I'm going to take my time in this review, more-so that I have with any review to date. I wanted very much to love this book. I wanted to be a devoted R...moreI'm going to take my time in this review, more-so that I have with any review to date. I wanted very much to love this book. I wanted to be a devoted Randian, because I have always heard how forward-thinking and revolutionary Ayn Rand's books are. When asking about Atlas Shrugged, words like "Powerful", "Motivating", and "Life-Changing" are frequently used. Because of this, I resolved to read this book, no matter what.
So I started it a few months ago. Before getting too far into it, I found that I was becoming angry. I was actually angry at the book and had to stop reading it many times. That isn't right. I wasn't upset at the situation in the book or the injustice in the scenes. I was upset at the... what? at the pretentiousness? no... I guess at the belittling tone that has many words but few points.
What upset me so much is the constant recurring statement of "You can't blame me" from every weasel of a person. It is as if there are only a few really good minds in the world, a few decent middle class people to wipe the good one's butts... and everyone else is just here to make life suck. And those, the parasites, they like to foul things up and say "Not my fault, don't blame me" while snowballing the issue.
The thing is, I can get that. There are people like that in the real world. There are people that pass the blame in an instant, even before others realize that there is an issue. BUT, this book takes it miles too far. I wish I would have had the forethought to count the amount of times something to the effect of "You can't blame me" or "It's not my fault" was said by anyone. I'm sure the number would be in the hundreds.
And those parasites... they play with laws like you can't sell more than me, it's only fair. You can't sell more to him than to me, it's not fair. You can't compete with me since I was here first, it's not fair. SHUT THE HELL UP.
And what of our good people? Ayn even strips them of their goodness. Dagny can't just be good, she has to enjoy being belittled, told she's no more than a whore, lacking all virtue, below respect, and contemptuous because why? because she does not abhor sexual pleasure.
She and Rearden give in to their desires, and instead of him berating himself, he berates her? Calls her contemptuous? He says that he can show no respect for her because she gave in to primal lust, not saying about his adultery, only that they gave in to their bodies. He screws her, belittles her, and how does she respond? By saying she's glad she's his beyond respectable whore. No NO So the one point that I might like in this book, that Dagny at least gets some happiness, you just squatted all over.
I'm not going to go any further, there's so much more, TOO much more. John Galt, Francisco, and Rearden... the collapse of... you know what? It doesn't matter.
All that matters is that this story is insipid. It is not eye opening. The character development is slow, falls flat, and maddening. The story, which might be more vital if presented better, was drawn out, repetitive, overbeaten, and irritating. I look at reviews for this book that are giving it 4 and 5 stars, and I read how this book changed people's lives. I've seen this from people who's opinions I respect. I just can't see it the way that they do. (less)
I loved the first two books, but what I adored most about this one was the internal struggles and the realization of being used. The giant chess game...moreI loved the first two books, but what I adored most about this one was the internal struggles and the realization of being used. The giant chess game that is katniss' life. I thought that the progression of this story was fantastic, up until the very end. That's not to say everything happened too quickly, not at all. It's more like Collins had a deadline and had to throw the end together. Every thought, decision, and outfit was detailed, defined, described, and laid out through the entire series... until the end of this one. Then, it was like everything was rushed, vague, done without much detail to reason or thought. One star off for rushing the end of a great story!(less)
This was a lighter dystopian story. In a perfect world, everything is decided for you. You are matched with your perfect mate by algorithms. Your like...moreThis was a lighter dystopian story. In a perfect world, everything is decided for you. You are matched with your perfect mate by algorithms. Your likes and genes are matched with someone that will be a perfect fit for you, and there is no question that it is right. In Cassia's own experiences, the people that she knows, she has never seen a matched couple NOT happy. (view spoiler)[ But soon, she starts noticing a breakdown in the system. A second face shows up on her match information chip. She starts wondering and questioning... and she starts finding out that her perfect world is much less than perfect. (hide spoiler)] I enjoyed the tone of this book. I greatly enjoy dystopian stories, and the spin of this one was unique. I am excited to see how the story progresses in the following two books. ["br"]>(less)
I'm a sucker for books that take a usual story line and put a totally different spin on it. In this case, Invasion of the Body Snatchers from the alie...moreI'm a sucker for books that take a usual story line and put a totally different spin on it. In this case, Invasion of the Body Snatchers from the alien's perspective. Love it! The Host is a book about an alien invasion, many years after it has started. Humans are all but extinct. One of the few last remaining ones is found, and a strong alien is placed in her body to find the location of other survivors. Things don't go as planned.
What I liked most about this book is that, while the story line is unmistakably fiction, the character development is believable. The main alien character, Wonderer, progresses from a self-assured being to one questioning her entire identity, as well as questioning her species' actions on this planet. She grows as a "person", learning and changing her feelings based on her experiences and shared memories. I enjoyed that progress, and how wonderfully it was written into the story. It defiantly had it's cheesy moments, but this is a YA... I've learned to expect some cheese in YA.
I will say that I was anti Meyer prior to The Host. I had not read any of the Twilight series, and never ever ever planned on it. However, after enjoying The Host as much as I did, I ended up reading the entire Twilight series to see if her writing style was as smooth in them as it was in this. (less)
This would have been a 5 star book for sure, if not for the dropoff at the ending. I understand the desire for a sequel, or for having too much inform...moreThis would have been a 5 star book for sure, if not for the dropoff at the ending. I understand the desire for a sequel, or for having too much information to fit into one book (because of size, of course), but it is my opinion that the ending of a book should not leave you hanging. I LOVED this book from the start until I realized I was done, and so much was left in the air. For example, Hunger Games. The end of the first book of the trilogy ended. There was a definitive stopping point. You wanted to read the next one because the first was so good and you wanted to see what else happened... but the book was over. Ciner, and quite a few others that I've read, end with a pause. A breath. The start of a statement that you can't be sure how it ends. I hate that. Ending aside, this book was exquisitly written. I loved the simplicity of the structure. Meyer did not use flowery prose and fluffed up vocabulary to get her point across. Even description was simply put. You knew what things looked like, smelled like, sounded like, and felt without having to have a full few pages to tell you. I so admire that type of writing. It flows, it doesn't distract from the story. And as for the content, I loved the idea so very much. The otherworldlyness of a cyborg and her best friend, the android, living amongst humans (and lunars), but with a social class distinction between the types was wonderful. The old-world style mixed with the technology of a future much past our own was so vivid. And finally, the characters. Every single character was written well. Motives, ideas, and actions were all written concicely. No character did anything that seemed... odd, for the way they had been written thus far. No one slipped from their definition, if that makes any sense.
Overall, I loved this book. I was just a bit let down by the cliffhanger.
Overall: 4.75 stars Character Development: 5 stars Plot: 5 stars Detail: 5 stars Writing Style: 5 stars Flow: 5 stars Recommend?: With a quickness! Audience: YA and above(less)
Chalk this up to another book that the lists loved, and I did not. For me to love a story, I have to like the plot, understand the settings, and feel...moreChalk this up to another book that the lists loved, and I did not. For me to love a story, I have to like the plot, understand the settings, and feel the characters. This book had 2 of the 3. But not giving the characters a persona was a deal-breaker for me. Every bit seemed to be she did he did they did this guy did... it had no emotion in it, really. The premise of the book was good, but I did not care for the execution.
This was a fun read. I always have a soft spot for fairy tale twists, and this one didn't disappoint. What really happened when Prince Charming woke S...moreThis was a fun read. I always have a soft spot for fairy tale twists, and this one didn't disappoint. What really happened when Prince Charming woke Sleeping Beauty from her slumber? How did BabaYaga get her house on chicken feet? This delightful tale fills in all of the gaps, and then some, of the old school fairy tale. These characters felt real, all of them. It was nice to have such consistency and understanding about them. The settings were well defined, letting you know just enough detail to let your mind fill in the rest.
I listened to the audiobook of this, and have to say that both readers did a great job.
Overall: 4 stars Character Development: 5 stars Plot: 4 stars Detail: 5 stars Writing Style: 5 stars Flow: 5 stars Recommend?: Yes Audience: YA and up(less)
You know, I tried really, really hard to like this book. It didn't happen. From the "I'm bored even thought it's happening to me" tone to the "hey, wo...moreYou know, I tried really, really hard to like this book. It didn't happen. From the "I'm bored even thought it's happening to me" tone to the "hey, would you look at that, I've a giant hole in me. Huh, whaddaya know?" bit... I just couldn't get into it. (less)
Okay, this review will have spoilers, but I'll hide them. I will say, without spoiler, that this book could have been amazing. I gave it two stars because the writing was very detailed. I could see it. I knew what the hall looked like, the house, the coral. I KNEW what he was seeing. But two stars is all I'm giving for that, and here's why... (view spoiler)[ I followed this book, I felt the build up and the suspense, I loved it four stars worth... until he started reading Goldstein's book. That's when the story began to fall apart, when I realized that there wasn't going to really be a story at all. (hide spoiler)]
At this point, it really felt like Orwell wrote everything up until then just so he could give a long drawn out speech about a society that could have been and if it had been, it would suck. And I think I may have still clung on to liking the book, I would have overlooked the lecture part, if at the end, there was something to walk away with, some point to the story. There were just so many parts that I could not get on board with.
Let's start with his meeting with O'Brien. O'Brien told him that there would be no group meetings, there was not an organization. Winston would take his orders from O'Brien, himself, or maybe one or two other people. Though Winston held high suspicions of everything and everyone throughout the book, why not even a slight apprehensiveness here? Why not question why he might have to throw acid into a child's face or spread a venereal disease? If you are questioning everything about your society and world, why blindly grasp on to this line of reasoning without even asking about it?
And Julia in all of this? In earlier conversations, she had stated quite clearly that she had no desire to rebel like this. She wanted to rebel mentally and sexually, but that was all. And yet, he denounced everything for her, he said that she would also throw acid in baby's faces. She only spoke up when it came to them separating. Why? She was a strong woman earlier, very strong in her stance on only being a rebel from the waist down. She knew that his form of rebellion is suicide. But now, in the presence of O'Brien, she was mousy. She apparently wanted this too and had not a word to say otherwise.
Then came the book of boredom. I kept waiting to read something to the effect of "so the government using mind control by lacing the Victory gin and using subliminal messaging in the Tele's" but no. Just Socia-Political garble again.
Okay, so then they were caught. And it was O'Brien that was the Thought Police. Saw that coming after the meeting. And they start torturing Winston, okay... but why? O'Brien says to make you back to a good little follower so we can kill you then, as a believer... You know, because that's how we do it. We go through all this time and effort for no real end effect, just to kill you after you re-convert. Oh, and somehow, we can actually read your mind. Huh?
And in the end, what was that? He was a good little lazy boy? What was the point of the whole thing? Of him knowing society and the government was wrong? Of him loving Julia? Of any of it? Why tell me a story like that? If not one single thing came of it, what was the point? There was nothing to hold on to, in the end. If, let's say, he was that shell of a man, but had constant dreams of Julia, his perfect love, though he could not recall who she was... only the feeling of that perfect happy... I could hold on to that. If, he died with her name on his lips, I could hold on to that. If she turned out to be the bad guy, or O'Brien turned out to be the jackass he is but was ALSO Goldstein, or Goldstein was actually Big Brother, or anything that was actually a twist, a plot, or somehow monumental or even pretty big, I could hold on to that. But this story just ended kinda blah. It was just This guy thinks the government is wrong. He realizes they are jerks. Some hot chick likes him and they get together. He then makes a friend from work who he thinks hates the government too. He promises to do mean things to get back at the government if his friend asks him to. But what? His friend ends up being a governmental prick and torturing him until he really likes the government. Then, he doesn't like his girlfriend anymore and he gets to drink gin all the time and the government doesn't change at all, and the girlfriend doesn't really like him anymore either. The end. Where is the story in that?
I really went back and forth on this one. The detail is very... detailed. But there are part of this book where it really felt like the author put the...moreI really went back and forth on this one. The detail is very... detailed. But there are part of this book where it really felt like the author put the writing down and just didn't bother to re-read the previous bit before starting again; serious contradictions. Because I read this in a continuation, these contradictions not only stand out, they grate against me. Furthermore, there were so many areas of the book where Strieber went into so much detail it was like diarrhea of the pen, where the detail didn't need to be that involved for the point to be very, VERY clear... and then other places where the detail was so minuscule that it was infuriating. A great example of the latter is when talking about (view spoiler)[ Al North's soul freeing the souls in captivity. It says something to the effect of he had a glimmer of hope, and that was enough to power and release all the souls because he was so angry and still had that glimmer. Uh, 'ceuse me but when Al disembodied, his HOPE was to share his knowledge ANY way he could to help everyone. He HOPED to help and fix his error. This glimmer wasn't fresh. And a sliver of hope was all that was needed to free all the souls, really? That was all it took? After all the strife and pain it took one soul some hope? Lame (hide spoiler)] And while twist and turns in the plot are generally what makes a story great, there was just too many needless ones here. They didn't go together and many of them, again, contradicted one another. Overall, it was okay to read once. I absolutely won't be doing it again, that's for sure. If you're reading this review to try and figure out if you should pick this book up, I can't say I'd recommend you do. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)