one of the best books i've read this year. definitely on my top five for 2013 (so far).
like other reviewers, i cannot believe that i haven't heard of meg wolitzer before. she's written a ton of books, and if they are anywhere close to as good as this one was, i'm excited that i've discovered a "new" writer so that i can go back and read all of her work.
this book was so realistic. it was the story of six teenagers who meet at art camp and it follows their lives through the years into their 50s. the narrator shifts between three of them, but is mainly told by Julia dubbed early on "Jules". she's such a tender and relatable character. she's welcomed into this group of "interestings" -- without fully understanding why. she feels they are the apex of coolness and style, and that she's somewhat unworthy. from her first time in their "inner circle" (in the teepee of art camp) through the last page we see of them together, she's got doubts and questions...lack of confidence...and insecurities as to why and how she belongs.
the story is told over the years, jumping back and forth from past to present to somewhere in the middle..and seamlessly unfolds this story of friendship, marriage, success, failure and love.
Jen Tullock was, to me, the perfect narrator. she embodied Jules perfectly - but also played Ash, Ethan, Jonah, Dennis so well. She even gave ancillary characters their own perfect spin, voice and piece of the puzzle. I loved her reading of this book.
nice finish to a really well written YA trilogy. enjoyed all the character development and loved the conclusion of this intense and exciting story of Todd and Viola.
i must admit that i was both emotionally invested in these characters, and pleasantly surprised by all of their outcomes.
my one complaint about the books (all three, but this one in particular) was there could have been some editing to make them a bit more concise. there's a lot of repeated stuff in these books (mostly internal dialogue) that i found could have moved the story on a bit quicker. this was most evident in the beginning of all three books (the first 1/3 of each installment)...seems like it took Ness a bit of time to ramp up into each book, but once he got there it was great.
this is a solid trilogy
this book was a horror story and a mystery story and a story of family and love and regret and desperation all wrapped up into a wonderfully written and quite engaging novel.
the characters of ruthy and fawn were easy to root for...easy to love. sara and gertie were both mysterious and a tragic.
i'm a fan of jennifer mcmahon. i think she writes a tightly wound thrilling story with extremely well thought out characters. she knows how to weave in the magical element where it's not hokey or over the top...it's actually believable and really draws you in as a reader.
i will excitedly devour anything she writes until she stops writing.
Dan Stevens was a perfect narrator for Agatha Christie's novel of murder and mystery. he embodied all the characters so well, it really was like a little treat.
as for the story. i'm arriving so late to the Agatha Christie party, but i'm glad I tried her out. great story, well told, concise yet full of character development. loved every second of it!
honestly i expected more from amy tan. i dont know why. i've only read one other book by her (joy luck club), and i really did enjoy that one...but its been 6 years since i read it -- and 25 years since she wrote it. thats a lot of time, and a lot of other novels, that i've missed. but i guess because she's so prolific, and so popular, i figured that this novel was bound to be another amazing story. i kind of didn't feel that way.
to be frank, i found the story to drag on and on...with all of the main characters making all of the same mistakes over and over and over again. without learning or growing.
Violet is one of the dumbest female protagonists i have ever encountered. i kept grimacing over every choice she made, every person she trusted, every word she uttered. she kept saying 'i'm smart' 'i am clever' 'i could figure a way' -- and i wanted to scream back at here - no you aren't!!! you really really aren't! her story took way to long to unfold. leaving precious little time to get through the other two women's stories, which then felt rushed and cut short. Lulu was semi-interesting....but as i said, i felt i didn't get to really invest myself in her story because it was told so quickly and so near to the end of the novel -- i knew that it was being told only to move the story along to the ending.
obviously i don't know anything about being a courtesan in turn of the century China...how would i. and this story did give you an interesting look into that lifestyle, whether chosen or forced upon a woman. it was extremely graphic in it's sexual encounters -- which didn't bother me -- but i also didn't find those scenes necessarily helped to move the plot along. they were a bit gratuitous.
what frustrated me the most in this novel was the two child kidnappings that took place. the complacency of both mothers was astounding...like they lost an old silk scarf -- not a child from their own womb! there was no lamenting except a few words here and there 'i long for my daughter' 'i think about her all the time.' but that didn't seem like what was going on. it seemed, to me, that each woman was moving along with her life without looking back....without giving any effort to rescue her poor child. perhaps it was the times, or the country they were in, but i found the fact that no recourse was even attempted frustrating and bothersome. then the ending comes, everyone hugs and "we can all live happily moving forward and love each other again" -- it was just ridiculous.
to end, this book was frustrating, and drawn out, and overall disappointing to me.
i was absolutely riveted by this story. while the historical nature of the story seemed like a bit of a departure for Hoffman, the magical quality of the story was shining with every word written. i think Hoffman always has a way with words, and when her story is so captivating and her characters are so tormented the blend becomes a perfect novel.
this book was great. it had just the right amount of intensity and mystery, just the right amount of drama, just the right amount of deviance and brutality, and it was just the right length.
the story was interesting, with empathetic characters who are tortured (excuse the pun) by their past and trying to figure out a way to move on while having to revisit their old wounds. it's fast paced, there's no time wasted in getting to the final climax where all the twists and mysteries are resolved or revealed.
it's a perfect creepy crazy story of female victims trying to figure out the realities and overcome the horrors what happened to them.
intense story with a lot of great twists that really kept it moving. every time you get to a resolution, you realize that it's just the beginning of another crazy turn in the story.
there were definitely some cultural differences in the plot and in the writing, but they didn't detract from the intensity of the story.
as a character, Alex was well developed and had a lot of depth and interest. the way her story unfolds through her narration and through the investigation surrounding her kidnapping is layered in such a way that til the very last few pages you are still guessing...which makes for a good mystery.
worthy read for people who like this type of novel.
i'm not a sports person, and i'm not really a non-fiction book person...and yet, i found this story interesting and really quite enjoyable.
it's an American pride story, an underdog story, a story of resiliance and hope and and brotherhood. it was not only enlightening and educational, but really exciting. it's a piece of our nation's olympic history that I had no idea about but am glad that i now do.
grisham is a good writer. definitely keeps you interested and introduces you to a vast and various group of characters. while the book was pretty predictable (both hubby and i figured out what was going on around chapter 3), it wasn't boring..and i didn't mind watching the story unfold in the courtroom.
for my first foray into grisham i guess it was a bit underwhelming, but this guy obviously churns out novels with interesting characters and well thought out stories that are really perfect to translate into films.
i loved this book.
the tried and true detective story as told my the master Stephen King just works.
i love King's writing, whether or not it involves the supernatural aspects. the story delivers. the characters deliver. it kept me on the edge of my seat wondering whether good or evil would indeed prevail, you never know with King; and i loved every thrilling second of it.
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