I was very excited the learn that there was a new book by this author, but very disappointed when I listened to it. By the time I got to the middle of the book, I didn't care it I finished it or found out what happened to any of the characters. I loved the Otori series and recommended the books to many members of my family, young and old - everyone enjoyed the series. I just didn't get this book - a time or two I thought it might pick up and be interesting, but it didn't go anywhere.
I did hate the book - after slogging through most of the story I did not finish the book. Most reviewers loved it, but not me. It felt like spending time with people I didn't like - scummy people doing scummy things.
I don't think this book is for everyone - looks like listeners either love it or hate it. It was well written, and well read. People that like pure fluff books will be lost. People that like blood and gore will think that nothing is happening. It held my attention from beginning to end. I liked the characters and the story- a pleasant way to spend my long commute to work. Five star listen! Making the book into a movie with Hugh Jackman as Don would work for me.
The writer and the reader came together and pulled me into the story. The story was not always comfortable, and some parts were intense, but I really liked the book. I found myself listening every extra minute in the day. Now, I don’t think the book is for everyone, but I found the steady pace of the story worked for me. Yeah, there was the non-Irish accent thing, but I really enjoyed the reader. The characters came alive for me. I can still remember details and feel the emotions, like remembering a movie with all the sights and sounds. I downloaded all the books from the series as soon as I finished.
After listening to a dark crime/mystery story, I wanted something lighter. I had hoped for funny, interesting, sweet or romantic, even silly would have worked. Drab did not work. About a quarter into the book, I found myself slogging through it. I stayed with it trying to give the story a chance. I found I didn’t like the main story or the secondary story. I didn’t like the family dynamics, the school experience, and I am still not certain if there were romantic or funny parts. I found the real characters OK – barely, but did not see anything appealing in the secondary characters. I didn’t like either reader. The female reader had an almost whinny thing going on, and the male reader had very little to work with. (SPOILER ALERT – when the main character was reading a fan story she had written to a guy, I was surprised that he didn’t fall asleep or beg her to stop – or throw himself out of the window. That is when I stopped listening, almost half way through the book. The story was inconsistent – for days the main character was too afraid to go into the school cafeteria to eat, but instantly walked home alone on campus at midnight with no problem. The fantasy character asked someone to take him somewhere in a boat, but was surprised that he actually had to get into the boat?!?! That ended it for me. I would agree with the teacher and give the whole thing an ‘F’. It might work for some, but did not work for me.
The main character was still young, but spoke of the past the way a grandchild might speak of the grandparent's time - not the way a person would speak of their own not so distant past. She mentioned a time before when women made rugs in their 'spare time'. As though the hard work that women performed was related to leisure activities - I doubt anyone was familiar with the term 'spare time' when that level of effort was required to maintain a home. It was like the writer wasn't from planet earth, and had just read about it and interpreted the story incorrectly. There was a long introduction of nothing much happening that I thought might lead up to something interesting, but it never did. It reminded of the ramblings of a schizophrenic full of distorted thoughts and hallucinations. A dialog with snippets of songs, books, and TV shows all mixed in with odd references to history, paintings, and school - the pieces not fitting together. A bland recipe with garbage thrown in to spice it up. Altogether a bad experience - I listened for hours, but I just couldn't finish. I didn't care how the character got where she was or what happened after and I certainly didn't want to waste any more time on the story. I wish I could wash the whole thing out of my mind.
The writing was excellent and the reader well matched to the story, but after many hours of listening, I stopped and did not finish. For a time I had hope, but there is a place in a story where too many unpleasant things happen, and nothing after that point can save the story for me - that is when I stopped listening. It was like witnessing abuse - disturbing. SPOILER ALERT – this is a story about manipulators and manipulated. The manipulators were clever, well prepared, and in control. The manipulated were bumbling around lost, reacted instead of acting, and were pulled around like puppets. I thought I might like some of the characters, but they turned out to be non-functional. Maybe the manipulated rallied at the end, but I just didn’t want to suffer until it happened. And if it didn’t happen, I didn’t want to suffer until the end. This is a good book, but it didn’t fit me. I like the good guys to be clever, but half way through I started thinking there might not be any good guys in this story.
I started the book on the way to work. After about 30 minutes, I found a place to pull over and put a stop to the whole thing. I don't know if it was the reader or the whole experience, but I just had to stop it. I listen to a wide variety of books, and I enjoy romance, fantasy, mystery, thriller, science-fiction, a lot of everything. I did not like this at all. Maybe the reader didn't work for me.
If you want to listen to something depressing, this book is for you. Well written book and the reader was great, but I don't want to listen to non-stop unhappy. I saw the movie and wanted to see how close it was to the book. I just wanted it to be over.
This story didn’t have witches and warlocks, or vampires and werewolfs. It didn’t have lords and ladies, or a perfect billionaire obsessed with a stupid annoying woman. It had humor, romance, and drama, all in a nice mix with regular people. The story was very intense at times – disturbing because it was realistic, but very good. The female character had a brain, and wasn’t a compulsive liar or a complete fool like almost every female character in modern romance books. I knew I liked her when she blurted out the truth about missing class to her professor. I am a mature female, but I listen to all types of books. I tried City of Bones because of the buzz about the movie, but it didn’t work for me. This story was an unexpected pleasure and I liked the characters a lot. I have downloaded the other books by this writer.
Eva to Gideon: I love you, you’re handsome, you’re rich, you’re perfect, and I can’t live without you. I am obsessed with you. You are my life, my love, the other half of my soul. I need you, I want you, I love you, I worship you. Move in with you? Gee, I don’t know, that’s a big move. Whine/have sex, witch/have sex, bicker/have sex. No matter what Gideon starts to talk about, Eva comes back with a sexual reference. Eva is crude and annoying. Why do these handsome, intelligent, rich men put up with airheads? It seemed like a repeat instead of a continuation of the story. I didn’t want to finish it, and it turns out at the end, I didn’t finish the series. Spoiler alert: Gideon is a damaged soul, but puts his trust in Eva. He wants the relationship to work out. When she wants to do something to him that he does not want her to do, that he states clearly that he does not want her to do, she starts to do it to him anyway. He tells her to stop, but she keeps going, promising to stop if he wants her to stop. He tells her to stop again, but she does not, breaking her promise. He told her he didn’t want to do it, he told her to stop more than once. It just felt like Gideon put his trust in Eva and she abused him, taking advantage of his feeling for her, his need to please her. I couldn’t tell the difference between his abuser and Eva, it just seemed like she did the same thing to him. Not a healthy relationship.
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