Really just an all-around mediocre book. No character development, romance with absolutely no sparks, an unrealistic plot centered in a heavily stereo...moreReally just an all-around mediocre book. No character development, romance with absolutely no sparks, an unrealistic plot centered in a heavily stereotyped small Christian town. Occasionally funny moments and a decent voice, but the main character, rather than track, should try out for competitive whining. The biggest problem I have, however, is the fact that the unbelievers are seemingly the only ones with an IQ above 40. I'm totally fine with characters who are religious hypocrites, but come on. I've never lived in a small town like Wheaton, but I'm pretty sure not *everyone* would be "brown people are poisoning the water." This is nothing but an attempt at a chick flick Crucible, but it's not the 1600s and the author is no Arthur Miller.(less)
This book is good because it could have been really, really awful. Stargirl had a great, if bittersweet ending, and I didn't know if it needed a seque...moreThis book is good because it could have been really, really awful. Stargirl had a great, if bittersweet ending, and I didn't know if it needed a sequel. I didn't know if I could stand the perfect (if human) brightness (okay...that may or may not have turned out to be a really awful pun. But it's still the right adjective) of Stargirl, especially coming from her perspective. But it was good...it wasn't cute or overdone or any of the other things it could have easily been. It was life-affirming and thought-provoking and, well, genius. I loved it. 'Nuff said. (less)
So I'm going to have to start out with an analogy on this one.
Sarah Dessen can be compared to a famous sandwich maker. While the idea of a sandwich i...moreSo I'm going to have to start out with an analogy on this one.
Sarah Dessen can be compared to a famous sandwich maker. While the idea of a sandwich is pretty well-known to everyone, hers had something fresh and interesting (although not to everyone's taste), a blend of interesting characters, family situations, and three-dimensional love interests. Eventually some grew tired of these sandwiches and complained that they were all too similar to one another, a tad formulaic. But Sarah was confident in her abilities and continued bravely making her sandwiches, each with some new, deliciously cheesy, perfectly exciting and (mostly) subtle flavor. In fact, one day she grew so confident that she decided to offer a PBJ. It was basically the same, she reasoned to herself, just a couple of ingredients between pieces of bread. And, as usual, she used gourmet ingredients, so she thought that everyone would still enjoy it. But inside I'm sure she knew what she was giving...
This book is a PBJ. And I miss the mustard and poppy seeds.
Sorry, that was probably a bit over-the-top, but IMHO it's true: while What Happened to Goodbye is still similar to other Sarah Dessen books, it's not quite as complete, more just thrown together. One of the elements that I love about books like Along for the Ride, This Lullaby, The Truth About Forever etc. is that the main characters aren't just made up of the plot they're involved in. Even when they're doing something stupid or stupidly doing nothing at all, they are a hero, a friend, and someone you can relate to. Not so much in this one. I'm not sure Dessen got past patting herself on the back for again inventing the usual layout of her sandwich: emotional tension in McLean's past, interesting friends in her new town, and a cute boy with a troubled past bound to sweep up her heart. She planted the usual flashbacks, sudden realizations from unexpected places, and zingy moments between the main character and her love interest. I just didn't think it was quite the same.
(original review) Oh my gosh. I'm not about to be another person writing an obsessive review, I swear. *breaks into a sweat and pulls hands away from...more(original review) Oh my gosh. I'm not about to be another person writing an obsessive review, I swear. *breaks into a sweat and pulls hands away from keyboard* Not even on Harry Potter was I nerding out this much and counting down the days. I just read Catching Fire again and skimmed through Hunger Games, and I. Am. Just. So. Stoked. Oh my gosh. I'm not about to make a prediction. *bites fingernails and laughs at self* I trust you, Suzanne Collins! Do not disappoint! I don't care who Katniss ends up with, but make it good.
Make it good.
(current review) Okay, I'm not going to spoil anything but this book was NOT a happy ending. It wasn't a book where everyone walks off into the sunset, despite "setbacks". Honestly, did anyone expect that? This series about what happens to a (can't think of any other word) godless society at the end of a war. Honestly, I don't care what other people say. This book was realistic and the best ending I could have possibly expected.
For the record, I am not usually a pessimistic person. But the fact that Mockingjay was so brutal will keep it in people's minds for a long time and that is absolutely a good thing. No matter what, the Hunger Games series will not be forgotten. And that is exactly what it deserves. It's no Twilight. It is, in my mind, a classic. I can't wait to read it again.
Unfortunately, I'm going to have to wait. I'm only one out of five family members who have anxiously awaited this book.
When I first saw this book, I snorted. Note to Ms. Clare: if you want to be taken seriously by most people, shirtless guys on the cover is not the way...moreWhen I first saw this book, I snorted. Note to Ms. Clare: if you want to be taken seriously by most people, shirtless guys on the cover is not the way to go. When I read the description, I rolled my eyes. SO overdone. But...when I ended up reading it (long story) I was guiltily engrossed. I finished out the series and laughed again.
Why did I spend all my time on this again?
As I said, I was way sucked in. Admittedly, it was mostly because of the love triangle. I know .It was dumb, but a heck of a lot better than expected, and definitely better than most of the vampire/faerie/mutant/special powers/whatever stuff out there, but still not worth my time.
So the consensus is this: if you go for that kind of stuff and don't mind setting aside about, say, three days for reading the whole thing, it's not bad. As cheap thrills go, at least... (less)