Okay. The writing is great as expected from Emery Lord.
The subject matter is really good. Dealt with in the book are death of a parent, relationshipsOkay. The writing is great as expected from Emery Lord.
The subject matter is really good. Dealt with in the book are death of a parent, relationships with a parent, grief, depression, manic depression, suicide, self harming, friendships, etc. And all are handled really well.
Content wise, I wouldn't say it is clean, and I wouldn't recommend it to younger readers, but I think to be honest to its subject matter, some of the things in this book had to occur, and the author was very realistic about the consequences, which I appreciate.
This is not a sweet, fluffy romance novel. But it is very real and descriptive.
It is written with two POVs.
"I'm not much for silence; it simply doesn't suit me. I'd rather carry on a conversation with myself than crawl the trenches of awkward nothingness."
"Hi Jonah from this morning. Are you still making me dinner?
Pizza's on around 6 if you're interested.
Hmm. Detached, totally nonflirty. Jonah, Jonah, Jonah—you are only encouraging me. It's like being at an animal shelter, where i want to be the one the most skittish dog takes a liking to.
Oh, I'm interested.
Cool. 404 Seaside Street. Leah's excited.
Oh, Jonah. Silly boy. I will make you flirt back with me.
Just Leah? Not you?
I spin the phone in my hand, waiting and smiling to myself. This is exactly what I needed for the summer—the sunshine, the ocean, some seriously blatant flirtation. And a little bit of a challenge. Finally, my phone beeps again. Of course me too."
"I glance away so Vivi won't realize I was already looking. Goodness. I once saw a video online of a dog crashing into a screen door. Over and over. He couldn't figure it out. This is me and trying to be cool in front of Vivi."
"You wouldn't believe the things I'd do to get this world-weary boy to smile like that. Today, it took a Slip 'N Slide, and tomorrow will be something different. Oh, my—do I have plans. I'm going to spend my whole summer changing the expressions on Jonah Daniels's face."
"The first bite reveals a bit of balsamic vinegar somewhere and a sprinkle of salt, against the near-sweet tomato and the freshness of the basil. It's heavenly and hearty and somehow creamy. And I feel . . . cared for. Like part of a family. What a simple need, to eat—and to have someone prepare a meal for me with such care, such love? It's like I can taste it. Like it's not just the meal that fills you up, but the feeling."
"Here is something I never expected to feel: love at first sight for an entire family. But life surprises you. It tells you to close your eyes and blow out the candles, and then sometimes smashes your face into the cake before you can even make a wish. But! Sometimes, every once in a while, you get your wish in. You wish for boy to spend the summer with, and instead life gives you his whole beautiful family."
'I don't really know how to break this to you,' I say. I hop down from the counter and look up at him. 'But I think you are maybe falling in love with me.'
He hands me my plate, and his smile is the faintest bit smug. 'Viv, I just made you wild-caught Alaskan salmon baked with mango chutney, on a bed of garlic red potatoes and arugula. While talking about an Audrey Hepburn movie. I think you are maybe falling in love with me.'"
"'I keep wondering if it will ever hurt less. This . . . hole in our lives.'
'Oh, I imagine it'll hurt less eventually. I think there will always be a hole, though. But lace is one of the most beautiful fabrics, you know. All those holes and gaps, but it's still complete somehow—still lovely.'"
"I know I'm being horrible—snippy and unyielding. Sometimes I can identify facts in my mind, but I can't feel them. What I mean is, I know that I am not malnourished and I don't have aggressive cancer. I sleep in a safe, warm bed at night, and I can eat ice-cream cones whenever I want. Even right this minute, I smell the salty ocean and wet sand in the breeze, which ruffles my hair. Cognitively, I recognize my good fortune. But I don't feel lucky. I want to start my life again—like I want to float my soul back up to the cosmos and come down as a different girl, in a different life."
(view spoiler)["That scar is now covered by a cast, the scar that runs down my left wrist like a scarlet S. But I was not trying to kill myself—I really hadn't thought that far ahead—and I don't know how many times I have to explain this. I didn't want to die. I was just trying to feel something. It turns out feeling a cold blade slice into your flesh and then warm blood slopping onto the floor is actually infinitely worse than feeling nothing." (hide spoiler)]
"It feels like a strange sisterhood—one that you find only when the masks are off and you realize that what's behind yours doesn't scare the other person."
"I know the restaurant is not my dad. I know that his legacy is more than the bricks and mortar. I know that making oatmeal for my family isn't going to single-handedly save them from heart disease. And I know that making Vivi pie isn't going to fix what she's going through.
But the point is that trying to make things better sometimes makes us better, too. The point is I'm trying to create good things in the midst of the bad. Grief or no grief.
And in my case, it's still somewhere in between."
"But his lips are warm on mine, and so I savor this kiss like the last bite. That's the thing they never tell you about love stories: just because one ends, that doesn't mean it failed. A cherry pie isn't a failure just because you eat it all. It's perfect for what it is, and then it's gone. And exchanging the truest parts of yourself—all the things you are—with someone? What a slice of life. One I'll carry with me into every single someday."
From the epilogue: "Sometimes it seems like the portrayals of mental illness we see—in movies, in the news—are primarily tragic ones. Please hear me: there are thousands upon thousands of other stories. One is that it's hard sometimes, and maybe the path isn't perfect, but you get there. Some difficult weeks in wonderful lives. That's Vivi's story and mine.
Keep talking. Because, even when it does not feel like it, more best days are always ahead. Claim them."["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The actual story and writing weren't that bad, but this has freshmen in high school having unprotected sex, which is already horrible, and they hadn'tThe actual story and writing weren't that bad, but this has freshmen in high school having unprotected sex, which is already horrible, and they hadn't been dating very long. The book did show some consequences to that (a pregnancy scare), but not even to actually show that maybe it isn't a good idea to be doing that. There were also F words. So basically I was not the intended audience for this book....more
As the end neared, I kept thinking "How can this be called 'Calamity'? We haven't even made it to Calamity! This should be called 'LimelightFantastic!
As the end neared, I kept thinking "How can this be called 'Calamity'? We haven't even made it to Calamity! This should be called 'Limelight' or something." But then it all worked.
It was interesting to read this right after finishing Sanderson's 1,000+ page book The Way of Kings. I read how completely in-depth and immersive his writing could be, and then this book, Calamity, is just a very different kind of book. Written in a very different style, and I wish there had been a little bit more to the ending. Not 800 pages more, but just a little.
But on the other hand, I do like how the Reckoners series is different from the epic fantasy Sanderson can write. Sanderson kept true to the comic book feel even though he fleshed it out into a trilogy.
Well done. Very interesting.
I do still have a few questions about the other dimensions/worlds, but I guess when the viewpoint of the book is from the characters, and they themselves don't know, there is no way for the reader to find out!
Here are some excerpts I enjoyed.
"The sun peeked over the horizon like the head of a giant radioactive manatee."
"The robots, on the other hand, acted like a bunch of youthful dreams and got thoroughly crushed."
"I released her. And then I left, as she had said. I felt cowardly, but part of being in a team was about recognizing when someone else could do a job better than you. And part of being a man was learning to let your immortal girlfriend take a turn being the heroic one."
". . . attacking his bowl of food like a man whose house had once been burned down by a particularly violent ear of corn."
"'But...,' I wrote back. 'You've been texting me all day.' 'Totally different,' he wrote 'Didgeridooing invasion of privacy, calling a person without their permission.' 'Didgeridooing?' Megan asked from over my shoulder. 'Profanity filter on my mobile,' I said. 'You use a profanity filter? What is this, kindergarten?' 'Nah,' I said. 'It's hilarious. Makes people sound really stupid.'"
"I had been young when this had all started, only eight, an orphan on the streets. I'd lived a year on my own before I'd been taken in. I remembered hushed conversations among adults about the breakdown of society projecting horrible things like cannibalism and gangs burning whatever they could find, families breaking apart—every man living for himself. That hadn't transpired. People are people. Whatever happens, they make communities, struggle for normalcy. Even with the Epics, most of us simply wanted to live our lives."
"That said, there is a look about an Epic who is in the throes of their power. The way they stand so tall, the way they smile with such confidence. They stand out, like a burp during a prayer."
"Keeping him here is like snuggling up to a bomb, content that it's not going to explode simply because you can still hear it ticking."
"Heck, a rabid Chihuahua having a seizure would stop and listen when Abraham spoke."
"I tried not to gawk. Or, well, I tried to gawk covertly. Megan's sleek red gown was all sparkly and gorgeous and . . . well, it really accented her curves. Like how a nice cheekpiece with shadow lines accents a perfect rifle stock. Unfortunately, she wasn't wearing her own face. That ruined the effect. But still, that neckline . . . I caught her looking at me and blushed. Only then did I realize she didn't seem to have noticed my ogling, but was instead nodding to herself, a faint smile on her lips. 'Are you . . staring at my chest?' I asked. 'What?' she said. 'Stay focused, Knees.' Awesome, I thought, tossing on my jacket."
"My dad, he liked people who were straightforward. Said he'd rather get cussed out by someone who meant it than smiled at by someone who didn't."
"I skidded to a halt, then shot him in the face anyway. I mean, it had to be distracting, right? Even if the bullets bounced off? Maybe I could get one stuck in his nose or something."
"'So,' she said, 'you going to get super buff?' 'Dunno,' I said, flexing. 'Steel heart was, and my father is. Might come with the portfolio.' 'Should make up for the terrible kissing.' 'Hey, all you have to do to fix that is let me practice.' 'Noted.'"...more
This book was really interesting. The main character is trying to look through her high school best friend's life to figure out why she would have decThis book was really interesting. The main character is trying to look through her high school best friend's life to figure out why she would have decided to commit suicide.
I think this book does a really good job of raising awareness of a real problem....more
This historical fiction was really impressive. I found myself feeling horrified along with the character at the gloomy events. I have read some WWI fiThis historical fiction was really impressive. I found myself feeling horrified along with the character at the gloomy events. I have read some WWI fiction, but nowhere near as much as WWII, and the WWI I had read all took place in Europe, so it was really interesting reading about the effects of the war in the US and the effects of the Spanish Influenza. Intense. Some scenes were so well described that I really could picture it as I was reading. I was impressed by Cat Winters.
The use of old photographs was also interesting.
As I figured out what was going on, I felt really angry that the book took place in the 1910s, because I REALLY wanted a modern heroine who I feel would have charged the scene MUCH sooner and saved the day. Gah. But we were stuck with a heroine from the last century, and horrible events were not prevented. :(
Surprising book. Interesting read! I would not call it a cheerful book though....more
I really liked the friendships. I liked the evolution of the relationship with Andie and her dad.
There was one high school cliche that really bugged mI really liked the friendships. I liked the evolution of the relationship with Andie and her dad.
There was one high school cliche that really bugged me, because I just don't think it's very realistic.
The writing is fantastic. The topic is interesting. I've come to expect that from Morgan Matson.
I don't agree with all of the moral decisions in the book, but I don't think it was super graphic. I'm going to shelf it with young adult instead of teenager though. I can't remember if there were language issues. Sorry.
Clark is really sweet.
"Some of my friends' fathers had jobs that they did and then left the office and forgot about, but that had never been my dad. His work was his life, which meant it was mine, too."
"I'd never understood the point of getting too serious with anyone you met in high school. It was high school. Best to keep it light and date seriously in college or med school, which people who were actually going to end mattering."...more