While I appreciated the twist, I was very underwhelmed by this series. For me, it had no heart, no real interesting or likeable characters* and seemed to just be a string of conspiracies that increasingly became confusing and implausible.
*Now when I say likable, I should really mean charismatic. Alex DeLarge is in no way likeable but he oozes charisma. Couldn't say the same for any character in the Divergent books.
I'll start out by saying that I can't really control my thoughts, I'm easily distracted and confused, and I'm still going through a lot of major personal stuff, but this book was HARD AS HELL to follow. Long scenes were summed up in a couple of sentences, the main character talked to himself constantly (although this might have been a symptom of his Tourette's), and characters came and went.
All in all, not a very enjoyable read, especially since the story took some bizarre turns near the end, but a promising premise and a decent book for teens who also have Tourette's (if not solely for the fact that you'd be hard pressed to find another YA book with a main character who has the affliction, and that he learned to live with himself and not feel like he was damaged).
Don't read this book. Please. I care about you and I want you to be happy.
Why not, you ask? I'll tell you why - this book is terrible. Terrible. It reads as a first draft. If my friend showed me this, I'd tell her, "Okay, first draft is done, great. Now for the editing. Eliminate a lot of characters. Wait, you want this to have a sequel? No. Don't do that. Look, you need character development. And are you sure this is YA? This reads like lower-lever JF fiction. For middle school kids. Fourth grade. No, third."
Is that harsh? I don't think so. Don't like criticism? Stay out of the arts.
Back to the book. I cannot stress how happy I am that I did not purchase this book when I saw it at a Barnes and Noble last month. Thank Zeus for libraries. Anyway, yes, this book looks amazing. Asylums and their history fascinate me, as do pictures of abandoned buildings. The premise is interesting, and had a lot of potential.
I seriously cannot think of any other positive things to say about this book. The last few chapters were so ridiculous that I felt insulted as a reader. Do yourself a favor and Google "abandoned asylums" and do not read this book, because it is so terribly written that it will legitimately drain your energy. Stay away.
I haven't been on here very much due to a lot going on in my personal life. Don't get too comfortable, though, as I'll be coming around here more often to wreak havoc BECAUSE I AM MAGIC.
The Suck Fairy might have visited me.
What's a visit from the Suck Fairy? It's when you watch/read something, love it, and then later watch it again/reread it, and it's not nearly as good.
Now, I'm sure I'm feeling biased by the recent events with Lang Leav's attempts to goad people into liking a positive review on GoodReads, but after looking over her poems, I'm confused as to why I adored them in the first place. They're childish, silly, and navel-gazing. So why?
When I saw her book, I was in Barnes and Noble with my husband, and we were enjoying a day together in Asheville. I was full of love and squee, so I guess I was associating that book with that day and etc.
Because really, those poems are not the best thing ever. But was it something else, like the association I was feeling when I read these poems and thought of my husband? Like an association fairy...or a Leech Fairy?
Suck Fairy, or Leech Fairy? You decide.
Like everyone else, I've heard a lot of buzz about this book. Entertainment Weekly has a cover featuring the stars of the upcoming movie adaptation, Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck, and I figured I'd better read this before film gossip might ruin any plot twists for me.
I would suggest you do the same, as there are many twists in this book.
This book, while intense, is not without faults. There are odd metaphors ("He swallowed his lips" stood out for me as the worst) and repetition of adjectives (items are described as "creamy" about eight times). Luckily these faults don't detract from the overall story, and its powerful effect on the reader.
Often I can guess a plot twist, and I did do that on this one, but even as a huge twist is revealed in the middle of the book, there are more coming. It's staggering, and the ending is so dark that I think Shirley Jackson would have grinned in delight at the sheer nihilism of it.
Stay dark, my friends.
I can see why this caused quite a stir when it was published. The still-controversial views of sexuality and freedom are shocking to read, and some of the statements made by the characters are downright appalling (I'm looking at you, Jill.)
The thing is, I can understand when a character is making a statement rather than the author him/herself. Still, there were plenty of times when it seemed Heinlein was talking through his characters. If author-insertion wasn't his intention, it certainly seemed that way.
Since I am a fan of science fiction and oddity in fiction, I enjoyed most of the story's aspects, especially the beginning. Two beings on the run, an alien and a human who is both frightened of the alien and yet has an instinct to protect it. A government conspiracy. Knowledge seen as a dangerous entity that must be silence. Thrilling stuff.
The best thing about the character of Jubal, who most seem to think is based on Heinlein himself, is that he wouldn't allow anyone to manipulate him or Mike, the seemingly-friendly alien. I enjoyed this, but it only seemed to last for the press conference in which Mike showed himself to a curious world.
Most of the rest of the book was proselytizing, which I didn't care for. Even if I agree with something, I don't need to be preached at, even if it's done through fictional characters.
Overall, I'd say this is worth a read, if not just for the cultural impact it had and still has.
Oh man, I had no idea it was gonna be THIS good.
To steal a phrase from Cosmo Kramer, "I'm reading this book, and I'm loving every minute of it!"
A very good read, although it takes a while to get going. I'll be recommending this to my wrestler buddies.
While this book uses a familiar trope (teacher and student affair), this book stands out with its unusual structure (instead of chapters, Nelson uses sections with poetic titles) and fluid prose. There are times when almost esoteric vocabulary causes confusion, and when metaphors fall flat (an apartment is described as a pepperoni pizza), but for the most part Teach Me works.
I say it works because the characters, while somewhat fantastical, are relatable. The outrage and devastation of heartbreak and betrayal is palpable in this story. Nelson manages to have us root for a character who is downright shocking at times. Still, we feel her pain, and right with her, we clamour for justice.
Was justice served? Hard to say. I don't think so, but after pain comes healing. Whether or not these characters fully heal (or any of us do) is up for discussion.
Why does ever YA novel/series require at least one romantic entanglement? It's tiring.
I liked the setting, and some of the plot points, but most of the characters were grating (or should I say all the characters were grating most of the time), and the attempts at humor were painful.
Still, I will give the second book in the series a chance because of the setting. After that, who knows.
(in response to this article: http://www.glamour.com/entertainment/2013/12/rashida-jones-major-dont-the-pornification-of-everything )
Rashida Jones started a dialogue on slut-shaming in the worst way possible, and her clarification seems more of a case of licking her wounds than actual apology. Her insistence that sexuality in itself is fine but "acting like whores" is harmful is confusing, as it seems to state that women can be sexual, but they shouldn't show off their bodies or act like they want to get laid. Also, the attitude of "let's celebrate how women can make babies" doesn't help feminism. Do women such as myself who do not want children still have to get vilified for our life choices? I'd rather have a discussion about how and why female sexuality sells rather than get into name-calling and judgement.
(I'm keeping it short because they won't print/read a manifesto. Thoughts?)