At first I was REALLY bugged that it was a Regency period novel with such basic language, but I read the author's comments at the back about writing i...moreAt first I was REALLY bugged that it was a Regency period novel with such basic language, but I read the author's comments at the back about writing in that form to make it more accessible to today's teen. Knowing that helped made me more disappointed than mad.
It is a sappy romance. I can't imagine a man actually EVER talking like Phillip, but it's what a girl would WANT a guy to say. So many of the details (like the inheritance amount) are so over the top that it's laughable, but hey, it's a CLEAN, romance novel, and I'd probably recommend it to my daughter when she's ready to read chick flicks in book form.(less)
Divergent actually ended in a place where I could have walked away and been fine. Insurgent left us at a cliffhanger. Now I HAVE to read book 3 to get...moreDivergent actually ended in a place where I could have walked away and been fine. Insurgent left us at a cliffhanger. Now I HAVE to read book 3 to get everything resolved. (less)
A novelization of the Grimm Brother's classic tale. I liked the additional details and plot that the author adds to the story. The wicked dwarf is gon...moreA novelization of the Grimm Brother's classic tale. I liked the additional details and plot that the author adds to the story. The wicked dwarf is gone, replaced instead by a couple of sorcerers--one knowledgeable but easily led by the other who was less skilled but more conniving. I also liked getting to know both princes, not just the one that was enchanted.
Even though the setting took place in Elizabethan England, the phrasing "it likes me not" became distracting for me each time it was used (which was a LOT). I know that the German, "Es gefaellt mir nicht." is phrased the same way, so the author was trying for historically correct language. Be prepared for an unnatural feel to some of the language due to the time period shifting of verbs and the use of pronouns "thou" and "thee" and their conjugations in this story.
The end turned out nicely for Snow White, Rose Red, Widow Arden (their mother), and their princes, but I wish the author had done more to punish the men that had caused Hugh to take on the form of a bear. The author mentioned the cropped ears of one of the men as a shameful mark of punishment for something he'd done, but she didn't do much with that. It looks like they both managed to escape to Poland. Sure the townspeople burned down their house down, but they were already safely gone. Yes, they went separate ways, but that hardly seems a punishment. I was hoping for a bit more justice in their ending.
Overall, not my favorite retelling, but a good, quick read.
Normally novelized fairy tales are my favorite, but this isn't one I'll be sharing with my kids any time soon. Zel is locked into a tower by the witch...moreNormally novelized fairy tales are my favorite, but this isn't one I'll be sharing with my kids any time soon. Zel is locked into a tower by the witch who has been her mother, and she teeters on the edge of sanity when she's isolated from all outside contact. The handsome, young count that she met once in town and has been obsessed with finding her ever since, finally does find her after two years of searching. When Konrad finds Zel, he realizes that her isolation has changed her mental state, putting her on the edge of sanity. In spite of that realization, they make love in the tower, and then he takes off to get tools to aid him in rescuing Zel before the witch comes to bring her meal for the day. When Count Konrad comes back, of course Zel is gone and the witch is there. Briars, blindness, babies, and healing tears... you know the rest of the story.
I didn't like that Zel was going insane from being in the tower. It's more realistic than Disney's Tangled, but I could go without her making her slop bucket a mess, using pigeon poo to paint on her hand, or going naked whenever Mother isn't around. It was hard for me to read about Mother seeing that what she was doing to Zel was really harming her but doing it anyway because it suited her own selfish interests. I could have also done without the reference to her period that she had every month in her waste bucket and the drawing she made of the goat mounting another. I think the author was trying to let us know that Zel was hot-and-bothered after being deprived of physical contact for so long; she craved it, which is why she and Konrad made love on the spot instead of waiting for recovery or marriage. I didn't like the author having Zel consider herself married after she and the count slept together--after their encounter, she refers to her mattress as her stained wedding bed. (At least we were spared the details of their wedding night.) The biggest issue I had with the book was the way the count handled being with Zel in the tower. Instead of rescuing Zel and helping her to recover, the count beds her right there in the tower. To me, that just felt sleazy. His voice just acknowledged that she needed to recover, so he shouldn't have taken advantage of a young girl with addled brains.
I liked the three different voices (Zel, mother, and Konrad the count) that the story is told in. I always enjoy a good fairy tale told in a unique way.
This is a young adult read, not juvenile fiction.(less)
**spoiler alert** I would have liked this book more if it didn't have so much blood-and-guts sword play. I lost track of how many beheadings there wer...more**spoiler alert** I would have liked this book more if it didn't have so much blood-and-guts sword play. I lost track of how many beheadings there were in the book, and I didn't need the bad guys AND good guys to describe the gruesome ways they eliminated each other.
I was disappointed that Alfred was supposedly making this hero's journey of transformation, but ended up back in the high school and casually referring to the fact that he'd killed a guy by whacking off his head. Whether he said it to impress a girl, disarm a bully, or impress his peers is irrelevant. Alfred does have moments of mature insight. He realizes that after the age of 10-11, kids really should have their core values in place and shouldn't expect to excuse poor choices with, "I'm just a kid".
I think it could have done more with the references to Camelot, King Arthur, and the knights of the round table. I thought the reference to the Broadway musical Camelot, made by Bennacio after Alfred asked him what kind of music he liked, was more lame than funny.
Not my favorite read, but it drew me in faster than other books I'm currently reading. (less)
This was a great, suspenseful read--the dystopia and romantic triangle brings to mind Hunger Games.
In this dystopia, there are only 100 songs, 100 pic...moreThis was a great, suspenseful read--the dystopia and romantic triangle brings to mind Hunger Games.
In this dystopia, there are only 100 songs, 100 pictures, 100 poems - everything else was destroyed as cultural clutter. Writing is a lost art, only typing is used, artifacts from the past must be registered, and coming up with a unique thought unheard of. Triggered by several events that take place in a short amount of time, Cassia changes from being a young girl delighted with the prospect Society making her perfect match for her to realizing that she wants to make choices of her own. (less)
I've debated on how many stars to give this book because all the German swearing made me nuts, but the book itself was interesting and accurate in its...moreI've debated on how many stars to give this book because all the German swearing made me nuts, but the book itself was interesting and accurate in its depiction of WWII in a poor town in Nazi Germany.
The story is told from the perspective of Death as the Narrator.
I don't recommend it for anyone younger than high school age.(less)
The second paragraph of the story reads: "She was a person of sixteen or so--alone, and uncommonly pretty. She was slender and pale, and dressed in mou...moreThe second paragraph of the story reads: "She was a person of sixteen or so--alone, and uncommonly pretty. She was slender and pale, and dressed in mourning, with a black bonnet under which she tucked back a straying twist of blond hair that the wind had teased loose. She had unusually dark brown eyes for one so fair. Her name was Sally Lockhart; and within fifteen minutes, she was going to kill a man."
The mystery starts fast and keeps the pace going throughout with deception, blackmail, murder, and drugs. (I learned more about opium than I cared to know.) The protagonist, Sally, is very unconventional for her time period. (less)
This is a book that you want to make sure you have time to read cover to cover when you start because you won't want to put it down!
The action is fast...moreThis is a book that you want to make sure you have time to read cover to cover when you start because you won't want to put it down!
The action is fast-paced throughout the book, but what I liked the most was the perspectives of two of the main characters. Katniss is driven by survival. She's shrewd; she's calculating; she's aware of political nuances of everything she does. Peeta on the other hand seems to be driven by a sense of who he is; what is right and wrong, by love and not calculations or expectations.
Lots of opportunity to explore motivation and being true to ourselves. It's a fabulous read, and I've got the next two on my "to read" list.
Writing another chapter for the end, would be a great assignment for a literature class.
Uggh.... the movie came out so I had to REread the series. Should know better than to do it when I have things to do. Glad I'm done and can have my life back. I couldn't put them down!(less)