Anne Hathaway does a masterful job of reading a beloved classic. Thoroughly enjoyable for all ages!
This book was an unusual post-apocalyptic book for a few reasons. First, the setting is unusual. The action takes place in a small, intimate area - a small town in Iowa that has a chemical spill that causes it to be quarantined off for the rest of the United States. This gives us a nice dose of nostalgia for small town Midwest and a very perceptible and easily imagined feeling for the claustrophobia, powerlessness, and despair of those trapped for seven years in Flowertown. It also puts the action on a small scale so that it is easy to believe in the ability of a few to subjugate the trapped - by controlling the media, internet, cell coverage, and supplies that are allowed into Flowertown. We don't have to imagine a world changed immeasurably.
Secondly, the heroine. She is not a stunningly beautiful (but doesn't know it) kick-ass girl just waiting for someone to love her. She is a young adult - in her early 20's. She has flaws,and hides in a haze of marijuana smoke from most of what is happening to her. She does not have magical powers and was not destined for greatness. She is not trained in combat. She does not have two guys fawning over her in a cliched love triangle. In fact, romance plays a fairly small part in the story overall. Our heroine is reluctant and flawed and human, and most of all, relatable.
What we do get is a really intimate and scary medical thriller. We get a lot of backstory told in ways that are not big static info-dumps. We get a strong sense of setting and wonderful memorable details. We get characters making decisions and trying to figure out what is going on at the same rate as the reader is, so there is a lot of suspense and tension. The plot is action-packed and nicely reveal in a pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat. You aren't sure who to trust. The writing is sharp, well edited, and precise. It's got humor and sass.
The criticisms - okay, Guy is a bit too good to be true, He should have given up on Ellie well before the end. Bing and Ellie are a bit too precious in that John Green-esque dialogue way. They fly off the handle and then make up again and again. Rachel is a bit too good and pure and convenient to figuring out the plot points mid-book. Ellie stops smoking pot and overnight can run without hacking and gasping like a true pothead would have. It is stated way too many times how infrequently Ellie bathes and how filthy her clothes are. Ellie makes a leap of logic in two places that seem too convenient. The contaigen seems too easily controlled.
The audiobook is very well narrated by Tanya Eby.
This was a surprise as I had not heard of it before, and it was a perfect summer read.
This book was a rollicking good time that I could imagine in my mind's eye as a movie. The plot was ludicrous but if you let yourself go with the farcical nature of the thing, it was fun to be swept up in the action. The book started really strongly, and while the plot lines all pulled together pretty neatly by the end, I did notice a decreasing attention to editing as the book went on. I was a little confused by the fact that some of the celebrities were named by their real life name and others were "hidden" by a rhyming version of the famous name instead. The narrator did a good job, with some great celebrity impressions along the way.
Entertaining and rambunctious farce, if a bit silly.
This book wasn't bad - it just felt like it wasn't fully written yet. The writing was pretty solid, but could have used a bit more editing and reworking for most impact and better flow. The characters and their alternating POVs worked, but overall the book felt more like an introduction to their stories than the full novel. My only quibble was that the historical time period seemed to shift - with modern terms and traditional/fantasy terms used together to make the setting a bit muddy. The narration by Alex Hyde-White is very good. I think that the author shows promise and that with a bit more experience, this could develop into a really satisfying fantasy series.
Easy, fast-paced cozy mystery with a lot of humor. Despite the cat that is almost a character herself, the book didn't fall into the traps of many cozy mysteries and get too "precious". The heroine was refreshingly smart, brave, and not superficial. Jess is 52, and is able to stand up for herself without obsessing about the man in her life. I enjoyed the unusual angle of Jess being a pool shark, and the Wade Inn was a great location for the investigation. The trio of friends were very funny, as was Jess's mother. The murder mystery never got too scary. A fun summer read. Recommended for fans of Janet Evanovich's writing.
Classic John Green teenagers engage in witty banter. Oddball Margo enlivens the life of staid Quentin in one memorable night of hijinks and daring, then disappears. Q and his friends follow a trail of clues to figure out where Margo went, all the while negotiating the end of senior year of high school and contemplating the inevitable "end of an era" that is coming after high school. The unlikely intermixing of kids in different social groups reminded me of classic high school movies like The Breakfast Club, Can't Hardly Wait, and Empire Records.
This book opens with a bang, hums along with the giddiness of senior year, roars into the wild abandon of a ridiculous road trip... and then stutters to a halt into a too-talky, overblown precious ending full of sweeping philosophical statements that seem empty. At least the story didn't wrap up neatly into a happily ever after romance.
While a lot of the book is enjoyable, I felt like Green was trying too hard, and his characters became flat dialogue bubbles at the end. I don't believe that he achieved the coming of age character progression that would have redeemed the book. I'd recommend 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' instead.
Grisham is on his game with his second installment of Jake Brigance (A Time To Kill) legal thrillers. Loaded with twists and turns, this case will surprise and delight as the facts are revealed. The racial tension (both historical and current time of the story, in the 1980's) is compelling but Grisham doesn't let it make the story one-dimensional. The cast of characters is full of Southern charisma and oddball pathos, as all Southern novels should be. Highly enjoyable and well-narrated by Michael Beck.
This book is a well-researched historical account of the Battle of Concord as told through the sympathetic and realistic eyes of an 18 year old girl. It starts off a bit stilted due to the language and historical conventions of the time, but you ease into the book quickly and the Betsy's telling of the Revolutionary War strikes home with immediate and realistic detail. I appreciated that this is not the typical YA that is centered on romance and idle youthfulness - Betsy and her family have no time for frivolity as they are fighting for their life, village, and country. It was an interesting view of the war as it came from the perspective of women and children rather than primarily of the men fighting. The account is very detailed and while the story is bleak and bloody, there is hope alive still in the aftermath of war.
This book was a mixed bag. Ilona Andrews' writing is smooth, adept, and enjoyable with humor and adventure, as usual. The book is more emotionally charged than most of the Kate Daniels series as so much of the plot centers on motherhood (the pack children going loup, the fears of Kate and Andrea and Aunt B about future children, the Desendra pregnancy) and fatherhood (Hugh and Kate's shared "father", the danger of Kate's real father, Desendra's despicable father and husbands). The plotline felt a bit contrived but it's always fun to have a group of characters take a journey together to accomplish a common goal. The new characters were good and not too confusing or detracting. The scenes with Kate and Hugh were really rich and interesting, and really fleshed out Hugh as a character. Even the shocking death in the book was well done and pulled on heartstrings effectively.
I felt that I enjoyed the secondary characters so much more than Kate and Curran, because of Curran's behavior with Lorelei. I did not buy his story, could not believe the did not make Kate aware of the threat against her life, and felt that it diminished Kate to forgive him so easily. The ending with Christopher felt really pasted on and unrealistic. Hugh would never have let Christopher escape with his powerful ability.
It's still an enjoyable read, as I expect from Ilona Andrews. I am disappointed with the characterization of Curran at the moment.
I got this audiobook at discount from an Audible Daily Deal. I am a fan of both the film and particularly of the television show, so it was interesting to examine the source. Despite being the birth of some really great characters, the book is very rudimentary and awkwardly masculine with its drunken antics and discriminatory view of women (who are all whores or hysterical). The later incarnations of the material really worked to humanize the characters. While I was listening to the book, I kept imagining what a jewel this book would have been were it have been written by more capable hands like those of Vonnegut, Irving (like Garp), or Heller (like Catch-22). Despite the drunken absurdity of most of the book, there are some wonderful moments. I particularly enjoyed the bizarre Trapper John character. The scenes that showed us the surgical reality of the war zone were interesting and informative.
The narrator read this in a flat, ponderous tone. It lacked the banter and lightness that should have been there between the Swamp Men.
This book is left to male readers. Better still, re-watch the TV show.
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book. The unusual immortals, a polyamorous couple that seemed like a healthy relationship, and a talented narrator. Halfway through, I was left with a talented narrator and a whole pile of tedious misogynistic male wish fufillment. Ring, the main character is handsome, rich from the gains of the immortals they've killed (oh, but it's okay because they donate a lot of it to charity), wins every fight with immortals due to his magical fishing knife, has emotional ties to his "girls" and the Thai family down the street, and gets to be in charge all the time. He gets to sleep with mortal and immortal women outside the relationship without consequence, and they even have a friend that runs a strip club that they all love to hang out at. The plot of the book where they hunt immortals is interesting but then dissolved into a non-sensical progression of logic leaps, unexplained progression, and detailed sexual description (because all females are sexual slaves or predators, apparently). Ring triumphs (or does he?) but I found I didn't care because he annoyed me so much by the end. The mythology of the immortals in this book is unclear. Maybe this is the male version of all the oversexed female lead paranormal romance on the market?
I hope the narrator gets the chance to read a higher quality book next time.
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