This book is a good book, a compelling story, believable and likable characters, but it's predictable. So, I waivered between giving it 3 and 4 stars for the story. But I really did enjoy the story even if there weren't any twists or turns that I found thrilling or exciting.
I think the dynamics of the clubs at the school are really interesting. It's hard to understand the dynamic of "mean girls" and why they do some of the things they do but this book really explores why girls that aren't mean would take part in hurting others.
My favorite scene is a scene where Amelia is with her best friend Sylvia and describes her in her internal monologue. I can't remember the exact words she says but it was something along the lines of "Her heart is huge and wreckless." I can relate. Who doesn't know someone (or maybe is someone themselves) that falls in love easily and quickly and jumps in with both feet?
Probably something about picking your friends carefully or the dark side of friendship.
It's a good listen, the narrator is great and does an excellent job of capturing the tone and inflections of high school girls....that "attitude" they all seem to be infected with.
No. I don't usually re-read or re-listen to most books. However, at the end of a really good audiobook, I usually do have the urge to start over from the beginning as soon as it stops because I don't feel ready to let go of the characters or the plot yet. But this story, while it did entertain me, didn't leave me feeling like that. I was okay with leaving the characters as the author did and moving on to something else.
I would definitely consider another book by M. R. Carey. While I think the "zombie" idea is definitely being overplayed lately, I appreciated the author's attempt to create a new spin on it. Overall, I thought the book was successful but there are definitely some holes that the story intentionally didn't address. But when you're reading a zombie story, aren't you already agreeing to suspend reality and give the author latitude to go a little light on reality?
I don't have any complaints about the performance.
Not really. The book wasn't meant to be moving. It was entertaining and kept me awake while driving and that was the goal the entire time anyway.
You'll enjoy the story more if you just agree to suspend expectations of reality. Expect to be entertained. But this isn't like 'The Martian' where the author demonstrated a scientific proficiency to wow the reader with a potential for this to be reality. Those types of authors always blow my socks off, but despite the "surface level" explanations of the science, the book is still enjoyable even if not given enough detail to make one wonder if it could become reality.
I selected this book based off the glowing reviews. I was disappointed. The book bounces around between times and characters and in audiobook format, it was extremely confusing to follow for almost half of the book. Then once I had everyone straight, the story seemed to trudge along where the story's very subtle forward momentum was continuously interrupted by long tedious passages. Usually good writing is enough to keep me invested in the story through long drawn out narratives but this audiobook's eloquent writing wasn't adequate to make up for the double whammy of the extremely sluggish plot, confusing timelines, and the overall depressive conditions it described. I found myself wanting to escape from the book instead of escaping into the book. Because of the glowing reviews, I hung on expecting the author to make some huge leap to a conclusion that at least gave me the warm hearted feeling of being glad I saw it through to the end but alas, it wasn't so. I found the ending felt dull and flat. So, in short, the writing was very good, but not good enough to keep me feeling invested and looking forward to listening.
While bouncing back and forth between time and place can enhance a story greatly, in this particular case, it didn't translate well into the audiobook. It was too confusing. I suspect that had I been reading it instead of listening, the jumps might have been more easily understood but the producer or director should have realized how confusing it was in the audiobook and taken enough license to provide some sort of method for the listener to comprehend the shifts in time and place more easily. And typically when a story shifts around in the way this one does, the ending somehow brings all the stories together in a way that makes it worth the tediousness of the earlier jumps. While these stories did cross paths, I didn't feel like the unification at the end was climactic enough to justify the confusion it caused in earlier chapters. The ending felt sort of hollow because instead of a climactic unification of the different story lines, some of them just end without resolution and it truly felt more like a "cross paths" than a "unification" and I felt disappointed with that.
The narrator was fine but it would have been helpful for him to modify his voice for different characters. Sometimes this annoys me but in this case, it would have enhanced the listener's ability to keep track of time and place in the earlier chapters of the book.
Nope. It's pretty shocking for me to admit that I don't like a book, and I just didn't like this one. I wasn't drawn to it, I was just trying to get through it. Listening to it began to feel like a chore.
I read one review that gushed over what a great story this was and that anyone that didn't like it just couldn't appreciate the writing. I disagree completely. I have given books glowing reviews based just on the writing. Writing can make up for a lot of sins. The author could have given this plot significantly more forward momentum and there was certainly lots of room to create a more powerful ending. But even the dramatic portions of the story seemed flat and one dimensional in the audio book. Some of that may have been the fault of the narrator and director, but overall the audiobook felt confusing, slow, and outright tedious. The good writing failed to make up for hours of tedious listening for a plot that just honestly kind of fizzled out. I was extremely disappointed in this book. I expected a lot more based on other reviews.
Probably just above the middle but I've listened to some amazing audiobooks. If you liked Gone Girl, you'll probably like this one. I read it because another reader said she hated it but she also admitted she hated Gone Girl and since I loved Gone Girl, I decided to give it a go. She was right!
The characters and how their lives were intertwined was what held me to the story. I didn't find that many of the female characters were very likable yet I kept wanting to know how the story turned out. I found it interesting that I was so interested in the conclusion of a story about so many people that I didn't really like very well. The main character was clearly mentally ill but it was easy to see how she slid down the slope to that person and that she wasn't always like that. It gave me just enough compassion for her to care what happened to her. I found myself feeling disappointed when she did things that were self-destructive or irresponsible so despite how unlikable I found her overall, I did still somehow want to root for her to come out alright in the end. I won't spoil any of the ending but I did finally catch on before the big reveal but it's rare that I don't figure out the twist in a story like this.
The narrator's voice was perfect. I could tell which character she was portraying easily by the changes in her voice but it wasn't so forced that it felt silly.
As a career woman that put off marriage until my mid 30's, I was stunned (and so was my husband) to inherit a 7-year old child only a month after our wedding. Add to it that the child was reported to have behavior problems and was on powerful antipsychotics and mood stabilizers and we were more than just a little concerned for how to help her deal with the sudden changes.
However, it quickly became apparent that our new daughter wasn't psychotic, she hadn't ever had boundaries or consequences. When expecting obedience for obedience sake failed, I realized I needed some advice on how to deal with a child that wasn't compliant and had a strong will.
I'm happy to report that this book was EXACTLY the blueprint I needed to proceed and undo 7 years of no discipline. We are working with a psychiatrist now to wean her off her medications because by using the techniques in this book, we are coming along very well and we haven't had a "tantrum" in weeks. She still sometimes tests her boundaries but thanks to this book, they don't ruin our day or week any longer. We deal with the issue and whatever resulting consequences there may be and we move on. I especially appreciate the advice to "either write the ticket (consequence) or give the lecture...not both" If she might not understand the reason, we go with the lecture and defining expectations for next time. If she understands, we go with the consequence which includes a written apology so she can prove to us she understands without us having to go through a lecture.
(side note, the written apology idea didn't come from this book, it came from a blog. But when she's punished, she gets a reasonable consequence and she has to write a 4 part apology and the apology has become the most effective part of the punishment. It has to say (1) what she did wrong and apologize for it. (2) why it was wrong (3) how she thinks it made us or whoever she wronged feel and (4) how she will choose to behave next time. For example, yesterday she got in trouble for painting her nails AFTER I'd told her not to (the punishment was for disobedience and not for the nails). Her apology was: "I'm sorry that I disobeyed you and painted my nails after you told me not to. It was wrong because I am supposed to obey. It probably made you feel angry and like I don't respect you. Next time I am tempted to disobey, I will remember to respect you and trust that you know what is best for me." The consequence is that she didn't get to go with me to the nail salon yesterday afternoon like I'd planned as a surprise. Now she knows that when I make a decision she doesn't like, it might be because I didn't give her all the information and she needs to trust me.)
I appreciated that the book didn't dwell for long drawn out intervals beating a dead horse. The author explains the concept, gives some examples, and moves on. I hate parenting books that act as though I'm not smart enough to learn the concept if they don't repeat themselves for 4 chapters.
This book has made a difference in our house. We give her the expected results and time limits and I'm constantly awed at how smart and creative she can be at getting to those results when I let her have control of her process. Sometimes she falls short but by giving her our clear expectations, she almost always chooses to meet or exceed them and we are so proud of her progress given the set of unfortunate circumstances that led to her being here with us.
The writing was excellent (judging solely from the audiobook, I have not read the print version) and good writing can cover a multitude of sins. It gives the characters more depth, allows you to get to know them slowly as if meeting someone in real life. It gets you really invested in each of the characters before the main plot happens so you feel like you're in it with them. Even the beginning where the author was laying out the background and introducing you to the characters, it didn't feel like it was dragging to me because the author took such care with the writing. The narrator did an excellent job.
This is the first book I've listened to by Sarah Waters but I'd be interested in listening to others based on my experience with this one.
No, but she is an excellent narrator and her accents didn't seem fake or forced. I very much appreciated the narration.
I found it stayed with me even when I wasn't reading. I thought about how I would perform in the scenarios faced by the characters. Would I be strong or weak and would I have given in to the suggestions of someone I was in love with in that kind of scenario or would I have kept my head about me and been more logical and rational? I could see bits of my own personality in the two main characters in the story. I felt anxious mirroring the main character's anxiety as she dealt with the aftermath of the choices she and her friend made. I even felt the color drain from my face a few times reading the story when I was worried they'd be exposed. I don't want to reveal too much but because the author took such care to introduce us to the characters and I found parts of their personality similar to mine, I felt involved in the plot more than I would typically for this type of story.
While I wouldn't put it in my list of favorite books ever, it was one that held my attention and I found myself pondering it even after I finished listening to it. I would recommend it with the only caveat that the reader may find the beginning a little slow. I found the writing was eloquent enough that I didn't mind the time the author took to lay the ground work for the story.
I used to read Jodi Picoult all the time but her writing started feeling sophomoric and I found myself getting bored with her work. I almost didn't buy this book except that another commenter noted that she also felt that Picoult was sophomoric and that this book really exceeded her expectations. I have to admit, it exceeded mine as well. I loved it. I thought about it when I wasn't listening and looked forward to my commute to have time to listen to it. I feel like this guided review would force me to reveal too much about the plot so I will just say that it's a fantastic book. It's the best book I've read by Picoult. I loved it. I loved every second of it.
This book felt like it just stopped instead of ended. Like the author wasn't sure how to end the story so she wrote until she just decided she was done. I was kind of surprised when it ended because it felt incomplete somehow. I'm not sure the last bit of the book that occurs in the spring time felt related to the main plot of the book. It almost felt like two different short stories smacked together.
No, this was the first but I did enjoy the narrator's soothing voice. However, her voice was SO soothing that I couldn't listen while driving if I was tired because she'd soothe me right to sleep!
Well, it did feel incomplete somehow but I don't think I'd want to read a follow-up.
It's possible that the author intended for the story to feel like it ended without giving the reader closure to mirror the feelings of the book characters about the child but it just felt incomplete.
Probably not to most people. Most of my friends would find this book depressing in spite of the compelling nature of the story.
I can't think of another book but I might compare it to the movie Awakenings.
The way the main character's voice changes as he changes isn't something I would have really considered probably if I was reading the story. It probably enhanced the story to have those verbal cues.
No. The plot was compelling but not in the kind of way that kept me from putting it down. I already had a good idea of how it would end.
It's a story that did make me think and the plot was compelling but I felt kind of depressed about it when I was finished.
The plot was kind of "meh" for me. But, I listen to books while driving and the story did at least hold my interest enough for me to not be tempted to turn it off in favor of the radio. If you're looking for elegant literary prose and a through-provoking and compelling plot, this isn't your book. If you're looking for a pretty easy listen (like a beach read), this will probably fit the bill just fine.
Probably not. The plot seemed a little sophomoric for my taste.
The narrator was the high point of the book for me. Her accents were great and her voices for the many different women in the story were perfect. I could easily identify who was talking by the voice she used which is pretty impressive considering how many female characters there are.
Nope. This is not an inspiring book at all. Just a story.
The ending felt a little weird. After the climax of the book, it felt like it took a little too long to wrap up the story. The author tried to create a little inter-family post-climax drama and it sort of fell flat in my opinion. I don't think it was necessary and I think she skimmed far too lightly over the inevitable legal trial. The ending could have been much better but it just felt like it fizzled out.
I read this because the movie was coming out and my girlfriends were all excited as each of them read the story. The premise pulled me in instantly and Tris becomes a character that is easy to love. I really enjoyed the audiobook but don't expect to read just the first book of the series and part ways if you're not impressed. They leave off on both of the first two books at a place that doesn't wrap up the story so you can't just stop, you have to keep going. This is a three-book commitment or nothing. If you're the type that enjoyed The Hunger Games, you'll enjoy this series. I liked the characters and the premise better than the Hunger Games but I found the ending disappointing (and I didn't like the third book of the Hunger Games either).
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