The Good Sister is a poignant story about three teenagers so different from each other you wouldn’t believe they were even related, let alone sisters.The Good Sister is a poignant story about three teenagers so different from each other you wouldn’t believe they were even related, let alone sisters. The novel begins with the aftermath of Sarah’s death. It carries us through her transition to the afterlife and the impact her death has on her two younger sisters. It may sound a little hokey but it is far from it.
Asha’s struggle with Sarah’s death is heartbreaking to read. Sarah was her idol, her confidant, her friend. The void she feels is overwhelming and with no one to turn to, you can imagine how desolate her life is.
I just loved Rachel. I am so drawn to a character that is completely flawed almost to the point of no redemption. Rachel is that character. I loved that she was all kinds of broken and imperfect and evil and wrong. She was so incredibly ugly and cringeworthy, yet she was the one character I wanted to know more. I find characters like her a classic example of the Shrek Onion philosophy...ogre’s have many layers and so does Rachel.
As I got to know Sarah, I questioned whether or not she really was the good sister. She wasn’s perfect, no one is.
There is a lot to take from this novel, the most important being jealousy is an loathsome thing. There are also many questions you will ask yourself as you read it. Can there be redemption to selfish acts? Who do you turn to when you have no one?
I know this novel is for young adults, but it reads far more mature than the genre suggests. It's worth buying, it's worth reading. The Good Sister is tragic, yet tragedy carries a certain beauty. It’s the kind of beauty you can’t find in happy endings. The Good Sister is beautiful. ...more
Alice Hoffman...I don’t even know where to begin. She is one of my favorite authors ever. She can write about nearly any subject with authority and heAlice Hoffman...I don’t even know where to begin. She is one of my favorite authors ever. She can write about nearly any subject with authority and heart. I love her books. Love them. This one is no different. I love that it’s set in New York City. I just adore when a city is a character in a novel. Make is New York City in 1911 and it’s even better. I love that she ventures into Brooklyn and writes about the freak shows and oddities on Coney Island. It was such a marvelous, fascinating time in history.
Like most others, I am drawn to a novel that is close to home. I work a few blocks from Eddie’s apartment in the novel. I love knowing we walked down the same streets in much different times. I really appreciated that she encompassed real events into her storytelling. I first learned about the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire on a ghost walk tour last year. My interest in The Museum of Extraordinary things was immediately piqued when I learned the novel began with that catastrophe. I love that she writes in a way that makes me feel as if I am there, standing on the sidewalk next to Eddie in horror at the burning building in front of me. Or that it is me, and not Coralie who is swimming in the frigid Hudson. She has the ability to transport her readers to a different place and time. See, that’s the thing about Alice Hoffman. She writes in a way that Eddie and Coralie are not characters in a novel. They are people who lived a long time ago, as human as I am.
Eddie was such a great character. With everything he faced, he grew up a lot faster than he should have. There was no boyhood innocence to draw from. He lost is even before he stepped into his life in Manhattan. And Coralie, the opposite of him, sheltered and protected to a fault. First she forced to act like a child when she craved the things of a woman, and then forced into wanton behavior by someone who should have protected her. I enjoyed their love story. I especially enjoyed that their love story wasn’t the focus of the novel. This novel was much more than two people coming together.
There were a few other characters that I enjoyed, especially Maureen. As Coralie’s companion and Dr. Sardie’s housemaid, she had a small but significant role. I loved that she was scarred yet had wisdom and desires. She had a way of centering Coralie and the novel. It was her happy ending I hoped for the most.
Ms. Hoffman is still very much on her game, but there was something nagging me while reading this. Something was missing. I can’t quite explain what it is but I can tell you that it simply wasn’t there. The more that I think about it, I realize the novel lacked the usual magic she folds into her stories. It’s that little thing that makes her novels different. Even with that lack of magic, this was quite a tale....more
Julie Garwood is back with another visit to my favorite Buchanan clan with Fast Track. This time she’s giving Cordie and Aiden their long awaited go aJulie Garwood is back with another visit to my favorite Buchanan clan with Fast Track. This time she’s giving Cordie and Aiden their long awaited go at romance. First of all, the beginning of this novel drove me mad crazy. As a reader and (almost stalker like) follower of the Buchanan series, I knew that eventually Cordie and Aiden were going to get together. This does not need a spoiler alert. What I disliked so profusely is how utterly forced their initial joining was. It didn’t make sense to me at all. There was nothing organic about it. I really hate that. Love should be what the characters want, not what the author forces them to have. My other complaint is the name of this novel. It makes no sense. There wasn’t anything particularly fast about how it happened. Fast Track would be a title better suited for the Aiden’s youngest brother Walker, who is a race car driver.
Besides those two fails, I enjoyed the novel. One of the things I truly relish about Julie Garwood is she gives us Knights in Shining Armor and Damsels in Distress. Although let’s be honest, these women really don’t need help anyway. She shows how the rich and elite live and how it’s perfectly reasonable for a women to fall in love with the man who rescues her even if they have nothing in common but the horizontal tango. She provides her readers with a means to escape the boringness of life. This novel is no different.
As you all know, one of my biggest gripes with Ms. Garwood’s female characters is how annoyingly perfect they are. I appreciated that Cordie wasn’t as perfect as the women before her. She was unorganized, yet brilliant. Qualities that were actually charming and endearing. While I liked Crodie, I didn’t feel the same way about Aiden. He was mostly a macho jerk. Of all of Ms. Garwood’s heros, he was my least favorite. I was about a third of the way through Fast Track before Aiden even acknowledged Cordie in a manner that was not of the “my little sister’s best friend” way. That’s a long while in romance novel time. On a positive note, we got a good dose of Alec Buchanan from Murder List and Jack MacAlister from Fire and Ice in Fast Track. These two strong male characters more than made up for Aiden. I enjoyed the novel, but I can’t shake the feeling that Cordie would have been just fine without Aiden. It’s a good thing she had that crush on him since she was five because I can’t imagine any other women putting up with his pigheadedness ways. Okay, I’ll lay off Aiden already.
All in all, I liked this one. It’s well written, a lot steamier than I expected, and a quick and fun summer read. It started off a bit rough for me but gained momentum towards the end. I think the Julie Garwood diehards out there will really enjoy this one. As for the rest of you, well, you might want to skip it altogether. ...more
Butternut Summer is the much awaited second installment of Mary McNear’s Butternut Series. I am so glad it is finally here because I really enjoyed UpButternut Summer is the much awaited second installment of Mary McNear’s Butternut Series. I am so glad it is finally here because I really enjoyed Up At Butternut Lake. Truth be told, Butternut Summer had some pretty big shoes to fill and although I didn’t think it was possible for the series to get better, Ms. McNear definitely delivers. Thankfully, there was no sophomore slump here.
Butternut Summer delivers two tremendous stories. We were introduced to Caroline in the first novel. As the owner of Pearl’s, the best diner in town, Caroline is the mother hen of Butternut Lake. She’s the one you can always rely on and everyone’s confidant. I’m so happy Ms. McNear gave Caroline another chance at love and romance in this novel. Daisy, Caroline’s daughter, is home from college for the summer and she is ready for some adventures of her own.
Both Daisy’s and Caroline’s arcs were engaging. I was wonderful reading about a 21 year old’s first go at love. I loved that Daisy has her mother’s moxie. She’s level headed and wise. She trusts her judgement and understands exactly who she is. She’s not afraid to take chances. There is so much possibility for Daisy in the future. Caroline’s story was an amazing read as well. She was one of my favorite character’s in Up at Butternut Lake. I’m so glad she gets her own novel where I can watch her be the star of her life, instead of a supporting role in everyone else’s.
This time Ms. McNear handled the issue of alcohol and gambling addiction with such grace. Jack was a wonderful character, a man with too many flaws to count. The best part about him was he knows he’s flawed and that knowledge makes him so tangible and human. There’s just something about a man named Jack and this one was no exception. As the woman Jack betrayed all those years ago, Caroline is hesitant to trust and forgive him. She stayed true to her character. It was incredible to read.
Mary McNear is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. In the first two novels in this series, she took real life situations and incorporated them in such ways that the characters who faced them handled them in realistic ways. It was authentic and it makes reading her novels a true joy.
I was expecting Allie and Jax to have much bigger supporting roles in this novel, but Ms. McNear kept their involvement at a minimum. Nearly every page was focused on Daisy and Caroline. It was a great idea to do that. I can’t wait for the final installment in this series. I can’t imagine it getting any better than this....more
A bit of time has passed since I finished this novel and started the review. I’ll start off by saying I think this novel is flawed however, I really eA bit of time has passed since I finished this novel and started the review. I’ll start off by saying I think this novel is flawed however, I really enjoyed it. I liked Prenna, our main character. I like the time travel storyline. I liked that it was set in New York. I liked that the time travelers are woven among us, living secretly out in the open. That is the good.
And now for the bad. I thought the timeline of the novel was a little wonky. In one scene they have two days to save the world, in another they had enough time to go to Jones Beach one day and the Jersey Shore the next. Then after the Jersey Shore adventure, they are rushing back to North Jersey to accomplish their mission. It didn’t make sense. I hate when things don’t make sense. And a mosquito-borne illness? Seriously? I have a hard time believing there aren’t any vaccinations against this disease or ways to terminate mosquitoes in general. This future truly sucks. I won’t even get into how far-fetched the story line is or how anti hero Prenna is. It’s amazing she’s lived as long as she did, let alone long enough to impact the world.
Even with all this, here I am telling you how much I enjoyed it and I really did. It was interesting, a page turner, and unexpected. I believe in the concept of the novel, however I hope Ms. Brashares takes more time with the next one to smooth out some of the rougher edges. The more I think about this novel, the more I’m questioning my own judgement on giving it such a high marking. The truth is I enjoyed it, even with all the plot holes and inconsistencies. I’m looking forward to the next one in this series....more
I didn't know anything about Marian Keegan before I began reading this collection. I chose it simply because I am a lover of short stories. Upon beginI didn't know anything about Marian Keegan before I began reading this collection. I chose it simply because I am a lover of short stories. Upon beginning, I was shocked to learn of Ms. Keegan’s premature death at the age of 22 from a car accident.
I just loved The Opposite of Loneliness, the essay this collection was named after. It did something to me when I read it, like goose bumps/twisted insides kind of something. It was so good, so wonderful and so sad knowing the outcome of Ms. Keegan’s life. Having an author explain what she wants from life, knowing that her own was cut so short is heartbreaking.
I enjoyed the fiction stories more than the non-fiction essays. Each of the fiction stories was better than the last. My favorites were Baggage Claim, Sclerotherapy, and the eerie Challenger Deep. I loved, loved, loved Challenger Deep and read it 3 times before moving onto the next story.
Of the non-fiction collection, I just loved “I Kill for Money.” There was only one essay I didn’t enjoy at all called Even Artichokes Have Doubts. It was too scientific and read more like a school paper than anything else. It lacked the soul the others possessed. I will admit my eyes glazed over after a couple of pages and I skipped the rest of it altogether.
I believe anyone who enjoys short stories and observations will benefit from this collection. It is beautifully written and full of soul. It is a shame Marina Keegan was taken so soon. I can only imagine what other greatness would have come from her because The Opposite of Loneliness is just about perfect. ...more