Current read-aloud selection. On about page 90. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Parts are genius; other parts feel really awkwardly constructed, and...moreCurrent read-aloud selection. On about page 90. I'm not sure how I feel about it. Parts are genius; other parts feel really awkwardly constructed, and I stop and say, "Wha--?" I'm not sure whether we'll finish this or not.(less)
Gift from Alla for my Kindle. Closer to a 4.5 than a 4.
I really, REALLY liked this book. There were a handful of times when, yes, the writing was intr...moreGift from Alla for my Kindle. Closer to a 4.5 than a 4.
I really, REALLY liked this book. There were a handful of times when, yes, the writing was intrusive, if that makes sense... times when I was aware that I was reading words which didn't flow quite naturally - a phrase or image was overused, or a conversation or story didn't ring exactly true to life - but those moments were rare, and I found myself completely drawn into the story.
I don't read many books like this, so I may be "over-rating" this compared to how others would. All I know is that I did NOT want to put it down. I stayed up long past my bedtime two or three nights in a row because I couldn't stop. For any who know my usual reading pace, to tell you that I finished this in 4 or 5 days should tell you something. :)
If anyone has read other Webber books and cares to share their thoughts about them/her, feel free to do so!(less)
Recommended by KBM - and then she found me a copy for $0.99 when we were in an Evanston bookshop!
This one is a little under a 4 for me, but since Goo...moreRecommended by KBM - and then she found me a copy for $0.99 when we were in an Evanston bookshop!
This one is a little under a 4 for me, but since Goodreads insists on those blasted full stars....
I appreciated the alternate approach to the issue of Mary Magdalene & Jesus and a line of descendants and a very different style than Dan Brown gave us with DaVinci Code. The writing wasn't always fabulous, but the story was solid, and I especially enjoyed once the story moved into Mary's story and we read the familiar-and-yet-unfamiliar story unfold from her experiences.
Since DaVinci Code, I've enjoyed the thought of Jesus as husband and father. The Expected One is a meatier and more satisfying glimpse at that possibility than DVC. Very happy I read this. Will consider reading installments 2 & 3.(less)
It had been so long since I read this that I thought it was a short picture book! I'd completely forgotten that it's...moreCurrent bedtime read with Kristen.
It had been so long since I read this that I thought it was a short picture book! I'd completely forgotten that it's a fairly lengthy chapter book. Silly me.
UPDATE: This left me feeling much flatter than I thought it would. I had such a strong recollection of enjoying this as a kid, and yet I'm sitting here now scratching my head, wondering whether I've changed so much, or whether there is an abridged version that was actually what I read as a child. It just doesn't match the recollection. Very repetitive, not as much humor as I thought there would be, and it kind of dragged on and on.
Am I the only person who HATES it when an author feels compelled to write out each character's full name each time s/he is referenced? Frank the Flower, Maxie Hammerman, General Anna... could they never just be Frank, Maxie and Anna? No, each time the full name is there. Bugged the heck out of me.
Pretty "meh" reaction to this. I know it's YA, but it felt VERY "young" to me most of the time. I felt like Grisham assumed the reader knew nothing at...morePretty "meh" reaction to this. I know it's YA, but it felt VERY "young" to me most of the time. I felt like Grisham assumed the reader knew nothing at all about the legal system or process. And I just didn't think the writing was that great.
I also didn't appreciate his leaving one of the storylines - the original storyline, in fact - unresolved. Heck, not even mentioned at the end. Annoying. My interest in learning what's up with that will not be strong enough to get me to read any sequel.
I'll give it a 3, but it's really a 2.5 for me.(less)
Well, what to say? The writing is oftentimes outright fabulous. Flynn has an insight into the ways people REALLY think about things - feelings, relati...moreWell, what to say? The writing is oftentimes outright fabulous. Flynn has an insight into the ways people REALLY think about things - feelings, relationships, lovers, love, hurts - but that they don't often actually express, and it was fascinating to me to read on that level.
So much has been said about how unlikable - even despicable - the main characters are. About halfway through, I was feeling only a little of that and decided maybe there was hope for me to enjoy and even like the ending. Then we got the Big Twist and switched viewpoints and I thought, "Oh. Wow. So THAT'S what people meant." And I kind of gave up on the thought of being content at the end.
Then I started thinking, "Ooooh! That big twist was pretty big twist, yes, but if Flynn was capable of that one, maybe there will be Another Big Twist at the end!" and I found myself getting excited about the possibility of the twist I was imagining.
the characters really were very unlikable. AMY, in particular, struck me as just horrifyingly damaged, selfish and cruel. I don't care if her parents "ruined" her by writing the Amazing Amy books; there was something so malicious and conscience-less about her psyche that it made me think "evil seed," even.
I did not care for the ending. As it was approaching, I kept thinking, "Hmm, there's a lot to wrap up here! But maybe she can do it!" Then I realized the last few pages weren't even pages of the story but extra stuff and I was truly at the end. What a disappointment that Flynn left it all at that point!
So how in the world am I giving this a 4? And would give it maybe 4.25 if that were possible at Goodreads? Because Flynn writes very, very well, with those insights into human thought and behavior that I mentioned above, and the story played out ever so creatively. Heck, she was believable enough that I thought, "Huh. I wonder if Gillian's husband ever worries about his safety...." ;) I'm definitely not annoyed that I read the book; just annoyed that she didn't play the story out just a little further. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I have loved all things Kate Morton. This book took much longer than the others to draw me in, and I was a bit worried. In fact, when I got to the sec...moreI have loved all things Kate Morton. This book took much longer than the others to draw me in, and I was a bit worried. In fact, when I got to the section entitled "Vivian," I thought to myself, "Oh, I don't WANT to know more about Vivian!" How silly of me! And how wrong of me to not have faith in Morton! For she did it again. Twists and turns and flashbacks are Morton's style, and she does it all so very, very well.
Now I'm sad that there isn't another to begin.(less)
Well, as some who know me well already know, I actually considered not reading the 3rd installment at all. I asked for input on that, and many confirm...more
Well, as some who know me well already know, I actually considered not reading the 3rd installment at all. I asked for input on that, and many confirmed the disappointments they had with Mockingjay, or even their outright dislike. A couple of folks spoke to the importance of finishing the trilogy, though, and to how incomplete the picture would be without reading it, and that made sense to me.
So, with great trepidation and reservation, I began.
You know how sometimes expectations for a book or movie are set SO high by others that, by the time YOU finally get around to it, you're kinda sorta disappointed that it wasn't All That? I would say that what I found with Mockingjay was something similar, only in reverse. I was so very, very sure that I would loathe everything about it -- would see characters completely out of character, writing subpar, an ending that was nothing more than a huge disappointment. So when I found writing that was *okay* and characters that didn't, to me, seem so far off from what I'd come to know, I was actually kinda "Huh. Maybe it's not so bad after all. BUT. There's that ending coming up...."
So I continued on, occasionally extremely annoyed with Collins and her much-lazier-than-in-the-first-two writing (or was it rushed? whatever, it was annoying! like when she had Katniss explain a bunch of stuff she was thinking, instead of just SHOWING us things to make it clear). Then I would encounter a section that sparkled, just like CF had done.
What I did really hate was the AMOUNT of violence. JK Rowling made some tough calls in the final two HP novels -- killing off some really well-loved characters, and we knew it was necessary to help us grasp how awful things were. But this? This felt completely beyond anything that "needed" to happen to make points. Pods set off that parboiled everyone? that caused blood to spurt from every orifice? mass numbers of refugee children & rescue workers bombed & then double-bombed? On and on and on, in gruesome fashion. It felt unnecessary, excessive, and I even wondered if Collins has a cruel streak that she somehow enjoyed subjecting her readers to this.
And still, that ending loomed. I could not recall one single person who had been satisfied with it. Having cheated to the extent of ensuring that neither Gale nor Peeta was going to die, I began to envision what might be coming -- a maimed Gale, a Peeta so mentally broken that he was non-functional, the current evil PTB still in charge, with the HG continuing on.
So when I got the ending I got, I was stunned! What's this? Some measure of happiness and meaning? hope? children? No return to the evil of the past? Wow! I actually *liked* the last 4 or 5 pages and the epilogue! And boom! my review went from a 2.5 to nearly a 3.5. Call me weird, but that's where I landed. (less)
Compared to Hunger Games, about which I was just slightly warmer than lukewarm, I *loved* the second installment! I think, for me, I needed to get OUT...moreCompared to Hunger Games, about which I was just slightly warmer than lukewarm, I *loved* the second installment! I think, for me, I needed to get OUT of the Hunger Games arena and into the political realm, the daily lives of these characters as they approached their victory tour, and into the beginnings of a rebellion, in order to get me hooked.
Collins's writing, solid in HG, continiued to be wonderful in CF. For the first time, I understood what all of my friends had been talking about when they said they loved the books and couldn't put them down.