I went with a four because I read for entertainment, and yes, this book kept me entertained. However, I wasn’t a big fan of the ending. Scratch that....moreI went with a four because I read for entertainment, and yes, this book kept me entertained. However, I wasn’t a big fan of the ending. Scratch that. I hated a certain part of the ending. I finished it several days ago and finally decided to write a review. I’m going to try to make it brief…
Spoilers (not sure the warning is necessary at this point) Here’s where this book (series) took a nose dive.
Two quotes from chapter 26 __ All those people I loved, dead, and we are discussing the next Hunger Games in an attempt to avoid wasting life. Nothing has changed. Nothing will ever change now. I weigh my options carefully, think everything through. Keeping my eyes on the rose, I say, "I vote yes...for Prim." __ The point of my arrow shifts upward. I release the string. And President Coin collapses over the side of the balcony and plunges to the ground. Dead. __
In my mind here is Katniss’s ultimate decision, ultimate sacrifice. After weighing her options and shooting that arrow, she not only gives up her life (with the assumption she’d be executed, which is a realistic assumption) but gives up her persona and power as the Mockingjay. (Definite hero to zero in the public eye by doing this and later getting out of death by insanity.) But at this point, what’s the sacrifice? We’re aware as readers she doesn’t care to live by now and she never cared about being the Mockingjay, never internally thought about using her power to help create a more fair government once the rebellion was over.
If this had come off as a real sacrifice, this book, even Katniss quietly living out her life in district twelve, would have worked for me. If sometime before this point, Katniss had embraced being the Mockingjay or wanted to live, even right before coming to the table to vote, the ending would have had an impact. But as is, Katniss came to the conclusion that nothing would ever change. So why even shoot Coin? So in the end, people are power hungry, war sucks, and it will continue to happen. That was a major news flash. If you’re not going to give me hope, at least give me a real hero.
I’m going to guess, and of course, I could be totally wrong, that Collins got so wrapped up in the Peeta vs. Gale crap that she worked extra hard on showing us why Katniss picked Peeta because a large chunk of this book was dedicated to that theme. Personally, I think that decision was shown in Catching Fire with the kiss on the beach. But in a book about starvation, war, and death, a teenager’s decision in a love triangle should not be the driving force.
I’ll take my exit with this famous line from Casablanca.
"I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world." (less)
This was nice contemporary romance debut—I think—that incorporated hockey. I'm not a hockey fan—don't hate it or anything—but the hockey aspect was wo...moreThis was nice contemporary romance debut—I think—that incorporated hockey. I'm not a hockey fan—don't hate it or anything—but the hockey aspect was woven in without bogging the story down. Sara’s past made her a sympathetic character, but Lucas was very mature and patient while dealing with her past. Some parts of the plot were a bit predictable—this doesn’t bother me as a reader—however, I expected a different scenario that went down with the ex at the end, and was pleasantly surprised how the author dealt with it.(less)
I liked this one a lot. The characters were awesome. Loved Reese. Loved Mason. I read it on a Sunday and had to go to a family barbeque in the middle...moreI liked this one a lot. The characters were awesome. Loved Reese. Loved Mason. I read it on a Sunday and had to go to a family barbeque in the middle of it, almost skipped the party. (less)
This book was a sweet and emotional ride. I loved, loved, loved part one. Part two was good just not anything like the wonderfulness of part one, whic...moreThis book was a sweet and emotional ride. I loved, loved, loved part one. Part two was good just not anything like the wonderfulness of part one, which is ironic because I expected the first part to drag since it started out when Alix was eight. But part one did such a lovely job of capturing the town, her family, the connection between her and Nick, and the confusion of growing up, I fell in love with Alix’s narration. The second part felt disconnected from the first for me. The first half was like reading women’s fiction (which isn’t my favorite) the second like a romance (which I love). And there was one thing that drove me nuts in part two.
* * *
Nick’s cluelessness about Alix’s anger (though it was deeper than he knew) really irritated me. He comes back with a kid obviously born at the time they were together and he doesn’t think this will make her bitter? Of course there’s more to the scenario, but for him not to expect her to be upset and not get it until she snaps seemed beyond oblivious.
All of that said, I still gave it a five. It was written wonderfully, the first part deserves five stars plus, and at $1.99 it’s a steal. (less)
4.5…I seem to have a thing for this score lately. Though I’ve been eyeing this sucker for a while, the cheating aspect kept me leery. However, I was i...more4.5…I seem to have a thing for this score lately. Though I’ve been eyeing this sucker for a while, the cheating aspect kept me leery. However, I was in the mood for some contemporary so I read the sample and was hooked. I read it last night until the wee hours of the morning since I couldn’t put the damn never-ending thing down.
I loved both Danny and Kellan—okay, Kellan more. I liked Kiera too, but I will say she bordered a bit too close on the Mary Sue line for me. I’m not a Mary Sue hater. Flawed girls are just more real. Which brings me to the cheating part that I was so worried about. I have to say that Kiera’s dilemma did make her more real and I bought into her dilemma. I’m not saying it was right, but if I wanted to read right, I’d read about bunnies and rainbows and shooting stars. I tend to like some good people doing bad things and having to make tough choices. However, the last twenty percent or so I was getting annoyed with our almost Mary Sue. She was beyond clueless for way too long. When other people had to tell her she had to make a choice, her head wasn’t in the sand, it was somewhere else…
Overall though, this was a fun emotional ride. (less)
This book was difficult to rate, but it was a very good book. In the end, I went with a 4.5 and rounded up. Yet there were a few things that irritated...moreThis book was difficult to rate, but it was a very good book. In the end, I went with a 4.5 and rounded up. Yet there were a few things that irritated me, but first the good.
****Watch out all of this is going to contain spoilers.*****
This story is a roller coaster of emotion, not all of them pretty. I love well written unscrupulous characters—flawed people just come across more realistic. And both Olivia and Caleb were conniving. Seeing Caleb through Olivia’s POV sometimes tricked you into thinking he was all good, but in retrospect, some of the things he did were just as underhanded and irrational as Olivia. Obviously, the whole amnesia thing—did he really think that would turn out well?—using her as a lawyer, and the biggest one was his little trust temper tantrum that drove Olivia, who he knew was unstable, over the edge. (I don’t think he cheated but he let her think that in hopes of teaching her a lesson. Major backfire.) Of course, Olivia did some very awful things too, but her character development, and the fact that Leah was a major bitch, had me rooting for her.
All of this drama was written quite well. In fact, I loved the writing. Clear, concise, visual, and perfectly detailed—not too much, just enough to give a picture and usually connected to emotion. Also, Olivia’s past and insecurities were shown over the course of the novel in a way that was quite believable, which leads me to the parts I couldn’t get over.
Most of the parts that bordered on believability to me were during their past.
My biggest issue was when Olivia ‘won’ Caleb back in college. Obviously, Olivia can be unscrupulous. Yet, during the course of five months, she never tries to flirt with Caleb and steal him from whoever his current girlfriend is? One might argue she has too much pride. Yet the way she eventually wins him back, dancing at a party and coming on to him, blows that out of the water. Yes, Olivia wasn’t beyond deceit. She just seemed smarter than the befriending the girlfriend tactic. Of course, the girl has a problem and Olivia ends up helping, which is really quite evil from her POV when she doesn’t speak up. This whole scenario felt contrived to me for the sake of drama and a reason for Caleb to detest her in the future. No matter how I try to wrap my head around this plot point, I can’t. There seemed to be no purpose to befriend the girlfriend, yet this almost magically, perfectly leads to one of Olivia’s biggest downfalls.
I also would have liked to see them fall in love a bit more. This all-consuming, obsessive love was the foundation of the story. Yet we get about fifteen pages of their year and a half relationship during college. I bought into their love more during the amnesia round of their relationship. In fact, that was my favorite part.
And lastly, I found Caleb hard to connect with during the college years. Man whore. Has major hots for Olivia. Man whore. Gets serious with Jessica. Breaks up with Jessica. On the prowl again at a party. The plot here once again seemed to trump character motivation. And Caleb comes off as one of those people who has to have a girlfriend. Not attractive. Because otherwise if Olivia is the one, what the hell is going on here?
It may seem like I didn’t like this book. I did. Obviously, it got me thinking and I reflected the heck out it. And once again, it was really, really written well. The good outweighed the irritations, and if deep stories about flawed people are your thing, you’ll love this one. (less)
I’m not sure why, but I tend to like Ms. Echols quirkier stuff better. Her confused and odd characters seem real to me. And Virginia was quirky. She d...moreI’m not sure why, but I tend to like Ms. Echols quirkier stuff better. Her confused and odd characters seem real to me. And Virginia was quirky. She didn’t like wearing shoes. Thought her nose earring was the epitome of wildness. And fidgeted not stop like a fourteen-year- old boy with her drumsticks. And the thing with Drew’s shoes rocked. Drew also came to life in this story. With his issues at home, he may have been a bit more confused than Virginia. And Mr. Rush, the band teacher, was just plain awesome.
I like when Echols’s characters do things for no apparent reason—there always is a reason—but true to life, her teenagers don’t fully get why they’re making stupid choices. Like Drew and his girlfriend. Echols wraps cute little love stories around non-cute issues. Like self-esteem and dealing with parental cheating. And though the story remained light, she weaved in those darker issues, which very subtly explained her character’s motivations.
For the most part, the quirky characters made this a five star for me.
I devoured this book in one afternoon. My husband kept asking when I was going to get off the couch. I ignored him, for the most part:) The characters...moreI devoured this book in one afternoon. My husband kept asking when I was going to get off the couch. I ignored him, for the most part:) The characters in this book were not perfect, and I love me some imperfections, especially when a character grows. Though a nice girl Clara lived in a bubble until Eli came around. Then she noticed how ignoring her friends’ awful behavior was almost just as bad as their bullying. Though it took her a while, she finally found the courage to do the right thing. And Eli was a mix of dangerous, alluring, and caring, which is definitely hard to pull off, but Ms. Crane did it, and quite well, I might add. Ms. Crane also did a good job of interweaving romance with paranormal suspense, especially toward the end. (less)
I hated this book when I read it. I skimmed a lot of it. But I was on a long, long road trip and ended up reading it again. Tully is not always a lika...moreI hated this book when I read it. I skimmed a lot of it. But I was on a long, long road trip and ended up reading it again. Tully is not always a likable character. And there is some distance between her and the reader, which I'm going to guess Simons did on purpose. You kind of have to figure out why Tully is doing some of the awful things she does.But there are reasons--huge reasons--and after another read through, Tully made sense to me. My heart went out to her. She pushes people away and it takes her a long, long time to get over her past.
So in the end this was a thought provoking read. (less)