I bought this on a whim when I was looking for some light, humorous reading. The book is a collection of Ebert's review columns from the early 2000s....moreI bought this on a whim when I was looking for some light, humorous reading. The book is a collection of Ebert's review columns from the early 2000s. As you can glean from the title, the reviews are all for particularly bad movies. I'm not a movie buff and haven't even seen probably 90% of the movies reviewed within, but I still enjoyed Ebert's insights and humor. (less)
This book, a portrait of the lives of Edwardian British servants, is interesting and informative. It's also not a difficult read and fairly short. I w...moreThis book, a portrait of the lives of Edwardian British servants, is interesting and informative. It's also not a difficult read and fairly short. I would almost say it is too short. While Maloney does pack her book with many details, such as work schedules and clothing costs, I was left wishing for a little more depth instead.(less)
Reading this book was such a chore that I just let it go when the library loan ended. I think I was about half-way through it. Maybe I'll revisit the...moreReading this book was such a chore that I just let it go when the library loan ended. I think I was about half-way through it. Maybe I'll revisit the book someday.(less)
If this memoir hadn't been recommended as a hilarious read, maybe I would have liked it more. The writing is solid and the stories are interesting. Ho...moreIf this memoir hadn't been recommended as a hilarious read, maybe I would have liked it more. The writing is solid and the stories are interesting. However, they are decidedly not funny.
I read a few reviews and it seems like a lot of people found the early childhood chapters better than the later ones, but it was the opposite for me. In the beginning, the author presented no one with any redeeming qualities whatsoever, himself included. It was painful to read about these people. The last three chapters were much less harsh and saved the book for me. I would have hated it otherwise.
The book is worth reading. Just don't go into it expecting a side-splitting good time.(less)
**spoiler alert** I only just realized that I never wrote a review for this book. I probably figured that I would get to it later, and well, if a few...more**spoiler alert** I only just realized that I never wrote a review for this book. I probably figured that I would get to it later, and well, if a few months are "later," I guess I was right. Unfortunately, that means that most of the finer details of the story are gone from my memory.
I guess the only thing to do then is leave some general observations.
1. I hate the direction that Harry's character is going. I despised Harry and all his selfish "let the world burn" crap in Changes, but Ghost Story gave me hope that Harry had learned the consequences of that kind of attitude. Unfortunately, any growth that Harry's character had undergone throughout any of the previous books was completely wiped out in Cold Days. So instead of smart, capable Harry who understood how his actions affected the well-being of his friends, we got bumbling Harry who stayed about two steps behind the bad guys for most of the book and couldn't stop himself from thinking about raping every women who walked within two feet of him.
2. And speaking of rapey-mantle Dresden, I don't care if it's the stupid Winter Mantle giving him these urges, how am I supposed to related to and root for a character who is making my skin crawl? Harry Dresden should not be skeeving me out and I am so angry with Butcher for introducing this aspect into the story. I sincerely hope that this particular characteristic is fixed or at least toned down in the next book, or I might seriously have to give up on this series, which would make me incredibly sad.
3. Jim Butcher is turning Harry into a caricature of himself with these stupid pop-culture references. They were amusing before, when they were occasional, but in this book it seemed like Harry had to drop a reference into every conversation.
I'm being ranty here, I know. Months after the fact, most of what I can recall are the things that made me angry, but it was not a bad book. It was a enjoyable read (minus the rapey thoughts) and as exciting as most of the earlier books in series, even if not on par with the best ones (Dead Beat for example).
My love for this series has never really recovered from Changes, but I keep anticipating the next installment anyway. How long that will last, I'm not sure. But I just can't stop hoping.(less)
I was lucky to meet the author and buy this book at a local event. My 8 year old daughter was with me and she seem...more(cross-posted from my amazon review)
I was lucky to meet the author and buy this book at a local event. My 8 year old daughter was with me and she seemed interested, so I decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.
The story follows a precocious group of orphans who find themselves battling evil from another dimension. Normally I find stories of children who are wise beyond their years a little off-putting, but I thought it worked in this story because of the kids' backgrounds and it wasn't overdone. There were some definite gross-out moments (that my daughter and I loved cringing over), but nothing that would be too much for young readers.
My favorite parts of the book were the theme and the strong moral compass of the protagonists. Another plus is that while the theme is obvious enough for young readers, the story never gets preachy.
My daughter's favorite parts seem to be action scenes (which I also thought were well paced and plotted) and the moments were protagonists support each other through troubles. (I'm being deliberately vague so as not to spoil the story.)
If I had any criticism at all, it would be that some of the dialog and descriptions could be simplified a bit for easier reading flow. BUT I think that something like that can be forgiven for a self-published author with no professional editor--it certainly didn't distract from what turned out to be a great story. And it certainly hasn't stopped my daughter from re-reading this book multiple times.
All in all, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to just about any middle-grade and young adult reader.(less)
I'm not a huge Ellen fan, although I do like her. She's hard not to like, actually. When I saw her book sitting on the new release shelf at the librar...moreI'm not a huge Ellen fan, although I do like her. She's hard not to like, actually. When I saw her book sitting on the new release shelf at the library, I was ambivalent about reading it until I flipped it over and read the back cover. Any book that can amuse me with just the back cover deserves my time, I thought.
The book itself meanders quite a bit and doesn't have a real point. I have no idea if her other books offer more personal insights, but this reads more like what you might hear if you could hang out with Ellen for a day or so and read her thoughts.
So while the book doesn't have much of a point, and I didn't finish it feeling like I know Ellen herself any better, it was lighthearted, warm, definitely funny, and enjoyable.(less)
I can see why this was groundbreaking when it was published and why it's still popular today. The themes are complex, original, and timeless. It was a...moreI can see why this was groundbreaking when it was published and why it's still popular today. The themes are complex, original, and timeless. It was a very thought provoking novel.
On the down side, some chapters did drag and feel over-long. And the inclusion of the comic within a comic was pretty confusing until its metaphorical meaning was made clear in the end.
I'd recommend it to almost anyone, but don't pick it up thinking that it's going to be a light read just because it's a comic. (less)
My review for the debut novel in this series applies here too. Although, I definitely didn't enjoy this installment as much, mainly because one of the...moreMy review for the debut novel in this series applies here too. Although, I definitely didn't enjoy this installment as much, mainly because one of the villains is such a flat, obvious caricature of a celebrity that it took me out of the book. Young children probably won't have that problem. Once again, my daughter loves this book, so I averaged our scores. (less)
I borrowed this from my daughter for research for an upcoming project. It was a cute, fun read. My daughter, whose opinion matters more than mine in t...moreI borrowed this from my daughter for research for an upcoming project. It was a cute, fun read. My daughter, whose opinion matters more than mine in this case, absolutely loves it. She would give it five stars; I'd give it three, so I averaged them for this review. If your child likes superheroes, they will probably like this book. (less)
This was an engaging book with an interesting protagonist. The mystery stayed intriguing throughout, despite the fact that I figured out the big twist...moreThis was an engaging book with an interesting protagonist. The mystery stayed intriguing throughout, despite the fact that I figured out the big twist fairly early. The high points of the book were the chapters dealing with the terrible childhood memories of the hero. These weren't pleasant chapters, but they were so well done that my stomach would twist in knots at his pain. The lowest point was the confrontation with the killer, which was cartoonish and absurd. However, with everything else going for the book, that one bit of nonsense is fairly easy to overlook. *3.5 stars*
This book was a very pleasant surprise since it was a free download. Weems wraps you in Solomon's world, whether it's the nursing home where he is spe...moreThis book was a very pleasant surprise since it was a free download. Weems wraps you in Solomon's world, whether it's the nursing home where he is spending his last years or the Varner Creek of his childhood memories. Varner Creek especially felt like a real, living place. The mystery was intriguing and the characters were interesting and well-rounded.
However, as much as I liked this book, I had two major problems with it:
1. The ghost story was not necessary. It felt tacked on, as if the author couldn't figure out any other way for the facts of the mystery to come to light. There is a ghost sighting at the beginning of the book, but the story continues without any paranormal activity for quite a while. By the time another ghost popped up, I had honestly forgotten that I was reading a ghost story at all. At the end, the titular ghosts are mainly used for exposition and tying up loose ends. Frankly, the story was more interesting without the ghostly visitors and could have been an exciting as purely a historical mystery/thriller.
2. If a character is telling a story in the first-person, there is just some information that he can't and shouldn't know. I'm willing to suspend a little disbelief for the sake of the story, but having a son recount, in intimate detail, (view spoiler)[his mother's rape (hide spoiler)] is going to jerk me right out of the book.
Despite these problems, I felt like this was a solid, enjoyable book. *3.5 stars*
I always have a hard time pinpointing how I feel about the books in this series. On one hand, I generally like them and keep coming back for more. On...moreI always have a hard time pinpointing how I feel about the books in this series. On one hand, I generally like them and keep coming back for more. On the other hand, there is always something that leaves me feeling just vaguely dissatisfied with the story, the characters, the world, or all of the above.
This latest book had more lows than highs for me. I almost dumped the series a few books back when Rachel spent most of her time whining about her relationship with Ivy. But then the two partners came to an understanding and the angst and navel-gazing was kept to a minimum for a few books. Suddenly, in A Perfect Blood, we're back to angsty, whiny Rachel and I did not enjoy her return.
Rachel was also almost TSTL in this installment and there were more than a few times when I would have liked to reach into the book and give her a good smack. (view spoiler)[There is a nasty group that's out for her (literal) blood for nefarious reasons and her friends and colleagues keep telling her to either stay out of dodge, take a certain step to protect herself, or both. She does neither and then is SHOCKED when she's captured and abused. I couldn't roll my eyes any harder at her epiphany that *gasp* her friends were right. (hide spoiler)] She can't seem to hit the broad side of a bard with her splat gun anymore either.
She spends more time getting her butt kicked and being saved by Trent than anything else. In fact, this whole book has Rachel being dominated by the men in her life. Decisions are made for her by her pack leader, Trent gets her out of trouble more than once, she has to call up an old boyfriend for help with a spell, Al has to be on hand for another important bit of magic, and she's constantly thinking about her attractions to whatever man wanders onto the page with her.
There were good points in this book. It moved Trent's story forward a little and I like seeing his growth as a character. There was a hint that both Rachel and Ivy might be moving on from their attraction, so I might never have to hear about that again. Jenks has found an unlikely friendship that I enjoyed. Unfortunately, Rachel was so lame in this book that it overshadowed everything else. I'm still going to keep up with the series, and I'm hoping that the next book will feature a Rachel Morgan that grows up, stops whining, and starts kicking ass again.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)