The movie trailer for Labor Day led me to want to read the book. The teen voice was unflinchingly honest and authentic though limited in it's viewpoinThe movie trailer for Labor Day led me to want to read the book. The teen voice was unflinchingly honest and authentic though limited in it's viewpoint. As a result the book is not as romantic as one might presume from the movie trailer. Still it was an interesting story with compelling characters and a surprising amount of suspense. I enjoyed the read for the most part.
"This was one thing the two of them could agree on - my mother and Frank: that it was hard going out into the world" (p. 21).
"I am your prisoner, Adele, was what he said to her" (p. 93).
"Even a dog would know - maybe a dog, most of all - that Eleanor wasn't the type of person you'd want to hang around more than absolutely necessary" (p. 228)....more
If you like quirky characters, this may be the book for you. The main character, Bartholomew, writes to Richard Gere. Another character fears alien abIf you like quirky characters, this may be the book for you. The main character, Bartholomew, writes to Richard Gere. Another character fears alien abduction and attends grief counseling because his cat died. There's also a bi-polar priest. Though the characters are flawed, or maybe because they are, they have fascinating insights on the world. They are carefully drawn, sympathetic and sometimes amusing. The story is hopeful and the narrator, Bartholomew, is a sheltered character who knows little of how to navigate in the world. However, Bartholomew, never stops trying. His growth and his willingness to "pretend" to be stronger than he is make him and his friends characters worth rooting for. This book isn't for everyone as one of the characters has a bad habit of cursing incessantly. However, I highly recommend this book for people who like character-driven novels.
"I feel as though I am a fist opening, a flower blooming, a match ignited, a beautiful mane of hair loosened from a bun-that so many things previously impossible are now possible."
"Her voice was...reluctant and damaged and beautiful and maybe like a bird with a broken wing singing unfettered all alone in the wilderness when she thinks no one is listening, if that makes any sense, which it probably doesn't." ...more
A well-researched and fascinating story that is philosophical and courageous. The people are ingenious and audacious to the degree that the reader cheA well-researched and fascinating story that is philosophical and courageous. The people are ingenious and audacious to the degree that the reader cheers for them. The animals provide comic relief and a sense of comfort during a very frightening and disturbing time. The story is heroic and heartbreaking, but ultimately inspiring. Highly recommended for fans of historical non-fiction. ...more
Not necessarily an easy read, but it's definitely deserving of its classic status. One of those books that should be read if ever you get the opportunNot necessarily an easy read, but it's definitely deserving of its classic status. One of those books that should be read if ever you get the opportunity. Dense but lyrical, sometimes disturbing, beautiful and tragic, occasionally even funny. It would be helpful to read literary discussions and criticisms because the density of the book requires more digging than just one read through. ...more
Although I enjoyed the scenery and the wine-tastings, I didn't care for the self-absorbed Miles and the amoral Jack. There was too much foul languageAlthough I enjoyed the scenery and the wine-tastings, I didn't care for the self-absorbed Miles and the amoral Jack. There was too much foul language and too many rampant sexcapades for my taste. If you like buddy movies with a lot of drinking and debauchery, you may enjoy this book. I grudgingly gave it three stars because some of the stupidity that happened was laugh-out-loud funny. Overall though, there really isn't much to recommend this book. No one in our book club particularly liked it. I think it was chosen primarily as an excuse to go on a wine-tasting adventure.
"I was entering a new pastoral realm of wine and tranquility, where insomnia and Xanax were a thing of the past" (p. 51).
"There's something about a beautiful woman holding up a bottle of wine that damages my soul" (p. 102).
"I couldn't decide if we'd just been drinking too much and had momentarily lost our grip on reality, or if there actually was a justifiable foundation to his madness" (p. 261)....more
An interesting premise with authentic teen voices, but ultimately, try as I might, I just couldn't buy Elizabeth as a spellseeker. It was too convenieAn interesting premise with authentic teen voices, but ultimately, try as I might, I just couldn't buy Elizabeth as a spellseeker. It was too convenient and just didn't feel right. Also, the romantic relationship between Elizabeth and Stephen felt contrived. Nevertheless, the story flew at a quick pace, and the action became intense at the end. I won't be reading the sequel, but I was entertained overall.
In accordance with FTC guidelines, please note that I received an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review....more
An atmospheric novel with vivid descriptions that treat all of the senses and bring the settings and time alive to the reader. Enchanting, mysteriousAn atmospheric novel with vivid descriptions that treat all of the senses and bring the settings and time alive to the reader. Enchanting, mysterious characters with mystical tales and visions. This book brings to life a history and a culture that the reader would not otherwise experience. Although deeply immersive, very little action takes place until the end. For some readers this slower pace may not be appealing, but the reader definitely leaves the book having experienced Burma in 1887. The novel reminded me of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness as well as the movie Apocalypse Now with Martin Sheen. I recommend this read for fans of historical fiction who don't mind a slower pace as long as there is plenty of atmospheric suspense. The reviews in my book club were decidedly mixed. Some loved it; some hated it; some just didn't get it, and others, like me, enjoyed it enough for what it was...a story where the setting, Burma, is the main character and anti-imperialism seems to be the presiding theme.
"Discarded keys lined the shelves like rows of dentures" (p. 30).
"...Burma appeared as if from behind a curtain lifted from a stage" (p. 84).
"So much of what I have done is tied to what I will do that at times the truth I have already experienced threatens to vanish with that which I have yet to see" (p. 146).
"I think of the language we use to describe music, and how we are unequipped for the infinity of tones" (p. 251).
"Don't you know, he asked, that in every piano there lies a song, hidden?" (p. 284).
Fangirl is a quirky story about a freshman college student who enjoys writing fanfiction. She’s snarky and nerdy and shy. The story contained storiesFangirl is a quirky story about a freshman college student who enjoys writing fanfiction. She’s snarky and nerdy and shy. The story contained stories within it written by a fictional author as well as by the main character herself. This format made the read quite fascinating. The teen voice was authentic, and the dialogue was humorous as well as realistic. The conflict between Levi and Cath that erupted at one point felt forced and never fully explained, and the relationship was a little disconcerting since she became best friends with his ex. Overall, however, I enjoyed the story and the characters. I recommend this book for more mature teens as it deals quite frankly with college life and contains foul language. Fans of John Green will enjoy Rainbow Rowell....more
A vivid nightmare. The imagery in Rebecca instantly envelops the reader in a shroud of apprehension. Even the author’s descriptions of the trees and sA vivid nightmare. The imagery in Rebecca instantly envelops the reader in a shroud of apprehension. Even the author’s descriptions of the trees and shrubs speak of fear and treachery. She builds the tension so effectively that “when the telephone rang,” I jumped along with the second Mrs. de Winter. Rebecca is haunting, lyrical, sinister and beautifully written with each word chosen for maximum effect. Hitchcock made this book into a film, and it’s easy to see why. It lends itself to Hitchcock quite well. I highly recommend this book for fans of romantic suspense and mysteries. This book also won the Anthony Award for best novel of the century.
“We were amongst the rhododendrons…They startled me with their crimson faces, massed one upon the other in incredible profusion, showing no leaf, no twig, nothing but the slaughterous red, luscious and fantastic…” (p. 66).
“For them it was just after lunch, quarter-past-three on a haphazard afternoon, like any hour, like any day. They did not want to hold it close, imprisoned and secure, as I did. They were not afraid” (p. 104).
“No one would ever hurt Manderley. It would lie always in its hollow like an enchanted thing, guarded by the woods, safe, secure, while the sea broke and ran and came again in the little shingle bays below” (p. 363)....more
Tense, foreboding, dark, suspenseful and filled with intrigue. Lady Sybella is a strong, brave, character who has survived much trauma and has an airTense, foreboding, dark, suspenseful and filled with intrigue. Lady Sybella is a strong, brave, character who has survived much trauma and has an air of desperation about her. With the backdrop of the 15th century and actual historical events, this story is gripping. The descriptions of Brittany are vivid with a feel of authenticity that reflects much research by the author. The romance is both sweet, humorous and dynamic. The battle scenes are action-packed, and much of the book is intense. Due to mature themes and graphic violence, this book is for more mature teens. I highly recommend this book series for fans of historical fantasy/romance.
“I have begun to wonder if being the daughter of Death is any different than being the daughter of a cruel, sadistic murderer. There is little enough difference that I can see, so better to make my own choice in this, the one I think will do the most good” (p. 81).
“…his face…is as cheerfully ugly as any I have ever seen” (p. 115).
“I am beautiful and educated and have all manner of useful-and deadly-skills, but all of that together is worth less than a bucket of slops” (p. 200).
“Hate cannot be fought with hate. Evil cannot be conquered by darkness. Only love has the power to conquer them both” (p. 344)....more