I'm writing this after completing my second reading of this book and the series as a whole. I think I waited a bit too long as several days have passeI'm writing this after completing my second reading of this book and the series as a whole. I think I waited a bit too long as several days have passed since I finished, but I'm going to keep the five star rating I gave the book. This final book of the well-known series brings readers to the final showdown between Harry and Voldemort, the dark wizard who has regained power and is looking to finish Harry off after trying so many times before. Although this book runs 759 pages, I could not complain that Ms. Rowling wasted space here. Although some of the early chapters seem to meander, she is merely setting the stage for the ultimate fight that must occur between the forces of good and evil, and many other series (Lord of the Rings) work in the same way, bringing all the players together for that final battle that all the action has been leading to. After reading others' critiques of previous books, I can see how some could become frustrated with how magic is used to get characters out of sticky situations, but another way of looking at it could be that the final meeting between Harry and Voldemort is fated to happen. As I look back at the series as a whole, I can see that theme woven throughout, and Rowling's taking the reader to the inevitable really is well done. I cried when I read this book the first time and I cried again at the exact same point, not something I can say about the previous book. There's something about Harry facing his death that is so real and beautiful that we can't help but be carried away in the moment and just see what happens, even though I already knew the ending. We also understand the motives of many major characters, often too late, but just in time to appreciate how everything worked together. I'm not sure that I'll read the series a third time, but I definitely appreciate it more after this....more
I am a huge fan of John Steinbeck and will only continue to enjoy his simple, realistic approach to telling a story after reading this fable. Kino isI am a huge fan of John Steinbeck and will only continue to enjoy his simple, realistic approach to telling a story after reading this fable. Kino is a fisherman in Mexico and has a wife and infant son. Their lives are uncomplicated and set to a song in their souls: Song of Family. One day Kino makes an extraordinary discovery in the form of a magnificent pearl, and the Song of Family is joined by the Song of Evil as Kino faces those who would exploit or threaten him, his family, and the pearl. This is a quick read, and in Stenbeck fashion does not offer any easy answers. The reader is faced with his own moral dilemmas with Kino as both must decide what is right while seeking justice among friends who become enemies. A good read....more
First I have to thank my sister for getting this book for me! I first heard about it in, of all places, an issue of Marie Claire when they had a bookFirst I have to thank my sister for getting this book for me! I first heard about it in, of all places, an issue of Marie Claire when they had a book club section. The premise intrigued me: Cassie Maddox, a detective in the Irish police force, is called one day to a crime scene to see a body, even though she's no longer a part of the murder squad after a rough case. When she arrives, she sees the reason: the victim is identical to her and was using a name that Cassie created during her brief stint as an undercover officer. Soon Cassie is plunged into the world of the dead girl, taking on her identity to try to uncover the murderer. What I loved about this book is that it is not a typical murder mystery but really goes deeper than that as Cassie blurs the line between her life and Lexie's. This is also the first time that I have seen a mystery novel as a real piece of literature. French's style is beautiful and rich and stands apart from a lot of fiction I've read lately (read: Stephanie Meyer). I highly suggest this and might let you borrow my copy if I'm not already rereading it!
After my second read, I didn't enjoy it as much as the first time but stand firm on my belief that this is a mystery that stands apart from all other popular mystery fiction. French works this book until the end, not ending the mystery all tied in a bow. I still appreciate the literary touch she brings to the genre and would encourage a lover of literature, who has probably given up on modern mysteries, to read this....more
I absolutely loved this book! Before reading this I'd only read one other nonfiction book of his as well as the Chronicles of Narnia, so I was familiaI absolutely loved this book! Before reading this I'd only read one other nonfiction book of his as well as the Chronicles of Narnia, so I was familiar with him. In this book, Lewis' tone is very conversational and down to earth, the result of part of the book being a transcription of a series of radio addresses Lewis was asked to give in the midst of the disillusion and horror of WWII. I found myself laughing often and really enjoying how simply he states some of the most profound truths of the universe. I was also challenged to open myself even more to the work that the Lord wants to do in my life, even when that means growing pains. Overall I would say that this book serves as a gentle reminder to Believers and as a simple challenge to those that are seeking. This is probably a book that I will read again, and I'll give it more attention than I was able to this time....more
I'm still not quite sure how I feel about this final installment of the Twilight series. I hated the first half of the book. Bella's character reallyI'm still not quite sure how I feel about this final installment of the Twilight series. I hated the first half of the book. Bella's character really got to me and the chapters from Jacob's perspective seemed to be mostly filler. Throughout the series I kept expecting Meyer's writing style to get better, but with the exception of a few chapters in each book, I was disappointed, and the first half of Breaking Dawn is her worst offense. That being said, the second half of the book is much better, though not in style. There is a complete shift in where I saw the story going, but I didn't feel that Meyer cheated in any way to bring the story to its close. Bella's character finally seems to mature and I wasn't as nearly annoyed as I was in the past to read things from her point of view. I actually felt like I was reading about an adult. I was also finally able to see what some of my friends had talked about in regards to the themes of loyalty, love, sacrifice, etc. These themes had been touched on in the previous books, but this is where they all seemed to converge and really make a point.
Overall I can see why the series has been so popular, but I cannot imagine these books being more than a cultural phenomenon. Meyer's style simply will not be able to stand the test of time in a literary sense. If I was still teaching, I would not recommend this series to my students like I would the Harry Potter series or many other more well-written adolescent fiction books....more
I got this from the Early Reviewers a while back and finally got around to reading it, especially because I had gotten a new one. Rooms tells the storI got this from the Early Reviewers a while back and finally got around to reading it, especially because I had gotten a new one. Rooms tells the story of Micah, a man who has it all, or so he thinks. A letter from a mysterious uncle begins to shift his world in a way that will both break him down and rebuild a true life.
I really struggled to get through about the first two-thirds of this book. I found it a bit hokey and predictable. I'm not sure if the author had previously read The Shack, as much of his stuff seems to come from its influence. I found The Shack to be much more thought-provoking and touching than Rooms. The author did not try to hold back his personal beliefs in any way, and I found myself struggling at times with the commentary the book seemed to be making about my own walk and relationship with the Lord, not in a positive light. I actually found myself agreeing at some points with The Voice, and needless to say that wasn't a happy revelation. Either way, I'll think through some of it, but I don't see this book making the impact that it really tried hard to bring about....more
I had already read the follow-up to this book, The Likeness, and wanted to get the story that is referred to so often in that work. French's writing sI had already read the follow-up to this book, The Likeness, and wanted to get the story that is referred to so often in that work. French's writing style is gorgeous and I was reminded of that again in just the first pages. In the Woods is told from the perspective of Det. Rob Ryan, a member of the Murder Squad in Ireland. A young girl is found in his hometown, and an old horror is reawakened from his past. Ryan and his partner, Cassie Maddox, delve into the investigation, but Ryan also finds himself taken into memories he has tried to keep unlocked all his life. I was pleased again with French and want to reread The Likeness to see all the dots connected for me through Cassie's telling of that story. I wouldn't say that the mystery was brilliant, as I see in Agatha Christie's work, but it is realistic and didn't disappoint except in the area of having all my questions answered. I definitely recommend this and would tell someone to read it before The Likness so they are able to fit it all together...more
This isn't going to be a great review since I finished it a while ago, but the biggest impression I was left with was, "Whoa." David Platt says thingsThis isn't going to be a great review since I finished it a while ago, but the biggest impression I was left with was, "Whoa." David Platt says things that many in the Church believe but just don't have the courage to say. I found myself shocked regularly but in a way that also was coming into agreement. One of my biggest takeaways, which I've actually been referring to often, is the idea that Jesus was not about numbers while He was here. As soon as a large crowd gathered, he would make controversial yet true statements that would narrow the flock. In doing this, He was building a band of true disciples, and I believe that is what we must be focused on today. I also had the privilege of hearing Platt speak at a local pastors' conference and was again blown away by his insights and reminders of the God we serve. Get this book, but be prepared to have your ideas about Jesus and the Church turned upside-down...more
My sister let me borrow her copy as she knows I enjoy works by this author. While not as engaging as many of her other books, I found this to be one oMy sister let me borrow her copy as she knows I enjoy works by this author. While not as engaging as many of her other books, I found this to be one of the most painfully realistic. At many points I wanted to put it down because the humanity was so real in regards to our tendency to thoughtlessly harm those around us, many times with good intentions. I would like to read the next book to see what will happen in the relationship between mother and daughter....more
I finished this book a while back so this won't be the best review I could have written, but here goes. It recounts the story of the infamous Donner pI finished this book a while back so this won't be the best review I could have written, but here goes. It recounts the story of the infamous Donner party, a group of pioneers who caught the excitement of the call westward with disastrous results, and is in the form of a diary kept by Tamsen Donner, one of the leaders of the group. Obviously, this is one downer of a book. I was really confused at the beginning and remained that way throughout because there are so many characters and I simply couldn't keep up with them all. Thus when we start out, references are made that become clearer, but initially I was completely lost. Overall the book is well written, but unless you are interested in the subject matter, I'd stay away....more