For the first two-thirds of the book, I enjoyed the meandering way of writing, the way that she would talk about the present and then reminisce on the...moreFor the first two-thirds of the book, I enjoyed the meandering way of writing, the way that she would talk about the present and then reminisce on the past. But I was bugged with her (her who? the author? the protagonist?) when Everett left and Alice had an affair. Is it really that simple after twenty-plus years of marriage to leave and then to be unfaithful? I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. You don’t stick together for that long to flush it away after an argument. You apologize, you make it right. But, I understood better, when it was explained at the end, “But I think now that our separation was probably in the making during all those years, the way a pearl forms inside an oyster, one grain of irritation at a time.” And yet, I was still bugged. Beyond by annoyance at infidelity, what did I think of the book? As I said before, I enjoyed the meandering style and the pauses to reminisce. However, I was fairly annoyed with the protagonist, Alice, that she couldn’t just apologize and accept the things that she had done wrong and that she kept messing things up all over the place. Thank goodness she’s fictional and I’ll forget about her in a few days. It’s too bad, because I did like her at first.(less)
Heather Wells is a former pop star, now working in a dorm, er- residence hall. Freshman co-eds start dying, the result of falling down the elevator sh...moreHeather Wells is a former pop star, now working in a dorm, er- residence hall. Freshman co-eds start dying, the result of falling down the elevator shaft in her dorm, er – residence hall. Their deaths are ruled accidental. Apparently, these girls were elevator surfing. Heather doesn’t believe that their deaths were accidental and starts snooping around to get to the bottom of it all. This book was hilarious! First of all, I was an officer in my university’s RHSA (Residence Hall Student Association), a Student Host for the dorms, er- residence halls and an RA (Resident Advisor), so I absolutely loved traveling back to the dorm life. I laughed every time she corrected herself from calling the residence hall a dorm. Why? Because back in my dorm days, we were constantly being reminded that they were residence halls and not dorms. This quote from the book sums it up perfectly, “…since calling it a residence hall allegedly fosters a feeling of warmth and unity among the residents, who might otherwise find living in something called a dorm too cold and institutional-like. As if the fact that their refrigerators are bolted to the floor isn’t a dead giveaway.” Ha! Love it!!! Second, I love how she makes defends her size (and makes fun of the skinny girls- never out loud though). Now, I’m not chunky, but I’m not the skinny girl that I used to be either. So I feel like I can appreciate both sides of it. And I love that she keeps reminding us that the average American woman is size 12 and that size 12 is not fat! Third reason I loved the book- making fun of boy bands and pop artists! ‘Nuf said there! Now, a warning for anyone who is easily offended. This book is probably rated PG-13. Super easy, fluffy read. But it’s hilarious!(less)
This book had such potential, yet failed to deliver. It was a good book, yet it could have been better. The characters did not progress. I would have...moreThis book had such potential, yet failed to deliver. It was a good book, yet it could have been better. The characters did not progress. I would have loved to get to know them better, to understand their struggles and to feel what they felt. Maybe it’s the culture and they must remain guarded in fiction also. The synopsis of the book stated that it was about a strike at a silk factory in rural China in the 1920’s and 1930’s, but it was about so much more than that. This was the story of the young girls who were sold by their families into the life of working in the silk factories. Some of the girls were taken back by their families later to be sold in to marriage. Some of the girls chose to stay in the sisterhood, working in the silk factories for the rest of their lives, rather than enter marriage. And who could blame them? They were being given in marriage to men they didn’t know and didn’t love, possibly to be abused or mistreated for the rest of their lives. I was reading this at the same time that I watched part of a documentary on women in Afghanistan. I just wanted to scream, “Women are not commodities to be sold, bartered or traded!!!” The story of this book was so very interesting, but I think Tsukiyama could have taken it even further. The ending also left me deflated. I’ve heard that there is a sequel, but I will not be reading it.(less)
***warning- there might be some spoilers in my review of Ella Enchanted*** Ella Enchanted was ok. The story was good. But I get bothered by historical...more***warning- there might be some spoilers in my review of Ella Enchanted*** Ella Enchanted was ok. The story was good. But I get bothered by historical fiction and fiction that is a spin-off of other stories. Ella Enchanted is a spin-off of Cinderella. I get bothered by spin-offs because I'm not that smart and get confused between the original story and the spin-off (just as I do with historical fiction- what's history and what's fiction?). Realistic fiction (Thousand Splendid Suns, etc) is a different story. One thing that I did enjoy about Ella Enchanted was the element of her obedience. She was obedient to her step-sisters and step-mother because she was given a "blessing" or spell by the fairy Lucinda when she was born and her spell was to be obedient. Her obedience made her miserable all through her life because she could not fight it and would do whatever anyone commanded her to do. (Sound familiar to someone else's plan?) She finally broke the spell on her own and then lived happily ever after (with Prince Chamont, of course- say, his name looks like Charming!). (less)
Lisa Unger delivers once again- twists, turns, surprises. Very interesting book. I love her mysteries. In this one, she threw in mental illness and at...moreLisa Unger delivers once again- twists, turns, surprises. Very interesting book. I love her mysteries. In this one, she threw in mental illness and at the end I was wondering which events actually happened and which events were imaginings of the main characters mentally ill mind and which events might have been, well- I can't say because it might give something away were you to read it. Offense warning: there is some language, murder, etc.(less)
Five stars for the story. One to two stars for the writing.
I understand why the writing was rough- Mr Facione had a limited formal education. Keeping...moreFive stars for the story. One to two stars for the writing.
I understand why the writing was rough- Mr Facione had a limited formal education. Keeping the writing rough was keeping the book honest. But, even so, there were some errors that even the worst editor should have caught. Back to the five-star story... Mafia man meets Mormon missionaries, becomes converted, changes his life and tries to leave the Mafia. That is some major courage.
Toward the end of the book, there's a powerful experience. I'll just quote a small part... "Everything still comes down to a deal in my life, only this time the deal is between me and the Lord. Everyone who's been baptized in this church has made commandments and the Lord gives us great blessings. He's made it even easier for us to know what to do by giving us a prophet to tell us and guide us. And what do we do? Head to the park or vacation when General Conference comes around... What they're really saying is 'Hey Lord, I really don't care to hear what you have to say today.'... Who's not keeping up their end of the deal? So many do the same things, think they can skate by and it'll work out in the end. But it's not true... it's just not true. Just like with everything else, living the gospel is work. You got to work on it every day with all you have" (page 101-102).
What a strong reminder that we need to appreciate the blessing the Lord has given us and do everything we can to stay close to Him.(less)
This seems like one of those books that you have to read for some reason. I don't see why. It was ok. Not much better than ok, though. I couldn't deci...moreThis seems like one of those books that you have to read for some reason. I don't see why. It was ok. Not much better than ok, though. I couldn't decide between two and three stars.(less)