I can't summarize all three books without writing a novel myself. The heroine, Lyra, is wonderful. The twists are brilliant. And the concepts behind i...moreI can't summarize all three books without writing a novel myself. The heroine, Lyra, is wonderful. The twists are brilliant. And the concepts behind it are beyond imaginative. The only beefs I have are the overbearing religious aspects, Pullman's disregard for Lyra and Will's actual ages (you'll see what I mean by the end of the Amber Spyglass), and the too many characters. But hey, who's perfect? Great books. Great, great, great.(less)
I'll refrain from putting anything about this book, since several people have NOT read it yet.
Although the writing seemed flawed at times (almost as i...moreI'll refrain from putting anything about this book, since several people have NOT read it yet.
Although the writing seemed flawed at times (almost as if JK Rowling rushed through and didn't have an editor look over her grammar), it still flowed. By far, darker than all the other books combined. But everything came together at the end, and 95% of the questions the reader has will be answered. (less)
I loved this book. Although it's geared as young-adult fiction, it was written with such self-effacing ease that I think most adult-fiction writers co...moreI loved this book. Although it's geared as young-adult fiction, it was written with such self-effacing ease that I think most adult-fiction writers could learn quite a bit.
This is the first protagonist, in a long time, that I've fallen in love with. Charlie was wonderful-sweet, insightful, honest, awkward, brilliant, aware. His stories and encounters were believable and memorable. I found myself writing a lot of great lines down, such as:
"I feel infinite."
"Sometimes people use thought to not participate in life."
"We accept the love we think we deserve."
And those aren't even the descriptive lines-just a lot of raw, but contained, thoughts.
Although there are still flaws--I felt the ending needed a bit more build-up or hints. The discovery of Charlie's felt abrupt, and I didn't really see that coming. But maybe that was the intention--for the reader to be as clueless as Charlie. I also felt his bits of being 'bad' (in the psychotic sense) needed a bit more to them. Maybe more flashbacks or background, I don't know. And the last chapter itself has a lot if, "I feel" type of sentiments, which grated on me for a bit. But that was really it.
Really great book. Even if somebody told me that Charlie is trying to be Holden and Chbosky is trying to be Salinger.(less)
I'll always have a soft spot for Nick Hornby, even though he's pretty hit or miss.
High Fidelity...About a Boy...hit. How To Be Good..Long Way Down...m...moreI'll always have a soft spot for Nick Hornby, even though he's pretty hit or miss.
High Fidelity...About a Boy...hit. How To Be Good..Long Way Down...miss.
Slam is kind of right between them all. This is Hornby's first young adult novel, though as one reviewer has already put it, it's not too far off from his regular stories. Like every Hornby book, I got immediately into Slam. I had no idea what the book was about (though the stork with the baby on the front page wasn't too hard to decipher) but I knew I wanted to read it.
So, the basic premise is a teenage boy (Sam) who gets his ex-girlfriend Alicia pregnant. It wasn't a surprise to the reader, as Hornby dropped anvils as hints several times. Sam is, all in all, a good kid; he loves skating (skateboarding, not ice skating) and he talks to his Tony Hawke (TH) poster all the time. TH responds with segments from his biography. He doesn't know what he's doing with his life, except maybe art, and that's kind of the point of it. He's a kid. He's not supposed to know what he's doing with his life. It doesn't help that his mother is 32 (another teenage mom) and his father is a racist, ignorant screw-up. Raising a kid wasn't part of his plan at age sixteen and it's clear as the book progresses that he is too aware of this.
Maybe because there has been so much coverage in the media about accidental/teenage pregnancies, but there wasn't anything really new or surprising in this book. The one attempt that Hornby did--to have his main character either flash forward in the future, or hallucinate, it's unclear--fell flat. Even as I'm writing this review, I'm having a hard time thinking of one scene that completely stuck out. The book felt like one big scene, all mixed together. But maybe that was the point. Maybe getting pregnant so age is supposed to feel like one long passage. I think Sam even said something similiar at one part.
Ultimately, it was a sweet book. I love the introspection that Hornby's first-person characters always have and those wry, completely unaware moments of genius he brings through. It's one of my favorite qualities of his writing. (less)