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Search tags: 7-other-fiction
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text 2017-04-22 16:15
The Shuttle - progress: 99/512 pg
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

Okay, I realize that Betty is a bit of a Mary Sue, but I can't help but love her character and how she interacts with the others. This is a conversation from the morning after their ship had a collision with a steamer:

 

   "I was very rude to Louise, when I found her wringing her hands over you, and I was rude to Blanche," Bettina said to Mrs. Worthington. "In fact I believe I was rude to a number of people that night. I am rather ashamed."

 

   "You called me a donkey," said Blanche, "but it was the best thing you could have done. You frightened me into putting on my shoes, instead of trying to comb my hair with them. It was startling to see you march into the stateroom, the only person who had not been turned into a gibbering idiot. I know I was gibbering, and I know Marie was."

 

   "We both gibbered at the red-haired man when we came in," said Marie. "We clutched at him and gibbered together."

 

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text 2017-04-22 00:25
The Shuttle - progress: 53/512 pg
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

It just occurred to me that the author started work on this book during her very short and apparently turbulent second marriage, to a man who reportedly was very controlling and attempted to take her money, which she had earned with her writing.

 

 

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text 2017-04-21 15:23
The Shuttle - progress: 41/512 pg
The Shuttle - Frances Hodgson Burnett

Early 20th century gaslighting, before gaslighting was a thing:

 

"'Did - did it?' Rosy faltered weakly. She knew he was offended again and that she was once more somehow in the wrong. So many things about her seemed to displease him, and when he was displeased he always reminded her that she was stupidly, objectionably guilty of not being an English woman. 

 

Whatsoever it happened to be, the fault she had committed out of her depth of ignorance, he did not forget it. It was no habit of his to endeavour to dismiss offenses. He preferred to hold them in possession as if they were treasures and to turn them over and over, in the mental seclusion which nourishes the growth of injuries, since within its barriers there is no chance of their being palliated by the apologies or explanations of the offender."

 

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review 2017-03-06 00:50
The Theory of Opposites ★☆☆☆☆
The Theory of Opposites - Allison Winn Scotch

This was one of those rare books that, although I didn’t particularly hate anything about it, I just could not force myself to continue. I could not connect with any of the characters in any way, and none of them were interesting, except one fringe character, a 13 year old boy who exploits his father’s death in the 9/11 attack with a sort of cynical pragmatism. Even the plot was uninteresting, because who cares about developments in relationships between boring characters?

 

DNF at 40%. Audiobook, purchased via Audible, based on a recommendation from Books on the Nightstand, who seem to be hit and miss for me. Christina Traister does try to infuse some liveliness in the characters.

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review 2017-03-04 12:41
Before I Fall ★★★★☆
Before I Fall - Lauren Oliver,Sarah Drew

I should have really disliked this book, because (1) it’s YA, which usually wallows in feelings I left behind decades ago, and (2) it’s mostly written in first-person-present-tense, which I usually hate with the heat of a thousand fiery suns. I was convinced to give it a try by two excellent reviews from people I trust, and I decided to go with audio as the FPPT style is usually less obnoxious when read aloud.

 

And… I truly enjoyed it. It’s well-written, and the FPPT style actually fits with the story, and I could get over the adolescent drama, because getting over it is really what this book is about. I won’t go into plot details, because that’s been done elsewhere by more skilled reviewers, but I will mention the few flaws that made this a 4 star read for me. The mawkish romance toward the end felt like an obligatory addition to the plot, because apparently, all YA must include a love story and a teen girl’s life is incomplete without it. And the love interest was a male version of the manic pixie dream girl, and the only truly unrealistic character in the book.

 

A word of caution: As the book starts out, the main character is a truly unpleasant person, and I felt crazy impatient with her and her friends. I might have DNF’d if I hadn’t known that this was the point of the story. I’m glad I stuck with it.

 

Audiobook, via Audible. Sarah Drew provides an excellent performance.

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