There's nothing more entertaining than getting insightful stories about Daytona Endurance Races from a dog named Enzo. Really. Beats me.
"Sometimes IThere's nothing more entertaining than getting insightful stories about Daytona Endurance Races from a dog named Enzo. Really. Beats me.
"Sometimes I think you actually understand me," he said. "It's like there's a person inside there. Like you know everything."
I do, I said to myself. I do.
Well he did, and he wrote a whole book about it, and I enjoyed every single bit of it! A short but nice and refreshing read. Despite the plot becoming seemingly unrealistic, a sort of "You and Me against the world" thing, the book has succeeded in maintaining a happy and cheerful disposition until the very end. The "against all odds" theme however, nicely accentuates the inspirational value of the story.
With regards to character development, only Denny and Enzo received much attention on this area. I did however find it lacking for one main character - Eve. It would have been better if the author delved a little further on the "budding" relationship between Eve and Enzo. At first they were on the opposite sides of Denny, as competitors for his affection. But gradually, their relationship warmed overtime, with Eve's pregnancy and her being inflicted with Cancer. Here's one of the scenes between Eve and Enzo that I really warmed up to because of its sincerity and affection:
And I did. I took care of her by curling up at her bedside, or, if she had collapsed on the floor, by curling up next to her there. Often, she would hold me close to her, hold me tight to her body, and when she did, she would tell me things about the pain.
Just as they were finding each of their roles in the family unit, and was getting well together, Eve's character (even while she was still alive) suddenly takes a back seat. I was left hanging, as Eve has already began reaching out to Enzo for emotional support and affection and the their relationship was abruptly cut. She should have been given more airtime in the storyline (both when she was still alive and afterwards). Her character could have been another source of inspiration for both Denny and Enzo during those trying times.
Mainly, I couldn't help but wonder why the character of Eve was not as dynamic as Denny's or Enzo's, given that she was one of the main characters. And I also wonder why she was not able to contribute ANY words of wisdom to Enzo just like Denny, given that she was an integral part of their lives as well. I guess they were too engrossed with racing and stuff...
The plot was very good in its arrangement, and the gradual buildup towards the end is definitely enough to keep you glued to the book. The plot resolution however, falls flat as the stereotypical "magical formula" to end all of their problems. It was just as if they had won the lottery and they live happily ever after - which is quite unrealistic to say the least.
However, I did find the passing of Enzo as an emotional one. I admit that I did shed quite a few tears while reading that part. It was a tearful goodbye to both Denny and Enzo, but it was suprisingly filled with sheer positive outlook, to look as death not as an end to all things, but simply a passing phase towards something better, something greater.
Definitely a good read for me, despite some of the "could have been better" comments. If you are a fan of racing, you'll surely relate to it. And if you're a Dog lover, I'd bet you'd find yourself cuddling with your pet dog a couple of times because of the heartwarming nature of the story - Well I sure did....more
My first impression on this book is that it's got the Jodi Picoult trademark written all over it. From the staggered multiple points-of-view style thaMy first impression on this book is that it's got the Jodi Picoult trademark written all over it. From the staggered multiple points-of-view style that was used, to the plot about a family that has a member with special needs, to the courtroom drama -- clearly, this is the starting point/basis for Picoult's other book, House Rules. You'll be immersed in that familiar environment, a typical family whose lives are shaped and molded by a very difficult predicament, where they learn to live, and adjust in order to get by. And as with House Rules, you'll be astounded by the level of detail the author has provided in order to make the whole story come alive.
Although it has almost the same themes and exposition, I would personally put this a notch higher than House Rules. First of all, I like the idea that the main character of the story, Anna, has such a strong drive to pursue her goal of expressing herself. Although she has frailties and moments of indecision (which is perfectly natural for girls her age, and anyone in that sort of predicament), she still manages to pursue her intentions. I also liked the way the plot was managed. From the gradual buildup of the story, the unexpected plot twist at the very climax, and the way everything unravels after it -- It's simply one of the best plot treatments I've ever seen. The ending has really tied up loose ends and comes to a solid conclusion, and at the same time binds all the characters' motivations. The lines are very simple, yet brimming with meaning and wisdom, without sounding too overly complicated. With a generous helping of desperation brought about by dire circumstances, heavily contrasting with the Fitzgeralds' will to fight, Picoult adds a considerable amount of typical family life and values, and injects a bit of light-hearted humor in between to make the plot strike a perfect balance. It's just superbly written in my honest opinion.
And yes, Judge is a service dog. But what was he for again?
I'm giving this 5 out of 5 stars. One of my best reads so far. I'm also going to watch the movie (though I'm not expecting much from it), then I'm rereading this one. It's that good. :)...more
I initially expected it to be just like the first book "The Glass Castle", but it turned out to be quite different. It wasn't as riveting, and totallyI initially expected it to be just like the first book "The Glass Castle", but it turned out to be quite different. It wasn't as riveting, and totally dysfunctional like the first book, but it did reflect life as it was during those days. But, it was, as witty and snarky as the first book could ever be! I could not get over those pick-up lines and punchlines! Ms Walls' style of writing ensures that there never is a dull moment in the book.
As with the first book, it vividly depicted life in the harsh desert, and all the predispositions people had back then. Ms Walls really had the keen sense of detail when she described the customs of the people, the contrasts between living in the desert, and the city-life.
I really loved the "pilgrimage" theme that the author depicted during the first part of the book -- the 15-year old girl, riding the wind with the whole world out there waiting to be discovered. But this wasn't a pilgrimage story as I thought it to be, it was more of a coming-of-age, wake-up-to-reality thing. It was more of discovery, at times a "fish out of water" experience, which happened to Lily on several occasions during the course of her life. And what was interesting about it is the way she reacted to those situations. She was a realist, and a fighter. She always had her foot on the ground -- something of a parallel to Ms. Walls' life story in the "The Glass Castle". Her toughness, and sense of willpower, was a source of inspiration to me. I even noticed that I've taken the habit of whispering the words "Tough it out!" whenever I'm in doubt of myself.
Although this was a prequel to "The Glass Castle", the content would definitely stand on its own right. Overall, it was a very good read and I would even recommend it to people who have yet to read "The Glass Castle"....more
Okay, I was really skeptical about this. Basically, this is my very first romance novel (I've read Coelho books about love but that's different). AndOkay, I was really skeptical about this. Basically, this is my very first romance novel (I've read Coelho books about love but that's different). And having seen the movie first before starting this book, I had this preconception that this book's going to be cheesy and all. This was partly true, it did have it's "teenage crush" moments, but Nicholl's writing style gave it a bit of panache. Instead of going for the obvious, Nicholls was able to hide (or at least mask) those romantic moments by intricately sewing them into the fabric of the friendship of Em and Dex. The lines are very witty, cosmopolitan in nature, and are always brimming full of British Irony and Sarcasm (which I really enjoyed, mind you). Never overly romantic, a bit light-hearted, I think this book is exactly analogous to a casual conversation. I'm not sure if this is a negative, but I find the book a little lacking in depth, with regards to the dynamics of the relationship of Em and Dex. Nicholls did not delve too much on how each of the main characters felt about each other at the very core, but I guess it would digress from the casual theme of the storyline if he did so.
I did commit the mortal sin of watching the movie first before reading the book, and this honestly spoilt the ending big time, but nonetheless, the story was still engaging. Also quite a novelty is the approach made by Nicholls in concentrating on a single day (Hence One Day) of each year in the lives of the characters. This adds a bit of mystery and leaves lot of room for the readers' imagination. And it ensures that you'll be gasping for more at the end of each chapter.
Overall, this was a very fun read for me. And in a bit of an irony, this was of significance to me. It just feels like I'm living a page of my life, just like in the novel, looking back at the chapters that have passed, and looking forward to those that I have yet to write....more