Really enjoyable, played to exactly what I wanted to read. An awesome girl unappreciated for her raw and terrifying power. And the cover is simple but...moreReally enjoyable, played to exactly what I wanted to read. An awesome girl unappreciated for her raw and terrifying power. And the cover is simple but awesome. She's a witch as her mother is, and the cool aspect of them versus the puritan world they live in... AND the entries were found stitched into a quilt? I think I need to re-read this one last time before I pass it along.(less)
It was difficult for me to understand, and what I did left me confused. I will try to read this again when I have better grip of Henry James style and...moreIt was difficult for me to understand, and what I did left me confused. I will try to read this again when I have better grip of Henry James style and understanding of this novella.(less)
I was obsessed with letters because of this novel and made a very good friend that way. The story is harrowing because I sympathized with the narrator...moreI was obsessed with letters because of this novel and made a very good friend that way. The story is harrowing because I sympathized with the narrator so much. She is flawed but interesting and not at all annoying. Most importantly everyone has an aspect of humor about them, it's really good.
Really funny and quirky novel (written in letters) about a girl who's even stranger best friend has gone missing, and no one is concerned. There is no reason to be, but you know, it's still anxiety creating. Fun adventures ensure.(less)
Really silly and fun, this was one of my beach reads. Nothing to be taken seriously, it's a super chick-lit, written in the British style. Love the gu...moreReally silly and fun, this was one of my beach reads. Nothing to be taken seriously, it's a super chick-lit, written in the British style. Love the guys, I feel for the girls, and I think anyone with a urge to run into the balmy waves every once in a while throughout a day can lazily read through this.
mother falls in love with a restaurant owner who thinks she's a thief. Daughter falls in love with a stupid man-slut.(less)
This was a very amusing book. Over-all I felt it wasn't as funny as I had expected (having seen the movie for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) but s...moreThis was a very amusing book. Over-all I felt it wasn't as funny as I had expected (having seen the movie for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) but still had a very interesting flavor to it. Satirical, nutty and funny, but having the grey harsh reality I have connected to, through Hollywood, to England.
I sometimes felt that entries did nothing for the plot and were not at all interesting.
The plot was better than the books, and this comes off as more like a Novel-in-a-Diary than it's sequel does. (less)
It was an experience that is well taken. I think this book is a good thing to have read and be able to look back upon. As a student of English Rhetori...moreIt was an experience that is well taken. I think this book is a good thing to have read and be able to look back upon. As a student of English Rhetoric, it is very valuable to me.(less)
With a very interesting pace and fantastic style, this book is one of my favorites and certainly a contemporary classic.
The novel in supreme. The mai...moreWith a very interesting pace and fantastic style, this book is one of my favorites and certainly a contemporary classic.
The novel in supreme. The main character, sister of the heroine, admirer of the hero, is not perfect and pretty contemptible in the beginning, but her life doesn't continue on after her mistakes are made... These are not mistakes you can turn from, let alone learn from. She is as ruined as the hero and heroine are separated... and writes a novel of it all. But this is a novel, and your mistakes can be tinged with hope and healing.
The epilogue was written with good contrast as a first or second draft, in comparison to the polished feel of the novel.
Fascinating, and feeling sorry for her obsession of the lives she's ruined, The aged woman you meet at the end of McEwan's novel, is still not perfect, but likable, if not admirable.(less)
I recently read comics of huge dimension, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland by Winsor McCay, written back in the early part of last century, when...moreI recently read comics of huge dimension, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland by Winsor McCay, written back in the early part of last century, when Gibsons, big-brimed hats and a "new, columnar silhouette" defined women's fashion. Nemo is a young boy who when asleep travels to Slumberland, and begins to have adventures with the Princess of Slumberland, Camille. They pick up Flip as a traveling companion after having some altercations with him, which I did not read about, but were briefly mentioned. Flip in turn picks up a young black boy who is member of a tribe, and is known as The Imp.
I didn't start at the beginning, though. Apparently I lack a lot of contemporary historical knowledge, as the stories get really absurd at one point, and as much as I loved Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot in 2009, I'm still not ready for a re-read of that!
That aside, the illustrations are the real reason I looked into these comics in the first place. The perspective and is incredible, and the detail in every single page are really worth peeking at in a quick Google search, if nothing more.
Nemo's traveling companions are like-wise caricatures of their time. Princess Camille, incredibly passive yet wise, left after a while and Flip, green in the face from too many cigars, one supposes, took the comics from a serialized story format and into that which resembles the modern Sunday comics of today.
One is always amazed at the treatment of dark skinned characters in older works; while there is some attempted cannibalism when they go ashore in the pseudo-Pacific, the chief of the tribe speaks impeccable English. A member of the tribe accompanies them as Flip's ... property... for a while, then when Flip is separated from this caricature, Nemo travels with him, and finds him creating trouble slightly less often than he is helpful. He and the Imp, never mind the language barrier, are pretty evenly matched.
The illustrations are the real reason I looked into these comics in the first place. The perspective and is incredible, and the detail in every single page are really worth peeking at in a quick Google search, if nothing more.
Originally serialized in New York Herald from 1905-1911, but then switched to the New York American newspaper, where it was re-titled: In the Land of Wonderful Dreams; it ran there until 1914.
Spoilers: This review assumes you have read the previous book.
In City of Ashes we pick up with Valentine being his ev...moreCity of Ashes by Cassandra Clare.
Spoilers: This review assumes you have read the previous book.
In City of Ashes we pick up with Valentine being his evil, egocentric self, calling greater demons as a warm up act rather then an encore; Sacrificing people, hurting his children with only a few words, creating days rife with mis-communication - in other words - the usual. Simon and Clary are dating, sort of, since Clary and Jace really shouldn't be dating each other, yet cannot seem to stop wishing they could. Their mother, meanwhile, still won't wake up from her coma, Luke is being a good pack leader and saving Jace from killing himself often. Simon meanwhile, has a strange preoccupation with blood...
But what is Valentine up to, for chrissakes? He's setting up the vampires for murder, gleefully dashing away in the last second, but for all this evil planning he's doing, it's been rather quiet for the Shadowhunters. The accords have been signed, everyone is happy, except Clary and Jace, and there isn't much going on except Magnus has comes to the junior Shadowhunters every beck and call, and would like them to stop calling about every scratch.
All in all, plot wise, the book is very much between major events, but we get enough tidbits about the major hooplah that will be happening at the end of the book that, the angst and drama between first page and last is more than enough. The perspective shifts often enough to keep it lively and keep us guessing, and great job on that, Clare, since we really should know better by now and we still don't know what anyone is going to do next!
My squabbles with this sequel were with lines here or there that could have been better, been more succinct. When someone serving Valentine guesses his plan he actually tells them they guess correctly, instead of smirking saying, 'perhaps' enigmatically. I'm starting to think that Count Olaf* is scarier than this guy. For the record, Count Olaf remains one of the scariest book villains I have ever read. He still really terrifies me. Even being played by Jim Carrey. Here's part of a dream sequence from relatively early in the book:
As she approached, the figure became suddenly clear, as if Clary had focused the lens of a camera. It was her mother, kneeling in the ruins of a half-built sand-castle. She wore the same white dress Valentine had put her in at Renwick's. In her hand was a twisted bit of driftwood, silvery from long exposure to salt and wind. “Have you come to help me?” Her mother said, raising her head. Jocelyn's hair was undone and it blew free in the wind, making her look younger than she was. “There's so much to do and so little time.” Clary swallowed against the hard lump in her throat, “Mom-- I've missed you, Mom.” Jocelyn smiled. “I've missed you, too, honey. But I'm not gone, you know. I'm only sleeping.” “Then how do I wake you up?” Clary cried, but her other was looking out to see, her face troubled. The sky had turned a twilight iron grey and the black clouds looked like heavy stones. “Come here,” said Jocelyn, and when Clary came to her, she said, “Hold out your arm.” Clary did. Jocelyn moved the driftwood over her skin. The touch stung like the burning of a stele, and left the same thick black line behind. The rune Jocelyn drew was a shape that Clary had never seen before, but he found it instinctively soothing to her eye. “What does this do?” “It should protect you.” Clary's mother released her. “Against what?” Jocelyn didn't answer, just looked out toward the sea. Clary turned and saw that the ocean had drawn far out, leaving brackish piles of garbage, heaps of seaweed and flopping, desperate fish in its wake.
Now you might not see any beauty or a problem here, but they're almost the same thing. Clare's books are filled to the brim with beautiful details, even Kirkus says so, but that can easily become a hindrance. If you begin to over-tell your story, you risk leading your reader by the hand, throw them a curve ball and it goes from unrealistic to implausible.
Clary's mother for instance, looks out to sea, and in a grey sky atmosphere of coney island, a ruined sand-castle at her feet, we don't need to be told she's troubled. A tremble in her hand, a tremor in her voice, perhaps even a word or two to make clear her mother is actually working on that ruined sand-castle. I could get really particular and speak about the meaning of the words brackish and half-built, I could have given you more of the pages and said something about how there weren't clouds before, so that should actually be 'with clouds that looked like', and that this would probably all look much better and work better on screen.
Cassandra Clare has a fantastic eye for detail, practically cinematic in scope which she lets us see, but less is more, and she can end up bogging us down with the specific details of clothes and landscape. The whole point, I think, of using Coney Island is that we know its a derelict from the past, beautiful still, but so much is gone of its former glory.
And so we're clear, I don't want to re-write Clare's book, and I will continue reading the series because I cannot stop being entertained by the way her characters interact. I'm either sitting on the couch in mock-agony over Jace and Clary or I'm laughing about something Magnus has said. I do have a bone to pick about the fact that Magnus and Alec don't seem to have been doing more than holding hands while alone together. Possible, yes, but in this story it's a bit unlikely. Readers are justified in disliking her, but she's just too damn entertaining for me to stop and smell the problems.
How about you? Do you find the books aggravating? Is Clare's internalized misogyny so bad that you can't get into the story? Did her origins in FanFiction turn you off so much that you've never considered reading the Mortal Instruments? Or are you in love with Jace, Clary &co. and raring at the bit to tear me a new one? While I dislike the latter, I would like to hear your opinions. Also, does anyone else see Kristen Holden-Ried as Luke? I'm also a huge Dyson fan, so...
*Olaf is my favorite villain of all time. So I'm biased, of course.
NOTE: This review was written with awareness of Clare's past, because I made myself knowledgeable on that front before I read this. However, I did not make any comparisons using this book, and am not interested in going back to see if my favorite lines were in fact original. I am debating whether I will review or even read the next four books that I own.
To say it was amazing seems bizarre. It affected me greatly. I wanted to cry for Harvey and his realization of his father's passing, but I was in a pu...moreTo say it was amazing seems bizarre. It affected me greatly. I wanted to cry for Harvey and his realization of his father's passing, but I was in a public place and supposed to be working. I've learned that people frown when you cry while reading Children's books.
This book is never obscene or grotesque, it's obsession is merely slight fixation, and it's dipiction of the deceased is through the mind's eye of a child. Definately alright for younger children who have lost someone or who express an interest to understand, as well as for anyone else who enjoys children's literature. This is wonderfully written.(less)