Gabriel's Watch is unlike any book I have ever read. The premise is entirely original - a refreshing turn of events in today's literary world of zombi...moreGabriel's Watch is unlike any book I have ever read. The premise is entirely original - a refreshing turn of events in today's literary world of zombies, vampires, and werewolves. It is a well-balanced blend of post-apocalyptic and sci-fi with a dash of (what else) Greek mythology. While the religious overtones can be somewhat overbearing at times (as a non-religious novel) the story itself is delightfully overpowering and reveals a spectacular read.
Both the main characters, Miles and Alice, are relatable while retaining a good deal of mystery, much of which is uncovered throughout the novel. The relationship between the two tends to be a little confusing at times, but ultimately left me satisfied. My one complaint (view spoiler)[is the unrealistic notion that it took the two ten years to "get together," though they've lived side by side in the same small space for the entire duration. (hide spoiler)]
Despite a burst of action in the first pages, Gabriel's Watch begins rather slowly with introductions and backstory, but once it picks up the pace it's ripe with action-packed twists and turns and is complete with an ending that would make Shyamalan proud. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Very informative and exactly what I was looking for! I did learn a lot of things that I didn't know about my favorite place on earth. I've seen some c...moreVery informative and exactly what I was looking for! I did learn a lot of things that I didn't know about my favorite place on earth. I've seen some complaints about this read being dry, but it's marketed as a fact book and that's what it is. I wish the writer had a few more details. Yes, it was detail laden, but there were several instances where he simply passed things by saying, "no one knows." Obviously wouldn't read again (once you've read it, you pretty much know what's there), but I wish there were more out there like it. (less)
Second Person Singular is easily one of the strangest books I’ve ever read, and I read fantasy.
I read this book for my Jewish Studies class because i...moreSecond Person Singular is easily one of the strangest books I’ve ever read, and I read fantasy.
I read this book for my Jewish Studies class because it was the only work of fiction on the list we could choose from. This book was published in April 2012 by Sayed Kashua, an Israeli Arab who lives in Jerusalem. I think that Kashua’s nationality and background had a large role to play in the writing of this book, since both main characters are of similar background.
The book follows two main storylines – that of a married Arab lawyer and a single Arab social worker. The lawyer, after purchasing a book in a used bookstore, finds a note in his wife’s handwriting stating that she enjoyed her night. The lawyer immediately loses his mind trying to figure out whom the note was addressed to, thinking up all kinds of scenarios in which is wife must have been unfaithful to him. After using the resources at his disposal, he finds out that the note was meant for the social worker, though he is now using an assumed name, Yonatan – the name of the incapacitated man he now cares for in his current career. At the end of the book, the lawyer confronts Yonatan and finds out he does not even remember his wife and that the note was written before the lawyer and his wife had even begun dating.
Second Person Singular is meant, primarily, to shed light on the Arab situation amongst a Jewish population in Israel. The discrimination they face, whether bad or, as seen in the school of photography that Yonatan is eventually accepted to, good. When Yonatan applies to the school, he assumes a Jewish identity, stating that the school automatically admits Arabs because there must always be an Arab for each class – a kind of forced assimilation, if you will. Citizens are asked to show their papers in different settings and, though nationality is no longer required to be declared, there is still clear discrimination against the Arab population and favoring of the Jews.
We are shown the inside workings of an Arab marriage, though I think the lawyer’s might be a little extreme, and we also see that gender roles in this part of the world are not necessarily what stereotypes may have led us to believe, though there does seem to be an underlying way of thinking that still has not been completely weeded out, even in the 21st century. In the way Kashua writes, it is clear that there is a lot of internal conflict, even within a supposedly liberal Arab about the way a woman should behave. Though the lawyer has stated that he would even be okay with marrying a woman who was not a virgin, he is enraged by the thought that his wife may have even loved a man before she met him, to the point where he repeatedly calls her a whore and thinks of ways to kill her. Despite his claims to liberalism, he is still, deep down, tied to the “old ways.”
I thought this book was overly dramatic, especially in the way the lawyer reacted to his wife’s note. I do feel that the way Arab life was represented in the book may have been somewhat biased based on the author’s nationality. I would not read this book again and I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone. It was incredibly boring and took me nearly two months to get through. Steer clear. (less)
Epcot is my favorite place on earth. I enjoy reading and watching all things Epcot, and this book is a good addition to my collection.
The Imagineerin...moreEpcot is my favorite place on earth. I enjoy reading and watching all things Epcot, and this book is a good addition to my collection.
The Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot at Walt Disney World was updated in 2010, post-refurbishment. After reading, I almost wish I had purchased the older edition. While this field guide was definitely true to Epcot and all of its attractions, I wish it had included more background into each area. There is no mention of the late Wonders of Life or World of Motion Pavilions, and the reader is left mostly unaware of the previous Living Seas Pavilion and Sea Base Alpha.
I enjoyed the brief look into the World Showcase and each of its pavilions. Again, I feel that more could have been said about each of them. The Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot at Walt Disney World is a great guide if you're in search of a quick overview of the current line-up at Epcot. However, if you're interested in the history of Epcot or just an in-depth look at its attractions and evolution, there are better books out there. (less)
Dolores Claiborne definitely was not a typical Stephen King book. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I picked it up because I needed an audiobook fo...moreDolores Claiborne definitely was not a typical Stephen King book. I wasn't really sure what to expect. I picked it up because I needed an audiobook for my commute to work and school, but I ended up making up excuses to listen to it longer than that.
King really brought all of the characters to life. At first, I didn't think I'd like Dolores, but halfway through the book I wanted her to succeed. I hated Joe to the point that I found myself scowling while driving down the road - hopefully not too many people saw it. I felt terrible for Vera. King made me so uncomfortable when he described how she was on her bad days. But at the same time, I loved her as a feisty younger woman. At any rate, I felt invested in all of the characters.
The only thing that I thought was weird was that Dolores sat there for 6+ hours talking and drinking and never had to take a bathroom break... AMIRITE???
Overall, great book! I would definitely recommend it. (less)
I listened to this as an audiobook yesterday on the drive from Florida to North Carolina and the drive flew by. I've never fallen in love with charact...moreI listened to this as an audiobook yesterday on the drive from Florida to North Carolina and the drive flew by. I've never fallen in love with characters like I did with this book. I can't wait for the sequel!(less)
Perhaps this book would have been better had I never read another vampire romance. As it stands, this book left me wanting. A lot.
I picked up The Awa...morePerhaps this book would have been better had I never read another vampire romance. As it stands, this book left me wanting. A lot.
I picked up The Awakening after seeing The Vampire Diaries on Netflix. The show is amazing! Elena gets on my nerves from time to time, but compared to the Elena of the book, she's perfect. I had read that the book and the TV show had nothing at all in common, but that was all the more reason for me to try it out. I wish I hadn't.
Every character in this book is incredibly shallow. Elena goes home to cry and sulk after one boy doesn't stop everything to run after her and Caroline does everything she can to sabotage Elena's attempts to "get" Stefan. I don't think that Bonnie and Meredith have graduated elementary school.
My biggest problem with this book was the relationship between Elena and Stefan. What happened? He goes from not looking at her and barely speaking a word, to being madly in love and telling her his deepest, darkest secrets. It seemed very forced and completely unbelievable.
I wish I had liked this book. I'm sad to say, I won't be picking up the next installment. (less)
After choosing several disappointing books over the past couple months, Divergent is a breath of fresh air. Everything about this book was amazing. Th...moreAfter choosing several disappointing books over the past couple months, Divergent is a breath of fresh air. Everything about this book was amazing. The characters were relatable and the situations believable. I've already pre-ordered Insurgent! (less)
I've always steered clear of biographies for fear of being bored to tears, but I knew I had to give it a shot when my Disney book club decided to read...moreI've always steered clear of biographies for fear of being bored to tears, but I knew I had to give it a shot when my Disney book club decided to read a Walt Disney biography. While I have a borderline-obsessive love for Walt Disney World and a healthy appreciation for the man himself, I didn't know nearly as much as I'd prefer, so in I dived. The book selection was Walt Disney: An American Original.
The book began with at the beginning, telling the story of Walt's childhood and the difficulties of his childhood life. His father was a hard man to please and Walt learned hard work early on. Like his other brothers, he found a way out early in life and ran off to help the War effort overseas. Upon his return he ventured into cartooning and his life truly began.
Walt believed in progression. He was never satisfied with the status quo. When people (including his brother, Roy) came to him with a price tag, he didn't have any interest. He is quoted as saying, "I have a theory that if it's good enough, the public will pay you back for it," in reference to Disneyland. Because of a psychic reading during childhood, Walt always feared that he would die before he could complete his work, and so he always strived for perfection - he wanted everything to be completed (and perfectly) before he died.
This book chronicles the Disney films from first until Walt Disney's death in detail. We also learn of his love for railroads and miniatures, as well as the personality traits you could never pick up on just from loving the Disney films or parks. One thing that stuck out in my mind was when Walt Disney said in a meeting regarding a particular feature that giraffes could not talk because they had no vocal cords. Meanwhile, all the other animals in the feature talked! Ultimately, despite some strange quirks, he clearly knew what he was doing.
The most depressing part of this book (besides Walt's untimely death, of course) was the descriptions Walt gave of EPCOT as he saw it. I have always known that he never intended it to be an amusement park, but his passion for the experimental city was almost tangible and knowing what it became makes me sad, despite my love for Epcot as it exists today.
An American Original was a pleasure to read and left me feeling like I had a much deeper understanding of Walt Disney and his accomplishments. When reading about his walk throughs of Disneyland, I couldn't help but feel a strong desire to get there as soon as possible! And I'm planning to visit two summers from now!
I highly recommend this book to any Disney fan who wants to know more about Disney the man and everything he produced. I can definitely see more biographies in my future. (less)
I received this book in a First Reads giveaway and really had no idea what to expect when I got it out of the mailbox. It had an alien wearing headpho...moreI received this book in a First Reads giveaway and really had no idea what to expect when I got it out of the mailbox. It had an alien wearing headphones on the cover... I read the back and realized that this is totally not my style. Still, I felt an obligation to the author to give it a go (he gave me a free copy of his book, after all).
Right from the start, the reader has to be up to date with every musical performer from the 70s until today. As a child raised in the 90s, I have no idea what most of these references even are. For anyone who doesn't know who the stars of the 90s and early 00s are, keeping up will be quite difficult as well. I cannot imagine this will be on too many shelves in 20 years.
The story itself seemed a little hurried and even sporadic. The characters didn't really keep me interested and the style of writing reminded me of an elementary school student's short story - then this happened, and then that happened, etc. I gave up on the footnotes about halfway through.
I'm giving it three stars purely because of the shock value. I was constantly like, "what just happened?" The parrot, for instance... Year Zero was somewhat entertaining and I did get through it very quickly just to see what sort of randomness would happen next, but I definitely wouldn't read it again. (less)
After listening to the first book during my commute, I couldn't wait for Until I Die to be released! Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the hype. I'm...moreAfter listening to the first book during my commute, I couldn't wait for Until I Die to be released! Unfortunately, it didn't live up to the hype. I'm not sure if listening to the first book made it better, or if this book was really just not good. I didn't make it through. I stopped a few chapters in. Maybe I'll pick it back up later. Maybe I'll find it on audiobook.
So far in this book, Kate and Vincent are disgustingly cute (seriously, I couldn't stand it), but there's no spark in their romance either. I didn't notice much more than that, having quit a few chapters in. I just found that I no longer cared how the characters turned out.
Let me start by saying that Fifty Shades of Grey is an amazing book for its genre. It kept me up late on multiple occasions. I really loved Christian...moreLet me start by saying that Fifty Shades of Grey is an amazing book for its genre. It kept me up late on multiple occasions. I really loved Christian Grey, but I'm assuming that most women did. Here are my problems with the book:
1) Oh my... 2) My inner goddess... 3) He/she/it was "all" this/that/other. 4) This book, while an amazing romance, is complete fantasy and potentially hazardous. Don't get me wrong, I know that not all books are supposed to be based in reality, but I have a problem with the way that this particular book takes this man who is "fifty shades of fucked up" and presents him to the reader as someone who is easily changed into someone else. That is not the way the world works, and I know from experience. Coming from a woman who has had a relationship with someone that was probably thirty-nine shades of fucked up, it is completely unrealistic for Christian to go from this man who is messed up in so many ways to someone who is suddenly willing to change everything for this one woman who just makes him want more... While most women are able to separate fact from fiction, I fear that some will come out of this reading experience expecting to be able to change that man who she knows has issues. I realize that reading this book is not going to cause women heartache in and of itself, but reading about this beautiful, tortured man took me back to my past and the beautiful, tortured man who never considered changing for me or any other woman to this day.
All of that said, it was a good read and I enjoyed it immensely. I was completely unable to make the Twilight connection, though I would be interested to read the original fanfic. And yes, I am reading the next one. (less)
This book had been sitting on my Nook unread for quite sometime. It's a book I've browsed past at least a dozen times, but never actually read. I've e...moreThis book had been sitting on my Nook unread for quite sometime. It's a book I've browsed past at least a dozen times, but never actually read. I've even opened it, skimmed the first couple of pages, and given up. But with nothing I was dying to read, I decided to give it a go, especially at only 252 pages. I finished it in just four days, but I've found that a quick read doesn't always imply a good book...
Summary (view spoiler)[Obsidian begins with a girl named Katy moving to a new town just before the beginning of her senior year of high school. Her dad is dead, her mom is depressed, and they've decided on a fresh start, making the leap from Florida to West Virginia of all places. Apparently people in West Virginia don't own GPS's and, shortly after they move in, she is forced to go next door to ask for directions to the closest store.
Enter the obligatory super hot guy, Daemon, who is described to look and even act surprisingly a lot like his namesake, Damon.
Daemon is a super-jerk. He's rude to Katy from the start and insists on calling her Kitten. Seriously, only in books do these things happen. Begrudgingly, he tells her where the store is and that is where she bumps into his super needy sister, Dee. She basically begs Katy to be friends with her and Katy, being new to town, agrees that they should hang out. They decide to garden (apparently 17 year olds love gardening). And in comes Daemon, again. He's rude, loud, and violent, backing Katy into a tree (not in a sexy way) and threatening her to stay away from his sister.
This is pretty much how the book progresses. Katy and Dee hang out, Daemon is a jerk, threatens her constantly, and yet won't leave her alone at school for some reason, constantly poking her with a pen (wink wink nudge nudge) and flirting with her, much to the amazement of her super slutty classmates. You can never be sure from one second to the next how Katy will react to Daemon. Sometimes she's super pissed by his assholery, and others she's super turned on because apparently his bright green eyes make the panties drop.
Eventually, Dee becomes fed up with Daemon's douchebaggery and blackmails him into spending time with Katy, who insists that she hates Daemon, but refuses to lie to Dee and just say they hung out. Right, I can feel the hatred... They agree to go swimming and Katy decides to wear her skankiest bathing suit... to spite him? This is when she notices something isn't quite right with Daemon, since he stays underwater for upwards of 10 minutes (meanwhile she just stands on a rock instead of going in to save him).
Other super-weird things happen, Daemon saves her life, and she finds out he's part of an alien species from the planet Lux, a species made of light, and his species is being hunted by a species made of the dark. Every time Daemon does something "alien-y" around Katy, his light rubs off on her and makes her light up like the sun, which draws the bad guys to them. It is decided that physical activity is what will make the light fade, so what do they do? They make out, obviously. Katy gets totally caught up in it, letting him take off her shirt climb on top of her (this is the guy she hates), but as soon as the light fades, he literally leaves her laying there. Did I mention this guy is a serious jerk?
Things continue to happen that force Daemon to babysit her and finally she is forced to take on the bad guys by herself to save Daemon's life. They babysit her some more. Then she has a brilliant idea to take them on again, but this time alone! So she does, she almost dies, but of course he somehow saves her which forms some kind of weird heart bond between them.
Finally, he admits that he likes her (kinda) and wants to be with her because she's attractive. She obviously likes him (she thinks about him constantly - it's kind of creepy), but says no. Perhaps her first good decision? The book ends with them both saying they like a challenge. (hide spoiler)]
My Thoughts This book was more soap opera than Downton Abbey. Honestly. And this is coming from a girl who actually enjoyed the Twilight books.
Katy is a ridiculous character. She hates him, she wants to have his babies, she hates him while wanting to have his babies. And he's the same way! He hates her, he likes her. Seriously people, life is not this difficult. He is outright mean to her throughout the book, even in public, telling her to stay away from him and that he can't stand her. And yet she continues to spend time with him.
Girls! This is not normal behavior! If a guy is a jerk to you, move on! And guys, if you like a girl, tell her. Don't be an ass. This is not third grade.
The premise behind the alien species is a breath of fresh air to the YA Supernatural Romance genre, but that's about where it ends. The whole thing seems a little silly, in my opinion. Every single Luxen in existence is super hot? Okay. Why would he give her his best weapon and then tell her to run the other way when he could have just ended things quickly? And who in her right mind runs off to lead the bad guy AWAY from the super strong girl who has a much better chance of winning? And don't even get me started on her decision to go to the bonfire...
The main characters are morons. The "romance" belongs on daytime television. The only reason this book got two stars is because I kept turning the pages to see what happened next - because surely one of the two would get over themselves and just say what they actually felt?!
I think I need to get away from YA for awhile.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)