Thursday, October 13, 2011

One Day

One DayOne Day by David Nicholls

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I heard the book was amazing and the movie was a dissappointment. But I watched the movie after I read the book,and thought the movie was a fair adapatation of the novel....I just think the novel wasn't as good as it was touted to be. It follows the lives and loves of Emma and Dexter by checking in on them the same day each year. The characters are richly drawn, believeable, though not usually likeable. Their friendship goes through ups and downs, though honestly I couldn't see how they helped each other. They get together after Dex finally gets sober and Em finally gets some sense of who she is,though they make these breakthroughs without eachother. The ending is emotional, but a little too neat in some ways. What else was the author going to do with them? A fun, fine end of summer read. Full of nostalgia (for someone my age, anyway).

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Bel Canto

Bel CantoBel Canto by Ann Patchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Imagine one of the worst senarios you could be in....being taken as hostages in a foreign land by terrorists, then throw in a translator, a piano, and an opera singer and instead of being a story of terror and fear, it becomes a story of hope, love, art, and what it means to be friends, enemies, lovers, family. Through their experience the hostages and terrorists question what they really need to be happpy and how maybe the things they valued in their former life did not fulfill them like they thought it did. In the interview with Patchett, she confesses that she did not love opera when she started this book, but through her research she grew to have a passion for it. And thank goodness. I don't think this book would have worked if Panchett weren't able to translate the strong feelings for song and music her characters had as well as she did. Her descriptions of the music were some of the most beautiful passagess in th book. It made me want to go to an opera, or at least listen to classical radio. There are parts that drag a bit in the middle, and some of the events tend to challenge the believeable, but it is a beautiful book, and definitely one that makes you think and feel.

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