Posts Tagged ‘book review’
Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Have you ever read a book that starts weird, gets really good for a few pages and then somehow ends and you’re not sure what even happened? Meet that book:
I was really excited to read this book. When I picked it up at a used book store and read the back cover I was immediately drawn in. The fact that it was a national bestseller and award finalist upped my excitement level that much more. Once you read the description you’ll see why this book sparked my interest:
“Set in a Maltese immigrant community in Cardiff, Wales, and peopled with sharp-edged, luminously drawn characters, The Hiding Place is the story of Frankie Gauci, his wife, Mary, and their six daughters. With her “unusual gift for letting her characters’ interior lives come forth” (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution), Azzopardi chronicles Frankie’s unforgivable betrayal: gambling away his family’s livelihood and eventually the family itself. The Gaucis’ story is seen through the eyes of Dolores, the youngest daughter and the embodiment of bad luck in her father’s estimation, condemned to bear the mark of a family that is rapidly singeing at the edges. Dolores presents an unsparing portrayal of the fear and hopelessness of childhood amid grim poverty and neglect, of children growing up without safety nets and on sunken foundations. Sustained by a tightrope tension and a stark, youthful wisdom, The Hiding Place conjures the coarse sensuality of life among the docks, the smoky cafes and bars, the crumbling homes and gambling rooms of Tiger Bay. “Astonishing and iridescent” (The Times, London).
Sounds good right? I really love novels about family drama so I figured I would love this. The book started pretty slow and with six different sisters, a mom, dad and all the dad’s gangster friends I pretty much had no idea who was who the entire book. Pair that with the fact that it was told from the point of view of super young (think 4 or 5) daughter it was hard to understand what was going on. When I finally did get a grip on the story it started to get really good-for a few chapters.
I can honestly say I don’t know what this book was about and I don’t really know what happened. When I finished it, I couldn’t summarize in my head the story or point of it all. What I do remember is constantly having to flip back pages and reread to see if I could remotely figure out what was going on. This book took be 2 weeks to finish-which for me, is a long time. It was a super slow read and when I finally finished it I just felt so…unsatisfied.
I went onto Amazon to read the reviews and it seemed that readers either LOVED the book or didn’t understand a word of it. I can see how people would love the story though-it’s well written and you can tell someone extremely talented and intelligent wrote it, but I honestly think I can’t even review the book because I feel like I didn’t even read it…
Another bummer of a book!
That’s all the nonsense I have for now!
What are you currently reading??
Monday, January 28th, 2013
I really wanted to like this book. PartyDog was actually the one who purchased this last year because the author is Colin Meloy who happens to be one of the members of our favorite band The Decemberists. I know from his music that Meloy has a really imaginative writing style so I waswas super excited to dive into this book- all 576 pages of it.
Here’s the breakdown:
“Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. That is, until her brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, a dense, tangled forest on the edge of Portland. No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it. So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval—a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much greater as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.”
I haven’t read a fantasy story like this in a long time. I typically either love them (Harry Potter) and become completely oblivious to the outside world while reading, or I just can’t get into them. This one was the latter of the two. The story is beautifully written with really interesting artwork thrown in throughout the story and the book itself feels like a work of art (the pages are thick and uneven and the artwork is so neat). You can definitely tell someone really intelligent wrote the story. While I can respect and admire all of that, I never quite got engrossed in the story.
I think for me personally, I never quite connected with the main character. While Prue is brave, adventurous, stubborn and pretty much a warrior princess that totally rocks, I sadly never fell for her. I felt like I was just reading a story about a girl on an adventure instead of feeling her feelings, experiencing her emotions and going along with her for the ride. I prefer books where I connect 100% with the character and feel as if they are my bff but Prue and I weren’t a match made in book Heaven.
Now this book is a trilogy and part of me feels compelled to read the others since I already started it and am such a fan of Meloy. Butttttttt I just don’t know if I can sit through another 1,000+ pages of it. The story just goes on….and on…..and on.
If you like stories that are super imaginative and descriptive then I would recommend you give this book a try. If you’re like me and on the fence about stories like this, then I would say you should find another book to read-this one is just too long to force yourself to finish.
The sad thing is, this marks another book I’ve read recently that I just didn’t enjoy all that much. I want my next book to be something really good and that’s where you come in! Should I read:
The Art of Dancing in the Rain OR Everything Is Illuminated OR The Cider House Rules??
That’s all the nonsense I have for now!
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013
This is a tough one for me. I was SO excited about this book that I pre-ordered it and refused to read any reviews prior to reading it.
I was fully aware going into this book that it was not going to be Harry Potter. However, the reason I was beyond excited to read J.K.’s new book was because she’s an amazing storyteller. She’s incredible at character development and making you feel as if you have actually landed yourself in the life of the book (if that even makes sense). So no Harry Potter but I was at least in for an interesting story right?
Eh. The book started out really slow and well, just never picked up. There were a few things that happened here and there that made for some excitement but overall I found this book to be pretty boring. I honestly had to will myself to read it. Once I got about halfway through, I ended up going on Amazon to see what people thought of it. Sadly, most of the reviews I read said the same thing-boring. There were a few though that mentioned the story got way better in the second half so I was holding on to that.
Except it never quite picked up. When I finished the book I felt really upset. Part of me wished that I had never of read the book and just had J.K.’s Harry Potter in my brain. The other part of me just wished it were better. I talked to PartyDog about it (he’s more in love with HP than I am) and he made me realize that an author as brilliant as J.K. had a purpose behind writing this story. Author’s like her don’t just write something for the heck of it, they write with a purpose. I definitely believe that, I just wish I knew what the purpose behind it was.
If you are interested in reading this book here’s a basic synopsis from Amazon:
“When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…. Pagford is not what it first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town’s council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?”
So yes, it’s about a councilman dying and every man in the town fighting his vacant seat while trying to keep their deep, dark secrets hidden from the election. If that sounds interesting to you go ahead and read it as the writing is of course great but the story (IMO) is a bit of a drag.
I really wish I enjoyed this book more but I just didn’t. I’m off to drown my sorrows in The Deathly Hallows now. That’s all the nonsense I have for now!
Biggest book that’s been a let down lately?
Monday, October 29th, 2012
So I’m attempting to do more book reviews on RSF since I do nothing with my life other than read books. Anyway, we had our monthly blogger book club on Saturday and this month’s pick was Dark Places by Gillian Flynn.
A few of us had read Gone Girl and were really interested in reading another book by Gillian Flynn so the choice was pretty easy.
This book is about a woman whose family is murdered when she is younger (her mother and two sisters) and her brother is in prison doing time for the murder. The story alternates each chapter as the woman now and her brother or mother on the day of the murder. The story revolves around Libby (main woman) trying to figure out what actually happened the night of the murder: did her brother really commit the murders or did someone else? As the book progresses, you learn more about that night and about the what really is UP with that brother of hers.
I really loved Gone Girl but this book was pretty darn good. Gillian is great at completely engrossing you in these twisted stories and throwing in a COMPLETE twist ending. In other words, don’t plan on doing anything after you start this book until you finish it. If you like creepy, weird and twisted books, this is a definite read but if you’re squeamish I would say skip it.
As you can see, book club as always was a success. Food + friends + books = fun. We however, did not have enough food.
And people were really excited that I was there…
We really should use the term ‘book club’ loosely though considering we talk about the book for about 13 minutes each and every time. I spend most of my time drinking, my friends spend their’s glaring at me and Sierra spends her’s in her own little world…
If anyone is interested in reading along with us, this is our book for November :
That’s all the nonsense I have for now!
Have you read Dark Places? Gone Girl? Thoughts?