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I had a hard time connecting with Tris in the beginning. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the book, because I did. It's just that there's only soI had a hard time connecting with Tris in the beginning. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the book, because I did. It's just that there's only so much self-doubt I can take and Tris is riddled with it. One redeeming factor was that she didn't whine about it.
Overall, I found the plot predictable. I knew where we were going and all the plot twists and character revelations that would follow from about page 46. This means I spent a lot of time waiting for Tris to catch up with me.
Of course now some of you may be wondering how I can give 4 stars to a book where I didn't instantly fall in love with the main character or where I'd figured out the plot so early on.
Well, since you asked:
1) I love the world Veronica Roth created. I love its texture, its history, its layers, and its message. I love all the secondary characters, from her friend and fellow initiate Christina to the conniving, cruel Eric.
2) I love where this story seems to be heading. The book actually ends, unlike some others I've read in recent history. It can stand on its own, but it left room for the sequel that is coming. A sequel that I am now anticipating.
3) Just because I couldn't relate to Tris' character doesn't mean that she's not an interesting character. At the very least, I understood her motivation. Tris' self-doubt and her sometimes infuriating behavior stemmed from her background and, to be honest, there's not an Abnegation bone in my body, so it was hard for me to understand her actions and reactions. But she was conflicted and I can appreciate that. And she was always honest about it.
Tris grew on me. The more she came into her own -- realizing that her so-called flaws were actually part of her strength -- and the more she embraced the whole person she was meant to be, the more I liked her. By the end I was rooting for her.
4) Four -- If the book had been about Four standing in a cardboard box, I would have read it cover to cover and begged for more. To me, Four was the most compelling character in the story, even though I had him figured out from the start.
He's strong, loyal, brave, selfless, and kind & loving wrapped up in a hard exterior. He's bruised by his past, but far from broken. Just how I like my heroes. He reminded me of a Dean Winchester or Wolverine type. And anyone who knows me, knows how much I love those guys.
I'd recommend this book, especialy to anyone who likes Dystopia. And to those who may have trouble connecting with Tris like I did, stick around. It's worth it. ...more
So here is a list of things that definitely did not happen while I was reading Possess:
1) I did not have to sleep with the lights on.
2) I did not fallSo here is a list of things that definitely did not happen while I was reading Possess:
1) I did not have to sleep with the lights on.
2) I did not fall asleep clutching my rosary & mumbling a prayer.
3) I did not wake up in the middle of the night in a pitch black room to find glowing eyes staring at me.
4) And I certainly did not screech, jump out of bed and knock over my nightstand only to realize those eyes belonged to my cat.
Okay, so clearly all of those things did in fact happen. But it's not my fault. I blame Gretchen McNeil. This book is creepy. Creepy, and engrossing, and wonderful. I couldn't get enough. And this is another book I went into with extremely high expectations so it had to be awesome to satisfy me.
Bridget is an incredible heroine. I can't even explain how much I loved her. She reminded me of myself at that age. You know, if I'd have been a kick-ass teenage exorcist instead of a girl who would've locked herself away if the walls had begun talking to her. She's intelligent, funny, and snarky. I never once found myself questioning her behavior. I could gush about her forever, but I'm going to force myself to move on.
The supporting cast is equally as amazing. Each character fully fleshed out with their own little intricacies and secrets. I adored Matt. He's handsome, charming, and super supportive of Bridget even as she does her best to push him away.
The story line is truly original. It wasn't the same old story with different characters. I was fully engaged, anxiously turning pages to see what would happen next. There are lots of spine-tingling moments and action scenes that had me holding my breath and biting my nails. The book definitely came to a successful conclusion, and as far as I know it's not part of a series, however I'd love to see more of Bridget and her world.
If you're a fan of YA horror or paranormal, or simply a fan of incredible writing, this book is for you.
I have a giveaway of a hardcover copy on my blog until 9/15/11. ...more
Okay, where to begin? Maybe the very first line since, as every great book should, it sucked me in.
The winds in Washokey make people go crazy
The prosOkay, where to begin? Maybe the very first line since, as every great book should, it sucked me in.
The winds in Washokey make people go crazy
The prose just gets better from there. It's lyrical, poignant, intense. Beautiful. It's everything that I, as a writer, aspire to achieve and that I, as a reader, feel honored to experience. Hubbard had me re-reading lines and highlighting passages in an effort to understand their simple brilliance. Nearly every line is a wonder, ripe with the power to squeeze your heart or kick you in the gut.
The setting is almost surreal and is a testament to its importance in all great works of fiction. The dry, barren wasteland that is Washokey lends itself to the story. Works its way into the cracks and crevices, filling every gap and hole, leaving a seamless surface that becomes as much of a character as the people who inhabit it, and makes the story one that could not have taken place anywhere else.
Characterization in Like Mandarin never falls short. Each character, from Grace to the random drunk stumbling around a parking lot, was written in a way that acknowledged their unique histories and complexities. They felt like living, breathing human beings. People that you know, love, or ignored at some point in your life.
Grace herself is a smart, mature, 14-year-old who harbors an obsession with geology and, as the title suggests, with the carefree, often promiscous 17-year-old Mandarin Ramey. She keeps her head down and dreams of the day she'll get to leave her irritating, selfish mother, her small town, and her small time existence behind.
Mandarin is Grace's opposite. She's rebellious, gutsy, troubled. On the surface Mandarin seems like the more interesting character. And in less capable hands than Hubbard's it would be easy for Mandarin to overshadow Grace, and although this is often how Grace feels -- overshadowed, less than --, it's never felt by the reader. You are painfully aware that it's Grace's story being told. You experience every embarrassment, every bit of anger or frustration, every setback and awkward moment with her.
And while Grace's journey is complicated and sometimes edgy or dark, in the end it's a story about friendship, love, finding your identity and coming to terms with the "you" that you are, and is perfectly suited to a young adult audience that is no doubt currently experiencing, or has recently experienced, the same thing.
There is absolutely nothing about this book that I didn't adore. I'll admit to being a sucker for the supernatural and fantastical. I like to be transported to worlds unlike my own. But a contemporary done right, like Like Mandarin, is a reminder that there is often nothing more complex, compelling or magical than real life and the depth of human emotion....more
Oh. My. God. I cannot even begin to describe how much I loved this book. It was everything I could have ever wished for from a dystopian and more. I jOh. My. God. I cannot even begin to describe how much I loved this book. It was everything I could have ever wished for from a dystopian and more. I just want to squeeze it. Or sleep with it under my pillow until I'm clever enough to dream up something as brilliant.
It was tender and touching in a way that reminded me of my profound love of Lois Lowry's The Giver. The Giver is the book that changed my life. The one I read at a young age that made me want to be a writer. Made me want to affect people with words. So to find a book reminiscent of it has made me insanely happy.
Condie's writing is superb. Beautifully crafted. Every word has a point. A purpose. And was specifically chosen to create a society that is easy to understand, destined to be hated, and impossible to forget. From the very beginning, there were parts that made me tear up. Which is not something I do easily. My heart ached for Cassia and for Ky. For the choices that were seemingly beyond their control.
I do have to warn you that this is not a Hunger Games-style dystopian. The pace isn't slow, but it's steady. Gradually building until the final climax. There is no overt action, it's all done very subtly, but the story is intense nonetheless. It's haunting and thought provoking. It's an incredible love story set against the backdrop of a society that believes choice leads to failure. And in a way, they're right. The instant Cassia begins making choices her once "perfect" world begins to crumble. But it is the freedom to choose that makes us human.
I was always intrigued, wondering when the Society would exert their control and attempt to destroy the growing love between Cassia & Ky, but in the end, it all comes down to choice and the consequences of those choices.
It's just amazing. I can always gauge my love of a book by my willingness to lose sleep over it. This one I read in one sitting, staying up until about 3 am to finish despite the fact that I was ill. Recommended to everyone. I personally feel it should be read and adored by the world. ...more