Sunday, July 20, 2014

Review of JM Coetzee's 'SummerTime'

Somehow or another, I found this book at a Dollar Tree. That means it cost a dollar...which is a shame for the publishers because it's quite a good read, but also a good thing because J.M. Coetzee has gained a follower.

Being that this was my first find at a DT, I was quite surprised (who knew they'd carry such quality books!?!?). Although this is an autobiography, it felt more like fiction. That's not to say the stories inside aren't true, rather that they sincerely captured my attention.

What I found even more interesting is the fact that Coetzee kept himself at a distance. I felt as though he painted himself more of a shadow throughout the different stories, than the man this autobiography was about. Somehow Coetzee was able to use this toward his benefit, and I felt closer to knowing this shadowy figure, than one might expect. In fact he felt more real at the end of the book, than most people do near the end of their (auto)biographies.

Really good read.

4/5 Stars

Friday, July 18, 2014

Review for RJ Palacio's 'Wonder'

Yes Yes Yes!

I loved this book. Although I believe this was meant to be a middle grade read, it seriously transcends age range. R.J. Palacio has done well in writing a book to inspire many a generation.

While most would assume it's a book about 'not caring what people think of you, and just be yourself' yadda yadda, I felt a stronger undertone. For me, it was more so a book about living life to the fullest, and treating people with compassion. Simply to look past what people are doing in the moment, and accept them as they are.

R.J. did a wonderful job in making Auggie real. She showed us how a real little boy would deal with the hand he was dealt, not some middle aged woman writing as a ten year old.

I personally loved the book so much I gave it to my brother as a high school graduation gift. If there is a book for anyone to read, where they can be inspired before jetting off into the world, it's this one. A beautiful life lesson.

Kudos to you R.J. Kudos to you.

4/5 Stars

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Review of SlaughterHouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Really a phenomenal read.

Coming across a classic that I hadn't read yet, I almost felt obligated to read it. At first I wasn't sure what to expect, but once it got going, it was easy to escape into.

When it flipped into the story of the book that was written, I was almost thinking that at some point it would flip between the author and the book, but it never did. Honestly I thought the 'time traveling' was going to throw me off of the book, but it really didn't and I was able to follow fairly easily and was quite enjoyable.

Billy Pilgrim was a sweet character with an exceptional personality.

Phenomenal read, great departure from the usual rehashing of modern day reads.

5/5 Stars from yours truly.

Review of 'Season To Taste' by Natalie Young

I wanted to like this....Actually I REALLY wanted to like this.

I was provided this copy through a Goodread's giveaway (Many thanks to the publisher for the copy in turn for an honest review).

Ahhh, Honesty.

I truly hate having to give a book one star, simply because of all that goes into a book, and the creativity behind it. Yet when it comes to 'Season to Taste', I regret that I have to give it one star.

After reading about 60 pages, I had to put the book down. Actually, I did skim through the book in hopes that *maybe* it would've gotten better...but did it? NO.

(Did anyone else somehow end up with a 'crunchy' book? No seriously, any time I opened the book it felt like nails on a chalk board. I think it had something to do with the binding. I can't complain though, as I didn't have to pay for it...)

Unfortunately I felt this book choppy....and EXTREMELY dragged out. I feel as though you find out the majority of the story in the first 20 pages, and even those are fairly repetitive. Lizzie kills her husband. Instructions to cook husband. This is how Lizzie killed her husband. Instructions on how not to feel bad about killing husband while eating him.

I do realize that as the book goes on it introduces the character of 'Tom', and maybe for some it gave a total plot twist....but I felt simply confused on it all. I guess because I didn't feel like wasting my time reading it.

The syntax seemed off. Things felt choppy. Words were used that I felt strange. Strawbs? WTF IS A STRAWB? Label me an ignorant American, maybe I'm just not up to date on English language, or British slang.

One more problem that I have is this: the main character's name is Lizzie. At first I couldn't pin why this felt so awkward....until the old rhyme started ringing through my head... "Lizzie Borden had an axe, gave her daddy forty whacks"...I do realize that she didn't kill her husband, but simply the fact that Lizzie Borden was the first major female axe murderer in the media, I found it hard to picture her as her own character.

Sorry, I really do hate to have to give a book such a negative review...but I had high hopes. From the viewpoint of someone who quite enjoys macabre, I really couldn't get into this one. Such a shame, could've been an interesting read.

Alas, A 1/5 star book in my honest opinion

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Following Zippy

Ohhhhh the story of Zippy.

This book has been my book baby, the one I've dedicated my time and love to since January. I've spent probably hundreds upon hundreds of hours working on this little sucker. Edits upon edits....and just when I thought I was through and sent it to beta readers, I realized how much more editing was necessary. I was almost appalled that I'd sent the beta copy to readers. Though it had been edited copious times, when I reread it there was so much more to give.

Alas, after about ten more edits (after the previous 20+, with the beta copy), I feel completion.

Finally the story seems to be complete, on many layers. Finally I'm ready to get this baby out there.

I wont give away too much, as I want much to be desired, but I will leave you with a few things to marinate in:

1. Have you ever questioned your place in the world?
2. Do you feel it necessary to find your place in the world?
3. The possibility of something bigger than yourself, something more deeply rooted than your two legged being who's only existed a mere few decades, some ulterior being or force pushing you forward in the world? Pushing you forward, simply because your little string of a life somehow intertwines into a big yarn ball of the world? The possibility of your life, being a mere piece of a puzzle.

I dare you, contemplate on this a little...Feel free to post here, or just diddle it away in a notebook...That is until you're able to wrap your sweaty little hands on Following Zippy (which shouldn't be but a month or two coming ;)


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review of ScrewTape Letters by C.S. Lewis

After reading 4 or 5 books back to back that were YA, I had the itch to get my hands on something a little more mentally stimulating. That's not to say that YA isn't fantastic, it is, especially given that it allows you to escape into a different world. I just wanted something a little more to marinate in.

That being said, The Screwtape Letters isn't a book that will take you on a vacation in your mind (at least it didn't for me), however it was a really interesting read. It was truly enlightening for the most part. I'm not one for highlighting, but I highlighted the crap out of this book. There are many things that I'll definitely want to revisit.

4/5 Stars.