An inspirational story about a young man whose mission is to change his small corner of the world for the better. Conroy is a young ambitious teacher...moreAn inspirational story about a young man whose mission is to change his small corner of the world for the better. Conroy is a young ambitious teacher who ends up teaching on a small island off the cost of South Carolina, during the tumultuous time of desegregation. This is the story of his journey to help the children in his care to learn and grow in a way no one has ever done before.
I couldn't give this book 4 stars because there were many parts where I felt that Conroy was too wordy, and I found myself skimming paragraphs, wishing he would just get on with his story already. As a life story I think this is a great one, as a book though, it was just good.(less)
The one redeeming feature of this book, that was in fact quite good, was the beautiful alliteration. Russell has a way with words that is very picture...moreThe one redeeming feature of this book, that was in fact quite good, was the beautiful alliteration. Russell has a way with words that is very picturesque and eloquent. I loved the many ways she found to describe people and situations. She has quite a talent where this is concerned, in my opinion. And it was this alliteration that got me through the book.
Other than the prose, I was not a fan of this book at all. This is the story of the Bigtree family, an alligator wrestling dynasty that lives deep in the swamps of southern Florida. The story takes place shortly after the children's mother dies, and takes us on the journey of their downfall as a business, and in my opinion as a family. This story just goes from bad to worse. The brother runs away to "save the family", the father leaves the two girls shortly after that, to go to the mainland on "business matters", leaving them alone on their island. The older sister is beginning to lose her mind and see ghosts, and no one sees anything wrong with leaving her alone on an island with a 13 year old girl, who is the youngest child in the family, and the main narrator of our story.
There were definitely a couple of surprising twists, and it's certainly a tale of human nature that tells a story none could forget, and possibly very real. For those reasons, I'm sure there will be fans of this book. My problem is this was such a sad and terrible story, and I was just so upset about how this family fell apart and abandoned each other. The book had an overall morbid tone that I did not enjoy at all. And when you add to that the fact that you're hearing about the events mainly from a 13 year old's perspective, complete with her imaginations and hallucinations, it's also slightly confusing. I honestly do not recommend this book. I found it difficult to stick with and the only reason I read it to completion is because it was a book club pick.(less)
A Soft Place to Land is a story about two half-sisters who are extremely close as children, but are separated after the death of their parents in a pl...moreA Soft Place to Land is a story about two half-sisters who are extremely close as children, but are separated after the death of their parents in a plane crash. Forced to live on opposite sides of the country with families who have vastly differing parenting styles, the sisters sadly drift apart. The back cover promises more drama than is actually entailed throughout the story, and that sets you up for a bit of disappointment, because there is never any big shocker that turns things completely, it's just a slow evolution of the relationship between these two sisters. However, that's not to say this is a bad thing, it just wasn't advertised properly. This is a poignant story about a tragic event. Although I don't have a sister of my own, I still appreciated the relationship between these two and the challenges they faced. I also have to say that I LOVED the vivid descriptions of the Bay Area. Having recently moved here I am always hungry for more insight into places that people who call this place home remember fondly, or consider "must see" or favorites, along with what they consider overrated or touristy. I would read this book again just for that reason. Wonderful.(less)
I liked Savannah Breeze better than I liked Savannah Blues. The situation made more sense to me - it was a bit of a stretch to me how she acquired the...moreI liked Savannah Breeze better than I liked Savannah Blues. The situation made more sense to me - it was a bit of a stretch to me how she acquired the Breeze Inn and then it somehow got overlooked when everything else was taken from her, but I quickly got over that - and although I liked Weezie in Savannah Blues, I like BeBe better. She's more relatable to me as a character. I also liked Harry better than Daniel and how straightforward BeBe and Harry's relationship was. Comparisons aside, what really made this book for me was the mystery and action in this one. I LOVED the scenes in Ft Lauderdale and could not put my book down during that whole section. It was so fun watching BeBe get revenge and waiting to see how it would all play out. You do not need to read Savannah Blues to enjoy Savannah Breeze and although there are a few references to it, they are minor and don't detract from the reader's understanding or enjoyment of the story in any way. I recommend you skip Savannah Blues and jump straight into Savannah Breeze instead.(less)
I liked Deep Dish so much that I really expected more from this one. There were actually a few times when I thought about not finishing b/c I could no...moreI liked Deep Dish so much that I really expected more from this one. There were actually a few times when I thought about not finishing b/c I could not get into the story at all. Deep Dish had me captivated, this one had me frustrated. I may give Andrews another shot, but I'll definitely check the reviews more carefully before I pick the next one b/c it appears that she's hit and miss.
Follow-up review: I was so conflicted about not liking this book, b/c I liked Deep Dish so much and Savannah Breeze got such good reviews,that I decided I would give MKA another shot. I liked Savannah Breeze much better than I liked Savannah Blues. The situation made more sense to me and, although I liked Weezie, I like BeBe better; she's more relatable to me as a character. I also liked Harry better than Daniel. You do not need to read Savannah Blues to enjoy Savannah Breeze and although there are a few references to it, they are minor and don't detract from the reader's understanding or enjoyment of the story in any way. I recommend you skip Savannah Blues and jump straight into Savannah Breeze instead.(less)
This is one of those books that I think they should have kids read in school. I can not imagine living in the South in the 60's, and I think Jackson,...moreThis is one of those books that I think they should have kids read in school. I can not imagine living in the South in the 60's, and I think Jackson, MS would have been one of the worst places to be at that time. Stockett did a wonderful job portraying what it must have been like though, and I think she portrayed several sides of the story quite well, creating a full picture, while telling one story. The writing style reminded me a bit of another of my favorite writers, Jodi Picout. I love the added author's note at the end about Stockett's own experience and felt it added just that extra bit of credibility to the story, made her a bit like Skeeter in that aspect. Great read!(less)
Oh I loved this book! I can't believe it took me so long to finally get around to reading it. I was a bit intimidated by the size of it, but not once...moreOh I loved this book! I can't believe it took me so long to finally get around to reading it. I was a bit intimidated by the size of it, but not once did this book ever feel long once I got started. Gone with the Wind is one of those books that carries you along with it and once it's over you feel like you've lost a good friend. I feel like I learned so much about the South and times during the Civil War and yet not once did it feel like a history lesson. I don't even know what more to say about this book really. It was so good I'm at a bit of a loss for words.
Quotes I love from this book (Spoilers):
"All wars are sacred,to those who have to fight them. If the people who started wars didn’t make them sacred, who would be foolish enough to fight? But, no matter what rallying cries the orators give to the idiots who fight, no matter what noble purposes they assign to wars, there is never but one reason for a war. And that is money. All wars are in reality money squabbles. But so few people ever realize it. Their ears are too full of bugles and drums and the fine words from stay-at-home orators. Sometimes the rallying cry is ’save the Tomb of Christ from the Heathen!’ Sometimes it’s ’down with Popery!’ and sometimes ‘Liberty!’ and sometimes ‘Cotton, Slavery and States’ Rights!" -Rhett Butler
"Dear Scarlett! You aren't helpless. Anyone as selfish and determined as you are is never helpless. God help the Yankees if they should get you." -Rhett Butler
"No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how." -Rhett Butler
"Child, it's a very bad thing for a woman to face the worst that can happen to her, because after she's faced the worst she can't ever really fear anything again. ....Scarlett, always save something to fear - even as you save something to love...." -Grandma Fontaine to Scarlett
"In the end what will happen will be what has happened whenever a civilization breaks up. The people who have brains and courage come through and the ones who haven't are winnowed out. At least, it has been interesting, if not comfortable, to witness a Gotterdammerung.
A dusk of the gods. Unfortunately, we Southerners did think we were gods." -Ashley to Scarlett
"Make up your mind to this. If you are different, you are isolated, not only from people of your own age but from those of your parents' generation and from your children's generation too. They'll never understand you and they'll be shocked no matter what you do. But your grandparents would probably be proud of you and say: 'Theres a chip off the old block,' and your grandchildren will sigh enviously and say: 'What an old rip Grandma must have been!' and they'll try to be like you." -Rhett to Scarlett
"I loved something I made up, something that's just as dead as Melly is. I made a pretty suit of clothes and fell in love with it. And when Ashley came riding along, so handsome, so different, I put that suit on him and made him wear it whether it fitted him or not. And I wouldn't see what he really was. I kept on loving the pretty clothes-and not him at all. " -Scarlett O'Hara
"I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken - and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived. " -Rhett Butler(less)
I did think this book was funny in parts, there were a few times that I found myself laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of a situation (I loved t...moreI did think this book was funny in parts, there were a few times that I found myself laughing out loud at the ridiculousness of a situation (I loved the attempted arrest and car crash scenes). And I never ceased to be amazed at how everything Ignatious touched ended up in disaster. However, I'm not sure I agree with the reviews on the back cover stating how hilarious this book is. I realize it was meant to be a satire, but I guess the characters seemed so realistic to me that I mostly found this book sad. I think this was really well written regarding the character development and found I could clearly picture all the players in the story and understand their situation quite well. I also really liked how everything came together in the end, with the exception of what happens to Ignatius himself (I thought that should have ended differently).
The problem for me was Ignatius is not someone you want to picture or know very well. He is totally disgusting. There is nothing about him that is likeable at all and although I realize that is the point, it still made the story hard to read. I just couldn't stand to hear about any more destruction caused by him and his warped, self-righteous, sense of right and wrong, or about his valve and yellow sheets.
I am glad I read this book because it's so popular and I wanted to see what all the hype was about. I do think Toole was a good writer and would have read more by him if he had written more. This just simply was not my style, Ignatius was too gross.(less)
I read this book in high school and remember really liking it. However, I can't remember the story at all, so I thought it was about time to re-read i...moreI read this book in high school and remember really liking it. However, I can't remember the story at all, so I thought it was about time to re-read it. I picked up an audio copy at the library, read by Sissy Spacek, and so far it's fantastic. Sissy is great with her readings and the story is of course as captivating as I remembered it to be.
***So now that I'm done I thought I'd give a quick update. This book was every bit as good as I remember, and probably better now that I understand just a bit more about how the world works. I am strongly encouraging my daughter to read this book and soon! The audio version of this book was so good, I'm torn between making her read it, and allowing her to listen to it. I think listening is a bit like cheating at her age, but it added so much dimension to the story to have all the voices and correct pronunciation.(less)