This book challenged me in so many ways. It was beautiful and strange, intense and haunting, and so utterly tragic. While there will always be one thi...moreThis book challenged me in so many ways. It was beautiful and strange, intense and haunting, and so utterly tragic. While there will always be one thing that I'll never agree with or get past, I'm glad I read it, and will definitely check out Michaelis's other books. I'm not a huge fan of translations, but this one was done very well. (Though, the references to Chicago made me laugh, even though they weren't meant to be funny!)
I definitely recommend the book, but brace yourself, it's a rough and heartbreaking read! I'll miss the fairytale of the little queen and the story of Anna and Abel when I pick up a different book before bed tonight. :-/ (less)
This is a tough one for me. I can't figure out what I like more the story or the writing. I also can't figure out what bugs me more the story or the w...moreThis is a tough one for me. I can't figure out what I like more the story or the writing. I also can't figure out what bugs me more the story or the writing. So, I guess the answer to both...is both.
I can understand why some people love this book, and why it makes others want to bang their head against a wall. I'm in the middle being pulled in both directions.
I'll say this: there's some beauty in this novel. If you are good at suspending nearly all reason and aren't too concerned with character development, and you like gothic reads, then you'll probably LOVE this book. I, however, said, "WTF" and "Umm, what?" way too many times. The writer had some great ideas and situations to work with. I just think she needed a better editor to help reign those in. The story also didn't build. The foreshadowing was very lacking. Circumstances and characters just appeared when it was convenient to the plot. That's a big no.
BUT, I will read the sequel, because it did grab me enough to want to know what happens next. At least, I think? Stay tuned! (less)
Things I loved: the story, the complexity of the main character, the end. You don't have to love or know dance/ballet to read/love this book. The stor...moreThings I loved: the story, the complexity of the main character, the end. You don't have to love or know dance/ballet to read/love this book. The story is about so much more than ballet. It could have been titled a million other things, but for a few reasons POINTE does work best.
Things I didn't love: Not much of to complain about. However, I did feel like there were a few too many minor characters. This lead to all of them being a bit flat and underdeveloped.
Read it. Love it. And, say, YES to diversity in books! (less)
Wow. Wow. Wowowowoww. I loved this. I thought it was going to be sweet and light and funny, and it was, but I should have known at some point it would...moreWow. Wow. Wowowowoww. I loved this. I thought it was going to be sweet and light and funny, and it was, but I should have known at some point it would punch me in the gut. And, boy, did it ever. There's definitely some silly and slightly implausible things about the story, but if you've ever been a teenage girl, you get it. It's real. This happens. And, you know through the whole story that it's going to happen, yet just like a teenage girl in denial, as a reader, you just keep wishing, hoping and praying for that fairytale ending. Does it happen? You'll have to read it for yourself. I highly recommend that you do!
I did go with four stars instead of five, because while I mostly appreciated some of the unique uses of the English language and the unconventional sentence structure, it was also rather distracting at some points.
I don't often wish for sequels to near perfect stories, but, again, having been that teenage girl once in my life, I would love, love, love to know what happens next. Even though, I probably already do. ;)
And, a note on this particular special edition that was stunningly illustrated: Worth the money. Go find this copy! While not necessary, it really did help bring the story to life and made it more fun...until it punches in the gut...repeatedly!
(Question: Can someone with the regular edition answer me this...did it also include pictures? I feel like it would have to. I'm just curious how different it looked...)(less)
Great writing. Highly, highly entertaining. Haas goes there. You know, THERE--that place where many/most YA authors will never go. The envelope has be...moreGreat writing. Highly, highly entertaining. Haas goes there. You know, THERE--that place where many/most YA authors will never go. The envelope has been more than pushed. It's ripped opened, chewed up, destroyed.
This is a mash up of the Amanda Knox story and the movie, BROKE DOWN PALACE. Sweet.
I love the intensity of the relationship between the narrator, Anna, and her best friend, murder victim, Elise. I love the narration style and scattered chronology. It really built the intensity.
And, THAT ending, when Haas went THERE. Yes. Yes. YES. Even though I solved/guessed the secret to the mystery early on in the book, the ending still got me. And, i disagree with other reviews that say Haas didn't appropriately establish enough justification, clues, foreshadowing, etc, throughout the book to justify the ending. Nope, she totally did. It's there. THERE. It's perfect. (less)
Finally read. Finally cried. Finally had all of the feels.
What can I say that hasn't been said? Not much.
Another winner from John Green, with even m...moreFinally read. Finally cried. Finally had all of the feels.
What can I say that hasn't been said? Not much.
Another winner from John Green, with even more heart and feels than LOOKING FOR ALASKA. Even with a writer like Green, who one a Printz for his debut LOOKING FOR ALASKA, it's still awesome to see the growth and development of his writing as he gains more experience and publishes more books.
I will say that I never, ever find Green's teen characters to be particularly believable as teens, and typically this would bother me, but with Green it never seems to. Let's be real--99.9% of teens do not speak this way. Most adults wish they could be as witty and/or possess the vocabulary of a John Green teenager. However, much like Dawson, Pacey and Joey of Dawson's Creek spoke and interacted in a way that was well beyond their years, the setting, themes and story were all very much a depiction of the true struggle that it is to be a teenager. Green does this and does it better.
I definitely shed some tears and let out a few audible sobs. However, when I turned the last page, I still felt good, warm and inspired. (Unlike when I sobbed uncontrollably for days over another YA "cancer book," BEFORE I DIE. BID is one of my favs, and while the books have a similar theme they are very different. However, I recommend both!) (less)
The reviews on this are so mixed and the plot sounds so different that I will definitely have to try this one out! It's also being frequently compared...moreThe reviews on this are so mixed and the plot sounds so different that I will definitely have to try this one out! It's also being frequently compared to IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma, which makes it even more interesting!
So, I read it, and I think I understand why the reviews are so mixed. On one hand, the writing is, at times, beautiful and full of dark whimsy. It pulled me in and kept me turning pages. However, when you come out of the fog and haze of beautiful sentences, you're not left with much of a story, and you might realize you don't much care about the characters.
I don't really understand the choice to clearly reference that Aurora's father "was" Kurt Colbain, when it wasn't at all necessary to the story. And, the vagueness about Aurora's skin color just sort of irked me on personal note. And, just let the narrator/main character have a name already! What purpose does it serve to leave her nameless?!
All of that aside, I never bought in to this deep friendship between the nameless narrator and Aurora. There wasn't enough buildup or connection developed on the page between them for me to care about them being reunited. And, while that relationship was a bit weak, the relationship between the narrator and her love interest made ZERO sense and was never enough to make this reader care about him or about them as a couple.
And, then, at the end, it becomes more of a paranormal read? Whaaa? I just don't get it.
I loved the writing, but the story just didn't do it for me. Will I continue with the series? Probably not. (less)
Read this book. Go. Right now. Go, right now, and read this book!!
I'm angry with myself for letting this original, dark, heartbreaking and amazing bo...moreRead this book. Go. Right now. Go, right now, and read this book!!
I'm angry with myself for letting this original, dark, heartbreaking and amazing book sit on my shelf unread for as long as I did.
Quick is also the author of SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, however, this book (and his others besides SLP) is young adult. Don't let that deter you, even if you do not typically read YA. And, if you do read YA, why haven't you read this book yet?
I wish I could tell you somethings about FM,LP without giving everything away, but the story doesn't really allow for that. I can say that Leonard wakes up on his 18th birthday with a plan to murder his former best friend and then to commit suicide using his grandfather's WWII Nazi-issued war prize gun. I promise, that isn't a spoiler. You learn that on page one.
If you're a teacher or a parent, dare to put this book in the hands of a child who may need it. (After you've read it first!) Books save lives! (less)
I finished this book over twelve hours ago, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it all day. I'm pretty sure I'll be thinking about it well...moreI finished this book over twelve hours ago, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it all day. I'm pretty sure I'll be thinking about it well into next week, month, year, etc.
This is great story telling. This is brave writing. This is utterly hilarious and horrifying and relevant, while being both contemporary and timeless.
I gave Andrew Smith, Austin, Robby and St. Kazimierz a standing ovation in my living room at 6am when I finished reading it. I wish I was still teaching, because I'd put this book into the hands of each and every one of my students until my bank account ran out of money!
How can there be so much right in a book that is so beyond full of wrong? I don't know, but there is, and you and everyone you know should read this.
There's so much I want/could discuss about GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE, but I don't want to give anything away. And, more than that, I don't want to cloud or pre-inform anyone's judgement before he/she reads it. So, instead, I'll say, if you do read it (and you MUST!), let me know when you're done. I would LOVE to discuss it!!