So far I think this is my least favorite of all the BDB books. I had a bit of a difficult time getting engaged in the story. Part of the reason is thaSo far I think this is my least favorite of all the BDB books. I had a bit of a difficult time getting engaged in the story. Part of the reason is that I couldn't figure out where the whole thing with Butch and V was going and I like their relationship better than I liked Butch's relationship with Marissa. It was confusing to me b/c I knew he was going to end up with her, but I didn't know if I actually wanted him to.
There's just something about Marissa that I could not get interested in. I don't know if it's that I don't relate at all to her hoity-toity, helpless, rich girl lifestyle, or if I couldn't deal with her insecurities, but there was something. In general I don't like weak female characters, and Marissa is certainly a weak "save me" type. Bleech.
That said, as the story hit the halfway point, I could NOT put it down. This had a lot more to do with everything else going on in the Brotherhood, and particularly with V, than it had to do with Butch and Marissa though. (And I was thrilled that the next book in the series is V's story, I started it immediately.)
The other difficulty I had with this book was that I felt Ward twisted her own rules a bit too much to make this story work. According to all the other books, a human can NOT become a vampire. Don't get me wrong, I LIKE Butch as a vampire, and have always wished there were a way for him to become one, but I don't like when an author deviates from the primary principles of the world they created in the first place, just to make a story work. It felt forced and convenient, two things I'm not a big fan of, particularly in a series.
All in all though, complaints or not, I'm hooked on this series. It is a huge guilty pleasure of mine and I'm already tearing my way through the next book....more
I was fortunate to win this book in a first reads giveaway. It was a highly intellectual, thoroughly researched look at how gender bias is communicateI was fortunate to win this book in a first reads giveaway. It was a highly intellectual, thoroughly researched look at how gender bias is communicated in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Even when we think we're acting gender neutral, many times we're not. This book de-bunks the myth that the many differences b/t men and women are determined before we're born. A very interesting study on a popular topic. ...more
I randomly selected this audio book off the shelf at the library because the title was intriguing to me. It wasn't quite what I expected because I wasI randomly selected this audio book off the shelf at the library because the title was intriguing to me. It wasn't quite what I expected because I was expecting more of a self-help book, and this is more of a psychological analysis/science and study related book. There are no real answers on how to find happiness or what you can do to help your perceptions and improve your odds of finding happiness. However, once I got used to the study-related, scientific nature of the book, I found myself really enjoying it. Some of the studies he cites on how the mind works were really fascinating to me. And this book has given me the added bonus of stimulating some fascinating conversations with others in regards to this topic.
I think in some ways, knowing how your mind works, while it may not bring you happiness, it can help to at least understand why you are constantly predicting the future outcome of an event erroneously, and THAT might help you raise your odds for happiness.
Also, while I didn't find a lot in here that would help me tremendously personally, I surprisingly found some tidbits that will help make me a better mother. There is one section in which Gilbert discusses how our mind is better able to adapt to situations in which we have no choice, and therefore forces us to work to find happiness; than it is able to find happiness in which we feel there is an alternate option if we don't like the one we originally chose. Although we think we want freedom and choice, often what we really need are firm boundaries (within reason of course), because these will trigger our impulse to look for the positive far more often than choice and freedom will....more
This book came along at a time in my life when I was deeply soul searching and it completely changed my outlook on what I thought wanted out of life aThis book came along at a time in my life when I was deeply soul searching and it completely changed my outlook on what I thought wanted out of life and how to get it. I credit this book for the reason I am now married, because after reading this story I realized what was most important to me and why I was afraid of it. This book is great for so many other reasons too: it's a logical argument for Chrisitanity and all of it's facets. I highly recommend it for anyone who is a Christian and wants further confirmation of their faith, for those who doubt Christianity and want to understand why we believe the things we believe, and anyone who is searching for something to beleive in! ...more
I can't believe I forgot to review this one b/c it's my favorite in the series so far. This is the story of Zadist, the darkest and scariest member ofI can't believe I forgot to review this one b/c it's my favorite in the series so far. This is the story of Zadist, the darkest and scariest member of the Brotherhood. I love having his story told and being able to find compassion for him. I can't wait until Phury's book now. This one was sad in many ways, but in such a "life happens" kind of way that it was ultimately relatable. It's taken me 3 books to get hooked, but I think I'm committed to this series now and, after a brief hiatus to enrich my mind, I will finish this series. This series of books are such a guilty pleasure that I have to pace them. I like to grow through my reading, in addition to finding pleasure and escape through it. There is no growth or enrichment here, just pleasure and escape into an alternate (and highly passionate) world. I'm rotting my brain and I love it. :-)...more
Our family counselor loaned this book to my husband & I. I have mixed thoughts on it overall. I liked it because the anectdotes were humourous andOur family counselor loaned this book to my husband & I. I have mixed thoughts on it overall. I liked it because the anectdotes were humourous and relatable. I also liked that basically the message of this book is "relax, you can't really screw your kid up that badly and even if they are revealing a worrying trend now, as long as you continue to show you care, they'll likely turn out ok in a few years." It's a book that I'm convinced our couselor suggested we read for reassurance; and as a gentle reminder that doing your best, when it comes to child rearing, is usually good enough - it kind of has to be. There is a very realistic tone to this book that reminds the reader of what they were likely like when they were a teenager and how/why they turned out ok. I couldn't give it 5 stars though, because it felt a bit laisse-faire to me. Maybe I'm too controlling, but I do feel it's important to teach, and expect, respect and responsibility. It seemed to me that Wolf was trying to say that because the trend now is for teenagers to be generally more lazy and disrespectful than teenagers from a generation ago, we should embrace that trend and stop expecting so much respect and responsibility from them. That seems to me to perpetuate what I consider to be a sad trend and sells the potential of our children short. He's letting parents off the hook for rearing a lazy and disrespectful generation of kids, and assuring them that if they just wait for this phase to pass, it'll all come right in the end. He may be right, and as a parent who tries hard but doesn't always get it "right", it's comforting to hear that from time to time; I just wouldn't want to put all my marbles in that basket, I think my daughter deserves better than that from me....more
Such a cute story. I love the premise of three childhood best friends reuniting as adults and still finding their friendship as solid and essential asSuch a cute story. I love the premise of three childhood best friends reuniting as adults and still finding their friendship as solid and essential as it was when they were 17. I love that Ty and Hunter remained best friends over the years and I loved how Lacey/Lily fit right back into the picture. Who doesn't enjoy that fantasy of the best friends finally getting together after years of thinking about it?...more
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 plA 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....more
This book follows Rhage, who we only briefly glimpsed in the 1st book, where we learned that he has an insatiable appetite for sex and fighting. In LoThis book follows Rhage, who we only briefly glimpsed in the 1st book, where we learned that he has an insatiable appetite for sex and fighting. In Lover Eternal, he finally meets the woman that can tame his wild ways. The catch is: she's dying of cancer.
I will admit I'm hooked on this series now, but it's not for the reasons I want to be. As I was reading I was thinking "this is terrible, I should just quit and move on to something with a bit more substance", but because I don't quit books, I finally got hooked in the last 6-7 chapters or so. Now I want to read the next book b/c the story was left dangling in the middle of the action and I hope the next book will pick up where it left off. This book didn't wrap up nicely, which for this series is fortunate b/c it kept me hooked, but in general is kind of annoying.
It's hard to put my finger on what exactly I don't like about these books, but I think that's because it's a combination of things. First of all I HATE the titles of these books, they are embarrassing. I can only read these books at night before bed b/c I would be embarrassed to be caught reading something with the word "Lover" in the title in public, so they take me forever to get through.
I'm also not all that crazy about the sex scenes. There are a LOT of them, and they are almost always extreme and a bit too much. Most of the sex is rough and it can get pretty creative at times making it hard for me to even relate to and enjoy. While rough and creative sex in itself is not all bad, there is so much of it that it's hard to get any kind of basis for an actual relationship b/t the characters. And because there are so many sex scenes, there's little time for any other character and plot development either. The characters are pretty two-dimensional focusing either on fighting or sex. There is definitely a clear message of "Brotherhood above all else", but particularly in this book, even that is undermined when Rhage meets "the One".
I also don't like that the vampires don't survive on human blood, but on vampire blood of the opposite sex. To me, drinking from humans is the essence of what makes a vampire a vampire and particularly in this book where Rhage falls in love with a human, it detracts from the story.
I also don't really like, or understand, the concept of the Lessers. I'm having a difficult time buying into this part. Although I like that the vampires have a specific enemy that give them a purpose and a mission. I just don't understand the "undead but not living" concept here. To me that's a vampire, which leads me back to my first arguement above.
So what do I like? I like the idea of their sense of smell being so keen, and particularly how they can smell emotions. I also like the idea of them being able to transport themselves through anything but steel. I like that Ward stayed true to the vampires can only go out at night idea. I like that they each seem to have a special power. I like the idea of the Brotherhood and how tight they are. And I like the concept of the Scribe Virgin, although not the title. There had to be something more fitting than that.
So all in all, I will not recommend these books to others b/c I'm too torn about them, and honestly a little embarrassed to admit I'm reading such an erotic series, but I will finish the series to satisfy my own curiosity....more
I read this entire book in one sitting and quite enjoyed it. As a stand alone it wasn't all that great, but as a side to the Twilight Saga it was a niI read this entire book in one sitting and quite enjoyed it. As a stand alone it wasn't all that great, but as a side to the Twilight Saga it was a nice addition. I thought the stone-on-stone kiss was a bit wierd b/c it seemed strange to me to picture Bella wanting to kiss a stone (Edward). But I appreciated getting the other side of the story a bit more. More than anything this fueled my desire to ready the series again to see if I like it as much the second time around....more
For those who haven't read this series, it's fantastic - until the last book. For those eagerly anticipating the finale in this series, don't set yourFor those who haven't read this series, it's fantastic - until the last book. For those eagerly anticipating the finale in this series, don't set your hopes too high - you will likely be disappointed. You have to read it because it's the finale of an intense series that leaves off in Book 2 with a major cliff hanger, but it does feel like a bit of a letdown after flying through the first two books, which I absolutely LOVED.
Also, although the first two books are a bit gruesome, I didn't think they would be too bad for kids to read because Collins doesn't go into too much graphic detail, or dwell too long on the deaths and make them unbearable. This one takes the violence and death to a more extreme, and at times unnecessary, level though; and I am probably going to have to take back the recommendation I made to a couple of moms that this trilogy would be ok for their kids to read. The last third of this book gets pretty graphic and gory. There is a lot of death and destruction and we lose some of the characters that we've come to know and care about.
I certainly give my kudos to Collins for creating a story that has so many talking. I certainly doesn’t hurt her that so many disliked the ending of her final book because they’re still talking about it. And after reading the first two fabulous books, that both end on major cliff hangers, there is no way people are not going to finish the trilogy, good ending or not. It also says something that she created characters that so many care about and want to see have happy endings. It would have been nice for such a fantastic series to end on the high note that it started on in the first book, but that’s a lot to live up to because The Hunger Games was AMAZING.
I can't do justice to my review without going into details that will essentially spoil the book, so from here forward:
As I mentioned above, I was very disappointed with this book. It was so highly anticipated, and it was a letdown in so many ways.
First of all, Katniss was a huge disappointment in this one. Like many others have mentioned, she just fell apart. This is supposed to be the one where she really rises to the challenge and earns her role as the Mockingjay. She was such a strong and defiant character in the first two books, such an inspiration to everyone in her strength and resourcefulness, that she started a revolution, albeit accidentally. I was expecting her to finally see in herself what others see in her, and to step into her role as the leader of the revolution in this final book. Instead, she spends half of the book moping around in a drugged stupor, and the other half acting like a selfish, apathetic puppet. I didn’t mind it in the beginning, and even expected it; after all Peeta has been captured, her home has been destroyed, and she’s been through hell and back, only to find out the worst is yet to come. However, there was so much apathy on her behalf that I began not to care either. She was so lost that I didn’t even know what I wanted for her.
Then there’s what happened to Peeta - that may have been the worst part for me. Again, I didn’t mind that he came back from the Capitol all messed up and even wanting to kill Katniss; I expected that. What I hated was that he was virtually incurable. I kept hoping all the way until the end that they’d find a way to heal him, and I loved when Prim made the suggestion about how they could do it. But by the end I was almost hoping that he would die in the war in a way that would allow Katniss to move on and find happiness with Gale. He was just so broken that I wanted to put him out of his misery for everyone’s sake.
Which brings me to Gale. There was no real closure with this part of the story line. He gets captured by the Peacekeepers, and then when the war ends, he just doesn’t come back??? I can’t believe that there was no further interaction between him and Katniss after the war ended. How can two people who have known each other since childhood, been through so much, cared for each other’s families, and loved each other, at least on a platonic level, not even attempt to get in touch with each other after the war ends, at least to say goodbye?
Someone else mentioned in their review that they were disappointed in the way this love triangle ended because Katniss never makes a choice. She is again, as is a common theme through this book, a puppet in her own life. She ends up with Peeta only because Gale doesn’t come back, not because she decides Peeta is the one she can’t live without. She also has children only because Peeta wants them so badly, not because she finally decides the world may not have such a dark future after all.
I wasn’t surprised at all that Katniss kills Coin instead of Snow at the end. Wasn’t it neat and tidy that he was on his way to death’s door anyway though? She didn’t really have to make a choice there. There was no need to kill Snow, he was already dying. However, I don’t have a lot of beef with that part because I wanted them both dead somehow anyway. It was the only way there could truly be a revolutionary change in Panem. I didn’t like that she didn’t really have to deal with any ramifications though. It seemed odd to me that she was hauled away, locked in a cell for a couple months and then suddenly released and told it was all ok now. Totally anti-climactic in my opinion.
Along those lines, I also wasn’t crazy about the lack of true action that Katniss participates in. I hated that she was kept in this bubble even after it’s made completely obvious that she’s best when she’s in the thick of things. I loved her first propo, she was so inspirational and I understood the need for it. But it was boring that even after they experienced how Katniss truly works best that they still kept trying to stage everything and keep her away from the real action. I liked that when we finally got to the Capitol, it was acutely reminiscent of a Hunger Games arena because that’s where Katniss shines. However, it took forever to get there.
I was not very happy about the deaths of either Finnick or Prim. They seemed unnecessary and cruel to the readers. First of all, Finnick has been through hell and finally found happiness. And poor Annie. I realize that his death may be closer to the actual reality of war, but this is fiction and I’m ok with a little creative liberty for the sake of a reasonably happy ending. And at least have him die for a good cause, not in a group of others that are devoured by mutant mutts.
And then there’s Prim. Why was that a necessary part of the story? We don’t hear about her at all after Katniss leaves for the Capitol and then she makes a cameo appearance only to get blown up?? I don’t get it. There were already enough reason’s for Katniss to kill Coin, that was not needed as a tipping point.
All in all I liked this series and will still recommend it to others (not kids anymore though). I will just warn them not to set their hopes too high for the finale. Maybe if your expectations aren’t too high you won’t be as disappointed as I was. The Hunger Gamesis a lot to live up to… ...more