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Harry Potter fans would like this book, I think. There's the magic of Potter, but most of it takes place in present day California. Lots of action mixed with a mystery about the past. The narrator's ability to create different voices is amazing!
It has been 30 years since I read and loved this book as a teenager. It's been on my re-read list for a while. I'm so glad that I got the audio version. Sissy Spacek has the perfect voice for Scout. I can't believe how much of the story I had forgotten. Now I remember why I loved this book the first time I read it.
Do you remember the character J. Peterman on Seinfeld? Every word he said was accented. Each sentence was raised to the height of a melodramatic soap opera performance. That's how this entire book was narrated. Even sentences about mundane actions like driving the kids to school were read like a matter of life or death. I almost couldn't finish. Luckily Coben's characters, action, and plot lines made me have to keep going to find out what would happen next. The characters had many ethical dilemmas regarding modern technology that they had to grapple with. Questions that many of us may face ourselves. The book's story line is a bit dramatic, but I would rather have heard my own voice reading it to me from the pages.
This is a book that I'm sure I enjoyed more because of the awesome narration.There are may interesting characters throughout the book - each with a distinct voice that the narrator brings to life. I don't think I would have heard it as well in my head if I had read the paper version. The Russian accent of the best friend just made me immediately become attached to him.
I didn't pick up the book for a long time because of the premise - the explosion at the Met. Museum and the character's tragic loss of his mother. However, that piece of his life takes up only about the first 20% of the book. We get to follow him from the age of 13 through his 20's, so there is a lot more to the story. One of my favorite books this year!
This book contains two stories written in a parallel structure. The one story tells of an aspiring teenage writer who has landed a publishing contract and decides to delay college for a year to move to NYC and start her career. It gives interesting glimpses into the reality of the YA publishing world. I liked this half of the book better than the other, but I am partial to realistic fiction. The characters are believable and likable.
The 2nd story-within-the-story is the novel she is working on. It is a fantasy story about what happens to souls of the dead - in the "Afterworld." There are some connections between the main character of this story and the life of the teen author. It contains special powers and a forbidden romance (think Twilight, but less violent.)
The book is divided into even chapters for one story / odd chapters for the other. That, plus the 2 narrators help you keep it straight in your head. I can't help but wonder how it looks in printed form - different fonts? I'll have to take a peek...
Some mature language. Suitable for 7th grade and up.
Although this book has several elements of a classic romance novel, it is much, much more. It deals with ethical issues surrounding quality of life and the controversial practice of assisted suicide. The author also shows the main character struggling with complex family relationships - brought about largely due to financial troubles. It's a story that grapples with how best to live your life, especially when life delivers the unexpected. I became attached to the characters and cared about the choices they made. Sensitive readers may need a few tissues along the way...
I love a spunky, independent, female character, so of course I immediately became attached to Mary "Jacky" Faber. I enjoyed listening to the narrator's street-English (Cockney?) accent for the main character. The author explored may issues that a disguised female would have aboard a ship filled with hundreds of male sailors. Plus, there are pirates! More action, adventure, and humor than The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. I plan to listen to the sequels.
I've read several books by Sarah Dessen, and this one is my favorite so far. The main character, Auden, is smart, and I love intelligent female characters. She's decided to spend the summer between graduation from high school and her first year at college with her father in a beach resort town. This new location and the people who come into her life there make this summer one of change and transition for Auden. Usually a loner, she starts to reach out and make friends, including a boyfriend. She's forming new relationships with her stepmother and step sister. Most important, she's confronting her own feelings about her parents' divorce.
This book has realistic characters and situations. It gets the reader to consider relationships among family members and friends, as well as how people can or cannot change.
Of course, I won't say how it ends, but I will say that the ending made sense and definitely finished this story. I still like the complexity of Katniss's character. Even Peeta takes on some new, surprising characteristics. I felt that there was excessive violence in the middle of the book where one horrific scene followed another. At this point the violence seemed rather pointless - like the author was writing the book for people who like Grand Theft Auto video games or slasher movies. Otherwise, I would've given it a 4th star.
I don't know which male narrator was the voice of 5-year-old Jack, but this little boy's voice was perfect for this book. I'm sure that I enjoyed the book more because of it. The author has a wonderful ear for words that kids will use to say things or think about things and an excellent sense for how young people view the world. I felt like I was truly seeing things through the eyes of a young boy. I also liked the mother's voice, but "Old Nick" didn't sound mean enough. I don't want to say much more for fear of spoiling the suspense. Don't miss this one!
This book started slowly and with a gazillion characters / names that were difficult for me to keep track of. However, after the crime occurs, the story gets increasingly interesting. This book reveals a lot of background and history behind the most interesting title character.
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