The 1st book was a fun kids book, but this one seems like it got rushed to the printer. The "cousin" of Charlie is frankly too dumb to live. Characters that were fairly fleshed out in the last book at times did things that were out of character, and several leaps were made to conclusions for no apparent reason.
Great narrator. So-so book.
On the positive side, the narrator is great, and the book has a strong start, which is interesting and entertaining. Then about halfway through the plot just drops off a cliff. Turns into a cheezy romance between 2 characters who at the beginning were interesting, bright and likeable but then get twisted into romance plot characters. They start saying unlikely things given their character development to that point, and it becomes difficult to care about them at all. The Doctor becomes extraneous to the plodding plot that drags on and on. Probably would have made a great short story, but there isn't enough material for a whole book.
I looked up the author after writing the above to find out J.T. Colgan is actually Jenny Colgan who has made her literary mark writing (wait for it) "romantic comedies". She should stick to that, or at least try to remember what genera she's shooting for when she's trying to write science fiction. The crossover is poison.
I do hope the narrator goes on to do other, better books.
This novel is not a story about an event, it's a story of someone's life. Or a part of that person's life. You learn about why she is in the situation she's in a bit at a time, and how she deals with it. I suspect the people who didn't like it were expecting a book with more of a beginning-middle-end setup, and that is not this book. Personally, I loved it. I love Atwood's writing style, and Danes has a fantastic voice for the tone of the story. I hope she narrates many, many more books.
At first I was jolted and even disappointed by the ending, but as I thought about it afterward - and I've thought about it a lot - I understand it better, and appreciate it. There questions that don't get answered. Some of them were never answered for the main character either, although she ponders the possibilities. I was totally engrossed from start to finish.
I had some trouble with suspension of disbelief here and there, like when the main character Wade, who has not yet completed High School, claims to have memorized *all* the music, movies, sitcoms, books, video games, interests and life story of another mans entire lifetime along with going to school, and finding a way to support himself as an orphaned boy. Still a good read though. Wil Wheaton is an excellent narrator who adds a lot of feeling to the story. Wade also has an inordinate amount of good luck without which the plot could have been a little more interesting.
On the positive side, Cline has good writing style. No eye-rollingly bad dialog, and even though you know what's going to happen, you still want to finish to find out how he got there. Also has some interesting plot twists which caught me off guard. I always like that in a story!
No one could ever be as stupid and gullible as the people who "misread" Chancy in this book. I had hoped it would be deeper than the movie, or that the writing would be colorful enough to make up for the plot, but alas. Disappointing.
Dustin Hoffman is awesome as a narrator. His beautiful voice and talent are wasted on this novel, but I would not hesitate to listen to some other book narrated by him.
There are words and phrases so overused in this book that I never want to hear them again. "Bucked up", "champing on my eggs", "topping", "chappy", etc.
Silly plot too. Mostly it's about lazy, rich, young men trying to swindle relatives and others out of their money.
Nothing bad to say about the narrator, he was great.
This was... boring. I couldn't even finish it. The narrator did a great job, but I couldn't care about the main character at all, or stay focused on it enough to follow the plot. I gave up.
Great book for a young teen, but a little... happy? for anyone older than that. The writing, and plot aren't deep or colorful enough for anyone above 14 or so. Narrator did a great job though.
The narrator does a good job. Not the very best I've heard, but still quite good. He sometimes starts inflecting sentences in odd ways, but not so much as to make you cringe. The story, however, gets tedious about half way through. Also, the characters do that thing that makes me crazy where they think things about themselves or their predicament which are contrived and obviously wrong. They'd have to be stupid to believe what they're thinking but the author has them think it in order to make the plot go in a direction it wouldn't normally go. Tedious.
The Audible reviewer Megan Volpert starts her review with "No one on earth has anything negative to say about this book", but I find that hard to believe. For one thing, the author should have invented more of his own superheros instead of re-hashing old favorites. He renamed them, but it's apparent that Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, etc. are all there. The plot is pretty predictable and offers no real surprises.
Thom encounters a LOT of SUPER-negative reaction to his gayness which I suppose if you lived in deepest, darkest Biblebelt or else in the heart of Red-neck-land (often the same thing) you would probably still encounter. It's a little hard for me to go with it in this day and age, but then I live in a socially advanced city so maybe I'm not the best judge on that.
The premise is great, I love the idea of a gay superhero kid. I like his superhero talent, and that he has a great relationship with his Dad, and the story of his disappeared Mom. It's apparent that this is Moore's first novel, but for a first novel the writing is overall good enough. I hope that in future novels he develops his own line of superheros and makes them become classics rather than reusing other people's creations.
Moore writes romance very badly, and the story would have been a lot more interesting without it, gay or straight. It doesn't matter who is involved in a romance, if it's badly written it really grates and romance is well known for being one of the hardest things to write well. Our hero Thom thinks like the heroine in a cheesy romance novel whenever he starts contemplating his own gayness or love life. He jumps to silly conclusions that are obviously wrong, and reacts with equal silliness. Could have been done a lot better, or better yet left out. I dinged this story down to 2 stars instead of 3 for this.
Moore also leaves the open question, if Thom can heal everyone, why doesn't he heal everyone? There are sick people all around him, but he doesn't always fix them. I guess I agree with "David" who also reviewed this book saying: "Yay" for the message, "Meh" for the story".
The narrator did a great job. There are a handful of narrators who are my very favorite and I wouldn't say he falls into that category, but if I wanted another book and it was narrated by him it I'd consider that to be just fine. I didn't mind his voices or inflections at all, and I'm pretty picky about narration.
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