I had heard about the famous author Jodi Picoult long before I watched the movie counterpart of this novel. Since my usual choice of reading is more l...moreI had heard about the famous author Jodi Picoult long before I watched the movie counterpart of this novel. Since my usual choice of reading is more light hearted and fast, I never would find time to read one of her books. After crying buckets however, watching the movie, I decided to read the root of this story and commit to it completely. I do not regret it. Picoult is the first writer to make me shed physical tears whilst reading, other books I have felt the occasional pang of hurt empathizing with the protagonist, but this novel was a true tear jerker. Picoult's writing is strong and sharp, slicing straight to one organ, the heart. Each character in this novel tells the story, jumping from one to the other fluidly while adding more and more clarity and depth to the context is what Picoult pulls off wonderfully. This novel pulls apart one layer at a time, the idea that there is no true black and white in the world and drowns the reader in a very distinct inbetween- grey. You find moral compass sliding like a pendulum gone nuts as you frantically pull for the next page hanging onto each word and buzzing to read what comes next. Most importantly, this novel shows the strength of family bonds, the pain of family bonds, and the fragility of it all.
This is not a spoiler: I always like a good cry, weird I know, but its like letting flood gates open, and after crying out all the sadness you feel all refreshed and calm and weightless. This book did that for me, it made me appreciate my life after reading through the hell of theirs. However, my one criticism, which is hardly a criticism at all, is that the ending felt rushed to me. For the entire book, it was gradual storytelling pulling you into the family of the novel as if you were a distant relative. Then it just ends. Perhaps, once you read it, you would think that this is intentional, and reiterates the true underlying message that is threaded through the entire book, but for me, I cried and cried from start to middle, but the end, left me shocked but failed to move me as soundly. Overall, one should not pass the opportunity to read any of Picoult's novels, her writing is truly and uniquely her own, and riveting.(less)
If still unsure which retelling this Novel is, it is the retelling of the "Twelve Dancing Princesses" which is a fairytale classic that is often misse...moreIf still unsure which retelling this Novel is, it is the retelling of the "Twelve Dancing Princesses" which is a fairytale classic that is often missed during childhood. I have read quite a large portion of the Once Upon a Time Fairytales and I was especially impressed with Weyn's writing in "The Night Dance" for her creativity and crossing the normal restrictions that fairytales often place on authors who try to bring something new to the table. The story follows the storyline of the original in such a modern and abstract way that you could categorise it as a novel of its own. Weyn's novel is both an easy and entertaining read that provides a pleasant way to pass time before going to bed or on public transport and would be suitable for young teens and older. The author blends legends and mythology so wonderfully that it keeps you reading, and since I don't want to spoil the story, I can only say that the other fantasy-legend that she interweaves into this retelling is an all time favourite and she pulls it off immaculately without letting it over-run or overtake the original plot of the story itself.(less)
My local library has a "Hot reads" section and I chanced upon this book whilst walking out of the library. what attracted me the most was perhaps the...moreMy local library has a "Hot reads" section and I chanced upon this book whilst walking out of the library. what attracted me the most was perhaps the title, its simplicity and its frankness. after reading the blurb about a boy who had to be strong in a world where looks are so crucial I checked the book out and began reading. Hoge in summary, is a brilliant and intelligent man, this you will realise as you read his writing. From my reading of his life, he seems like a good person which makes this book, for me, even better. Its contents and themes are self-belief, the value of family, fighting the judgmental assumptions of society and being a strong individual. Even though I'm thoroughly not a fan of memoirs or autobiographies, this book had my eyes glued to its pages from beginning to end. Its depiction of Hoge's very existence, his hardships both physically and socially put his problems in perspectives to your own. What I loved, yes loved- not a word I use lightly, is that he really does seem to be a great man. Why you may ask? In his memoir he is honest, he depicts events as they were, and those who play a role in his life are portrayed in no particular light, they are neither villains nor heroes. That he leaves for you to determine. Even with his flaws which cause him great sadness at times in his life, he never plays the victim card. You will see in his book that he tells you how it affects him, how he is hurt by it, but he does not place blame or hold hate towards particular people. His portrayal of his mother is so honest that the reality of his life and his story is even more touching, it reinforces that life is not perfect and that especially even the best of people are not perfect. Overall, reading from his birth to adulthood was an inspirational read. It made me appreciate inner strength and how much society can hurt others when we are unable to delve deeper than ones appearance. It makes me want to be a more understanding person, and any book that inspires an attitude toward positive change in oneself is absolutely brilliant I would say. Definitely read the life of Robert Hoge, its touching, humorous and emotive. I was close to tears when I read the final words.(less)
Years of browsing the young adult shelves did not prepare me for this book. Lowry creates a world that is amazingly different and shapes it stronger a...moreYears of browsing the young adult shelves did not prepare me for this book. Lowry creates a world that is amazingly different and shapes it stronger and stronger as the book progresses. From the very first page the mysterious undertone and eerie feeling that built up in my stomach instinctively told me that this book was a rare find. Indeed, I was correct, I could not put it down. The Giver throws you into a world which is not hard to grasp, and although odd, it is an interesting world. The main protagonist shows you the society, and environment that has been his life and his home. The brilliance however, lies in Lowry's writing and her ability to elicit an unsettling feeling within the reader as the story progresses and lingers even after this story ends. An accurate word to describe her novel would be chilling, and an overall theme for this book would be "a feeling of dread". Strong feelings will come forth as you read this thrilling and unexpected story. At first all appears simplistic, but this book is truthfully, quite dark. Even after putting it down, having read the final pages, an overhanging sense of emptyness follows as you continue to think about the world Lowry has shown you for days. I can safely say, that the alternate universe that I have been shown in "the Giver" will be a world that I will not forget for a long time to come. This is a book that I would suggest anyone to read, purely because it is so eerie and different. Although it is not the typical or mainstream type of novel, I have no regrets having read it.(less)
Yes, I confess, The magnificent movie spurred my curiosity to seek out this book, and so truthfully I have officially read it a total of 4 times now!...moreYes, I confess, The magnificent movie spurred my curiosity to seek out this book, and so truthfully I have officially read it a total of 4 times now! The first time I read it- with strong prejudice, and then rated it less than a one. I picked it up a few years later and, maybe because I've mentally matured a little, I decided to give Howl's Moving Castle another go. Once I read it properly I wanted to kick myself for not acknowledging the brilliance of Diana Wynne Jones novel. It is humorous and holds layers of entertainment for an audience ranging from children to adults. I reflect now that Hayao Miyazaki's film could only achieve such brilliance by using this book as its foundation. Apart from the same character names basic storyline, each creator has created a separately enjoyable piece of work. But to focus more righteously on the novel, it is surprisingly clever. So much so, that I had to read it twice as it is actually a mystery novel among its fantasy and comedy classification. Jone's characters are so human that you will want to scream at the pages of the book, and yet, so joyously fun to read that you cannot put it down. Her humor is so random and well placed that I can't help myself from laughing- even on the bus! At this novel's core, one just has to deeply pay respect and admire the fantasy of this novel, so otherworldly and alive that I envy not being able to see it in reality. The pacing of Wynne's novel is so well thought out that the end hits you when you believe the story is still beginning! Odd feeling to have, I know. It holds clever twists, many quirky characters and a journey of self-discovery for both protagonists can also be found, on a deeper analysis. but lets not go there. Bottom line, this book is the definition of FUN, a light read for the bleakest or rainiest of days. I've read it four times, and I still love it the same as the second time I read it :)(less)