Thursday, April 21, 2016

Abducted by the Rosie Project

THE HEADLINE: Man tries to use a survey to find his perfect match

TIME IN CAPTIVITY: I recently read this book for the second time. I'm in two book clubs and sometimes the books overlap. Never have I been more excited to re-read a book than with the Rosie Project! 

When Don decides that it is time he gets married, he uses a very interesting approach towards determining his future wife. Being somewhat socially awkward, which I'll get into more later, he hasn't been too successful in the relationship department. Because he is also highly intelligent he begins "The Wife Project", which will approach the problem scientifically, creating a survey that will help him weed out those who he believed would be "incompatible".

Then he meets Rosie, and just like in every good romantic comedy, she appears to be completely wrong for him! I wonder what will happen next!!!

With Don and Rosie, Graeme Simsion presents a truly refreshing twist on the classic boy meets girl narrative. Don makes several references to the fact that he is "wired differently" and therefore he approaches all situations logically. That leads to one of the most remarkable qualities in the book; the fact that it makes you feel so much without the scenes themselves being weighed down with emotions. At times Don can be blunt and harsh, to the point of embarrassing those he is interacting with and making the reader question the reality of the situations. But, on the whole, I found him to be charming, sincere, and unique.

What I loved most about the book ended up having very little to do with the romance of the story and more to do with the self examination. I enjoyed the time Don spent trying to figure out who would be a good match for him, what qualities he should be looking for. I also appreciated how much Don reflected on his own qualities, the doubts he had about what kind of partner he would be.

The older we get, the more set in our ways we become. It can be harder and harder to find that perfect someone. And it doesn't always help matters that so much of our "dating" life is done online these days. It becomes all too easy to pass on a profile if the person suggests that they listen to different music then you or like a movie that you hated.

The Rosie Project presents an interesting look at the difference between what we think we want, and what we truly desire. While also exploring how much we are willing to adapt our behaviors in order to experience more substantial relationships.

THE ABDUCTOR: The Abductor in the Rosie Project, for me, was so clearly Don Tillman. I read some reviews that mentioned they didn't like the book because of how Don and his autism were presented. And I have to admit that the first time I read this book I questioned the reality of some of the changes Don is able to work through. But what I noticed the second time around is that Don never actually identifies himself as being autistic. He only refers to himself as being "wired differently". He even says this about his condition:

..."depression, bipolar disorder? OCD? and schizophrenia?" The question marks are important: beyond the obvious observation that I was depressed, no definitive diagnosis was ever made...

Don does make references to having "bad times" in his past and his depression. And this is where I think I got confused and maybe others. Don is presented as being extremely rigorous when it comes to his schedule, his activities and his meals. He is also lacking in social skills and empathy. It may come across as if he belongs on the severe side of the autism or aspergers scale, but I don't think he does.

I have struggled with depression all of my life. Depression alone can cause people to be awkward in social situations, to become careful and diligent about the way they spend there days. In the past, when my depression became really bad I had to schedule my day in five minute increments just to keep moving.

I do believe that Don is autistic, but I don't agree that he is on the severe side. I think his autism when coupled with his depression made his behaviors become severe. 

POINT OF ABDUCTION: I fell in love with this book and this character in the scene when he gets the little kids to chant about baby killing. It is such a memorable scene and very early on, so I was pretty much hooked from the start.

PICK UP LINE:
Then, in this vanishingly small moment in the history of the universe, she took my hand, and held it all the way to the subway.

ABDUCTION RATING:

I loved it the first time, I still loved it the second time, I can't wait to read it again someday!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Abducted by The Second Summer of the Sisterhood

Sunday marked the fourth anniversary of my blog! In celebration I have decided to feature a new review every day this week! I hope you will enjoy them!

THE HEADLINE: Four friends get ready for another crazy summer!

TIME IN CAPTIVITY: I was severely disappointed with this book. I mean it was written in the same tone and style as the first, which I loved, however it also had almost the same story lines as the first book which I could not believe! I mean literally, the exact same story lines!
Lena is obsessed with Kostas, even though she spends over half the book not even speaking to him. Tibby has yet another person following her around like a puppy dog that she is choosing to ignore. Carmen is mad at one of her parents because they aren't giving her enough attention. And Bridget is depressed.
Actually, Bridget's story line was the only one I liked because depression doesn't just clear up in a flash. So I was grateful that they showed her still struggling with the symptoms.
Now, Tibby frustrated me because she so easily ignored her friend Brian. I understood why she was reluctant to befriend Bailey in the first novel, because she was 12 and no 16 year old once a 12 year old following them around. But Brian was already her friend, and a very close one at that. He didn't deserve to be ignored. But in fairness I will also say that I thought it was crazy that Brian kept showing up the way he did. And I could see where Tibby had wanted to do something new on her own this summer and him showing up all the time got in the way of that.
Lena and Carmen really pissed me off though. I didn't buy Lena's feelings for Kostas in the first book, so my dissatisfaction with that couple carried over to the sequel. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt because the book only takes place during the summers and so Lena and Kostas had a relationship during the school year that I wasn't privy-ed to. But the whole thing wore on me by the end. And Carmen was just being ridiculous! I couldn't believe how selfish she was behaving. I mean I guess some teenagers freak out when their parents start dating again, but Carmen really let it consume her.
In the end, I spent so much time being frustrated with the plots that it made it hard for me to enjoy the book. But I will finish the series! My sisters and I all want to do a read-a-long for the fifth and final book so I'm already committed to finishing. But the good news is that Carmen has run out of parents to be mad at and Bridget is finally doing better so the next book has to be different....right?

THE ABDUCTOR: As I said already Bridget was the only character I cared about in this book. It would have been incredibly unrealistic if I had opened this book to find Bridget as bubbly and provocative as she was in the first one. But I also didn't expect the author to make the choice of still having her struggle as much as she was to get back to feeling like herself again. So, for that alone I was extremely grateful!

POINT OF ABDUCTION: I can't think of a point of abduction for this book. I just tried my best to push through it and I really did try to make the best out of it.

PICK UP LINE:
I mean putting yourself out there in the way of overwhelming happiness and knowing you're also putting yourself in the way of terrible harm. I'm scared to be this happy. I'm scared to be this extreme.

ABDUCTION RATING:

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Abducted by The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

Sunday marked the fourth anniversary of my blog! In celebration I have decided to feature a new review every day this week! I hope you will enjoy them!

THE HEADLINE: Three kids die in accident. Will the only survivor have the strength to remember the truth?

TIME IN CAPTIVITY: I went into this book with absolutely no expectations. I was hoping to like it, but I had also seen some negative reviews for it so I was prepared for some issues. I ended up really liking it though! It definitely wasn't perfect, but it was still enjoyable.
Mara Dyer is a teenage girl who wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the accident that put her there or the fact that three of her friends died in that same accident. Now, she has moved to Miami with her parents and two brothers and is starting at a new school. 
But not all parts of this transition play out smoothly. For one thing, she is struggling with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This part of the plot I found most exciting. With all her hallucinations I had no idea if she was crazy or haunted or stalked or what was going on! Normally, I get frustrated when it takes too long to figure out what the plot is, but for some reason I was having so much fun thinking she was crazy that it didn't bother me. Every time she met someone new I kept waiting for someone else to acknowledge them before I trusted that they were actually there. 
And Mara did meet a few new people, a friend named Jamie, and the cute boy at school Noah. 
The harder that Mara tries to ignore her hallucinations, the worse things seem to get. 
And the closer she gets to Noah increases her desire to finally discover the truth. 

THE ABDUCTOR: I loved Noah in this book! He was cocky and crass, which I normally hate, but for some reason I found it all really funny and cute. And I didn't believe all the stuff that Mara heard about him from her fellow classmates. Apparently there are a lot of rumors going around the he is basically a man whore, but I didn't buy it. 
I'm sure the abductor was supposed to be Mara, but she turned out to be a slightly unlikable character. I didn't ever really hate her or anything, but she could be bratty and self-centered at times. 

POINT OF ABDUCTION: There was a scene towards the beginning that involved a dog that Mara tried to rescue and I think that was my point of abduction because I was so concerned about the dog I had to keep going. 
I was also abducted by all of the creepy hallucinations! They were so spooky I just had keep going to find out how crazy she was!

RATING: 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Abducted by Misery

Sunday marked the fourth anniversary of my blog! In celebration I have decided to feature a new review every day this week! I hope you will enjoy them!

THE HEADLINE: How far would you go, to inspire your favorite author?

TIME IN CAPTIVITY: There was a time in my life when I thought I hated Stephen King. I thought he was too creepy and too weird and too out there and waaaaaaaay to long winded. However, as she has with many things in my life, my dear friend Kate showed me the error of my ways.
Now some of his books can be creepy, weird, out there and waaaaaaay long winded. But others are really good! And in a way I would say Misery is one of those books.
Paul Sheldon (think James Garner from the movie) is a well known author for a series of romance novels he has out with a main character named Misery. Annie Wilkes (aka Kathy Bates) is his self proclaimed number one fan. On one dark and stormy night, Paul drives his car off the road during a blizzard and is found by Annie who removes him from his car and takes him back to her house. Once there she goes to great lengths to keep him there, at first just for the company. However, the last Misery book that Paul wrote is released while he is in Annie's care and she is not too pleased when he kills off the title character.
She forces him to write her another novel bringing Misery back to life, and that's when the real torture begins!
I loved the way the novel was structured. Everything is told from Paul's perspective and Annie keeps him pretty drugged up most of the time and therefore the novel does bounce around from time to time. But once you get into it the story is pretty easy to follow. Some of my favorite parts were when Paul began working on the re-write for Annie. I loved reading about his writing process and seeing how the events with Annie were shaped into the book.

THE ABDUCTOR: I'm not really sure who the abductor of this books was. I loved the book itself but I didn't really love any of the main characters. I mean don't get me wrong, I didn't like Annie...AT ALL! And of course I did not feel that Paul deserved anything that happened to him, and his situation definitely wasn't something that would encourage him to be charming or out going. But I usually hold the title of "The Abductor" for those characters that I fall in love with, but I didn't really love Paul.

POINT OF ABDUCTION: The first point of abduction for me was when Annie finished reading the book where Misery dies. Her reaction is completely unnerving and the build up and tension when you are just waiting for Annie to explode was unbearable!

PICK UP LINE: 
...If you promise to be good Paul you can have a piece of birthday cake but you won't have to eat any of the special candle so he promised to be good because he didn't want to be forced to eat any of the special candle but also because mostly because surely because Annie was great Annie was good let us thank her for our food including that we don't have to eat girls just want to have fun but something wicked this way comes please don't make me eat my thumb Annie the mom Annie the goddess when Annie's around you better stay honest she knows when you've been sleeping she knows when you're awake she knows if you've been bad or good so be good for goddess' sake you better not cry you better not pout but most of all you better not scream don't scream don't scream don't scream don't 
This is just a little snippet that shows how twisted Paul's mind gets after everything that Annie does to him. I also just liked how he tied in so many well known phrases and you can really get a sense of the desperation at the end.

ABDUCTION RATING:

All in all I loved that book and I am officially over my blatant fear of Stephen King. As long as the page count doesn't get too high up there I am more then willing to give him a shot.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Abducted by Attachments

Sunday marked the fourth anniversary of my blog! In celebration I have decided to feature a new review every day this week! I hope you will enjoy them!

THE HEADLINE: Lincoln has fallen in love via email, unfortunately they were not emails sent to him!

TIME IN CAPTIVITY: Rainbow Rowell has become one of my new favorite authors! Attachments was Rowell's first novel, however I read her other books first so I was excited to finally get to this one. Rowell writes both YA and general fiction novels and this one is her GF work.
Lincoln has just moved back home, literally, he's back living with his mother. He has taken a job in the security department at a local newspaper. The company has a very strict internet policy and it is Lincoln's job to read through the emails that have been flagged to make sure that everyone else is toeing the line.
That is when he stumbles upon emails between Beth and Jennifer.
The story actually takes place in the winter of 1999 over the Y2K countdown. Lincoln feels most comfortable when pursuing academics and so even after he has completed a couple of degrees he is having trouble figuring out his place in life.
The story of Attachments follows Lincoln in his efforts to move on from his past and decide on his future. And along the way we get to watch him fall in love! However, what will happen when the girl he loves finds out he's been reading her personal emails? That's what you have to read to find out!

THE ABDUCTOR: As much as I loved Lincoln in this book, I was mostly abducted by the emails that passed between Jennifer and Beth. There quick wit and cleverness actually reminded me of my own friends, which made me love them even more.


POINT OF ABDUCTION: At one point in the book when the emails between Beth and Jennifer
stop and Lincoln doesn't know why. The reason isn't a huge plot point, but I know some people are particular about spoilers so I wont say much. But I was just as desperate to find out what was going on as Lincoln was.

PICK UP LINE:
There are moments when you can't believe something wonderful is happening. And there are moments when your entire consciousness is filled with knowing absolutely that something wonderful is happening. Lincoln felt like he'd dunked his head into a sink full of Pop Rocks and turned on the water. 

ABDUCTION RATING:


Is anyone really that surprised? I LOVED it!!! Funny, clever, smart, and deeply sweet! Rowell delivers yet again!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Abducted by Jess Jordan

Today marks the fourth anniversary of my blog! I didn't really have time to host a giveaway or anything but I still wanted to mark it in some fashion. I do have several reviews already scheduled to post from now through May so I've decided to move them all up and feature a new review every day this week! I hope you will enjoy them!


THE HEADLINE: Meet; Jess Jordan...British teenager extraordinaire!!!

TIME IN CAPTIVITY: My friend Holly loaned me these books because she knew that I am a fan of the Georgia Nicolson books by Louise Rennison. Jess Jordan is yet another verging teenager that lives in England and has crazy misadventures with her family and friends. Jess is brought to us by the author Sue Limb in her series that begins with Girl, 15, Charming but Insane and Girl, Nearly 16, Absolute Torture!

In Girl, 15 Jess is trying to navigate her way around a boy she likes and a friend who is seemingly perfect putting a lot of pressure on Jess. In Girl, Nearly 16 Jess is on vacation with her mother and grandmother on a trip around England ending at her fathers house.

I loved them! It took me a while to get into the first one but by the time I got to the end I was in love with Jess Jordan! Her humor was fantastic. The language of the book wasn't as silly as the Georgia Nicolson books but I actually felt that in the end Jess was by far more clever and brave then Georgia. Don't get me wrong I love Georgia, but she has a tendency to follow in line with whatever her friends or magazines tell her to do and spends all her time trying to figure out how to seduce boys. Jess is aware of how her actions effect her friends and the boy she likes but she doesn't pretend to be someone she's not.

THE ABDUCTOR: Obviously Jess was the abductor in these books! I loved how independent she was
and strong and yet she still would end up getting into hilarious predicaments.

THE POINT OF ABDUCTION: In Girl, 15 my point of abduction was when Jess started working on her stand up comedy routine for the school talent show. Girls wanting to be comedians isn't a very common scenario and it is something that I can see a lot of other teenage girls not wanting to be vocal about that desire for fear that her peers would think it was weird.

In Girl, Nearly 16 the point of abduction was when Jess finally made it to her father's house and found out that main reason why her father has been keeping secrets from her! I don't want to divulge any spoilers but let me just say that the way that Jess handled that situation was beyond brilliant! Made me love her and Sue Limb even more then I already did.

THE PICK UP LINE:
She had read somewhere that you shouldn't throw yourself at boys. It was best to preserve an elegant sort of mystery and poise. That was how you would retain your allure, or something. Jess knew for sure that her allure was zilch. Her only hope of retaining Fred's interest was to grab him and cling to him and never let him go. So completely without mystery or poise, they kissed.

I love this quote because it is a prime example of how different Jess Jordan is from Georgia Nicolson. Georgia is always listening to the advice of How To Get A Man books and magazine columns and doing things that are completely absurd in hopes it will lure in her recent crush. I loved that Jess acknowledged what the advice would be, but acted with abandonment anyways. 



RATING: Both the Girl, 15, Charming but Insane and Girl, Nearly 16, Absolute Torture received a rating of...

I LOVED THEM! They were adorable! Great series for teenage girls!
 
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