I'm in love with this book. I had heard the title in countless pop-culture references and amongst peers throughout my life and when I came across it on Audible I decided to give it a try. The detail in this book is stunning, I swear Betty Smith writes for 10 minutes about the process of buying a pickle in the early nineteen hundreds and it's totally engrossing - how does she do that?! "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" is really a slice of life in a time of American that has long since past. It is simply magical to be transported to that time and place. The story is simple, "A Tree..." doesn't have extreme twists and turns, it is a more gentle curving story of the ins and outs of life, family and poverty. Great read, I recommend it.
If you're like me and you find mental illness fascinating this is a really well written first person account of what it's like to struggle with Anorexia Nervosa. It's interesting to see how an eating disorder begins and spirals out of control.
I saw a documentary with this author recently where she stated that she was young when she wrote this book and it triggered her eating disorder. Perhaps that is why there are many people who consider this entire book a trigger and have mixed emotions about it. I'd be interested to read her take on the events now, many years later, as recovered as anyone could be.
I wanted read this book since I heard Mark Kurlansky interviewed in NPR years ago. In the interview I remember thinking, "wow! I didn't know the history of salt could be so interesting" but in reality, in listening to this book, it was just a good old fashion bore. I made it 7 of the 14 hours so if it really picks up in the second half than I apologize for this bad review. I'd say a combined 10 minutes of every hour was interesting, so I got 1 hour 10 minutes of interesting history and 5 hours and 50 minutes of boring. I whole-hardheartedly believe life is too short for that ratio.
Not sure why this book was a miss for me, I'm generally a fan of non-fiction - historical books, maybe this topic just wasn't up my alley.
The first John Green book I read was, "The Fault in Our Stars", a YA book that transcended the categorization and could be enjoyed by anyone of any age. This is a tough review to write because after finishing TFiOS I bought 'Looking for Alaska' and at first listen it was clear that 'Looking for Alaska' was a YA book in a more traditional sense. It felt like it was written for kids which was a drag for me as I'm not one.
It's not fair of me to get down on John Green, a YA writer, for writing a book that is for young adults so I won't. I will say that he has a great, clear writing voice. His dialogue is smart and funny and really brings you into the story. I like how he has a running countdown throughout the book, to what? you'll have to read it to find out. It's a sweet simple tale that I would have adored as a teenager. As an adult unfortunately, I felt I was reading below my abilities.
I'm not much of a YA reader. I find most of it predictable and formulaic; a handsome vampire, a girl who falls for a bad-boy who is really a nice guy after she breaks down his defenses etc... This YA book does not follow those formulas, what a relief. TFiOS is the first novel I've read by John Green and I get the hype. The book is smart, funny, tragic and romantic as hell. It is a story that's hard to tear yourself away from, these brilliant (OK no teenager really talks like that but I'm letting it slide because the book was such an enjoyable ride), sick teenagers are charming and their love is romantic and powerful. John Green as an author has a wonderful voice. Kate Rudd, also possessing a wonderful voice, owns this book. Wow, she killed it.
Clearly I'm impressed and can't wait to read more of Mr. Green's works.
I'm torn about this story.
Tiffany Baker, wow, what a wonderful writer. She has a gift for describing place and atmosphere. The mill town and the river, are so well described they become a characters in the book in their own rights. Small things like sunsets and autumn leaves are painted so vividly it's a pleasure to listen to.
The maybe not so good:
The tale itself is a quiet one and while there is a beauty to that, it felt somehow lacking overall. To me, Mercy Snow felt like a story I've heard before. While there is moderate success in creating multidimensional characters, I personally, didn't feel attached to any of them - except possibly Hazel who was peripheral at best. Parts of the book were interesting and easy to listen to while others were easy to zone-out to and when the time came for me to backtrack and see what I missed or move on I never felt the desire to backtrack.
All in all the story was alright. I don't regret buying this book but I wouldn't recommend it to a friend to read. If you have credits to spare and an appreciation for small pieces of beautiful writing though, give it a go. But I think there are better books of a similar genre out there.
Growing up amid the teen heart-throb frenzy of the two Corey's I was mildly interested in the biography of Corey Feldman. The voice of the book is clean and simple and Corey Feldman has a pretty interesting life story. It was fascinating getting a glimpse into the world of child actors. The pressure they have to deal from their parents and the impossible task of having adult responsibilities while still being a child are gripping, like watching a train wreck. Feldman delves into the dark side of Hollywood he writes of drugs and molestation and failing careers. By the end of the book I was finding it difficult to like Corey Feldman at all. His character is weak, his decisions are terrible and he has a problem with loyalty. But there is one thing I will give him, he had the courage to put it all out there and the result is a pretty damn good biography.
This book has such great reviews I worry that there was something I missed. The good: This is a quiet story, a simple story. I really like that. There are some great characters in the book that are flawed yet lovable and draw you into this world. But for me there were a number of things lacking. There is very little dialogue in this book. I love dialogue and I kept finding myself, hours into the auidobook, thinking, "OK, when is the story going to begin?" When there actually was conversation between the characters, it created the best, most memorable parts of the book, for me there just wasn't enough of it. Also, without giving away any spoilers, the end of this book is too perfect for me. Peter Heller tied up an apocalyptic story and put a bow on it.
Wow, just wow. Looking for a book you just can't put down? Looking for unusual characters, far off lands and great story-telling? Look no further. This book has everything you could ask for. Barbara Kingsolver transports you to the jungles of the Congo and inserts you into the lives of a missionary and his family and the people of the Congolese village. This book deals with faith, beliefs, cultural insensitivity, post-colonialism, love, death and strength - it writes about moving on and those who cannot. It just might be one of my favorite books of all time, a truly great read. I highly recommend it.
OK this book has amazing reviews. I love period pieces and I love history but I don't know what went wrong here, in my three years of being a member of audible this is the first book I couldn't finish. I just could not get into this book. I tried three times. Starting over each time, the third time I made it 6 hours in and I was bored and just didn't care about it. Maybe it's because I didn't read the first book "Wolf Hall" I'm not sure. Maybe it was the writing, maybe it was the reading, maybe it was the story... something was a miss for me.
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