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The Storyteller
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My review of THE STORYTELLER

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Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
And why I had some serious problems with it: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/catheri...


message 2: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) Good review, Catherine. I've read a couple of Picault's books and liked them, but there's just something in me that's resistant to reading more. Some kind of suspicion, I guess. I hated the ending of My Sister's Keeper. I thought it was horrid and kind of a cheap shot. I understand they cleaned it up in the movie. I didn't see it, mainly because of the actress they chose as the mother. Just couldn't imagine Cameron Diaz in that role. I also didn't feel like being jerked around emotionally.


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Good review, Catherine. I've read a couple of Picault's books and liked them, but there's just something in me that's resistant to reading more. Some kind of suspicion, I guess. I hated the endi..."

Thanks, Sandra. It was a hard review to write, actually, as I don't like writing negative reviews. But I felt I had to be honest.


message 4: by Pam (new)

Pam So, Catherine, what rating did you give this one? I didn't think that your review was actually negative, but I have already removed it from my TBR...


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Pam wrote: "So, Catherine, what rating did you give this one? I didn't think that your review was actually negative, but I have already removed it from my TBR..."

I ended up not giving it a rating, which is what I do when I don't recommend a book.


message 6: by Taughnee (last edited Mar 18, 2013 12:01PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Taughnee Golubović Catherine wrote: "Thanks, Sandra. It was a hard review to write, actually, as I don't like writing negative reviews. But I felt I had to be honest. ..."

You have to be authentic, or who will trust your reviews? I think you were spot on. And if you think about it, the two "negative" reviews so far have been about books where authors are providing consumers with "branded material." It's useful to learn more about that, and Patterson/Picoult aren't going to suffer from a dissenting opinion. What they're doing may not work for all people, I think I'm one of those people.


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Taughnee wrote: "Catherine wrote: "Thanks, Sandra. It was a hard review to write, actually, as I don't like writing negative reviews. But I felt I had to be honest. ..."

You have to be authentic, or who will trus..."


I agree with you Taughnee and I think that, so long as you provide a thoughtful explanation of a negative review it's fine. I just personally don't know how to rate this book as the writing is good but the story is bad, so it's easier for me to just leave the star system alone.


message 8: by Taughnee (last edited Mar 18, 2013 07:01PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Taughnee Golubović Catherine wrote: "I just personally don't know how to rate this book as the writing is good but the story is bad, so it's easier for me to just leave the star system alone. "

The rating system is really flawed. I think about this and lose sleep at night. I may reserve five stars for a book that "changed my life and I want everybody to read it!" ... but for the next person it may be "meh, I got my money's worth and I'm nice, so here's five stars."

It's so subjective and personal and terribly flawed. I almost liked this book, I wanted to like it, some parts I loved ... but to me, three stars is an "I recommend this book" and I couldn't go there. Yet, it wasn't as bad as a two-star review might suggest. Goodreads defines it as "it was okay" and that's true for me.


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Taughnee wrote: "Catherine wrote: "I just personally don't know how to rate this book as the writing is good but the story is bad, so it's easier for me to just leave the star system alone. "

The rating system is ..."


Interesting to hear your thought process. As an author, I can say that there is nothing more puzzling that a 3 or 4 start review where the text is 'I loved this book and could not put it down!' So, uh, why not give it 5 stars then?


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahpinneo) I've completely stopped using stars on Goodreads, because it just doesn't convey enough meaningful information. I feel better writing comments than starring things.


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "I've completely stopped using stars on Goodreads, because it just doesn't convey enough meaningful information. I feel better writing comments than starring things."

I've noticed a few other people doing that too. The downside of that, for authors, is that if people look at overall star ratings, if you give a positive review then it doesn't count in the stats. But totally understand why you'd do it.


message 12: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (kristinsbookshelf) | 6 comments Great review Catherine. I also read that interview last month and honestly it left a bad taste in my mouth. It put me off wanting to give her books a try, despite the fact that many of my book friends love her novels. I don't really mind or care about her opinion on fifty shades ect. And I'm not really a Sparks fan, but I felt like she took more aim at others and I would much rather have read about authors she respects and how she hopes to expand her "brand."


message 13: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (purplerrr) | 76 comments After reading your review Catherine, I may skip this book. I've only read Jodi when it's for a book club and I've liked the books well enough while feeling manipulated. They've kinda left a "well-that-was-somehing-but-I'm-not-sure-what-&-I-don't-care-if-I-experience-it-again" feeling with me and this sure doesn't seem like something I want to experience. So, instead, hope the library gets some more of the 52 weeks books that I have on hold so I can read them in a timely manner!


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Kristin wrote: "Great review Catherine. I also read that interview last month and honestly it left a bad taste in my mouth. It put me off wanting to give her books a try, despite the fact that many of my book frie..."

Thanks. I too had a negative reaction to part of that interview; not the ambitious part, good on her for being ambitious, but it's general tone.


message 15: by Lee (new)

Lee I don't think you should shy away from a negative review if it's merited. You hit the nail on the head with this one. This book is a good example of why we were avoiding best sellers up until 2013.


Jacquelyn (jsglow) I finally finished this one & I totally agree w/ your review, Catherine.
Lee, I wholeheartedly second you regarding this book being a perfect example of why many of us tend to avoid best sellers.


Jennifer | 0 comments Odd girl out but I really enjoyed the book and love Jodi Picoult's books in general. I just finished Second Glance, which was not my favorite of hers. It's an earlier novel and not as well written, but I do love her writing and her subject matters and twists and turns. :)


message 18: by Taughnee (last edited Apr 24, 2013 10:06PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Taughnee Golubović Jennifer wrote: "Odd girl out but I really enjoyed the book and love Jodi Picoult's books in general. I just finished Second Glance, which was not my favorite of hers. It's an earlier novel and not as well writte..."

You're out of the club, Jennifer! Just kidding :) According to the reviews, this is a massive success and those who don't love it are in the minority, not you. I love it when I love a book that everybody else hates and visa versa, not sure what that's about... probably the beauty that is interpretation and participation in the story. Here's to being in the minority, glad you enjoyed it!


message 19: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) Taughnee wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Odd girl out but I really enjoyed the book and love Jodi Picoult's books in general. I just finished Second Glance, which was not my favorite of hers. It's an earlier novel and n..."

Me, too! And that's the way it usually happens for me, so I'm always wary of reading best sellers.


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Taughnee wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Odd girl out but I really enjoyed the book and love Jodi Picoult's books in general. I just finished Second Glance, which was not my favorite of hers. It's an earlier novel and n..."

Funny, taughnee! But also, kind of why I started this group :)


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Taughnee wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Odd girl out but I really enjoyed the book and love Jodi Picoult's books in general. I just finished Second Glance, which was not my favorite of hers. It's an ea..."

Curious, Sandra, then, what you thought of the two 'not yet bestsellers but should be' we have read: The Comfort of Lies and The Banks of Certain Rivers?


message 22: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) Catherine wrote: "Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Taughnee wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Odd girl out but I really enjoyed the book and love Jodi Picoult's books in general. I just finished Second Glance, which was not my favor..."

I enjoyed the first, haven't read the second. Waiting for other places to have it available since it sounds good.


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Catherine wrote: "Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Taughnee wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Odd girl out but I really enjoyed the book and love Jodi Picoult's books in general. I just finished Second Glance, whic..."

Don't know if it will be available in other places.


Colleen | 13 comments Jennifer wrote: "Odd girl out but I really enjoyed the book and love Jodi Picoult's books in general. I just finished Second Glance, which was not my favorite of hers. It's an earlier novel and not as well writte..."
I loved the Storyteller too.I even liked the part of about the vampires...I thought it was the way she dealt with the horror and death that was around her.I don't always like bestseller such as
The Tiger's Wife.Really didn't like that one at all.


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Colleen wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "Odd girl out but I really enjoyed the book and love Jodi Picoult's books in general. I just finished Second Glance, which was not my favorite of hers. It's an earlier novel and n..."

I've never read The Tiger's Wife. But glad you liked this one. As Taughnee said, we all have different tastes and that's okay!


Taughnee Golubović How funny, I just put The Tiger's Wife on my TBR shelf just before I clicked on this thread. I guess this ties back in to our discussion about what makes us pick up a book ... I don't care much about the NYT bestseller list, but I will definitely look at contenders for/winners of various literary awards, like Pulitzer, National Book Award, Booker, etc.


Jennifer | 0 comments Too funny...I did not like The Tiger's Wife either. Forced myself to complete the book, in fact. Ah diversity...it's what makes the world go round and round! BTW, I love reading everyone's comments, thoughts and perspectives.


Celine (celinefrazier) I think your review hit the nail on the head, for me anyway.


Catherine McKenzie | 985 comments Mod
Celine wrote: "I think your review hit the nail on the head, for me anyway."

Thanks, Celine.


message 30: by Beth (last edited Oct 08, 2013 07:41PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Beth | 145 comments hmmmm, I waited until after I finished the book to read your review (yes, I am getting to this book a little late but better late than never!) - and your review surprised me as I thought it was a little harsh.

I thought the writing from the prospective of both a Nazi and a survivor was an interesting twist. Both of their stories were really riveting.

As for Sage, I didn't get why she had to be scarred etc and thought it took away from the rest of the story - plus I just didn't find her all that likable.

There were certainly parts that weren't very believable but what is it that they call it in the movies? suspension of disbelief or something? I was so involved in certain aspects of the story that I just suspended my disbelief during others.

I do agree with you though about why he couldn't just kill himself - that aspect of the story (that he needs her to help him kill himself) should have been left out entirely, it was just stupid.
I think Jodi Piccoult is a really talented writer though and have enjoyed her books that I have read.


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