Our main character - Ruth - is quite good as she faces down a menacing creep. The book is short and straightforward, so a possible read-alike to Elizabeth Scott's book. However, it isn't as compelling, it drags at times, and there are several annoying flashbacks that don't do much to enhance to central story....more
A good survival story that isn't so much about surmounting the elements as the characters and their shifting connections. The drifting boat is reallyA good survival story that isn't so much about surmounting the elements as the characters and their shifting connections. The drifting boat is really a device for the various personalities to interact, reflecting on belief and doubt, the limits of friendship, the choices we make that keep us human. Thoughtful readers will enjoy this one; those looking for non-stop action may be frustrated by the pacing. This is my first read of a Griffin title, and I will look into others....more
A fair, academic overview of issues that factor into answering the titular question. Ultimately, Cappelli comes to the unremarkable conclusion to whetA fair, academic overview of issues that factor into answering the titular question. Ultimately, Cappelli comes to the unremarkable conclusion to whether "Will it Pay Off"...depends. If you can get into Princeton, probably. If you're likely to complete a degree in four years, probably. If you'll be saddled with loans at above-market rates, taking seven years to complete the degree, probably not.
If you are looking for a definitive answer, this isn't a good choice. If you're looking for a thoughtful survey of the broad issues, it is good background. It may take some pressure off those looking to find the perfect school, degree program, or career path. Counselors and policy makers will appreciate this more than strapped parents and families....more
In my high school English classes, there is always some interest in kidnapping books. Living Dead Girl, Girl, Stolen, A Stolen Life and even Misery fiIn my high school English classes, there is always some interest in kidnapping books. Living Dead Girl, Girl, Stolen, A Stolen Life and even Misery find new audiences every year. This is another book to add to that twisted cannon. Even though it is about a 32 year old real estate agent, curious teens are hooked by the intense opening and seem to enjoy the whole book. And it is a great example of beach reading.
Stevens does a good job by beginning each chapter as a monologue from Annie - our kidnap survivor - telling an unseen-therapist details from her year in captivity. Knowing that she'll eventually escape makes some of the horrors she experiences more endurable for the reader. Her captivity is gruesome, but it really is only the first act, as her return to freedom has other horrors. Annie has some compelling relationships - with a best friend, a boyfriend, her mother, her step-father, the officer investigating her case. I read the entire thing in a couple of nights, and the pace is propulsive for the first two-thirds even is it drops off a bit at the end.
Yes, there's some profanity and sexual violence, not to mention uber-creepy psychological abuse. Books of this type can make some folks uncomfortable, because who could be entertained by the terrorizing and rape of a vulnerable innocent? These plot points undeniable exist, but what makes this story appealing is Annie's core of steel. Although she's described as diminutive, she's able to use her brain and grit to face down monstrous evil. And that theme is what readers really enjoy. ...more
Some good ideas. Some good characters. Certainly commendable for having a protagonist who is both Gujarati/American and not-straight. But I think thisSome good ideas. Some good characters. Certainly commendable for having a protagonist who is both Gujarati/American and not-straight. But I think this might be a good example of the parts not adding up to a greater whole. Westerfeld has written some excellent books - Uglies and Leviathan - so I had high-hopes for this one. It was all interesting enough, alternating between Darcy's explorations of writing in NYC and the YA novel Darcy is completing about Lizzie who survives a terrorist attack by escaping to the underworld. But at the end of 600 pages, there wasn't any sense of accomplishment, of a grand journey taken. It is part ghost story, part murder-mystery, part love story, part coming of age. With so many masters, it doesn't serve any especially well.
I will say that the on-stage debate between Sanderson, Imogen, and Darcy about what matters most - plot, character, conflict - was wonderful.
If a reader loves YA, is partial to paranormal romances, and harbors dreams of becoming an author, this may be his or her perfect book. Otherwise, I think it will be a tough sell....more