January 28, 2013

Yep, epically bad idea

When I first bought The Fault in Our Stars, it was simply because I had great admiration for the author and wanted to show my support.  I had heard from a lot of people that it was very well-written and that he was known for breaking hearts with his words.  These people were not wrong.  It's no secret (to those that know me off of the Internets) that someone that I loved very much was beaten by cancer.  She was young and vibrant and simply Jessica.  I've read other books about cancer and each of them has stabbed at me in differing ways.  This one focused on the dying part of cancer and not really the fighting part.  Yes, there was the "battle with cancer" aspect but the main character has terminal cancer and she knows that she is simply biding time.  She's accepted her fate.  I did cry while reading this book.  All I could think about were those short yet endless months of my friend's last days and how at the end it wasn't really a fight anymore.  She had accepted her fate.  It wasn't so easy for the rest of us.  Still isn't.

Oh the review.  The book was excellent.  I highly recommend it but I do caution that it will cause you to feel.

The next book in the rotation is a Victorian murder mystery with a bewitching love story (or so the back of the book says).  I chose it because there's a dude with a top hat on the cover.  I'm a sucker for top hats. The book is The Meaning of Night: A Confession by Michael Cox.  

January 18, 2013

I don't have a witty title for this one.  It's always been my opinion that the best kind of literature is the kind that can completely take us out of our own reality.  It's not every book that makes you feel transplanted into the story.  It's not every book that makes you feel as if you are the main character.  The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is exactly that kind of book.  The existence of those living in a concentration is explored through the eyes of a child on the outside looking in.  The point of the book was to make the reader really explore what it means to put up a fence between two groups of people.  It's something that is still happening today.  A real tearjerker and definitely worth a read.

I wanted something a little more lighthearted but I'm not entirely sure I've chosen wisely.  The Fault in Our Stars is written by a fantastically nerdy man by the name of John Green.  I came to his literature through his vlog that he started with his brother Hank.  He's the reason that I know there is such a thing as a nerdfighter and that I know I am most definitely one of their number.  Anyway, he is highly popular among young adult readers and one of those reasons is because he doesn't shield the reader from hurt.  He throws it all out there in your face and you just have to take it (or stop reading I suppose).  I haven't the foggiest notion what this book is about but it was recommended to me by several people.

Edit: I just read the dust jacket blurb and I am in big trouble here.  I don't think there are enough Kleenex in the world!

January 14, 2013

Well, I'll be danged

Thank goodness a riveting story is all it takes to get me back into the groove of reading.  I've finished The Ever-After Bird.  I strongly suggest that if you decide to read this book that you be aware of what you're getting yourself into as regards to subject matter.  If you're familiar with anything to do with slavery in the South you know that it's not a pleasant subject.  This book doesn't pussyfoot about what life for a slave was like on the plantations and the attitude of the majority of the people during this time to what they felt was nothing more than "handling property".  The book focuses particularly on a little girl and her growing understanding of what it really means to be a slave and why what her uncle does with the Underground Railroad is so important. The story line was fast paced and gripping.  I'm not ashamed to say that I had tears in my eyes by the end of the book and I wouldn't be surprised if you fare the same if you give this book a shot.

I guess I'm on a journey of tears because I'm reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne next.    The main character is a small boy named Bruno but this isn't a book for children.  In fact, I'm sure it will give me nightmares and I'm nearly 30.  I'll say this about it only: Holocaust.

Maybe I should watch some kitten videos before I attempt sleep tonight.

January 13, 2013

Sometimes you just have to throw in the towel...

It's important to remember that you're not always going to like everything that you read and that you shouldn't be too hard on yourself if this happens.

I've been trying my darndest to get through Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling because of the absolutely wonderful experience of the Harry Potter series.  However, her newest book was not AT ALL my cup of tea.  I made it about halfway through it and I just couldn't bear to read one more word.  There wasn't a single character that I could relate to and I didn't find any of them all that likable.  It's difficult to make it through a novel with a host of characters if you can't attach yourself to any single story line for the duration of the book.  Sooooo I gave up and decided it was best if I just moved on.

And move on I did!  One of my friends encouraged me to try a graphic novel interpretation of a book that I've adored ever since I was a child: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.  It was adapted and illustrated by Hope Larson.  I'm not a fan of graphic novels.  This is my third attempt and I would have to say it's been the most successful.  I breezed right through it mostly because I'm so familiar with the content of the narrative.  However, I have to say that I wasn't all that impressed.  A lot of the magic was lost in this adaptation and the writing was pretty abominable.  As I said, this was my third attempt at graphic novels and I believe it will be my last.

For Christmas/graduation, I received several books.  I've decided to barrel my way through these before I tackle my overflowing bookshelves.  Next on the agenda is The Ever-After Bird by Ann Rinaldi.  My good friend, and fellow librarian, has highly recommended this YA author who specializes in historical fiction.  This book is about a young girl who learns firsthand what it means to be an abolitionist on the Underground Railroad.  I can't wait to give it a read and give YOU the review!!

Happy reading everyone!!

PS To all of you who have stuck with me on this journey, I really appreciate it!! :-)