Lauren DeStefano wrote her frist trilogy, "The Chemical Garden" and I enjoyed the ideas and storylines. There were inconsistencies and disconnects, but liked it enough to try out her latest offering and was sorely disappointed.
First book in yet another dystopian trilogy with arranged marriages; assigned jobs/roles; and a corrupt clandestine government waiting to be overthrown. Please stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off. For every "Perks of Being a Wallflower" or "Fault in Our Stars" young adult triumphs, you must wade through a sea of mediocrity like "Perfect Ruin" and while I won't give up the search, I will warn other travelers. Beware: predictable, farcical, and redundant ahead.
Predictable and formulaic sum it up. Moyes wrote the moving and powerful, "Girl You Left Behind" and penned the entertaining, yet doomed relationship in "Me Before You" and this offering is only one step above a romance novel. Main character, Jennifer never showed why the men in her life were obsessed with her, other than her blonde hair and perfect posture. Stayed with it out of respect for her other works, but the more I waited, the less I was rewarded with tired, regurgitated details and banal ending. The narrator had a lovely voice, but her performance couldn't save this fluff. I would still try a new book written by Jo Jo Moyes, but this one was disappointing.
Holly was flighty, fake, fun, and completely redeeming. Superbly written story narrated by the enigmatic Michael C. Hall, at the low, low price of $4.95 made for a fantastic listen. Thank-you to Audible for courting the likes of Hall!
Maybe it's unfair to rate this after just having finished, "Twelve Years a Slave". I found this book formulaic and forced. Alternating narrators told the side of Hettie, a young slave girl, clever and quick, and superbly performed. She deserves four stars, but split the difference with the narrator for Sara, privileged Charleston girl who sounds as if she is constantly suffering from the vapors.
Hettie and the story of her intelligent, cunning, talented mother give the first part of the book life. The credit spent was worth it for her story. The last 2/3 mingle Hettie's trials and Sara's arrogant journey. I couldn't wait for her to stop talking so I could hear from Hettie. The girls' friendship never felt authentic or touching, yet forced and when they meet up again at the end, it feels too contrived. Finding out this was based on a true story surprised me, but did not change my overall opinion of the writing. Perhaps my expectations were too high. This was no "12 Years a Slave" nor was it "The Secret Life of Bees". Try the book, "Wench" for a grittier, heart-wrenching tale of friendship and camaraderie during the ugly times of slavery.
Lena and Ethan, the star-crossed couple battling dark magic, and the prejudices of the townsfolk in Gatlin, SC in Beautiful Creatures was fresh and engaging. This one falls peril to the mistakes of most second novels, they tried to make it bigger and more complicated.
The first 20 min continued with Lena and Ethan fighting their feelings and then an enormous chasm opens with new characters, supernatural beings, and other worlds followed through tunnels beneath the Caster Library, creating a jumbled mess. Peripheral characters receive too much time, revealing how uninteresting they truly are and takes attention away from the main focal point. The last 10 minutes finally brought the young lovers back together, but also set up a new problem for further books; those I will not read.
The flower on the book was an omen foreboding me to step away. Romance novel was my gut instinct, and left it at that, until magazine after magazine touted this as one of the year's best. I caved and spent my credit only to find I was correct.
Cousins fight over a the same man; jilted lover hooks up with old high school beau; and spoiler alert...husband has a secret! This book isn't complete rubbish, but it's certainly not great lit either. Reminds me of another book given the same distinction, "Life after Life" and after the second time, I wanted to kill the narrator myself.
If you're expecting clever twists, witty dialogue, precarious situations, this is not for you.
In 1929, an Irish girl whose parents died was shuttled on a train of orphans going to various mid-West stops in hopes of finding placement with a family. It wouldn't be a story if she didn't meet with hardships.
Now an elderly woman, "Dorothy" works with a girl from the foster care system to sort through her belongings. She recalls childhood memories and the two share a bond.
The book is a little predictable, you can guess what will happen, but the trip was worth it. Definitely recommend for an entertaining, fun read.
Read great reviews on this one, so settled in to hear details about purposeful selection and murder of patients. What I discovered much to my delight and horror was the opposite. Charles Graeber writes from the perspective of a floating, non-judgmental narrator taking you through the events. I (and probably most of us) wanted to believe there was a reason he killed so many people. Was it for mercy or prejudice or hatred or a childhood traumatic event. When the answer is no, the story becomes creepier.
My advice is not to read too much detail from the summary and especially other reviews giving you play-by-play analysis. There is no gore, the shock factor is a slow build. Listen and let the story unfold walking you through the hospital, a place of trust with administrators, nurses, and the mystery of medicine. Was this the perfect storm for a serial killer? You decide.
Yet another young adult novel about the impending apocalypse. Stranded in the ocean is a new twist, but beware the same tired format: boy loves girl out of his league while she loves someone else; other consolation girl loves boy. Entertainment Weekly compared characters' composition to those created by John Green. I say, not even close. Save your credit on this one and if you like YA and haven't discovered John Green or Stephen Chbosky, check them out instead.
Fun story of funky, flighty Louisa undertaking a new and temporary position caring for a quadra paraplegic. Will lived a full, exciting life until a freak, ironic accident confined him to the chair. The plotline is fairly predictable, but worth your time for a fun and easy listen.
What I liked most was the surprising complexity of the characters. Lou/Louisa was open and honest about her frustrations of caring for an "ass" as she calls him and displays a mixture of emotions: easy-going, frustrated, complacent, and spirited. Will was stubborn, pragmatic and honest with his assessment of Lou and the situation, class system, and more details I won't give away. Moyes paints both characters with rich detail. I could picture Will down to his shirt, haircut, and even the smell of his skin ( I know that sounds creepy) but enjoyed the experience and even shed a tear at the end.
Jo Jo Moyes latest book, "The Girl You Left Behind" is an excellent read.
Reading this book in 2013, I understand why it sat atop the best seller list for so long several years ago. This is a sparse tale of a Dad trudging along a barren landscape with a shopping cart containing minimal supplies and son in tow. They persevere and plow ahead searching for food and shelter, forever in motion, avoiding unthinkable dangers. This is a gritty and stark story.
Enjoyed this book for the well thought out characters, especially the father struggling to keep his son safe while showing compassion and strength. The biggest struggle he faces is keeping his humanity and acting as a moral compass. The narrator fits the character as gruff, exhausted, and strong. Excellent read.
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