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|Length: 341 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Alice is a girl who has gone through the horrific and painful experience of cancer and the treatments to cure it that can be almost as awful as the cancer itself. Her prognosis is not good, so Alice has spent a year preparing to die, only to discover that she has miraculously gone into remission. The cancer is gone. Alice has a future. Great news, right? Well, for Alice ... not so much. While people sometimes take time when learning of a terminal diagnosis to go through a bucket list of experiences to help them leave this life having lived it to the fullest they could as long as they could, Alice chooses to make a bucket list of revenge plans that involve publicly humiliating the people in her life who have done her wrong. She burns one bridge after another in her life, dragging the ever faithful Harvey along for the ride.
Harvey is AMAZING. He is the one bright spot in this otherwise dismal story. He is faithful and strong and caring and forgiving, almost too much. Alice uses him again and again, manipulating his emotions, knowing that he is in love with her and has been since they were children. Again and again he returns to Alice when everyone else has left her. His love is valiant, but ultimately it is too hard to root for him, because although he loves Alice deeply, it is too hard to think that she deserves him. Harvey deserves sooooo much better. I root for Harvey in this story, but I don't root for Harvey and Alice. Unfortunately, that is the driving direction of the story, so it harmed my enjoyment of things.
It was interesting to analyze my feelings as I read Alice's story. The story goes between present day situations and flashbacks to points during Alice's diagnosis and treatment for cancer. I found myself at the beginning trying to almost forgive Alice for her horrible actions and thoughts, thinking, "Well, she has cancer. Who am I to judge her for how she handles such a difficult situation?" But as the story continued more and more I found myself saying, "No. She's just a horrible person with cancer. The cancer didn't make her horrible. That was all there before the cancer started, and it seems to still be around even after the cancer has left." And that's true. Cancer doesn't magically changed what is inside a person. It can intensify things a bit. It can rearrange life priorities. But sometimes a horrible person is still a horrible person, no matter what calamity hits them.
If this story had been more of a story of redemption, I think I could have really enjoyed it. Alice has a mess of problems, and she does deal with them ... eventually. But this redemption doesn't really begin until the book is 90% complete. That was too long for me. By that point I had already decided that I didn't care for Alice, and I was actively cheering moments when it seemed as if Harvey was moving on. I was too far gone as a reader to get back on the "Go Alice!" train. And then the ending didn't spend any time at all on the happy results of the redemption. There wasn't enough payback for the time spent in horrible Alice's head.
I do think that there will be many who do like this story. It is well written, and I am sure that there are great themes and lessons to be learned from this story. For me, however, I could never work past my intense dislike of Alice and her actions toward others, especially Harvey. I can only give this one two stars. It was okay. (But keep a look out for this author. There is lots of talent here. I am sure I would really enjoy other books by her that are less angsty).
I read the blurb and just had to buy it. It sounded amazing.
There's been about 3 books in the past 5 years that I almost didn't finish, and this is one of those. I just could not connect and get into the story. I gobble books up and usually finish a good book within a day, 2 tops. This one took me a good week or so.
I hate that. The writing is great, the story is fine. I don't know what it is.
Where I think the story could use some type of improvement is how Julie Murphy wrote the chapters. I as a reader find it difficult to read when it jumped not only from Alice to Harvey's perspective. She also had it jump from then to now. I like to read stories from different character perspective, but I had a difficult time reading it and knowing when was then and the present. That was the only problem I encountered with the book. Other that it was one of the best books I have ever read!
The way it was written didn't quite work for me either. It was confusing and I kept getting mixed up between the present and past even though it was written in the chapter title page. And trust me when I say that that does not happen unless the book I read either bored me or confused me. In this case to was both.
I'm not saying that the book was bad, I'm sure to some people it was amazing, but it didn't quite have what I was looking for when I first bought it.
The story revolves around alice who found out she has cancer and decides shes going out with a bang. With the help of her estranged best friend harvey she creates a revenge list for all those who have wronged her. Through a series of antics and a little romance she finishes her list only to find out shes in remission, what is she going to do now? Shes going to screw everything up and then realize that she was stupid in the first place cute read.
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I keep picking up books with awful characters!Read more