Okay, I don't often write reviews, because as an author I always feel weird giving a critical opinion of other authors' work. I think it's because I sOkay, I don't often write reviews, because as an author I always feel weird giving a critical opinion of other authors' work. I think it's because I sort of feel like other authors are my coworkers, all of us working and writing to make people fall in love with reading, so who am I to publicly say what is or isn't right?
But I can't help myself in this case. I feel rather as though I fell as inexplicably and inextricably under this book's spell as its characters fall under Fire's. I had no chance against its beauty! And now I have to shout my love from the rooftops.
To be honest, for the first few chapters I rolled my eyes every five minutes, because seriously, who gets away with writing about a heroine who is objectively the most beautiful woman in the world, one of a kind, loved and desired by everyone who meets her, blessed with fiery red hair and gifts for music and archery and horseback riding, and--to top it off--able to control the thoughts and feelings of those around her? It seemed like the epitome of Mary-Sue-ness.
Yet, I kept reading. I told myself it was out of devotion to the first book, but really, I couldn't have stopped myself.
The writing is beautiful, and Fire herself is at the same time so damaged and SO strong, that I fell completely head over heels. Finishing this book was heart-breaking, truly--and it's been ages since I met characters I was so loathe to leave when the book ended. I honestly spent the entire last 100 pages of the book just sobbing wildly off and on until I finished.
I swore up and down when I finished reading GRACELING that it was impossible for me to like the sequels better. Kristin Cashore has made a liar out of me. I wish there was a sixth star for me to give this book.
And if someone doesn't give me BITTERBLUE pretty much IMMEDIATELY, I may have to start taking hostages....more
I don't normally write reviews, but I'm still thinking about this book weeks after I read it.
I read the whole book in one sitting, unable to put it doI don't normally write reviews, but I'm still thinking about this book weeks after I read it.
I read the whole book in one sitting, unable to put it down. Shelby is a beautifully drawn character placed in an unforgettable setting, and the story of her and her estranged mother is just heart-wrenching. The mysteries Shelby encounters throughout the story are engrossing, and exactly the sort of things that would have fascinated me, if I were in Shelby's place. Strange messages in bottles, a ruined house on a deserted island, mysterious charms on a bracelet; and if that's not enough, a healthy dose of ghost stories, to boot.
This book made me cry in all the right ways. Best of all, it felt like an old friend--it's the best sort of book I read as a child, and in reading it, I felt like a child all over again. In my effort to keep up with new releases, I often feel bogged down by mediocre books. But reading Circle of Secrets was like a much-needed breath of fresh air.
There's a reason I love children's literature, and Circle of Secrets is the perfect example why....more
One of the more disturbing books I've read in a while. I admit it, I cried. I think you'll either love this book or you'll hate it, with the small posOne of the more disturbing books I've read in a while. I admit it, I cried. I think you'll either love this book or you'll hate it, with the small possibility that you'll be like me and have no freaking idea what you think about it, but that everyone should read it.
If nothing else, if you're a writer, you should read it for the weird stylistic prose. I wanted to throw the book across the room at first (use a freaking comma, and an apostrophe once and a while!) but once I got used to it, I found it compelling. The lack of all but the most necessary punctuation, as well as the lack of quotation marks, makes the entire thing feel very silent, and still, and dark... as if you're the last person on earth.