This is a great book that ticked a lot of personal reading boxes -forbidden, enduring love -both sides of a world war -clever, detailed writing that doe...moreThis is a great book that ticked a lot of personal reading boxes -forbidden, enduring love -both sides of a world war -clever, detailed writing that doesn't talk down to the readers but shows lots of thought, research and emotion -protagonists that are flawed but you still root for them.
I was more invested in Charles and Anselm's story arc than I was Edward's but both are well done. The horrors of WW2 are grossly fascinating to read about and I thought Farndale handled them deftly. I cared about the characters so much and their suffering was awful but not, like, gratuitous.
It would have gotten five stars but the stuff with Edward and his daughter skeeved me out, the way the memoir stuff came together at the end is just not a literary device I can get behind, and once the 'reveal' happened, some things felt a little contrived.
Still, the good outweighed the bad and I really enjoyed the book overall.(less)
I liked this more than I would have imagined had I known more about it before starting it. If that makes sense. Basically, it's a fairly fresh take on...moreI liked this more than I would have imagined had I known more about it before starting it. If that makes sense. Basically, it's a fairly fresh take on a potentially tired genre and an enjoyable read.
Melanie's perspective make for wonderful reading. The other characters are less unique, but pretty cool all the same. It's fast-paced, unpredictable and there are some genuinely creepy moments. And I REALLY liked how it ends.
And that was a mistake. Maybe I should have listened to my gut when the gimmicky thing on the back cover bugged me. This was nowhere as intriguing and delicately executed as Stolen. It was clunky and unrealistic and generally disappointing.
The general tone and concept (ie main characters not really remembering/acknowledging major, sad things) reminded me a little of Hurtexcept this has slightly more sensitivity, or Charm & Strange but nowhere near as good or evocative. It takes a very skilled writer to pull that kind of thing off and I soon realised that Lucy Christopher, despite displaying enormous talent in Stolen, just couldn't do it.
Here's the premise : Emily's Dad is accused of killing a pretty girl in the woods behind there house (FYI: the victims looks and sexuality were presented as something really important here.) She thinks he didn't do it. And if he did, he didn't mean to, he in the midst of a PTSD flashback. Damon is the dead girls boyfriend. He doesn't know what happened.
This is thrown at the reader at rapid fire speed in alternating POV's of no more than a couple of pages and already I was annoyed. It was all downhill from there.
SO MANY ISSUES
-the writing just didn't flow well. All the lyrical, purple stuff about the woods was kind of pretty but totally unrealistic for the characters. MAYBE Emily cared about the woods and nature and for sure the author was trying to be symbolic but when Damon, who's POV sometimes consisted of things like 'I didn't do nothing' in ways that did not in any way feel like natural dialect, tried it it was just silly -They lived in an army town which was a kind of interesting setting. But no-one in the whole place had any sympathy or understanding to a PTSD sufferer. I call BS -Damon spends much of the book wondering if he actually had sex with Ashlee the night she died. I'm pretty sure, considering she was murdered and all, her body would have been examined for signs of sexual trauma and they'd at least know if she had intercourse. He was questioned. There was a court case. Somebody would have brought it up. -There are weird vibes when Ashlee's character and her sexuality were mentioned. There just were. -Damon was an ass.He was weird and mean and not in that tortured bad boy way. He was just plain unlikeable. He took Emily to the woods to mis-treat her. Blech. (Sidenote : In what schools are prefects allowed to dole out physical detentions and recommend suspensions?) -Too many plot issues were revealed through the most convenient of devices - Emily overhear's important conversations in lane behind her house. A large part of the mystery is revealed by them finding videos on Ashlee's mobile phone. Which has been sitting in some cliffs for at least month. Because batteries totally last that long on broken phones. Or any phone. Since Damon had a smart phone and it's 2013, we can assume Ashlee did to. Most phones barely last a day. And wouldn't the police have tried to trace it? -When the mystery of Ashlee's death is finally revealed in the laziest way possible, it felt cheap and gross like one of those ripped from the headlines episodes of SVU. It felt like all the talk of her being idk...a tease? manipulative? was all set up to lessen the tragedy of her death. Context is important and the author failed to make her anything more than one-dimensional. Even through Damon's eyes, the person who knew her best, there wasn't an ounce understanding.
In some aspects, I can appreciate that the author attempted to be sensitive but overall it left a sour taste in my mouth. By the time the mystery of how Ashlee died came to light, I was long past caring. I wanted to bang the characters heads together and give Emily a personality injection. Her neighbour whose name I can't remember was the real hero and even he was borderline creepy. (less)
17&Gone is a really difficult book to describe and a really wonderful book to read. The lush, evocative writing makes it a visceral experience, on...more17&Gone is a really difficult book to describe and a really wonderful book to read. The lush, evocative writing makes it a visceral experience, one that brings you right into Lauren's muddled mind.
There's a lot to like about this book, the writing most of all, but a couple of things really stood out to me. The way the author highlighted the matter of missing girls was very well done. The little details like the websites and missing posters just felt right.The dialogue was great.I loved how she showed how Lauren disconnected from her normal life and how all the characters were fully fleshed out. And Lauren's Mom was pretty cool.
I think I liked this more than Imaginary Girls and I'll be looking out for anything else Nova Ren Suma writes in future.(less)
This was disappointing. I liked it far less than I Hunt Killers and I just couldn't suspend my disbelief enough for the plot to work. I doubt I'll con...moreThis was disappointing. I liked it far less than I Hunt Killers and I just couldn't suspend my disbelief enough for the plot to work. I doubt I'll continue with the series. And those cliffhangers just seemed cheap(less)
Gone Girl is not like anything I've ever read before. It starts out like any other mystery, but the clever characterisation and wry observations make...moreGone Girl is not like anything I've ever read before. It starts out like any other mystery, but the clever characterisation and wry observations make it better than average. It progresses into something much bigger, something dark and twisted and full of jaw-dropping revelations that kept me reading when I should have been doing other things.
The characters are not likeable, hardly sympathetic, yet I found myself heavily invested in their behaviour and what would happen to them. It's difficult to say much without spoiling everything but it's also the kind of book you really want to talk about. sigh.
It's a good story, told by a very good writer and definitely deserving of all the hype. If you're happy to read something more than a little effed-up, I highly recommend. (less)
Snowdrops is just as much about Nick's rather skewed love affair with Moscow as it is his strange relationship with Masha, a mysterious Russi...more2.5 stars
Snowdrops is just as much about Nick's rather skewed love affair with Moscow as it is his strange relationship with Masha, a mysterious Russian girl.
If only it wasn't so stereotypical and one-dimensional, it could have been a pretty interesting book. Well, it would also need to lose the unsympathetic main character, flowery prose, ridiculous word choices and the rather odd structure.
Nick is apparently telling the tale to some future partner and that serves to eliminate a lot of the tension.
I was interested enough to see how the story ended but I didn't care much for the book. The author's writing style was clearly laborious and contrived. The observations on Russian culture seemed authentic enough but lacked a sense of insight or sympathy that would have made it more engaging.
I spent most of the time wondering how a 38 year old character with such a taxing job could actually be that stupid and naive and irresponsible. (less)
This book is promoted as being a tense, psychological thriller and it does live up to that promise. I did not see the twist coming and I was sufficien...moreThis book is promoted as being a tense, psychological thriller and it does live up to that promise. I did not see the twist coming and I was sufficiently confused and curious while reading to keep me turning the page. The premise, while not exactly unique, was engaging enough and perfect for this type of book. The reader can easily fall into Christine's shoes and share her anxiety, doubt and confusion. The characters felt flawed in a way that made them pretty realistic
My main issues with it were Dr. Nash (he gave off unintentional creepy vibes, imo) and the journal format. It's slightly lazy to use diary entries like this but it was apt in the situation. How else could the reader have experienced the journey with Christine considering her amnesia? But really, I don't believe anyone writes a journal as formally as she did. The way the conversations, dialogue and encounters were written were not how people write personal experiences. I think a person is more likely to give an account of what was said than he said, she said dialogue. It just bugged me.
I assumed it was written by a woman and finding out the writer was actually a man made me think about how the pov was not as believable as it could be. Overall, it's a decent read if you like this kind of book. And if, like me, you don't read too many of them so that you see the ending coming. I don't believe it deserves the hype it's getting in any way. (less)
Since I had seen the movie version of this book before I read it (and now know it's an extremely faithful adaptation) there were no surprises here for...moreSince I had seen the movie version of this book before I read it (and now know it's an extremely faithful adaptation) there were no surprises here for me.
It was still a really enjoyable read, though. I loved the writing -- it was really pretty and evocative and the there was this ever-present sense of bleakness on every page that made it so easy to picture the situation. Ree is a fantastic character and this is a book that I'm glad to have read. (less)