Why did I request this book? Oh, right. I fell victim to the "Oooooh. Pretty Cover!" disease. And then I actually read the summary, and felt a sinking...moreWhy did I request this book? Oh, right. I fell victim to the "Oooooh. Pretty Cover!" disease. And then I actually read the summary, and felt a sinking in my stomach. I hadn't read the reviews close enough before requesting it to realize that it was a book considered New Adult. New Adult has been a genre I've been avoiding like the goddamned plague. I think it's a bullshit genre made up as a publishing, marketing, gimmick. "Hi, I'm a sad Twilight reader, I'm growing up. I think I'm too old for Young Adult, but I can't handle Adult literature. What do I read? Oh wait! This new genre is just for me! New Adult! It is easy to read like Young Adult, but it says the characters are between 18 and 25! Just like me! I'm a big kid now!"Bullshit. Fucking bullshit. New Adult doesn't exist. It's the writing style, not the age of the characters that makes a novel Young Adult or Adult. I've read YA with 25 year old characters before, and I've read Adult literature where the main character is 6. It's the style, not the age of the character. The style that seems to make up New Adult is badly written Young Adult Romance. We already have a genre for that. It's called Young Adult Romance. /rant.
Anyway, I decided to put my preconceptions aside, and try to read this with a blank slate. I was hoping it would surprise me. I was wrong.
Kacey Cleary is 20 years old. Four years ago, on the way home from a high school sports game, the car her father was driving was hit by a drunk driver. Everyone in the car - her mother, her father, her best friend, her boyfriend - all died, except for Kacey. Her little sister, Livie, was saved by a cold that had kept her home that afternoon. Custody was taken by Kacey and Livie's Aunt and Uncle, until the day that their uncle climbs into bed with Livie. Kacey and Livie run away to Miami, and that is where this novel starts.
The thing is that I actually think I liked Kacey as a character. She was believably fucked up after the way she watched almost everyone she loved die around her. She was constantly angry, but competent, could take care of herself. Yes, she needed to get help, but the character was well built and interesting.
My biggest complaint about Kacey, is that authors have got to learn that "watery" is not an attractive sounding adjective for eyes.
Aren't my watery blue eyes beaaaaautiful!? Cute, right?
And then we met Trent. And that's where everything in this novel went bad. Kacey takes one look at this man and decides that all her intellect is going to disappear. She even says at one point that her instincts tell her that he is dangerous. And yet, she still wants him? Dafuq? He's a goddamned stalker. He follows her to work, to the gym, and just watches her. And yet, they still date?
STALKING IS NOT SEXY. FOR THE LAST GODDAMNED TIME. TWIHARDS. YOU HAVE DESTROYED THE ROMANCE GENRE.
And then there's this twist, that I of course, had figured out way before the author revealed it. I'm honestly still not sure what I think of this twist. Of course it makes me hate that stupid romance x1000000 more than I already did. Story-wise it was interesting, but romance-wise it made me want to pull out my fucking hair at the root.
I received this ebook for free from the publisher, via Netgalley. This review was originally posted on RATS.(less)
I had such, amazingly high hopes for this book. I adoredShades of Grey (no, not Fifty Shades of Grey, Godfuckingdamnit) and assumed that a novel writ...moreI had such, amazingly high hopes for this book. I adoredShades of Grey (no, not Fifty Shades of Grey, Godfuckingdamnit) and assumed that a novel written by the same brilliant quirky mind in a universe where you can step into novels, especially when stepping into one of my all time favorites, Jane Eyre, would be of the same caliber, if not better. I was bloody disappointed.
Thursday Next is the stereotypical drop-in Female Agent Character; see The President's Daughter and Sympathetic Sue, from tvtropes, to see what I thought of how her character was built. She was wanted by various parts of Special Ops because of what her father did in the Chrono Guard. Her brother was lost at war, and because of something to do with this fact, she also broke up with her fiance of the time. My real problem with Thursday as a narrator was that her entire focus was on the "pity me" crap from her past. All she can think of during the climax(es) of the novel is of Landen, her ex-fiance. I know she's a woman, but come on Fforde, we do think of things other than our men.
It made me want to kick her in the face hole.
Acheron Hades - what an evil name, right? Okay, so he's kidnapped Thursday's uncle because he built the machine and bred the bookworms that allow one to step into fiction. Okay, so he's stolen a manuscript or two. But Gods above, he is taken as such Serious Business, and I don't see him as as evil as his name and his adversaries seem to make him out to be. It just escalates too damn quickly for me to really see him as a villain, instead all I saw him as was a mostly-invincible dolt who wanted to be evil. He was a Card Carrying Villain, instead of a truly evil man.
What really, really, disappointed me though, was that even though this novel is called The Eyre Affair, we don't really get to jump into Jane Eyre until two thirds of the way through the book, and it was so random after the first 2/3. It seemed like two different stories that were really only barely related to one another.
It did earn itself a star because the stuff with Jane, Rochester, and Thursday was pretty fucking cool. I just wish there'd been more of it. And the parallels between Jane and Rochester and Thursday and Landen almost made Landen bearable - almost.
And that ending!? Dear Gods, we wrapped it up with a neat little bow. And they rode off into the sunset, Happily Ever After.
Headdesk. Please excuse my while I shoot myself.
I am honestly not sure I care enough to read the rest of the series, which is really, really sad because I so lovedShades of Grey (I recommend it to everyone!). I just fear that while this was Fforde's first novel (obviously) that this lack of editing continues. He really needed a good editor for this book, but the series has done so well that I'm afraid he's been given free reign. Though on the flip side of that same coin, I'm sure that in the past 12 years, the man has matured as an author and it'd be interesting to read one of the more modern Thursday Next stories. Hmm. We'll see.
My brain feels something like this after reading this novel: full of explosions. The Paradox Problem has always been an issue when a good author takes...more
My brain feels something like this after reading this novel: full of explosions. The Paradox Problem has always been an issue when a good author takes on time travel. Sean Ferrell not only takes on the Paradox Problem, but throws it in your face. The book has a little bit of a Doctor Who in Pompeii feel to it.
A time traveler, whose first name is never given (correct? Unless I missed it somewhere) decides, when he's 19, that every year on his birthday, he is going to travel to 100 years after the date of his birth and get drunk with all past and future versions of himself. Everything changes on his 39th birthday when he is The Suit, that year, he finds the Body. The Body appears to be 6 months to a year older than he is. How could this be? There are Elders in attendance of the party, and Youngsters that are far younger than the Inventor. On top of all this, there is a mysterious woman who has been invited by some version of himself and he's never noticed her before. What has happened!? Can he possibly save the Body's life and the life of this woman?!
Wait, What? Yes, it really is just that confusing and terrifyingly awesome and wonderful. I'm writing this review and still trying to figure out exactly what happened in this novel. Any book I can finish and then immediately decide it deserves a re-read because everything loops into everything else earns some serious points in my book.
There are rules that the versions of himself are supposed to follow at the party, to prevent Paradoxes. Of course, he doesn't always follow these rules, because you can only watch yourself break your nose so many times before you try to stop it. Every choice The Suit makes that doesn't follow the expected timeline of the Elders, untethers more and more of them, freeing them to make their own choices and to change their own lives. As is put succinctly quite a few times, "Fuck the rules." The more I think about it, the more I'm deciding that "Fuck the rules," is really the point of the novel. Rules are made to be broken, and we can only truly be free when we follow our hearts and own ideals, rather than listening to how other people expect things to go.
My favorite quote of the novel is the last few sentences, and I'll share them with you, because I really don't believe it gives anything of the plot away. "The future vibrated with uncertainty. I had failed. I had ignorance. I had hope."
I do think this requires a re-read in 6 months, after I've mulled it over for a while. I need to let my brain soak in it before I start again. I think I'll take even more away from it, the second time around.
In summary: Wait, what?! Oh! Sweet! Awesome. ----------------------------------------------------------------
I received this book for free from the publisher, via NetGalley. This review was originally posted at RATS.(less)
Riley survives, she doesn't know how or why, but she survives the Red Death. The rest of the world has been wiped out by plague, her...more3 and a half Stars
Riley survives, she doesn't know how or why, but she survives the Red Death. The rest of the world has been wiped out by plague, her two children, her ex-husband. She and Zoey, her faithful dog, set out for the city when they run out of water, though Riley doesn't actually know what she plans to do. What she does know is that before the phones went out, she called everyone she knew and told them that if they made it to her house that she'd leave them a trail. She leaves notes everywhere she stops, telling the people who she hopes will find her where she plans to go next.
In the city, she meets Conner, who had been in town on business when the plague closed the airport and wiped out everything he loved, across the pond. He brings her back to the hotel that he's been living in, that has a generator and therefore the food hasn't gone bad and there's running water. She finds herself drawn to him and stays with him, until someone does follow Riley's notes to them at the hotel. The new couple of people leave the hotel in the night, and not on good terms with Conner and Riley.
Riley and Conner decide to move on after having an experience in the city with the dead that they cannot explain. They go into the mountains to a "green" resort, figuring that it would be more likely to be sustainable and still have power. (Considering the world has been dead a couple months, a lot of these places seem to still have hot water) There they meet up with various people, and what follows makes the bulk of the story.
The book was pretty enjoyable, on readability and flow it gets five stars. On the creepy dead ghosts, it gets five stars. On the journey it gets five stars. Where it loses stars is that Riley must have a goddamned golden vagina. At one point in the novel, the romance becomes a love pentagram, for Godssake. Every male who meets Riley, wants her. Fucking ridiculous, and the romance ended up taking up a bulk of the story, the dead things were creepy as fuck and I wanted to hear more about them, have more experiences with them, anything to do with them, really.
Conner and Riley were sort of an oddball matchup. I enjoyed it, even though she kissed everyone else, but what I realized is that they're something like if Frannie and Larry Underwood were the main characters in The Stand, instead of Frannie and Stu.
The Stand, this book was not... Entertaining, however, this book definitely was.(less)
Jenny Morton is for all the world a normal girl.Except she's not, not even a little bit. Jenny can't ever touch another person or living creature wit...moreJenny Morton is for all the world a normal girl.Except she's not, not even a little bit. Jenny can't ever touch another person or living creature without killing them of disease. The book opens on a very young Jenny having the "don't touch anyone" rule being reiterated by her father. She had picked up a snake that had erupted in disease and died on contact. A fairly minor incident with kids on the playground leading in only a breakout of some sort of pox, but no death leads us to where the bulk of the book takes place. Jenny is now 18 and wears long sleeves, long pants, and gloves at all times in public. This reduces her risk of touching anyone at all, but has earned her the cruel nickname: Jenny Mittens.
Jenny's biggest enemy is a girl named Ashleigh. Ashleigh is also 18, she is active in her church, running an abstinence program, is captain of the cheerleaders, is running for class president, and is generally loved by everyone who comes into contact with her. When it comes to Jenny, however, Ashleigh has a dark and cruel side, which is helped not at all by the fact that Jenny isn't madly in love with her like the rest of the town.
Things get a little better for Jenny when she's going for a run, and meets up with Seth, Ashleigh's boyfriend, over the broken body of her dog - which had been hit by a car. Jenny discovers that she can touch Seth and they strike up a friendship. The obvious happens, and they fall in love, leading Ashleigh to hate Jenny even more. This "school girl rivalry" is brought to an epic height in the ending of the novel, but you'll just have to read it to find out what that is.
One of the best parts of this novel? People actually die. We're not talking tame-ass young adult, "oh no they died, we're so sad," kind of death. We're talking people melting and exploding and bleeding profusely. They die horribly, and it is wonderful. It's a story about a girl who brings death with her touch, it's nice that the author doesn't shy away from the kind of reality that it would bring. It's actually one of the only times in the novel that the gender of the author shines. It's strange to find a male author that does YA fantasy like this well. Fuck, it's strange to find a female author that does YA fantasy of this sort well. There's something about the "Paranormal" genre (which I think was made up for marketing piss-poor fantasy romances, but that's a whole different rant) that usually drives me crazy. It was really, really, nice to read one that was not only a good novel, but a good novel where the romance is secondary to the meat of the mythology created for the series. I love a good Fantasy YA novel, and I think this was it.(less)
Nara (legally Inara) has had a gift for most of her life. Well, she seems to consider it a gift, I'm not sure I would - it sounds terribly boring. Eve...moreNara (legally Inara) has had a gift for most of her life. Well, she seems to consider it a gift, I'm not sure I would - it sounds terribly boring. Every night she dreams how her day will unfold in the coming hours, from beginning to end. Due to an event from when she was a child, she doesn't like to change the timeline because she can't see (or always understand) the fallout. That all changes when she dreams of her high school getting bombed; she cannot just sit back and watch, so she makes an anonymous tip to the police from a Wal-Mart. This good deed throws her life into chaos. Her powers seem to have mostly disappeared (except sporadically), and she doesn't know how to live her life in the real world without the precognition that's known for so long. Even though that was boring to her, this is terrifying.
I think watching Nara trying to adjust to her powers being gone could have been a novel in and of itself. It's fascinating. It is really like she lost one of the major senses that she had used to understand her world. With it gone, she's thrown into utter confusion. Of course, she'd get used to it, but it's tantamount to someone losing their hearing or their sight; she's at a total loss when it disappears.
While all of this is going on, Nara is also navigating high school. Her soccer team-mates are less than understanding when she stops blocking every single goal that comes her way. Her best friend starts dating a douchenozzle and pulls away from her. On top of this, she's falling for the new kid who is considered dangerous by almost everyone she knows.
Here is my love interest rant: Ethan is taller than her, muscular, with long dark bangs and blue eyes. He has a mysterious past. He's been expelled from his last school. He doesn't have any friends in this new school. Her friends warn her about him continuously. He draws dark things in his notebook and is tattooed. Of course, you know he's just misunderstood. He had a reason to do whatever he did at his last school. And of course he falls madly and quickly for the heroine, doing whatever it takes to protect her. Because all heroines need protecting, obviously.
Young Adult authors need to come up with a new love interest. Fucking pronto. You could transplant Ethan into any number of YA novels and nothing would need to be changed. He's the generic "bad boy." The problem is he's not a bad boy. He's a troubled kid with no distinguishing characteristics from other troubled kids written into YA in the history of the genre. I'd blame Twilight but really this problem preceded that piece of garbage. However, I must say that Ethan was so much like every love interest since Twilight that I really was afraid that the guy was a vampire. I would have stopped reading.
Please, please, please, I beg of you, please start thinking of new male love interests for female heroines in Young Adult Literature! I'm on my hands and knees here. I like YA, but I'm sick of reading the same exact love story over and over again. /love interest rant
What is most interesting about this book is that even though it started a pretty basic YA fantasy, moved into annoying Twilight-zone, it ended in a very interesting Final Destination type of story-line. Fate plays into it and is less than pleased with Nara and Ethan. Everything is a domino effect in this novel, starting from the very beginning and it actually caught me off guard a little. I probably would have picked up on it sooner if I weren't so focused on how much Ethan better not be a fucking vampire, damnit.
I ended up very much enjoying this novel. I was pleasantly surprised by how it ended, honestly. While nothing was really wrapped up (it the first in a trilogy) it was a unique sort of ending. The personification of Fate was really well done, in my opinion.(less)
Of the four hours it took me to read this novel, I sobbed for two. Curse you, John Green, for writing something so fucking beautifully depressing.
Haze...moreOf the four hours it took me to read this novel, I sobbed for two. Curse you, John Green, for writing something so fucking beautifully depressing.
Hazel is a 16 year old girl who loves to read and watch bad reality television. She has loving, devoted, parents. She doesn't see her best friend, Kaitlyn, as often as she'd like to because she doesn't attend high school. She has, however, gotten her GED and takes a couple of classes at the local community college. She's falling in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Augustus Waters, and they're on a mission to find their favorite author and have him follow up on his novel, which ends abruptly.
They'd be average, normal, though overly articulate and self-aware (John Green tends to do that with all his characters), teenagers except they met in a cancer survivor support group. Hazel has aggressive thyroid cancer that spread to her lungs, but the mets' growth is slowed by an experimental drug; she could live "a long time," like this as long as she keeps her oxygen tank and has her lungs drained every so often. Augustus has lost a leg to someformofcancerI'veneverheardofbefore, but he's been in remission ever since.
This is a love story both in spite of cancer and because of cancer. The love story is beautiful, and obviously doomed. I started sniffling barely 30% into the novel, by the time I was at 60%, I was all out sobbing, highlighting favorite passages when the crying got so bad I could barely see the page. I want you to understand something. I. Do. Not. Cry. At. Books. I just don't. So, even warned as I was that it was a tragedy, I didn't realize how much this novel was going to tear my heart into itty bitty paper pieces.
My only real problem with the novel was Augustus. And at that, he was only a problem when he was first introduced. He was this broody, muscly, pretentious, douchenozzle; and that puts it mildly. I outright hated him for a while. He obviously knew that he was smart and thoughtful and he tried so damned hard to sound smarter than other people.
This novel is going directly on my list of favorite books of all time. I still have a head(heart)ache from all the crying I just did. I'd like to both Thank and Curse John Green for this novel.(less)
I have to say, I'm not the biggest fan of the novella or the short story. It always (as my mother said to me today, and I couldn't agree more) leaves...moreI have to say, I'm not the biggest fan of the novella or the short story. It always (as my mother said to me today, and I couldn't agree more) leaves me wanting more. But I suppose the fact that I wasn't unsatisfied in my desire for more in this novella, says wonders.(less)
I haven't had such a visceral negative reaction to a heroine since Twilight....moreIf you ever get a chance to read A Song for Summer, for Godssake run away.
I haven't had such a visceral negative reaction to a heroine since Twilight. I picture her something like this:
"My name is Ellen I was raised by eccentric, rich, and intelligent Aunts in London. They wanted me to go to school for intellectual pursuits, but all I wanted to do was follow Grandpa's housekeeper around! I want to be a housekeeper when I grow up and go work at a school with unruly, Godless children who need to learn to organize their own affairs! I want to bring them God, because I'm simply angelic! Every man falls in love with me, but I friend-zone every single one of them. The war means nothing to me unless it directly affects my love life!"
The love interest, once you get past all the men that fall in love with Ellen who she doesn't love back, is obsessed with finding his one Jewish friend in Germany and getting him over the border to Austria. Ellen is totally unaware of the war until said friend basically falls into her lap!?
And this "real" love interest, he's a lot like Ellen. "My name is Marek and I was given everything growing up, but I just want to be a Groundskeeper. And of all the ridiculousnesses, I'm super talented at music composition! I don't want this, but I cannot escape it no matter how hard I try! My talent, it's such a burden!"
On top of that, it took the author 62 pages of dancing around the topic to actually say that the setting was the beginning of the second world war. This took me three days to read. This is supposed to be young adult?
The only interesting part of the novel was when Marek was helping people across the border. How much of the novel did that make up? Not enough!
AND THEN. AND THEN. The author made allusions to Jane Eyre and Rebecca. I was devastated. I felt dirty. That such a terrible book could use the same literary device as two of my favorite books? Argh. Just. ARRRRGH.
For the Love of Gods, STALKING IS NOT CUTE! I don't care if you're a vampire, an alien, some sort of soul jumper, or a human. STALKING IS NOT SEXY OR...moreFor the Love of Gods, STALKING IS NOT CUTE! I don't care if you're a vampire, an alien, some sort of soul jumper, or a human. STALKING IS NOT SEXY OR CHARMING.
It took me just about 4 hours total to read this book with occasional bathroom/feeding/shower breaks. It's an easy read and it flows well, even throughout the jumping from body to body and family to family.
A, the main character, wakes up every day in a new body. This 16 year old does not have a body to call home. Every day A wakes up in a different 16 year old's body. A lives this person's life for the day, a la body snatching. However, until A meets Rhiannon, A has rules to never interfere with the lives of the people whose bodies are being used. When A meets Rhiannon, A falls madly and hopelessly in love with her.
The love story itself was not the most interesting part of this book. A and Rhiannon are like Dawson and Joey - hyper aware of themselves and no 16 year old is that aware. The most interesting part of the novel was A body jumping and the different lives that are led on a daily basis so that the host doesn't sense a disturbance.
This book opens up some interesting questions.
How much of our identity is wrapped up in our body? Would we be able to identify ourselves without a physical body?
Would we be able to keep our identity without the routine daily stimuli?
Does our personality actually have a gender?
Would we be able to love or be loved if our physical form and location were perpetually fluid?
How much of what we believe is cemented in how we were raised?
Would we notice if someone lived inside our bodies for a single day?
Because it got me thinking, I found the book to be very good, but if you're looking for something really hard science fiction/fantasy or something that is incredibly stimulating, look elsewhere. It is a romance first and foremost, unfortunately.(less)
1. The characters all had interesting and diverse bac...moreOverall, 3.5 Stars
What I did like about this book:
0. It came to me free from Goodreads Giveaways!
1. The characters all had interesting and diverse back stories. Laila, herself, was the progeny of a prostitute, though her parents did fall in love. Her father attempted to commit suicide when she was 8 years old, and failed, leaving himself mentally crippled in an asylum. Her mother raised her in a brothel, where she continued to work as a prostitute to pay her husband's way in the asylum.
2. The romantic interest, Dex. He may have been a bit overly violent towards others who he saw as a real threat, but he had self control, and he never ever did anything to make me think he was a danger to Laila. In fact, her friend's insistence that he was a danger to her, started bordering on the annoying. He clearly cared for her, and wanted only for her to be safe in a world that she was too innocent to navigate well.
3. The various "twists," and moments that made me say Oh! The appearance of Seth (though why had none of her friends mentioned that detail?!), for one. There were more minor moments of the same sort, where I was left with an eyebrow raised because I had simply not seen it coming.
What I didn't like about this book:
1. The incredibly fascinating and diverse background stories often didn't seem to realistically have affected the characters at all. Laila may only be 15 or 16, but she lived in a brothel, for Gods' sake. She should be able to at least sort of defend herself. I do like that she was able to hang onto some of her innocence, but at the same rate, watching your father shoot himself, and then being raised in a brothel, in 1919 or so? Her innocence should have been broken a lot more than it was. There was a big disconnect between the character that Laila's back story would have made her be and the character that Laila actually was.
2. The romantic interest, Dex. Laila's been warned off, again and again by her friends who have known him for way longer than she has. He's a fucking flake, and he ends up being given way too many chances. I had a love/hate relationship with him during the entire book. He did border on the violent asshole romantic character that's become popular because of Twilight, that I hate so much. However, I do believe that line was walked well.
3. That last "twist" about why everyone at the circus is afraid of Dex and Seth. I understand the parallel, that Laila lied about her past, and that Dex did as well. However, someone tells me something like that, that does prove his violence and ability to really, really, really, hurt people, I have some follow-up questions. Laila lied, but then there was an explanation. Dex may have a good-ish (there's really no good explanation) explanation for what happened, but Laila doesn't even ask. She even says that she still trusts him and it seems as though she simply doesn't care. She should. Honestly, the book lost a whole star here, it just really, really rubbed me the wrong way.
I am very much so looking forward to the second book, maybe it'll explain the Dex and Seth situation that bothers me so greatly. I am also looking forward to seeing what Chloe Kayne can do as her writing style matures a bit. This was obviously a first novel, the phrasing was a bit on the awkward side, and it felt unpolished (though I do have an ARC copy); the big all-out fights/brawls were made hard to follow.(less)
I won this book from Goodreads Giveaways and found myself thoroughly enjoying it. I started out intrigued by the style choices when reading from Grace...moreI won this book from Goodreads Giveaways and found myself thoroughly enjoying it. I started out intrigued by the style choices when reading from Grace's point of view. She may have been 27, but she didn't curse, didn't smoke, didn't "talk dirty," was an all around innocent. It made reading her character feel a lot more like this book was a Young Adult novel rather than an Adult Romance. In fact, for the first quarter of the novel, Grace annoyed the bejeezus out of me: she was just too perfectly innocent. It was unrealistic that she'd made it to 27, from a mostly broken home, living in NYC and was still so Gods Damned Innocent. It's like she made it into the adult world, but only by the skin of her teeth and her attitudes had never aged beyond her 16 year old self.
However, Grace Grows was an appropriate title for the novel. As Grace's life pulls a 360 and falls apart, and she actually starts to pull it apart so that she can make the changes in her life that she wants, I began to like her more and more. Angsty, upset Grace was a much more believable, relatable, and understandable character. It makes her stubborn and cranky and unsure of herself and she becomes a procrastinator. Maybe I liked Grace when shit was hitting the fan because her coping mechanisms remind me a lot of my own: completely nonexistent. She tries to run away every time she's cornered into doing something good for herself that's going to hurt. She refuses to leave her chair. She cries for no reason and with no prompting. Sure it's dramatic, but she's self conscious and hurting; it was the way she coped with being forced to tear everything down to build it up that made me like her, made me think of myself. Don't real good books make you put yourself in the main character's shoes?
Tyler, the love interest, is a sparkly perfect sexy new-to-the-city dog walker that she meets on his first week in the city. He's moved to New York to try to sell his music. Slowly, but surely, he becomes a perfect rock star, with stalker fans and false news all over the internet. While perhaps he is too perfect and has too few flaws, his and Grace's relationship is shown perfectly through Grace's eyes. Her self consciousness comes out in thinking that he's sexually and socially over confident, which of course just makes her think that she couldn't possibly be good enough for the magic rock star. Even his perfectness (lack of flaws) can be attributed to seeing him through Grace's eyes. You know those boys that just make you want to crawl into yourself when they're at their most confident because then you can't feel good enough, not by a mile? They may love the girl and they may never do anything to hurt her, but she can't see past her own issues? That's Tyler and Grace.
Looking for a good Beach Read? This is perfect for that. It's simply written, but engaging and hilarious. I found myself giggling quite a few times. Romance novels are not always my cup of tea, but this was a Romance and a Coming of Age all rolled into one. It's sort of too bad that this doesn't come out until October, because it really would be a perfect summer read.
I do see this book succeeding on the strength of the voice of Grace, and the strength and unique characters of the people she is surrounded by.(less)
Okay, I really don't understand why so many people think this is the best book on the planet. I enjoyed it. It was compulsively readable. B...more3.5/5 Stars
Okay, I really don't understand why so many people think this is the best book on the planet. I enjoyed it. It was compulsively readable. But, I didn't think it was that special.
What I liked: The language was very readable even with the accents, which in a lot of books end up bothering me greatly.
Claire had balls. She was pretty damn helpless, sure, but at least she demanded people pay attention to her. She didn't just sink into the woodwork.
It was entertaining.
Frank. Claire's first husband was a useful storytelling tool in letting us get to know the villain and the countryside even before Claire jumps back to 1743.
What I really didn't like: Claire could have been a housewife from really any time. The nurse thing was a nice touch, but she could have been a nurse in modern times just as easily as from 1945. Other than the aforementioned "balls," she was fairly under developed.
Jamie turned into a child after sex with Claire. He acted like the sort of man that may have existed in 1943 up until that point. Suddenly he reverted to a modern day teen/child.
What made me laugh: Thy're always so goddamned clever when they fuck.
What was confusing: I was told by a lot of people that Gabaldon was not kind to her characters, and other than one very graphic scene (that felt sort of tacked on for shock value) that Jamie describes, she was fine to her characters.(less)
I feel as though three stars is too few and four stars is too many for this book. I'd give it a solid 3.5 stars out of five, if it were an option. I d...moreI feel as though three stars is too few and four stars is too many for this book. I'd give it a solid 3.5 stars out of five, if it were an option. I did enjoy this book, I just found it exceedingly easy to mock, so be warned.
I really, really, enjoyed the manner that the story telling took place. I love that it was a housekeeper who had raised the children telling the story to a stranger who was renting one of the two main houses - Thrushcross Grange. Mrs. Ellen Dean had better insight into the characters than they would have had themselves if they were telling the story. As she was a confidant of all the children, they trusted her long into adulthood and was able to ascertain their true character rather than the character they believed themselves to have; though perhaps the view she has of her own character is flawed, but only in the best ways.
When I started this book I had to actually sit down and draw a family tree on a post-it note. There are simply names that overlap or change too often for me to have kept straight otherwise. I mean, really, Catherine I was born an Earnshaw and became a Linton. Catherine II was born a Linton and became Heathcliff and is to eventually become Earnshaw. Isabella Linton becomes Heathcliff and has a son who she names Linton Heathcliff. I could have gotten very lost. It's a fucked up little family tree anyhow.
Heathcliff? Well, Heathcliff's a vindictive dick. There's really not much else that can be said about him. When Catherine I becomes friends with the Lintons and comes back to Wuthering Heights a lady, he runs away, and then gets pissy that she's married in his absence. Then she's pissed that he's pissy. It's all real mature. Oh, and then he gets super creepy and (view spoiler)[digs up her grave to cuddle with her corpse. (hide spoiler)] Wtf? Seriously, wtf.
Oh, and I missed the memo when Catherine I becomes pregnant. I actually had to use spark notes to find the sentence I missed where her pregnancy was announced. The first I'd heard of it was when she has the baby (view spoiler)[and dies (hide spoiler)]! Seemed a bit abrupt to me.
I really loved the ending with Catherine II coming into her own and getting out from all the bullshit that had been inflicted on her her entire life. I found her and Linton Heathcliff (and especially when happens after him) far more romance heroic than Catherine I and Heathcliff ever were. Sure Heathcliff and Catherine I belonged together, but that's because they were such horrendous, horrendous people.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Gee, what do you think this book is about? It might be the Kennedy Assassination. But with a title like 11/22/63, who could really tell. Hah. Jake Epp...moreGee, what do you think this book is about? It might be the Kennedy Assassination. But with a title like 11/22/63, who could really tell. Hah. Jake Epping finds a way, via a friend, into 1958. So, they decide, after much bickering, that Jake will return to the past and find a way to stop the assassination of JFK. Time Travel! Hoorah!
After the last pages made me cry, the first thought I had was: This was first and foremost a love story.
I'm not saying that the time traveling saving Kennedy story line wasn't epic and important. It was. I'm not saying it was an afterthought. It wasn't. The time traveling was a theme and a setting, certainly not a passive theme or setting, either. However, I was still left feeling as though for the first King novel that I can remember feeling that the romance was the point. Maybe I'll re-read it in a few years and decide that I'm crazy and that the time traveling is most fucking certainly the point. But that's half the fun of re-reading.
At it's heart I felt as though this were a story of two people who met in utterly impossibly and irresponsible circumstances and though their world falls apart, over and over again, find each other. Maybe that's just the sappy chick in me, though.
Stephen King: You are the reason I will never live in Maine. I don't think I could handle living there without fear of clowns in the sewers or falling through holes in time.(less)
As avid of a fantasy reader as I am and an English major, I do not enjoy the original Arthurian Legends. It's almost sacrilegious, isn't it? I do know...moreAs avid of a fantasy reader as I am and an English major, I do not enjoy the original Arthurian Legends. It's almost sacrilegious, isn't it? I do know that the stories are good, however, and you simply can't take two steps in a fantasy section of a bookstore without tripping over an Arthur tale. My point being, that since I'm not an Arthur fan, I was loathe to pick this up. It had been sent to me by a friend over a year ago, placed on my to-read shelf and was promptly forgotten about. Then while looking for something to read, I read the first two sentences, and I couldn't help but laugh and continue reading.
"I don't care what Guinevere and Gawain say; this won't be Mordred's Life of Arthur, but Mordred's Life of Mordred. Fuck them; they can chronicle my sanctimonious progenitor's exploits if they've got the stomach for it."
The story of Arthur, through the eyes of his bastard son, by his sister? Sounds neat, right? It certainly started interestingly enough. It was written in an interesting fashion and the characters were surprisingly three-dimensional. I say "were," because when The Big Secret comes out, everything changes.
Mordred changes into a whiny emo kid, and he never grows the fuck up. Sure, he's only supposed to be 18 or 19 in the book, but he was sullen, pompous, and obnoxious for the duration and it got old, real quick. Arthur becomes a total douche, and completely one-dimensional. Guinevere, who is usually one of my favorite characters in Arthur stories, simply acts like the sticky sweet girl-next-door. The entirety was reduced to this sort of sameness. It might as well have taken place in a high school!
I enjoyed the beginning of the book, but by the end, I was just glad I didn't have to read about how much Mordred hated Arthur any longer.(less)
Oh my fucking Gods, nothing happened for 300 pages in a 400 page book!
It gets two stars instead of just one because I found the second chapter amusing...moreOh my fucking Gods, nothing happened for 300 pages in a 400 page book!
It gets two stars instead of just one because I found the second chapter amusing, as we got to know the characters. The time period made a lot of the "getting to know you" for the women giggle-worthy.(less)