Okay, I started reading this book back when it first came out, but stopped. I couldn't get past the very beginning. Sanderson is one of my favorite auOkay, I started reading this book back when it first came out, but stopped. I couldn't get past the very beginning. Sanderson is one of my favorite authors, but at the beginning of this book, he sets up the bad guy (Steelheart) as really evil. Super evil. And I was at a point in my life where the part where the child being killed and the mother's reaction was just too much for me to handle.
But my sister told me that only the beginning is that dark, and since it was Sanderson, I knew the writing would be amazing.
The book did not disappoint. He is so tricky but not bad tricky where you feel like you were tricked, more like a satisfied tricky. Does that make any sense? Like with other authors, I can guess things before the authors tells us, and I am right. With Sanderson, I guess things, and I think I am right, and he makes me think I'm right up until all of a sudden when I'm totally wrong, but it all makes sense and fits just as well as what I had thought was right.
I really liked how the first one ended, so I wasn't looking for a sequel, but here it is! And the sequel is just as great. Jenny Han is a talented wriI really liked how the first one ended, so I wasn't looking for a sequel, but here it is! And the sequel is just as great. Jenny Han is a talented writer.
I could have done without some of the swearing. So, be warned, there is swearing, including F words. Also, part of the plot is centered on teenage sex. Two of the characters are being terrorized at school and online, because a video of them making one was posted online with the insinuation that they were doing more than making out. The author's treatment of such a serious topic was well done. Bullying is awful.
Jenny Han is just a really good writer, and the story is so believable and real....more
This is almost impossible to review, because it has twelve completely different short stories. Some have a lot of swearing, some are completely clean.This is almost impossible to review, because it has twelve completely different short stories. Some have a lot of swearing, some are completely clean. Some are fantasy, dealing with demons and elves. Some are contemporary. They are all interesting. There are some very creative authors in this collection, who take a Christmas short story places I never could have imagined it would go....more
Wow. This book falls into the horror genre, not science fiction, which is what I was expecting. The beginning made me think of Shannon Hale's "DangeroWow. This book falls into the horror genre, not science fiction, which is what I was expecting. The beginning made me think of Shannon Hale's "Dangerous" until it clearly became all horror. So, this book was creepy, and I don't think everything made perfect sense or was explained as much as I would have liked it to be, but the author is good at his craft, and it was translated well. I think this would make a good movie (or a horrible movie, depending on whether you like horror movies).
Silly me kept expecting a happy ending . . ....more
The conclusion of Aspen, Maxon, and America's tale! I waited a few months to write this review, and now, sadly, I can't really remember much of what IThe conclusion of Aspen, Maxon, and America's tale! I waited a few months to write this review, and now, sadly, I can't really remember much of what I was going to say. If you liked the first two, I'm sure you'll like this one. I did feel frustrated a few times. People sometimes seem to not tell the truth, because it is too hard or will hurt someone, but the truth always comes out, and it always hurts even worse and is even harder than if it had just been told from the beginning.
I think I may have actually cried during this book.
Content wise, I think there is a heavy making out scene where clothing may be removed. I don't really remember, but I feel like that happened.
The author has written a second book, about America's daughter, if you want to find out what happens in "happily ever after."
Here are some excerpts that stood out to me.
"We followed her through a maze of hallways, looking for a path to the basement, watching as guard after guard ran in the opposite direction. I found myself admiring them, wondering at the courage it took to run toward danger for the sake of other people."
"I scurried around the room, lighting candles, trying to make the space look inviting. The knock came at the door, and I blew out the match, bolted over to the bed, picked up a book, and fanned out my dress. Why yes, Maxon, this is how I always look when I read.
"'I've said it a thousand times, but when people push me, it makes me crazy.'
I gave him a little pout. 'I know.'
He paused, and I couldn't read his face. I was trying to figure out how to move this forward without being pushy, but I wasn't sure how to manufacture a romantic moment."
"'I've never seen a speck of emotion out of you!'
'I'm reserved. You should try it sometime,' Elisa fired back quickly. Seeing a spark of anger in Elise made me like her more. 'In my family, all the marriages are arranged. I knew what was coming for me, and that's all this is. I may not be head over heels for Maxon, but I respect him. Love can come later.'
Sympathetically, Kriss spoke. 'That actually sounds kind of sad, Elise.'
'It's not. There are bigger things than love.'"
"'I really like him, Dad.'
I thought for a minute. 'I'm not really sure. But part of it is that he makes me feel like me, I think.' . . .
'He screws up a lot, don't get me wrong. But when I'm with him I feel like I'm America. I'm not a caste or a project. I don't even think of him as elevated, really. He's just him, and I'm just me.'"
"In those seconds, I was mourning everything I'd lost. How I'd never get to see you walk down an aisle toward me, how I'd never get to see your face in our children, how I'd never get to see streaks of silver in your hair. But, at the same time, I couldn't be bothered. If me dying meant you living, how could that be anything but good?"...more
Fascinating to have a novel where the villain of the series is the main character and to have the novel take place prior to the events in the rest ofFascinating to have a novel where the villain of the series is the main character and to have the novel take place prior to the events in the rest of the series. It's almost like a prequel, but if you read it first, you would know too much when you do read the rest of the series, so it is best where it is. It is regular novel length, so I didn't realize it was a ".5" addition to the series instead of just being the fourth book.
I really enjoyed learning more about Levana and how she came to be who she is in the rest of the series, well, maybe not enjoyed. It was sad. Levana's story is not a happy one. Enlightening is probably a better word. So sad to discover how she was raised. Especially sad how many life-altering horrible deacons she made at such a young age.
I can't believe though that I have to wait AGAIN until the fourth book comes out. :)
Here are some excerpts that stood out to me.
"Levana scowled. 'You're going to leave me alone to guide the entire kingdom in mourning, so that you can frolic with one of the guards?'
'Oh, stop it,' said Channary, covering her ears. 'You're so annoying when you whine.'
'You're going to be queen, Channary. You're going to have to make speeches and important decisions that will affect everyone on Luna. Don't you think it's time you took that seriously?'
Laughing, Channary sucked at the grains of sugar left on her fingertips. 'Like our parents took it so seriously?'
'Our parents are dead. Killed by a citizen who must not have thought they were doing a very good job.'
Channary waved her hand through the air. 'Being queen is a right, little sister. A right that comes with an endless supply of men and servants and beautiful dresses. Let the court and the thaumaturges deal with all the boring details. As for me, I am going to be known throughout history as the queen who never stopped laughing.' Tossing her hair off her shoulder, she surveyed the bedroom, its gold-papered walls and hand-embroidered draperies. 'Why aren't there any mirrors in here? I want to see how beautiful I look for my tear-filled performance.'"
"Monogamy. Faithfulness. True love. She did not think she had ever witnessed it, not beside the fairy tales she'd been told as a child and the fanciful dramas sometimes acted out for the court's entertainment. But to be so cherished—what a dream that must be. To have a man look upon you with such adoration. TO feel the press of fingers on you rack, a silent message to all who saw that you are his and he—he must be yours."
"She was suddenly angry. Angry that this woman was so effortlessly pretty. Angry that tonight she would sleep beside her dotting husband. That soon she would hold a wrinkled, wailing baby in her arms and that child would never question whether it was loved, or whether its parents loved each other.
Nothing Levana wanted had ever come that easily."
"She started ripping off the gloves the second she reached her private chambers. One of the chains snapped. The hem of the other glove ripped. She unclasped the gold-braided necklace, nearly choking herself in her need to get it off.
The dress was next, and she didn't care if she shredded it. She wanted to ruin it. Soon, the gown and the gloves were wadded into a tight ball and thrust into the corner of her wardrobe, and she knew she would never put them on again.
She was so stupid. Such a stupid, stupid girl.
For ever thinking she could be admired. For ever thinking she could be beautiful, or adored, or noticed. For ever thinking she could be anything at all."
"She began to grow hungry, and realized that all she would have to do is tell one person her identity and demand they bring her something to eat, and any person in this building would fall over themselves to fulfill her wishes. The knowing of it made her want it less, and she forced herself to ignore the gnawing at her stomach."
"She knew it wasn't real. She knew the holograph wouldn't hurt. But she also knew that fire was dangerous, and illusions were dangerous, and bring tricked into believing that things weren't real was often the most dangerous thing of all."
And this excerpt is actually from the excerpt of the fourth book, so it isn't really part of .
"Cinder, I have nothing better to do. Literally, nothing better to do. My time on this ship has taught me that I have zero practical skills. I can't cook. I can't fix anything I can't help Cress with surveillance. I know nothing about guns or fighting, or . . . Mostly I'm just a really good talker, and it turns out that's only useful in politics."...more
This book was all right. I just didn't love it as much as the other one. There were some things I didn't understand. I had never realized before how mThis book was all right. I just didn't love it as much as the other one. There were some things I didn't understand. I had never realized before how much the Hades and Persephone story made me think of the Beauty and the Beast story, but this book made me think of some of the similarities.
This is a mostly clean book. There is one scene where characters have been given an aphrodisiac, unbeknownst to them, and they do have sex, but the author does not give you details.
There were just some things that frustrated me. It wasn't a bad book, but I don't think I'll continue the trilogy.
I think I would have been a lot more upset than Kate was to discover that I had been so manipulated, that so many things were fake. (view spoiler)[And it seemed like the marriage happened a little too quickly. Like she should have had the opportunity to become more familiar with the underworld before she made her decision. (hide spoiler)] She was so manipulated.
(view spoiler)[With the ending, I don't understand why it needed to still be the same as Persephone. Why did Kate have to leave? Since she really loved Henry, why wouldn't she just stay with him all the time? She was a goddess now, right? So why try to have a mortal life? What would a mortal life even mean if you don't age and can't tell any of your friends who you really are? That's not a real life. And if you love your husband, stay with him. It just didn't make sense to me that she would make the same marriage arrangement as Persephone. (hide spoiler)]
"I spent my eighteenth birthday driving from New York City to Eden, Michigan, so my mother could die in the town where she was born. Nine hundred and fifty-four miles of asphalt, knowing every sign we passed brought me closer to what would undoubtedly be the worse day of my life."
"I crawled into bed next to her, making sure she had enough blanket before I used the rest to cover my legs. Once I was sure she'd stay warm, I wrapped my arms around her, inhaling her familiar scent. Even after spending years in and out of a hospital, she still smelled of apples and freesia. She nuzzled the top of my head, and I closed my eyes before they started to water."
"That was when I noticed that he was cute. Not just in Eden, but cute by New York standards, too. Even so, there was something about the way he looked at me that made me want to pull away.
Before I could do just that, a pretty blonde girl attached herself to his side and gave me a once-over. She might've been smiling, but with the way she was leaning against him and clutching his arm, she might as well have peed on him. He was clearly marked territory."
"Reaching into his backpack, he pulled out a full-size bottle of ketchup, and my eyes nearly popped out of my head as I abandoned all pretense of reading. Who carried around a bottle of ketchup?"
"'I really mean it—I don't date.'
Instead of looking disappointed or crestfallen, James stared at me with wide blue eyes and a blank expression. As the seconds ticked by, I felt my cheeks grow warm. Apparently dating me had been the last thing on his mind.
'I think you're pretty.'
I blinked. Or maybe not.
'But you're at least an eight, and I'm a four. We're not allowed to date. Society says so.'
Eyeing him, I tried to figure out if he was being serious. He didn't look like he was kidding, and he was staring at me again, like he expected some sort of answer other than a snort.
'An eight?' I blurted. It was the only thing I could come up with.
'Maybe a nine, if you put on some makeup. But I like eights. Eights don't let it go to their heads. Nines do. And tens don't know how to be anything other than tens.'"
"'Daddy said your mom's really sick.'
'Yeah, well, Daddy's right.'
'I'm sorry,' she said. 'I don't know what I'd do without my mom.'
'Yeah,' I mumbled. 'Me neither.'"
"'Promise me you'll be yourself and do what makes you happy, no matter what,' she said, taking my hand in both of hers. 'You're meant for great things, sweeties, but the more you struggle against who you are, the harder it will be. Whatever obstacles you face, remember you can get through anything if you want to badly enough. And you will. . . . You're so much stronger than you think you are.'"
"'James . . . you don't have to do that.'
'Isn't that what friends do?' It hurt to hear the uncertainty in his voice. 'You're my friend, Kate, and you're miserable. What could possibly be more important than taking care of you?'"
"Maybe he was some almighty god with the power to raise the dead, but he was also a very lonely guy. I knew what that kind of loss and loneliness felt like, and if there was anything I could do to stop anyone else from feeling that way, I would do it."
"She wrapped her arm around my shoulders. 'Everyone believe in you except for you, Kate,' she said gently. 'Maybe that should tell you something.'"["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
This is the second book in the series. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the third and concluding book! Below you will find some excerpts I foundThis is the second book in the series. I enjoyed it and am looking forward to the third and concluding book! Below you will find some excerpts I found noteworthy.
"There are many things in this world that cannot be explained. There are an equal number of foolish theories that persist despite the evidence to the contrary. To kill a mistruth or an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact."
"The very essence of instinct is that it's followed independently of reason. Sometimes it is those instincts that serve us best."
"A desire to be observed, considered, esteemed, praised, beloved, and admired by his fellows is one of the earliest as well as the keenest dispositions discovered in the heart of man. Beware of those desires."
"I have always been impressed by the Bhikhu. They do not rely on ducats of influence for power. Their integrity is their power. The master of the Bhikhu temple, in my opinion, is the epitome of the virtue of humility, which is the foundation of all the other virtues. In the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance."
"There is a saying among the Romani, of so I am told. 'It is folly to cross a bridge until you come to it, or to bid a hungry bear good morning until you meet him—perfect folly. All is well until the stroke falls, and even then nine times out of ten it is not so bad as anticipated.' It means that we should not dwell on our troubles until they materialize for they are often not as desperate as we fear. Of course, this may be complete rubbish."
"I had to ask myself—what is fear? It takes many forms. It holds sway in all of us. Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil. That is my opinion."
"The stories all say that pride is what introduced evil into the world. It is good beings that turn into evil ones. If this is so, and pride makes a good man evil, then it requires humility to make men good."
"So often man wishes to be happy even when he lives so as to make happiness impossible."
"I once observed the Arch-Rike of Kenatos calm a quarrel between two very strong-willed merchants in the city. He invited both to a feast he had prepared for some prominent individuals. He told me this with a sly voice: 'If you wish to play peacemaker, seat adversaries next to each other where they must begin by being civil.' True it is; we only hate those whom we do not know."
"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page."
"One of the secrets to holding power over others was never revealing how much you really knew."
"He that is kind is free, though he is a slave. He that is evil is a slave, though he be a king."
"The wisest as well as the most dangerous men are those who observe without speaking."
"It was said by an ancient philosopher, Augour the Wise, that the purpose of all wars is peace. I wish I could believe that is true. History is rife with conflict. The wars and tumults of men are interrupted occasionally by the devastations of the Plague. Thus perhaps the purpose of all Plagues is peace."
"Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands."
"Even wild beasts feel kindness, nor is there any animal so savage that good treatment will not tame it and win love from it. It is a true principle. And it is even more true when dealing with men. Men can be persuaded to many things through small acts of kindness."
"We are surrounded by various histories and fragments from the ages. Some are true. Some are only the approximation of truth. Some truths are hard to accept. If you believe only what you like in the histories, and reject what you don't want to believe, it is not the truth you seek, but a confirmation of your own opinions. You will never find truth that way."
"I have heard that in moments of extreme terror and suspense, our minds can deliver to our aid a remedy for the situation if we have the courage not to flinch from it. Too often we are doomed to fail simply because we believe too quickly that we will."
"Hear the other side. What is usually lacking, when there is trouble, is the lack of listening. So quick we are to rush to judgment. We would do well to listen more. There would be far fewer disputes."
"Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand."
"The Vaettir have a saying that is ripe with wisdom: The gods judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist. They will not willingly take a life for fear of destroying that potential inside us. We all have tendencies toward evil, some more than others. Each of us must constantly root away those evil tendencies lest they prevail into our character. We each carry within us the bud of true goodness as well as evil. Which we nourish determines our destiny."...more
I really enjoyed this book. It is a science fiction/fantasy type novel, and I thought the whole premise was interesting. I found the characters to beI really enjoyed this book. It is a science fiction/fantasy type novel, and I thought the whole premise was interesting. I found the characters to be well written, even though there were so many. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series. I liked how the author unraveled the story and fed us backstory information.
"But his favorite works were the writings of a hundred generations of Paracelsus, each more cryptic and awe inspiring than the last. Another twenty-five years and he would still not have read them all, but he desperately wanted to. It was that desperation, in the end, that kept him moving, preventing him from collapsing in gibbering fear and accepting his approaching death."
"Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe."
"The highest possible stage in moral culture is to realize that we ought to control our thoughts."
"In my experience, what is called magic is not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature."
"There is something undeniably unfair about being tortured by a girl."
"Felicity is not produced so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen as by little advantages that occur every day."
"'Part of me just wishes to march back to Kenatos, spit in my uncle's face, and have done with all this.' 'Not a wise course of action,' Erasmus offered with a smirk. 'You have no idea how many ill things are caused by spittle.'"
"If we have learned anything, we have learned this: it is not the strongest of the races that survives, or the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change."
"There is a Preachán saying I admire: If two friends ask you to judge a dispute, don't accept, because you will lose one friend; on the other hand, if two strangers come with the same request, accept, because you will gain one friend."
"The principal element of the Uddhava is the act of observing. Observing is a form of power, a very subtle power. It changes behavior in others and oneself. You behave differently in front of a crowd than you do when you are alone. The observations of others cause you to change what you would ordinarily do."
"Pain is a teacher, as I have told you before. Most people fear it. We do not. We would never stop a child from touching a burning piece of wood. We would warn, but never prevent. Wisdom comes through listening to those with more experience. Only fools blunder through unnecessary pain."
"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
"Indeed. Pain is a teacher. But the best teacher is wisdom. Wisdom is learning from the pain of others."
"You have the power to decide, deliberately and intentionally, what thoughts you allow in your mind and what emotions you feel in your heart."
"Unfortunately in our world, ignorance more frequently begets confidence than knowledge does. You see, it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who assert that certain problems will never be solved by reason, study, and practice. Patience is the companion of wisdom."
"What's the benefit of dragging up sufferings that are over, of being unhappy now just because you were then? There is good in doing this. We must not flinch when we look at the past. We must strive to learn from our mistakes. So we must learn to bear and endure. The sorrow will one day prove to be for your good."
"I did not have your insight then. I wish I had it earlier, but experience is the thing you get just after the time when you need it most."
"Men go abroad to gaze at the enormity of mountains, the huge waves of the sea, the long courses of the rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the circular motions of the stars, but they never stop to gaze at themselves."
"Being a leader is not about rank of power. It is not even about skill or cunning. The best leaders . . . serve those they lead. You are united to a common goal. They will not follow you because [he] said so. They will follow you because they believe in their hearts that you care about them. That you sincerely desire their good regard. That you treat them with honor and respect and humility. The more of yourself you give away, the more they will flock to you. They will heed you. They will sacrifice for you. They will suffer with you. . . . that is how to lead men. That is how to earn the respect of Mirrowen."...more
This sequel is told from Adam's perspective and begins a few years after the end of the prequel. I thought the song lyrics the author included reallyThis sequel is told from Adam's perspective and begins a few years after the end of the prequel. I thought the song lyrics the author included really added to the storyline. Again, Gayle Forman is a talented writer, and this is a story that feels very real. There is some swearing again like in the first novel (including the F word). And again, non marital sex is accepted, but the details are not described.
This is really a novel about grief.
"On my lonesome? As opposed to being in the warm bosom of family when we're all together? I say. Only I say it to myself. More and more lately it seems as though the majority of my conversations are with myself. Given half the stuff I think, that's probably a good thing."
"So, this is how it's become? This is what I've become? A walking contradiction? I'm surrounded by people and feel alone. I claim to crave a bit of normalcy but now that I have some, it's like I don't know what to do with it, don't know how to be a normal person anymore."
"We play for what seems like hours, days, years. Or maybe it's seconds. I can't even tell anymore. We speed up, then slow down, we scream our instruments. We grow serious. We laugh. We grow quiet. Then loud. My heart is pounding, my blood is grooving, my whole body is thrumming as I'm remembering: Concert doesn't mean standing up like a target in front of thousands of strangers. It means coming together. It means harmony."...more
"She still saw the old me. The younger, stupid, cocky rock star who only knew how to live in the moment and never considered the future. How could I m"She still saw the old me. The younger, stupid, cocky rock star who only knew how to live in the moment and never considered the future. How could I make her understand that I was different?
'I'm here because I'm tired of "five minutes at a time." I'm looking for the chance to have something real.'
Val considered this a moment. 'And you believe you'll find that with me?'
I nodded. 'I don't think you'd be capable of anything less. You are't the type of woman a guy picks up at a bar and takes home for the weekend, Val. You're the kind we see going out with other men that makes us wonder what the hell we're doing wrong.'"...more
This is an interesting novel that is in many ways a post-apocalyptic novel, but it differs in that America did not fall because of aliens or nuclear wThis is an interesting novel that is in many ways a post-apocalyptic novel, but it differs in that America did not fall because of aliens or nuclear war or something. America collapsed because of economics. The economy. The worth of a dollar. That fact made it seem all the more relevant.
I really liked the development and growth of the two main protagonists. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Here are some excerpts that caught my attention.
"If the rain kept up, Amber wouldn't to worry about water for the toilets and washing hands for a few days. Having a leaky roof came in handy sometimes. Indoor plumbing again."
"Growing up, Carrie thought her family was average. They laughed. They fought. They worked and played. But more and more, she realized what a treasure her parents were. From the time she was born, their world revolved around their three kids. Never once had she doubted herself or their marriage, creating the safest environment any child could have. Then life crashed, and they were gone.
Going from the center of their universe to the center of no one's was by far the most painful thing she'd ever experienced. People say time heals all wounds. It was a lie. The longer it went, the less she could remember their voices, their smiles, the way their hugs felt. The longer it went, the more it killed.
Yet looking at Zach, she found a pain surpassing her own. He was an orphan more than she was. She lost her parents at seventeen. He, at eight. And as she looked into this blue frightened eyes, she caught a glimpse of what losing both parents at a young age had done to him."
"People who give sunshine to others can't help but give some to themselves."
"He shut the door and turned. 'Why, Carrie? Why are you always sorry? Is it your fault you didn't finish?'
'So quit apologizing and accept life for what it is.'
'I'm sorry, but'—she winced, realizing what she'd done—'saying sorry if my way of saying I wish things were different. I wish I could make them better.'"...more