This fluctuated between 2 and 3 stars for me. There was still a solid story and the characters were still interesting, but I felt like there wasn't asThis fluctuated between 2 and 3 stars for me. There was still a solid story and the characters were still interesting, but I felt like there wasn't as much character growth in this book compared to JPHEC. The characters (James, Albus, Merlin) annoyed me a bit at times and made the plot feel a bit... iffy... sometimes. It was also personal preference in some parts -the Founders' story and a totally-evil!Slytherin wasn't my own preference. Which was probably why the story did pick up for me in the last 200 pgs when Scorpius became more involved in the story. Definitely my favourite character in this book (and wish we saw him more)....more
MY FAVOURITE NEXTGEN! BY FAR. It's not the most amazing work of fanfiction in general I've ever read (mainly because there really IS good stuff out thMY FAVOURITE NEXTGEN! BY FAR. It's not the most amazing work of fanfiction in general I've ever read (mainly because there really IS good stuff out there) but I think this book's greatest strengh is that is probably enjoyable for anyone, not just regular ff readers like me. It's well-written, targets the same age group and most importantly I believe it captures the imagination and spirit of JK Rowling's series. And it fits so well with the books that it really could be canon, maybe like how some book series/universes are collectively written by different authors....more
AMENDED rating: 3.5 stars (I've lowered the rating slightly to more accurately reflect the problem with the way this book is written - I did in fact rAMENDED rating: 3.5 stars (I've lowered the rating slightly to more accurately reflect the problem with the way this book is written - I did in fact remember thinking the way the claims were written seemed too good to be true back in 2012 when I read it. It's still a great book, just be wary that it's theory, and the evidence does not presently support all the claims being made!)
ORIGINAL REVIEW: Great read - this book was well-written with a great balance between anecdotes from inspiring people, case studies of different types of self-discipline programs (e.g. AA) and laboratory research, bringing together a range of really useful and practical tips on managing your willpower. Definitely worth the read.
Couldn't put this book down for the simple fact that I wanted to know what the author chose for the ending- and to be honest, the ending disappointedCouldn't put this book down for the simple fact that I wanted to know what the author chose for the ending- and to be honest, the ending disappointed a little. But it really was a great read apart from that, and it did lean definitely more to five stars more than four stars enough so I let it have the five.
The ideas in this book are not new, and it is similar to other dystopian books like 'We' by Yevgeny Zamyatin, which I'd read a few years before this. So it wasn't earth shattering for me, though it may have been for me and will probably be for someone else who hasn't read a book like it. What is great about this book is how accessible it is for young readers as well, a feat that not many classics can pull off. It communicates its message while remaining interesting, relevant and gripping for any average reader. It takes a concept (exploring the importance of memory to humans/societies) and develops it in an easily digestible and thought provoking way.
Wow. A very complex work. I'd say more, but I don't think I can say any more than what has already been said about this work (especially check out theWow. A very complex work. I'd say more, but I don't think I can say any more than what has already been said about this work (especially check out the GR review by 'Keely' which I liked, which pretty much helped me understand this book and explains everything I liked about it) -PLUS there is just so MUCH detail and extras I skimmed that I'm fairly certain I still haven't picked up most of it.
I guess the only thing I want to add is a warning: some parts of this book was really painful to read, at least for me- the cruelty, psychopathy, abuse, so on. Part of it (I think) is personal: I've been spent some of this year studying forensic psychology and group discrimination/relations, and some things that happens in this book is just so real right now and really hammered at my coping mechanisms for these topics. The other part of the reason depends on perspective: yes, it's a very powerful book tackling very complex themes and hard topics -and I really do believe in freedom of speech and THOUGHT and all that... but there were also parts of this book where I felt it was only awful and dysfunctional, in a only-developmentally-secure-people-should-be-reading-this-warped-hell-way....more
As soon as I started reading I felt that something wasn't right. I felt uncomfortable by Bryson's apprDidn't read past chapters 1-2 and don't plan to.
As soon as I started reading I felt that something wasn't right. I felt uncomfortable by Bryson's approach, which seemed... ethnocentric? But that can't be right, not from a big name author like Bill Bryson. So I logged onto Goodreads and found all the reviews from bilingual speakers or even people who were learners and had just done one or two semesters on another language- who had problems with this book. I did this after reading 19 pages. After that, I felt even worse about the book and in the end just couldn't finish it.
What scares me are the people who read this book and rated it highly. These people might all be Anglo, monolingual speakers or they are bilinguals who somehow really believe in Bryson's approach in this book. One reviewer here had it right, this book is not only not good, it might even cause harm.
It only has 2 stars instead of 1 because I didn't read the rest of the book and am giving it the benefit of the doubt that it might be an informative book on the ENGLISH language overall, even if it was most definitely not on all the other languages. I don't know, I couldn't finish it.
Not worth reading, not when there are actual books or textbooks out there that can explain the development of English and not at the expense of other cultures....more
Very cool read! Not your normal murder story... The Name of the Star brings the story of Jack The Ripper into modern London, with supernatural elementVery cool read! Not your normal murder story... The Name of the Star brings the story of Jack The Ripper into modern London, with supernatural elements. Even though it dealt with a serious/dark story of the Jack The Ripper murders and history, I quite enjoyed the teenage/YA voice which sometimes made me laugh quite a lot.
I'll say one downside that made me knock it down a star was that I felt the characters could have been developed a bit more, or maybe there was too many of them. As the plot developed it sometimes felt like Jazza and Jerome sort of got pushed aside (by Rory, which was reflected in the writing). Likewise Boo's gang sort of jumped into the story but fron Rory's (limited but entertaining) POV we don't get to see how they (and Jo, Alistair) have developed or changed. That said, it was quite minor overall, and plot and story really more than made up for it so overall, a great read!...more
Loved this book. is the first book I started highlighting on my Kindle because there are so many good quotes, making so many parallels. Who is the monLoved this book. is the first book I started highlighting on my Kindle because there are so many good quotes, making so many parallels. Who is the monster? The novel's title sums it up: it is people, specifically our capacity to do and to nurture evil. And just as Frankenstein's creature, who is made from humans, has the potential for good, he also does not escape from their flaws and capacity for evil.
It took me ages to get through at times because of the older writing style but it is worth it. I can't think of a contemporary story quite like this one either, although I would LOVE to- a gap in the market?...more
I expected to like this book as I've been recced and have seen this series mentioned often, but I didn't expect to like it quite SO much! Cassandra ClI expected to like this book as I've been recced and have seen this series mentioned often, but I didn't expect to like it quite SO much! Cassandra Clare's writing is fluid, vivid; the settings, characters and fantasy elements are introduced so naturally that it was easy to assume these fantasy creatures and places really existed alongside ordinary New York and to follow along as Clary begins to see and learn about how this world works. I did guess the twist fairly easily -there weren't any big surprises- but it didn't detract from just a plain good story. (And I just can't stop drooling over the way she writes the settings and fantasy elements... I mentioned that already, didn't I?)
Definitely a good read, and can't wait to pick up the rest of this series....more
This collection of short stories explore the presence of Maori mythology- and Maori mythological characters- in more real, everyday New ZealaLoved it.
This collection of short stories explore the presence of Maori mythology- and Maori mythological characters- in more real, everyday New Zealand life. It was very nicely put together overall, beginning with 'skin and bones' and ending with 'in the end.' I enjoyed each of the individual stories and thought the writer balanced the everyday with the mythical fairly well. It was written in a very personal, down-to-earth way.
It was hard to pick my favourite stories from the collection - I particularly liked 'kaitaki,' 'blink,' 'off-beat,' 'ahi' and 'the order of things.' (By the way, these story titles are deliberately not capitalized in order to match the way they are set out in the book.)
My only wish is that they included the meanings of some of the Maori words for a more English-focused reader like me, or perhaps some note on the further reading for the Maori myths the stories referred to so I could better appreciate what were the 'passed-down stories/legends' and what were the writer's own reimaginings into our reality. But that's not a criticism, only wistfulness of my own lack of knowledge. I think people who are very familiar with the Maori myths would be able to pick up even more of the subtle references and appreciate this collection more.
Loved it, and enjoyed based on what I DID understand/relate to :)...more
Loved the way the many elements of this book (fairy tale, real life, supernatural, mythical, historical..) slowly came together with a very delicate sLoved the way the many elements of this book (fairy tale, real life, supernatural, mythical, historical..) slowly came together with a very delicate structure that somehow managed to hold. This story touched on that balance between fairy-tale and real-life romance, which in my opinion is my favourite part about this story.
There were many moments throughout this book where I was totally creeped out by what was happening (cue horror movie flashbacks... remember the photos scene?) -I probably should not have started this book around 9pm (and finished just before 3am).
It's rare to fall in love with a couple when how they met and fall in love are told in retrospect, yet slowly but surely I fell in love with the heartbreaking romance in this story.
The story is told from the POV of the protagonist so the reader has to work out the story just as much as the protagonist does, and oh boy, by the end you will go back and see everything that happened before in a different light....more
One moment while I try to gather myself and all the melted pieces of my soul so I can (try) give Marillier's wrEdited to specify rating: 4.5 ish stars
One moment while I try to gather myself and all the melted pieces of my soul so I can (try) give Marillier's writing justice....
Because when it comes down to it, Marillier is the kind of storyteller you want to sit around a camp fire and listen to for what feels like forever. The stories she spins are complex yet dramatic and completely romantic; she writes about courageous women/individuals who has to overcome immense personal and external struggles; she creates a world where faeries and magic are natural as breathing.
All of this was moreso the case for Daughter of the Forest as the first book of a series. At first, when I realized this was retelling of the six swans, I wondered how the author would continue with a series - would she drag on the original tale? I really needn't have worried. Daughter of the Forest is not one story but composed of many, many threads or narratives: other characters' (implied or untold) stories and journeys; myths; fantasies; histories - these threads/narratives are not neatly placed in the background or foreground but interwoven in and out as part of the fabric of the story. Sorcha's was only one part of the tale (or one part of the bigger "pattern" as the book describes it), and her story was one that by the end of the book I was utterly satisfied with being finished. But Marillier had so many threads, loose ends, and implied or hinted further tales; there were still so many characters whose stories I wanted to know about, journeys I want to track, that I now only wish Marillier would write the stories of all these other characters as well.
Before reading this book, I had read Wildwood Dancing (Twelve Dancing Princesses) and Heart's Blood (Beauty and the Beast) by the same author. Although this doesn't quite beat my TOTAL LOVE AND ADORATION that was Heart's Blood, it is pretty close as the romance was near just as wonderfully written AND Sorcha is really such a strong character to have done and survived all she has. Pretty sure I don't need to go on about how Marillier is the master of creating incredible protagonists and love interests, and the romance between them. JRAS.*
I think one main thing that made me give it four stars was that it stuck entirely to the original fairy tale - I would have liked to have seen more than just a (very skilful and beautiful and romantic) retelling of the tale. It meant I knew exactly what happens and how. I did like the Irish/Briton histories added to the tale, but to me it only half made it to the central aspect of the tale (more central were the internal power struggles, in my opinion). But it could be that I didn't pick this up as well and may need to reread more carefully. But this is such a minor issue that I'm tempted to give this the five stars (may readjust later).
I don't know much about Irish literature and culture, but I daresay those who do would (luckily!) have that extra dimension to enjoy as well.