Month: January 2016

Edith Wharton Talks Truth

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He forgot

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Not One of the Popular Crowd

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I recently read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
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It seems that most readers either love, love, loved this book, or could barely finish it. I, meanwhile, ever the rebel, fell somewhere in the middle.

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He’s on the fence! Egg him!

The writing of this novel was not particularly pleasant, to me, to read. I read one possibly humorous mention of the author’s use of metaphor being jarring, but I didn’t have a problem with that. I, personally, found the use of metaphor both apt and capable of drawing me into caring about the character a bit. There is also, however, a bit of breaking lines up like poetry, which bothered me a lot. Frankly, this practice was not done with enough frequency or poignancy to seem to have a point. It simply occurred once in awhile, seemingly for no reason, so why bother? Then, most of the writing was too simple to convince me I was reading the thoughts of a rich, white girl who had grown up with a good education. It was so simple, at first, I wasn’t really convinced the book was entirely worth my time. It was the fact that so many other readers have enjoyed it that kept me reading, with the promise of a twist at the end.

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I’m a sucker for a good, well-executed twist.

The twist did not pack as much of a punch as I was hoping, although I did not actually see it coming. It actually sort of horrified me, as in, how can you be okay with this… Yet I suppose that is the point. The narrator needs to come to a place of peace with something that is definitely not, and never will be, okay. This lesson is one that most of us could stand to learn from, I would imagine. I know that I could. From now on, I suppose I can internally tell myself If Cady can be okay with the terrible things that happened to her, then I suppose I can learn to live with some of the poor decisions I have made. And if you have read the book, yes I am referring to the fact that I haven’t… you know. (I’ll refrain from explicitly stating what occurs, lest you haven’t actually read the novel).

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It’s all about perspective…

However, while the twist did not affect me as much as it did others, I did find myself thinking about the novel for days afterwards. So I suppose the novel did have an effect on me, despite the general simplicity of its’ writing, and the fact that I was unable to entirely sympathize with a privileged white girl who gets away with too much and is becoming okay with herself when she doesn’t seem like a very good person. Thus I remain, dear reader, on the fence.

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Not as comfortable as you might think…

 

 

Have you read the novel? What were your thoughts? Love? Hate? I would love to hear your thoughts! #commentplease

On Departing Lines and Sex

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I recently finished How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life, by Mameve Medwed, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Medwed writes well in this novel set in one of the most famous of college towns, a setting richly developed, and peopled with characters who are both relatable and grow throughout the course of the novel.

This novel provided some balm for my soul. I have been in the midst of some personal crises, and this novel helped remind me that change is slow, but definitely possible. If you want your life to be better, it can be. Regardless of your age, your gender, your circumstances, with perseverance and a lot of luck, our lives can become something great.

Here are some of the quotes I enjoyed from this novel:

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Have you read How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life? What did you think?

The Rush: Chapters 5 – The End

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I made it to the end of this novel!

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#finally

As you might remember from my last post, or the post before that, I have not been particularly enjoying this novel. It only got worse as I kept reading, however reader (except for a brief respite near the end, which I will discuss more later).

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The Rush: So bad, it made Santa’s naughty list.

Basically, this entire novel can be summarized into one word: indecision.

Ivy can’t decide how she feels about Ryder, or rather, won’t be honest with herself about her feelings, and generally, can’t decide how she feels about anything else, either. She gets tattoos out of rebellion, but they really only stress her out and act as a weird, spit-filled bonding moment with the boy she’s crushing on whom she won’t admit she has a crush.

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#flirting

Ivy can’t decide whether or not she has an eating disorder. She blames her mother for forcing her to “barely eat anything,” but she gets caramel macchiatos every two seconds. Wouldn’t someone with an eating disorder be aware of the large amount of calories in the delicious, but fatty caramel macchiato? Or if her mother doesn’t let her eat anything, wouldn’t her mother ban the drinking of them? Also, what kind of rebellious teen willfully gets tattoos (ignoring the indecisiveness factor) but isn’t willing to rebel against eating dictates and get a salad at lunchtime?

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#notbuyingit

The scene where she tells everything to Ryder is hilarious. She literally contradicts herself every other sentence. Not necessarily the things she’s saying to Ryder, the things she’s thinking to herself. At one point, she says something along the lines of “For the first time in my life, I felt absolutely disgusted with my life.” But, um, she’s literally been complaining about how disgusting her life is at least once (usually more) in every preceding chapter.

 

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The redeeming factor I mentioned earlier? Ivy’s date, mandated by Nyx, is scary. My pulse quickened, I internally screamed at the protagonist to get out of the situation, knowing that 16-year-old-girls can get themselves in abusive date situations like this easily and feel that they need to stay.

Having said that, one scary date chapter is certainly not intriguing enough to convince me to continue with the sequel.

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Those are my thoughts. What are yours? Have you read The Rush? Are you planning to (possibly during a Goodreads 2016 challenge)?

Spit take: by Leo Marz (catálogo de SPACES Leo Marz) [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons
The shrug: http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/db/bd/12d6e1df5dfb1b135a8b32ccff99.jpg

An Eternity of Romance

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A dead woman crooked her finger, and Duncan Wallace followed.-

Remember that book I read awhile back, that I initially liked, before becoming bored and disinterested? No? That’s okay – it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that I like this particular quote from the book. It might be slightly cliche, but most romance, when you boil it down to it’s bare bones, is, and this one still touched my heart.

That’s as much sap as you’re getting out of me today. What do you think? Love this quote? Hate it? Want to share a favorite romantic quote of your own?

A Witchy Read

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Sometimes, a reader wants to escape into a weird, melodramatic world that vaguely resembles this one and also features 2 really hot sisters who are luring this hot guy who’s kind of a dick into their sinister, deadly games. And if that is what you are looking for, reader, Season of the Witch is right up your alley.


While my description probably makes it sound like erotica, it’s really not. What it is, surprisingly (and spoilers-ahead-ishly), is a rant against all of this newfangled technology, which is dimishing our ability to memorize to the degrees that Classical philosophers were able, and also that sometimes all it takes to change a guy is have him fall in love with a psychotic witch who will try to kill him, along with every other guy she meets.

 

#thatsallguys

This book was intriguing. I wouldn’t say it was well written, but I definitely couldn’t guess where the author was going with it. It starts off as a murder mystery, then quickly morphs into much, much more.

What really intrigued me, however, was seeing the use of memory palaces. 

You guys have read Moonwalking with Einstein, right? If not, you should check it out. I, personally, have difficulty making myself read nonfiction without falling asleep, so I listened to the audiobook, which has a not terrible reader. I highly recommend this book – it’s fascinating, and I think of it nearly every time I make a grocery list.

 

You’ll get it if/when you’ve read the book.

 

Seriously, guys, if you haven’t read this book yet, I cannot recommend it highly enough:


Having read/listened to two books that prominently feature the Classical memory palace, I couldn’t help but wonder which book was published first.

 It was Season of the Witch.

Now I can’t help but imagine Joshua Foer fangirling Mostert’s work so much, he researches and writes his own nonfiction book as a result. That is not (supposedly) what happened, but there is a part of me that is so entranced by this ridiculous vision, that I am having difficulty giving it up.

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“OMG, MOSTERT!!! Memory PALACE!!!” #fangirling

Maybe I can put it in my memory palace.

With regards to Season of the Witch, it is not a terrible read. Entertaining, intriguing fluff. Near the end, I was very invested in finding out what happened. I would recommend it if you are looking for a beach read with a supernatural twist.

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#witchybeachread