Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Color Purple

Growing up my parents used to watch The Color Purple every time it came on tv. I knew that it was a book but as a child and teen I had little interest in reading anything that my school considered worthy enough to read. I was a rebel. I loved books but I did not want to be forced into reading anything. So I stayed very far away from The Color Purple until I began to work in a book store. Then, every start of a semester we would set up displays of the books the schools wanted their students to read and The Color Purple was always on the table. It started to spark my interest despite my refusal to read it as a kid. In fact, most of the 'classics' I didn't begin to have interest in until I was far away from school. Then it was my choice, it was my decision to read these books, rather than having them crammed down my throat.

I picked up The Color Purple and was surprised- the entire book is through letters. I had never known that. The language slowly grows and changes as the main character and her sister matures and I quickly fell in love with them. It's an entire life told through letters between sisters that mean the world to each other.

Now, their lives aren't perfect. Women are abused, men rape, and there is a number of sexual scenes. But I read it nonetheless. This is life, unfortunately (well maybe not so unfortunate for the sex scenes). These characters are growing up so it's understandable that they will be seeing different aspects of their lives. Good and bad.

There are some very strong female characters in The Color Purple which is pleasing to read. I generally enjoyed the majority of the female characters and even a decent portion of the males that were featured. It's definitely a different time and place but I read it quickly and enjoyed the book despite the long list of heartaches that the main characters felt.

And they really do have a lot of heartaches. So much of the book I spent going, "Really? Do they have no luck?" It wasn't to the extent of being unbelievable but it was definitely prominent and sad.

This book isn't for the faint of heart. If you have any issues with homosexuality, sexual exploration, language, and violence then you should stay away from The Color Purple. This has drawn a lot of negative reaction from people across the US and has made this book one of the most banned and challenged books in the country.

What's the most enjoyable part of this book? That it ends on a good note. That despite all of the hardships the characters experience they still come out for the better and life still works out for them. There are good things that come their way, they just have to fight to get it, and I feel that's a positive message to the readers.

And the movie? The movie is pretty good as well. Of course it's different from the book but it's pleasurable and beautiful and will make you cry.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief

As a child I had a strange obsession with Greek mythology. I suspect it began because of the Disney movie Hercules but I can’t quite remember if that is the cause. None the less, I devoured the Greek mythology books that were available at my school library but have since forgotten the majority of the Greek myths. Still, the idea of Greek gods and the likes attracts me because I am a nostalgic freak.

I had a reader tell me to read Percy Jackson two years ago and at the time I had so many other books I was reading or more interested in that I put the series aside. Recently I’ve joined an online community that sort of obsesses over mythology and it sparked my interest again. A friend of mine swore by the Percy Jackson books. She loved the entire series and felt I should read the books for years. Finally, I listened to everyone and took out The Lightning Thief from the library.

And I loved it.

I read the book quickly and it was the right amount of excitement and humor that I needed. The characters are lovable- even the bad Aries. And the way the gods are presented is incredibly interesting.

The Greek myths pop up through out the book in different, more modern, ways and they were exciting every time I spotted them. “Oh, oh! I know what myth this is!” Or “I recognize this! Ugh, I have to reread my myth books!”

I loved Percy’s mother. I love Annabeth. I love Grover. Ugh, I love all of the good characters, okay? And I love Ares, even if he’s kind of a jerk. Just the idea of the God of War riding around on a motorcycle makes me very happy. I appreciate the concept that despite that no one believes in the old Greek gods anymore, they were immortal, so of course they still exist.

I flew through this book and rushed to get the next one, only to discover that my library didn’t have it because someone took it out forever ago. Disappointment at the extreme! This is a series where you read one book and you immediately want the next. They’re quick reads and very addictive so if you’re going to set out and read the Percy Jackson series- please- make sure you have access to all of the books.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blog Hop 7/22

Book Blogger Hop

This Weeks Question:
What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t?

This is tough... I have liked something in nearly every genre. I'm lucky that way. As a teenager I could only read teen fantasy- that was it. I had little to no interest in anything else other than that genre and The Vampire Chronicles. Once I entered college and began studying English my interests branched out to other genres. I devoured a lot of books after that and even still, I'm starting to slowly get more and more into more genres that I previously had trouble enjoying. But there is one genre that I really just find hard to get into.


Now I like my creepy stuff. But I am so picky with finding a book I will actually read in the Horror section. So picky. Other genres that I can't get a hang of are mystery and romance. But... I'm not particularly interested in those genres. I've never been a big fan of romantic or crime movies, my interest is low with that. But I do like my creepy stuff. I like my creepy tv and my creepy movies, however I always have to be 'in the mood' for it. The same goes for the books, I suppose. I need to be in the mood and it's a mood that is here and gone. But who knows? Ten years ago I never thought I would be reading historic fiction and enjoying it yet here I am. Maybe in another ten years I'll be devouring as many thriller books I can get my hands on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


The author of Slate contacted me to see if I was interested in reading his novel. I agreed and then my life became overwhelming so I put off reading it for a number of months (Sorry to the other authors whose books I have not read yet!). The author was very sweet and polite when I spoke with him and then all that time passed and I finally opened up Slate with every intention of reading it.

Read it I did... and... wow.

The book, to me, ended up sounding more like a fantasy smut novel than 'chick lit'. I would not even categorize it as literature, let alone literature meant for women. It seemed very much like a dream novel about what the author wants women to do and much of it was either rushed, drawn out, or just one ridiculous thing after another. 

There were so many male parts coming and going I had lost track as to who was who and the dialogue... oh the dialogue was really unfortunate. 

I thought this had the potential of being a chick-lit book and hell, it could even have become a movie. The premise that a woman who was recently becoming divorced decides to hold fake casting sessions to find the next guy sounded interesting and like a good build up for a comedy but it was so far away from that. I felt slightly disgusted when I finished the book and I have no intention of rereading it. 

Apologies to the author. This isn't the nicest of reviews but this book was very far from my expectations and incredibly disappointing. I don't know any women who act like the main character does in this book and if I knew such a woman, I would certainly not be her friend. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday- July 12th

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading and it asks us to...

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title; author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
The Help (Movie Tie-In)
I concentrate on Mae Mobley, try to keep my mind off Miss Hilly. Show me how to teach Baby Girl to be kind, to love herself; to love others, while I got time with her...

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sisterhood Everlasting

While in High School I was obsessed with the series Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. What attracted me so much to the books was a number of things. They were my age and dealing with some of the problems that arise for teens. They were a group of friends who were like sisters- this I could relate to the most. I’m an only child and the closest I’ve come to having ‘siblings’ is through my friends and cousins. The books sort of proved the fact that I could have friends who were like sisters. There was also the fantastic cast of four different girls whose personalities were all very different so really, anyone could relate to at least one of the girls.

I always identified the most with Lena. Just sayin’.

When the fourth book came out I waited impatiently for the soft cover to be released so that I could continue having the collection of books as paperbacks. I thought that was that, though. I had heard the fourth book was the last in the series and there would be no more. It made me sad because I had grown to love the girls in the series so much and expected them to be there each summer when I was off from school. During those hot summer days I would lay on my bed and read the books with a fiery speed and suddenly the series was over with and I was in mourning.

This type of emotion for a book series has happened only a few times in my life. The other time? When the last Harry Potter book was released. I reacted much the same when I went to see the last Harry Potter movie. But that’s another story.

Imagine my glee when I found out that the sisterhood was back for another novel? I stalked the date for the book release obsessively and the moment I got my hands on it (or rather, my hands on my Kindle) I read the book in a day.

The girls are older, more mature, and in different places in their lives. They’ve lost touch in many ways and hope to all meet up again when, as if a wish came true, Tibby sends for the other three girls to meet her in Greece at Lena’s grandparents house. Excitedly the girls fly to Greece for their long awaited reunion and that’s where things become heavy.

Consider this your warning for spoilers. If you continue to read and something ruins the book for you, don’t blame me.

When the girls arrive to the house in Greece it is only at the very beginning of the book. I expected world wind romances and maybe an argument or two but what I did not see coming was that one of the girls dies. I was reading this book at work and was completely shocked by what happened then had to stop reading because I was nearly in tears. I would sit there, blink a little bit, try to calm down, then grab the Kindle to continue reading because I wanted to know how this could happen.

Insert the majority of the books plot: What happened to this girl. Did she commit suicide? Because it looked that way.

Spoiliers No More:
This is my suggestion for those who have never read the Traveling Pants books before: wait on reading this one and start from the first book. This is a series you want to read in order.

My second suggestion is to those who intend on reading this book: if you are going through a tough point in your life, hold off on reading this. The majority of the book is quite upsetting and very real. It can be upsetting to read if the reader is going through a tough patch themselves. Believe me, I know, because I was going through a rough time when I read this book.

The book is worth the read though… so don’t completely forsake reading it. You finally know for sure what is going on with these different characters and you can assume how they will continue to live, since they are now adults. Everything ties up neatly by the last chapter and I felt that finally I did get to say goodbye to these girls in a more proper way.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Common Sense

Another freebie for Kindle users (and I'm assuming other e-readers) is Common Sense. Now, this was something I've always heard about but never did anything with. It was something that had to do with America, something that was important, something that some kids had to read in class. Whatever. My attention span for it all ended there.

Of course that changed when I realized I could get Common Sense for free. That seems to be the start of many instances where I'm reading things I never thought I would. Point for e-readers? I think so.

Common Sense was written by Thomas Paine and published in 1776. It's a declaration of sorts that American's should demand independence from Great Britain. The argument that Paine raises is, at times, humorous. He lists every reason the citizens should listen to him in a rather explanatory way. A school teacher would be proud.

Now this wasn’t any type of a ‘story’ but more based on fact and opinion. It might not have a plot, it is very much just an argument, but the significance of Common Sense is great- especially for American’s and even Great Britain. Now, it’s not like I’m going to go back and read this again. I am that person who really likes plots and political complaints and demands sort of bore me. But I don’t regret the time I spent reading this because it’s a piece of my history.

Add the fact that you can get it for free and it’s fantastic and worth the read. You really have no excuse now. So hop to it and see how people wrote opinionated papers over two hundred years ago.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Teaser Tuesday- July 12th

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading and it asks us to...

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title; author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #3: The Craving
I had vowed to never harm a human again, to never allow a human to come to harm because of me. I was trapped as neatly and as permanently as if I were still a sideshow vampire at a circus, tied with vervain ropes- and Damon knew it.
The Vampire Diaries: Stefan's Diaries #3: The Craving by L.J. Smith, Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec