31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2006
...and seeing as it is not 6:30 in the morning, have decided that it's better to just forgo sleep.
i don't know how to explain this book. i don't think that i'm ever going to be able to read the whole thing ever again.
it was joyous and gut-wrenching and euphoric and terrible. it sounds corny but i cried and laughed and for the latter half of the book felt like my heart was going to break.
never have i looked at the last page of any other book i've read before (and i didn't read the whole last page, just glanced at it to spot any key words/names) but i couldn't control myself with this book. it was so emotionally demanding to the point where i felt the anguish the characters were feeling that i had to have some sort of clue of how it would end, just so i could be the reader again and not one of the characters themselves.
the editor's review says that the writing is inelegant... if it was i didn't notice. the meaning behind the words is what grabbed me. it wasn't dickens but it never pretends to be and would have failed if it did.
i'm not even tired.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2005
The first book by this author, "God Shaped Hole", was a wonderfully touching story with plenty of sadness along the way. This one is no different, except for being even more so.
Eliza, our complicated and interesting main heroine, manages to meet and interview the famous Doug Blackman. Fed up with Cleveland and her go-nowhere job, she scores a great job and apartment in New York City and decides to start over. She has many insecurities and fears, mainly being of flying, because of the fact that her parents died on an airplane when she was young.
She settles into an apartment with her new roommate Paul, who happens to be: 1. Very attractive. 2. In the same band as her brother. 3. Someone who goes through women like water, but deep down wants one special woman to call his own. The two of them manage to get together after some time passes, and they fall deeply, deeply in love with each other. Around the same time, Paul's band gets "discovered". What more could they ask for? They are in love, they now have money from his new contract, and they trust each other.
But life as an up-and-coming rock star isn't easy. Paul has to go on tour, and Eliza doesn't know what to do. She will never get on a plane, as she has a very strong phobia about them. Yet she doesn't want to stay behind. Meanwhile there are other things happening, such as her growing friendship with Loring, Doug Blackman's son. Eliza's job is not going as well as she'd hoped, due to a jealous coworker who can't deal with Eliza's taking time off.
What happens next? Well, Eliza decides to take fate into her own hands. She makes a complete and utterly ridiculous mistake which in turn ignites a series of unfortunate events, culminating in a disaster and heartbreak. Although there are some interesting twists and turns...
Much as I loved the authors first book "God Shaped Hole", I just had a hard time getting into the whole tortured-love-conquers-all mindset this time around. We are also supposed to believe that Eliza is such a great and interesting person whom everyone falls in love with, but somehow she just never comes across as so. Eliza also makes such a ridiculous and idiotic mistake, and I was appalled that the second part of the novel was based on the events after she made her mistake. I had to suspend WAY too much disbelief for this novel.
On the other hand, the novel managed to evoke very strong feelings of sadness at one point. I do not in any way recommend that a depressed person read this book, because the author really manages to get you emotionally involved with the characters (despite being frustrated beyond belief with them). Once you are involved with them, they will take you for quite a hilly and tortured ride.
But don't get me wrong- I didn't hate this book. I have very opposing and conflicting feelings about it. The author's wonderful way with words and dialogue really comes through in this book as with the last, and I was impressed with the story line she concocted. Fresh, different, strange, sad, but will keep you reading.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to people who enjoyed Tiffanie Debartolo's first, and to anyone who likes a true-love-conquers-all type of story. But beware: have tissues on hand. You will cry.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2013
Wow.....just wow. This book completely broke my heart in two...and then somehow managed to put it back together...and then break it all over again. It was a very intense and emotional real, I'll give you that.
Let first start this by saying I absolutely ADORE THIS BOOK - LOVE it, and I give it 4.5 stars. The only reason it doesn't get 5 is because the beginning was a little drawn out. I considered putting it down a few times, but I am SOOO so so glad that I didn't. (well, later, I did...but not because I was bored - it was because I needed a minute to get myself together emotionally and process what I had just read - more about this later...)
This book drew me in from the beginning. It alternated between Paul and Eliza's point of view. Paul is hilarious, honest, weird and sexy, and the way he feels about Eliza is amazing. He loves her with all he has. The conversations he has with his `tape recorder journal' just cracks me up. Loved those parts. Eliza is also a lovable character. She is beautiful, smart, and knows what she wants. She is just so messed up by her past that she has a hard time moving forward. Her selflessness was my favorite quality about her - she just didn't know what to do with it. By being selfless, she made awful decisions. And when she as making those decisions, I was yelling at her in my mind to stop - she was breaking my heart! But she didn't break Paul's heart...she broke something else:
"My heart's fine. My heart is in the best shape of its life. You know what you did to me? You took an AK-47 and blew my soul open."
Whoa. That line was so deep. I could just FEEL his pain.
And Loring...he was such a great character, I absolutely love him! This particular part just had to be highlighted in my Kindle:
"And as she continued to weep on his chest, Loring knew he was never going to be this close to her again. And he knew she knew it, too. That they were going to say goodbye sometime after the sun went down and he was going to walk out the door and catch a cab to 77th and Central Park West and he wasn't going to come back. Not unless she asked him to come back. And she was never going to ask him to come back."
This book makes readers laugh, cry, scream, cry more...you're jaw will drop...and you may even laugh and cry some more. There were parts when I was so shocked that I thought the author as playing a joke on me. Once I realized she was serious, it was like my heart was breaking all over again. This is the point where I had to put the book down and regroup....
WTH was that?!?!?!?!?!? @$#$%$%^&%^&&*#%@$!@#%#$!#*#$%% Are you FREAKING kidding me?!?!?!?!?! Now I could see why everyone was so angry with Tiffanie DeBartolo for writing this book. For writing THIS into this book!!!!!!!!!!
Quote from this part - 83% "Eliza reached out to Loring. He went to her and she clung to him. "Tell him he's wrong, Loring. You're smart. Tell him."
And, oh my goodness, all I wanted was for Loring to tell him he's wrong. I wanted him to be wrong...
I just had to Stop reading altogether and just process what I had just went through (BC I could feel all of the emotions Eliza felt...it didn't feel like I was reading, it felt like I was experiencing everything she experienced) Once I put it down, I said to myself that I couldn't read anymore and that I didn't wanna know. (You'll see!!) I didn't want to turn the page I was just as in denial as Eliza was. I felt everything she felt and I didn't want it to be real. I didn't want to allow the author to take me there...and I didn't want it to be true. If I never turned the page, then I didn't have to know it was true...I could go on pretending that this was all a big joke, and that the book was not taking me this way. I thought Eliza finally got something good, and things were going to go back to normal, and THIS happens. You'll know the part, but I'll tell you where it is - 83% - 83 freaking percent! And don't skip ahead and ruin it, you'll know when you get there. And once you're there, and you're thinking you can't read it anymore - KEEP GOING!!!!
I don't want to give too much more away, but MUCH more happens after this 83% mark, and it is SOoOo worth finishing. I will say that if you're not satisfied, if you're not happy, then it is NOT over. just trust me ;)
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2013
I didn't like this book at all. I read it because it did have great views. Many people said that they felt like they were on an emotional rollercoast, I personally didn't feel that way. I didn't feel that the characters were relatable, or well described. I didn't have an image in my head for the main characters until 3/4 the way through. I also think the ending was very pedicatable. In the authors attempt at foreshadowing I felt gave away the whole ending rather then giving a hint or clue as to what is expected to develope I felt that the foreshadowing gave away major parts. I also felt that a lot of the chapters and scenes didn't tie into the whole flow or plot of the book almost like they were added in as fillers to make the book longer but gave no real relation to the plot of the story.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2013
Well, I am confused as to how to write my review: on the one hand, the author is clearly talented and has an impressive vocabulary, which I **adored**. Seriously, when is the last time you read the word "recrudescence"? For me, it was when reading something I had written. But, what was the point of the magnificent word-dropping?
Unfortunately, even though this was published by a big house, it was still filled with ridiculous errors (spelling same word differently on the same page). Whatever, not the author's fault. Additionally, chapters are written from various characters' POVs: the only chapters which I immediately "got" were those written in Paul's (male lead) voice because the font was distinctive -- otherwise I found it both a distracting and precious device to jump from Person A to Person B to Person C, etc. Not for me, I guess, or not how it was handled in this book.
I just could never connect with the main characters, Eliza Caelum, a parentless girl in her mid-twenties, or her roommate-cum-fiance, Paul Hudson, himself parentless and a self-involved lyricist / musician. Neither of them seemed complete to me; they seemed real (in terms of vapidity) but not interesting. Their attraction and deep love never made sense to me, and this is the author's responsibility. Whammo they meet! Then months later, evidently, they are wild about one another and in the deepest sort of love. I couldn't feel / find their connection -- why is Paul so crazy about Eliza? Why, seriously, why? Why is Eliza so bananas for Paul? He's interested in himself and doesn't come across as particularly thoughtful (of others) or generous in spirit.
The only character I did "get" was the strong secondary character, Loring Blackman. He was a bit too good to be true but he read as complete and I absolutely understood his motivation / reaction(s) -- he was painted with a full brush. I wish I'd understood Eliza and Paul as well as I was able to Loring.
So as I finished the book I was left feeling "meh." I was more interested in learning about Loring and how he was doing than I was in Eliza and Paul's resolution, because I never "got" their connection / love.
Will I reread it? No. Will I recommend it? No. Am I glad I read it? Not particularly.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2012
According to my friends and family, I read a ridiculous amount of books. They find it hysterical (maybe frightening) that I carry my kindle in my purse with me everywhere I go (you know just in case I might find a few minutes to read here and there). Because I do read so much I am constantly being asked "what are you reading" or "read anything amazing lately"? I hate these questions because half the time I am reading my smexy books and I feel a little embarrassed to share the titles (especially when my dentist or someone I barely know asks me) plus they somehow feel private...personal. I also don't like the pressure of recommending books to people when I read such a specific genre and truly don't branch out much from my drug of choice. After reading HTKRS I realize I now have an answer to that pesky question. This book is THE BOOK that crosses over and can be so many things to so many different people. THIS BOOK is the book that I will proudly share the title with the stranger sitting next to me on an airplane. THIS BOOK is that book that you'll always remember; a book that after you have finished reading it has left a little mark on you...a favorite. Now for the meat:
What can I possibly say about this book that hasn't already been said? It is in a word: moving.
In more words it is: beautifully written, thought provoking, heartbreaking, inspiring, funny, frustrating at times and absolutely 100% original.
Bottom line, it is a book filled with poetry about life and the choices we make.
I went into this book blind (which I am realizing is the best way to go). My GR friend, Andrea sent me a little note kindly asking me to make this my next read. She had just finished it and wanted to discuss it(and now I realize purge her emotions about the beauty of this book to someone who would understand how she was feeling). By the time I hit 25% I realized that I had never experienced a book like this...ever. I found myself rereading lines, memorizing them so I wouldn't forget their meaning. I felt like I should be writing the words down on notecards so I could stick them to my bathroom mirror to later help guide me when life's challenges start bubbling up to the surface. By the end of the book, I was feeling (a breathless type of feeling) so much that I had to slow down so I could drink everything in and not waste a single word.
Because my HTKRS experience was my own and not influenced by someone else's review, I will not go into details about the story; I can't stand the thought of ruining this experience for anyone. I will say that this books sticks to your ribs and will stay with you. It will MOVE you; it will make you open your eyes and think about things differently (even if it is for just a minute, it will be worth it).
"Reach out touch faith"
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2012
This first book that I have read by Tiffanie Debartolo & I don't intend it to be the last. I immensely enjoyed her writing style - it takes true talent to be able to pen a novel from 3 character's POVs and still make the novel flow naturally. I liked all the characters & fell in love with Paul - the embodiment of a modern day Holden Caulfield who was fighting tooth and nail to preserve himself in a cookie-cutter industry. In fact, I thought Paul's heartfelt insecurities vs. his publicly assertive preachings of a ruined society really saved this novel from being a weak-plot washout. That being said:
I was 90% emotionally entangled with this novel...until the shell-shocking climax about 3/4's of the way through. Then I lost the magic. The last quarter of the novel was so unbelievably far-fetched that I could not continue to connect with the story. At all. Too many plot holes & characters going against every fiber of personality Ms. Debartolo had previously written for them. Those last pages were meaningless for me and ended up effectively ruining the entire story line. Most of the great highlights of this novel have been replaced with the bad taste of equally unrealistic tragedies & resolutions.
All in all? I liked the writing & shed a few tears. I will probably pick up another Tiffanie Debartolo novel in the future. The moral of the story is to know when to put the pen down -cause this 3 star novel would have been a 4 star novel if it was 100 plot-twisting pages shorter.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2014
I've been trying to post a more detailed review for this book, but it won't go through. I don't get why. I purchased it here on Amazon just a few days ago. Maybe because I listed a couple spoilers?? I put in big bold letters at the top that there were spoilers, to warn everyone. Well, I'll just keep this simple and short then.....
Tiffanie DeBartolo is a very talented author. She created a story here that was vivid in my imagination and that kept me gripped throughout. (Though there were parts that were a bit too verbose for me, but that was minor.) I loved Paul. So much. (And I really liked Loring. He was a good guy and friend. Too good.) In a nutshell what ended up ruining this book for me, was Eliza. She meant well I guess, but she did NOT do well. The choices she made were stupid, selfish, ridiculous, and/or cruel. I don't care that she had a real phobia. To nearly destroy a love so deep and hurt someone the way she did because of it, was inexcusable in my book.
It's not a common thing for me to read a well written book with a story that emotionally moved me as much as this one did, yet in the end I just couldn't bring myself to like it, no matter how much I wish I had. And all because of the choices and actions of one Eliza Caelum. And one more thing I just have to add.... in my opinion, she didn't apologize and make amends for any of it anywhere near the way she should've- the way Paul deserved.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2013
This book evoked one emotion in me... desire for it to be over. I felt no connection to the characters or the story line. I read multiple reviews from good reads and totally booked singing praises for this story. Sorry to say I disagreed with them this time.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2007
First, start with some cool characters, a fun setting, a great topic (who doesn't love rock stars??) Spice it up with an edgy romance. Toss in some reference to awesome music like Depeche Mode, the Cure, and Jeff Buckley. Then have your character do something completely unbelievable - for shock value, for plot enhancement, and not for truth of story. Congratulations! You have killed your book!
Sorry, I couldn't look past the completely ridiculous plot twist that made absolutely no sense whatsoever in terms of character. Especially considering the themes of art and truth that ran throughout the book, this just couldn't be forgiven.
The one good thing I can say is that if reading this book makes someone go buy a CD of one of the aforementioned artists, then I guess reading it was worth it.