This is one of those weird books where I battle between giving it 5 stars or 3, so I'm going in between.
There were parts of this book that I loved soThis is one of those weird books where I battle between giving it 5 stars or 3, so I'm going in between.
There were parts of this book that I loved so much, and parts like the ending that just left me feeling short changed. This book had the potential to be amazing, and most of it was, yet I still feel conflicted.
Eleanor and Park succeeds in that it made me nostalgic for that first love. The type when you don't yet know heart break, where every feeling is new and you feel like your world is this other person. Every feeling they described is filled with a special innocence. The love between Eleanor and Park is pure and beautiful. Despite the darker themes explored in this book (poverty, bullying, family problems, abuse) the soft and gentle romance shines bright.
But the ending to me was muddled and confusing. Not to mention abrupt. I kept trying to see if there was an extra chapter I missed. It ruined every positive feeling I had about this book until I could step back and think about the book as a whole. ...more
I don't usually read a lot of science fiction. I like things explained to me and I like to understand it, and if theres something my brain won't3.5/5
I don't usually read a lot of science fiction. I like things explained to me and I like to understand it, and if theres something my brain won't comprehend it's science. Reading this book, I really had to stop and just accept the general ideas explained, without really grasping it. It felt a lot like looking at an abstract painting, where you only really see the image if you squint your eyes just so, and don't think about it too much.
The whole weaving of time aside, which even though I didn't get it I liked the way it was described, I thought this book was really interesting.
Once you take the spinster concept out, it's straightforward dystopian, but I thought the politics and society of the Crewel world were great. It's a world where men are threatened by women, where women are kept powerless. I'm a firm believer that even in this day and age, men are scared of intelligent women, so it was good to see a novel showing what happens when men are in control. The girls in the world are reduced to being nurses, secretaries, teachers at best, and only interested in cosmetics and marriage. They are kept under the false pretense that they play an important role by being spinsters, but even then they're pawns. It was a sad world to see.
The heroine in this Novel is Addelice, and she was great! She was one of my favorite parts of the books, and she really surprised me time and time again. She's witty, smart, and has a sharp sense of humor. Sometimes I had to laugh out loud because she can be sassy, but she's also foolish and reckless. I only wish we could have seen more into her emotional side, because that's one of the parts of the book that left me wishing for more. She misses her parents and her sister, and it's mentioned, but I wish we could have seen actual evidence of it.
Another part of the book I loved was that all the secondary characters were really layered. Everyone has more to them than what you see originally, even the villains. Their secondary stories and plot developments were a great addition and really boosted the whole book to me.
Honestly though, there was one part of the book that didn't work for me at all. The romance.
Not that I didn't love Jost, and even Nick had his appeal. But did I believe it? No. The love triangle, if you can call it that, is contrived and boring. Thank god it's dealt with by the end of the book. I get the chemistry between Jost and Addelice but I don't get the extent of their feelings for each other. It felt like instalove for the the sake of having a love interest.
And lastly, the ending. I'm probably in the minority but I knew what would happen from at least half way through the book. The hints are not subtle. That said, it made me super excited for book two.
All in all, this book is a debut novel and it shows. But it was still fun and I would still recommend it. This series has so much potential, and I can't wait for the sequel!
Too bad that I guessed what the ending would be halfway through the book. But overall, I really liked this. Review to come. ...more
A bit of back story about myself before attempting to begin this review:
My third uncle I've always had a special relationship with. I won't say he isA bit of back story about myself before attempting to begin this review:
My third uncle I've always had a special relationship with. I won't say he is my favorite uncle, because I would feel bad, but for most of my life he has probably been my favorite person.
When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor to be just like him. When he came from Spain I would stick to him like glue, desperate for all the attention he gave me. I felt happy being in his presence. He was, and probably still is, the coolest person in the world to me. I hero worshipped him for many years, and I'm more similar to him in personality and taste than anyone else in my family.
He's always been the person who gets me hooked on an awesome show, he always has a new song for me to listen to, a movie that I have to watch. I show him the things I like and wait nervously for his approval because to me his opinion has always mattered more than anyones. He loves art and is the only person in my family who will go with me to a museum and enjoy it. He took me to a bar when I was 16 and let me drink vodka. When he's listening to me speak, I feel like I'm the most important person in the world and I always feel like he gets me.
My uncle is also gay.
I share this because its important to know that in order to also understand how deeply I felt about this book.
It's the 80's, June is 14 years old and her uncle, the one person in the world who understands her, has died of AIDS. June is devastated, but everyone around her thinks that because she was only his niece she shouldn't grieve him so much. The only person in the world who misses her beloved uncle Finn as much as she does, is Toby. Toby is her uncles partner who she's never even met, and who her family thinks is responsible for her uncle's death. June has to deal with not only growing up, but she has to deal with a rapidly deteriorating relationship with her sister Greta, and getting to know the person who Finn loved apart from her.
I'm trying to think of the right words to convey what this book meant to me and it's hard. Mostly because I really felt while reading that June and I were so similar, and Finn reminded me so much of my uncle it was painful. I kept imaging myself in her shoes and crying.
Mostly, the thing that depressed me about this book was how people build walls around themselves and hide their feelings until they're buried so deep underneath all these things that its difficult to open up.
How old resentments that could have been cleared easily fester until they form a definitive crack between two people, a gap that later can't be crossed.
How unfair life can be.
How a disease like AIDS can exist, how all those people died before they could get the medicines they have now. How the whole disease is cruel.
How great people like Finn could cease to exist, how we're all left broken afterwards, not sure what to do with the pieces.
Mostly though, this book is about love. How love is never easy. Love hurts you and causes so much trouble that you wonder if it would have been better to never have felt that strongly in the first place. But of course not, because living a life without people who you love so much is a life not worth loving.
The books that are toughest to review are the ones you love the most. And the way I love this book is the hardest love. The love that is deep and wedged inside your heart, the love that leaves you feeling raw and hurt and lost.
If I could pick only one book to have read this year, this would be it. And I have read some amazing books this year. I can't wait for this book to come out in Spanish so I can share it with my beloved uncle, with my mom and my grandmother, with my friends and with everyone who I can convince to read it. That's the biggest compliment I can give it.
~ "That's what I want for you," he said. "I want you to know only the very best people."
That's when I broke down and cried, because I already knew the very best people. Finn was the very best person I knew.
I'm not sure the exact reason why I'm giving this book such a low rating. It was mostly enjoyable and yes, the romance was cute...but on the whole theI'm not sure the exact reason why I'm giving this book such a low rating. It was mostly enjoyable and yes, the romance was cute...but on the whole there were a few issues in this that didn't let me fully be swept away by it.
I'm not sure I can write an honest review about this without SPOILERS so beware!! This isn't even so much a review as a list of the things I couldn't let go about this book.
First of all, the book begins with an almost rape scene, from which our heroine is rescued from by an incredibly hot guy she has never seen before, who later she finds out she has for a class and works at the Starbucks she goes to on an almost daily basis. Okay. That's believable. Anyways! When said hot guy, who beats the crap out of the attacker, offers to call the police, our heroine says no. Now, I know according to statistics, a crazy amount of rapes go unreported every year. It's a horrible thing. But our heroine decides not to call the police because there's a party going on and people there are underage drinking and she wouldn't want them to get busted. EXCUSE ME?!!!
I'm sorry, no no no no no! What the hell? Any other reason, I could have wrapped my head around. The shame rape (or almost rape, whatever! It's all bad) victims feel, the guilt of "maybe I was doing something wrong", any other reason I could have agreed to. But that dismissal? No way, no how.
And it's not only that. In Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen, the heroine doesn't call the police either when at a party she is attacked. I liked that book. But in Just Listen, the main character is haunted by memories of her attack for months after. Yet in this book, I don't feel like Jacqueline is at all effected. She shows no signs of trauma, no repulse to being touched, no flashbacks. I know no case is the same and every person deals with the aftermath of such a grave situation differently, but still.
Another thing that bothered me, she's in love with another guy after her "horrible breakup" basically like 5 minutes after. Maybe I'm melodramatic, maybe some people do come back from heart break in two weeks. But I just didn't buy what the author was selling. And I couldn't shake the thought that she was having some serious rebound/knight in shining armor syndrome type crush going in.
And that brings me to the next problem: Lucas. Hate to break it to you, girls, but supersmart/engineer/artists/handyman/martialartsguru/publicsafety/barista/tattooedbadboys DO NOT EXIST. Seriously? How many things does this guy do, AND DO WELL? He's described as break neck gorgeous, seriously, yet Jacqueline doesn't notice him until after he rescues her. I feel like the author tries to make him not completely perfect by giving him "issues" and let me get started on that.
The out of nowhere, completely random plot at the end of the book that made it drag on. And on. And on. I was ready for this book to end about 60 pages before it did. The sob story, yes I'm sorry that's what it is, was just so unnecessary and I just didn't care one but because it wasn't believable! There was also a lot of "I like you, but we can't be together" stuff that made me want to jump in the book and ask "WHY?"
Last but not least, this book felt preachy to me. Obviously the rape at the beginning wasn't left unresolved, but the way it was done felt very contrived to me. It was very girl-power-lets-stick-together-boys-drool. This is obviously a Book With A Message, and the message isn't as subtle as I would have liked. There's nothing left for you to figure out. There were parts that felt like a PSA.
This book wasn't horrible. I didn't despise reading it. There were parts I even liked. But all of this just soured the experience for me.
I have to write this review right away because I want to get this bad taste out of my mouth.
If there was ever a book where I felt as if I was readingI have to write this review right away because I want to get this bad taste out of my mouth.
If there was ever a book where I felt as if I was reading a different book than anyone else, this would be it. I had to look through three pages of reviews for this book before I found one bad one.
So, what's going on? People seriously liked this book?
I get the same feel for this book as I did with Easy. As in, the whole thing was utterly unbelievable in every way. Except this was about 10 times worse.
The writing in this book is like a bad soap opera, it feels amateur and unpolished. It actually reminded me of Simone Elkeles's work except that those books are actually a guilty pleasure for me, and this was not.
Lets start with the characters. They're all stereotypical, cliché, and flat. All of them. The secondary characters only are mentioned when the main characters need something, and Alex and Dylan are so awful I actually was just dying for the book to end so I wouldn't have to read about them any more. Alex was perfect in every way and basically a push over who keeps forgiving Dylan every time he hurt her. And Dylan was a tortured war veteran who couldn't get over himself and blaming himself for everything long enough to move on with his life.
And I don't mean to be insensitive, because I get that people come back really messed up from Afghanistan and they suffer from bad PTSD, but was it believable in this book? No. Not in the least. And I felt like the author was just exploiting it to make a story juicier.
And don't let me get started on the plot. There were so many "are you kidding me" moments that I had to skim through the last 100 pages. Spoiler alert, but can someone explain to me how someone with a fractured skull and possible brain damage who's hospitalized can rape a girl like 2 months later? Because those are the type of inconsistencies and overall bad writing that happen all over this book.
It got to the point were I was so tired of the I love you, let's be together forever, actually let's not, well give me a second chance, I love you part of the plot that I honestly wanted Alex and Dylan to break up and stay broken up because their relationship was so unhealthy and bad for both of them.
I'm sorry to bash this book, a lot of people apparently like it. But I can't really understand how or why. I would advise anyone to not even waste their time. ...more
I have been putting off reading this book for months. Every time I looked at it I thought, 'Hmmm, everyone really liked this. Oh....but it's the sameI have been putting off reading this book for months. Every time I looked at it I thought, 'Hmmm, everyone really liked this. Oh....but it's the same author that wrote Guitar Girl? I'll pass for now.'
WOW did I make a mistake. In my defense, I read Guitar Girl in the 8th grade and even then I felt like it was childish and silly, cute and everything, but I very distinctly remember hating the ending. But I loved this book. Absolutely, head over heels loved this book and everyone in it. I laughed and I cried and my heart broke and then patched itself up together again. And the ending made me so, so happy.
Jeane is my spirit animal. She wears what she wants and says things with out caring who she pisses off and if she doesn't like something you do well you better be ready for her to tell you. She's smart and tough and strong and she is just so comfortable with herself. She sees herself as she really is in this book and she accepts it. She describes herself as short and a bit chubby with muscular calfs, but she doesn't spend the rest of the time worrying about her weight or sighing over pictures of super models. She's content to continue to eat as many sweets as her heart desires and pastries and take out because so what? She's happy with herself and that is such a fantastic message. She knows she's average looking with a big attitude, but who cares when she has so many important things to say? Even Michael Lee describes her exactly the same way she sees herself and that's so refreshing because I am sick and tired of reading books where the main character is plain and average and has boys lined up at her door to date her. And another thing, Jeane is not perfect. Not by a long shot. She has a foul temper and she's self centered and she's very annoying and rude. She's judgmental and pretentious and sometimes you want to smack her but all those things make you realize that underneath all the feminist rants and bravado she's a girl and a teenager like anyone else, with issues and emotions and loneliness. I TOTES love her!
And Michael Lee. What can I say about him? He's that guy who was really popular in your high school and good at sports but also really smart and completely gorgeous, and you kind of wanted to hate him but he was actually super nice. He was very real to me, and I liked that he didn't let Jeane change that way he was. All those times she insulted him for wearing hollister and spiking his hair he never tried to change to please her and that is so amazing because you are who you are. If wearing original thrift store outfits is you? Awesome. If being you is wearing name brand clothes? Well that's fine too. I also liked that when I read about Michael Lee he sounded like a real boy. He talks about how ugly Jeane's clothes are and how she's flat chested and how he hates her when she's being a huge mega bitch. Guys don't get make up and crazy outfits and weird hair and it was fun to read his point of view on all those things. But he was also a good guy, not perfect because he had his awful moments, but sometimes love is going to get someone hair dye after a bleach gone wrong and sometimes it's showing up unannounced with hot food when you know the other person is hungry even if they haven't asked.
All in all, I love Adorkable. I love the idea of outcasts all over banding together and taking over the world. I love twitter and blogging and YouTube. I check my phone 300 times in a day and I'm not ashamed of it. I'm a card carrying member of Jeane's Generation Y, and I'm oppiniated and a bit pretentious and snappy myself so you can imagine how much this book and I bonded. This book and I are besties now. That said, if you're not any of these things, if you don't get social media, if you see a girl out around town wearing a prom dress with docs and think 'she's a weird one' this book will probably not be for you. But give it a chance anyways because Jeane's the persistent type, and I don't doubt you'll be converted.
P.S how many times have I said love in this review? Whatevs!...more