This was the most heartbreaking story that I have ever read. I couldn't put it down. I just had to keep reading and see how these complex characters w...moreThis was the most heartbreaking story that I have ever read. I couldn't put it down. I just had to keep reading and see how these complex characters would find their way back to happiness. I cried for the majority of the second half of the book and it really made me feel something. The imagery made it really easy for me to step into the shoes of each character. As someone who has lost a sibling, I found the emotions and reactions to be dead on. She really capture the raw, tortured feelings that people have when they lose someone. I really can't go on enough about how much the story touched me.
The only thing that I didn't like was how over-descriptive Kristin Hannah was on occasion. I found myself skipping entire paragraphs because they were full of irrelevant information. It didn't happen a lot though and it is easily compensated for by all the amazing writing that she did. She really makes you want to find Lexi and shelter her. She is so selfless and deserving but she gets nothing but stepped on. I wanted to be her friend and make her life easier.
I have nothing else to say. The book was phenomenal and I highly recommend it to people who want to read a good tear-jerker. (less)
I really, really like this book! I had a really hard time putting it down. When I read the first few pages, I thought it would be like every other dys...moreI really, really like this book! I had a really hard time putting it down. When I read the first few pages, I thought it would be like every other dystopic novel. And some parts of it were. But there were other things about this novel that made it special and captivating. I LOVED that the book was written from both of the main character's perspectives. You really get to know your characters better if you are inside their heads. I really got to understand Day and June from their thoughts of themselves and each other. It definitely helped me develop an attachment to them. I also liked the geography that Marie Lu used. It made it more real to know the location of the action.
I loved the relationship that June had with her brother, Matias. It seemed so unusual for the life that they were leading. Everyone around them seemed so cold and non-family oriented. But these two were very close and Matias really took care of her. It is no wonder she became a rebel with the love of a brother and a dog in her life. That would make anybody turn rogue I think. I hurt with June and with Day and their family tragedies. They all lose so much throughout the progress of the book. It seems like too much for people their age.
That leads me into the one thing I wasn't a huge fan of, and it is such a little thing but it was the age of the main characters. 15! It was hard to get into the romance aspect when I'm thinking about two 15 year old children making out in a dirty alley with mortal wounds covering their bodies. I had a really hard time wrapping my mind around their ages throughout most of the book. Making them 2-3 years older would have made the whole thing much more realistic. From a military point of view, from a romantic point of view...it just would have made more sense.
I'm not sure if this is the beginning of a series or if this is the last we will hear from June and Day, but I enjoyed this work a lot and would recommend it wholeheartedly! Nice job Marie Lu!(less)
It took me a very long time to read this book. More time than any other book that I've ever read. Normally, it would be because I didn't like it and w...moreIt took me a very long time to read this book. More time than any other book that I've ever read. Normally, it would be because I didn't like it and was dragging my way through it. This time it was because I finally burned myself out on dystopic novels. I'm taking an official break from them now that I've finally finished this. That being said, the book was quite good. It was interesting and had something different about it that set it slightly apart from every other novel of its kind. It wasn't completely set around teen romance (which is a relief). I really cared about the characters and their well being and I was kept on my toes for the most part. There was a lot of things that I could see coming because they followed the basic form of "dystopic teen book 101", but there was also some amazing imagery and genuinely creative ideas. The writing style was easy to follow and everything was well developed. It ended in a way that made it clear that there was more to come and that it was going to be good.
The extensive time period that it took for me to read the book might be marring my judgement but I really can't think of anything that I didn't like about it. I'll definitely pick up the next one and I expect great things from Julianna Baggott in the future.(less)
Disclaimer: I have to admit that I was so sucked into the story that I wasn't really paying attention to the writing style. I'm going to assume that I...moreDisclaimer: I have to admit that I was so sucked into the story that I wasn't really paying attention to the writing style. I'm going to assume that I didn't mind the writing style because I didn't notice it.
That being said, I thought this book had a very powerful message to send. I thought that the message was realistically portrayed. The imagery was perfect and I could see this girl being taunted and bullied into killing herself. Ultimately, I don't know how I feel about the girl sending tapes to the people who tormented her. It serves them right but I don't know if that accurately portrays the mind-set of a girl who has been tortured into ending her life. It just seems like so much planning and scheming went into it and a girl who is in that much pain doesn't strike me as capable of pulling all of that off. Even less realistic is the random boy, who has no relationship with Hannah at all, ensuring that the tapes move on their path. What incentive does he have? That is never really explained. According to Hannah, he would have sent the tapes to the press and exposed all of the people who led this girl to kill herself. All of these things might lead people to think that I didn't like the book. This is not the case. I was impacted by this book more that I could ever express in words.
I don't know what about it got to me so much. Maybe it was all of the misunderstandings that led up to this girl wanting to commit suicide. Maybe it was that we were following the story of the one boy that she felt she needed to explain herself to. She wanted him to know that he wasn't a factor but that she needed to tell him her story. She needed to let him into her world. She viewed him as the one good person she knew and she wanted him to know how she felt about him. Following Clay's feelings and reactions to her tapes was a powerful and sad journey. I was so attached to Clay and wanted him to feel better. He wanted nothing more than to turn back the clock and make Hannah feel wanted and appreciated. The other people on her tapes were probably glad she was gone. They wouldn't want the things that they did to her to become public knowledge. For some of them, it would destroy their image. For others, it could have them put in jail. I wouldn't have wanted to read this story from any other perspective.
I went on the journey of a girl who was bullied and victimized and made to feel less that human. I read that the girl cried out for help in many ways and was totally ignored or brushed off. These are things that I believe happen every day. Parents, teachers, and students ignore problems because they don't want to believe that it could be happening. This book definitely spoke to an issue that is prevalent in schools today and Jay Asher did a wonderful job. I have already recommended this book to many people and I hope that it impacts them the way that it did me. (less)
I've refrained from watching the movie until after I read the book. Now that I'm done, I'm very interested to see how the movie was adapted from this....moreI've refrained from watching the movie until after I read the book. Now that I'm done, I'm very interested to see how the movie was adapted from this. I got off to a rough start because the language that Aibileen was using was pretty difficult to understand. Once I got a handle on that, I took off. I thought the book was compelling, you cared about the characters you were supposed to care about and you disliked the characters you were supposed to dislike but at times, you understood them and cared about them as well. You wanted Hilly's minions to see the light and stand back from racism. I was scared and nervous for what would happen to Skeeter and Aibee and Minny and all of the other maids.
I didn't care for the setup of the novel. Skeeter is trying to find a job and she applies for one in New York. Stein gives her some real life wisdom on how to become a successful author. Skeeter goes from a woman who is mildly repelled by Hilly thinking the help need their own toilet, to being downright outraged and needing to tell their story. It just didn't add up to me. Even when she is confronted with blatant racism from her dying mother and friends, she lacks the actual conviction to speak out. I understand that she had to hold her tongue to protect the identities of the people in the book and even protect herself, but I just wish that there had been more apparent passion for the cause than for the process of becoming a successful author. The black women came to trust and care for her because they thought she would be the change that they needed, and she cared about them too. But she cared much more about hitting her deadline and seeing where it would take her. She even chose to leave out what would have been a very interesting part of the book when she decided not to print about her mother. The story about what her mother did to Constantine's daughter was exactly the kind of behavior that could have helped the book make a bigger difference. But she left it out because it was about her family and far too horrible. She would run over a bunch of black women that she is representing, but not her mother. I didn't care for that.
I can't say how accurate the language and atmosphere is because hey, I'm not a 60's child, but I got sucked into the world. It is bizaar to think of how far the world has come since the 60's. It is discouraging to see how far we still have to go. I was very responsive to Kathryn Stockett's writing. I hope to read more by her in the future.(less)