I really LIKED this book, but I did not love it nearly as much as the books in Madeleine L'Engle's original Time Quartet. However, that is not sayingI really LIKED this book, but I did not love it nearly as much as the books in Madeleine L'Engle's original Time Quartet. However, that is not saying the book is less than good. It is a wonderful coming-of-age novel focusing on the original Quartet characters' daughter, Polly O'Keefe (also in other L'Engle works) and her friend Zachary Gray (also in other works). As they travel back to prehistoric time from her grandparents' swimming pool and the famous star-watching rock, they learn about the true meanings of love, sacrifice and loss....more
This is one of those books that I can truly say had a very huge influence on my life. I cannot remember being interested in anything remotely scientifThis is one of those books that I can truly say had a very huge influence on my life. I cannot remember being interested in anything remotely scientific or based in the Real World, but Mrs. L'Engle inspired me to look outside my comfort zone. I did not just love the Time Quartet, but I learned to love other books by giving them a chance.
Meg Murry is a teenage girl who doesn't quite fit in with her schoolmates, her community, or even her own family. As her brother Charles Wallace puts it, she's not one thing or another. In addition to finding herself, she is faced with challenge of finding her missing father with her four year old brother and sports star Calvin O'Keefe.
While it is a coming of age novel, it is also a great example of The Hero's Journey. Meg has to travel across the universe on a quest, battle an epic villain, and learn from her travels.
With all of that said, the best thing about the book is the characters. Every time I read or think about the book, I always wish that I had Charles Wallace as a little brother, a Calvin O'Keefe to long after, and three science-maven godmothers to lead me in the right direction, but let me follow my own path.
I'm always disappointed to hear that this book is no longer required reading, but my daughter will be required to read it because it's a beautiful story about love that transcends genre, religion, and science.
Format - Audiobook read by Madeleine L'Engle, finished 6/3/11...more
This is such a GOOD book and I cannot believe that I forgot about it. This is SO SO SO very good. I have to buy it and reread it now that I've remembeThis is such a GOOD book and I cannot believe that I forgot about it. This is SO SO SO very good. I have to buy it and reread it now that I've remembered it....more
I love the YA genre, but I never thought that I would come across a piece of literary genius in its midst. Ransom Riggs brought one to us.
Jacob is a sI love the YA genre, but I never thought that I would come across a piece of literary genius in its midst. Ransom Riggs brought one to us.
Jacob is a social outcast from a prominent and wealthy Jewish family. He does not seem to relate very well to anyone in his family, except for his grandfather, Abraham. Abraham always had fantastic stories for Jacob about his growing up at a school in Wales that he attended after fleeing Poland during WWII. All of the stories were extraordinary (in the sense that there was nothing ordinary about them) - some scary, some merely outrageous - and unbelievable once Jacob reached a certain age.
The story is focused on Jacob and his search for the truth after a horrible tragedy causes his mind to seemingly break. His journey for sanity leads him and his father to Wales and to Miss Peregrine's boarding house. We see Jacob, as well as his father in some ways, come to terms with who his grandfather really was, and face the demons of his grandfather's past. Jacob is also faced with the task of finding himself, and deciding what is most important to him.
I really appreciate how WWII, the Holocaust, and Jacob's life as an outcast from both his family and age group plays a role in telling the story. There are so many various double meanings and symbols used to tell this story, but to give any of them away would spoil the story itself.
This is a great start of a new young adult series, and I eagerly anticipate reading the next book. This was, without a doubt, one of my favorite books of this year....more
The Book of Lost Fragrances is the latest release in M. J. Rose's long, successful career,Review originally posted on my blog, Bibliophilia, Please
The Book of Lost Fragrances is the latest release in M. J. Rose's long, successful career, and the fourth installment in her Reincarnationist series. It is full of intrigue, mystery, a race for a historical artifact, family, and timeless romance. Although it is a part of a series, the book is a standalone novel.
The story contains a host of minor characters from ancient Egypt, 18th century France, and modern day, but focuses mostly on Jacinthe L'Etoile and, to an extent, Xie Ping. Xie is an artist living in China who has a secret, and is trying to survive under the watchful eye and heavy hand of the Chinese government. Jac is a mythologist television personality whose family perfume business is on the verge of collapse. When her father's declining mental facilities forces him to retire and her brother goes missing, Jac's life begins to spin out of control. She only has days to find her brother and his mysterious, ancient Egyptian pottery shards that hold the potential to save the family business from financial ruin. Xie and Jac are on opposite sides of the world, but are thrust into the midst of intrigue, murder, and the age-old question of whether or not the possibility of reincarnation truly exists.
I found The Book of Lost Fragrances to be a beautiful and well-written novel. The story flowed seamlessly across time and continents to tell a story of the search for the scent of memory. I was never bored by the flashbacks of the past or by the steady change in character focus. I would be reading what is going on in modern day Paris, then suddenly find the book describing events in ancient Egypt. The only problem that I had with the book was something that slightly offended my old-fashioned sensibilities. It was not a huge deal, but it made me a bit uncomfortable. However, it served a purpose at the end of the novel. The ending would not have been as powerful if not for that particular plot point.
As I stated in my summary, the book contains a multitude of characters. I think in this instance they were beneficial to the pacing and wove the story together more completely. Each was necessary to develop a major character or better explain a scene. Jac may have been the diamond, but she would not have shown without the never-seen little girl, Elsie. The assassin for the Chinese mafia added another dimension to Xie, in my opinion. The relationships between the characters were also stunningly lovely threads that wove this engrossing story together. To say more than that could potentially ruin the surprise of how everything was tied.
In the end, The Book of Lost Fragrances is a story about love. It is about the love between strangers, the love between family, and that intense love of a sweetheart (for lack of a better word). Anyone who enjoys a love story without a lot of romantic elements, a murder mystery without the gore, and a treasure hunt without an insane amount of twists and turns will enjoy this book. I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to review it, and I look forward to starting the series at the beginning. This is a book that I will definitely read again.
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way affected the outcome....more
In Pure, Julianna Baggott creates a post-apocalyptic world where the various survivors of the DetonationsReview originally posted at Krazy Book Lady.
In Pure, Julianna Baggott creates a post-apocalyptic world where the various survivors of the Detonations are pushed together in this dystopian thriller. There are two factions of survivors – the Pures, who were in a radiation-resistant Dome when the Detonations struck; and the Wretches, the poor souls who were unfortunate enough to be in the unprotected outside.
The story itself focuses on two very different individuals – Pressia Belze and Partridge Willux. Pressia lives in the remains of a city outside of the Dome and is nearing her sixteenth birthday. She and her grandfather are plotting a way to hide her from the OSR, the outside militia government that takes away surviving children once they turn sixteen, never to be seen or heard from again. Inside the Dome, Partridge lives a privileged life as the son of one of the most important men in the protected environment. Despite his advantaged status, he finds himself asking questions about why he made it into the Dome and what really happened to his mother who died in the Detonations.
I am not going to comment too much on the plot. There are so many twists and turns, that I could easily give something away without meaning to do it. All of that aside, this is an exquisitely written story about survival and relationships in a very ugly, filthy, and violent world. Unlike more popular post-apocalyptic young adult novels, this one is far more believable for me. I do not believe something could change the entire structure of humanity without changing the people and their environment. It is probable and, to be honest, terrifying. The former English major in me immediately wanted to dissect this story into all of its glorious pieces.
The secondary characters were one of my favorite aspects of the story, and it would not have been as successful without them. The Mothers are one example. Their mere existence in the story is important because of what they represent in that horrible world. One of my favorite lines in the story concerns them. “And some have no children, and, next to all of the others, they seem stripped, pared down, as if whittled to some smaller version of themselves.” (Chapter 32 – Uncorrected ARC) Pure is a novel of so much loss, and that line speaks volumes in itself. It made me ask myself if that description could also be applied to the Pures. Near the end of the story, there is a Special Forces soldier who tells one of the main characters, “I was. And now I am not.” That is something that each character in the entire book can say.
It was a slow start for me, but I ended up loving this book. It is gritty, graphic, and horrifying throughout, but one of the most beautiful reads that I have had the pleasure of experiencing.
A copy was provided by the publisher for review through NetGalley....more