There are about a kazillion vampire books out there and most of them are ridiculous and take themselves far too seriously. I picked this one up becausThere are about a kazillion vampire books out there and most of them are ridiculous and take themselves far too seriously. I picked this one up because it was in the bargain bin and looked like a fun, summer read. I wasn't disappointed. It was funny - the royal vampire's letters to his uncle back in Romania reverbrated with teen snarkiness in the best possible way. And if a vampire story can be realistic (the vamps are a race of people in this one), this story rang pretty true. My quibbles are with the title - it bears little reflection to the contents of the book - and with the last quarter of the book which seemed oddly rushed. I wanted a few extra interactions with the parents before the big ending. But, this isn't Shakespeare, and it doesn't try to be so it is a fun read if you want to read just one more vampire book before moving on to the kazillion angel books. Or post-apocalyptic books. ...more
I really enjoyed this book! Lula, an Albanian immigrant, lies a lot and mostly doesn't even know why she's doing it. Maybe out of habit, to keep her gI really enjoyed this book! Lula, an Albanian immigrant, lies a lot and mostly doesn't even know why she's doing it. Maybe out of habit, to keep her guard up, a learned behavior from living under Communism. Whatever the reason, when she does lie, it is funny and sad all at the same time. And despite her lies and her strange situation (she is the nanny for a high school senior and writes down Albanian folktales as if they really happened to her family - oh, and she's holding a gun for some shady Albanian characters...), I found myself rooting for her. On a deeper level, this is a book about seeing "American Life" through the eyes of someone from another culture - both the good and the not so good of who we are. We see Lula see herself become more "American" and maybe the Americans around her become a little "Albanian." And, as this country is one big melting pot, this is just fine with me....more
This book promised a lot and delivered on little. Rather than being full of action and intrigue, it stayed more introspective choosing to focus on th This book promised a lot and delivered on little. Rather than being full of action and intrigue, it stayed more introspective choosing to focus on the characters: Zed, an agent from the future who fights hags in our present in order to keep his not-so-fantastic future in tact; Tasha, a lawyer searching for the truth about her brother's death at war; Leo, a former spook now working for a shady private company who runs into Sari, an Indonesian woman basically serving as a slave to a disturbing Korean diplomat couple. All of the characters are "revisionists" in some ways, an interesting theme in the novel and probably the only thing keeping my interest. The women are particularly strong characters and I appreciated how the author realistically portrayed minorities and women. Problems? OK, these may be seen as a spoiler alerts, but in a way they are "non-spoiler" alerts, because they never actually happen. Throughout the entire book the main event Zed is sent to be sure occurs is called "the great conflagration." As I got closer and closer to the end, two things became abundantly clear; 1.I will never find out just what the great conflagration is and 2. I am not sure if the great conflagration was actually prevented or not. I do know it had something to do with North Korea. Maybe. There are two "kind of" romances and neither are believable to me. Also, the concept of the hags was interesting, but halfway through the book, we never saw or heard from them again. My main emotion upon finishing this book was frustration....more
It sounds strange to say it, but I really enjoyed this book. It was filled with well-written, realistic hurting characters who had been through an unrIt sounds strange to say it, but I really enjoyed this book. It was filled with well-written, realistic hurting characters who had been through an unreal situation. The author made the "unrapture" seem so realistic. Even when the characters made appalling decisions, they were relatable. I will definitely look for other works by Tom Perrotta....more
I was disappointed with this book. I won "The Lantern" in a Goodreads giveaway and after reading the synopsis, I was excited to hear that I would hav I was disappointed with this book. I won "The Lantern" in a Goodreads giveaway and after reading the synopsis, I was excited to hear that I would have the opportunity to read it. When the book came in a beautiful wrapping, I was even more thrilled. I expected suspense, romance, and mystery. I expected to be swept away by a well-told story. I am sad to say that I was not, indeed the best part of the book was receiving it in the mail and unsealing the gorgeous wrapping. This story is told from the point of view of the present female inhabitant of a house in France (Eve) and a past inhabitant (Benedicte). Eve has bought the house with her lover, Dom who has been married before and Eve becomes obsessed with his ex-wife, mainly because Dom tenses up and turns into a sniveling idiot whenever she is mentioned. I spent the first half of this novel wondering why Eve just doesn't "google" the ex-wife. Any other modern woman would! By the time she finally does, I was already frustrated with Eve. I never really bought into the attraction between Eve and Dom. Neither character is particularly endearing. Thankfully, Benedicte is far more interestingly written. However, her story unfolds so slowly and the parallel story does the character such a disservice, by the time her story is fully realized, well, the reader can see it coming a mile away. The author spends a particularly long time on describing flowers and the countryside. So, if you like flowers and the countryside, there's that... When I finished the book, I turned to my husband and said, "Every character in this book is either evil or stupid." He said I should write that down. Now I have. ...more
When I first received an ARC copy in a goodreads giveaway of this book, I was doubtful of the lofty accolades comparing it with "To Kill a Mockingbir When I first received an ARC copy in a goodreads giveaway of this book, I was doubtful of the lofty accolades comparing it with "To Kill a Mockingbird." Well, I just finished reading "If Jack's in Love" and I was blown away by how Stephen Wetta captured the voice an older child, much in the tradition of Harper Lee's legendary book. Books about childhood for adults are best when the character confronts the truth that the world can be a harsh, complicated place and that child makes his/her first "adult" decision concerning how they will walk in this new world. The author presents us with Jack Witcher, who was born into the lowest family on the neighborhood social ladder, and must navigate first love and criminal controversy. Everyone has a Witcher in their childhood, the child that no one would dare befriend. Thinking of my own "Witcher" made the reading of this novel all the more poignant for me and will likely have the same effect on other readers. I wanted to reach through the pages of this book and hug Jack, and in the end I was proud of him. On a personal note, I enjoyed the subtle "southernness" of this novel. I laughed out loud when a reference was made to Jack's father running liquor with a now famous race car driver. My husband's family lived on a farm that abutted this driver's farm and actually did run liquor with him. Jack's mother was a "Kirby" and was therefore, somewhat higher in standing than "Witchers." I am a "Kilby" who comes from the same moonshine rich area of the NC mountains mentioned in the book. Makes me wonder if the author knows some of "my kin"! Anyway, read this book. Read it. Read it. Read it. I am saying a secret syllable that future "books on childhood for adults" will be compared to "If Jack's in Love."...more
Before reading this book, I was somewhat familiar with the events of the story being from Wilkes County myself. I was ready to be engaged by the char Before reading this book, I was somewhat familiar with the events of the story being from Wilkes County myself. I was ready to be engaged by the characters. I am disappointed to say I was not. I found the author's notes at the end extremely interesting and would have prefered to hear more of the author's journey in gathering research and making her own conclusions about what happened to Laura Foster. Instead, the reader gets hundreds of rambling pages narrated by a sociopath. A boring sociopath. And through her eyes, no one is seen as interesting or sympathetic. As a reader, I had no one to root for and I found myself not caring about the characters either. The Wuthering Heights parallel was clear throughout the book. I once read a forward for Wuthering Heights written by Emily Bronte's sister, Charlotte. In it, she basically apologizes for her sister, because she thought it was terrible that her sister created such loathesome characters who did such terrible things. I enjoyed Wuthering Heights and I wanted that rascal Heathcliff and Cathy to be together, as troubled as they were. I thought midway through the Dooley book that a third person perspective would have done wonders for it. Maybe seen through someone else's eyes, I would have felt more pity for Laura Foster or Tom or someone....more
So many books have predictable plots and rehash previously explored ideas. Not the case with this original, wonderfully written book. This book is beaSo many books have predictable plots and rehash previously explored ideas. Not the case with this original, wonderfully written book. This book is beautiful - the pages are lovely, the photographs are equal parts creepy, funny, and poignant. I can't imagine this book without the photographs. The characters were bizarre and lovable, especially Jacob, a complex, funny main character through whose eyes unbelievable experiences become believable. To say more on the plot than what is written in the book's front flap would ruin the experience, so my advice is to read this book and enjoy where it takes you! I'm glad I purchased this real live hardback book rather than the ebook so that my sons can read it when they are a few years older. I'll be recommending it to other folks, both peculiar and unpeculiar and looking forward to future books from this author....more
Like the first book, this one reads like one of those "adapted from the movie" books where most of the language is "this happens then that happens th Like the first book, this one reads like one of those "adapted from the movie" books where most of the language is "this happens then that happens then this happens." There is little on description or character development. The reason I decided to read this second novel in the series is the sample chapter I read from the point of view of number 7. I enjoyed the #7 chapters more and wonder if those were written by another author. Another reason I thought I would give this one a chance is the title - I thought it would be interesting to see those six wacky aliens together. Well, they don't get together and there will obviously be another book in which they do. I just won't be reading it. On a positive note, I didn't actually purchase this book, I checked it out from the library. But on a negative note, my poor little library bought this mediocre book....more
This was my free Friday book the other week on nook. I enjoyed the concept and the main character. Did wonder why her mother let her traipse across EuThis was my free Friday book the other week on nook. I enjoyed the concept and the main character. Did wonder why her mother let her traipse across Europe alone at 17. Other than that, liked it. ...more
I received an ARC giveaway of this book from Goodreads and was so excited just to win something. Now that I have finished the book, I am doubly thrillI received an ARC giveaway of this book from Goodreads and was so excited just to win something. Now that I have finished the book, I am doubly thrilled that Alice Bliss was so thoughtful, so touching, and so true. Alice Bliss is fifteen years old when her father, a member of the National Guard, is sent to Iraq. Alice is left to deal with coming of age without her father, with whom she is very close. The reader journeys with Alice and her other family members as they deal with sending a loved one off to war and the circumstances that arise in his absence.
According to the bio, the author is a playwright, a fact which shines through in her novel. I mainly enjoyed her style - present tense, dialogue without a lot of added description, and mostly Alice's point of view with an occasional view into another character's head. Sometimes when the author switched points of view, it would shock my system a bit. I would read the paragraph back and see that yes, I am in someone else's head. After much inner debate, I have decided that I ultimately liked this technique, especially where it concerned the relationship between mother and daughter.
In a sense, this book is timeless. There will always be husbands, wives, fathers, going to war. There will always be families left behind. It is certainly current. There are so many soldiers away from home, so many families trying to go on with life when loved ones are so far away and in such danger. For that reason, Alice Bliss is an important book. Read with tissues handy....more
I read this book in the evenings until I couldn't keep my eyes open - it was difficult to put it down! Now that I have finished the book, the word thaI read this book in the evenings until I couldn't keep my eyes open - it was difficult to put it down! Now that I have finished the book, the word that comes to mind is "raw." When Christine wakes up in the morning, she thinks she is in her twenties, but she wakes up beside her husband, looks in the mirror and sees a forty-seven year old. Every morning, she wakes up without any recollection of the last 20 years, the man she's married to, the baby she had, all of it is gone with each new day. But as her memories come back, she asks herself if it is better to remember or forget. Or are her resurfacing memories only fantasies?
The memory thing has been done before. But this is definitely more Memento/Shutter Island than 50 First Dates/The Vow. Watson has simultaneously written a fast-paced thriller and an introspective, thoughtful novel. Wonderful....more