"I can't believe he can say so much in so few words."
"Not fair. I want this to have been my idea."
Yep. I'm quoting myself. These thoughts, and many like them, popped in to my head on nearly every page.
I loved it so much I wish I'd written it myself.
It's a middle grade chapter book. The few illustrations are beautiful, even in black and white on my Kindle. The short, rapid fire chapters are perfect for reading aloud or for letting a 10-year-old feel like she is reading quickly. The simple sentence structure is flawless and a joy to read.
My only critic...the ending. It's far more open ended than I expected. There's got to be a sequel on the way. I hope so. I'll be first in line.
I finished The Wild Robot, and immediately started reading it to my 7-and-under crew. They're hooked. That's the highest complement I can give.
My 10-year-old checked this out from his school library because the Netflix series looks like fun. He got to chapter 5 and gave up. There is nothing fun about this book.
In his words: "It was so sad it made me want to cry!"
Naturally, I had to give it a go. Isn't this a series folks love?
I read it. It made me want to cry.
Can anyone explain why this series is popular?
Perfectly happy and kind children have their parents die. They receive no love, support, or kindness. They are forced to live in the care of the creepy Count Olaf, an abusive distant relative who beats them and treats them like slaves. He threatens the 12-year-old and 14-year-old by putting their baby sister in a cage and tells them he'll throw her off a tower if the 14-year-old girl doesn't agree to marry him so he can gain access to the fortune left for them by their dead parents. He even talks about taking her home on their "wedding night."
Gross. And sad.
I get that in the next book Olaf shows up again, only this time disguised as some other obscure relative. I can only imagine how each of the THIRTEEN BOOKS in the series stick to a similar formula. Is there a happy ending at the end of book THIRTEEN?
Another Middle Grade adventure that copies from the ones who came before and actually did it right.
Like so many in the genre, the characters have no layers, the story has no meat, the resolutions are premanufactured, and the plot is holy enough to be religious.
There is some fun to be had, it's not all bad. The story is more fast food than home cooking, but I suppose that's what kids like better anyway. I won't be continuing the series, but if my kids are interested I'd be happy to recommend it to them.
It's "Survivor" on steriods. Conflicting personalities. Social media interaction. Clever edits that tell viewers a story, not what actually happened. Behind the scenes of the guts of the show. Privately, the producers give the contestants names based on the character trait they want to develop for the production. Fascinating...and fun.
...Right up until an unknown microbial epidemic wipes out 1/2 of the world's population in a matter of days. The contestants don't know what's happening. Some are rescued. Some die. One keeps going, oblivious. To win, you have to keep going. Last one standing wins $1 Million. For The Last One, it's all part of the show.
And for us, the real fun begins.
It was a race to the finish for me. I wanted to see how this one ended.
It was gross. It was sad. It was scary.
It was cool.
Dead people. Bad smells. Don't close your eyes. Don't get comfortable.
Just wait until her glasses break...
There's language. Minimal violence, but plenty of gore. No sex. Lots of squirming. (By me. Not in the book.) An ending I can live with.
Plus, it's a stand alone dysopian/post apocalyptic novel. There aren't enough of those.
The Blinding Knife--book two of the Lightbringer series--is everything book one wasn't. All of the awesome. None of the awful.
I think I was a bit heavy handed in my review of the first book. Now that I've read the second, I keep having these, "OH, I see what you were doing with that!" moments.
Super-sized fantasy story? Yep. Complicated magic system that actually makes sense? Yep. Good guys to love? Yep. Bad guys to despise? Oh yes. Politics? Yep. Romance? Yep. Larger than life heroes? Oh ya. Regular guy heroes? Uh huh. Glorious battle sequences that force you to read through your lunch break and into work hours because there's no way you're going to stop reading for something as meaningless as your job? Ye...nope. None of that. Booorrring.
I love the role religion plays in this world and the story. Mirroring reality on many levels, there are the devout, the pretenders, and the apostates. Religion defines the culture and it's norms, but what is holy for one are chains for another. Who is right? The devout, who follow blindly? The pretenders who lead and must rally believers to their cause, but who carry questions in their hearts? Or the apostates, whose message of casting off self-imposed chains sounds right, but could be nothing but empty promises calculated to elevate only themselves in the end.
Very, very cool stuff. Can't wait to get into book three, The Broken Eye.
Speaking of book three, make sure you have it handy. Book two ends in an uncomfortable place.
Language. Sex. Violence. No lines crossed for me, but this isn't for your kids.
I kept on with the series because the story was intriguing. A kingdom of Queens and magic. Chosen ones who must learn to accept their role as hero. Immortal bad guys. Questions to be answered. Flashbacks that fill in the missing pieces of the story.
All the pieces were there. It just couldn't come together.
Book three actually had me excited for a while. These characters were finally being cool. They weren't saying dumb things and making horrible choices. The story stayed interesting.
Then, the ending happened. It was awful, and with that ending all the annoyances came rushing back. All good will was lost.
Too much social commentary. Too much shade thrown at religion. Too much sex and language. Too much awful. Not enough awesome.
Dante's hell has more hope than you're going to find in The Road.
At least Dante made it out.
My daughter was assigned The Road by her high school Lit teacher, so I'm reading it along with her. I'm glad I did, because there is a lot we'll need to talk about.
It's the most dreary, dark, and depressing book I've ever read.
I appreciated its brilliance. Cormac McCarthy is obviously an artist with his words. I loved that the book was written with no quotations, no chapters, and no names. What an effect! Chill. Harsh. Grey. Flavorless. Cold. Fear. No break. Never ending. I can only dream of being able to move people with my words they way he is able to move people with his. His words moved me. I cried.
They just moved me the wrong way. And I cried because I was sad.
The Road offers no relief from the despair. Not a single glimmer of hope. There's no happy ending here. Only sadness, tragedy, and despair. Others who read The Road find the opposite. They find strength in the unconquerable human spirit. The never-give-up-ness of the man and his so-relatable-it-makes-my-heart-ache love for the boy. And they are right, I do want to go home tonight and hug my kids a little tighter and a little longer.
Because I don't want them to die or be eaten by cannibals.
I don't need despair to stir those feelings. I'll be hugging my kids tight regardless. I'll hug them longer and tighter when moved by joy than when moved by despair.
There's enough sadness in the world. I don't need to read books about it.
I don't read just to feel. I want books to lift me up. I read to feel joy.
Recommended for 15-and-ups are too happy and need to have more sadness in their life. If you just appreciate good literature, you'd probably be glad you experienced The Road too.
I liked this one better than the first, and I'm being pulled along by the story.
There's just enough wrong here that I don't feel any urgency to advocate for this series. Everyone's a caricature. Odd and frequent use of the f-word. Lots of characters to keep track of. There is a pretty strong rape scene in this one--not that it's wrong to have in the book, but you may want to be aware that it's there before you start.
This continues to be a series that is all about the story, not the characters. Not a deal breaker, more an annoyance.
The 3rd book comes out in a couple of weeks, and I'll be reading it when it does. Who knows, a great finish could change my tune....more
I was in the mood for some good historical fiction, and The Cres....
Zzzzzz. Zzzzzz. Zzzzzz...
Oh, sorry. Fell asleep.
Like I was saying--I wanted to read some engaging historical fiction. The Cres...cent Ss...p.......yyy...
Zzzzz. Zzzzzz. Snort. Zzzzz....
[Jolts awake, disoriented. Wipes drool from cheek]
Dang, it happened again.
I guess I can't even write about this one without being bored out of my mind.
That's probably not entirely fair. The story has promise, and there are many very good reviews. Maybe I was just in a cynical mood while reading The Crescent Spy. There is a strong female heroine in a time period when women were not supposed to be strong, and I like that. It's a Civil War story that re-imagines navy battles on the Mississippi. I haven't read anything like that before, so that was cool. The content is clean, and I like that too.
But the exciting parts weren't exciting. The intrigue wasn't intriguing. The tension wasn't...tight?
So I'm calling it boring. But don't let that stop you if you're interested, maybe you'll find more there that I did. If you do, I'd love to hear about it.