eta 2: this is also the perfect book to listen to on audiotape. usually i am annoyed with audiobooks, but i enjoyed listening to this one almost as mu...moreeta 2: this is also the perfect book to listen to on audiotape. usually i am annoyed with audiobooks, but i enjoyed listening to this one almost as much as reading it, because i was hearing hannah while driving in my car, much the same way clay was. still love this book and it's boldness.
eta: for everyone that thinks hannah's suicide was unbelievable, or that the reasons were just stupid and petty, take a moment and think about how what happened could have been the impetus for suicide. it's not the whole story, of course. hannah tells us that herself. but people who commit suicide aren't just people that have been raped, abused, are poverty stricken, gang members, or sufferers of PTSD. too many adolescents kill themselves out of a depression that spirals in the SAME WAY hannah's does. too many adults do. and look at the suicide statistics if you don't think this is an important book.
yep, i broke down and bought it.
and i am SO GLAD that i did.
you guys, ALL OF YOU, read this now. i'm so not joking. this is one of the best books about adolescents and real life and how things can snowball that i have ever read.
not to mention this is the best, best, portrayal of true suicidality that i have come across - in all genres.
here's clay jensen, with a stack of tapes that arrive on his door. seven tapes, with a number painted in nail-polish on each corner. seven tapes from the dead hannah baker, who was clay's total crush. hannah baker, who killed herself with pills.
the genius is that the act of suicide itself is not glorified. at all. it's not an impulsive suicide, despite what people may have thought, and that's part of why i think i appreciate this book so much. for people that are truly, and deeply, and clinically depressed, it's not really impulsive. it's a series of things that lead one to believe that it's just not going to get better.
and that's exactly what happens to hannah. things that seem small and petty or not even memorable build in the head of someone who is already fragile. she isn't melodramatic about it, she's to the point. sometimes she's angry, sometimes she's sad, and sometimes she's brutally honest with herself - she knows that her actions are selfish, she knows that there were places she could have made things different and didn't. she knows where she closed the doors that might have been opening, and where she opened the ones she should have left shut.
i love hannah baker. i love clay jensen. i love these characters for their emotional vulnerability and honesty, for the way the story is told in pieces that all weave together in the end, for the fact there is no pandering to the reader, or condescension. that even in the end, even after hannah decided, there was one last chance. that this was thought out and thoughtful and not just a look at how people deal with the aftermath of a suicide, but how a suicide might be the end point.
i really cannot say enough about this book. i want to quote whole passages, i want to make so many people read it. it is SUCH an accurate portrayal it breaks my heart.
when hannah wants to disappear into the mist, and the decision for the way she wants to kill herself - her difficulty in even saying the word "suicide" in the beginning - it's just. not wanting her parents to find her hanging. thinking about making it look like an accident by crashing a car.
people may think what hannah did, by leaving the tapes, was super vindictive and mean. i do think there was an element of that to her recording everything - it's true to her character. but more than that, i think hannah wanted people to know how things spiral so far out of control, and how seemingly small interpersonal interactions can have such amazing consequences.
more than anything, i think hannah wanted to leave her own answer to "why do people commit suicide" and "signs to watch out for".
and i think she did a pretty damn good job. this is amazingly brilliant. Jay Asher just completely blew me away. so go read it. now. (less)
okay. so first of all, i think stephenie meyer read a little x-files fanfiction in her spare time. i mean, honestly? bella's hair smells like strawber...moreokay. so first of all, i think stephenie meyer read a little x-files fanfiction in her spare time. i mean, honestly? bella's hair smells like strawberries?? i almost gave up on the book there.
then there was the CONSTANT ever changing descriptions of edward's eye. they were smouldering and topaz and black and sparking and everything that eyes can and cannot be. i kind of want to go back and count how many times bella is "dazzled" by his eyes, but frankly, the book is a little long for that.
bella irritated the crap out of me in the beginning. i hear she gets better in the later books (Breaking Dawn being the exception) but really? i've heard meyer claim she's not anti-feminist, and i honestly don't think she thinks she is. however, this character is nothing to want to live up to. at least in this installment, her big motivation and driving force and everything is that she loves this dude so much she's willing to die for him/to keep him safe/etc.
as if that story hasn't already been told in more creative ways. (note: i always thought of greek gods as golden, definitely not pale and cold. and yet edward is described as both. someone care to help me out?) edward is more interesting, but i got frustrated with him as well.
it's actually the cullen family that kept me reading. i love alice, and emmett and carlisle and esmee. jasper gets a good bit, but i'm hoping the next book explains some of rosalie -
uh, yeah. i just admitted i'll read the sequel. NOT because i have to see how edward and bella have the perfect life, whatnot. i kind of don't care about edward and bella.
but the last 75 or so pages have the entire plot of the book packed in. and i'm a sucker for a little action and intrigue. seriously, i called my sister and said, "finally! some real vampire action!" sigh.
the only other thing that really bothered me was how borderline erotic some of the scenes with bella and edward were. i mean, i'm hoping because i'm older i see it and not because it's there. it's just so . . . stupid in a way. girl falls in love with boy, boy falls in love with girl, star-crossed lovers, how will they figure it out? but like i said, the ending was enough to make me want to read the next which should start out with a bang (the first chapter of New Moon is included in the paperback edition i got from the library) and so maybe there won't be so much stuff about eyes and. the fact that edward is a touch creepy. i mean, he tries to read her mind, he WATCHES HER SLEEP without her knowing, and somehow this is true love and not a little creepy?
all i can say is, if this is true love, i want nothing to do with it. i'm definitely not swooning. (less)
i am so torn on how many stars to give this book . . . on the one hand, i thought it was a bit long, on the other, i haven't read a book which this mu...morei am so torn on how many stars to give this book . . . on the one hand, i thought it was a bit long, on the other, i haven't read a book which this much chutzpah in a long time (that didn't come out of the modernist period).
it's a story of a small village outside of munich during WWII. and it's narrated by death. death, who carries people's souls (it is never clear where) out of their bodies. death, who is often tired of working. death, whose heart goes in a circle, who is sometimes envious of humans because after all, we can die. we can stop.
it's extremely clever and fairly brilliant. there are turns of phrase that made me want to scribble them down - at times, it's more like reading poetry than prose. the descriptions of the colors, of the sky, the way liesel gives max a cloud to help him get well. hans huberman's silver eyes, and rudy steiner's hair like lemons.
it did kind of reinvent the genre for me (the holocaust/WWII story, that is) and for that, i am super thrilled and grateful. there isn't another story like this that i've come across, and i think partly i read it so slowly because i didn't want it to end. the foreshadowing lets you know where the story is going quite clearly, but even so there are some surprises. what i think i loved best about the writing was that it took risks, it played with techniques like synethesia, a woman's voice could sound like suicide, and it never seemed forced or overdone, really.
because the whole story is about the importance of words. how an illiterate girl becomes the book thief, and how masses of germans were swayed by simple words, how writing words saved some and killed others. liesel's last trip to the library on grasse street pretty much broke my heart - how i understand, liesel!
(the interview with the author at the end is very enjoyable too. i would love to have lunch with him sometime, just to talk to someone else who thinks words have weight, and gave them literal weight in his story, weight and texture and sound and being.) (less)
oh my lord. i haven't been this creeped out by a book in like, forever. and now i'm totally bothered by the fact that there is all this information th...moreoh my lord. i haven't been this creeped out by a book in like, forever. and now i'm totally bothered by the fact that there is all this information that *I'VE* put on the internet about myself and my book tastes and now there's all this CRAZY ASS INFORMATION that EVERYONE can find out about me.
i love ron pulaski, almost more than amelia. i love watching him grow over the series - i love lincoln, i love lon, and mel, and the crazy computer techs.
this writing is tight and plotty and crazy-brilliant. i didn't want it to end. plus there's mention of the unsub from The Cold Moon and i do love me some follow-up.
i can't recommend this one enough. it's utterly wonderful and brilliant. i'm ticked i'll have to wait until 2009 for the next book from Jeffery Deaver. it will be kathryn dance, though, and i do love her. so.
the book made me want to burn my computer and never get on the internet again. that's saying a lot. (less)
I LOVE CARL. oh man, he broke my heart a million times over. and so did lousia o'neal, and oh, just so many. it was really sad...morere-read february, 2011:
I LOVE CARL. oh man, he broke my heart a million times over. and so did lousia o'neal, and oh, just so many. it was really sad. oh, CARL.
and i totally get why tess just wanted to screw crow sometimes. the fact that nothing is random. the poor women. the doctor. dottie.
mostly, though, carl.
first read: june 17, 2008
i feel kind of wrong classifying lippman with the other trashy thrillers - she's not particularly trashy, though she does write thrillers.
this book, this book broke my heart. it tied up loose ends that i worried would make it the end of the series (despite knowing that there are books after it already published). i loved the difference in tess this time around - the court-mandated anger management, the lack of tyner and kitty, even crow and whitney - not to mention the dogs (i am so happy they kept miata!). normally this would bother me, but somehow it fit the story perfectly - tess is growing up in ways we haven't seen before, and she had to do a lot of it alone. i loved the return of luisa o'neal, because i knew she would have to come back some day, and the way she did made me - much like tess - hate her and pity her at the same time.
i liked the brief interludes from the killer's perspective. i liked seeing more of maryland than just baltimore, and i loved sensing tess's relief at coming home, but her wariness as well. the final twist scene is really . . . i don't want to spoil anything, but it changes tess forever, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. and damn, carl dewitt grew on me like dandelions on newly planted lawn.
i almost am afraid of what will happen to tess next, and i wonder if we'll be able to see the fallout. once again, i am so glad i am reading these in order. once again, i want to go to baltimore and eat some crab. once again, i love tess and her world and everyone in it, and i can't wait to get started on the next one.(less)
i almost like this installment better than Persepolis, but i know that's because of how amazing the first book was.
this installment finds marji in a...morei almost like this installment better than Persepolis, but i know that's because of how amazing the first book was.
this installment finds marji in austria, where she is shuttled from place to place, getting her french education, while her family and friends remain in tehran.
it's the story of a "third-worlder" in the west, and then an attempt to return home. it's almost more heartbreaking than the first book, because there is so much in here that is familiar while different, and so much that makes you realize how lucky you are. it's brilliantly written, again, and wonderfully illustrated, and it's a traditional coming of age story that is anything but traditional.
it's beautiful, from the snow scenes in vienna to her joy at seeing snow in tehran again. the way she is older, the way she tries to fit in, the disintegration of relationships - the author writes with a wisdom that can only come from years of reflection, and we are all the better for it. her insights into her behaviors and actions are so clear and true, even though they might not reflect greatly on her, are masterful. the story doesn't lag, it goes forward, and forward, and at the end, i desperately wanted the next installment to magically appear in my hands.
it's especially interesting to read this in light of where america stands on iran these days - and makes me think of theodor herzl calling people like me "amiable dreamers" but. books like this give me hope. it's truly a remarkable piece of work, unlike anything i have come across before. (less)
i feel SO GUILTY for chasing pigeons with the boys now. seriously.
a) i didn't know that it is STILL LEGAL TO SHOOT LIVE PIGEONS IN PA. the descriptio...morei feel SO GUILTY for chasing pigeons with the boys now. seriously.
a) i didn't know that it is STILL LEGAL TO SHOOT LIVE PIGEONS IN PA. the description of it just makes me sick - it's not like hunting, they are used for target practice. ugh.
b) i am a happy carnivore, but dude, i will never eat squab. (this is not totally stupid, as i don't eat veal either.) but seriously. ugh.
c) these poor pigeons! did you know that passenger pigeons are extinct? and they know exactly the moment when that happened? and all the poor netted pigeons in the city . . . it's enough to make me want to join B.O.B.
i mean, i hate pigeons, but it's really not their fault. they are communal birds who go where people are - they don't poop more than other birds, but they just congregate where we see them. i wish new york would do a humane pigeon thing. then again, we have the crazy bird feeders, so it wouldn't really work very well.
but i kind of want a pet pigeon now. I AM SUCH A SUCKER.
(this is an excellent book, btw. if it can make a bitter new yorker feel nicer about the birds but not feel lied to, it's pretty quality.)(less)
i don't know why every book i've been picking up recently has to do with suicide - not directly, but indirectly. it's pretty impressive.
anyway, this...morei don't know why every book i've been picking up recently has to do with suicide - not directly, but indirectly. it's pretty impressive.
anyway, this is the first of Laurie Halse Anderson's books i've read with a male protagonist, and i have to say, i'm pretty impressed with how well she got into tyler's head.
(i also really liked yoda.)
this book is centrally about identity and pressure, and, in a little like Thirteen Reasons Why, the repercussions of actions that we don't even know. tyler starts out as the defined "nerd boy", but after getting caught with his hand in the paint can, he was forced into a summer of hard labor. as a result, he all of sudden becomes someone worth looking at in school. and his forever crush, bethany milbury, notices.
what's also fascinating about this book are the characters of the parents. there's the mom that is initially a doormat and then grows - and a dad like a tyrant that also grows. it's interesting to see how tyler's perceptions of their actions grow, and how he misreads them, and how they misread him.
the book goes to a very dark place, but while the circumstances of the book seem a little melodramatic, the characters don't, and somehow it all coalesces into this affirming ending that i was quite pleased with. (less)
i honestly don't know how to rate this book. as soon as i would think, hey, that's not bad, this actually isn't that painful, meyer would do something...morei honestly don't know how to rate this book. as soon as i would think, hey, that's not bad, this actually isn't that painful, meyer would do something that infuriated me. usually it had to do with characterizations and gender issues.
so it does start better. and bella finally seems to have a brain by the end, which is nice. i am thrilled to finally know about rosalie. there's action, there's tension, there aren't five million mentions of edward's eyes. but there are still a lot of things wrong.
firstly, i think she needs to learn to self-edit better, and then let her editor chop whole sections away. there was no reason the book had to be so long, and it dragged at times.
second, edward still creeps me out. i'm sorry, but he does. and holding him up as this illustration of "perfection" really creeps me out. (though i liked him better near the very end of the book.) it disturbs me to think that so many young girls think that this level of obsession is healthy and happy and what we should look for - though he was less annoying this time.
third, STOP BUTCHERING YOUR OWN CHARACTERS. i'm sorry, i think jacob was completely out of character for most of the book. i wanted to throw the book across the room after the first scene in the forest with the broken hand, and how NO ONE seemed to think this was a big deal. hi, people, if someone keeps going when you say no, you shouldn't be expected to just forgive him and move on. also, charlie's reaction boggled me - i know he has a soft spot for jacob, but this is his daughter! and for everyone to just play it off as if it was nothing . . . really bothered me, to say the least.
and really, bella's biggest concern about changing and not being "bella" anymore is that she won't have had sex with edward? GAH. i feel like all the characters have turned into these trite stereotypes and charicatures of themselves, and it's annoying.
i don't know. the book weighs a ton to carry around, and i don't know if it was worth it. though i am glad i did read it, if just so i would know. i have my request for Breaking Dawn in at the library, but i probably won't get it for months - though i don't know how i'll react to that one if i had such a bad taste in my mouth after this one. at least i understood edward and rosalie and jasper better this time. i really like jasper. i hope he doesn't get screwed in the next book.
i just wish the messages that i find in the book weren't so repulsive and . . . unsettling. i still don't think she does right by her female characters at all, but who knows. (less)
i have to say, she totally won me over. it was amazing because i wasn't sure if Marya Hornbacher could do it, but she redeemed herself by being more...morei have to say, she totally won me over. it was amazing because i wasn't sure if Marya Hornbacher could do it, but she redeemed herself by being more honest and upfront and REAL about her illness and willingness to get better than she was in Wasted, and more than Elizabeth Wurtzel ever, ever did.
this is best example of mania i have ever read. it is so true to life, and so true to form. it's really impressive how much insight she has into her illness when she lacked so much before - but it's like the eating disorder was just a cover for the bipolarity, and once she got the "true" diagnosis, she was able to kind of figure things out.
but she doesn't take the easy way out. she admits the mistakes she makes, she says that she does things she doesn't understand herself. it's so true - when you are manic/depressed, there often isn't any rationality to your behavior - or at least any that you can see at the time. it's amazing how honest she is with herself. she admits her mistakes, she knows when she is screwed up - she doesn't blame the fact that she doesn't listen to her doctors on anyone other than herself.
i'll probably write a more glowing review later, but this really is one of the most incredible books that actually grasps mental illness and what it's like without blaming anyone at all. and unlike the end of Wasted, i really believe that she wants to get better, and that she knows what she is facing.
i've been disappointed in winterson lately, but i have always loved her best when she is messing with stories people already know.
she did not let me...morei've been disappointed in winterson lately, but i have always loved her best when she is messing with stories people already know.
she did not let me down. it wasn't fabulous (i could have done without all the scenes of heracles' prick dripping) but the story itself . . . there were lines that made me sooo happy and wish i had written them myself.
i loved the ending especially. laika gets saved! atlas is a fabulous character, and i loved hera in this. i want to read everything in the canongate myths series, like, NOW.(less)
i am not sure why i don't rate this five stars. this might change.
this wasn't even close to being as twisted as her grant county series, but i felt l...morei am not sure why i don't rate this five stars. this might change.
this wasn't even close to being as twisted as her grant county series, but i felt like that stayed true to will trent and the world karin slaughter has created in atlanta. i loved the return of amanda, i adore faith and can't wait to see more of her (there better be more of her!) and i was totally thrown on the purpose of victor martinez. (points to slaughter!)
however, i didn't like the lack of angie - she wasn't there at all, basically. in fact, the most important part about her character we never really saw or anything - will finds it in the garbage, on accident. i don't know, it just made me kind of sad.
i want more for will. that's kind of mean to say, especially because i love angie, but i do think he's settling. he doesn't know what real love is - he's confusing loyalty with love, and it's arguable that angie hasn't even been loyal.
still. it was a good story, a complete page-turner as usual, and won't scare as many people away as say, Kisscut. it was quieter than i expected, more subtle and soft, in a way. i loved the backstory with paul, the fierceness and fragileness of abigail, and again, amanda and faith.
it was a good look inside the world of gymnastics, and showed both the good and the bad. it's heartbreaking to read about how worried jen was about ge...moreit was a good look inside the world of gymnastics, and showed both the good and the bad. it's heartbreaking to read about how worried jen was about getting older, knowing that the clock was ticking.
jennifer sey was the 1986 national champion.
the way weight and puberty become so ingrained in you - how you actually want to retard your growth because growing in any way changes the way you can move through the air.
it's a good look inside in the world of young gymnastics. the way it sucks up lives, destroys families, etc. and the coaches . . . i really hope that it isn't that way still. but of course you worry about it - the weight pressure, the smallness, and the repeated injuries, the pounding over and over again.
i kind of feel guilty for still enjoying the sport. i mean, it is a sport, and i don't feel bad watching football, but. these are little kids. weight of the world on eight year old shoulders.
i don't even want to know what it's like in china.
good, insightful, and i like the fact that it was actually someone in the world telling her story. it was also fascinating to see how competitiveness can spiral out of control, how you can get tunnel vision so easily, and how even when you're smart and responsible and "grown up" you fall prey to the same things as so many others. (less)
this is an absolutely amazing book. i thought The Wall couldn't be topped, but this?
i suppose i'm a bit biased, having been to tibet myself, and rea...morethis is an absolutely amazing book. i thought The Wall couldn't be topped, but this?
i suppose i'm a bit biased, having been to tibet myself, and reading it now, when china has the olympics and tibetan monks are dying. but really, i don't see how you can't love this book - both for the story (of a boy learning about his father and his father lost in tibet) and the illustrations, which are truly stunning. there are stories within stories here, and i desperately wanted to be able to read sis' father's complete diary of the time.
it starts with the chinese building a road into tibet, the country in the clouds, and this group getting lost in tibet on the other side of the mountains after an accident. they wander through the country, his father urgently trying to get to lhasa (the "forbidden city" - now the capital) to warn the dali lhama of the road, and what it would bring.
what shocked me was how much of the tibet mentioned and illustrated matched the tibet i visited in 2000. the stupas everywhere, the giving of the silk scarves to welcome, the genuine openness of the people (though you could see a wariness on their faces when i was there). that everything is made from yak! the blue blue lakes and the dry mountains, the high altitude, and i swear, the drawing of potala (the dali lhama's palace) is as good as a photograph. not to mention the colored rooms are not made up.
it's an incredible book. the little details about tibetan culture and life are so true and still salient today - and yet in 2000 they were running telephone poles along dirt roads, and i almost don't want to know what lhasa looks like now. there's a mention of the slightly strange feeling you get when you enter potala - for me, it was ghostly, almost a heavy depression i could feel - because if the dali lhama returns, he will be arrested. but everything is set the same as the day he left, waiting for him to return. it's like in limbo - and it divides lhasa between the old city (tibetan side) and the new (chinese).
seriously. read this book. it's very short. it's beautiful. and there is so much in it, i need to read it again and again. and then think about the current state of tibet, the monks being murdered, the way the tibetan culture is being decimated, and at least start a conversation. to say the people there were the most peaceful people i had ever met is an understatement - they lived, breathed, and exuded peace, and they welcomed us everywhere with offers of lassis and prayer-wheels and silk scarves. (less)
so the art is simple and perfect for the story. the story, the characters, the setting, the fact that this is a memoir - sometimes i wonder why anyone...moreso the art is simple and perfect for the story. the story, the characters, the setting, the fact that this is a memoir - sometimes i wonder why anyone tries to write a traditional memoir when they could use the graphic novel form.
what i love most about this book is that the art is somewhat true to life - there are no allegorical illustrations of cats and mice, and there's no need to make the story seem more tragic by super depressing illustrations, or somehow more accessible by making it seem somewhat outside of reality.
the writing is superb, and you really get a sense of these people. i love little marji in this story, and i love her feminist mother and her idealistic father and her swearing-like-a-sailor grandmother.
it's a story of coming of age in iran, during the islamic revolution, and it's profoundly political at the same time as being remarkably personal. it's heartbreaking and uplifting, it's everything i ever wanted in a book like this. it makes me want to research the time period more, to be able to put things more into context. there are lines that will stay with me for a long, long time, and there are particular panels that i want to copy before i take it back to the library - after which i'm sure i will break down and buy the four-set for my own library.
it is really remarkable. i can't recommend it enough. love, love, love. (less)
finished. long wait at the library for Eclipse but i'm not that upset about it, as boy with the beautiful eyes of course comes back, but not before p...morefinished. long wait at the library for Eclipse but i'm not that upset about it, as boy with the beautiful eyes of course comes back, but not before possibly the most melodramatic scenes i've ever seen in outside of a Nora Roberts romance trilogy. (they make good airplane books, okay?)
much tighter writing that the first book, and i didn't hate bella as much. this is, i think, because i really love jacob, and he did good things to bella. plus she wasn't all stupidly in love ALL the time. while i think she was overdramatic in her mourning, i do like the fact that Stephenie Meyer takes on what moving on would have looked like to bella, and how there are different types of love.
because if you don't believe that bella loves jacob at the end of this, you are totally wrong. sure, it's different than with edward, but to me, it's a more mature love. it's like edward is her first true love, and jacob is the person you realize you love for being themselves, and for the way they love you, not just because of the way you feel around them.
of course, i know how the series ends, but i'm totally on team jacob.
oh, the first introduction to tess monaghan, we see how she gets together with tyner, how she stumbles on her first "cas...moreREREAD! started 5/20/10. yay!
oh, the first introduction to tess monaghan, we see how she gets together with tyner, how she stumbles on her first "case" and get to meet the lovely secondary characters - crow and whitney and kitty and feeny.
this story revolves around the death of a not-so-loved lawyer and the arrest of tess's good rowing partner, rock, for the murder. as tess learns how to put her reporting skills to good use, how to get out from under the covers, we get way more of a story than we initially thought. there's high class cover-ups! death row inmates! crazed reporters and law firms whose offices have views of camden yards! breaking and entering and literary allusions that drive you crazy and make you laugh, plus a total twister of an ending.
definitely a first book, but also surprisingly good for a first book - especially one that starts an awesome series. i am glad i have decided to read them in order, as i do think a. was right and they will be appreciated so much more. kind of like i had to do with Tess Gerritsen's books, once i realized they were a series.
since i recommend the series so highly, i have to recommend this highly because i believe in starting at the beginning. however, i can't wait to start the next one, where tess suddenly finds herself employed by the blight.
also, i am beginning to love baltimore even though it seems rather scary. damn authors with love for their cities! (less)
so i'm trying to think of what this reminds me of, and it definitely has an element of Uglies in it, with a dash of battlestar galactica's politics.
i...moreso i'm trying to think of what this reminds me of, and it definitely has an element of Uglies in it, with a dash of battlestar galactica's politics.
it's the same dystopian setting. terrible things have happened in the districts, and when they tried to rebel, they were crushed. district 13 disappeared all together. now the remaining 12 districts stay far from the capitol, each separate and distinct, each not that well off.
once a year, to remind the people how much control they have over them, they choose a boy and a girl from each district to compete in the hunger games, broadcast everywhere.
the goal of the game? be the last one alive.
enter katniss everdeen, one of the most frustrating and yet appealing characters i've encountered in a while. she thinks of herself as confident, strong, and able to do anything. she's been in charge of her family, she produces food, cares for them, loves them. she takes the place of her younger sister, prim, in the games.
it's brilliantly written. i couldn't put it down. it has the reality show part down, the manipulation of the game-masters to make things more "interesting", the concept, the training, the introduction of the players.
it also has strong characters that you can root for, that you want to beat over the head with a reality stick, that you can somehow relate to, despite the strange setting.
absolutely loved it. just as a warning though, it's the first book in a projected trilogy. which, the book stands alone, but man, i want the next one NOW.(less)
i don't know if it's necessarily weisberger's fault - it's that after The Devil Wears Prada, i expected so much from her. and she hasn't...moreit was okay.
i don't know if it's necessarily weisberger's fault - it's that after The Devil Wears Prada, i expected so much from her. and she hasn't delivered that blend of sarcasm, satire and naivety that made me like the first book so much.
this is the story of three girls who make a decision to basically change their lives in one year - the chronic commitment-phobe will be engaged, the serial monogamist will go on a "fuck tour", and the one in the perfect relationship will do . . . something.
sound like sex and the city minus miranda? yeah.
it's a little too perfect, a few too many cliches, and way too many moments where adi exclaims "quierda".
i wanted to like it, i really, really did. but i read it quickly and it was both because i wanted to get it over with, and because i just didn't care about the characters. they were so one-dimensional and stereotypical, it would have made me grit my teeth and pull out my hair if i cared that much.
as it was, i brought it back to the library the day after i got it. so glad i didn't crack and buy this one before it came to me. (less)
i'm a sucker for the second person, so i think that i enjoyed the book more than i would have otherwise. i'm especially a sucker for second person whe...morei'm a sucker for the second person, so i think that i enjoyed the book more than i would have otherwise. i'm especially a sucker for second person when relating to a therapist, so this was kind of tailored for me.
that said, i think it could have been more. also, it didn't make a ton of sense - most people don't get shipped to resident facilities the first time they are really caught cutting. the reasoning behind her cutting was vague and, i thought, a little trite when she was so clearly capable of more. then again, this is YA so maybe she thought she had to dumb it down a little - which i think is a total flaw. because she didn't have to.
her brief sketches of the other characters in "Sick Minds" are pretty brilliant, which is why i think i was frustrated with its brevity. i wanted more of amanda, the cutter with attention problems, i wanted more of sydney and i wanted to know if debbie "graduated" and becca finally realized she had a problem.
the ending scene though, with callie and her father at the dunkin' donuts, kind of broke my heart.
it's an excellent book, for what it is. i just wish it was more. maybe there will be a sequel or something.
(also, i loved the little detail that callie focused on - her therapist's shoes, for example. or the way the nurse's footsteps sound in the hallway. that is so true to life, it kind of freaks me out.) (less)
Oh, I love this series already. It's a quick read, but packed with so much that I adore - fashion, teens, New York, models with problems - all without...moreOh, I love this series already. It's a quick read, but packed with so much that I adore - fashion, teens, New York, models with problems - all without making me slightly worried that this is what our young girls are reading. This is no world of Gossip Girl, seriously, and yet there's still the coke-addicted bulimic supermodel and insecurities and Prada boots.
Total kudos and props to Melissa Walker for managing to create a book that appeals to that crowd but still has morals and reality instilled in it.
(Plus, the reference to Natalie Maines won my heart in two seconds.)
So Violet gets discovered and goes to New York, where she both loses herself and finds herself. The secondary characters are divine - Roger, especially - the sordid tales of her clubbing period manage to remain sordid but not skanky or uncomfortable. I love Veronica and Sam.
But I love Violet most - her strength of character and her decisions and her willingness to do the right thing. She is beautiful and flawed, and you can't help but love her. Really, this is a great series, one that I would happily and proudly give to anyone I know. (less)
man, this was a great beach read. and i am terribly sad to find out the fourth and last installment is...morei hereby confess: it was better than i thought.
man, this was a great beach read. and i am terribly sad to find out the fourth and last installment isn't coming out until 2009.
these books are such fun and have actual literary merits that you don't have to feel quite so guilty.
back with amy "bugaboo" haskell and her D177 rose & grave members, this time we have feuding between societies, secret islands, crazy caretakers, and the return of some favorite characters. it's humorous, smart and funny, and you won't want to put it down. (i didn't. literally.) i have to go back and read the first two in the series again, but i think this was a nice development - we still see the friction between the patriarchs and amy's club, the gender dominance, the grudges, the loyalty, but we also see how living the secret society life-style can be hazardous to everyone's health.
and puck and malcolm return, (well, i suppose puck never left) which is always happy for me. i love malcolm.
everything you could want in a beach read - except that you'll want more. what will i do when she graduates???(less)
i resisted reading this book because of all of the critical acclaim - but then i realized i broke down and read Twilight just because of the hype, so...morei resisted reading this book because of all of the critical acclaim - but then i realized i broke down and read Twilight just because of the hype, so i had no excuse.
and i'm glad i didn't.
this is the story of a boy who leaves the rez in search of something more. there's racism, there's native american culture, there's the harsh reality of life.
i alternately wanted to laugh and cry with each page. junior (aka arnold) is another YA male who has stolen my heart. his cartoons are genius, as are his revelations about life and the people he lives with. it really makes me wonder about everything - it makes me wonder yet again why we spend so much money on charities overseas and we don't look to our own people.
but then again, in a way, we don't think of them as our people, do we?
an eye-opener of a book that was hard to put down, and mixed humor with tragedy in one of the best books i've read in a long, long time. (less)
i liked the beginning of the book much better than the end, though i suppose all the posturing of the dry sarcasm had to have some point. i also like...morei liked the beginning of the book much better than the end, though i suppose all the posturing of the dry sarcasm had to have some point. i also like that the main character (shakespeare) doesn't really change all that much - except, i guess, in his idea of what the point of senior year is.
i liked the secondary characters almost the best: wicked brother ghandi, mr. parke and his left testicle, combat!katie, bowel-movement!neil, and most of all charlotte. charlotte is awesome.
i did not like celeste. i loved the ending - writing in each other's yearbooks.
it is very, very smartly written, and it's really quite hilarious. it doesn't get five stars because i didn't quite get the right emotion out of it, i don't think, but still, it was a fun, funny read. i would love to read his next book.
(also absolutely hilarious look into the mind of adolescent boys. so enlightening!) (less)
i don't really know what to say about this - i sped through it. it was a little frustrating because the whole story was a bit obvious to me and little...morei don't really know what to say about this - i sped through it. it was a little frustrating because the whole story was a bit obvious to me and little forced, but i enjoyed the structure and i enjoyed melinda.
it is a very powerful story, i think, that perhaps i read too quickly to fully grasp. however, the fact that i kept reading and wanting to read means a lot, especially right now.
one of my favorite parts was the "comment on censorship" at the end. the other favorite part was david's comment on melinda's suffragette project. absolutely perfect and on point.
definitely want to seek out more by the author - she kind of reminds me of a Karin Slaughter for the YA world - though, not quite as bleak or thriller-based. (less)
the story of a boy who had a teacher, and how they reconnected after 25 years. he ran away to san francisco, she married and grew up, and upon his dea...morethe story of a boy who had a teacher, and how they reconnected after 25 years. he ran away to san francisco, she married and grew up, and upon his death, he gave her the diaries of his past ten years, in order to try and make a book of it, some sense of it.
it made me wonder what i plan to do with all the journals i write and keep, and who will eventually find them.
it's a beautiful meditation on mortality, and the people we become, and the people we are. there's excellent discussion on who we are to different people, how we are remembered, how we become human, how the gaps are filled.
and yet i wanted more - i wanted more of vincent, more of the boy she once taught, more of the reason he sent them to her and how the consumed her. (less)
man, disappointing after Cut. not bad, but the innovative style of her debut book was put aside in exchange for a kind of boring narrative about thre...moreman, disappointing after Cut. not bad, but the innovative style of her debut book was put aside in exchange for a kind of boring narrative about three boys, drugs, and alcohol.
and if i had to read one more line about looking at the stargell baseball card, i was going to throw something. maybe the book. it was such a short book and it took me forever to read because frankly, i was bored. really, really bored.
which is so sad. because i really loved her first book, and i don't want to write her off. hopefully her next book comes out fast, and it focuses on girls instead of boys with absent fathers and depressive mothers. (less)
super-quick read while giving myself a break from the non-fiction. predictable, funny, at times confusing, it wasn't a bad waste of a couple hours. no...moresuper-quick read while giving myself a break from the non-fiction. predictable, funny, at times confusing, it wasn't a bad waste of a couple hours. nothing transforming, no real memorable characters, (except for possibly kevin, the stickler ex-fiance, and claire, the older sister) and things that of course never happen in real life. (less)
much better than The Empty Chair. it made me a little sad, especially with the introduction of sonny li. but i love that we got that glimpse into lin...moremuch better than The Empty Chair. it made me a little sad, especially with the introduction of sonny li. but i love that we got that glimpse into lincoln and amelia's relationship, and lincoln himself - and so many things make sense now!
this is definitely one of the most important books in the series, in terms of the characters.
starting out at sea, and then all over long island, chinatown, queens and brooklyn - this is a very neat glimpse into a slice of new york life that isn't always shown. (not that i am saying it's all full of snakeheads or anything.) i liked it, and i liked knowing where everything was.
sam is smart and a great character, and i am still mourning sonny li, and finally, amelia and lincoln are so amazing.
this was a better-written book than Cathy's Book, but it lost a lot of the cleverness of the first book, the details in the scribbles and notes, etc....morethis was a better-written book than Cathy's Book, but it lost a lot of the cleverness of the first book, the details in the scribbles and notes, etc. it wasn't quite so mixed media as the first one, which kind of made me sad.
however, the ending is so clever, and i really love emma. i kind of wish there would be another book, but i think this is a good place to end, if they do end it here, which they seem to be doing. there are so many crazy twists that are both sad and heart-breaking, and cathy herself seems to have grown-up and turned into something new.
i really want to know about jewel though . . . (less)