Initial reaction: I don’t think I could give this less than five stars. It’s such a great collection of speeches and essays from Gaiman, and I admire his honesty, knowledge and distinct voice (not to mention his spot on humor in places). I don’t think I could write a long enough review to express how much takeaway I had from this book.
Initial reaction: Consider me very surprised. I really enjoyed this book, and I wasn’t expecting to at all. Thinking somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. I’m definitely reading the rest of this series.
What a rollercoaster ride of a read this was. I’ll admit I had my reservations about beginning this series, but in the end, it was a strong beginning to what ended up being a interesting story (though with flaws, as I’ll discuss soon). Part of the reason why I enjoyed this read as much as I did was Justine Eyre’s excellent audio narration. She nailed the performance and brought out the writing and emotion in a way that held my attention throughout the novel. Inspired by Antiquity and taken from the Greco-Roman period, “The Winner’s Curse” novel is a fantasy that notes the conflict between two parties: the Valorians and the Herrani. The novel begins when Kestrel, the high ranking daughter of a General in the Valorian army, purchases a Herrani slave, Arin, in market on a whim – though she reasons he’ll be useful to her household because of his blacksmithing skills. She’s also intrigued by his purported musical ability, as she has a heart for music rather than following in her father’s footsteps as a soldier.
Quick review for a quick read. I read this book as a reference from my local library during my Camp Nano writing pursuits. I thought it was a thorough examination of scene building on several levels – from character to setting to genre. It was logical in its orientation and organization, with examples from literature, film, and the author’s own writings. However, for me I wouldn’t say it was as helpful as other resources on writing I’ve perused.
Overall score : 3/5 stars.
Initial reaction: I am most definitely in the minority of opinions surrounding this book. Having said that, “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” definitely has its heart in the right place and I think had the intention of being an inspiring read with a protagonist who, in the aftermath of her rape, faces life with much conviction and purpose to not allow the experience to define her or what she wants. That’s awesome, I have no contention to that since every person’s experience with coping with the aftermath of being raped is different.
What I did have contention with is the fact this narrative seems to gloss over some really important issues that occur with Hermione’s experience. Plus, one does not need to convey strength or purpose in the aftermath of a horrific event by putting down other reactions – even measures of grief – to such events. There’s no one definition of “normal” or “strength” when it comes to discussions of experiences like this, and I feel like the narrative contradicted itself on a number of occasions. Unfortunate, because I think this book could’ve been even more of a powerhouse for impact in detailing the individual experience of this character. *sighs*
Title: Don’t You Cry
Author: Mary Kubica
Genre: Adult Fiction, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Quick review for a somewhat quick read. It’s usually a bad sign after I finish a book like this and feel like I don’t have much to say about it one way or the other. Usually if I’m upset or disappointed by a book, I can talk about what made it strike the wrong way for me. And if I’m kicked hard in the gut by things that thrill me, I discuss that as well. Mary Kubica’s “Don’t You Cry” underwhelmed me on every level – drawn out for pacing and prose and not very memorable in terms of the overarching mystery. Think a less impactful version of “Single White Female”, though the villain is not necessarily who you think it might be and it ties two separate stories together in a single thread.