Monday, October 28, 2013

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

 My rating:  2.4

This storyline sounds intriguing *spoiler alert* about a family of a brother and the girl Rosemary who tells the story and her 'sister' Fern.  Rosemary and Fern are like twin sisters until Fern disappears when Rosemary is 5.  Fern is a chimpanzee.  Rosemary's brother, Lowell, goes missing a few years later.  The story of love, loss and animal cruelty is told in flashbacks that are very choppy and disjointed and Rosemary's voice is very whiney and grating.  I just didn't connect with any of the characters and felt disappointed that, despite the promising storyline, this book fell flat for me.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

My rating:  3.3

This book is primarily about Achilles and Petroclus and teenage love but it also somewhat about the Iliad.  It is written in modern easy to read style and actually has some beautiful clean writing at times but, at other times, it really drags and drones on.  Also, the characterization was so extreme (Achilles is so handsome and Petroclus was weak and feminized).  I wanted to like this book more than I did as Miller is a gifted writer and I would definitely read more by her.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

My rating:  4.7

A man returns to his childhood home and is drawn to the house at the end of the lane where, when he was 7, he had a childhood friend.  Lettie and he spent time at the pond (that she claimed was an ocean).

The writing is brilliant.  There are so many great quotes such as:

Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.

 “Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”

There is gorgeous imagery, magical realism and will remind you of what it was like to be a child.  Enchanting.  If this an example of Gaiman's writing, I want to devour everything he writes.  For me, this was bordering on 5 stars for the enjoyment value.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

My rating: 4.6

Kate and her identical twin sister, Vi, were born with 'senses'.  This book isn't earth shattering or really about anything but, it is immensely enjoyable.  There were so many layers to this story and so many things that were captured so well that I still find myself reflecting on it.  Sittenfeld is a fabulous author and I will definitely pick up more by him.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

My Rating: 4.8
NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense.  This is not a genre I would ever normally read.....and I loved it.  Yowsa!  Does Joe Hill know how to write!  I guess, this isn't surprising considering who his father is.  Keep in mind with my rating that this isn't normally my genre so I don't have a lot to compare it to but, I thought it was superb.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

Noa is on death row and has a chance at clemency.  This book is her flashing back and recounting the crime.  For quite a while, you don't know what she was accused of and, for even longer, you don't know if she is guilty or innocent.  Perhaps that is what kept me reading.  I didn't find any of the characters appealing and it seemed to drag at times but, I did enjoy the writing.