Cadence Sinclair Eastman - Cady - cannot remember the events surrounding her injury two summers ago. She only knows she misses her cousins Johnny and...moreCadence Sinclair Eastman - Cady - cannot remember the events surrounding her injury two summers ago. She only knows she misses her cousins Johnny and Mirren and her love Gat, and she suffers terrible migraine headaches. The Sinclair family is one in which appearances matter; Cady's mother seems to care more that Cady appears well than that she *is* well. But Cady is allowed to return to the island where the Sinclair family spends its summers, and through a haze of headaches and amnesia, she tries to piece together what went wrong in "summer fifteen." When she realizes the truth, it's no surprise she repressed it; it's worse than she could have imagined.
The writing style serves Cady's teen perspective by eschewing metaphor: Cady doesn't *feel as if* she's bleeding all over, she *is.* This can be a little melodramatic, but so can teenagers. The writing style also serves the unreliable (amnesiac) narrator, as Cady constructs different versions of fairy tales to get closer and closer to the truth. When she obtains new information, she revises what she knows and works that into her story of what happened.
Lockhart invents a world where a rich family has a private island; where the death of a beloved wife/mother/grandmother sets her husband and daughters unraveling; where teenagers try to make adults see what's truly important, but do so in the most tragic of ways. (less)
"Part of the struggle in learning to write is learning to ignore what isn't useful to you and pay attention to what is."
"Every form of writing turns t...more"Part of the struggle in learning to write is learning to ignore what isn't useful to you and pay attention to what is."
"Every form of writing turns the world into language."
"If you notice something, it's because it's important."
"...our reading habits are impatient and extractive."
"Here's another reason for learning the basics of grammar and syntax: Syntactic and grammatical accuracy is the precondition for being sure your sentences say what you think they say."
"The idea of writer's block, in its ordinary sense, exists largely because of the notion that writing should flow. But if you accept that writing is hard work, and that's what it feels like while you're writing, then everything is just as it should be."
"Humans have a language instinct but not necessarily a writing instinct. The difference between talking and writing is the difference between breathing and singing well."
...it's always useful to ask yourself, "What exactly am I trying to say?" The answer to that question is often the sentence you need to write down.
"Pursue clarity...in the pursuit of clarity, style reveals itself."
"All writing is revision."
"Authority arises from the way you write, not from the subject you write about. No subject is so good that it can redeem indifferent writing. But good writing can make almost any subject interesting."
"It's never hard to work when you're interested in what you're working on....If it doesn't interest you, how could it possibly interest anyone else?"
"We're so trained to read for meaning - to look through the sentence to what we think is the author's intention - that in our search for it we're prepared to disregard the literal significance of the prose itself."(less)
Fin moves to Manhattan with his older half-sister Lady after the death of his mother when he is eleven. He is enchanted by Lady, and protective of her...moreFin moves to Manhattan with his older half-sister Lady after the death of his mother when he is eleven. He is enchanted by Lady, and protective of her; she loves him and is less protective of him. Though Lady has many suitors, they are all more in love with her than she is with them, and she rejects them all. Eventually she flees to Capri, the place where Fin first met her, and he follows her there again. Though the story is from Fin's perspective, he is not the first-person narrator; the narrator's identity is only revealed toward the book's end.
Reconstructing Amelia is about an apparent suicide at Brooklyn prep school Grace Hall. Single mother and busy lawyer Kate is just beginning to emerge...moreReconstructing Amelia is about an apparent suicide at Brooklyn prep school Grace Hall. Single mother and busy lawyer Kate is just beginning to emerge from the fog of grief over her daughter's death when she receives an anonymous text message: Amelia didn't jump. Kate goes to the police to re-open the investigation and find out what really happened to her daughter.
Present-day Kate is the primary narrator, but Amelia also narrates some sections from before her death, and there are text message exchanges between Amelia and the mysterious Ben, facebook status updates from Amelia, and other anonymous text messages. There are also a few short sections (italicized) from Kate's past. This style of narration works exceedingly well to give the necessary back story and the complete explanation for the events leading up to Amelia's death. The pacing is excellent; it keeps you reading without employing super short chapters or cliffhangers.
If you liked this you might also like: Accelerated by Bronwen Hruska(less)
The Gardner heist remains unsolved, the thieves not positively identified, the art still missing. Given this, I think there's a limited potential for...moreThe Gardner heist remains unsolved, the thieves not positively identified, the art still missing. Given this, I think there's a limited potential for satisfaction in a book about the heist. However, Boser writes about how the thieves pulled off the heist, potential suspects and other leads, and there's a little bit of history and art history as well. A quick read, but not revelatory. -JLA(less)
"I miss him so much, but it's confusing, because I missed him long before he was dead, and that's the bitch of it all. I missed him long before he was...more"I miss him so much, but it's confusing, because I missed him long before he was dead, and that's the bitch of it all. I missed him long before he was dead."
Vera and Charlie were best friends from the time they were four years old until about six months before Charlie died. Vera knows Charlie isn't guilty of the crime everyone thinks he committed the night of his death, but she hasn't come forward yet. Charlie is literally haunting her, begging her to find the note he left behind where only she would find it, but Vera hasn't gone looking yet.
Vera's mom left when she was twelve, and her dad's solution to everything is work. Neither of Vera's parents has set a good example of addressing important problems head-on, but Vera finds she doesn't agree with this head-down approach, and there are some things that she can no longer ignore.
Narrated mostly by Vera but also by Charlie's ghost, Vera's dad, and the Pagoda (a building on a hill overlooking the city), PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ presents 18-year-old Vera's journey toward deciding what kind of person she wants to be. (less)
Did you enjoy the movie Ocean's Eleven? Snatch? The Italian Job? If your answer is yes, then this book is for you. The authors detail the thieves' ela...moreDid you enjoy the movie Ocean's Eleven? Snatch? The Italian Job? If your answer is yes, then this book is for you. The authors detail the thieves' elaborate plans to break into the Diamond Center vault in Antwerp, then explain the police investigation and the clues that enabled the detectives to find the thieves (at least four of them). Much of the loot, however, remains lost.(less)
This author is pretty gutsy to write a book from the perspective of a female sexual predator, but she pulled it off quite well. Not recommended for th...moreThis author is pretty gutsy to write a book from the perspective of a female sexual predator, but she pulled it off quite well. Not recommended for the squeamish or easily offended.(less)
When there is a "ghost ship" in a book, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a character, one might expect that the mysterious ghost ship will be explained,...moreWhen there is a "ghost ship" in a book, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is a character, one might expect that the mysterious ghost ship will be explained, but one would be mistaken. That aside, this is an enjoyable read. The author makes the reader care about the characters (before killing a significant percentage of them off in shipwrecks), and brings to life some little-known aspects of American and British history, including the popular Spiritualist movement in the 1800s. The narrative perspective shifts between several characters, including Doyle, journalist Phoebe Grant, and sea captain's wife Sarah Briggs (nee Cobb). -JLA(less)
A memoir-in-essays about growing up Korean-American in L.A. Quick and funny, many of the stories come from Choi's relationship with her mother, as wel...moreA memoir-in-essays about growing up Korean-American in L.A. Quick and funny, many of the stories come from Choi's relationship with her mother, as well as her extended family. Interesting and amusing.(less)
A fantastic modern-day fairy tale, narrated by the ghost of Jacob Grimm, who watches over Jeremy Johnson Johnson in the town of Never Better. When the...moreA fantastic modern-day fairy tale, narrated by the ghost of Jacob Grimm, who watches over Jeremy Johnson Johnson in the town of Never Better. When the lively Ginger Boultinghouse convinces Jeremy to join her in playing a prank on the baker, Jeremy is caught; though the baker forgives him, the town turns against him. This isn't Jeremy's only problem: he and his father are about to lose their house and their shop. But the looming bank foreclosure and the townspeople's shunning aren't the scariest or most dangerous things in town - there is also the mysterious Finder of Occasions, who is about to divert Jeremy and Ginger down a very dark path. FAR FAR AWAY is a superb and original fairy tale, as sinister as one of the Grimm Brothers' own household tales.(less)
"A Dance with Dragons" took up about a month and a half of my reading life. It is hard to describe exactly how I feel after finishing, but I'll do my...more"A Dance with Dragons" took up about a month and a half of my reading life. It is hard to describe exactly how I feel after finishing, but I'll do my best. It's almost as if I was given a beautiful 50,000 piece puzzle. After weeks of anticipation and enjoyment of putting it together, I finally completed it. It was fun while doing it, took forever, and I'm left with the feeling of accomplishment; at the same time, my life hasn't changed and it doesn't feel much different from other puzzles I completed, it just took longer.
I really enjoyed reading "A Dance with Dragons" and I was dying to know what would become of these characters, they were up to some pretty interesting things, but I don't feel the excitement of finishing like I did with George R. R. Martin's last couple books. Yes one of my favorite characters may be dead, but Martin has played that scenario before. I am actually kind of glad "The Winds of Winter" doesn't have an official release date yet, because I need a serious break from this series. It has taken over almost a year of my life and now I can move on to other series. I will continue to watch the show though!
The book still deserves a 4 after that little rant for a few reasons. I really enjoyed reading this book. I tried to put down "A Dance with Dragons" and read other books, but I just couldn't stop thinking about it. The characters feel like they are family. I may hate some of them once and a while (or all the time), but a part of me loves them in spite of myself. Sometimes you just need space from your family. Last but not least, any book that can get me to read almost 1000 pages is a great book. I mainly read Young Adult books, so any adult author who holds my attention for more than 300 pages is a winner in my book.
So yes, I still recommend this series, with the caveat that it might be best to give some space between the books.(less)