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Customer Comments

Coni has commented on (24) products.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Ready Player One

Coni, June 30, 2015

I found this book a quick read and highly entertaining. I think it would be for anyone that grew up in the 1980s and loves everything pop culture from that decade including the music, movies, video games, D&D, arcade games, and more. It will also appeal to anyone that is really into gaming from roleplaying games to online games to anything close to virtual reality. I am guessing the only people that will not find anything entertaining about this book are people that don’t fall into one of those categories. This book does not offer you anything.

It isn’t the best written book. The characters are not the most well written, but this is a book about moving the plot forward and it does that very well. It does not stop and ponder too hard on anything because there is another puzzle to solve! It is also the first book by Ernest Cline so I can only imagine his writing can improve, but I do appreciate his adoration for the 1980s. It is like a love letter to that decade and it’s a really fun one.
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The Casual Vacancy (Large Print) by J.K. Rowling
The Casual Vacancy (Large Print)

Coni, June 21, 2015

I have read the Harry Potter series and enjoyed it greatly. It has been years since I read them so I don’t remember Rowling’s writing style to compare it her style in The Casual Vacancy. I know this book disappointed many people, but did not read any reviews beforehand. I really enjoyed it while I read it, but I am wondering if the problem people had with it was this was not a plot-driven book. It is really about the characters in the town. Some small things happen and it doesn’t have the happiest of endings, but it was really a book about the characters, class disparity, and hypocrisy.

It is a slow build and a long novel. There are a lot of characters, but I thought it was well done going through the nice, peaceful village that is dealing with a council member dying and having to fill his seat on the council. Each family, including most parents and some teenagers, is introduced with all their problems. It seems no one is happy, even though some try to hide it.

The big plot point involves a community building that sits on the edge of village where poorer people live. They use that building for a variety of reasons, but most of the village people would rather not look or deal with any of the poorer people. The village people want to turn that building into something that the poorer people would not use so they can give them no reason to come into the village. I found it fascinating that everyone had secrets. People had serious problems, like drug use. Some were trying to be good, but failing. There were petty fights and serious arguments.

I found it to be very realistic, including the ending where you really wish it would wrap up one way, but since real life does not always go the way you wish it would, it made sense in a way. I really liked that it was realistic and I do love it when novels dig into the fake life that people make for themselves in the suburbs of America or in the quaint villages of England. One character in the book is obsessed with people being “authentic” and many do have that problem.
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The Casual Vacancy (Large Print) by J.K. Rowling
The Casual Vacancy (Large Print)

Coni, June 21, 2015

I have read the Harry Potter series and enjoyed it greatly. It has been years since I read them so I don’t remember Rowling’s writing style to compare it her style in The Casual Vacancy. I know this book disappointed many people, but did not read any reviews beforehand. I really enjoyed it while I read it, but I am wondering if the problem people had with it was this was not a plot-driven book. It is really about the characters in the town. Some small things happen and it doesn’t have the happiest of endings, but it was really a book about the characters, class disparity, and hypocrisy.

It is a slow build and a long novel. There are a lot of characters, but I thought it was well done going through the nice, peaceful village that is dealing with a council member dying and having to fill his seat on the council. Each family, including most parents and some teenagers, is introduced with all their problems. It seems no one is happy, even though some try to hide it.

The big plot point involves a community building that sits on the edge of village where poorer people live. They use that building for a variety of reasons, but most of the village people would rather not look or deal with any of the poorer people. The village people want to turn that building into something that the poorer people would not use so they can give them no reason to come into the village. I found it fascinating that everyone had secrets. People had serious problems, like drug use. Some were trying to be good, but failing. There were petty fights and serious arguments.

I found it to be very realistic, including the ending where you really wish it would wrap up one way, but since real life does not always go the way you wish it would, it made sense in a way. I really liked that it was realistic and I do love it when novels dig into the fake life that people make for themselves in the suburbs of America or in the quaint villages of England. One character in the book is obsessed with people being “authentic” and many do have that problem.
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Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Dark Places

Coni, May 12, 2015

Whenever I thought I would stop and take a break from reading, I decided to just read one more chapter. Next thing I knew, I had read more than half the book in one sitting. I only stopped since it was the middle of the night and I really needed to get some sleep. The next time I picked up the book a couple days later, I finished it. I did the same thing with Gillian Flynn’s first book, Sharp Objects. I read it really quickly. I purchased this book as soon as it came out, but didn’t get around to reading it until after I tore through Flynn’s third book Gone Girl. Flynn writes really twisted, dark stories that I have a hard time putting down once I start reading them. I enjoyed Sharp Objects, but could tell where it was going about halfway through the book. Gone Girl threw me for a total loop and I did not completely expect that was heading where it went while reading it. I can see with this book, which was her second one written that her writing was improving. I did enjoy Gone Girl best out of the three I have read by Flynn, but really enjoyed Dark Places.

When I started reading this book, I had to know what happened with the murders so I was more interested in the chapters that were either from Patty or Ben’s point of view since it was what was going on with either of them the day before all the murders took place. The present day chapters were a bit sad because Libby had not adjusted well to adult life after living through that horrifying event and losing her entire family. Later on though, I found it really interesting that Libby started to doubt her own memories when she was faced with bits of evidence or heard conflicting stories from people she was talking to from her past. That’s when I reached a point of no return with this book and I couldn’t stop.

I could not completely tell where this story was heading. Even when I had a vague idea, there were still a lot of surprises. It was frustratingly realistic about how the entire town would feed into gossip and rumors about what they thought happened with the family and how it affected the trial and Libby’s life after the murders. Also, the murders and the family affected so many people still living besides just Libby. That’s why the current day part of the book became more interesting as it went on, even though what I guessed had happened with the actual murders still surprised me, which is great. I love it when I can’t guess what is going on, but still having enough clues to try to figure it out while I read anyway.
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We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Coni, May 12, 2015

It’s hard to talk about this novel without giving too much away since a major piece of information is held back in the first part of the story. It does start in the middle, since Rosemary, a 22-year-old young woman, was told by her parents when she was younger to skip the beginning and start in the middle. She used to talk non-stop, until her sister, that she was so close to she considered her a twin sister, left. Not too long after that, her brother left. She hasn’t seen either one in many years. Around that time, she also quit talking so much because it was easier to get through life when people did not know much about her and couldn’t judge her. I had to keep reading to find what had happened to her sister and brother. I also had to know why she quit talking so much.

I enjoyed this book very much. It could be said that Rosemary is an unreliable narrator because she would explain what happened to her as a child, she wasn’t sure if it really happened how she remembered it or if she had filled in some gaps over the years with what she thought happened. I did not mind this because that is what memory is like. Is what you remember now, really how it happened? How can two or three people that were present remember what happened in different ways? It isn’t only perceptions that are different, but what we choose to remember and what we forget over the years and end up making up parts of the story to fill in those memory gaps.

I also really enjoyed that the narrator was in college in the early to mid-1990s, which is when I was in college so it was fun to read all the cultural references. It put me back into the headspace I was in when I was that age and then as the story moves along to current times to see how she matures and reaches the same age as I am while reading it. It isn’t often that happens while reading a book so it was a nice touch.

I do recommend that if you want to read this book then try not to read the back of the book flap like I did. It does give away some information about Rosemary’s sister. There is still much that is learned while reading it like why her sister went away and where she went, but I think it would be fun to actually learn the surprise in the second act of the book.

The way the book ends is heartbreaking. It is a really good ending. Many questions are answered and people are healed from anger they have felt over the years when they finally start talking to each other again. It ends on the only realistic note it could, but it is still quite sad.
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