Don't get me wrong, this isn't Shakespeare. But, it is a remarkably well told horror story, and as far as horror stories go, this one is a winner. The characters are very compelling and it is almost tragic the way the main character is labeled as mentally ill for most of her life because of her "gift." But in spite of her flaws, she goes to every length to redeem herself in the most human ways. I listened to it on audiobook and sat in my car to finish each chapter. It is descriptive and disturbing and I promise, if you ever walk past a tree in the forest with a Christmas ornament hanging on it, you will haul ass home.
SLIGHT SPOILERS, but nothing a blind man couldn't see coming....
If I sat down and listed the cliches and stereotypes that the author uses, I might be here all day, but if you like books with:
-bitter teens in foster care who have been failed by the system
-drunken Native Americans and Irishmen
-foster parents who care only about the money they get for fostering
-pervy, gross adoptive dads
-wicked step/adoptive mothers
-wealthy old white women with secrets
Then this is the story for you! Honestly, it was terrible. Was everyone else reading another book? I have read other fiction that had the orphan trains as a central detail and found them interesting and entertaining. This book was neither. It feels like a rambling, painful story written by a 9th grader who thinks that all their ideas are SO original and that no other teen on earth feels like they do. The narration doesn't help the unlikable "present day" character sound anything more than whiny and ungrateful and angry at the world.
I gagged my way through it, but do yourself a favor and skip this one.
I wouldn't expect a book about WWII Germany to be uplifting, and somehow, I managed to avoid all the other reviews and the recent movie, so I didn't really know what to expect. I think I liked this book because it wasn't about just one set of events, or revolve around a single plot. It basically just takes you through years in the life of regular people during terrible times. And that is more real than anything else. It is not just a gray march though, it is lively and touching, even when times for the characters are dark.
I was not sure how I would feel about a book narrated by a European man where the central character is a pre-teen girl, but he really nails it. And I completely forgot those reservations during the scene (you'll know it when you read it) at the end and I was walking my dogs with tears pouring down my face. The incredible narration made this book come to life for me, and I think that this may be one of those cases where the Audiobook version is much better than the written one.
I loved Gillian Flynn's other books. And this one did have a lot of the same components, but I just wasn't as surprised, disgusted or horrified (in a good way), the way that I have been with some of her others. The final detail that is revealed at the end re: teeth almost makes up for the rest, but overall, this one just didn't compell me in the same way. Unlikable characters can only stay afloat with a really good storyline and this one was just a little thin. Still a good read, but not great.
This is a lovely story - If you like feeling helpless, frustrated and terribly saddened by what was likely a relatively standard set of occurrences for slave women during the pre-Abolition era. Based very loosely on a couple of real historical figures, the real heroes are Hetty and Charlotte, the fictional characters who just want to be treated like human beings and experience a normal life, but skin color, geography and convention of the times make that tragically impossible. The deaths of a few characters (I don't want to give anything away, so pardon the lack of detail), will leave you teary eyed, if not outright crying. The writing is artistic and beautiful and the narration from the two separate perspectives make me so glad that I downloaded the audio version instead of the printed one.
This story is not a believable one, but it is still enjoyable. Smithy is a bit of a loser, and he really can't catch a break, but if you like fairy tales, this would probably fall into that category as (without magic of any kind), the main character undergoes a big transformation, while still being the same person on the inside, for better or for worse.
I am not going to give away the ending, but this book is odd and fascinating throughout, while the ending is nothing short of shocking. I really enjoyed it, and it takes the "boy and his dog" story to a level beyond what most of us will have the opportunity to understand. Be prepared for adventure and emotion well beyond what you would expect to be able to get out of an audiobook where the main character is mute.
I don't read many autobiographies, but this one had such great reviews, that I couldn't resist. It was worth the many hours as an audiobook to hear Keith Richards telling the stories of his life, which has been a wild ride. Being born in the 80's, there are only so many documentaries that you can watch on the 60's that will give you a grasp of the reality of the times. This book was far better than any documentary in its ability to set cultural contexts for the state of the US at a time when war, race relations, sexual revolution and art were all evolving and changing our country forever. This first person account is long, but enjoyable, even if you aren't a Stones fan.
I didn't realize that this was part of a Christian book series. It is nice and all, and inspirational and family friendly and whatnot, but I just wasn't expecting the content to be what it was. I was thinking it would be more like a Jodi Picoult tearjerker, not a God-give-me-a-sign story, so perhaps if I knew that, I would have been a bit more into it.
After reading "Gone Girl," "Dark Places" felt a little formulaic- evil (not just mean) female characters, spineless male, twisty mystery... However, it is a great story. If you have a hard time following a story when you don't like the characters, then you might not be able to get into this one. But, if you like a good mystery for the story and want a cast that is as unlikable as many people are in real like, you will enjoy this one.
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