I was going to start by saying that there are moments when I sympathize with book burners, but that would give this too much credit.
Do you want to knI was going to start by saying that there are moments when I sympathize with book burners, but that would give this too much credit.
Do you want to know the problem with this? The real problem? (At least for me?) I was just....
Some of you just looked at the title of the review to make sure you're in the right place. Bear with me.
There were a couple of times I rolled my eyes and shook my head, a couple of times I turned to my husband and said "That's f****ed up." But mostly I kept having to take breaks because I was so bored by how hard they were trying that I could not take it anymore. This was the poster child for the banality of evil. I fell asleep when they started mutilating themselves, and only woke up a little to complain when they started eating each other. At only a couple weeks in? Pussies.
At stewed babies, I said "Really? Is that all you've got?" With nothing left to do with the plot, we're scraping the bottom of the shock value barrel.
I finished to see how this was possibly going to end up, hoping for a stroke of genius to redeem what had been a serviceable idea, but I was left with something trite and predictable even there. Go home, Chuck Palahniuk, you're drunk....more
Most of them was a 4 star, but serious issues toward the end knocked it back. It's really a 3.5 but...well, how many times can I complain about the laMost of them was a 4 star, but serious issues toward the end knocked it back. It's really a 3.5 but...well, how many times can I complain about the lack of a .5 star rating, Goodreads staff?
The majority of the book I had no problem with. The action pushed along at a good clip and I did like how all of the little side plots circled around and came back together in the end in a way that made sense. The things that I had problems with were relatively minor, but they did add up to me.
One of the issues I had was with Charlotte's pregnancy. Sometimes she sounded like she was fairly pregnant, advanced and showing. But then she would run into battle and kick ass in a way that seemed highly unlikely for someone in an advanced state of pregnancy. Aside from her health, I know the Shadowhunter etiquette standards were a great deal more relaxed than that of the outside worlds, but surely some of the Victorian horror of visibly pregnant women must have seeped through.
Another issue I had was the way that all of the major surviving characters ended up neatly paired up and married off in the end. That was something I enjoyed when I was a teenager and didn't know any better--and yes, I know this is a YA book, but it otherwise largely transcends that genre, and it disappoints me to see the author falling into such an obvious trap. I realize when you have that many young men and women together that pairing off is going to happen, and if it had happened more slowly over the course of the series I would have been okay with it, but it seemed like the happy endings were all shoved into the end of the third book, and that made it seem very artificial to me, like EVERYONE MUST GET MARRIED OR THE SERIES WAS A WASTE. Did we suddenly turn Mormon?
The way the author resolved the love triangle of Jem-Tessa-Will was part ridiculous, part genius. I was deeply annoyed at the way she extended the ending in what felt like a Lord of the Rings fashion (just end already! I don't need to know about the grandkids!), but I did see how it all made sense in the end.
So other than the somewhat contrived last 50 pages, it was a good end to a thoroughly enjoyable series, and I look forward to moving on to her other works. ...more
Just what I like in the second book in a trilogy; some mysteries tied up, some new ones introduced, and a few new hints in the overarching themes addeJust what I like in the second book in a trilogy; some mysteries tied up, some new ones introduced, and a few new hints in the overarching themes added. I liked the uptempo energy and the speed and energy of the plot. I shot through it, excited to see what each new page would bring. I have really become addicted to this new author. A few times it got a little bit silly and overdramatic, and when she doesn't control himself she leans toward overcomplicated, but I'm happy to roll along and enjoy it. ...more
I picked this up on a whim, and haven't read the series it's a prequel to, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw one of the final twists coming, but notI picked this up on a whim, and haven't read the series it's a prequel to, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I saw one of the final twists coming, but not the other, and I didn't think the end was too overshadowed or over done. Of course a lot of classic elements were present, but there were enough new twists that it kept things interesting. The masterpiece of all time? Definitely not. But a lot of fun to read....more
Normally when I study the Confederacy, I focus on the military aspects, and I've let the governmental affairs take a back seat. This has clearly beenNormally when I study the Confederacy, I focus on the military aspects, and I've let the governmental affairs take a back seat. This has clearly been a mistake and a major hole in my studies, as I had completely overlooked this behind-the-scenes master, the brilliant orator and propagandist (used as a positive in this context), and loyal companion. This was as much a biography of a time and culture as it was of a man.
This was quite a time investment; reading at least a chapter most nights, it still took me close to a month to get through. But it was worth every minute; it gave me a new depth of understanding of the Richmond government and Jeff and Varina Davis, as well as a closer look at Southern civilian culture. Jefferson Davis in particular emerged in a much kinder light than he normally does, battling physical and mental illness (much like his counterpart in the North), a man of complex depths. This is the history that got swept under the rug with the cottage industry of painting the Confederacy as the minions of hell with Jeff Davis as the head demon. You still aren't going to agree with their choices, but it's worth the read to see why they made them. ...more
To say that this book is not in one of my go-to genres is a vast understatement. It's a small book with a simple plot--or perhaps not a plot per se, rTo say that this book is not in one of my go-to genres is a vast understatement. It's a small book with a simple plot--or perhaps not a plot per se, rather a series of occurrences in a life or set of lives, covering a span of years. It was simple and sweet and a bit romantic, none of which are words I would use to describe my normal style of books.
However, this was utterly charming. It was written with a light, kind touch, portraying the simple vagaries of life with humor and gentleness. It's not a book that will change the world, but I completely enjoyed the read and found the whole thing comforting, like a warm meal on a crappy day. ...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this and had a ton of fun reading it. It was not written with an ax to grind; it gave credit where it was due, and didn't shy awaI thoroughly enjoyed this and had a ton of fun reading it. It was not written with an ax to grind; it gave credit where it was due, and didn't shy away from hitting hard when it was needed. This was no-holds-barred history, giving you the background on friend and foe alike, with a few subtle touches of humor along the way. One of the best history books I've ever read. It felt like a conversation rather than a lecture, a gripping novel rather than a textbook. Can't recommend it highly enough!...more
Apparently a reviewing technique is called the "compliment sandwich," or "the oreo." Say something good, then something bad, and finish with somethingApparently a reviewing technique is called the "compliment sandwich," or "the oreo." Say something good, then something bad, and finish with something good.
So let me say nice things first. The writing was very good, and Shandi is very funny and is a pleasant narrator. She is self-aware enough that she can poke fun at her own follibles, which helps. The novel has a strong sense of place without being overwhelming in the details. And it was a very quick read, as I wanted to see where it was going, and how it would all come out in the end.
And now let me say that I HATED the ending. I stayed up late to finish the last fifty pages, which I ended with a "son of a bitch!" and throwing the book down in frustration. I did not see the twist coming, but I felt like it was a cheat, a loop hole. The ending, such as it was, didn't feel like a twist, but like a betrayal of the whole premise of the book.
To be fair, I did not know this was #2 in a series, and so if I read before and after this part might make more sense.
And, to add the other end to my compliment sandwich, I do think she did a very good job and had a very sensitive portrayal of adults who suffer on the autism/asperger's spectrum.