Opinion: More like not-so-charming-Billy. I kept waiting for the story to start but it never really did. It just kind of told the story of Billy's life through the eyes of those close to him. In my opinion, he led a boring life as an alcoholic with a lot of excuses and not a lot of class. The book is also told from several different viewpoints and it took me until well past the middle of the book to realize who the main narrator was. All in all, not very interesting or worthwhile to me.
2.5 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: This book was gripping from the very beginning and I did not want to put it down. There are so many levels to the story and I was extremely invested in finding out Chiyo's fate. The fact this is historical fiction and the culture and current events surrounding the story are true make it even more compelling. This novel was an amazing journey through a dynamic and unique niche culture. I absolutely loved it!
5 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: The beginning of the book was a little tedious and uninteresting to me but it does give context to the rest of the book. The book is a good deal different than the movie but they did get the gist right (for The Lost World, not so much - see below). Once the action started, however, it did not stop and I could not out the book down. I also liked how the book addresses philosophical questions about mankind and about resurrecting species that have been extinct for over 65 million years while staying relevant to the story.
4.25 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: I guess I can understand that this was an important story to tell and why it is maybe taught in schools but is there really not a better novel than this one? It is so boring and depressing and while it was tragic that people lived in these conditions during the great depression, telling it in a dry, droning voice is not the way to get my attention or empathy. There are profound events described in this novel that should have evoked more emotion than annoyance and boredom out of me but they did not. This surprised me since I read East of Eden by John Steinbeck and, while that also had a depressing undertone, the story was written in a much more interesting way. This novel does give insight into the lives of ordinary people during the great depression and the suffering my generation has been spared so far but it is just told in a lifeless and mundane way.
1 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: This was amazing. The level of detail and interweaving of characters and storylines was extremely compelling and added extra dynamics to an already fascinating tale. While I have read several books about the Holocaust, this was unique and original in its approach. I couldn't put it down.
5 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: This is an easy and quick read that seems simple on the surface but actually has a lot of elements and substance to it. I like that events in the book are not addressed as black and white but instead are deep and complex. There is a sense of mystery blanketing the story which kept me engaged and I liked that the book was set up starting 136 days before an event and ending 136 after that event. It was a great read.
4.5 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: This was an extremely captivating story. It was unconventional, intense, interesting and cathartic. I was hooked right away and did not want to stop reading. The dynamic between Will and Louisa is fun and profound at the same time and the journey this book takes is amazing.
5 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: If you've seen the movie you probably think you know what this book is about but not really because the movie is way different. The book is a LOT better because there is a reason for everything whereas the movie is erratic and just seems like an excuse to show more dinosaurs. Also, Dr. Sarah Harding, the animal behaviorist who basically saves everyone's lives in this novel and is a strong force to be reckoned with is completely diluted into a disappointing female damsel in the movie. Anyway, the book took less time to get in to the action than Jurassic Park did and it stayed interesting throughout. I also enjoyed the behavioral and analytical elements of the book, making it seem a lot more realistic.
3.5 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: I had high hopes for this novel since it features Dutch settlement and names. However, it was a huge disappointment. The story itself is pretty well-written but it was a little too parallel for my liking and the protagonist is a major loser and jerk. He does some messed up things I really could have done without and they were just passed over like they did not even matter. It also was not as interesting as I had hoped. I felt myself lose interest a few times because there are so many different story lines taking place and it is not identified when the voice changes to a different person or time period. All in all, a bummer.
Recommend? Not really.