Okay, so when I finished this book I didn't know how I felt about it. There are some massive pros and cons that I would love to get into,...more3.5 Rating...
Okay, so when I finished this book I didn't know how I felt about it. There are some massive pros and cons that I would love to get into, but then I just hard a hard enough time deciding if I liked it or not. I decided to let it mellow in my head for a wee bit, and as time wore on, for some dumb reason, I actually started to enjoy it. But not love it.
The writing is probably my biggest pet peeve. It wasn't very well developed. Some chapters were completely unnecessary, the dialogue was wobbly, and there was just this odd sensation of the author rushing through important parts. She'd drop a sentence to cover one complex action. I don't know if I was reading it too fast (I read pretty fast), but a couple of times I was sure the author had made a slight error in where characters were standing, etc... Plus, a few odd plot questions I had...
Read below for massive one that I just want to rant about, but will put spoiler tags there for those of you who have read it...
(view spoiler)[ Has anyone here seen the movie The Thing? I mean the original one, the black and white one. Well if you haven't, essentially a group of scientists in the arctic circle fight off an invader for outer space. This invader from space, they realize, is made of plant matter, and so has no heart, plant sap instead of blood, etc... So essentially they are similar to how the fae are in this book.
At one point they fire their guns into this creature, but fail to kill it. When they discover the alien was plant matter, one of them comments, "That would explain why the bullets didn't stop it. Just holes drilled into vegetable matter."
So why is Tam affected when he's shot by the troll?
I had a hard time getting to believe her characters, especially the main character, which is the last thing I ever want to experience in a book. Eventually, and by some miracle, things began to pick up in the book and for the characters and, tada, I didn't hate them anymore. I really want to remark on the authors attempt, and fairly good job, at re-writing fae lore.
By the end of the story I was having fun. It wasn't edge of my seat, hold me breath, can't put it down even for a moment fun, but it was fun. I liked the witticism that the book came with, and how, with time, it grew on me a little more. When I finished it I didn't hate it the way I was sure I would. And a small aprt of me is actually interested in reading the rest of the series.
So yeah, it was... fun, :)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Take a part of society that is usually frowned upon. And when I mean frowned upon, I mean it’s a FELONY in the United States. Like, oh, I don’t know,...moreTake a part of society that is usually frowned upon. And when I mean frowned upon, I mean it’s a FELONY in the United States. Like, oh, I don’t know, murder or child sex-abuse. These are pretty serious issues, right? Well, Mr. Marquez is really taking a casual approach to being a pedophile in his latest novel, published several years ago. While I usually love his work, this one left me feeling a little lost and scratching around for the moral of the story.
If you click on the book and read all about it on Goodreads, I’m sure you’ll see what I mean. A 90 year-old man can’t decide what else to give himself on his birthday except an adolescent virgin. Apparently a movie in town or quiet night at home just didn’t tickle his fancy. But instead of sleeping with her he quickly falls madly in love with her while she snores away in the bed beside him at the local brothel. What follows is a fairly short, but still head-tilting, narrative of what an old man does with his time after falling madly in love with a child.
Aside from the obvious “holy-crap-he’s-a-creepy-old-man,” this was not one of my favorite books by Marquez, writer of books such as Love in the Time of Cholera and Chronicle of a Death Foretold. His characters bothered me, which usually isn’t the case, and the story line was awkward and bumpy.
However, I shouldn’t say that no one should read this. If you appreciate his other works, or just have a place in your heart for Latin-American fiction, you shouldn’t detest it so much. Plus, the length means you can get through it in one sitting rather than pop a vein over a week.
Marquez is still one of my favorite writers. It’s sad to hear that he’s currently battling some medical issues, and I hope that this won’t be his final book. If so, I hope that future readers will turn to his earlier works first and love them for what they are. (less)
Fancy that, another book you can carry about with you, another book your family, friends... that stranger at the coffee shop can as you, "What's that...moreFancy that, another book you can carry about with you, another book your family, friends... that stranger at the coffee shop can as you, "What's that book about?" And for a moment you stare back as if you didn't really hear them, or mumble unintelligently because you're still trying to sort out exactly what the book is about but can't quite place your finger on it. It's not that the book's meaning or plot has escaped you, it's just that... well there's a lot of deep and meaningful shit going on in this book.
You could say it's about the suicide of five sisters who live in suburbia. You could say it's an inspection of suburbia through a very anti-suburban lens. Or you could say that's it's the story of a group of boys who fell in love with, and became obsessed with, a group of young women who were doomed from their childhood.
This book is just layered in a way that means you're reading what you perceive to be one story when in fact you're soaking up a proverbial melting pot of themes, symbols, characters, and plot lines that are woven into one, communal chord. It's just loaded. A hilarious telling of the morbid end to one family, a sarcastic view on what life was like in the seventies, and a clear indication of how much worse things have gotten now.
Eugenides is a brilliant author and I feel that this story and it's emotional prowess is carried on his shoulders bred from masterful writing. His subtleties and tone make this novel worth the day or two it takes to read.
If you're anything like me, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking about not reading this. It's okay, I probably never would have picked the thing up if my grade wasn't dependent on my reading it. Dear professor; thank you for forcing me to read this.
If you're from a small town, or spent time in a small town, follow me for a minute. A little village in Columbia is the host for this broad array of c...moreIf you're from a small town, or spent time in a small town, follow me for a minute. A little village in Columbia is the host for this broad array of characters who, in some way, enable the murder of one of their own. This is the story about a man's death, the murderers who confessed before they'd killed him, and the town who didn't believe them. While the back of the book would do well to advertise a novel about a murder, it's rather like a profile of a small town, something like yours, and the people who inhabit it. This is the story of several dozen people, who believe that what they witnessed is the smoking gun in the conviction of two brothers. This is also the story of the forgotten players of the crime; the man who was slaughtered at his front door, another who fell into a drunken stupor and was forgotten, and the woman who set wind tot he spark.
I loved this book. It reads quickly, and counts as one of those "one-day" novellas where all you need is a good cup of hot chocolate. If you're new to Latin American lit (as I was before I started reading this...) then this is a really good start for you. It's short, it doesn't rape your brain cells, and it introduces you to a new genre. Really worth the time, :) (Which isn't a lot of time in the least, really...)(less)
White picket fence and the works. Mom attends book club. SUV in the driveway. Kids go to the public school. Invite the neighbors over for dinner. Dad’...moreWhite picket fence and the works. Mom attends book club. SUV in the driveway. Kids go to the public school. Invite the neighbors over for dinner. Dad’s a respectable doctor. Blending into the typical and expected middle-class village where if you don’t act normal you stick out in a way you never, never wanted. Meet the Radley’s, who are precisely this level of normal middle-class family that you really don’t expect anything from.
It turns out, however, that Peter and Helen Radley are vampires, along with their two children, who they’ve kept in the dark for their entire lives. They’re considered abstainers, vampires who forgo drinking blood and live monotonous lives in order to become “better people” and avoid trouble. This is all well and good until their daughter, Clara, rips a boy to pieces and it’s finally time to break the news to the kids.
Before going any further, this book won where Twilight failed. This book is a wonderful narrative of modern vampires surviving in large human populations, how they cope, how they act, their own underground world that the rest of society never sees. It was just plain interesting, craft, and witty. The vampires seemed so much more “real” than in most novels I’ve read. They weren’t overly romanticized or developed to be these characters that 13 year old girls were meant to fall in love with.
The world building was fun. There was a new vocab introduced in this book that was unique to it’s own, and whenever something more was introduced it was so smooth that I didn’t feel the rude plot speed-bump that let me know I had to grow accustomed to something that I really didn’t want to.
The plot was believable and his writing and dialogue were very real. I don’t read many books where it doesn’t seem overly fanaticized to me.
I loved the characters. Rowan, the teenage son, and Clara, his little sister would be the average teenagers, if they didn’t have to bathe in SPF 90 sun block. You can see how their parents just suffer trying to live normal lives when they remember ecstasy filled evenings, flying to Paris to rock out at underground vampire clubs.
I’m kinda disappointed that this book is a stand alone. Not that I particularly want the characters to be stretched out over another painful book, but I think Haig can successfully work another book out of this if he’s smart about it. Maybe it was just the world-building and how he handled the subject.
The one thing that bothered me enough to take away a star was his trying to write this book too much like a Desperate Housewives episode. I really couldn’t care less who wanted the affair and who was finally getting sex from their husband. I understand his intentions and by the last few chapters I can see how this was beneficial, but I can’t help but wonder, “Hey, could you have done this… ya know, differently?”
Anyway, if I could read more books like this where I didn’t want to slaughter the main character or I wasn’t being dealt pretty boy vampires, I’d be a much happier reader. (less)
Note: The following review is assuming that you’ve already read the first book in The Mortal Instrument series. Cassandra Clare brings back her wonderf...moreNote: The following review is assuming that you’ve already read the first book in The Mortal Instrument series. Cassandra Clare brings back her wonderfully witty characters in the second book of her much loved series, The Mortal Instruments. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I sat down to start this book, as those of you who read the first book are well aware how amazing the series started out. Let’s grab a short recap if it’s been a while since you’ve read the series. Clary, our main character, was pulled into the rude of Shadowhunters and blatantly shown that mythical creatures no longer belong on the pages of children’s books. She learns she’s not human, or a Mundane as Shadowhunters call them, but rather the daughter of the murderous Valentine, who seeks to gain control over everything his dark mind can reach with the help of his home grown demon army. By the end of the first book, not only does Valentine have the Mortal Cup, the first Mortal Instrument, but we also find that Clary and Jace, the handsome, rogue Shadowhunter she developed strong feelings for, are brother and sister.
City of Ashes comes as the much anticipated next book in the series. Readers not only want to delve back into the plot, but they want to see the continuation of their favorite characters.
It becomes known that Jace is Valentine’s father and from there the trust is lost in him. His adoptive mother finds his presence painful. People who have known him for years question if he is truly ignorant of having been Valentine’s father all this time. The Inquisitor, a woman on edge with a personal vendetta, accuses Jace of fraternizing with the enemy and locks him up in the City of Bones for trial. But Valentine, up to his tricks, won’t have that happen. The man is looking forward to having his son by his side when he begins his war. His involvement in Jace’s life only strengthens the beliefs of people like the Inquisitor that the young man is not on their side. Clary feels torn between the people she loves most in this book. Simon, her childhood friend, expresses deep feelings with her while battling with the fear that he is getting pulled into her world a little deeper than he had wanted. Jace seems to have his own opinion on the matter that Clary is his sister. Her mother is still in a coma that doesn’t seem to be breaking, she has no affection for her father, a man she would have preferred staying lost, and she clings to Luke, the man who is like her father and he only link to her past when she wasn’t fighting demons to keep her life.
I’m not going to tell you how amazing this book is, because if you thought that way about the first book, the second will just confirm your suspicions that this series wreaks of awesome. You will laugh, scream, scowl, and smile while reading this book, and Clare will not for any reason give you a time to rest in between. Many, many questions arise by the end of this book, and then the book ends, with a shock, and leave you sitting their whilst waving and laughing. It is such a tease.
So happens the second in the Fever series by one of my new favorite authors, Karen Marie Moning. This book was a great addition and twist to the first...moreSo happens the second in the Fever series by one of my new favorite authors, Karen Marie Moning. This book was a great addition and twist to the first, and I think a personal improvement for the author. The plot is such; Mac is a young girl from the states who is trying to solve her sister's murder in Dublin, Ireland, and afterwards enact revenge on whoever was responsible. The paranormal catch is Fae, both dark and light, who are responsible for not only the death of her sister but also some unspeakable evil that has plagued the human world for all time. (Spicey, I know). The cast of players also includes V'lane, a Seelie Prince who is determined to sleep with her, and Barrons, an arrogant bastard and my clear favorite. It is unclear who is on the same side as Mac or if they even have sides at all.
First to the writing... I believe this is Moning's first attempt at a series that is not heavily romance, which I applaud her for. She has a wonderful writing voice, and I think her only setback is her tendency to laden the plot and characters with characteristics found in a romance. For example, her main character Mac is a little prissy and too pink for the book's taste, if you ask me, and Moning can't just break her down into being a heroine rather than a Southern Belle who gets her panties in a twist if her nail polish isn't right. Otherwise I really love her writing, the book is written in first person and the language really runs nicely with the plot.
I love the world-building. I'm not sure exactly what is original and what is not, at times. This is my first fae series so I can't distinguish between Moning's creativity and what she has borrowed from already established lore. Regardless it's all very rich and I've really enjoyed how structured it is and how well it compliments her characters. Her characters are a lot of fun as well. Mac gets on my nerves still, but she's a lot more tolerable in this book than she was in the first. Maybe I'm not a very forgiving reader?
I think this book would do well with readers who are interested in the subject or have already been swimming around in some YA paranormal series and want to dip their toes into something more adult. This is a "no fluff attached" series, so tread carefully. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series and more of her writing. This is a definite read for people who love the paranormal genre and want to discover a new series.(less)