I'll admit it - I stumbled into the series feeling apprehensive. Fanfiction? In all my life I'd only liked a total of one of them(a Canon by the auth...more I'll admit it - I stumbled into the series feeling apprehensive. Fanfiction? In all my life I'd only liked a total of one of them(a Canon by the author), but a page in, like wasn't the word to describe this book. I was enthralled and amazed. The main character Alexandra annoyed me, amused me, and had me ceaselessly worrying over her. Half the time I wanted to shake her but I never wanted to put her or her world down. Not only is Alexandra well written but the side characters were also well developed enough so that they felt real. Another thing this author achieved was sticking to the Harry Potter universe and inventing off of it, her words sound so much like the style of the Harry Potter books that I have to remind myself the piece isn't technically part of the series. The book is heavy in plot, interesting and well thought out, pick it up and you'll be swallowed in minutes no matter what your earlier 'responsibilities' were. I find myself talking about this book to people who haven't even read Harry Potter, and while speed reading am upset that I'm approaching the end of the books(less)
Right off the bat I have to applaud Gillian Flynn for her severely flawed multi-dimensional characters. They're compelling even when they're not over...more Right off the bat I have to applaud Gillian Flynn for her severely flawed multi-dimensional characters. They're compelling even when they're not overly likable, this is just me drawing parallels between Dark Places and Sharp Objects. I want to applaud the author for that before I talk about the specifics of the book that loped off the last star.
Begin the spoilers:
(view spoiler)[ Diondra was one of my biggest problems. She was portrayed as extremely violent, murdering a bovine, leaving her parents without a second thought, and of course the cold blood mostly unmotivated strangulation of the oldest Day sister. She used heavy drugs and alcohol during her pregnancy, had no prenatal treatment - and yet still managed to have a perfectly healthy baby. Okay, overlooking the havoc drug-use does on a fetus, let's look at the parenting here. This is a girl who can't be trusted to pick up after a dog. I'm supposed to skip 24 years and just shrug over her getting up in the middle of the night alone with a newborn, as a single mom going from rich to on an exceedingly tight budget without any support and an extremely violent past? That was a very hard pill to swallow.
Trey's character was also very vividly painted. He was like clan-leader in violence, egged everyone else on, then ever so passively steps out. I understand you're supposed to be pointing fingers at him but the way he moved from cow slaughter to feed store had me clucking.
Then when I found out the Angel of Debt was responsible for half the murders I literally went palm to forehead. It just seemed, silly. Especially tangled with the fact that all these murders happened on the same night. Even Diane's reasoning about just wanting Libby to "try harder" after an apology that took 20 years to get to just seemed like an excuse, it was like all these loose ends got bundled into a functional yet mess of a knot.
That being said, I raced through the book. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The first half of the book was exciting and hard to put down, even the middle flowed nicely, but at the end I was biting my lip a little harder with each page. It didn't come together right. Still, I liked the book and will read more from the author.
I did not like this book, it was overall well written but a well written disapointment at that. The time jumps were often confusing detatching me as a...moreI did not like this book, it was overall well written but a well written disapointment at that. The time jumps were often confusing detatching me as a reader from both the story and character, maybe this is why I never felt fully invested? All these chapters and at the end Elaine is the same outline of a character as on the first page. This combined with the lack of happening made the book very dry.(less)
I liked this book, it was good but turned out pretty predictable. The beginning and middle felt like the strongest points definitely, the ending wasn'...moreI liked this book, it was good but turned out pretty predictable. The beginning and middle felt like the strongest points definitely, the ending wasn't bad but seemed a bit of a cop out when compared to the overall tone. Still the character had a strong voice and it was written very well.(less)
What a quick read! The story was interesting, characters likable and overall a good book but it was very rushed, especially the end. Also not really a...moreWhat a quick read! The story was interesting, characters likable and overall a good book but it was very rushed, especially the end. Also not really a YA book like classified, more 8 to 11 ages.(less)
This book was great overall, character driven without being tedious and very emotional. I could not put it down which secures the 4th star. On that no...moreThis book was great overall, character driven without being tedious and very emotional. I could not put it down which secures the 4th star. On that note, I had two main issues with the book. Will was such a nothing character, the others were so three dimensional yet he lacked a real personality. He was always vague and barely around yet the few instances he is has them considering changing life choices for each other? It seemed more crush then life changing relationship. My second issue is hard to explain- I just felt at times I had no idea what the characters were talking about. It was usually a joke or banter in dialogue which I would reread several times and not quite understand. Overall, I do reccomend this book despite the minor loss of one star, when the author has me highlighting notes in a book that's going right back off the Kindle when the loans over than it is safe to say she has accomplished something many cannot.(less)
Why are amazing books so hard to review? I find myself lamely summarizing the experience as it made me feel so much 'stuff'. Vera is so developed and...moreWhy are amazing books so hard to review? I find myself lamely summarizing the experience as it made me feel so much 'stuff'. Vera is so developed and relatable, she has a life that parallels the readers then drifts off course yet still manages to tie in with emotions that are so hard to describe. I feel I do this book no justice - just read it!
I did have two small issues with the book. Vera's father was very demeaning to her, simultaneously he loved her, but did not support her making adult decisions while forcing them on her. I felt very mixed up about him because of his contradictory personality. This ties in with my second issue about pets, his reasons for being against them despite Vera's love for them seemed so backwards. Very "I love you but only if you're living your life how I would live mine." (view spoiler)[ I mean come on the girl's mother abandons her at twelve and her only friend dies, let her get a freakin' puppy. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>(less)
On the front of my book it says it is highly recommended for Twilight readers. That's like comparing wasabi to steak sauce. Both are for dipping? Anyw...moreOn the front of my book it says it is highly recommended for Twilight readers. That's like comparing wasabi to steak sauce. Both are for dipping? Anyway- the story is told through many smaller memories, I really do not want to call them flashbacks. The stories aren't just shown to you but the way they feel to Mia is how they feel reading them. You have tears running down your face, a burn in your heart and you are grinning from ear to ear. It's creepy but when a book does that to you it's so much more than a conglomerate of chapters, I feel like it changes you, makes you grow up in a way you might not have otherwise.
One of the greatest things about Mia is how real she was, not a stereotype, but a genuine person. It makes you feel for her because a part of you is her.
I don't know that I feel good about there being a second book. This one was intact and I am afraid it won't carry through to the next.(less)
Sometimes I have dreams I'm not even in, there's no me at all - simply characters that are people and their story. This book was exactly like those dr...moreSometimes I have dreams I'm not even in, there's no me at all - simply characters that are people and their story. This book was exactly like those dreams, except, well, it made sense.
One of my favorite things about the book was the poetic style it was written in, even simple sentences had an atmosphere that made you feel as if the emotions were coming to life. Everyone from Lennie to the more briefly mentioned characters seemed so real and could by sympathized with. I felt so deeply for Len trying to make sense of her actions based on grief, shaming herself for the way she felt, one of the better things about the book was the depiction of Len's feelings. What stuck with me the most was when she mentioned every time she thought of her sister and what she couldn't tell her it was as if she died again - that she died several times a day.
There were many predictable directions the book could have taken. (view spoiler)[ for example, when Joe won't take a second look towards her after he catches her with Toby I was half-expecting a damsel-in-distress moment, I kept waiting for Len to fall out a window or get hit by a car. Or an easy way to make Toby into a bad guy and throw out the whole situation was to have him stalk her or try to hurt her but the author was well beyond these cop outs and I should have known better by this point! (hide spoiler)]. Nelson handled a subject that is so hard to peg, so intimately, that I rushed through the book then was furious when it was over, she truly has a musical way with words and I'll be picking up anything else she comes out with. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
If I could give this book 3 1/2 stars I would, but it still isn't up to par for four.
It was an okay book. Anne was at times likable but most of the ti...moreIf I could give this book 3 1/2 stars I would, but it still isn't up to par for four.
It was an okay book. Anne was at times likable but most of the time she was just prattling on and on about nothing of substance, a lot of the book seemed to be like that. I understand this is a children's book - but so was the Secret Garden, and the writing and storyline in that was exceptional. Marilla was very coarse though she claimed to love Anne, she did nothing but passively insult the girl until maybe the second to last chapter. I liked Matthew but he wasn't featured too much. The book just went on and on, I think I would have liked it had it ended much sooner.(less)
I can't read this anymore. It started interesting and I had high expectations until it spun out into sappy romances and the somewhat strong Tris went...moreI can't read this anymore. It started interesting and I had high expectations until it spun out into sappy romances and the somewhat strong Tris went weak and cross-eyed over a boy at 60%.(less)
What a refreshing book! I was quite interested in all that was happening and enjoyed reading about the characters for the most part, I'll embellish on...moreWhat a refreshing book! I was quite interested in all that was happening and enjoyed reading about the characters for the most part, I'll embellish on that in a moment. The detail put into each person made them easy enough to separate once I could remember their title and none of the personalities overlapped. The book had a great pace and well-built plot. I had to give it four stars because of one character alone - Lex. Lex was very unrealistic compared to the other characters, her sense of danger waned unrealistically and the things she said never suited the high-paced atmosphere. She was so irritable and hard to care about, which is hard to do with a child character! Some examples: (view spoiler)[ After being attacked by a t-rex Lex goes off "Naah-aah-na, stupid dinosaur" without any feelings of fear, when her brother is saving her life in the kitchen and they are in the middle of being attacked she snaps "What do you want?" as if she isn't observing and a part of the situation, when they find the radio to get help she decides to play tug-of-war with her brother on the pretense of "It's mine! I found it!" again without any sense of danger, and she drops it out of surprise yet never screams out in surprise through the many attacks by dinosaurs. She trusts her brother to fix the computers, seems to understand lives hang in the balance, then out of nowhere seizes the computers because "I want VIEW!", when raptors infiltrate the control room she alerts her brother by casually pulling him away and in response to his "Not now!" answering calmly "Yes now!" instead of "There are fucking raptors in here!". Finally she found several dead bodies, watched baby animals die and doesn't cry until a building is blown up at the end. (hide spoiler)] Lex was just so utterly annoying and unrealistic I had to lope off a whole star. It was in such stark contrast to the rest of the book too! Tim was well written as a fellow child, every other character was realistic and adorned with personality and then there's Lex. In spite of that if you've never read this book I do recommend it, a book like this could have taken a lot of wrong turns, one is forgivable. (less)
It's pretty hard to rate a book poorly when it has such a popular audience and honestly I'm stuck between one and two stars. That's the cap. I felt n...more It's pretty hard to rate a book poorly when it has such a popular audience and honestly I'm stuck between one and two stars. That's the cap. I felt no sympathy for the characters in the book, they seemed one dimensional and unreal. There never seemed to be anything happening despite the occasional action sequence, everyone was like a stick figure with a total of one quirk (view spoiler)[ tattooed, angsty, injured. The way the mother 180'd at the end just added to unreality. Barbie never really showed us she was strong by the end, instead we were told she was strong, just like we were told how injured she was and how great Mab was. It wasn't experienced, Ashley was just a hateful ex to give Todd any sex appeal at all, he was uninteresting and flighty, Griffin was mopey with twitching importance through-out the book. (view spoiler)[. I expected so much more. (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)](less)