Honestly, I picked up this book because I had to. I was doing a speed book dating activity with my English teacher, where you read a book for five minutes, checked the "Yes, it was interesting" box or the "No, I hated it!" box, passed the book down, and read another. Honestly, I never would have read this book if it wasn't for that. Not that I have anything against Jodi Picoult, or anything; I just am more of a dystopian person than a sob story person.
Like almost everyone else, I have heard of Jodi Picoult before. How could I not, what with My Sister's Keeper being so famous? But Lone Wolf was the first book I read of hers, and, well...
Let's just say I wasn't too excited about it.
I really liked the beginning of the book. I loved the descriptive and beautiful writing, and the plot seemed rather unique and interesting. The characters were somewhat likeable. Overall, the beginning was good.
See how I said the beginning?
Then came the middle. And the end. And everything went wrong.
Cara turned out to be whiny and really reckless. She did not think about the consequences of her actions; she just went right out and did whatever she wanted to. Yes, she was determined, but she was also ignorant and selfish. I did not like her.
Luke seemed like a really awesome dad and nice guy, but then you keep reading and you're like, "What?" The new, scandalous info that gets revealed seems like the it's about a completely different person than the Luke you get to know in his first person accounts throughout the book.
And let's not forget Edward! I'm not going to give away any spoilers for those of you who have not read the book, but he was reckless too. And, well, no. Just no. I did not like him.
The only character I can honestly say I liked was Helen Bedd. And she was in maybe ten pages.
And when the end came, the end that was supposed to make you cry, I just went "Really?" I could not feel any empathy for any of the characters. Not even Luke. I don't know, I was just really disappointed with this book.(less)
I kind of have mixed feelings about this book. Most of those feelings are good, but there are some things I hated. I hated them because I identified with them. I know what it feels like to get ditched by your friends because you aren't as "cool" as them, then to have them pretending like nothing happened the next second. I know what it's like to have friends that will go to any extreme to fit in, no matter what.
And I've never understood that.
I hated did not like Jessie's "friends" from Into the Wild Nerd Yonder. Bizza and Char treated her horribly. They were rude and desperate to be liked and just plain terrible.
Her nerd buds, on the other hand... I have never played Dungeons and Dragons and don't see myself playing it in the future, but I thought it was so great how her friends got together and played it every week. They didn't care about what anyone thought of them; they were themselves and they had fun.
Van is a jerkface. End of story.
Jessie, oh Jessie. She was a great character, of course: smart, above the influence, funny, nice. She was a math nerd, and she loved it. But with friends like Bizza and Char, she didn't exactly feel comfortable letting her nerd flag fly. It took her a while to come to terms with the fact that sometimes, you have to just do what you want; it doesn't matter what everyone else thinks. She really blossomed throughout the novel.
Sigh... I loved Barrett. He was such an amazing big brother to Jessie. He has a sense of humor (Ew, the doughnuts! I will NEVER be able to eat a glazed doughnut again!) and is so brotherly and kind to Jessie while being slightly annoying in the way that all big brothers are required to be. Jessie and Barrett had a really great relationship. Henry. Was. Amazing. From his ugly white shoes to the top of his curly head, I loved him. Why can't there be more cute nerds out there for the rest of us? Hmmm???
Overall, I liked Into the Wild Nerd Yonder. It was cute and funny, but it wasn't amazing. A good read, but not one to foam at the mouth for. (less)
Eh. I don't know. Was this book amazing? Did it tug at my heartstrings? Did it make me cry with heartbreak and laugh with joy?
Um... No. Not really.
I picked up this book because, well, it's Nicholas Sparks. Mr. Tearjerker Romance Writer. And I'm a girl. Do the math.
But unfortunately, this book didn't really work for me. The beginning was really, really slow. I actually found myself doing other things, namely cleaning, to avoid reading the book. I think that's a bit sad.
But then things picked up a little, and I got a bit more interested in the story. There was more romance. I was happier.
Then Mr. Creeper revealed himself. For those of you who haven't read the book, I won't disclose his identity and spoil it for you, so we'll just call him Mr. Creeper.
Mr. Creeper horrified me. He was, well, creepy. Terribly so. He was a stalker sociopath murderer who didn't seem like one.
Sparks has this very unique writing style. He writes in third person, mostly in one or two characters' points of view, but he also writes some passages in the supporting character's views. He lets you into their heads and see what they are thinking.
Being in Mr. Creeper's head freaked me out. He was so evil, but he believed he was doing the right thing! It was insane. He made me want to scream.
When you read this book, the romance resolves pretty quickly, and you'll be wondering how the book is so long if the love mystery is already over halfway through.
The other half of the book is all Mr. Creeper. I'm glad I read this book in the daytime, because otherwise I would be peering out my bedroom window, freaked out that someone could be out there with a camera.
The other characters are okay, I guess, but they all seem kind of flat. None of them really change, and none of them are really that original.
Overall, this book was okay at best. I don't know, it just wasn't really that interesting. When I think about this book, the first thing that comes to mind is how creepy Mr. Creeper was. I don't think that was Sparks intention when he wrote this book. If you don't mind slow books and like to read about creepy stalkers, then try it out!
Otherwise, I wouldn't put this at the top of your TBR pile. (less)
I avoided this book for a really long time. I thought it would be depressing and creepy and sad and terrible and heart breaking.
I was right.
After avoiding this book for years, a friend of mine recently convinced me to try it. She said that it was one of those must-reads, something that she thought everyone had to read sometime in their life. I value her opinion very much, so I agreed to try it.
I can see how people have described this as life changing. This was such a powerful book. It was so heart-wrenching and...
I don't know. It just left me feeling empty.
I remember crying while reading one book. Only one. Out of the hundreds I've read, I can recall crying for The Book Thief. That's it. The thing is, I don't cry for utterly devastating books. When I read one of those, all of my emotions disappear and it's like I'm in a feelings coma. I can't cry. It's like everything has been sucked out of me. It feels like I will never be able to feel any emotion ever again. When I finished this book, that's how I felt.
Thirteen Reasons Why deals with a lot of hard topics. And by a lot, I mean a lot. Suicide, rape, depression, bullying, you name it.
I cannot say that I enjoyed reading this book. It was a painful and agonizing read. I physically shuddered and my jaw dropped in horror at every single twist and turn in the book.
Because the book is from Clay's point of view as he listens to the tapes, everything is brought to a new level of horrifying. You read about his reactions to everything, and they make the horror so much more real and terrible. His reactions show you that her tapes aren't just a story that she tells. Her tapes affect all of the characters' lives.
But, yes, it was an amazing book. It was so well-written and beautiful and sad and moving and, well, life changing. I don't know how to describe it.
Read it. No, it won't be fun. You won't laugh in delight. You won't smile because everything is just so darn cute. This is a beautiful and torturous book. Just trust me on this one. Read it.(less)
The concept of Fury was, without a doubt, fascinating. I have always been curious about Greek mythology, which explains my somewhat childish obsession with Rick Riordan's novels. So, of course, the idea of modern day Furies intrigued me. That was the reason I picked up this book from the library. That, and the absolutely gorgeous cover.
The book started off interesting. The alternating views between Em and Chase were nice because you got to see both sides of the story. The writing was fluid and had just the right amount of description. There were twists that I hadn't expected, and twists that I had, which is more than I can say for some books out there.
Now that I think about it, it seems like a good book. It seems like a lot of people would like its creepiness, its twists and turns, and its touch of romance. Everything seems like it would make up an amazing book that people would foam at the mouth and claw others down in the attempt to grab the last remaining copy on the shelf (okay, that may be a little extreme).
But as we all know from that ever present theme in literature and life, not everything is as it seems.
For me, something in the book was off. I don't know what. Maybe it was a missing secret ingredient that could have made it a masterpiece instead of a merely mediocre read.
So there I was, reading along, sort of enjoying it but waiting to see it get better, when the book ended. BAM. It was terrible. I can sort of see how it was supposed to be a cliffhanger. It was supposed to make you want to foam at the mouth and scream in agony because the sequel had yet to be published. That's not really how it happened for me.
I was just like, "Really? That's how it ends? Wow. Disappointing. Do I really need to read more of this when it just seems like it's missing something and the ending isn't good at all? No. No I don't."
So no. I don't myself continuing the series. Yes, it was mildly entertaining, but I didn't love Fury. It was okay.
And, unfortunately, the most emotion this book got out of me was annoyance. I don't think that was what the author intended.
I really liked this book. It kept me guessing and surprised me, which is always nice. Predictable books are so annoying. It's like, "Oh, she's the long-lost Princess of Whatever-Country? No way!" Forgotten was many things, but predictable was not one of them. One of my favorite things about this book is the romance. London and Luke are just the most adorable couple; they remind me a bit of Xavier and Beth from Halo. London's condition scares me, though. Imagine waking up and only being able to remember your future! I just cannot even begin to picture that. Yes, the story was sometimes a bit doubtful, but it's a story. An adorable story with a little mystery thrown in. Overall, Forgotten was a cute and mysterious read that made me smile and gasp with surprise (cheesy as that sounds).(less)
I really enjoyed this book. I have read a few books by Westerfeld before, and I enjoyed them very much as well (Uglies, Pretties, etc.) So naturally, I expected much of the same style from this book.
Westerfeld surprised me. It almost seemed like the different people wrote Leviathan and Uglies. His voice switched perfectly into the best type of narration for this book. The world of Leviathan was fascinating. It was like a parallel universe to WWI, but with fabricated animals against machines.
It was really fast-paced, almost too fast-paced at times. There was endless non-stop action. Sometimes it was a little overdone, but it was not nearly as bad as mindless action movies, where it seems like a lot of action with a smidgeon of plot thrown in. In Leviathan, the action supported the plot without overwhelming it. At times, the story got a little confusing because the world that Westerfeld created was so complex that it was difficult to understand what was going on.
I thought that the plot was intriguing. Having just studied WWI, I found it interesting to link up what was going in the book to the real events of the war. Even with all of the action, the plot was still strong. Leviathan was never boring.
The characters in this book were excellent. Deryn’s masquerade as a boy was so convincing that sometimes, when a “she” popped up in the writing, I was surprised to recall that she was, in fact, a girl. Alek’s growth from a scared, orphaned boy into a confident young adult was interesting to watch. But again, with all of the action, it did not feel like you really got to know the characters. I liked the switching viewpoints between these two characters, however. It gives the reader a different perspective on everything that is taking place.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It was mesmerizing and never boring, and the characters were interesting and original. The action sometimes threatened to bring everything down, but the plot remained strong in the end.
+20 – WWI Plot – I enjoyed the references between this mostly fictional book and the real war that took place very much.
+15 – No clichéd romance (yet): Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for cute love stories, but I’m glad that this book didn’t do that. It’s just too overdone, and the romance would not have fit in with all of this action. We'll just have to see what the sequel has in store!
+15 – The Illustrations: The illustrations in this book were beautifully done, and they gave you a clearer image of the intriguing world that Westerfeld created. They really added another level to the story.