I began reading this book with high hopes - Christine Schutt is an award winning novelist, and All Souls was a 2009 Pulitzer finalist for fiction. UnfI began reading this book with high hopes - Christine Schutt is an award winning novelist, and All Souls was a 2009 Pulitzer finalist for fiction. Unfortunately, it was a huge let down. The "bones" of the story are good, but it is extremely disjointed and could have been better with either twice the pages or half the characters involved. The excessive cast of characters come across as one-dimensional, clichéd, and poorly developed.
There are some beautiful passages in All Souls, but most of the writing is clumsy and difficult to trudge through. Schutt's style takes some getting used to and the story just wasn't long enough to get me there. I am glad that I checked this one out at the library and did not purchase it....more
I enjoyed Need (the first book in the series,) and was eager to get my hands on Captivate. As soon as it was available at my library I snatched it up!I enjoyed Need (the first book in the series,) and was eager to get my hands on Captivate. As soon as it was available at my library I snatched it up! I devoured it in just a couple of days and was not disappointed. I love the direction the story is taking and the Norse mythology surrounding the fairies added an interesting depth to Jones' fictional world.
Captivate is full of action - from page one - and has fantastic plot twists that kept this reader on the edge of her seat. The introduction of fascinating new characters as well as further development of favorite characters from Need, combine to make Captivate an exciting and well-written addition to this delightful series. ...more
Whip It is a fantastic book! I wanted to read it before seeing the movie, and let me tell you it does not disappoint. From the very first page, I wasWhip It is a fantastic book! I wanted to read it before seeing the movie, and let me tell you it does not disappoint. From the very first page, I was laughing hard enough to embarrass myself in public. It's hard to describe to non-reading friends how something as simple as letters and words can be strung into sentences and thoughts that can have such a strong effect on a person, but if you read Whip It and don't bust out guffawing and snorting at totally inappropriate moments then you'd better check your pulse, baby.
Bliss Cavendar - damn that's a great name - and she's a phenomenal character... character being the operative word here. She doesn't fit in at all in Bodeen, but Bliss is totally comfortable with herself - a real rarity for a teenage girl. She is thoroughly authentic, with an original voice and genuine understanding of who she really is. I fell in love with her, and with all the delightful misfits orbiting around her.
Shauna Cross is an amazing storyteller. She "gets" small-town Texas as only a native can. The relationships she writes are so fresh and dynamic, you just can't help becoming absorbed in their lives. The story is incredibly engaging and just... FUN! It's wonderful to reading something so witty and enjoyable after a hard days work. Whip It is a real treat!...more
I bought Beastly at a "Friends of the Library Booksale" last summer. It looked really interesting - I LOVE re-tellings of fairy-tales. I finally pickeI bought Beastly at a "Friends of the Library Booksale" last summer. It looked really interesting - I LOVE re-tellings of fairy-tales. I finally picked it up and read it this weekend in anticipation of the upcoming movie.
The book was well-written and interesting. The changes that Kyle/Adrian went through were nothing short of transformative. I really hated him in the beginning. He was the typical colossal jerk and I couldn't wait for him to learn his lesson. By the end of the story however, he really had become a different person.
Lindy was a kindred spirit - a bookish girl, invisible to her peers but with a courage and character that could not be broken. She was the perfect heroine for this story and I admired her from the first.
The other characters, especially Magda, Will, and Kendra, were deeply explored and engaging. And the world Alex Finn created - from the halls of the Tuttle school to streets of Brooklyn to the winter-wonderland in the New York countryside - was elaborate and intriguing.
Beastly really is a fantastic effort. I can't wait to see the movie, to compare and contrast, and to explore some of Finn's other novels....more
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside is a well-written example of YA paranormal romance at it's best. The characters are original and relateable,Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside is a well-written example of YA paranormal romance at it's best. The characters are original and relateable, with a "reality" that is sometimes difficult to find in fiction. Beth Fantaskey's writing is outstanding, and could easily be "mistaken" for regular old "adult" fiction instead of YA.
Fantaskey chose her settings well - what two places on earth could be more diametrically opposed than small-town Lancaster, PA and the grandeur of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania? The differences in culture were captivating and sensational, spurring the plot along and keeping the reader gasping for more.
I had a hard time putting Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Darkside down. Aside from it's silly title (and yes, I do understand the title - still don't like it...) it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. Definitely recommend for fans of vampire fiction and paranormal romance....more
Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker is the story of four teenage girls who decide that they could be perfectly happy in life if they lost about 10 lbs.Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker is the story of four teenage girls who decide that they could be perfectly happy in life if they lost about 10 lbs. each. Here's the synopsis from the back of the book:
Beth is a lucky girl...She comes from a loving family. She has three best friends. She loves to surf and lives five minutes from the beach. She also recently discovered that the boy she's grown up with has the most amazing green eyes... Beth has every reason to smile. Every reason to be happy. Every reason to feel blessed. Then why is she sticking her fingers down her throat?
At just 170 pages, Dancing with Ana is the kind of quick read that can be finished in a single evening. Even so, I went into it expecting more than was delivered. I wasn't sure I even wanted to review it here, because I just didn't end up enjoying it as much as I thought I would.
The two major things that didn't really work for me were the structure of the novel and the "happy ending." As you can see from the synopsis, the book zeroed in on Beth's experiences with her "diet" over a two week period. While watching Beth, the reader is also treated to glimpses into the lives of her three friends, Jenny, Melanie and Rachel. The four girls are practically inseparable, and when Beth decides she needs to lose weight, they decide they all need to lose weight. The problem I had with the structure was that Beth's story wasn't all that interesting to me. I felt as I was reading, that Rachel would have been a much better character to focus on. Rachel was the girl with the absolute worst home life, and yet she was able to overcome much more than the other girls, which made her more "real" form me. I wish Barker had chosen to make her story about Rachel - maybe even from Rachel's unique point-of-view - and written the experiences of the other girls from Rachel's perspective.
Now about that happy ending... While I was reading, I really didn't see how Dancing with Ana could end well. It deals with some very serious subjects: eating disorders and body image, divorce and betrayal, first love - there was really just too much story for such a slim volume. When the time came to wrap things up - in the last 20 pages or so - all of the girls MAJOR problems were tied up neatly, like in one of those family sitcoms from the 80's. The ending felt really rushed and quite frankly, fake. I know what you're going to say, "Well, this is fiction, Suzie-Q." And I know that. I just felt that in dealing with all of these extremely serious problems, Barker lets her characters down by making things too easy for them.
The one thing that I really liked about Dancing with Ana were the characters. Despite the short length of the book, I felt that I "knew" each of the girls, and could identify with their teenage angst. In fact, had the book been even just twice as long, it would have been much better. With such compelling subject matter, I know I would have enjoyed reading more about each of the girls and the experiences both separately and together.
Please don't disregard Dancing with Ana based solely on my review. Most of the other reviews I've read have been extremely positive, and you should definitely read those reviews if this subject interests you. The concept was exceptional, and I probably would have gotten more from Dancing with Ana if I had been a member of the target audience (young adult.) This is one novel which I just would not recommend for adult readers. I'm sure that a YA audience would find Dancing with Ana both compelling and thought provoking, with memorable characters and a relateable and timely subject....more
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, is the haunting story of a shattered 18-year old girl, and her extreme and deadly problems. Lia suffers from anoWintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, is the haunting story of a shattered 18-year old girl, and her extreme and deadly problems. Lia suffers from anorexia, but that is just one of the symptoms of her fractured life. Wintergirls explores the world of eating disorders, and the things that motivate a girl to harm herself. It exposes the difficulty girls sometimes have in accepting and forgiving themselves - faults and all - and living for just for who they really are inside.
The subject of Wintergirls is intense and scary, by Anderson pulls it off gracefully. She really knows how to write the teenage girl, painting her in a chillingly realistic light. The formatting of the book - complete with cross-outs - served as an illustration of Lia's continual attempts to control herself, and the way she referred to her past self by saying "When I was a real girl..." spoke volumes on the way she perceived herself. All of the characters were captivating, flawed and believable, with heart-breaking stories that stayed with the me long after I finished the last page. Anderson's writing grabs the reader, drawing you into the story and refusing to let you go.
Wintergirls is a disturbing story told with honesty and the raw emotion we can all remember from our own teenage experiences. The story is paced brilliantly, building Lia's problems into an overwhelming mountain of obstacles. I would recommend Wintergirls to schools and libraries, as well as mother/daughter book groups. The story is completely relatable, and has a great potential for sparking discussion. Laurie Halse Anderson has crafted another powerful and well-written story giving the reader a glimpse into the mind of a teenage girl. Wintergirls is unforgettable!...more
The concept behind Generation Dead is incredibly clever and executed well by Daniel Waters. I was expecting a book about teenage zombies - what I didnThe concept behind Generation Dead is incredibly clever and executed well by Daniel Waters. I was expecting a book about teenage zombies - what I didn't expect was a well-written and complex young adult novel dealing with the universal themes of discrimination and acceptance. Daniel Waters blew me away with this fantastic debut!
The compelling characters leapt shuffled off the page and into my heart. Waters never stopped developing each of his characters - they constantly evolved throughout the story and entertained me to the end and beyond. The plot was original and perfectly paced, keeping the reader turning the page to see what was coming next. The dialog was enjoyable and witty and incredibly realistic.
Generation Dead is a quirky and surprisingly deep novel. Don't judge this book by it's cover (fabulous as it may be!) It is a well-written story with a whimsicality not often found in your "typical" zombie book. I really enjoyed reading this one, and I can't wait to get my hands on book 2, Kiss of Life....more
Wait Until Twilight is a wonderfully well-written piece of fiction set against a realistic small-town backdrop. The characters are compelling and authWait Until Twilight is a wonderfully well-written piece of fiction set against a realistic small-town backdrop. The characters are compelling and authentic, with interesting motives that make you want to continue reading even though you may be disturbed by the story.
"Powerfully affecting" is exactly how I would describe Wait Until Twilight. It was extremely hard for me to read parts of the book - not because of the language or anything, but because of the subject matter. Truthfully, I didn't know at times if I'd even finish reading it. I persevered and I'm glad I did, but I must warn you - Wait Until Twilight may be too disturbing for some readers. Without giving too much away, I will just say that there are some particularly unsettling scenes of child abuse and also of brutality towards animals that you should be aware of before picking up this book.
Wait Until Twilight is Sang Pak's debut novel, and he certainly did an amazing job of creating a creepy, skin crawling, freaky, hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-standing-up kind of feeling. I can't say that I really enjoyed reading it, but Wait Until Twilight is a dynamic and impressive first book. I will be interested to see what Sang Pak comes up with in his future novels. ...more
In Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl, 10th grader Stargirl Cawaway certainly marches to the beat of her own drum - a dangerous pastime for any high school stuIn Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl, 10th grader Stargirl Cawaway certainly marches to the beat of her own drum - a dangerous pastime for any high school student. Kimono wearing, ukulele playing Stargirl is a charming and friendly character who dances when there is no music and laughs when there are no jokes.
I wish I could have been as brave and altruistic as Spinelli's titular heroine when I was in high school. Stargirl is a true individual, and the kind of girl I want to grow up to be one day!
Stargirl is a great story with a wonderful ending. Delightfully touching and humorous, I dare you not to learn a lesson about individuality and conformity when you read Stargirl....more
I'm not going to give you my traditional plot summary in this review - I believe the title pretty much says it all. The story centers around five teenI'm not going to give you my traditional plot summary in this review - I believe the title pretty much says it all. The story centers around five teenage girls - sisters: Therese, Mary, Bonnie, Lux and Cecilia Lisbon. Set in 1970's era Michigan, The Virgin Suicides is narrated through the eyes of the boys orbiting around the Lisbon girls' lives. And that as they say, is that. To give more details would take away from the magic contained within.
Let me first say that despite the disturbing subject matter, I found The Virgin Suicides to be well-written and tragically beautiful. Jeffrey Eugenides' writing gives this obviously dark story the gentle and enchanting feel of a fairy tale. The Virgin Suicides is simply haunting, perhaps due to the obsessive point of view and speculations of the neighborhood boys.
Jeffrey Eugenides is a superb example of everything a writer should be - brilliant with his prose, compelling with his setting, and engaged in his plot. The finished product is a remarkably readable, atmospheric tale, bending at times towards the Gothic. A touching and realistic story, artistically written, The Virgin Suicides is an interesting and unsettling story that should not be missed. ...more
Jennifer O'Connell edits Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned From Judy Blume, a book of captivating essays on the impact of iconiJennifer O'Connell edits Everything I Needed to Know About Being a Girl I Learned From Judy Blume, a book of captivating essays on the impact of iconic coming-of-age girl-lit author Judy Blume, written by contemporary female authors.
Judy Blume is one of the best known and most beloved authors of our time. Not only has she written countless books for children/pre-teens/teens, but she also has penned some wonderful adult novels as well. Her characters are lovable, and her story lines incredibly easy to relate to. Over the last forty years, millions of readers of all ages have been charmed by books like Deenie, Blubber, and Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret."
This collection of 24 intriguing essays highlight the kind of "Judy Blume moments" we all had growing up as girls in America. The intensely personal essays offer the reader an insight into the immeasurable influence that Judy Blume has had on the American girl.
As an enormous Judy Blume fan (I even named a cat Judy Blume 19 years ago,) I really enjoyed this collection. It was a true nostalgic treat, taking me back to those fun (and sometimes painful) days of young adulthood. In reading the essays of some of my favorite authors, I was alternately laughing-out-loud and cringing at some of the recollections. It was so much fun to read, that I feel the need to revisit my Judy Blume favorites in the near future. ...more
High school freshman Melinda Sordino is finding it hard to speak up: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parentsHigh school freshman Melinda Sordino is finding it hard to speak up: "My throat is always sore, my lips raw.... Every time I try to talk to my parents or a teacher, I sputter or freeze.... It's like I have some kind of spastic laryngitis." Of course no one at school is speaking to her, she's a virtual outcast among her peers.
We learn right away the reason no one likes her: she called the cops at a party and got a lot of people busted. She had good reason to call out for help, but the reader doesn't learn about it until much later. Ostracized by the entire student body, Melinda is completely isolated. She had a small group of close friends, once upon a time, but we all know how quickly allies can become enemies when you're a teenager.
I was stunned by this book - it is very well written, and the experience of Melinda's trauma and the pain she suffers every day is palpable. Her story is compelling from cover to cover. Melinda's journey of self-discovery takes place largely in her art class. It is only through art that she is capable of expressing her agony.
Speak is affecting, heartbreaking, inspiring, and clever. Anderson portrays the reality of high school with absolute clarity and accuracy. Melinda's sarcastic sense of humor will have you alternately laughing and crying all the way through....more
Breaking Dawn, is the fourth and final installment in the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.
Although I was completely happy with the resolution of theBreaking Dawn, is the fourth and final installment in the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer.
Although I was completely happy with the resolution of the story, the compelling tale of Bella Swan ("normal" human girl) in love with Edward Cullen (dreamy vampire), plays out in some unexpected ways. The ongoing conflicts from the previous books in the series - Jacob Black and his infatuation with Bella, the generations-long feud between the Quileute werewolves and the Cullens - resolve pretty neatly and pave the way for the meat of the story: "Bella’s latest opportunity for self-sacrifice - giving her life for someone she loves even more than Edward."
It's very hard to review this particular book without giving too much of the plot away. I finished reading several days ago in fact, and couldn't decide exactly what to say without letting the cat out of the bag here. If you've read the three previous books, you know the direction the series is headed, but I promise there are still surprises. My advice to those who haven't read Breaking Dawn yet is simple: keep an open mind. I enjoyed this book very much. I thought I'd be sad when I was finished, but instead I felt pretty good all things considered.
And now, my feeble attempt at constructive criticism - because there is a problem with this book, as I see it. My only real gripe about Breaking Dawn lies in the portrayal of the Cullens. I realize that this book was supposed to be all about Bella, and to a lesser degree Edward and Jacob, but I felt that there should be more of a Cullen presence in the book. It was disappointing to see so little of Emmett and Alice, and all the others. The only constant besides Edward was Rosalie, a character that is not all that appealing in the first place, and even less so when you consider how ready she was to sacrifice Bella's life.
Like the rest of the series, this was a fun, fluffy story about a girl and a "boy", and first love. It could never be mistaken for great literature, but should just be enjoyed for what it is. I had a wonderful time reading this series, and I look forward to reading Midnight Sun when it is finished and perfected, and it is published in the manner Meyer intended it to be....more
I've just finished Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer - hereafter to be known as "My Favorite Book in the Twilight Saga Thus Far"...
As you know from my previI've just finished Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer - hereafter to be known as "My Favorite Book in the Twilight Saga Thus Far"...
As you know from my previous reviews of the first 2 books in the series, I enjoyed Twilight but did not care as much for New Moon. In fact, you wouldn't be wrong in thinking that New Moon was incredibly painful for me to read. But Eclipse is far and away better than it's predecessors.
Here's my synopsis: Bella Swan is in mortal danger... again! If you've read the books, you'll know that the girl practically eats, sleeps and breathes danger - it would be strange if she wasn't in trouble. Of course she has her two handsome suitors to protect her. Jacob Black is a werewolf in the local Quileute pack. He loves Bella despite the fact that she has chosen Edward Cullen, the gorgeous vampire. In this book Edward and Jacob form a somewhat angry alliance in order to protect Bella from the peril du jour.
Ok, so what made this my favorite of the series so far? Well, like the other books, Eclipse is well-written, and full of adventure and romance. I love reading about all the drama in Bella's life, and although I know in my heart that Edward and Bella are meant for each other, I still enjoy reading about Jacob, and trying to understand what motivates him when it's so obvious that she will not pick him.
I think I most enjoyed the alliance between the Cullens and the wolves of La Push. By joining forces to fight a common deadly enemy, they won me over completely. I finally saw reason reign on both sides, instead of just passion.
After all the pain in New Moon, Eclipse was refreshing. I was captivated - willing the story to turn out the way I knew it should. I know a lot of people did not enjoy the "love triangle" stuff, but I thought Edward could "take" the competition. I knew the key would be to stop trying to force Bella into choosing between the two of them - I'm just glad the boys finally got the message.
I wish I could be more critical of these books for you, the discerning reader, but I just can't bring myself to be snarky. As I'm sure you've realized by now, I simply love a goopy, happily ever after, alls well that ends well story - especially if it's completely improbable. And I don't suppose I'll ever grow out of it.
I've already begin the last book of the series, Breaking Dawn, but I'm in no hurry to finish it. I'm not ready to let Bella and Edward go; I know I'll be sad when I have to put them down....more
I have read many reviews of New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, and most readers say that they enjoyed this book more than Twilight. I'm afraid I'm going toI have read many reviews of New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, and most readers say that they enjoyed this book more than Twilight. I'm afraid I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with these reviewers. In my opinion (that's opinion people - don't go all to pieces on me,) the first book in the series was better.
Let me attempt to set the scene for you here without any spoilers: between the end of Twilight and the beginning of New Moon, Edward Cullen and Bella Swan have spent what she considers to be a "perfect" summer together. It's now September 13th, Bella's birthday. After a frightening little scuffle at her birthday party with the Cullens, Edward is more determined than ever to keep Bella from any harm. He decides that for her safety, he must leave Bella forever.
Enter misery, heart-ache, angst, suffering, anguish, torment - you get the picture. This is the part I didn't enjoy reading. Maybe because I can remember that feeling with absolute clarity; maybe because I just really like Bella, and am outraged on her behalf; maybe because, well... boys are stupid - for whatever reason, I just did not enjoy reading about all the agony in Bella's young life.
She's like a drama magnet you see. In Edward's absence, she becomes a close friend of Jacob Black. Bella discovers that if she attempts dangerous stunts, she has hallucinations and hears Edward's voice, so Jacob rebuilds a motorcycle and teaches her to ride it. After a few trips to the hospital, she and Jacob decide to cool it a little and search for the clearing in the forest where the Cullens played thunderball in the last book. Despite warnings from her father Charlie about mysterious animal maulings in the area, Bella sets out alone one day only to be threatened by Laurant and have a close encounter with some large wolves.
Jacob and Bella get very close. It's clear that he wants to be more than just friends, and for awhile it looks like Bella is going to give in. She doesn't of course (not a spoiler - you know there are two more books in the series!) I won't spoil it for you here but suffice it to say that Jacob is a mortal enemy of the Cullens, so when they inevitably return to Forks, Jacob becomes very upset with Bella and will not even take her calls (thus giving more credence to my whole boys are stupid hypothesis.)
Even though I enjoyed New Moon somewhat less than Twilight, I'm still going to pick up Eclipse tonight. I'm kind of hoping for less teen drama and more action in book 3, but we'll see. If you're a regular reader of my blog you know that I'm a sucker for "happily ever after" - and I still have hope for Edward and Bella. I've read stranger things......more
I just finished Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate and let me tell you, it was fan-freakin'-tastic! It's the story of Vivian Gandoillon, a 16I just finished Annette Curtis Klause's Blood and Chocolate and let me tell you, it was fan-freakin'-tastic! It's the story of Vivian Gandoillon, a 16 year-old loup-garoux - that's werewolf to us "meat people".
After a tragic hate crime led to the death of their old leader (Vivian's father,) her pack fled to the relative safety of the suburbs of Maryland. Leaderless and divided there is a lot of infighting, and Vivian is unhappy in her own skin.
All the fighting within her family is stressful , and she wants to fit in with local humans and have friends at school. It is in the nature of the loup-garoux to keep mostly to themselves, hiding their secret double life from those who might destroy them. She finds a local boy named Aiden who she believes can accept her for who and what she really is and despite the disapproval of her pack, she falls in love with him.
In the middle of all the teenage angst and drama between Vivian and Aiden, there is a murder/mystery. A loup-garoux is murdering local humans - a cardinal sin in the eyes of the pack. The police think it must be a wild/feral dog or maybe a big cat on the loose, but the pack know it must be one of them. They must discover the culprit before the locals catch on and decide to fight back.
Unfortunately for Vivian, she begins to have black outs while in her wolf-form. She wakes covered in blood and sore, with no memory of what may have happened, and the bodies are piling up. Could she be the murderer?
Vivian is a fully-developed character, with readers able to know her thoughts. From them, we learn she is strong, vulnerable, sardonic, and in touch with her feelings. Vivian's actually not all that sympathetic a character. She begins the tale by acting superior to the humans around her, becomes smug when the object of her affections returns her admiration, and ends up whiny and incapable of a logical decision by the tale's climax. Otherwise, she's very interesting.
In the end Vivian learns an important lesson: you can't deny your true self, no matter how much you may want to. Vivian does the wrong thing, learns from her mistake, and is better for it. Maybe (and this is where you'll probably want to hit me over the head with something heavy) I just like a happy - "alls well that ends well" - ending.
About a Boy by Nick Hornby is my first "lad-lit" novel! The story revolves around two "boys" - Will Freeman, a somewhat pathetic, and self-absorbed 36About a Boy by Nick Hornby is my first "lad-lit" novel! The story revolves around two "boys" - Will Freeman, a somewhat pathetic, and self-absorbed 36-year-old, who does nothing and is very proud of himself; and Marcus, an eccentric 12-year-old, with a suicidal mother.
After dating Angie, Will comes to a realization that beautiful, broken, desperate single mothers are the sure way to give his sex life a boost. To facilitate his new wisdom, he decides to invent a child and a nasty ex-wife, and joins a single parents support group called SPAT - to meet single mothers. Through SPAT, Will meets Suzie, and her friend's son Marcus.
After Marcus's mother Fiona attempts suicide, Marcus decides he needs more people in his life, friends that can help take up the slack from his depressed mother and absent father. So Marcus starts going around to Will's flat and hanging out after school. Slowly, before Will's even realizes it's happening, he becomes Marcus's friend/older brother/father figure. This admittedly oddball relationship between deep but insecure Marcus, and shallow but secure Will changes both of them in profound ways.
Sounds good, right? Meh... unfortunately for me, I feel completely ambivalent about it. Of course I've seen the movie - I really like the movie - but the book, eh...
Don't get me wrong, parts of the book were really entertaining. For example, take this passage from page 44: "Immediately Will understood Moira's sanctification of Lorena Bobbitt completely; by the time Suzie had finished her litany of treachery and deceit, he wanted to cut off his own penis with a kitchen knife."
Most of the book was thought-provoking - two guys with no other choice but to change, fighting the inertia of their lives every step of the way. But some of the book is so hard to get through. Take for example this passage from page 229: "Those two words were 'the point'. As in, 'What's the point?'; 'I don't see the point'; 'there's just no point' (a phrase which omits the 'the', but one that counts anyway, because the 'the' wasn't the point of 'the point', really)..." Ooooh-kay...? I'm sure it's meant to be witty, but I just can't really appreciate it I guess.
I suppose About a Boy would make a good "beach-read" type book, so I can recommend it to you as such. Other than that, I just wasn't impressed. The characters were all quite compelling: Will and his 30-minutes-at-a-time lifestyle; Marcus, who is being "taken apart" everyday at school; Fiona, Marcus's mother who's not sure she wants to be a mother at all; Ellie, scary goth-chick and Marcus's only friend at school - they are all well-written and fascinating. For me, the meat of the story was just not there. Overall, it was just disappointing....more
Although Anne of Windy Poplars is the fourth book chronologically in the Anne of Green Gables series, it was actually the seventh book L.M. MontgomeryAlthough Anne of Windy Poplars is the fourth book chronologically in the Anne of Green Gables series, it was actually the seventh book L.M. Montgomery wrote for the series. Anne of Windy Poplars is an epistolary novel, telling the story of the years between the time Anne Shirley graduated from college and the time she finally marries Gilbert Blythe. During this time Anne is living at Windy Poplars with two elderly widows, and working as the principal of Summerside High School. The letters that make up the bulk of the novel are from Anne to her fiancé.
Anne of Windy Poplars almost surpasses Anne of Green Gables for me. Through Anne's writing, Montgomery really has a chance to illustrate just what a special young woman Anne is. She is a delightful character to read, intelligent and witty with real gumption. Even in the face of overwhelming negativity Anne refuses to back down. She is determined to persevere against all odds, and in the end manages to change every life she touches. This is Anne as I will always think of her - a spirited woman whose heart bursts with love and poetry.
As always, Montgomery seems to cast an even more eccentric set of characters in Anne of Windy Poplars. She has such a way with creating characters that seem to leap off the page. From Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty at Windy Poplars, to characters like Jen Pringle (and the whole Pringle clan,) Katherine Brooke, Pauline Gibson, and Cousin Ernestine - Montgomery has taken great care to invent highly readable and believable people to live in Anne's world. These are people full of faults but with a great capacity for growth - they just need a little Anne Shirley in their lives!
Anne of Windy Poplars enhances Anne's story beautifully. By using her charming letters to Gilbert, the reader gets to see things through Anne's own eyes. Anne is a gifted writer, as is L.M. Montgomery, obviously. This series of books offers the reader a lyrical look into the life of one of literature's most entertaining heroines. I highly recommend reading it straight through!...more
Well I'm not quite the last person in the world to read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, but I'm probably close. I'm a big fan of the paranormal romance geWell I'm not quite the last person in the world to read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, but I'm probably close. I'm a big fan of the paranormal romance genre and this book has been recommended to me so many times that I've completely lost count. I really had planned to read it all along, but the thing that pushed me over the cliff was the trailer for the upcoming movie. After seeing the preview several times, I knew I'd have to go see the movie. So I decided to take my opportunity to read the book beforehand and I was not disappointed.
I'm sure you've read all kinds of reviews for this book already, so I'm going to keep this short and sweet. Bella Swan has just moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Forks, Washington to live with her dad Charlie, and she's not happy about it. She's always hated Forks for it's cloudy, rainy weather and it's small-town atmosphere, but she's determined to make it work.
As not only the "new girl" but also the Chief of Police's prodigal daughter, Bella is the talk of the town. She really would like to just blend in, maybe make some friends, but to her extreme annoyance everyone wants to know her life's story. As she spends her lunch hour with her new friends, she notices a boy across the lunchroom.
Bella notices that Edward Cullen and his family are different somehow from the rest of the kids in town. They're all exceptionally beautiful, but also strange. Bella can barely take her eyes off Edward.
Bella and Edward end up as lab partners in Biology, an uncomfortable situation for both of them. Edward seems to hate Bella for no reason, and she is completely confused when he later saves her life. Bella soon discovers the truth about the Cullens: they are a family of vampires.
Edward is fascinated by the lack of self-preservation in Bella's response to him. After trying to push her away and failing miserably, Edward finally gives in to the feelings her has for Bella.
By keeping Bella close, Edward unintentionally puts her in harms way. When a trio of strangers travel through Forks, they can't understand why Edward and his family would have a connection to a human being. Bella becomes an obsession for one of the more dangerous males, and has to go on the run.
I don't want to give too much away here (in case there still is someone out there who hasn't read the book but wants to), so I'll just end by saying that I really enjoyed it. Sometimes I wanted to reach through the pages and slap Bella, but I remember feeling that way about a certain boy when I was that age. And I'm quite sure I was every bit as whiny and neurotic as she was where he was concerned.
I also really liked the "new take" on vampires that Meyer created: that their skin simply glittered blindingly in the sun, that they didn't sleep, that vampirism was spread by a kind of venom in a vampire's saliva, and "thunder-ball" - I love the idea of "thunder-ball"! Lots of these details were totally original ideas.
Twilight was filled with drama, excitement, romance, action, and intrigue. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to pick up the next book in the series. I cannot possibly let the story end here. Stay tuned for my reviews of the rest of the series....more