This is the first book I've read from Cameron, and I was impressed. I'm sort of new to crime fiction, but DAY ONE whetted my appetite for more (I'll bThis is the first book I've read from Cameron, and I was impressed. I'm sort of new to crime fiction, but DAY ONE whetted my appetite for more (I'll be checking out COUNTY LINE next, after I get through a few more books on my to-read list).
My favorite part of the book was its structure. The narrative is broken up into different POVs; it alternates between the past and the hours of "Day One," or the present-day arc of the story. As with any good mystery, you have to pay attention; near the end, I was paging back to previous chapters a lot, piecing together clues I'd missed before. I enjoyed the pacing and the way all the story lines collided. The Portland locations were also great, though I'm definitely biased because it's where I live. Cameron's language is impressive: descriptive without being showy, with lots of clever dialogue.
Some of the woman-in-peril stuff was not my cup of tea, but overall I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more from this author....more
I got this book as a present from my mother; I probably wouldn't have picked it up myself, given that I don't read a lot of memoirs or nonfiction. ButI got this book as a present from my mother; I probably wouldn't have picked it up myself, given that I don't read a lot of memoirs or nonfiction. But I was really pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was. Morrison has an engaging, hilarious style -- much of the book had me laughing aloud. You don't have to be a yoga enthusiast to enjoy the narrative. And it (maybe) got me a little teary-eyed at the end. Overall, it was a breezy, fun book that was a great break from the dark fiction I've been preferring lately. ...more
Um. I'm not sure how I feel about this book. My overall impression, having just finished it, was that it had me rolling my eyes a lot with annoyance.Um. I'm not sure how I feel about this book. My overall impression, having just finished it, was that it had me rolling my eyes a lot with annoyance. Yet I read the whole thing, and pretty fast, too. (Spoilers ahead ... Don't all reviews have spoilers??)
First of all, I (rather stupidly) did not pick up on the fact that this was a romance novel when I checked it out at the library. I thought it was a historical novel with a romance subplot -- and yes I am "one of those people" who doesn't read straight-up romance novels, so I would not have even picked it up had I known the genre. I realized I was reading a straight-up romance novel about 250 pages in, where the entire middle span of the book turns into an unending sex scene. Sigh. Sex scenes are so hard to write well, and throwing in a weirdly inconsistent dialect only made them more laughable.
Speaking of straight-up romance ... This book has a serious homophobia problem. I was frankly disgusted that so many pages were devoted to the swoony (hetero) main couple, while the (only) two gay characters were molesters and pedophiles (and one of them was also a sadistic, incestuous rapist). Nice! So m/f sex is healing and the true expression of love and so enjoyable, and m/m sex is gross, violent and disturbing. I actually yelled "Shut up!" at the book a few times. Seeing these old and offensive tropes trotted out again and again is a big part of what ruined the book for me.
So why did I keep reading? I guess Jaime served his narrative purpose -- he was sexy. (Damn it!) Sexy looking, at least (who can resist a big red-headed man in a kilt?). He was also a ridiculous character, made of sparkles and rainbows and unicorns. Oh, he's huge and strong, but gentle! Oh, he's a virgin at 23 in Scotland, 1743! (Ha!) Oh, he loved Claire when he first saw her! Oh, he just can't believe that after having sex, all he wants to do is have sex again, and is it always this good? I have to stop, because I'm rolling my eyes so hard again that they're starting to hurt.
I don't know who I would recommend this book to. History fans, such as myself? Eeehhh ... Too much sex, not enough substance. Romance fans? I guess ... though have fun capping off that 300-page middle section of "nice" sex with an extended end-of-book scene of rape and torture, which is also recounted by the victim over and over again. Whee~! (Also, how many times is Claire almost raped in this book? WTF?) Fans of botany? Maybe! We sure do learn a lot about plants (which is not snark -- I enjoyed those bits).
I started out the review with a three-star rating (adding a star to "It was OK" because I actually finished reading the damn thing). After thinking it over, I've put it back to two. Despite its many faults, though, the book kept me engaged enough to plow through 600+ pages in two days. So, if you have a rainy weekend to spare, and have somewhere private to curl up where you can make strange, disbelieving faces and shout at the book occasionally, try reading OUTLANDER. ...more
I enjoyed this book very much (though it made me so angry at parts!). I liked the MC's voice, and Danforth has some beautiful prose. Even though CamerI enjoyed this book very much (though it made me so angry at parts!). I liked the MC's voice, and Danforth has some beautiful prose. Even though Cameron went through so much distress in her hometown, there's a very strong love of the place that comes through in the writing. Between this and CLOSE RANGE, I really want to do a road trip through Montana and Wyoming and see all the amazing scenery.
The most surprising thing about the book for me was how the author was able to humanize (to a point) characters like Aunt Ruth and Reverend Rick. As much as I disliked them, there was a tiny window presented into why they were acting so monstrously -- they really believed they were "saving" Cameron. (But Lydia was just flat-out evil.) I also thought that Coley's storyline was very realistic; as badly as she behaved, she was, in the end, a teenager who was scared and desperate to conform to her society's expectations.
Spoilers ahead, I suppose ...
One quibble I had was the "everybody loves me" trap the narrative seemed to fall into (this is endemic in YA and romance novels, and it bugs the hell out of me). Many of Cameron's peers were depicted as interested in her: not just Lindsey and Coley, but Jaime, Adam, even Erin (that's how I read that final scene between them, anyway -- that Erin was nursing a secret crush on Cameron). I could see this justified as a typical adolescent viewpoint of "the world revolves around me" (no judgement; I was like that as a teen, too!), but it did pull me out of the narrative a little. ("Really? AND he likes her, too??")
Overall I thought this was a fantastic read, a great book for LGBTQ teens, families and allies -- and an even more important book for people who are none of the above. ...more
This book was fantastic. I was shocked by the Victorian dirty-talking, delighted by all the cross-dressing, and really moved by the love story that deThis book was fantastic. I was shocked by the Victorian dirty-talking, delighted by all the cross-dressing, and really moved by the love story that develops in the third section of the book. Waters has a wonderful narrative voice, and I'll be adding more of her novels to my to-read list. Quibbles that knocked a star off the rating: As fun as they were to read, parts I and II were full of predictable plot turns (though a good storyteller like Waters keeps you hooked nonetheless). I felt Nancy's character was terribly passive until she met Florence (the second time) -- and then she zinged to life (unfortunately, this happens on page 347!). And there were a large number of pages devoted to political speeches at the end, when I would have rather spent more time with the characters as the book was drawing to a close! Despite these and other minor bothers, I enjoyed the read very much. As a portrait of painful first love, and growing past that pain to find you love someone else (impossibly!) even more, TIPPING THE VELVET really shines....more
A beautiful collection of stories both sad and inspiring. Lahiri has clear, lovely prose that's peppered with original descriptions -- they are perfecA beautiful collection of stories both sad and inspiring. Lahiri has clear, lovely prose that's peppered with original descriptions -- they are perfect yet unexpected, and make you think, "Oh! I know exactly what that looks like!" Highly recommended....more
THE SISTERS BROTHERS tells a weird, sad, violent story, and I loved every page of it. Eli Sisters is one of my new favorite narrators and also one ofTHE SISTERS BROTHERS tells a weird, sad, violent story, and I loved every page of it. Eli Sisters is one of my new favorite narrators and also one of the most human, believable characters I've found in a book in a long while. I enjoyed the rambling pace of the narrative; the dialogue, which at first seems a bit stilted, quickly takes on the cadence of poetry. deWitt uses language beautifully, bringing the towns the brothers pass through and the people they meet to vivid life.
I am so happy I found this book. As soon as I return the library copy I read, I'm going to the bookstore to purchase THE SISTERS BROTHERS for my own shelves. And I've already added another deWitt book, ABLUTIONS: NOTES FOR A NOVEL, to my to-read list....more