Dated, but kind of a Carrie Woodlawn in Alaska. Except not. Hmmm. I liked it, but wasn't wowed. Think I would have liked it more in 4th grade, and theDated, but kind of a Carrie Woodlawn in Alaska. Except not. Hmmm. I liked it, but wasn't wowed. Think I would have liked it more in 4th grade, and then would appreciate this as reread much more. ...more
I didn't realize how much I wanted this book until I read it.
I have read every Karin Slaughter book, starting back with book #Please read this book.
I didn't realize how much I wanted this book until I read it.
I have read every Karin Slaughter book, starting back with book #4. And as much as I loved every book before this, I truly think this is her best writing to date.
Perhaps because it's not a series, the characters are forced to develop faster, but they retain depth and humanity and horror and realism. The story is played out over the first week in Kate Murphy's Atlanta PD career and nothing feels rushed or lost or forced.
I adored the interplay of Kate and Maggie and Gail and Wanda, the "colored girls" and the old boys club. I had no trouble imagining the setting, and for some one that hates historical fiction because of inaccuracies, I loved this one because it left no stone uncovered.
Sure, Nixon has just left office. There's a black mayor and a black police chief, and women are dealing with the enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts. But people have a hard time with change, especially when it's forced upon them.
This book had so many levels - the difficulty with women supporting women (you never knew if they were going to last), how class affected world view (Kate vs. Maggie), marginalization of minorities, racism, homophobia, sexism, anti-immigration, Vietnam and WWII vets, neighborhoods that still prevented Jews from moving in and thought that Kennedy took directions from the Pope.
IT IS SO GOOD. It asks all the hard questions - people can be mean, and awful, but they can also be good - how is that possible? What happens when your world is split not along dichotomies, but what day it is? How each of us in the right situation has no idea what we would do, if we would pull the trigger, if we would have hidden people in our attic, if we just would have walked by.
There were some loose threads at the end, I noticed, and so I am desperately hoping that there will be another story in this time period - maybe not a sequel, but a companion.
Because the only thing that would have made this book better was a glimpse of Amanda Wagner.
Honestly, one of my favorites of the year. Great plot, great characters, excellent pacing. I picked it up to start reading again the minute I finished. ...more
wow. i found this to be amazing. i only really knew of the Black Panther party in Oakland (my US history is a little weak, especially in the midwest)wow. i found this to be amazing. i only really knew of the Black Panther party in Oakland (my US history is a little weak, especially in the midwest) and i loved this look into chicago. i am eager to read the sequel.
it also makes me want to read more non-fiction about the time. fascinating.
the characters - oh, i cared about sam, and stick, and maxie . . . and the interaction with the known players of the time (dr. king, etc.)
perfect read for MLK day. hard to believe this was set in 1968, and 50 years later we elected an african-american president.
oh dear. this book. this book! the rationing and the mother, will and tom! the whole town. i was warned that this was a 5 hanrecommended by stacey a.
oh dear. this book. this book! the rationing and the mother, will and tom! the whole town. i was warned that this was a 5 hanky book, and we know i don't really cry at books, but this certainly got me teary 5 times.
set in the countryside of london, willie is a young, terrified evacuee from london. he is assigned to mr. tom, a curmudgeonly british sort.
i cared about everyone in this story. i love these stories of how different the war was for the brits, especially from the young adult perspective.
i loved this book. if i had read this when i was younger, this clearly would have been a favorite.
yes, it's a bit simple in the plot. rusty was 7 whei loved this book. if i had read this when i was younger, this clearly would have been a favorite.
yes, it's a bit simple in the plot. rusty was 7 when she was sent to live with american relatives to be safe during the war. she returns at age 13 to a mother she doesn't know, and a country she has no memories of.
however, the undercurrent of the women's movement was really spot-on, authentic, and didn't feel forced. peggy, rusty's mom, has had to adjust to life without a husband. rusty's grandmother struck me the hardest . . . such a hard line of decorum and modernizing and adjustment. i loved rusty in this, how she didn't mean to do things wrong but did anyway. i also adored beatie, and while i wanted some resolution with ivy, i still was happy with how it ended.
but if there is a sequel i don't know about, someone let me know! rusty grabbed my heart, and so did peggy. i miss them already.
i wasn't sure what to expect, given that a) i love deaver, b) usually dislike historical fiction, and c) know a crap load about the interwar period ini wasn't sure what to expect, given that a) i love deaver, b) usually dislike historical fiction, and c) know a crap load about the interwar period in germany.
turns out it was surprisingly good. i mean, it won awards, but see the second two points up there. normally i wouldn't even read this, but. i am glad i did. i wasn't sure what the twists were going to be, or how, given that we all know how history plays out.
i liked that deaver created a fictional character for the enemy, because it didn't detract from the reality of the story. i wasn't distracted thinking, but how do you KNOW that about goring/goebbels/himmler or "but that's just wrong!"
paul is a character i felt ambivalent about, but understood, in a weird way. the story kept rolling, and there were excellent secondary characters, classic deaver twists, and an ending that made me seriously, seriously happy. ...more
hmmmm. this was a very long book for a pretty short payoff. i mean, i get it. there were scenes that were chilling and awesome but i wonder if they wehmmmm. this was a very long book for a pretty short payoff. i mean, i get it. there were scenes that were chilling and awesome but i wonder if they were all needed.
remember my complaint that gemma's radical politics seemed inorganic? yeah, i felt that even more here. felicity's motivations i could totally understand - and yes, my gut was right on what was really bothering her - but then all gemma's questions about that revelation were just left alone and it was like . . . what? why did you do that then?
ann continued to annoy me, but i understand her position as the person that feels like there really is no hope - and yet she does all these things that are reckless and silly but then she can't follow through. i suppose i was happy with her ending, though it felt a little too neat and perfect. felicity's was a little more right, and gemma's?
the book is left open a little for more stories about gemma doyle, and i kind of liked that. the realms are still there. so many things are still there, which is why i am still confused about why the book was so, so long. except that i think Libba Bray wanted to talk a whole lot about class and gender and industrialization and the like.
we get it. power corrupts. you can try to do good things, but it still corrupts. really, pippa and gemma were crazy foils for each other, which is kind of the only thing that kept me reading.
so, could have used better editing, but overall, enjoyed the writing, the characters and the setting. tom was a suprise, gemma's father wasn't, and the rest of all the secondary characters were nicely rounded. though i was really disturbed by the fate of mr. darcy. ugh.
oh! but i really loved gorgon! i wanted more of her. go, gorgon!...more
that said, this book was quicker and more interesting in terms of plot than the first, though it's really the stuff in theoh, ann, you drive me NUTS.
that said, this book was quicker and more interesting in terms of plot than the first, though it's really the stuff in the realms that interests me. of course, i want to smack gemma over the head and be like, WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN?
i liked tom, and what is happening to gemma's family, i am totally intrigued by pippa and have a guess as to what makes felicity so . . . hmm, hard to explain, beyond HER family situation.
the whole romantic triangle felt a bit forced, though i do like the questions that gemma is asking about what it means to be female in this time, though i don't know how much is from her character and what the author wants her to be. (by which i mean, sure, gemma doesn't like a lot of things about society, but she also isn't exactly a radical with a lot of deep thoughts. in other words, her musings don't seem exactly organic to the character.)
off to finish the trilogy off . . . part of me wonders why the last book is so darn fat . . . ...more
i liked it. definitely enough to pick up the next book - it was an easy read for me, and i liked gemma. i did not like ann very much, but felicity isi liked it. definitely enough to pick up the next book - it was an easy read for me, and i liked gemma. i did not like ann very much, but felicity is amusing (in a good way) and pippa has an interesting storyline.
i also like the historical setting, gemma coming from india and then back to mother england. kartik, carriages pulled by horses, gypsies speaking romani. it's a very pretty book. which i was in the mood to appreciate. plus, i liked the mystery of it. and it wasn't a veiled critique on today's society (though there are parts that can certainly be read that way) which i appreciated because i need a break from that in an election year.
This book is quite simply utterly brilliant, and that is before I read the Author's Notes where she mentIT HAS BEEN RELEASED! GO READ GO READ GO READ!
This book is quite simply utterly brilliant, and that is before I read the Author's Notes where she mentioned she consulted with the Imperial War Museum (quite is my favorite museum in the entire world).
(a quick ETA: yes, I am a student of history, but not military history, and as such, do not care much about planes. But if you think this is about planes, you aren't reading the same book I am. Or, at least, you won't be if you keep reading. Trust me. I saw someone say this reminded them of how Jellicoe Road started, and I can see that, but it took me way longer to care about Taylor Markham than it did for me to care about Maddie and Queenie, and considering my love for everything Marchetta, that is saying a lot.)
It starts out with a simple premise - a pilot and a spy in WWII. The plane carrying the spy is shot down in German occupied France, and the pilot and spy are split. They are best friends through happenstance, thrown together by a war that didn't do much right except unite people that never would have meet, often underneath an umbrella in a bomb shelter.
Right there, my attention was caught, and the lovely people at Disney-Hyperion and netgalley allowed me to read this early, and I am so thrilled. I pre-ordered a copy for my library and also for my personal library and one to force into people's hands. This is, frankly, my favorite stand-alone novel of the year (and has already climbed into my top 10 books of all time).
This is my time-period, historically (academically). My degree is in French history, so I went in with a little skeptisim. Those that know me well know that a movie or book can be ruined for me with one small historical detail out of place for no apparent reason, and I am happy to report that everything changed or made up is theoretically possible, and while it might not be completely accurate, the facts are strong enough that you can walk away from this book knowing things and not being wrong.
Here's the thing. At the end of this book, I wanted to laugh, cry, curl up in a ball, thrust it in the hands of everyone I know and keep it tucked away somewhere special just for me. My eyes were tearing, but because I was filled with both joy and sadness, and that unfailing sense that despite the horrors, somehow, humanity keeps on.
I don't want to spoil anything, because the telling is a mystery in and of itself. The surface plot is deceptively simple - Person A meets Person B in a situation that only wartime could bring about. Then Person A becomes a pilot, and Person B becomes a spy. They don't see each other much because of the war and their jobs don't overlap. Until they do. The story is told the first person, but with a narrator that redefines "unreliable". And just when you realize that you are halfway through the book (because you haven't been able to put it down for one second), you stop for a second and wonder what the heck can happen for the whole rest of the book? And you wonder if maybe the end will ruin everything.
You would be wrong. Maddie and Queenie are not just alive, they are real. They exist so easily, so perfectly - I am not a visual reader (in that I don't "cast" characters or see what I'm reading as a movie, or even picture characters in my head, etc.) - but I know exactly what Maddie and Queenie and Engel and von Hauf look like. The historical accuracy brings even more of a sense of being there, which is incredible because the town doesn't actually exist. It is the work of a brilliant researcher and world builder, someone who is dedicated to the past but knows it must be recreated - faithfully, but also with a writer's sense. The words are poetry. The line breaks, the code, the way things are carefully spread out so you don't even notice this hasn't all been circumstance until you step on the inevitable land mine. I am sure in print it will be even more effective. The writing is so strong, the voices so clear and alive and real, the descriptions so spot on and all the detail so carefully rendered but done so brilliantly. There are no seams in this book, the writing has sewn the story up so beautifully.
I left this book desperately sad that it was ending. And then! Then the utterly brilliant Author's Note at the end, the note that completely and wholly sold me on my love for Elizabeth Wein, the note that talked about writing historical fiction and the need for accuracy but also the need for creative license, the note that I wish every historical fiction book carried, the note that admitted what the book could and couldn't do.
What this book can do is take your breath away. It can make you laugh, it can make you root for things you never thought possible. It will bring the reality of life in occupied France to you in a way you won't be able to describe, the things you forget but remember later, like the fact that a Resistance family has a son who is an ardant Nazi, and they can't help loving him. That love is spelled differently when you write it down, but when you say it, it all boils down to, "Kiss me, Hardy," and that love can create hope, can create purpose, and create meaning, and therefore love is something that can be concrete. You will have parts of your carefully constructed world turned upside down. You will turn pages and lose track of time. You will worry, you will wonder when it ends, you will assume there will tragedy, or something spectacular, you won't be able to see a way out.
Despite all these things, the book will continue. And that is the legacy of the Resistance, of all Resisters during all the wars, of those that fought this particular war in so many different ways - from being pilots to having a car, to shooting guards to breeding roses - that despite all those things, despite not seeing a way out, they did not give up. They continued on.
It could have been any war. It was a friendship that never would have existed otherwise. It could have been about cars, or horses, instead of planes. The friendship, the love, and the telling - the persistence of life - these are universal, and these are what the book holds dear.
I will carry "Code Name Verity" with me. Lest we forget, indeed. ...more
so it's well established i love killer unicorns, and i love everything Diana Peterfreund writes.
but let me say why i loved this short story.
what endso it's well established i love killer unicorns, and i love everything Diana Peterfreund writes.
but let me say why i loved this short story.
what endears me to peterfreund is that it's clear she does her research. here with have gitta, a unicorn hunter nun, and elise, a noble french maiden. this is about tradition, and magic, desire and reality, duty and dreams. it's short, being a short story, but there is such detail. and enyo! and enyo's story. the little zhi and poor bijoux.
it's historically correct. and that makes me so happy. ...more
i think this book would have been much stronger without the little flashbacks.
that said, it would take almost half the book away.
in a sense, i felti think this book would have been much stronger without the little flashbacks.
that said, it would take almost half the book away.
in a sense, i felt like this book was trying to be too much at once - the diary of anne frank, the boy in the striped pajamas and something about russian history all at once. the story was interesting and strong enough on its own. and really, i wanted to know more about why the north pole! what were they doing up there? i never got a good answer.
the writing is strong and clear, and lina is a character you can relate to. i liked her relationship with her brother, and her mother, and her drawings. i just wanted more - of those characters, of the relationship, of the time, of the story itself.
i guess a lot of it felt heavy handed and scripted (the bald man, anyone?) but.
it tells a very important story. so it gets three stars for that alone. ...more
i actually think that knowing what happens (clearly, this is the titanic) strengthened the suspense of the novel - how was it going to end? when? howi actually think that knowing what happens (clearly, this is the titanic) strengthened the suspense of the novel - how was it going to end? when? how was everything going to fit in there? plus, the details of the ship are incredible, and Gray goes out of her way to keep historical accuracy while not infringing on real life characters.
tess and alec really appealed to me. i wish irene and ned had more, and there were almost answers that were too easy (when tess dresses up to go on the first class deck, there is no problem finding a dress). the norwegian ladies broke my heart. myriam was interesting though i found her a little forced into the book . . . and the whole thing about beatrice.
mikhail was totally freaky. i was appropriately freaked out by him, and the brotherhood. i loved alec, and mostly, his father. i agree with another reviewer that lady regina seemed a little forced, but as always, i wish there was more space for more character reveal and development. (for example, i could have done without the whole daisy thing.) the servant culture was highlighted nicely though, and the history is really good.
if the The Luxe series was a young adult Edith Wharton, then this might be an attempt to be a young adult F. Scofull review after apps are turned in.
if the The Luxe series was a young adult Edith Wharton, then this might be an attempt to be a young adult F. Scott Fitzgerald. or maybe it was just all the scenes on the boat that made me think of Gatsby, and the speakeasies, prohibition, and country club that required whites.
oh, cordelia. and astrid, i liked you too. it was actually letty that i disliked and could have cared less about (not paulina though, i liked her). it has nothing to do with her social class, though i do realize that lina was my least favorite character in the previous series - but i think that has more to do with the fact that they both create new names for themselves and believe they are so special that the rules don't apply. while letty might be forgiven more than lina for not knowing how things work, she still annoyed me with the way she ignored the writer who basically discovered her until she fell hard and needed someone. i have a feeling that story isn't over yet.
but mostly, i want cordelia and astrid, i want to know what charlie knows that he isn't telling, i want to know if elias jones is a bad guy or a good guy, i want to see cordelia succeed - and not just at using a pistol. i also want a fairy-tale ending for astrid, though i don't know how.
again, the fact that anna godberson writes the time period so well, sprinkling in just enough historical reality to not only really create the feeling of the time but also draw the reader in to what it would have been like - again, we are only seeing the excesses of society, but new york in the 20s WAS excess.
(also, i appreciate the nod to billie, the barnard student with a bolero jacket and smartly cut boyish hair.)
i think i need the next book to really decide - and i don't know how long this series is planned (anyone?) but summer's ending in this book, and october of 1929 isn't that far away . . . ...more
so. here's the thing: despite the fact that i still don't understand or really like lina and never found her appealing, i think all the strands of theso. here's the thing: despite the fact that i still don't understand or really like lina and never found her appealing, i think all the strands of the series are wrapped up perfectly.
(i also love the fact that it's davis barnard that believes in diana's writing in the beginning, which ultimately leads to the perfect ending - barnard pride, people!!)
it isn't the perfect ending for everyone, at all. but it's so wharton-esque it kind of creeps me out. the last scene of henry and penelope reminds me so much of her, but slightly different - there is a sense of hope at the end of the book.
i must say, i knew there was something up with mr. cairns from the beginning, but i had no clue what, and that was really interesting. (though the klondike question was never answered, and i want to know!)
the girls in this book are so different, and yet so alike - they all want to be happy, but they don't know how to get there, not really. it's set in turn of the century new york, but really, it could be adolescents anywhere, anytime. trying to find their way to happiness, working within and against and with society's strictures, making mistakes, figuring things out.
i heard that many people were upset with the ending regarding diana and henry, but i give major kudos to the author for staying true to her characters. i would love to read one of diana's books . . . ...more
the two stories end up integrating, but in a way that seems forced. i think the book would have been so much stronger without the thesis, but. that'sthe two stories end up integrating, but in a way that seems forced. i think the book would have been so much stronger without the thesis, but. that's also partly my bias against historical fiction and there's a LOT of making up characters and documents in this that kind of drives me crazy.
but i made my way through it, and i wouldn't have, if i had known it was historical fiction when i picked it up. ...more
pretty darn awesome. this is "gossip girl" for the turn-of-the-century crowd (think edith wharton's new york) and man, i love it. for some reason, itpretty darn awesome. this is "gossip girl" for the turn-of-the-century crowd (think edith wharton's new york) and man, i love it. for some reason, it does remind me of wharton, actually, if she focused on teenagers more.
only wharton wouldn't have given that ending to diana. still.
elizabeth holland loves a servant, but she's society's golden girl who is expected to marry well. penelope hayes is a mover and shaker in society - her family is new money, and the older families look down on them as ostentatious and entirely unnecessary. diana holland is elizabeth's younger sister, who says what she thinks and dreams of things far bigger than new york society allows young women.
and there's henry schoonmaker, who is the gentlemen of society - except that he draws far too much attention to himself for his father's liking. elizabeth isn't drawn to him at all, penelope thinks their engagement is about to be announced, and diana is confused.
i want the next book. luckily, the library has it so i can get it tomorrow.
the history is all so correct, and the language is somehow like wharton and james and trollope and everything, but at the same time, more accessible for teens. possibly the best series discovery of the year (in terms of randomly picking up a book), and it doesn't hurt she grew up in northern california and graduated from barnard. go, bears! ;)...more
i liked it. i think i wasn't so hung up on the history because ancient history is not my thing, and i read the illiad so long ago, i wasn't all "but ti liked it. i think i wasn't so hung up on the history because ancient history is not my thing, and i read the illiad so long ago, i wasn't all "but this isn't RIGHT!" the way i get with things set after the french revolution.
this fills in the gaps of virgil's story, in a way, and creates a softer aeneas.
my favorite parts, however, were where lavinia discussed her existence now, that she is, in a way, immortal, because of the poem written and because she was never given an ending. plus, when she talks to "her poet" it's really a lovely meta conversation on historical fiction and appropriation and more. i would read it again just for those parts.
i highly recommend it for people who sometimes have issues with historical fiction and its inaccuracy, and people who like historical fiction in general.
(i also adored the throw away comment about dante. awww. dante.)...more
so, the premise of the book revolves around the question: what would the world be like if napoleon wasn't defeated at waterloo?
my problem was from a hso, the premise of the book revolves around the question: what would the world be like if napoleon wasn't defeated at waterloo?
my problem was from a historical perspective, i don't think that THIS many things would have changed. i mean, adam smith not doing econ? oscar wilde being some sort of scientist? i suppose it's amusing, but it actually frustrated me. perhaps because i would like to believe that despite the course of history, somethings would have remained the same, especially the arts. i mean, okay, the idea of james joyce being a famous opera composer is kind of funny, but i can't suspend my own reality enough to believe it.
however, i did like the idea that alfred nobel is now the biggest munitions maker in the world, basically, because he thinks peace can be achieved once the ultimate weapon is created. (given our current political state, i have to question this theory.)
i also hate books that don't mention they are part of a series. (hello, Hunger Games - though i forgive that book a lot more because i loved the story so much more.)
sophie is an interesting character, though i liked mikael even more. i think if you don't know a lot of history, especially european, it's a lot more entertaining and easy to digest.
all in all, i felt like i've read this book before. IRYLONS reminded me of 1984, the whole thing felt like a lot of real classic moments in literature cobbled together into a different story. which would make sense, given that she's a professor of comparative literature at columbia, but still. i expected more. i guess the paranormal aspect of the book is kind of new, but i didn't really like that part very much. which is a major part of the book, also, so perhaps that explains a lot.
(and yet, i will be reading the next installment, when it comes out, i'm sure.)...more
quite good and engaging. i didn't cry, and i actually don't know why so many people did - i thought this was a beautiful story of a strong woman bornquite good and engaging. i didn't cry, and i actually don't know why so many people did - i thought this was a beautiful story of a strong woman born into a time that didn't know what to do with her. the way this so clearly fits into the biblical history that we do know, the transitions from jacob's god from the canaanite gods to the egyptian gods and back again - very clever and insightful book.
i wish there was more about reuben, but that's okay. i am glad that joseph was not the joseph of andrew llyod weber, but rather more true to the hebrew bible.
it's brilliant. i don't know how much i would want to read it again, but i am glad i finally picked this up. really. ...more
so this is the story of queen elizabeth I, and her first year on the throne, basically. admittedly, i did not read The Queen's Fool, which apparentlyso this is the story of queen elizabeth I, and her first year on the throne, basically. admittedly, i did not read The Queen's Fool, which apparently carries over characters and maybe, MAYBE, develops the characters of robert and elizabeth a bit better, but.
this one was painful. usually i can get through these because i know something sensational is going to happen at the end - i mean, beheading! always fun to see how a writer will come to that conclusion! but this? nooooo.
also? i continually despite her characterizations of women. i'm sorry, elizabeth surely had to grow into her crown, but at the same time, i don't think she was quite the flighty-pants she is portrayed as here - i mean, she did manage to be the greatest tudor monarch and everything, but hey, that comes later in the story, i guess, so all's fair!
i also am not happy with how the author always jumps to the most scandalous conclusion. i fully believe that the stories and rumors were circulating, but come on, if we believed all the tabloids today, tom cruise would be ruling the world from a space ship.
i don't know. this one wasn't even fun - it dragged, she did the repeating sentences again thing for no real reason, the changing POVs didn't help - i say stick with the books about the boleyns' - there's actually enough historical true scandal to make the stories interesting and debatable at the same time. ...more
huh. i can't decide how i really liked this. there's so much controversy, sometimes, over setting a story during the holocaust . . . this was a differhuh. i can't decide how i really liked this. there's so much controversy, sometimes, over setting a story during the holocaust . . . this was a different take on things.
emma marries jacob, a young political dissident, and less than a year later, the nazis invade poland and jacob is on the run as part of the krakow resistance. emma is forced to "pass" as a gentile in order to survive - to the point where she works for the highest ranking officer in the region, and becomes "anna".
i found the scenes where she had to go to church more interesting than most. i liked the secondary characters a lot - especially krysie and alek and marta. the scene with emma's father broke my heart.
i could have done without the whole kommandant relationship thing - i didn't think it was necessary, and thought it made the story even more over-wrought than needed. but it brought interesting consequences.
i don't really get why this was labeled adult fiction, while The Book Thief is YA. i actually found this book more simplistic, easy to understand, and in a way, pandering to the reader.
interesting, but not a must-read, and kind of a disappointment. i think the real problem was that the author tried to deal with too many emotions and plot points in not enough space. ...more