dp - Reviews

1 to 7 of 7
Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander, Bk 1)
Beyond the Highland Mist (Highlander, Bk 1)
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 671
Review Date: 7/25/2010
Helpful Score: 2


I loved this book! A clever plot, a bit of fae mischief, a smart, feisty heroine, and an honorable, sinfully seductive highland lord in a kilt - what's not to love? I can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series.


Carrie
Carrie
Author: Stephen King
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 141
Review Date: 2/26/2010
Helpful Score: 1


We all know how it ends, even those of us who haven't seen the movie. But that's all right, because we were meant to. Told partly in epistolary form through excerpts of articles and books written after prom night, "Carrie" is the conglomerate epitaph of the ultimate adolescent outsider.
As King's first novel, it's not his best, nor my favorite of his, but that has entirely to do with strength of his later work (my current read, The Dark Tower series, is mind-blowing) and nothing to do with Carrie itself. Quite the contrary, Carrie already displays the sharp prose, vivid characters, and keen (sometimes uncomfortably so) insight into the human psyche that have since made King a master of horror and suspense.


Dear John
Dear John
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 802
Review Date: 2/6/2010


Nicholas Sparks hasn't ventured outside his comfort zone in Dear John. Those who've read A Walk to November and The Notebook will find themselves in familiar territory with this tale of a reformed young rebel who falls in love with a fresh, kindhearted girl entirely outside his previous realm of experience. Formulaic? Yes, but I forgive him, mostly. John is a likable, straightforward narrator and, better yet, at the book's opening, he has already moved past the I'm-so-cool-cuz-I-don't-give-a-darn teenage immaturity that make A Walk to Remember slightly tedious in its early pages. Savannah is the kind of girl every mother hopes her son will bring home - genuine, selfless, mature yet innocent. Their falling in love is predictable, but nonetheless touching, and the best part of the book.
What follows is more uneven. John's relationship with his father is well depicted, but I found Spark's description of military life flat and bland, evoking none of the camaraderie John purportedly felt with his squad - a camaraderie supposedly strong enough to lead to the decision that puts his relationship with Savannah on the line. Perhaps it was an artistic decision to convey the usual monotony of military life first and foremost (in which case, mission accomplished) - especially in light of John's eagerness to return to Savannah - or perhaps it was simply weak writing. Sparks does put in a twist or two, but nothing is truly unexpected in his treatment of the love story; the reader can see the final resolution long before John figures it out.
Overall, a decent read, worth the few hours it'll take to finish, but it's nothing you can't live without.


Fashion: The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute
Fashion: The Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute
Author: Akiko Fukai
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/3/2010


This is an absolutely stunning book. Page after oversize page of lush, close-up photographs of 18th to 21st century fashions, shown on fully dressed mannequins complete with hairstyles and accessories. Occasionally paintings or photographs from the period are featured next to the outfits to give an idea of the clothes in context, and it has a glossary of terms and designers. I've always wondered when reading historical novels what a woman's "fichu" or a man's "banyan" is, or what a woman's "jacket" looked like in 1770 - and now I know! This is by far my favorite find ever in Barnes & Noble's bargain section, and one of my favorite books that I own.


Her Fearful Symmetry
Her Fearful Symmetry
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 334
Review Date: 2/26/2010


The writing's solid, the characters interesting and well depicted (though somehow the ones I ended up rooting for most, Martin and Marjike, were the oddest at the outset). Had it simply been an exploration of grief and love and identity, how they shape and twist the lives of the people involved, I would have liked it much more - those parts of the book are truly well done. However, the ghost plot veered into the bizarre about 2/3 through. Then I saw where it was ultimately going, and it simply became disturbing; it reminded me of nothing so much as Stephen King's Pet Sematary. Creepy and just... wrong. Ghosts, evidently, are one species of supernatural I don't care for.


Out Stealing Horses
Out Stealing Horses
Author: Per Petterson, Anne Born (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 193
Review Date: 4/3/2010
Helpful Score: 2


Lyrical and thought provoking. It reads like an onion, shifting back and forth in chronology with every shift peeling back a layer of time, recasting what we've already learned, and slowly revealing the full story of that pivotal summer. I wish the PBS book description didn't give away so much of the plot; the back cover blurb reveals much less and I think my experience of the book was the better for it.


Souvenir
Souvenir
Author: Therese Fowler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 36
Review Date: 2/6/2010
Helpful Score: 3


I was very pleasantly surprised by Souvenir. I went into it thinking it would be all about the romance between Meg and Carson, pretty much a toned-down contemporary bodice ripper. What I found was a deeply resonant depiction of family, love, regrets, and living life fully despite past mistakes. A page-turner almost from the start, I found myself going back to reread scenes long after I had finished it. Beautifully written with plenty of heart, Souvenir reads like Divine Sisters of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and carries the emotional force of The Notebook.


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