How do you say no to Jodi Piccoult on a library book sale shelf for only $2? You don't. And I'm glad. For once, although this book was written 14 yearHow do you say no to Jodi Piccoult on a library book sale shelf for only $2? You don't. And I'm glad. For once, although this book was written 14 years ago, she gave up her trademark twist at the end of this engrossing tale. Cassie Barrett is a bookish anthropologist who catches the eye of Alex Rivers, hot shot Hollywood actor, on the set of a movie where she's been asked to act as technical advisor. All is not what it seems, however, and after Cassie and Alex are married in a quickie ceremony on set, Cassie discovers her new husband is an abusive drunk who cannot shake the skeletons of his past. The question becomes, does she leave or does she stay? And if she stays, will she survive his rages?
The book ended precisely as I would have liked it to end, perhaps even better, since Cassie didn't take it like a doormat at the end of the day. This has been my favorite Piccoult book thus far, which is funny since it's one I'd kind of looked over a couple of times while browsing the shelves. I've learned my lesson. ...more
Jodi Piccoult is one of my favorite writers and I was desperate to get my hands on a copy of this book--so desperate in fact that I actually broke myJodi Piccoult is one of my favorite writers and I was desperate to get my hands on a copy of this book--so desperate in fact that I actually broke my recent rule about only reading what I could get from Paperback Swap and had my sister pick me up a copy of it. Nineteen Minutes centers around the events in a small New Hampshire town when young Peter goes literally ballistic and shoots up his high school. Peter has endured years of abuse, beginning in kindergarten, at the hands of his peers and teachers, administrators, and his own parents have been unsympathetic about his torment. He goes to school, detonates a bomb, and in the ensuing panic, starts shooting.
The story follows two different families, that of Peter's and that of Josie's--Peter's sometimes friend and the daughter of a judge he may potentially face as part of his trial. Josie leaves Peter behind in grade school, becoming a queen bee, but she has her own personal demons behind being a popular kid and not feeling much like herself--or even knowing who she is if she's not Matt's girlfriend or the smart or pretty girl.
The story was un-put-down-able until the end, and then I thought the end was basically bullshit. (Pardon my Francais, gentle readers) There was a little twist at the end and I thought, "Huh, why the hell did she do that?!" which was also what I was thinking when I read another Piccoult classic, My Sister's Keeper. So I'm going to accept it as "what she does" and come away saying this was a darned good read. Fortunately not the tear jerker My Sister's Keeper was, but good nonetheless. ...more
One of the girls in my book club said this was her favorite of Jodi Piccoult's books, and one day during my lunch break, I went to B&N and read haOne of the girls in my book club said this was her favorite of Jodi Piccoult's books, and one day during my lunch break, I went to B&N and read half of it. I was interested to see how it turned out, so last Friday, I went to Borders, grabbed a copy, finished it, and made use of their liberal return policy and brought it back. So yeah, it was not one of my favorites of hers (I think that title still belongs to Picture Perfect).
Until the phone calls came at three o'clock on a November morning, the Golds and their neighbors, the Hartes, had been inseparable. It was no surprise to anyone when their teenage children, Chris and Emily, began showing signs that their relationship was moving beyond that of lifelong friends. But now seventeen-year-old Emily is dead—shot with a gun her beloved and devoted Chris pilfered from his father's cabinet as part of an apparent suicide pact—leaving two devastated families stranded in the dark and dense predawn, desperate for answers about an unthinkable act and the children they never really knew.
****If you should buy this book from Amazon.com, please do not purchase it from the "P.S." edition page, which gives away the entire story in one fell swoop.****
The book was pretty good, although frankly I thought that the story was a wee bit far-fetched, but again, most of her endings are. Chris eventually stands accused of Emily's murder, and while Emily's mother withdraws, Emily's father takes Chris's side in the whole thing and begins an affair with Chris's mother. And that's not even the half of it. I have Keeping Faith on the shelf downstairs, but I suspect I might wind up taking a Piccoult break till after meeting her at the National Book Festival (anyone want to go?!). I get so aggravated every time the books end that I feel like a break is a good thing. Still, it was a page turner, I read the whole thing in 2 sittings, and while not my favorite, I do feel like it's a good piece of the body of her work. I don't regret reading it, but just won't read it again! Approach with caution, this turned into my least favorite of hers (a place which was previously held by Vanishing Acts.) ...more
I HATE THE WAY PEOPLE WRITE ABOUT NEW YORK CITY. Not everyone in New York is wealthy or artsy or bohemian. There are plenty of average, every day peopI HATE THE WAY PEOPLE WRITE ABOUT NEW YORK CITY. Not everyone in New York is wealthy or artsy or bohemian. There are plenty of average, every day people just living in the city, working, taking care of families, going to school, and/or getting it done. Why do 99% of the books about NY have some crazy songstress who works as a waitress when not launching her own fashion line with her own signature hair color? Or an uptight stockbroker who goes to the Hamptons on weekends to unwind with his mistress while his wife and three children are at home in Manhattan on their 54th floor penthouse?
Ok, Ok, I'm calming down, neither of those people show up in The Namesake, but they very well could have. And it really pisses me off.
It also really pissed me off that a) Gogol spent his young life running away from marrying a fellow Bengali, then finds one he actually loves, marries her and then it's like a flip is switched the minute the honeymoon ends and they hate each other and get divorced; and b) that he is called "conflicted" when all he's trying to do is figure out who he is when out from under the shadow of his domineering parents. Oh, and there was nothing particularly comic about it, despite what the back cover might have you believe.
Still, I thought it was a great book, and I truly enjoyed it. I never would have read it on my own, as I'm also fussy about "ethnic" books for some strange reason, even though I loved, loved, loved the Kite Runner. I just tend to read white bread America books more than any others. Maybe I need to start broadening my horizons. ...more
Judy bought Michael and me this book four years ago on our first anniversary, since the traditional gift is paper. She bought us a copy on audio and iJudy bought Michael and me this book four years ago on our first anniversary, since the traditional gift is paper. She bought us a copy on audio and in print. The audio is read marvelously by Jeremy Irons (yum!). But I have the print copy and decided to read it as well this time. My book club's waiting list has gotten so long that we formed a splinter group, which will now meet on Sundays. This is the first book that group is going to read together, and I'm really looking forward to discussing it, since I had forgotten how great this book is.
The tale is that of a Spanish shepherd named Santiago who is haunted by a dream of finding his treasure under the Egyptian pyramids. He is encouraged to do so by a gypsy and an old king, and so he sells his flock and makes his way across the desert, having many grand adventures as he does so. He learns many important lessons about life, such as not doing something just because that's the way you've always done it, and the importance of following your heart. The book is kind of self-helpy without being self-helpy, and I really like that about it. It's also just a great story. Without getting into overblown detail, you feel as if you know exactly what each place looks like, you can envision each character, you can nearly smell and taste each experience yourself. The writing is exquisite. I'm jealous! ...more