Reviews by yugure
I didn't know a book about secret passageways and handsome mysterious men and dancing princesses and magicked castles could be so boring. I wanted to like it for all the elements involved, but the execution was not well done. It took way too long for the interesting part of the story to begin; the novel should have started about fifty pages in. Then there seemed to be a lot of nothing happening between all the other interesting parts. Too many characters make the story feel cluttered, and the villain is so flat that he's laughable. The romance subplots were predictable and bland. Not recommended.
I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end; only once or twice near the middle did if feel like it was lagging a bit. Rory is a funny, entertaining narrator and Johnson is a skilled writer. Lots of intrigue and mystery here, and quite terrifying in parts. Read some of it late at night and got that creepy feeling that comes with good horror. And for a book about multiple murders, it didn't seem to be gory or overly graphic. Highly recommended, especially if you're into the supernatural and want something other than stories about vampires or werewolves. Ends on a sort of cliffhanger for the next book in the series; definitely makes me want to read more! Slight markdown, though, for the unclear motivation and logic behind the Ripper storyline (don't quite get the Ripper's goals and motivations).
Very interesting premise - protagonist gets to experience two alternate timelines (up to 6 weeks in advance) to decide which one she wants to actually live through. I did find the alternating chapters to be a bit confusing. Because each timeline still sort of crosses over the other and all the characters are the same (for example, in the future where she lives with her father, she meets and develops a relationship with a boy, and in the future with her mother, she still meets that boy but the circumstances are different), it was easy to forget which one she was in, and confusion over why all of a sudden she didn't know Person A even though you just read the last chapter that she talked at length with Person A. It might have helped if each chapter title clearly stated which future she was in.
A charming story of first love and coming-of-age in mid-20th century England. Charismatic, flawed but realistic and relatable narrator. Pride and Prejudice dealt with the issue of poor gentry but the Bennett family was positively affluent compared to the Mortmains in I Capture the Castle. The ending is not nicely tied up like Austen's work but offers a bit of hope for the future. Loved the romantic twists and the unusual but loveable stepmother.
An inspiring story of a great athlete. Jurek started out like a pretty normal Midwesterner - a meat and potatoes boy, hunting and fishing and wandering in the woods. While he got an early start to athleticism (running and skiing), it wasn't until much later that he transitioned to a plant-based diet and discovered he felt and performed better once he cut out the junk (meat, dairy, processed foods). His accounts of his races like the Western States 100 and the Spartathalon are fun to read, though his accounts of his personal life (particularly with his hard father and ill mother) will tug at your heartstrings.