Category Archives: writing

The Book Thief

I finished this one during Hurricane Matthew, one of the few times I’ve found time to read nowadays, and was crying by the end. I will tell you now this book comes with some of my highest recommendations. I haven’t cried for a fictional character in a while, and I’m sorry this review is so late because I haven’t had the time to write it, but I finished another book while I’ve been trying to get around to writing this review so maybe I’ll have that review posted soon.

The premise, for those of you who don’t know, is Death is fascinated by humans. None more so than young Liesel, who has lost both her parents in different ways and witnessed at the start of the book the death of her brother. This is also the first time Death sees Liesel., it will not be the last. The death of her brother also leads Liesel to steal her first book, just before she finds herself on Himmel Street where she spends the majority of the remainder of the book. There she is raised by the Hubermann family, Hans who she comes to call Papa and Rosa who is Mama. They are an odd pair who seem to hate each other more than they love each other, but that is just their way. On Himmel street Liesel makes a friend in Rudy Steiner, who is her neighbor, obsessed with Jesse Owens and wants nothing more than to be kissed by Liesel. Later Hans Hubermann will bring into the Hubermann home, Max the Jewish fist fighter and if I neglected to mention now would be a good time to tell you this is during Nazi Germany. This gang of people form a family. Liesel learns to read on Himmel Street, defies Hitler, even in the smallest ways, and steals more than just books. It’s hard to describe the premise of these book because I fear giving too much away, but I will say I really loved this story.

What I loved about it was that it’s told from the perspective of a young, blonde, German girl who isn’t Jewish. So often books told during the Holocaust are told from the perspective of someone Jewish, and while that makes sense because their stories need to be told, so do the stories of the Germans who didn’t support Hitler’s war or cause. I love that this story, is being told by Death. It’s such an interesting turn of events and kept me wondering how and when Death would meet Liesel again. I love how Death speaks of humans, and the tone he/she/it is given. I really fell in love with the characters. Max, Hans and Rudy were my favorites but they’re all just incredibly well put together and fully realized. I even found myself wanting to know what was happening to the smallest side characters. This is a really gripping story about a young girl, growing up poor in one of the darkest times in history. It’s about her life, the people she meets and loves along the way and the truly haunting aspects of being human. It’s a beautiful story and I would honestly read it again, even though it hurts my heart.

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The Giver

Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t been around more often like I wanted to be. I got a big girl job and now I work all week and have less time for both reading and writing. I also just got back from vacation in California which was both nice and stressful thanks to unnecessary attitudes…I won’t bore you with the details, just know it was super dumb butt. Anyway, while on vacation i brought books with me (surprise, surprise), one of which was The Giver (Holy crap Lola, is it painfully obvious day?) and yes, I finished it.

So, we are gathered here today to hear my review for The Giver. This book is not new, to be sure. It came out the year after I was born and was another of those that apparently everyone but me was forced to read in school. The Eagle Scout and his brother both hate it, they find it preaching and the ending infuriates them. However Chow Mien, my sort of friend again (but definitely not best friend anymore, I tried it out and it didn’t feel right), says it’s one of her favorites. I received it as a present like two Christmases ago, if that let’s you know how huge my to read pile is, and I have finally gotten to it and I must say I’m rather disappointed.

The plot of the story is in this seemingly utopian society of sameness, no color, same clothes, same skin tone, same weather everyday, same routines, same vehicle (bikes), same everything, a boy named Jonas who loves the sameness is singled out to be different. He is chosen to be the Receiver of Memories, a job that is isolating, painful and believed to be the highest honor. Basically it turns out people in the community can’t see colors, have all their emotions dulled my these pills they take and don’t really have any choices and the Receiver of Memories deals with all the pain and joy of the past so everyone else doesn’t have to. After learning all this Jonas says to his predecessor, now the Giver of Memories (hence the title) the it isn’t fair and they should change things. The Giver tells him he’d been thinking so for years and together, towards the very end of the book they finally set a plan in motion to change the community.

The thing is, the book is short so there really shouldn’t be so much set up, but the majority of the book is just that. Also, and I can’t pin point why, but the characters did not touch me the way so many others had. I didn’t feel connected to them, I felt distanced. I was acutely aware that I was an outsider looking in and watching these things unfold, I never once felt right next to Jonas, the Giver, or any other characters in the story. There are these shocking revelations, but to be honest they weren’t shocking because I guessed them pretty early on. I found myself wondering if it would’ve been more shocking 23 years ago when dystopian futures weren’t such a big seller. Another part of the problem is it felt like a watered down, or safe version of a dystopian future. Like the author was too scared to push it further, or perhaps was so desperate to keep it in a certain age group she let go and brushed over some of the best and most horrifying moments. Perhaps part of the problem is when all the characters have a bland personality to prove a point you don’t care to know them. But for me the biggest problem is that the ending leaves much to be desired. I didn’t care enough about the characters to be desperate to know what had really happened to them, but being a curious person by nature I was left annoyed that I didn’t have clear answers. The possibilities were many and none of them seemed all that satisfying. I could’ve just picked a favorite, if I’d had a favorite possible ending, but they all left me with a feeling of time wasted, something I never want to feel reading a book.

I will say now, before I finish this off, that I know it’s a quartet and I have heard mixed reviews about those as well. Some say they help form a more clear answer for how the first book ends, and others say you never get the answers you want. I will probably break down and read the other three books, but for now, I’m not invested enough to bother. All in all I’m glad I finally read this book so many people have known and talked about, but being completely honest, I don’t get what the big deal is. It left very little impression on me and didn’t even manage to get the preachy aspect I heard about down with enough passion for me to be moved, even in a bad way, by it. If you still haven’t read it and find yourself curious, I would say go for it. It’s a small enough book that it won’t take up too much of your time, especially if you’re as fast a reader as I am. But this won’t be on the top of my recommend to a friend list any time soon.

Alright, that’s all for today. Have a great one, guys and as always thanks for reading.

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The Silkworm

Well, I’ve done it! I have finally finished it! Before I get any further, i would like to specify that I didn’t have trouble reading this because of the book itself. It just happens to be a large book, which is how I like them, but I haven’t had the time to read like I used to when I was a high school student with very few responsibilities and a bad habit of caring more about what I was reading than what my teacher was teaching….holy run on sentence. Okay, let’s not do that again. Anyway, this is a review of The Silkworm, and I’m very excited to give it.

So the story starts off after some time has past from the events of Cuckoo’s Calling. Once again, there is a reason it’s called The Silkworm and you find the reasoning out quite early. Strike has been receiving some unwanted publicity from the Landry case, and some much need business. Robin is still by his side, but now with aspirations of her own (wanting to be trained to be a detective herself). It’s then that Leonora Quine walks in, sits down on his sofa and refuses to leave. Mrs. Quine is like a breath of fresh air compared to the well-dressed and well to do clients that have lately been gracing him with their presence. Unlike the business men looking for a leg up on their competition, or the spoiled housewives of unfaithful husbands, Mrs. Quine doesn’t want revenge or proof for her lawyers. In fact, Mrs. Quine doesn’t have a lawyer, she looks down right dumpy in her worn out and too big coat. She just wants her husband, ever so slightly known writer Owen Quine to come home. See Owen’s just wrote a book called Bombyx Mori (means Silkworm) and it has started the shit storm to end all shit storms in the literary community. To make matters worse, Owen has run off after sending it out to be published. Leonora just wants him to come home to her and their daughter, Orlando and she needs Strike to find him.

Of course this seems simple enough and as a reader I was left wondering what could possibly go wrong there. Well not really, Owen turning up dead is not shocking at all. In fact, you should really expect it as the reader and you pretty much do. However, that doesn’t detract from the story at all. Nothing is helped by the laundry list of suspects a mile long, including everyone who was shamed and had their dirty little secrets aired in the book. Unfortunately, the book passed so many hands, you really have no idea who could’ve done it, but the grisly way in which Owen dies leaves images I would never want to see come to film. However, the descriptive prowess of one Mr. Robert Galbraith leaves little of the body to the imagination. It is a horrific sight in my mind and I never even saw it. It also helps narrow the list to people who read the book by a certain date, but that list isn’t so small either. I spent huge chucks of this book guessing at the killer. I spent more and more time narrowing it down person by person, right along with Strike. The tension that builds when the wrong person is arrested for the crime is palpable in a room full of screaming sports fans, I was tense and harried and had nothing to do for it except keep reading and hope for the best. Strike knows the killer long before the reader/this reader. I narrowed my list down to three people, and to make things even more embarrassing, it was none of the three I had picked. The true killer blindsided me completely, but as I finally got to hear the full explanation Strike gave for the how and why…it seemed painfully obvious and I love that in a mystery.

There is great satisfaction reading the resolution of this story and I can’t wait to get my hands on A Career of Evil because I really can’t get enough of Cormoran Strike and his partner Robin. The team is wonderfully realistic. They aren’t always smooth and they don’t always agree with each other. Robin, though less experienced than Strike, never blindly follows what he says or believes everything that comes out of his mouth. This story explores their dynamic more than Cuckoo’s and I love the growth between the pair.All I really have to say is that I would definitely recommend this book. Anyway, it’s late and I should get to bed…or more likely my next book (The Giver, finally). Goodnight, guys and as always, thanks for reading.

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Megacon

This is just going to be a really quick post because I wanted to prepare you all what what’s coming. Today I’m headed to Orlando where Mega Con is taking place. A few people from some of my favorite fandoms are supposed to be there and I’m really excited. I’ll be there until Sunday night, so expect a rather long and excitable post on Monday telling you all the amazing stuff I witnessed. It will also probably contain tons of awesome cosplay pictures. Unfortunately, this year I was unsure if I was going or not until the very last minute so I will not be cosplaying, though hopefully next year that will not be the case. Anyway, I hope you guys have as awesome a weekend as I’m about to have. Until Monday, thanks for reading.

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The Worst Kinds of People

I realized today, after yelling to another stranger who couldn’t even hear me, that they were “the worst kind of person”, that I’ve been saying that a lot lately. As such, I’ve compiled a list of the types of people who I actually do think are the worst kinds of people, because I think maybe not all the ones I accused are actually that bad.

  1. People who cut you off and then slow down. That’s the most recent person I yelled at and he didn’t even cut me off. I watched it happen to the poor person in front of me. My thing is, if you’re trying to get over, use a turn signal. If you aren’t don’t get pissy when someone doesn’t let you over. But most importantly, if you are in such a rush that you absolutely cannot wait to get over, don’t be that person! Do not cut in front of me then slow to 20 in a 45…seriously? Where was that hurry up that made getting in front of me an absolute necessity? Screw you, buddy. You truly are one of the worst kinds of people.
  2. People who get mad when you ask for gas money. If I’m giving you a ride and I’m strapped for cash, me giving you a ride is a favor, you shouldn’t get mad at me for asking for some help paying for the gas you’re using as well. Am I your mother? No? Then fork over at least a couple of bucks or start hoofing it, sweetheart. You are an entitled little douche and one of the worst kinds of people.
  3. Contrarians. So, I know this guy who hates The Beatles. He doesn’t have a legitimate reason, he just says they’re overrated. When asked to explain, he can’t. But the thing is, I know him, so I know he doesn’t like them simply because popular opinion is that they were either amazing or did amazing things for their genre. I hate when people dislike something just for the sake of being different from the norm. I hate when people like things just because the main consensus is that it sucks. Don’t get me wrong, if you have an actual opinion and you really do like/dislike something that most others do or don’t like, fine. But if you are only saying you do or don’t like something because it opposes popular opinion then I need you to stop voicing your opinions immediately because you are one of the worst kinds of people.
  4. People who don’t read and are smug about it. I’m a book nerd…as if you all didn’t know that already. I can’t stand when someone announces proudly to me that they don’t read books. That is not a badge of honor to be announced and waved about. On the contrary, you should be hanging your head in shame or hiding in a dark cave of willful ignorance. When you tell me you didn’t read the book, and smile, I feel embarrassed for you. And so should you, feel embarrassed, because you are one of the worst kinds of people.
  5. Divas. Okay, not like actually musically talented divas. No, i mean that one friend almost everyone has. You know who I’m talking about? The one who only ever wants to do what they want to do and if you aren’t doing that they won’t be there. The friend who is definitely only around in the fairest of weather. The one who also expects you to drop everything for them if they’re having a bad day, but then doesn’t understand when you’re upset they won’t do the same. Sweetheart, you are not Aretha, Tina, or Queen B, so step off your high horse and learn to be a bit less self-absorbed or you’ll forever be one of the worst kinds of people.

I’m sure there are more I’ll think of next time I’m complaining about a customer or yelling at that minivan in front of me, but for now, those are the ones I can think of. I’ve also just noticed I have a lot of rants stored up in my mind that I never get around to yelling at the people I want to, so these will probably continue to happen. Anyway, that’s all for now. Goodnight guys, and thanks for reading.

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