(less)
I’m completely and utterly amazed by the power this writer’s words had on me. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the fact that it’s a debut novel, E...moreI’m completely and utterly amazed by the power this writer’s words had on me. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the fact that it’s a debut novel, Erin Morgenstern writes as if she had several books published under her name. And this book is beautiful, enchanting, romantic, magical, mysterious, a journey everyone should embark on and enjoy as a true rêveur. It’s such a good feeling to have when a book captivates you from the first pages, such a rare thing to happen to me, that I made sure to enjoy every page till the end.
The plot is marvelous, well constructed, it flows at a slow but right pace, and the power of imagination is palpable throughout the book. Marcus and Celia’s story is passionate and irresistible. I think I was intrigued by Tsukiko, the contortionist, right from the start when she makes an appearance at Chandresh Lefèvre's house. The twins, Widget and Poppet, and the new found friend Bailey are truly wonderful. The man in the gray suit is a mystery from beginning to end, and I think it was a wise move to keep him as a secret never revealed. Hector, Celia’s invisible father is a character that keeps a distance, working more like a background noise, and after a while his behavior makes him seem more ridiculous than mean. It’s a beautifully written book by a talented author who managed to create a range of single and unique characters. I was enchanted by Le Cirque des Revês, and the descriptions are so vivid that I felt literally inside the black and white tents. Simply amazing!
When I picked up this book, I had no idea it was like one of those stories featured in self-help books that make us believe that after a few pages you...moreWhen I picked up this book, I had no idea it was like one of those stories featured in self-help books that make us believe that after a few pages you can solve your problems. I don’t think after I’ve finished reading the book I was convinced of this possibility, maybe because in real life our problems aren’t limited by pages but years. I never take self-help books too seriously, but this is a total different experience, and it was truly pleasant to read about this group of friends who are willing to do anything to be united.
Unfortunately, I found the same problems previously noted in one of the authors books, namely the poor edition work. Some grammar errors, too many paragraphs, and a lot of “Twat’s”. When this word first appeared I thought it was a grammatical error, but then it started to repeat continuously and it quickly became irritating. I think the edition of the book needed a little more attention.
Nonetheless, I found this to be a light and easy read, a feel good story about an altruistic girl who likes to help others and is fortunate to have friends in her life who “take action” instead of waiting around for her to escape from their lives. I wish I had friends like that. All in all, a simple book that talks about current problems in our society. The sense of humor was much appreciated, and the overall message that the simple things in life are the most valuable. The ending is appropriately open for the reader to decide how Jamie will react to this new twist in her life. (less)
Finalmente, após várias pausas, e meses em lista de espera, resolvi dar uma nova oportunidade a este livro e consegui terminá-lo, mas não sem travar a...moreFinalmente, após várias pausas, e meses em lista de espera, resolvi dar uma nova oportunidade a este livro e consegui terminá-lo, mas não sem travar a minha própria batalha contra a sua grandiosidade. A temática dos anjos é fascinante, mas o problema desta história é que envolve muita religião, que por si só já é um assunto que me desalenta de qualquer leitura. Apesar de achar que a escrita do autor é fabulosa, e a história muito bem construída, e também existirem partes e personagens que despertam o interesse, o enredo é muito extenso e o desenvolvimento demasiado prolongado, tornando a leitura aborrecida. (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)
Apparently this book follows The Farseer Trilogy, so I lost a lot of background story from those previous books; nonetheless it was easy to follow the...moreApparently this book follows The Farseer Trilogy, so I lost a lot of background story from those previous books; nonetheless it was easy to follow the plot considering this is the first book of a different trilogy. This is the first time I’m introduced to a Robin Hobb book, and her writing is really impressive! Not to mention her visual imagination. It’s a very deep book, no doubt about it, and I’m not talking about its endless pages, but the intense story. The settings are so descriptive you feel yourself jumping into them and becoming an acquainted of those mystical characters. I was specially moved by the magical bond between a human and an animal, how they can share thoughts and feel what the other is feeling. The last pages of Fitz and his wolf were very touching, and the link between the prince and his cat was very interesting. Now that I’m finished, I just want to go back to it. I think Fitz used his magic to get inside my mind and is now tempting me with the next book in the series. (less)
I'm aware this is a classic, and believe me, i've tried, but it's too hard not to hate the characters, if not the whole story, when basically all they...moreI'm aware this is a classic, and believe me, i've tried, but it's too hard not to hate the characters, if not the whole story, when basically all they do throughout the book is hate and indiscriminate each other. There were a few parts where i thought: "wait, this is it, finally some good sense!", only to have the author start all over again with the whiny. All in all, it was readable but boring. (less)
Judging by the title, i always thought this was a book about a teenage boy on his way to Alaska, but once i started...moreRead: June 2011 Reread: April 2012
Judging by the title, i always thought this was a book about a teenage boy on his way to Alaska, but once i started reading i realized it wasn’t about the country Alaska, but the smart, funny, sexy and screwed-up girl named Alaska.
Inspired by the last words of the poet Francois Rabelais “I go to seek a Great Perhaps”, Miles Halter leaves his comfy life in Florida for Culver Creek Boarding School in Alabama where he befriends his roommate Chip Martin, aka “The Colonel”, Takumi, a japanese boy who likes to rap, a Romanian girl named Lara, his first sexual and awkward experience, and his first love, the peculiar and mysterious Alaska Young. Each one of them have their own traits. The Colonel memorizes countries, capitals, and population. Besides being the rapper, Takumi is “The Fox”. Alaska cherishes all the books of her Life’s Lybrary. Needless to say, Miles, nicknamed “Pudge”, is fascinated by famous people’s last words.
Without getting anymore further into the story, because i think you have to read it to fully understand what this is all about, all i can say is that, together, this group of friends are gonna pull you into their labyrinth and make you walk with them, trying to find a way out, and discover the “Great Perhaps”.
This is an amazing book, with a brilliant writing style that keeps you turning page after page of a realistic, emotional and with just the right tone of philosophy story.
It’s no surprise Looking for Alaska, by John Green, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award.
Thomas Edison's last words were: “It's very beautiful over there." I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful. (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)
It’s been a long time since I’ve read such a lengthy book with a plot that drags continuously to its purpose, but I have to say it was well worth my t...moreIt’s been a long time since I’ve read such a lengthy book with a plot that drags continuously to its purpose, but I have to say it was well worth my time dedicated to reading. I’ve had my eye on it since I read this talented author’s first novel, “The Virgin Suicides”, and although the history of the Stephanides Greek family is not at all equivalent to the five mysterious Lisbon sisters, it managed to captivate me the same. It’s a book that, perhaps because it is long, or the author dwells too much on descriptions, sometimes significant, others not so much, it has its ups and downs. There were boring parts as well as others where I couldn’t stop reading such was my fascination with the words used to let us know the three different generations of this family that would bear fruit to our main character, Calliope Stephanides (Cal).
The book tackles the subject of hermaphroditism, suggesting as its cause the relationships between people of the same blood. Calliope is the narrator who tells her story from the beginning, where it all began up until the day of discovery. I had never read anything about the subject, but it always intrigued me, therefore this was a very interesting reading. I grew up with Calliope, since an auspicious birth to a revealing and somewhat funny baptism, until she found The Object. I really liked the special relationship born between the two friends, and I was sad it didn’t make more progress in the story. Even yia yia Desdemona became one of my favorite characters of the novel, with her silkworm box and so, so much more…
This life story is inspiring, and made me think, really think about the difficulties these people go through in life to be socially accepted. I don’t think this is a book for everyone. I think you should start reading this book with an open mind, and maybe it wouldn’t hurt for those with closed minds to read it either. The end was perfect in its own way. I’d say it was written so as to leave us with the feeling that, all right, now we can let her go, because we know she will be able to face what’s yet to come.
Jeffrey Eugenides, once more, convinced me of his extraordinary talent for writing, and I am not surprised this book has earned him the 2003 Pulitzer Prize.