I wouldn’t quite call this a review, it’s more like an organised collection of my thoughts on the novel. Which I guess you could call a review anyway but I don’t plan on going into too much depth so uhh… yeah. I’ll stop rambling. I’ll try not to put anything in that’s too much of a spoiler!
Before I get started I just wanted to mention that, I bought the hardback of the book and I honestly don’t like the cover at all. I’m not really sure who the girl on the front is supposed to be but even so, I think it was a poor choice. I took the paper cover off whilst I was reading so it wouldn’t spoil and I was pretty surprised since the plain blue seemed a lot nicer to look at in my opinion.
ON TO THE REVIEW-BUT-NOT-REALLY-A-REVIEW!
The book is just over 450 pages long and it took me just less than a week to finish this book. I would have finished earlier if it wasn’t for the fact that the first half of the book had me awake at night in fear. I don’t often tend to read thrillers much less books about ghosts so to begin with this wasn’t a good book for me. I was tempted to drop it simply out of fear, but I really wanted to know if Ross would ever meet Aimee so I stuck around. So if you like being scared for entertainment purposes, this might just be your cup of tea.
I really enjoyed reading part two which was strictly about Lia. Whilst reading it I kept thinking “it all makes sense now!” “I remember that through Ross’ perspective!” “Oooh they’re explaining one of the clues!” I think it was well written on Picoult’s part and she did a good job maintaining the suspense by using this technique.
I also loved that all of the characters were so easy to empathise with. None of them were perfect and all had flaws. Most importantly, there were no real “bad guys”. Okay, so you could probably argue against that but I think Picoult justified everyones actions in a way that allowed us to understand their motives. As far as I can see, _____’s actions aren’t selfish - inhumane maybe - but not selfish as he tries to look for the “greater good”. I mean we all have our flaws, some people lack confidence and others find it difficult to draw the line between good and bad.
[I purposely took out the name to avoid spoilers ^^]
If I had to pick favourite characters, I’d pick Lia and Ross for sure. Personality wise, they’re a pair of downers. But I can’t help but love the way Picoult describes their pain and anguish. Neither character is able to deal with death and loss in a healthy way and the result is an ache that I found oddly familiar.
As much as I enjoyed reading this book, there were some things that I disliked. As much I liked being able to empathise with the characters, I found it easy to empathise too much. It reminds me of something one of my lecturers said about people committing suicide because of their intense empathy whilst reading The Sorrows of Young Werther. Not that Second Glance made me want to commit suicide at all, I just found myself feeling extremely sad and depressed in real life whilst I was reading this book.
Which brings me on to another thing I disliked: I felt like the book dragged a lot of things on unecessarily. Ross’ depression in particular began to annoy me by the last part of the book. I felt like jumping in and slapping him out of it towards the end. As horrible as this might sound, there’s only so much of a downer that I can take before getting fed up. I feel like all the excess time she spent on his depression could have been put to better use. More time spent on the ending or the whole novel would have been useful. The conclusion was written rather and sloppily and felt rushed. I feel like most of the things that took place just happened for the sake of tieing up all the loose strings.
I could suggest alternative endings… but it’s been a long day.
If asked, I’d recommend this book to someone looking for an emotional book to read or someone who likes reading thrillers and isn’t afraid of ghosts! I don’t recommend it for anyone who is overly emotional and overly empathetic *cough* like me *cough* :)
What if I gave you a limitless budget to build yourself a new library?
What would it look like?
Would you choose a modern design or something more classic?
Money is no object, so be as extravagant and as wacky as you want! ^^
Feel free to reblog and answer if the limit isn’t big enough for you! :P Best answers will be reblogged!
Go go go~!
(Of course if you haven’t realised already; this is purely a what if scenario. I don’t have - and will probably never have - the money to provide for the whole of tumblr’s visions for future personal libraries)
“Books constitute capital. A library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. It is not, then, an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, it is their only capital.”—Thomas Jefferson (via inspiredbylit)
I haven’t posted anything in forever due to many reasons: my computer died last week so I only just got it back and have been bonding since; the week before I had work experience at Little, Brown Book Group (future blog post to come soon) and I’m pretty lazy with blogging. Apologies. I do love this blog though; it’s so cool to be able to nerd out over novels and literary stuff!
Anyway, back to blogging my favourite quotes from my favourite authors :-)
“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof.”—Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams
“If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next — if you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions — you’d be doomed. You’d be ruined as God. You’d be a stone. You’d never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning.
You’d never dare to.”—Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
“We are walking down the street holding hands. There is a playground at the end of the block, and I run to the swings and I climb on and Henry takes the one next to me facing the opposite direction. And we swing higher and higher passing each other, sometimes in synch and sometimes streaming past each other so fast that it seems we are going to collide. And we laugh and laugh, and nothing can ever be sad, no one can be lost or dead or far away. Right now we are here and nothing can mar our perfection or steal the joy of this perfect moment.”—Audrey Niffenegger (via atomos)
“Have we met?"
“Two nights ago.”
“I meant before that.”
Ross shook his head. “I don’t think so,” he said, but he felt as if he’d known her forever. Or maybe he wanted to know her forever. Was there a difference?”—Jodi Picoult’s Second Glance
“Shelby knew that some librarians felt the human brain was like a microfiche file, impossibly tiny images and words on transparent leaves, arranged page by page for a person’s viewing pleasure. But every times she saw those miniature dossiers, she thought that if any part of the body were similarly catalogued, it would be the heart. She imagined autopsies, the organ sliced thin. One sliver would chronicle the way you had cherished a child; one would record the feelings you had for parents and siblings. Another, scarlet, might be etched with moments of passion; angels embracing on the head of a pin. And for those who were lucky, the thinnest slice would be teeming with memories of a love so strong it turned you inside out and left you gasping, and it would be an identical match to a slice stored in the heart of a soul mate.
Desiderate: to long for.”—Jodi Picoult’s Second Glance
“She was smart enough, after four years of college another two of graduate school, to know that she used language like shore dwellers used sandbags: to create a buffer zone between herself and the rest of the world. She also knew that she could learn every last word in the dictionary and still not be able to explain why her life had turned out the way it had.”—Jodi Picoult’s Second Glance
“Shelby loved words, but she would be the first to tell you that had a habit of letting you down. Most of the time, the words that were not written were the ones you needed most.”—Jodi Picoult’s Second Glance
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting”—E. E. Cummings (via light-essence)
“Assumptions are dangerous things to make, and like all dangerous things to make — bombs, for instance, or strawberry shortcake — if you make even the tiniest mistake you can find yourself in terrible trouble. Making assumptions simply means believing things are a certain way with little or no evidence that shows you are correct, and you can see at once how this can lead to terrible trouble. For instance, one morning you might wake up and make the assumption that your bed was in the same place that it always was, even though you would have no real evidence that this was so. But when you got out of your bed, you might discover that it had floated out to sea, and now you would be in terrible trouble all because of the incorrect assumption that you’d made. You can see that it is better not to make too many assumptions, particularly in the morning.”—Lemony Snicket (via slekes)
“Her library filled her bookshelves and then overflowed into waist-high stacks of books everywhere, piled haphazardly against the walls. If just one of them moved… the domino effect could engulf the three of us in an asphyxiating mass of literature.”—John Green, Looking for Alaska (via nitors)