This was an interesting read, and it surprised me that I ended up enjoying it.
The first part of the book is really, really slow, but holds a lot of h...moreThis was an interesting read, and it surprised me that I ended up enjoying it.
The first part of the book is really, really slow, but holds a lot of humor, as well. The story is about a man who's wife is in a comma from an accident, and her living will states that they must remove her from life support. As if that isn't a complex enough plot as it it, the tragedy is impacted when the man, Matt, discovers his wife had an affair. This story is well-written, and shows how a father struggles to build a relationship with his two daughters, while figuring out how to handle the tragedy and loss of his wife, as well.
Like I said, the first part is slow, though it's enertaining to see how he interacts with the youngest daughter. Their dialogue and exchange is humorous, and in some way, it reminded me of how I speak and joke around with my own father. Because of this, I think I enjoyed hearing the story through Matt's eyes that much more, because hearing how he thinks and how he acts differently than what he actually feels intensified the book's plot. I don't want to spoil the story's plot for you, but the family goes on different adventures discovering new things about Matt's wife's affair. The things he keeps to himself and the things he reveals to the girls seems to hook you in.
Overall, a good book, but like I had mentioned before, a little slow in the beginning. I felt like I was just waiting to find out about the affair, and that doesn't happen until the second half, when the oldest daughter gets home. There are some really touching, tear-provoking moments that caught me off guard. I also loved how the relationship between Matt and Sid, (who is the oldest daughter's boyfriend)grew and changed through the book. He forms a strong bond with the oldest daughter as well, as he leans on her and depends on her for strength, too.
Additionally, I feel the location of the story, Hawaii, is a good setting. While many of us relate to a place of peace, relaxation, and a place to rest, none of these words describe Matt's state of mind. The contrast between peace and relaxation seem to put a little sting into the many conflicts he has to deal with. (less)
I did the backwards thing with this particular book, and actually watched the movie before reading the book, which I usuall make it a strict rule NOT...moreI did the backwards thing with this particular book, and actually watched the movie before reading the book, which I usuall make it a strict rule NOT to do. But, once upon a time on Netflix, I thought I was renting "Akeela and the Bee" but clearly, got the wrong movie, so I shrugged and watched it anyway. A year later, my co-worker recommended the book to me, too, and she was so excited that I obliged, and relived the story again, in a much more vivid way, as the book is ALWAYS better than the movie, of course.
What I particularly enjoyed about this is the imagery and personification that rings loudly through each page. It's as if Mother Nature wrote the book herself...descriptions about the heat, honey, sun, wind, light...everything is beautiful and written sincerly through the eyes of a child.
It's beautifully written, with the reader clinging to the pages as young Lily discovers the mystery of her mother, slowly but surely. Unfortunately, the facts don't uncover happy truths, but I could actually appreciate this, strangely. Of course, I was hoping for a different outcome, but this is a book of struggle as much as anything. Had she uncovered something different, I think it would have really changed things. Lily had many stuggles through this story, which will break your heart and make your laugh out loud at the same time. (I giggled whenever she told a man something about "female problems" to make them feel uncomfortable and leave her alone...")
The characters Lily meets, especially the calendar sisters, are a distinctly beautiful collection of people, who have faced their own struggles as well. They all find a certain strength in their bond with one another.
Deeply beautiful. Deeply magical. I would recommend for a young woman, around her "tween" age, butI believe any woman with a beating heart can appreciate it, either way.
Read it with a cup of tea anf a spoonful of honey. ;)(less)
Every once in a while, I need a good dose of a cheesy romance novel to read. Nicholas Sparks is usually always my go-to guy for such a craving.
Then t...moreEvery once in a while, I need a good dose of a cheesy romance novel to read. Nicholas Sparks is usually always my go-to guy for such a craving.
Then thing about Mr.Sparks, however, is that, though I give him much credit and respect, the books are somewhat predictable. Still, I snatched this one up and read it pretty quickly.
It's an enjoyable read, but like I said, predictable, and doesn't stray to far from his usual story line. The setting, of course, is always the same, so by this point, I feel like I know what is bound to develop either way.
Either way, you can't go wrong with Zac Efrom playing the main love interest in the movie. ;)(less)
This book had a deeply profoud effect on me, and I don't anticipate that anything I could write in this little blurb would actually help you understan...moreThis book had a deeply profoud effect on me, and I don't anticipate that anything I could write in this little blurb would actually help you understand how amazing the book is. It is a coming-of-age story about a young 15 year old kid learning how to fit in in, make friends, and just growing up in general.
Like I said, I don't know I can actually explain how much I love this book. I wish I could give it more stars.(less)
You can giggle all you want at the title- and you can giggle an even considerable amount more when you open the book, as well. Yes, it is in the categ...moreYou can giggle all you want at the title- and you can giggle an even considerable amount more when you open the book, as well. Yes, it is in the category of "Feminism," but don't the let the stereotype dissuade you from reading. If I could sum this book up in one word, I'd say it's beautiful. I read it for a Women's Literature class several years back, and it surpassed my expectations greatly.
The idea behind the book, is generally, yes, somewhere along the line of answers to the question, "If your vagina could speak, what would it say?" kind of a thing. (Yes, you have permission to giggle once more.) The author is Eve Ensler, but the stories aren't all hers- they are compiled from women of all ages and demographics, whom encountered all different experiences, from childbirth to abuse. When I say it surpassed my expectations, I meant that when I up the book, I hadn't expected how many different emotions and feelings the different women would be able to make me feel.
Truly well put together. I heard there were different volumes, but I have just the one from the class I took all those years ago. Now, when people come inside my room and glance at my library collection, I find that every now and then someone will break out into a giggle as well. I am 100% proud to come to the book's defense. Reading through the pages highlights the fact many women appear different from one another, but their experiences in life may make them the same in heart. (less)
I can't offer a truly fair rating of this book for a few reasons, and yet, in the same aspect, my reasons have left me with much thoughts and feelings...moreI can't offer a truly fair rating of this book for a few reasons, and yet, in the same aspect, my reasons have left me with much thoughts and feelings on the subject. The problem was- it was too many thoughts.
The first thing is, I was unable to finish the book. When I read books, I usually allow myself to become truly invested in the character, to try to put myself in the main character's shoes and imagine the story as they tell it. This is a good thing when reading books of a light-hearted nature, but for books with such sad series of events, it disturbed me greatly. It's not a habit I could easily break, to be able to read something of this content and feel untouched by it. The truth is, I'm way too sensitive, perhaps. I couldn't continue reading, even as hard as I tried, wanting to give Elie Wiesel the respect he deserved. (both for writing the book and sharing it with us, and for being a survivor.)
The other reason why this isn't a fair rating, aside from not being able to finish the book, is that I realize I'm not only rating the book, but I'm actually rating the Holocaust as well. I tried to give the book the best chance, but my anxiety got the best of me. (less)
I read this book last year with my high school English students that I worked with. It is profoundly well-crafted and beautiful. I think I finished ra...moreI read this book last year with my high school English students that I worked with. It is profoundly well-crafted and beautiful. I think I finished rather quickly, too. The book was an easy read for the kids, who have learning disablities, because of the unique way it's put together. Words are underlined throughout the book, and then defined in the lower hemisphere of the page. For my students who sometimes have difficulty reading, it was a very useful tool. What surprised me is that even I enjoyed the definitions at the bottom of the page. I liked that the author made me think outside of the box as to what I already knew the word to mean. It created a sold understanding as to what the character had gone through and her experiences.
The story is a powerful one, and from what I understand, based on true events in the life of the author, who was raped as a teenager. In addition to the rape, though, many serious issues are highlighted in the book, issues that are real for teenagers. The main character is bullied, experiences severe depression, peer pressure, sexual agression, violence, and more. The struggles between her parents and herself just made me want to cry, and so I did.
I am not one to write spoilers, so I will keep it that way. I will say that I genuinely loved the metaphor she found between herself and the tree. That part, I found to be very beautiful.
In my head, I wondered if some of the scenarios would really occur, specifically, the details of the party she attended and her friends rejecting her afterwards. The way they treated her was awful and I didn't know if the really would have such hatred towards her, without being suspicious as to what led her to act one way. It was sad to see how alone she was, and it hurt.
What I realized after finishing, is that even if all the circumstances weren't entirely believable,that isn't really the point. (I'm not sure how much of the story is based on author's life, for clarification.) I think the author sought to reach out to other teenagers going through similar experiences. If the exact scenario doesn't play out like it does in the story, it's more than likely more young teenagers are empowered to stand up for themselves and take action against abuse.
In addition to the concern of abuse, I think it definitely brings to light the issue of bullying. Those who are doing the bullying might read this book and realize that someone who they used to be close to at one time and has appeared to "change," may still need a friend they can trust to listen to them, despite what the rest of their peers think.
I am really thankful I had the opportunity to read this novel, and even more thankful that my high school kids read it, as well. Truly powerful...I'd like to check out other books by this author.
**spoiler alert** This book disturbed me. I hated it.
I did not, however, hate it because of the reasons the other readers stated, such as poor gramma...more**spoiler alert** This book disturbed me. I hated it.
I did not, however, hate it because of the reasons the other readers stated, such as poor grammar and so forth. It has been a while since I actually read it and I cannot recall thinking the grammar was not up to par.
The reason why I hated it was more because of the subject matter. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I decided to read it, I'm too sensitive for this kind of stuff, obviously. What I can say in reguards to the grammar, is that the book is written from the perspective of a young girl, not a grown adult that is fully conscioud of their grammar. For what it's worth, I think Sebold did an excellent job of assuming the personality of this young girl, who is basically caught in the afterlife and watches over her family as they attempt to find the killer, who is her next door neighbor. It really aggrabated me that so many times in the story, they were close to finding the clues which would lead to solving the mystery. Not all books have happy endings, and I get that. It just made me frustrated that the creepy killer got away with it.
While I do say not all books have happy endings, this one, I feel is about closure, for both the family members and the young girl who was killed. It's a hard one to read, but the ending was appropriate, I believe, as she learns to find comfort in her new home.
Parts I did not like: The scene where she comes back to earth and ends up having sex with the boy she had a crush on while she was alive. I thought that was really just a bit too bizarre and crazy, and I didn't like that it totally strayed from the central plot. However, afte finishing the novel, I read the Author's interview at the end, and was able to find some respect for why she created the scene. The purpose she had in mind for the character was a good thought, however, I just think it could have been accomplished through a different route.
I also didn't like how the mother had an affair with the detective assigned to Suzy's case. I don't know what the purpose or direction of that was at all, but it irritated me. Furthermore, I felt it was unlikely to occur, so it just frustrated me.
It is truly heartbreaking to feel how difficult it is for the family to move on without Suzy. I could feel their pain as I flipped through the pages.(less)
**spoiler alert** It was a good read, but it did lack some real common sense on some areas. To tell the truth, I did actually recommend it, and the pe...more**spoiler alert** It was a good read, but it did lack some real common sense on some areas. To tell the truth, I did actually recommend it, and the person I recommended it to had similar views.
I'll start with the positives. Piccoult has a knack for writing about court dramas, and they are ones that do make you think. I've read some pretty predictable books, so reading her books that make me think about where justice should be served most fairly is a good topic for me. This particular case was about a shooting in a High School, where the shooter was a victim of bullying. A very relative topic- we've been hearing about similar scenarios around the country since the Columbine shooting in '99. I do commend her for her devotion to this topic- it's very clear she does research when she writes. She thinks about what the attorney's go through defending their client, what the kid's in the school has suffered in the events following the tragedy, and how the community struggles afterwards. What is also REALLY unique is that she put in some serious groundwork establishing a foundation for how the events BEFORE the shooting take place, from as early on as Preschool and Elementary school for the shooter.
Piccoult is also amazing with her character development. I mean, you really get how everyone is affected by the tragedy, outside of the courtroom. Each character has a well thought out family structure that she has developed and established through the story- outside of the central conflict of what is happening in the story. This, I believe, is exactly her point. Outside of the halls of the school where these kids went to class everyday, they were kids, brothers and sisters, husbands, wives, and partners, (there is a teacher who is gay in the story, too.) For many who read this book, this is a message to stop future shootings, I believe. She takes the time to illustrate the idea that looks aren't always how they are perceived. Moving from one character's perspective to the next is a also very smooth transition; it doesn't feel too choppy, which is great, considering how many dynamic characters she puts into the book.
Now that the positives are out of the way, I'll touch on some of the negatives. Piccoult naturally assumes that, given the nature of the crime committed, some of her audience will be young readers, too. This is the impression that I got at least. In the beginning, it seems she's focusing on a few obvious issues- bullying and violence, as well as peer pressures. These are the central conflicts- but there other conflicts that are expressed as well, and at times it just felt like too much of an after school special for me personally. She also addresses homophobia, single parent households (with an unknown father in the mix,) suicide and drugs, teens having sex, pregnancy and miscarriage. By the time I read to the point of the miscarriage, it seemed far too outlandish for me to find believable. Yes, I understand she was addressing that those types of things happen to your kids without you realizing, but all of these things occurring to one girl seemed less believable. She could have taken some of those topics and addressed them through a different novel, with a more profound effect.
There are things that happen though the book that don't seem like they would happen so easily any day in real life. One instance that sticks out in my mind is when Peter, who is teased repeatedly because the kids think he's gay, and he's also a little small for his size, just nonchalantly walks into a Gay bar to check it out. Really? How does he do this so easily when he sticks out against all the athletic boys at the school as someone quite small? Explain to me, please, how he gets past anyone that way? Not likely.
I will end this by saying that the book does have an unexpected twist towards the end, which I did appreciate, though I was somewhat skeptical about the likelihood of this event taking place, too. I can appreciate the twists in the outcome of a book, though. Piccoult's surprises in the endings of her books make her an author who I will read again in the future, too. (less)
I've been swamped with reading for school this semester, so last week, a day after my last class, I was at my sister's house watc...moreOh where do I begin?
I've been swamped with reading for school this semester, so last week, a day after my last class, I was at my sister's house watching my nephew. I usually read over there while he's napping or watching Diego, so I was bored that day and picked this book up off the shelf. In all honestly, I had been planning to do this for a while, and after finishing this book a day later, I am wondering what took me so long. Seriously, I laughed out loud multiple times.
Chelsea is one funny chic on her show, so I should not have been surprised. Still, the topics that are her funny on her show are celebrities falling apart and other publicity scandals. While she does take the opportunity to dig into these celebrities in the book, too, her life alone is one hysterical episode after the other. I finished this book with more anticipation and excitement than I would read your typical book- and I tend to read pretty quickly. But seriously, for a book with a less riveting plot line than most books I typically dive into, it was funny how attached I became to her stories of her ridiculous friends, strange family members, love of midgets, to name a few characters. (One of my favorite descriptions was the guy she dated, who she described as a mix between David Duchovony and WIll Smith.Really? I tried picturing that so many times.) That story, by the way, had me crying from laughing so hard) Also, if you need more convincing as to how amazing she is about the people in her life- how can you go wrong with a girl that affectionately refers to her father as "Bitch Tits." You really can't.
Do not read this book while sipping on a hot beverage or with a full bladder. It is spit out your coffee, pee your pants kind of funny. Also, if you have a really obnoxious laugh, or tend to snort in a really unattractive way, don't this book around people, because you will laugh and embaress yourself. I mean, that's what my friend said. I have a really beautiful giggle, I've been told. ;)
I'm returning this to my sister's house tomorrow and pulling the next Chelsea book of her shelf. Can't wait!(less)