I'm not really sure the two perspectives worked for me. I much preferred the contemporary perspective and started to just march through the historicalI'm not really sure the two perspectives worked for me. I much preferred the contemporary perspective and started to just march through the historical. ...more
I listened to this book, and while I liked the narration, I think I would have liked the book more if I had read it. It was a little slow going for meI listened to this book, and while I liked the narration, I think I would have liked the book more if I had read it. It was a little slow going for me in the beginning, and then I had a hard time paying attention pretty much every time one of Elizabeth's letters was being read.
I had this solved a long time before Nora - in a way. It was clear to me before Chris died that (view spoiler)[Max and Adriene were sleeping together. Duh, the "suddenly I hate your boyfriend" fakeout is soo cliche, Adriene. I see right through it. (hide spoiler)] I really like though, how once the mysteries and secrets are solved or revealed they aren't completely rehashed by Nora in the text. She says she should've seen the signs, and certainly we can go back and find them, but she doesn't spell it all out again. I think that shows a lot of respect for the reader.
I waffled between three and four stars, but because I sat out in my car for like, ten minutes after pulling in the driveway last night, four it is.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
This book took me almost a week to get through, which is a long time for me. It started off very slow, but got easier to read after the first narratorThis book took me almost a week to get through, which is a long time for me. It started off very slow, but got easier to read after the first narrator, Yael, gets to Masada. The whole thing was well-written, the characters are sympathetic - to an extent - and it was, uh, interesting. But here's the thing: all I think about was how stupid it all was. I don't usually feel this way about religion; I'm skeptical, but not, like, cynical, but all I could think was how stupid their religion was. All of the women are so frustrating; every dumb mistake they make or bad decision is "how it was written," like they have no control over their minds or bodies. There is no concept of individuality. And usually I like magic and the style of magical-realism, but usually authors don't use it to get their characters out of every tight fix. I mean, as long as it was written that magic would work in that instance. And finally, I don't know anything about the Sicarii and very little about Jewish mythology, so I don't know how accurate a representation this novel is of those things and who to blame for my disgust, but here goes. It killed me how the Jews at Masada, instead of making allies or attempting to build an army or resistance against the Romans, or even just not killing a bunch of people, killed all of the other Jews - men, women, and children - for their goats and oil and stuff. I couldn't suspend disbelief long enough to understand their views on slavery, how they thought of both themselves and other as slaves. And I can't, for the life of me, understand how this story - one of (spoiler?) mass murder/suicide - can be an inspiring story for an ethnic people or religious group, as by the end of the book, it is clearly meant to be....more
The first half, this was a five star book, and the second half this was a three star book, so I'll split the difference. While George/Jake was in DerrThe first half, this was a five star book, and the second half this was a three star book, so I'll split the difference. While George/Jake was in Derry, the book was at it's best - George had a goal and he followed through with it, while at the same time managing to meet interesting characters and say some things about time travel. When George got to Jodie, TX, it got a bit slow. I didn't find his relationship with Sadie particularly moving, and I wish he'd of explained more what the harmonies were (view spoiler)[ - the "I caused the harmonies" at the end didn't really do it for me - (hide spoiler)] instead of just telling us over and over that they existed. It could have done with a bit more editing, I think. The ending was sad, but well done, though I think a better and shorter 2011 novel about how time is a whore is A Long Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan. If you really want to bawl at the end of the book because time is not fair, read this one....more
Blue Bloods has an interesting premise: all of the New York upper crust actually have blue blood; they are reincarnated vampires; they first came to ABlue Bloods has an interesting premise: all of the New York upper crust actually have blue blood; they are reincarnated vampires; they first came to America to found the Plymouth Colony; they are connected with the lost colony of Roanoke. Unfortunately, the novel doesn't really deliver. The story centers on Schuyler Van Alan, a fifteen-year-old student at the Duchesne School, as her vampire qualities begin to manifest. But crowding out the developments of the next vampire generation and the mysterious death of a fellow student is the ridiculous over-stuffing of fashion name-dropping. Parts of the plot and action are interesting, but often cut short, as if author De La Cruz didn't know how to write it. Instead of unfolding, any intrigue is clunkally explained. And yet, perhaps because it is so unsatisfying, the reader is left wanting to read the next installment. ...more
Good book. I really liked the first and last sections of the book, but felt that the middle section dragged a bit. Miriam's character, while interestiGood book. I really liked the first and last sections of the book, but felt that the middle section dragged a bit. Miriam's character, while interesting and fiery in contrast to Olgivanna in the first section, is just unlikable in the second section. Many reviewers dislike the reverse chronology of the book, but I thought it was a very good plot device. You always know what the story is moving backwards to, but when you get there it is still devastating. Finally, I thought that I would get annoyed with the footnotes throughout the novel, but I found that I really liked them, and I loved the character of Tadashi. I would love for T.C. Boyle to write him his own novel....more