I cried when I read this book to my children. It was so bleak to read about a worn torn town where hope was diminishing on a daily basis, yet the stor...moreI cried when I read this book to my children. It was so bleak to read about a worn torn town where hope was diminishing on a daily basis, yet the story itself was so powerful and uplifting, a wonderful glimpse into the power of humanity and kindness.(less)
This is a lovely book. I enjoyed reading it to me children, and we enjoyed talking about the music Vivaldi created. The illustrations were beautiful a...moreThis is a lovely book. I enjoyed reading it to me children, and we enjoyed talking about the music Vivaldi created. The illustrations were beautiful and the story was simple and quaint.(less)
Writing this review will be a diificult task. My inner (and very literary) goddess wants me to tear Fifty Shades of Grey to shreds, while my subconsci...moreWriting this review will be a diificult task. My inner (and very literary) goddess wants me to tear Fifty Shades of Grey to shreds, while my subconscious struggles to forget the interaction I've had with it's 500+ uneventful pages.
So, after their negotiations (all done via e-mail, the goddess part of me felt she could be more honest in said format), they agreed I could highlight the top three reasons for labeling this so-called book garbage.
The writing is terrible. Every page is adverb heavy, and there are times when Ms. James used two adverbs in a row. This demonstrates her inability to describe anything with efficiency. The -ly sound over and over again slows the flow of writing. When adverbs aren't the problem, her metaphors, similes, and other writing techniques are just stupid. Being "whisked to the twentieth floor at terminal velocity" in an elevator is not a good use of exageration. I also found the comparison of Christian's 'equipment' to a specialty flavored popsicle ludicrous. I put the book down and started laughing on that page. There are plenty more example of poor quality description, but I won't waste my time any further.
Ana. If I knew her in real life, I would run her over with a car. (Just for the record, I have never, prior to meeting Miss Steele, felt homicidal tendencies.) For starters, she is a very flat character. She has no depth, and yet I felt like I was being forced to understand her dramatic unbringing; abandoned by her mother for a string of boyfriends, poverty, her strong work ethic, her love of classic literature (oops, I mean her love of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'urbervilles and the Icarus myth), her stellar GPA, and the captivating beauty she unknowlingly posseses. Gag me with a long-handled wooden spoon. There is nothing that ever made me believe she felt actual fear for the situation Christian was proposing. Her "inner goddess" loved it, and so did she, because she has issues.
Now that I've mentioned the inner goddess, alongside her sane(?) subconscious, let me break that down a bit. These inner voices, her little angel on one shoulder foiled by the little whore on the other, was a bit over the top for my liking. The quantity of words in italics on any given page made my eyes hurt, and only reinforced her insanity.
She's stupid. Need I say more?
This bound set of pages is not a romance story as it is advertised to be. There is nothing romantic about Ana's story. She is stupid, he's insane, and all they ever do is have sex and write e-mails. They don't understand eachother, except he's super hot (a beautiful goddess) in her eyes, and she's something he's never had before.
Trust me, I'm not all about flowers and sappy movies when it comes to romance, but a good love story can bring me to tears. Think about Kathleen Woodiwiss' The Flame and the Flower, or Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, be all means, even the movie Pretty Woman is a wonderful love story. They all tell a tale of love sparking on unstable ground and evolving in such a way that the ground becomes solid and strong.
Ana and Christian, between the two of them, love only two things: he loves power, she loves sex. They don't love eachother.
I was surprised by the writing in this book considering its genre. I enjoyed many stories, including the one that I found to be very strange and almos...moreI was surprised by the writing in this book considering its genre. I enjoyed many stories, including the one that I found to be very strange and almost disturbing in a sexual sense...but so well written, I read it twice!
I loved the fairy tale element and many of the characters. I also appreciate the fact that, while all of the stories are erotic, they spanned across a great range of presentations, from kinky to sweet, and even, as I said before, borderline disturbing.
Above all, I thought it was a great collection of well written works in a genre that typically lacks in the area of prose.
That said, I highly recommend this book to my librarian friend, Colleen.(less)
All I can say it it's a shame it was not published on American soil by an American author...it's Newbery worthy, and while I loved Dead End in Norvelt...moreAll I can say it it's a shame it was not published on American soil by an American author...it's Newbery worthy, and while I loved Dead End in Norvelt, this book brought me to tears and enlightened me all at once. Worth the read.(less)
I read this book as part of a Mock Newbery project. Needless to say, I coudn't say it is truly worth the award, but it is easy to see why it should be...moreI read this book as part of a Mock Newbery project. Needless to say, I coudn't say it is truly worth the award, but it is easy to see why it should be considered.
Overall, I liked the book and it took me back to elementary school, when we did reports on historical figures. Good Grief! Has it been that long since I've really delved into a biography?
I enjoyed learning about Amelia as well as early aviation. And, I must say that Fleming must have hit the mark well when it comes to describing a person, because I can say that I did not particularly care for Amelia Earhart's personality, but I do feel respect for what she accomplished during her life. (less)
This book is excellent. I couldn't put it down at some points, and when I was away, it stayed with me. I was thinking about Benjamin, and his father,...moreThis book is excellent. I couldn't put it down at some points, and when I was away, it stayed with me. I was thinking about Benjamin, and his father, and Janie's role in the fantastic events that take place in this well written story.
I was drawn to this book and fell in love with it for a few reasons.
Appeal #1: It blends fantasy with historical fiction. My two favorites, how could I refuse putting my hands on it? Was I let down in any way when it came to these two genres blending together seamlessly? NO! The book is set in 1952 London, while it was recovering from,yet still bearing the physical an emotional scars of World War II. The main character, Janie, a California girl is transplanted there as a result of the Communist Witch Hunts in the States. I have never been blessed with the opportunity to see the harshness and bleakness of the Cold War brought to light with such poignancy in a children's book; until now. As for the fantasy element, it was just enough magic and imagination to make me believe anything is possible, even turning into a bird. Also, I would be remiss if I did not commend Maile Meloy for not taking the magic to a point that would make me say, "Really, they can do that too"?
Appeal #2: Romance. Adventure and love go hand in hand so well, if they didn't, the movie Romancing the Stone wouldn't be shamefully adored by so many women, and the relationship between Janie and Benjamin is just perfect. Enough to make the reading girl smile and ponder her own first kiss (or dream of a perfect first kiss that will come in due time). Like I said, just the right kind of romance for a middle grade novel.
Overall, I highly recommend this book, and I'm sorry it didn't make the short list of books for the Mock Newbery Discussion group I participated in a month ago. It would have been a real contender. (less)