I gained a new respect for Tim Gunn when I heard his interview on NPR's Fresh Air a few months ago. Honestly, I identify with him on many levels and h...moreI gained a new respect for Tim Gunn when I heard his interview on NPR's Fresh Air a few months ago. Honestly, I identify with him on many levels and his honesty and humility about his relationship and privacy preferences sort of helped to validate me (to myself anyway!). But this book was a pleasant way to spend time with the man and reaffirm some notions of manners, even if he tries his best to gossip in the most polite way possible. (less)
A lot of fun to be had in these pages... great interplay between the Guardians, the young X-Men, the Imperial Guard and Starjammers. Even in a world w...moreA lot of fun to be had in these pages... great interplay between the Guardians, the young X-Men, the Imperial Guard and Starjammers. Even in a world where everything changes but everything stays the same, some interesting fallout with Jean Grey evolving some uncanny blend of abilities and Scott's reaction to meeting his father alive, again. And who doesn't enjoy shipping Starlord/Kitty now!?(less)
I received this book through the GoodReads FirstReads program. I love comics, graphic novels, and Wool, so thought it was pretty cool when I was chose...moreI received this book through the GoodReads FirstReads program. I love comics, graphic novels, and Wool, so thought it was pretty cool when I was chosen to win this book through the giveaways. I think that a first-time reader of the series may have a hard time following the story; it accelerated quite quickly, clearly with the intention of focusing on Juliette and not so much the first couple of Wool books with Holston, Marnes as main characters. BUT: for a fan of the series, To see the story, characters, and the silo itself brought to life through this medium is a real treat. The art was rendered well, and the artist's perspective is sharp and dark. (less)
A naïve college student with fairly low self-esteem from a low socio-economic background is so desperate to escape her own life that she allows hersel...moreA naïve college student with fairly low self-esteem from a low socio-economic background is so desperate to escape her own life that she allows herself to do the bidding of her roommate’s well-to-do, cruel family…
I know that sounds like a harsh way to describe the main character, but I didn’t find Mabel to possess enough personality or drive to figure out anything else she was after through the course of Bittersweet. I liked the book enough to finish it, if only because I wanted the down-on-her-luck, poor, naïve girl to expose some of the dark secrets of the wealthy and self-important Winslows. In the back of my mind, I figured that even in doing so, it wouldn’t matter much to make the Winslows pay for their crimes of character or financial/familial deception. That, or Mabel would garner some sympathy for the clan and the nature of the good-or-evil members of the family wouldn’t turn out to be black or white. Turns out my assumptions of a conclusion were all kinds of wrong, as I’d no idea how dark the story would go.
I wanted more of an idea of what I was supposed to be reading: either YA or literature, but there weren’t enough references to pop culture to classify this novel as YA or character development to bring it up to literature status. I like to think I know I’m reading something correctly, I guess. There were enough twists and satisfying turns to think of it as a drama-mystery, however, and that won some credits for me. I feel the need to also mention that the sexy stuff (not the incest and sexual assaults) seemed out of the blue and randomly placed for shock value (but it is from the POV of a naïve, down-on-her… oh, you get it).
AND THEN… unfortunately, it took about 230 pages before I understood what the most positive of reviews were getting at… the story takes a dramatic, sharp turn towards dangerous territory as Mabel begins to unravel the secrets of the family she was manipulated into investigating. Part soap-opera, part thriller, us readers are thrust out of this lackluster world of Mabel’s woes and desires to belong, and plunged straight into some churning waters, and I think most of us felt validated at this point, the effort of our 230-page hike revealing the reason we’d made it so far. The view is gruesome, even ridiculous, but so troubled and mystifying you can’t look away. Ultimately, Mabel is pulled so deep into the world of psychopaths (even some psychopaths with the best of intentions) that you’re wondering if she’ll succumb to her environment and join her newly minted family or find the courage to survive them.
You probably won’t be sorry you read this book, but if I had known it would take hundreds of pages before I appreciated it, I likely wouldn’t have picked it up. (less)
This will probably come off sounding like more of a review of JK Rowling, but whatever…. I liked The Silkworm, a lot! Rowling is such an imaginative a...moreThis will probably come off sounding like more of a review of JK Rowling, but whatever…. I liked The Silkworm, a lot! Rowling is such an imaginative author, its hard to imagine she didn’t have a grand ole time piecing together this detective novel, plunging into the mind of a narcissistic, haunted author and the strange collection of publishers and writers who make up the cast. The characters are more fresh than the previous novel, Cormoran and Robin fleshed out in all the right places. Like Cuckoo’s Calling, the details are extravagantly difficult to keep track of, but that hardly matters as the story doesn’t want to let go of its audience, who should remain entertained, intrigued, and fascinated throughout this sequel. (less)
**This is a review of an Advanced Reader’s Edition of this book, which I received through the GoodReads First Reads program.**
Some initial hesitancy i...more**This is a review of an Advanced Reader’s Edition of this book, which I received through the GoodReads First Reads program.**
Some initial hesitancy in the first chapter, but I always get nervous when starting a new book, especially a free one; slowly, I become a bit more interested and endeared towards Amina and her mother. As the next few chapters unfold, I’m pulled into the drama of the sleep-disordered-men in this family, enchanted by the varied layers of death and destruction that speak to beauty (through art) and pain (through trauma), adding to the mysterious elements of the book, the compelling madness of the male characters.
Sleepwalker’s Guide speaks to the stubborn nature of holding on to our own mortality by denying our faults, weaknesses, health issues, even our strengths in pursuit of some recognition of a protected life. Family conflict, supposed isolation in the world even though those around us want the best for us, even when their ideas aren’t similar to our own. So often, we don't know our own saving graces, or even give people the chance to help us.
Jacob excels at navigating between the decades and structuring the book so that the timing is just right to expose the story. I think this helped accentuate the right parts, shocking us in the best places, devastating us and shocking only when it works just so. We are a part of this family through the author’s writing, whether we like it or not, and we celebrate, laugh, cry with them.
Really, I’d give this book 4 1/2 stars, for what it’s worth.
I liked what Jamie smirkingly told their high school teacher, that maybe it’s best to just experience something and then think about it later. I found myself doing that with this book, and found the overall experience very pleasant. (less)