This was a pretty solid book. It was a fast read, kept me pulled in. The first chapter was pretty awful, I thought I was really going to dislike the bThis was a pretty solid book. It was a fast read, kept me pulled in. The first chapter was pretty awful, I thought I was really going to dislike the book based on that alone. Thankfully, it improved quickly... so if you start reading and hate the first chapter, keep going! In the end, though, nothing really pushed me into loving the book. I didn't mark a single passage as I went along. I ended up liking the characters, but none of them was really anything special... just ... the kind of people I wouldn't mind being friends with.
One thing that bothered me is the sense of time in this book is all screwed up. The author often makes it seem like many years have gone by, but it turns out to be maybe a few days or weeks. At the beginning of the book, she keeps saying things "always" happen, and it turns out that means "twice". Similarly regarding the number of postcards delivered. And at the end of the book it feels like many more years have gone by than really have. Shelby also changes too quickly for my suspension of disbelief to work properly.
(view spoiler)[ I do love Shelby's relationship with Ben. And also how she interacts with Damien, or whatever that one kid's name is. And how she steals the animals. I only wish we could have learned more about the homeless people. (hide spoiler)]...more
1/17/17 - Giving this another try on the kindle edition.
1/29/17 - Well, the Kindle edition allowed me to finish this book. I was afraid that the audio1/17/17 - Giving this another try on the kindle edition.
1/29/17 - Well, the Kindle edition allowed me to finish this book. I was afraid that the audio narration was so bad that it would have ruined it for me, that I'd hear the narration as I was reading. But thankfully that wasn't the case.
This book wasn't amazing, but it wasn't awful either. A solid 3 stars, I guess. I enjoyed the first half of the book a lot more than the second half, although throughout the book there is a lot of interesting historical perspectives. It really made me realize how lucky I am to have been born with all of these modern conveniences! Giving birth in your home, doctor may take hours (or days!) to get to you if needed, and even they are not all educated about things like scarlet fever... raising children with a woodstove and rattlesnakes and people trying to shoot you... wow.
(view spoiler)[The beginning of the book, so many tragedies one on top of the other on top of the other. She loses her father, brother, friends and traveling companions... watches her friend get raped, kills a man... all within the first 10% of the book. What a life! And we're all rooting for her to get with Captain Elliot, and know that it will happen eventually, just not how. I didn't see the depth of Jimmy's betrayal coming, or his gory death, but knew something would happen. But after she married him the book kind of got boring. There were large skips in time, sometimes years between journal entries. And not much happened, really. There were a few interesting episodes... and of course, she started writing again magically 2-3 days before each one! Sometimes the beliefs that she and Captain Elliot held, I think they were too good to be true for this time period. (hide spoiler)]
It's hard to believe there can be a sequel to this!...more
This was so close to a five star book to me! Had I given it a rating at the 75% mark, it definitely would have been. And the last quarter wasn't BAD,This was so close to a five star book to me! Had I given it a rating at the 75% mark, it definitely would have been. And the last quarter wasn't BAD, it was just slow. There were some long narrative parts where nothing much seemed to happen, and I thought it was ending 3 times before it really did (that's one disadvantage of the audio version - had I been reading a paper or kindle version, I'd have known there was still a lot left to go). But the real ending was worth it.
Once again, here is a book I can't believe I waited so long to read. It's very dark, but beautifully written.
I liked Hopper and usually liked Scott. Didn't care for Nora, and honestly I do think the book wouldn't have lost much without her, at times she felt like a token female. This is one of those books where I can't write anything at all about the plot, or it will completely ruin the book for you.
The audible version was good. The narrator did a great job with the characters. Although I'm a little sad I missed out on some of the mixed media things. He read the case notes and newspaper articles and etc, but would have had a different feel seeing them in the book....more
This book was pretty cute. It reminded me of a better A Little Something Different, with the really short (a page or two tops, often just a paragraphThis book was pretty cute. It reminded me of a better A Little Something Different, with the really short (a page or two tops, often just a paragraph or even just a sentence!) chapters, switching points of view. This one had the point of view of the two main characters as they were falling for each other, but also some chapters from the point of view of either other characters they met along the way, their parents, or sometimes an interesting history lesson. Rather than trying to follow 17 characters for the entire book the way the other one did, sometimes these "pop in" characters only ever had the one single chapter... but I never felt like those extra chapters were extraneous or just there to be funny or different. It was very well done. (view spoiler)[ I really liked the character of Natasha, although I wish she had a little more skepticism about all the "fate stuff". It seemed like she would, but she started wondering and questioning it much more quickly than I'd think she would given the background the author supplied about her.
Daniel, on the other hand, was too good to be true. Well, actually, Natasha had a little of that going for her as well. Some of the conversations they were having about things like racism and just life in general were overly mature for many adults I know, let alone high school students. I know they are supposed to be worldly and sophisticated New Yorkers or somesuch, but ... I dunno. Too good to be true, I felt.
I absolutely loved the ending... and absolutely hated the epilogue. The ending was so realistic- they try to keep in touch for a while and fade away, and then think about contacting each other but it'd be weird after so long, and they wait longer, and it gets weirder. So life. And felt right to me after all that "fate" crap. But then somehow they end up on the same plane together as adults... and of course, not just the two of them, but also the one security guard happens to be on the plane as well?! Bleh. Not likely. Ruined a perfectly good ending. (hide spoiler)]
Overall, a 4 star book for me. Great for young adults - has the romance, some history, tackles some difficult topics... well done....more