K.L. Going is an immensely talented writer. She creates visual imagery that is stunning. Every word in this book seems carefully picked out to convey...moreK.L. Going is an immensely talented writer. She creates visual imagery that is stunning. Every word in this book seems carefully picked out to convey a thought or an emotion; there is no filler where the writing itself is concerned. But at the same time, not much HAPPENS in the book, and everything that does is incredibly depressing. The ending is so miserably sad that the book left me with an empty feeling. It's been over a year since I've read it, but I still remember that feeling.
This is also a book where I wanted to shake sense into (and/or) slap most of the supporting characters. Iggy himself is very likable, despite his "saint-like" part in the book. But again, it's much the feeling I got when I read She Comes Undone, where the main character is constantly dumped upon by nearly everyone and it's just too unfair. (less)
I read this not too long ago on my Kindle reader because I found it for so cheap and I loves me some Stephen King books like nothing else. I had seen...moreI read this not too long ago on my Kindle reader because I found it for so cheap and I loves me some Stephen King books like nothing else. I had seen the movie with Jack Nicholson before but never actually read the book. I thought it was really fantastic, the subtle shift in the main character's mind as he's being taken over by the Overlook Hotel is done really well and the whole thing is incredibly creepy. I read it basically all night for two days because I couldn't stop. So very highly recommended and it's obvious why it's such a classic.
Also, I love the fact that Jack, the main character, chews Excedrin because that's how I take it. Random fact. (less)
Beneath the Slashings is the third and final installment in the Divided Decade Trilogy, which shows the American Civil War from three different angles...moreBeneath the Slashings is the third and final installment in the Divided Decade Trilogy, which shows the American Civil War from three different angles. They all feature different characters and plots, united by the Civil War as a backdrop, so each can be read as a stand alone.
First off (even though it's probably quite cheesy), I'm from Michigan, and I myself write books in Michigan. This story is set in Michigan as well, so I enjoyed that. While I've never been particularly interested in the Civil War, this story really brought the time period alive. Ms. Isenhoff has become one of my favorite indie writers for her well-paced plots and vivid, descriptive prose. The latter is what strikes me most about her books--you can practically see the ramshackle camp, smell the forest and taste the food that is prepared in the kitchen.
Beneath the Slashings is not just historical fiction, it also contains a compelling mystery and themes of loss, friendship and change. They are all woven together flawlessly to create a fast-paced, action filled story that never disappoints. Even though the book takes place pretty much exclusively in the logging camp, it is so three-dimensional that it never gets boring. There are also themes of young romance and coming of age, which is especially hard for a girl with no other women around for companionship.
Grace was a great lead character, she is at the age where she doesn't really understand her father's decisions from all angles. Fear has taken over her life, as she's lost friends and family to the Civil War both by death and people being divided and moving away. When she first arrives at the camp, she sequesters hersef in the kitchen, and even her patient twin brother Sam can't get her out of her shell. Yet as time passes and she interacts with the lumberjacks she begins to warm up.
All of the characters are well-fleshed out, and I especially enjoyed the Russian cook Ivan and the teller of tall tales, Fiddlesticks (given that nickname for his talent with a fiddle). Each had their own unique personalities and felt real. I like how their reactions to the end of the war weren't so cut and dried; there were conflicting feelings and opinions, which felt more authentic.
I would definitely recommend this book to readers from fourth grade and up, and any adult who enjoys a solid, entertaining read. I look forward to more books by Ms. Isenhoff in the future.
(Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)(less)
For some reason I read a lot of Mary Higgins Clark and the like when the weather gets nice, I think because they're easily digestible and you can put...moreFor some reason I read a lot of Mary Higgins Clark and the like when the weather gets nice, I think because they're easily digestible and you can put them down and pick them back up again. Update once I actually get through it...(less)
Mike Noonan is a novelist who is in the prime of his writing career. One day, his wife Johanna drops dead from an aneurysm, and he realizes that she h...moreMike Noonan is a novelist who is in the prime of his writing career. One day, his wife Johanna drops dead from an aneurysm, and he realizes that she had been keeping a lot of secrets from him. He loses the ability to write, until he is called back to their lake house, Sarah Laughs, in vivid nightmares. While driving down the road into town, he pulls a little girl out of the way of traffic. That one little act draws him into the dramatic secret the town has been hiding.
I'm a huge fan of Stephen King, he's one of my all time favorites. But I just didn't connect to this book very well, at least not until the halfway point. Normally with his books, I can't put them down, but this one I kept shelving and having to push myself to read.
Something about the writing style seemed unfinished. It just didn't seem like his regular voice. And I didn't connect with the characters the way I normally do; I found myself rolling my eyes more than once at different conversations and exchanges. I think the villains were all well drawn, however--complex, believably motivated, and utterly creepy as hell.
From about the halfway point on, as I said, I got into it and finished Bag of Bones in less than six hours. One major thing I love about his books is his ability to tie the little details together to make a big picture, and that was very evident here. The plot was solid enough, and the ending was satisfying and not too weird, despite the ghosts.
***** SPOILERS BELOW *****
Part of the problem for me was the main character, Mike--who is about 40 and somehow *seems* older than that--falls for the young girl whose daughter he saves, Mattie Devore. There was just something really creepy to me about the entire obsession he had with Mattie. Maybe it's my own personal bias, having dealt with way older dudes hitting on me, so my brain went there...but it was spooky, between the vivid fantasies and the way he wanted to be her sugar daddy. When she reciprocated, it just didn't seem realistic. They didn't have any chemistry, in my opinion, and while I can completely understand why he was attracted to her, their dynamic seemed much more father-daughter than lovers.
Mattie herself struck me as nothing more than a shell. I couldn't emotionally connect with her death, which would have normally been a very moving, sad scene. Every word out of her mouth rang false, and I kept expecting her to be a turncoat or not be as innocent as she appeared.
One note I wanted to say is that I LOVED the fact that the title became literal in the end. I just thought that was a harrowing detail.
***** END SPOILERS *****
All in all, not one I would read again, although it redeemed itself in the end. I'm just sorry I didn't like it more, because I really wanted to get into the story.(less)
6/13 - I'm changing my initial rating of 4 stars to 5, considering how much this book has stuck with me since I read it. I REALLY got invested in the...more6/13 - I'm changing my initial rating of 4 stars to 5, considering how much this book has stuck with me since I read it. I REALLY got invested in the characters, and Booya Moon and the spooky stuff had me totally freaked out. (less)