I loved the first book so much, this was harder to like. Don and his foibles are very good reading, I hate to say funny because this is reality for soI loved the first book so much, this was harder to like. Don and his foibles are very good reading, I hate to say funny because this is reality for some people and I know this first hand, my father is Aspergers and Don, while charming, is very much like my father, it's not easy being 'wired' differently. The problem in this book is a lack of communication between Rosie and Don that leads to some very funny but bizarre situations. My difficulty is that while I would not expect standard communication from Don, I would have expected it from Rosie and that's the big let down in this book, Rosie is very much on the sidelines and her relationship and interactions with Don are essential to make sure he doesn't become farcical, which he does in this book as he spends very little time with Rosie. So this is very entertaining but it's not as good as the first book....more
I just couldnt get into this! I was looking for an easy read series, Twilight sort of thing just for a break and this came highly recommended but ugh.I just couldnt get into this! I was looking for an easy read series, Twilight sort of thing just for a break and this came highly recommended but ugh...its awful...the dialogue is atrocious, the story clunky and cliched. And the male protagonist is too good to be true, he is completely unbelievable. I could go on and I barely read the first few chapters! Thankfully I picked up the whole series on Kindle for $8 or something ludicrously cheap so I dont feel like I've wasted too much money on this twaddle. Teenage girls will probably like this, I've just seen it too many times before....more
I went between loving this and hating it. This has a great elements, there is alot of humour here, particularly in the scenes with Pasquale. There werI went between loving this and hating it. This has a great elements, there is alot of humour here, particularly in the scenes with Pasquale. There were things I skimmed or entirely skipped however, such as the excerpt from Alvis Benders book which I felt was irritating and completely unnecessary. There is so much going on in this book - so many characters, so much back and forth that it frequently loses it's way. So I enjoyed this and at the same time I didn't. It is all very unlikely really and epic romances spanning decades don't really work for me so maybe at the end of the day this just wasn't my cup of tea....more
This is 'Big Brother' gone absolutely freaking insane! I mostly enjoyed this, there is a certain lack of originality here - this is almost like a preqThis is 'Big Brother' gone absolutely freaking insane! I mostly enjoyed this, there is a certain lack of originality here - this is almost like a prequel to Orwell's '1984' and it is definitely not the first dystopian novel that envisages a technological totalitarianism - Huxley's 'Brave New World' and Ben Elton's recent 'Blind Faith' also deal with similar scenarios. I found the central idea here a little scary as in some respects this is in fact happening, Google, Facebook, Twitter and their kin are enormously powerful, worming their way into our daily lives and everything we do online. I found the protagonist Mae infuriating but she is so, so real, knowing as I do many twenty-somethings who live their lives in complete 'transparence', posting everything they do and feel online. As the saying goes these days 'If it's not on Facebook, it didn't happen'. I think this should be prescribed reading for anyone born after 1980 so we can at least say 'You have been warned!'. This is certainly a page turner, but not what I would have expected from a respected author like Dave Eggers and I'll expand on that statement below.
***Some vague spoilers***
I do have a few major issues with this book, firstly it always feels like the author is setting us up for some huge conflict, but nothing really happens. Mae just gets completely assimilated into The Circle, she never once really, genuinely questions anything that is going on, even a death and a nervous breakdown don't seem to ruffle her too much. There is no real conflict at any time. Kalden is the only real opposition in the book and honestly, it's half-hearted at best. Nor does Mr Eggers ever really explain what he is driving at - sure we get that the Circle wants to take over the world but not once are the ramifications of this ever raised - it is as if he takes it for granted the reader understands. However, he could have used some discussion of the actual ramifications as a way to extend his characters, give them some depth - and for some reason he doesn't. Mae, Kalden, Francis, Annie - we do not ever get a real sense of them. We see their behaviour, not what is driving them. I could go on about Mae forever but basically she just completely loses herself and I personally couldn't quite grasp how or why. And I just have to say the whole Francis thing is badly written, particularly the sex. Once again, I felt as if Mr Eggers was hinting at something deeper there - otherwise what is the point of it? - but nothing comes of the encounters between Mae and Francis other than my deciding Francis is a bit of a jerk who has some very serious inadequacies in the bedroom and Mae is basically okay with that? Really pointless.
The best part of this book is the lectures Mae gets from her senior 'Circlers' about how she might participate more in The Circle 'Community' - the Portugal Club Brunch scene with Dan and Alistair and the Kayaking lecture from Jared are particularly amusing. On the whole though, while this is readable enough, it's disjointed and I think an author like Dave Eggers probably could have done better. Hopefully he has made enough money from this populist book to see him through writing the material his readers have come to expect from him....more
Reading this book was like catching up with an old friend - I wasn't sure if we still had anything to talk about and was worried things might not go wReading this book was like catching up with an old friend - I wasn't sure if we still had anything to talk about and was worried things might not go well but I was pleasantly surprised. I am not a chick-lit fan, at all, nor am I anything like Bridget so cannot relate to her on any level but for some reason I adore Bridget Jones. Of course Bridget remains an exceedingly flawed creature, if you find her diary entries trying at times, Bridget Tweeting is more irritating than I could possibly have imagined. Likewise, her self-conscious foibles can be very irksome - you just want to give her a really good, hard shake - but for the most part this was alot of fun. People are complaining about the fate of Mark Darcy and I do understand, again I am not usually one to swoon over heroic male protagonists but even I could not help but fall totally in love with Mark Darcy, but it is certainly an interesting situation to put Bridget in and it makes for a great finale in the life of Bridget Jones (unless of course Ms Fielding decides to write about a geriatric Bridget looking for love in a nursing home or retirement village - that could be rather fun). It was good to see Daniel again as well, I could also not help but adore that rascally, rapscallion although he is something of a caricature of himself in this story.
Overall though, as a fan of the series, I thought this was great. I'm glad I decided to give it a chance despite the reviews....more
This is a fantastic book, what a great idea - a romantic comedy starring Sheldon Cooper! Brilliant! This is funny, clever and immensely readable - andThis is a fantastic book, what a great idea - a romantic comedy starring Sheldon Cooper! Brilliant! This is funny, clever and immensely readable - and I mean that in a good way. Worthy of all the hype - I will read this again....more
This is an engaging story, I enjoyed it very much but it didn't astound me in any way. The story has a kind of haunted, hazy feel - it saunters along This is an engaging story, I enjoyed it very much but it didn't astound me in any way. The story has a kind of haunted, hazy feel - it saunters along, at times eerie and at other times a little slow. There are two different genres competing in this book - a sci-fi/end of days story and a classic coming of age tale and I think one of the problems with this book is that I tended to prefer one to the other most of the time, I wanted more sci-fi, less teen angst. Criticisms aside this is very readable with some good characterisation. I suppose I wanted more from it....more
This is not the sort of thing I would normally read but my own mothers group is starting a book club and this is the first book up for discussion forThis is not the sort of thing I would normally read but my own mothers group is starting a book club and this is the first book up for discussion for obvious reasons and also because the author resides in our local area which is where the story takes place - so here I am trying new things! I found the story very readable - I read it in two sittings and that's quite a feat considering I have small baby. The writing is clear and easy and the narrative flows nicely with each chapter being from the perspective of a different member of the 'mothers group', much like the structure of 'The Slap'. The author also effectively builds up a feeling of what I like to call 'impending doom' - you know something bad is going to happen but to whom and when? In fact, I would hazard that the author has read and taken copious style notes from both 'The Slap' and 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' (which is actually referred to in the book). There is also a smattering of secrets and scandal across the narrative which keeps things moving whilst we prepare for the central catastrophe of the story. Where the book fell down a bit for me (and why I don't generally read this particular genre) is in the dialogue and the cliche. Much of the dialogue in the story is a little forced. Dialogue is very hard to write and this isn't too bad but it is distracting and a little irritating at times depending on which characters perspective we are in. I also found a lot of cliches, some of which were a bit far-fetched and others which were glaringly obvious and that too annoyed me. Overall though, I enjoyed this a great deal more than I thought I would - it's a grippingly easy read with some interesting themes - especially for a new parent. ...more
Delightful. I was collecting these books in paperback as all the covers matched nicely (I'm a bit like that with books) however they have now changedDelightful. I was collecting these books in paperback as all the covers matched nicely (I'm a bit like that with books) however they have now changed the paperback covers in Australia to a different design meaning I no longer have to wait a year for the paperback editions of these wonderful books to come out. Now I have bored anyone reading this to tears, the moral of that very long story is that I was finally able to read a No.1 Ladies as soon as it came out and will be able to do so in future! Yay - such a breath of fresh air, I never tire of these books and they just get better and better!...more