This book is interesting to begin with, then just frustrating as the weak lead character Ariana fails to emerge victorious even once over her sociopathic roommate, Kaitlyn. The author tries to make Ariana likeable and give her some moral high ground, but it doesn't work, since to get to Atherton High, she had to escape from prison (or juvie hall...that was never explained, nor a reason given for her being there in the first place), then murder someone to steal her identity, then steal a million dollars worth of stuff to send Kaitlyn away. Later in the plot, she attempts to murder another girl, but is foiled by Kaitlyn. Two hours into this book, I kept checking the time left, because I was determined to finish it, and I just couldn't stand any of the characters. But the book stopped abruptly with NONE of the plot lines resolved, and although I didn't care who died or was exposed by that time, I was at least mildly curious to learn how it all came out, but it never did. Did the publisher lose the last half of the book? This was REALLY a waste of money and time.
This is easily the best book I've read in years. This story is compelling, I came to love the characters, especially this wonderful horse, and Bronson Pinchot is a superb reader. His tone and the pace he sets allows the story to unfold in pictures in your mind, so listening to him read the story is very much like watching a movie unfold in your imagination. You can see the children trekking down to the beach and climbing on Snowy's bare back to ride him as he swims. You can see him calmly awaiting his turn to jump in the noisy, crowded arena. You can see the children lined up on him as he returns to the arena to collect his ribbon and hear the cheers of the audience.
The book so became a part of me that I was unable to listen to another book for weeks afterward. I had to grieve that it was over before I could move on. Since it does not contain either sex or foul language, it's suitable for older children and teens as well as your church-going mother, especially if she likes horses. I highly recommend it.
Tim Curry was wonderful, as was the entire performance, but this book is one that I will neither listen to again nor read. It was dreary and depressing the entire way through. Tiny glimmers of hope were offered up periodically and then quickly squashed. The innocents struggle futilely to emerge victorious and are frustrated at every turn by the sociopathic bad guy. It's frankly too much like real life to be an enjoyable read. In addition, I don't know if it's supposed to be a children's book, but it reads rather like one, far too simplistic in its character development. It's a terrible book and I don't recommend it to anyone.
I'm not a die-hard Stephen King fan, but my boss had listened to this one and recommended it highly, so I gambled on it and won. It started off with a bang and then got better. As with most long King books, it did drag on a bit in the middle, and you wanted to wonder how so many people in town could have been hornswoggled by the antagonist, but it all ended well, and the ending was unexpected and thought-provoking, if entirely unrealistic. But the good people mostly emerged alive and well and the bad people were mostly killed in the end, so I was mostly happy. It took a little while to get used to the profanity, though. King does a good job with his characters, on the whole, but some of them use so much and such strong profanity that it jars one away from the story, it's so offensive. Still, if you can get past some nasty language, this is a great read.
This book presents the topic of gene therapy and the current issue of commercial or educational entities owning patents against individual genes. Sound dry? It could have been, were it not for the addition of Gerard, a talking, thinking, African gray parrot, whose comments made me laugh out loud throughout the book. I also appreciate Mr Crichton for making his primary female character, Alex, an intelligent woman with guts and a gun. As for the narrator, he is the best I have ever heard.
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