3.5 Stars Total: 4 Stars for Concept 3 Stars for Execution
I loved the idea of this book- that characters in a story have a life of their own once the bo3.5 Stars Total: 4 Stars for Concept 3 Stars for Execution
I loved the idea of this book- that characters in a story have a life of their own once the book is closed. It's a similar concept to one of my favorite books/series- Inkheart by Cornelia Funke. Perhaps because of that, I expected more from this book. Don't get me wrong, it's a good book. I just wouldn't call it a great book.
While reading Ink Heart I wished I could read the story within the story. However, Ink Heart itself did not suffer for not including it. It didn't feel like it was missing something. It's simply that the Ink Heart world Funke created was so great, that as a reader you wanted more of it-you wanted to read "the source" of that world. In Between the Lines, the reader is able to read most of the base story. However, I found myself nearly tempted to skip these parts and wished for more of the character/story development outside of the base fairytale. Unlike Ink Heart, Between the Lines did feel like it was missing something for not including more of this part of the story.
Between the Lines also seemed targeted at a younger audience than its stated YA classification. I know the base story is supposed to be a children's fairytale, but the whole book felt closer to a kid's book than a young adult novel.
I feel like this review is mostly negative. Again, it wasn't a bad book. It just wasn't the well-developed book I've come to expect from Picoult nor did it read as an engrossing young adult book. Still, it was a simple-fun-adventure. And the silhouette drawings were a unique touch.
Another reason I was drawn to this book was because Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha VanLeer wrote it together. As my mother and I are working on a joint project, I was curious to see if as a reader you could tell where one author left off and another began. Thus, for me, the book came with the added bonus of Picoult's introduction in which she discusses the actual process of writing the book with VanLeer.
Favorite quotes from the book:
"Just because it's fiction doesn't mean it's any less true." ~Oliver
"He understood, in that crystalline instant, that courage wasn’t something you were bequeathed at birth, and it wasn’t a lack of fright. It was overcoming your fear, because the ones you love mattered more." ~Referring to Oliver in the book
"This was why there was music, he realized. There were some feelings that just didn’t have words big enough to describe them."
"The act of reading is a partnership. The author builds a house, but the reader makes it a home." ~Jessamyn Jacobs
"...Without even trying, Oliver makes me feel like a princess." ~Delilah
"I’ve never been in love, but I’ve always imagined it—weirdly—like some sort of OxiClean commercial. The TV host shows a scene from an ordinary day, and then takes a big old sponge soaked in love and swipes away the stains. Suddenly that same scene is missing all the mistakes, all the loneliness. The colors are like jewels, ten times richer than they were before. The music is louder and clearer. Love, the host will say, makes life a little brighter." ~Delilah
"No one ever asks a kid for her opinion, but it seems to me that growing up means you stop hoping for the best, and start expecting the worst. So how do you tell an adult that maybe everything wrong in the world stems from the fact that she’s stopped believing the impossible can happen?" ~Delilah...more
I got this book from the Chautauqua Library bag sale in July 2014. I hesitated to add it to my Chautauqua shelf as it is not typical of their recommenI got this book from the Chautauqua Library bag sale in July 2014. I hesitated to add it to my Chautauqua shelf as it is not typical of their recommendations. It is the first book in the Anita Blake series that I've read. In fact, it is the first Laurell K. Hamilton I've read. And it does not leave a strong first impression in terms of writing ability. If this were the first book pitched in the series, I don't think it would have been published. In fact, I think it is only because the series is so well established that this book slipped through the cracks. It feels like an inkling of an idea with underdeveloped characters and interactions. Why did I keep reading and give it three stars? The book was an easy read and felt compulsory. I finished it in a little over 24 hours. This probably has more to do with my current state of mind than with the actual merits of the book, but a book is never read in a vacuum. If you need a book that will require minimal thought and remove you from your own world, than this is it. And the plot does pick up in the second half.
If you start with this book, as I have done, you will feel plunked down in the middle of the series. However, Hamilton gives just enough information to connect the dots of this other-world she has created. While I was reading, I wondered if this would be annoying to faithful readers of the series. I know that I have read many series where I started to get annoyed by the recap - I wanted a new book, not a rehash of the ones I'd already read. Looking at other reviews, this does seem to be the case here, so patrons of the series, be warned.
Hamilton provides an Afterword in which she describes her writing method and the inspiration for this book. The glimpse into her creative process is interesting, as is the exploration into various view points that is included. However, the moment that sparked this book is just that, a moment. Within the book itself, it does not feel full enough to support a complete novel. It works much better as an anecdote or the comic included in the last pages.
Overall, would I recommend the book? It's a bit like a cheap wine cooler. The quality isn't there, but it's not necessarily trying for it. Instead it offers a brief escape with some fun flavors. ...more
I started reading the first book in this compilation as many people keep recommending Nora Roberts. However, I found the deficit of plot to be too mucI started reading the first book in this compilation as many people keep recommending Nora Roberts. However, I found the deficit of plot to be too much to keep me turning the pages....more
I continue to enjoy this Tudor series by Gregory but didn't feel this was her strongest. Perhaps I prefer when the main character is a true historicalI continue to enjoy this Tudor series by Gregory but didn't feel this was her strongest. Perhaps I prefer when the main character is a true historical figure. This was a very interesting period that I knew little about, however, and Hannah did provide a window into many facets of it including life within the royal court, peasant lives, and the cultural-religious fervor of the day....more
I LOVED this book. As is so often the case, this book was so much better than the movie.
The novel flows well and has great character development. ItI LOVED this book. As is so often the case, this book was so much better than the movie.
The novel flows well and has great character development. It is narrated by Mary and Gregory masterfully and seamlessly matures her narration with the story. I became so interested and attached to the characters that I didn't want to put the book down, and was sad when it was finished.
Gregory's type and style of story reminds me slightly of Ken Folett, whom I also enjoy....more
I think I would have done much better in History throughout school if it had been presented like this. In The Constant Princess, events, places, and pI think I would have done much better in History throughout school if it had been presented like this. In The Constant Princess, events, places, and people come to life. This book is very engaging and i gobbled up its goodness!
Gregory's presentation of the story allows the reader to traverse the path of maturation with Catalina and the English court. Being a Princess certainly isn't all rainbows and butterflies, and Catalina endures many hardships. Her constancy is inspiring. ...more
Gregory once again demonstrates her talent for breathing life and insight into the historical figures in the Tudor court.
Providing the first-person naGregory once again demonstrates her talent for breathing life and insight into the historical figures in the Tudor court.
Providing the first-person narrative of the three lead chracters allows the reader to experience the lives of these women more realistically and to contemplate each of their circumstances from varying perspectives. It is also intersting to see the transformation of King Henry through the progression of the novels as he ages. The circumstances of England are also astonishing and become more vivid as viewed through the eyes of the three women with very different backgrounds who narrate this novel.
The Boleyn Inheritance leaves me looking foward to the continuing Tudor saga in Gregory's novels....more
This book centers around Mozart and the Weber sisters (who inspired many of Mozart's female characters and one of whom he ultimately married).
It is aThis book centers around Mozart and the Weber sisters (who inspired many of Mozart's female characters and one of whom he ultimately married).
It is a light-read, especially for historical fiction, and is fast-paced. Some of the emotional transitions seem abrupt, but this is quickly forgotten as the reader is swept up in the progressing story.
This book would have been enjoyable had all of the characters been fictitious, but it is even more so with its nod to history....more
As far as reading the classic Pride and Prejudice, this was a fun way to do it. The frivilousness of crafting mates while the area is being attacked bAs far as reading the classic Pride and Prejudice, this was a fun way to do it. The frivilousness of crafting mates while the area is being attacked by zombies is humorous. Grahame-Smith's writing is not on par with Austen's but it doesn't have to be as it's only meant to lend a laugh to the pre-existing novel. If the reader finds Austen dry to begin with, this won't completely alleviate that. But, the zombies do create a nice diversion. However, even these can get a little repetative as Grahame-Smith reuses his own material. The drawings make a nice touch and now I can finally understand all of the references to this novel that appear in other works of literature and movies....more
I ejoyed this continuation of the Sookie Stackhouse series but did not devour it as quickly as the last book. Part of this might have been because I rI ejoyed this continuation of the Sookie Stackhouse series but did not devour it as quickly as the last book. Part of this might have been because I read so many of the books right in a row. I also started missing the mystery element that was stronger in the first two books. However, the character-play was intriguing and the conclusion of the story lends itself to future story-lines of interest.
"Sometimes life just hands you more than you can take. Then you just accept." -Sookie P.172...more
**spoiler alert** I was ready to plunge into this novel because of my need for another light read, but was worried Harris was going to incorporate mor**spoiler alert** I was ready to plunge into this novel because of my need for another light read, but was worried Harris was going to incorporate more supernatural elements like the Maenad and contine to muck-up what was potentially a good series. Although Harris continues to branch out further into the supenatural in this book, those aspects don't function as much like a dysfunctional appendage as the Maenad in the previous book. There were however, what I considered to be major holes in Harris's story-line spanning the books, which greatly distracted from the enjoyment of the novel at my time of reading. Most of these are explained in the next novel, but in order to by-pass them in this novel I had to keep reminding myself that this was a light read, heavy on the LIGHT. And, although they are addressed in the next novel, they made me more hesitant to read said novel because Harris did not seem dedicated to her series.
SPOILER: There is also a rape scene which was not only difficult to read but whose after-effects were handled so unrealistically that I was tempted to discard the book as a whole. I realize some people might harbor rape fantasies but I feel that the way they are addressed in this book is offensive to those who have been through such instances. Despite all this critcism, I did enjoy this novel and the over-all story-line. I also greatly appreciated the new characters, especially Alcide!
"It was not a night to count my blessings. It was a night when every loss I'd ever had presses hard on me." - Sookie P.30
"The sweetest part of being a couple was sharing your life with someone else." - Sookie P.30
"My grandmother had not raised me to be a murderess." - Sookie P.53
"...Real men always have duct tape in their trucks...." - Sookie P.131 ~ 132
"Don't worry about not feeling guilty. Something'll come along pretty soon that you'll feel guilty about. Save it up." - Alcide P.144
"Maybe wearing garters would change the course of my life...." - Sookie paraphrasing Arlene P.157 ...more
This was another enjoyable light-read. However, I didn't think the Maenad story-line was as alluring as the rest of the novel and it almost seemed likThis was another enjoyable light-read. However, I didn't think the Maenad story-line was as alluring as the rest of the novel and it almost seemed like Harris forgot she had included it and therefore had to write an afterwards to tie up the loose ends. The book probably would have felt more succint with that portion edited out.
"You, on the other hand, are a sweet little e'clair on the outside and a pit bull on the inside." Terry referring to Sookie...more
This book was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the blend of the supernatural genre with the mystery genre. I'm usually not big on romances but I found this toThis book was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the blend of the supernatural genre with the mystery genre. I'm usually not big on romances but I found this to be enjoyable-like an adult version of the Twilight series. This certainly isn't a book for deep contemplation, but for a thrilling-light read it does the trick.
"I am sure the Good Lord gave you this problem I've heard about for a reason. You have to learn how to use it for his glory." Sid Matt P.265 ...more
This was the first book of Daphne du Maurier's that I read. She does an incredible job of giving voice to the main character's internal thoughts. LikeThis was the first book of Daphne du Maurier's that I read. She does an incredible job of giving voice to the main character's internal thoughts. Like her other books, this book is a page-turner and contains the tragic-twist elements that serves to impassion the reader....more
**spoiler alert** I would have liked to rate this book a 3.5. Initially I enjoyed this book more than "Twilight." The relationship between Bella and E**spoiler alert** I would have liked to rate this book a 3.5. Initially I enjoyed this book more than "Twilight." The relationship between Bella and Edward was easier for me to accept as one of substance. However, this book did drag for me in several places. In Meyer's writing she doesn't use chapter breaks to offer breaks in time. This has its advantages and disadvantages. It allows the reader to be privy to typically mundane tasks which are usually excluded from books, like numerous transportation scenes, but which are unique in this book. It also means that the reader is privy to repeated thoughts of Bella's, triggered by similar situations. There were also many things in the book that I understood hundreds of pages before Bella (like the situation with Jake and the werewolves), which I found frustrating. Bella, despite being portrayed as an atypical tennager, is very typical in her self-focus. Because she is so self-focused, she is unable to see any possibility beyond her own low self-worth as to why Edward would have left. Her self-depreciating comments become repetitive and tiresome as the book progresses. Bella's self-focus also precludes her from seeing the hurt that she will cause her family and friends with her decision to become a vampire. In contrast to the rest of the book, the end of the book feels quite rushed. Whereas the reader has been given a play-by-play of all thoughts and events prior to the end of the novel, many elements, including the situation with Victoria and Bella's relationships with her non-vampire friends, at the end of the novel feel under-developed. This book definintely had some flaws for me. I think it would have been an excellent book at about half its length. However, there were still some very fun and enjoyable elements that do merit a read....more