It's nice, don't get me wrong. And I'm a pretty big Sparks fan. But nice isn't enough for me, sadly. This book book was nice, borderline cheesy, and j...moreIt's nice, don't get me wrong. And I'm a pretty big Sparks fan. But nice isn't enough for me, sadly. This book book was nice, borderline cheesy, and just, overall, unrealistic.
The back of the book said "it packs a twist towards the end," and yes, there is a twist, but I kept reading expecting much more. There wasn't enough for me, and I actually really enjoy when Sparks writes and adds some mystery and unexpected element. This book is pretty much predictable.
On the up side, it's really romantic and touching, and I enjoyed seeing Noah Calhoun used in this story and helping out his son in law. Still, I don't think it's realistic that Jane's husband, who forgot his anniversary, become such a drastically different person.
If you're a hopeless romantic, you might actually love this book. But if you're a realist, like me, you might appreciate it, but still have a little bit of nausea, as well. (less)
It was a very difficult read for me personally, because the tone was so dark. Which, admittedly, is quite understandable, given the subject nature, si...moreIt was a very difficult read for me personally, because the tone was so dark. Which, admittedly, is quite understandable, given the subject nature, since it is a memoir about a rape victim overcoming the event that dramatically shaped and changed who she was. It was just difficult to get through, because there were really only small, less frequent moments of optimistic attitudes revealed. As an outsider to an experience like this, what I did appreciate about Sebold's memoir is how she told the story and generated more understanding for what the victim's usually go through.
When the trial is finished, there isn't as much of as a celebratory tone like I had expected. Which again, is probably something I just didn't understand as an outsider, and it's her own personal account of her experiences, after all. But, overall, I feel there isn't any real light at the end of tunnel... (no pun intended, in all honesty.)
I felt that after a while, many of the characters blurred into each other and it was hard to keep them straight. It seemed she had many male friends who had a particular reaction when she finally told them about her rape, but she likes them anyway. I don't know they all started to blur together.
I thought the attorney for her rapist was a giant asshole, and her account of the interaction between the two of them made me really proud of her, because even though he tried to take her down and confuse her, she stayed strong and overcame everything he was throwing out.
I couldn't read all of the aftermath chapter, I was too lost on all the details and at that point, realized it wasn't going to have a big, ceremonious, happy ending. I know the ending was intended to be happy, but with two pages left to finish, and then she starts talking about doing Heroin, I had given up at that point.
I will note, that despite my reluctant reaction to the tone and how things seem to only improve slightly before getting worse, I did highlight many quotes from this boo. Sebold definitely, without a dubt, does have a way with words that make you stop to reflect further. Her style is unique and sticks with you.
I read a few unhappy reviews for this book, saying how immature Chelsea is and that she's pathetic ffor trying to throw in our faces that she's dating...moreI read a few unhappy reviews for this book, saying how immature Chelsea is and that she's pathetic ffor trying to throw in our faces that she's dating the Executive Producer for the E! channel.
For those people who read this book and agree with these reviews, I am urging you- get yourself to the nearest hospital and have your pulse checked. If you don't laugh as you read, it's really quite possible you aren't even breathing any more.
Chelsea does write about her life with her boyfriend in this book a lot, but I wasn't annoyed at all. It's actually funny because it seems like she and him are polar opposites. He seems lame and not very fun, while she's always lying and being the life of the party. Maybe the guy isn't actually lame in real life, who knows, but that beside the point. I thought it was a cool new addition to her life and enjoyed his entrance in her wacky little scenarios.
Her family continues to be hilarious, as well. I tried to recall several chapters to my father over the phone today, but totally failed. I started laughing so hard I was literally crying and my stomach was cramping, trying to explain how the family calls the father "Platypus" or "Bitch Tits." The letters the brothers and sisters write back and forth prove that clearly, Ms. Handler is NOT the only comedian in the family.
The pictures she chooses to include...omg, priceless. You start reading about something crazy and picturing it in your mind, then turn the page and see the dumbest picture, and it simply validates and exceeds everything you had imagined in your head. It was an amazing idea to include pictures in this book.
I read this book in college and I still think of it today and smile. It's beautifully written, very strong descriptions and visuals.
I can go on and o...moreI read this book in college and I still think of it today and smile. It's beautifully written, very strong descriptions and visuals.
I can go on and on about this book- it's a coming-age story about James McBride, the author, and his identity struggles growing up. His mother is caucasian and his father is African American. The book is basically about how McBride discovers a love and appreciation for being man of mixed ethnicities. As a man writing the book, he seems to be comfortable with where he's at- but growing up, he wanted to blend in with the African-American boys and girls. t wasn't easy to do that, with his mother always around. His mother was described as somewhat eccentric, and he was always embarresed by her when she picked him up from school. His mother didn't care to blend in- in fact, she didn't care at all about what anyone thought of her, and of course, this affected James by making him feel more embarresed, trying to hide from her any chance he could.
What I loved about the mother's character is her deep devotion to her family. She didn't care about what anyone thought of her specifically because she cared more about all her children.James had a white mother who didn't try to blend in while socitey was silently, and sometimes, not so silently, shaming them, which makes this a powerful story.
I felt I could really relate to this story, myself, even though I may not have had the same challenges with identity growing up as he did. That's what I liked about the book, too...the fact that McBride's voice is so relatable, so strong, that it doesn't matter what ethnicity you are, anyone can appreciate it.
Beautifully written, well-crafted. Wish I could appoint more stars as it would be very deserving. (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)
**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)