Happy to report that it's just as good as I'd remembered. Reason? Flynn has a reasonably compelling character in his hero, but it's his side characterHappy to report that it's just as good as I'd remembered. Reason? Flynn has a reasonably compelling character in his hero, but it's his side characters who steal the show. I'd never in a million years have dreamed up the casting hey went with for this movie, but Michael Keaton may actually be up to the task of one of my favorite thriller characters ever.
NB: if you're looking for diversity, this is never going to be the series you want to read. It's 100% white heroes with a lot of foreign terrorists. Total gruesome torture, white hero shoot-em-up movie fodder....more
The worst thing for a reviewer (or reformed reviewer) is getting to that star rating Kindle serves up as you scroll past that last page and thinking "The worst thing for a reviewer (or reformed reviewer) is getting to that star rating Kindle serves up as you scroll past that last page and thinking "meh" but that's where we are. Meh.
I purchased Girl on a Wire with a great deal of excitement. I've heard great things about its author. And it's a circus book and if you've read even 10 of my reviews, you probably know how that goes.
There's not a lot I can say about this book. It's competently written. It's apparent that the author did a lot of research about wirewalkers. You'll keep going back to it to get to the ending. But it just didn't wow me.
Girl on a Wire is, at its heart, a mystery. Julieta comes from a family of circus performers and manages to get her family to sign with a big-name circus against their misgivings due to a decades-long feud with another famous circus family that already occupies the starring role in this show. And as Jules tries to find her way and make a name for her family, she stumbles over the mystery that led to the feud... but her life is threatened.
Great set-up, right? But Jules' burgeoning relationship with one of the sons of the feuding family (named Romeo but goes by Remy, and if you facepalmed, join the club) feels flat; they don't have much chemistry. One character offered as a red herring vanishes into the sunset fairly quickly, leaving readers with only one likely culprit. And when Jules is off her wire, much of the intrigue isn't as riveting.
Still, the moments when Jules is actually performing are stellar, which leads me to the three stars. Perhaps I was expecting too much, but the unevenness here left me with the mehs....more
Writers, beware. If you read this book, you will despair the rest of your days that you will be unable to match the perfection of ThI need more stars.
Writers, beware. If you read this book, you will despair the rest of your days that you will be unable to match the perfection of The Hate U Give. Readers, you may quit reading after this one.
I find myself jealous of a literary agent for the first time, jealous that Brooks Sherman got to read this before anyone else, jealous that he saw it and had the eureka moment of finding this gem and shepherding it to what will undoubtedly be its forever status as a classic. It must have been what finding S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders was like.
All those starred reviews should tell you what I'm most likely stumbling over: This book is miraculous. From the very first words to its perfect ending, not a word, not a phrase, not a single subplot point is out of place. Thomas has given us a heartrending glimpse into the life of black teenagers in the U.S. From the agonizing mantra Starr repeats to herself of how her parents taught her to react if she was ever stopped by the police to the unflinching look at racism in all its forms, from overt to overlooked, you'll find yourself reading it and thinking "I can't believe this exists." You read of authors opening veins to bleed on the pages only to read this book and see the reality of that in all its viscera.
Everyone, EVERYONE, needs to read this book. And I challenge all my fellow white people, both those who view themselves as allies and those who think everything is A-okay in America right now, to read this, to examine our privilege, no matter how much of it we think we have or don't have. And to listen to every nuance left between lines of this incredible book. There's a message in The Hate U Give that we all need to hear....more
This was so much in my wheelhouse I'm jealous that I didn't write it myself! Annie and Baxter are the children of two bats**t insane performance artisThis was so much in my wheelhouse I'm jealous that I didn't write it myself! Annie and Baxter are the children of two bats**t insane performance artists and spend their formative years as part of their parents' "art." As they grow older and strike out on their own -- Annie as an actor and Baxter as an author -- they have some initial success before their lives simultaneously implode and they end up moving back in with their parents to regroup. Their parents disappear not long after in what police suspect was a murder and Annie and Baxter suspect is their parents' latest performance.
I described this to a friend while reading as "a Wes Anderson movie in book form." The characters are delightfully insane without losing their realness, and the plot not only kept me guessing about the Fangs' disappearance but also waffling on how *I* wanted it to turn out. It's a rare book that can keep me that invested in the outcome along with being alternately laugh-out-loud funny and poignant. I'll give absolutely anything else this author writes a shot....more