I loved the idea of a Lavay book, but he was unrecognizable from his previous appearance. The story was also thin and straightforward, which made theI loved the idea of a Lavay book, but he was unrecognizable from his previous appearance. The story was also thin and straightforward, which made the harder to believe aspects of it stand out more....more
It reads like she hated writing it. (It would have read that way even if the difficulty of writing a book wAmy Poehler is great but her book was not.
It reads like she hated writing it. (It would have read that way even if the difficulty of writing a book wasn't one of the most talked about subjects in the book.)
There's a ton of filler, often in the form of two-page spreads featuring snarky but inspirational quotes. There are long lists, guest-written chapters, and quite a few bits, because she'd really rather be writing sketches, thank you. There's a handwritten list about airplanes that was probably scanned and thrown into the layout because, hey, two more pages! There are blank lined pages in there too, as if "write in your own story here" is supposed to feel cute or sassy rather than lazy.
When talking about her work she falls back on celebrity anecdotes and effusive praise about how amazing everyone is. Most of the other stories stray between bare facts and rambling, like she's trying to get out as much as possible without actually revealing anything. The book feels impersonal and almost stifled even when talking about things like body image or relationships.
The only time her prose really shines is when she's talking about her sons, and then she breaks into a passion and creativity that the rest of the book lacks. I was really looking forward to this, so maybe my expectations were too high. But Yes Please reads more like brand development than memoir....more
The premise was good, but the off-the-rack characters had a habit of explaining everything they were thinking and feeling to both the reader and eachThe premise was good, but the off-the-rack characters had a habit of explaining everything they were thinking and feeling to both the reader and each other. That level of transparency actually made me care about them less, as if I was hearing the characters tell me their story rather than experiencing it with them.
The writing could have been tighter too, and lots of little details felt too modern-day for a futuristic story. My biggest issue was that there wasn't much sense of urgency or high stakes in the plot. They worked through all their problems fairly easily....more
The entire story is kicked off by the awkward literary opinions its antagonist formed as a teenager. But while most readersThis is a frustrating book.
The entire story is kicked off by the awkward literary opinions its antagonist formed as a teenager. But while most readers eventually broaden our taste beyond those artfully underlined copies of whatever novel first really hooked us, Morris Bellamy's obsession took a darker turn.
The murder, the journals, and their eventual discovery were great ideas to build a story around. But so much of Finders Keepers reads like pokey setup that the ending felt almost anticlimactic. (That was probably helped along by the fact that the characters from Mr. Mercedes were an entirely unnecessary addition.)
This would have worked wonderfully as a tighter standalone that focused more firmly on its premise. But halfway through there's a shift in tone, and a pack of half-remembered characters start stomping around in the plot looking for things to do. If this badass setup really had to be squeezed into a trilogy, it would have been nice if the book's structure in any way accommodated that rather than dragging us through all that filler to get to the good stuff....more
I liked the story and the worldbuilding details, and I fell madly in love with the beginning. The whole setup was mesmerizing.
It started to drag whenI liked the story and the worldbuilding details, and I fell madly in love with the beginning. The whole setup was mesmerizing.
It started to drag when the heroine traveled though, especially in those wordy scenes that showed us again and again how out of place she was. This same section also made the most interesting person in the book an afterthought for far too long. The characterization of the leads wasn't much of a priority after that point, which made some of their later decisions really jarring. And then the whole thing finished up with too many endings.
Overall this was an entertaining book stuffed with pretty descriptions. It's just that the first quarter left me with expectations that the rest didn't match. I guess this sounds like a lot of complaining for a four-star review. But as much as there was to like here, Uprooted left me feeling like it didn't quite live up to either its hype or its potential....more
There were a couple of great scenes with the twins, but I had a lot of issues with the rest of it. The pacing was awkward for such a thin volume, andThere were a couple of great scenes with the twins, but I had a lot of issues with the rest of it. The pacing was awkward for such a thin volume, and things got especially draggy during a long woods search. Elena felt one step behind for the entire book, which I also didn't love.
The pack's enemies were obvious and cartoonishly inept. Elena gave a vague explanation of their motive, but it made no sense at all. (view spoiler)[They were supposedly trying to shame their own Alpha in order to destabilize him. It sounded as if he'd only lose face if his people got caught screwing around in another pack's territory though. Elena mentioned again and again that they had to get their hands on one of the trespassers to prove that she wasn't jumping at shadows, so how were those rogue wolves going to get Elena's allegations to stick? Were they planning to leave someone behind? Get an ally killed so he couldn't be questioned? Was the idea just to tick Elena off in the chance that their Alpha would have an even harder time with her? I don't get why someone would take a goal like "overthrow my Alpha" and spin it into an international drama that relied on getting the better of some of the most formidable wolves in the world. It's one thing for them to underestimate Elena, but she's a package deal with Clay and Jeremy, who they clearly do respect. (hide spoiler)] That whole plan doesn't hold up from any perspective other than giving our heroes a dangerous situation to deal with. It probably could have benefited from a quick "you meddling kids" scene.
I guess I'm not supposed to care as much about the one-shot plot as the book's more personal developments. Those were all great, but I'd rather have read a family-oriented novella with no action at all than one that throws big moments into a shaky mystery.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
I enjoyed the first book, but this felt like a step in the wrong direction.
There's a lot more filler. One pair of characters gets a ton of attention tI enjoyed the first book, but this felt like a step in the wrong direction.
There's a lot more filler. One pair of characters gets a ton of attention to no real purpose. Others have more significant roles, but they stand almost entirely apart from the main plot. Threads left hanging from Midnight Crossroad are ignored, which doesn't bode well for all the open-ended storylines of this one. A lot of the dialogue wasn't differentiated very well; some characters felt as if they were speaking in Harris's writing style rather than their own voice.
It was a cute idea to toss secondary characters from all Harris's previous works together in a weird little town of misfits. But her older books had tight plotting and careful characterization, and Midnight, Texas is already starting to take on the sketchy feel of the last few Southern Vampire novels....more
This heroine had potential, but the story didn't live up to its genre-bending premise. The mystery plot was slow and straightforward, which would haveThis heroine had potential, but the story didn't live up to its genre-bending premise. The mystery plot was slow and straightforward, which would have been fine if the romance had been more satisfying. Unfortunately these leads specialized more in witty banter than actual chemistry or emotional connection....more
I enjoyed The Elements of Expression, but this one's more like a collection of occasionally useful essays than an organized exploration of style.
TheI enjoyed The Elements of Expression, but this one's more like a collection of occasionally useful essays than an organized exploration of style.
The sections that focused on nuts-and-bolts issues like intensifiers or semicolons were helpful. Some of the opinion piece chapters were fine too, though they sometimes didn't credit the reader with much common sense. There were also some passages that left me scratching my head or feeling actively embarrassed for the author. And despite being newer than many other writing books I've enjoyed, Spunk & Bite already feels dated....more