Friday – Rhyme Day

Yes, I know that the title of this post doesn’t technically rhyme, but that’s okay, because what I’m going to talk about on Fridays, poetry, doesn’t necessarily rhyme either. Unfortunately, people who don’t like poetry are the people who don’t know about real poetry. I know that I can find a poet for every person. My boyfriend never enjoyed poetry, always thought it had to be cheesy and rhyme…and then he discovered that an author he liked, Charles Bukowski, was a poet. He picked up Slouching Towards Nirvana and he was hooked. 

So, on Fridays I will be posting about a book of poetry I’ve read. I won’t go into too much detail but I will explain what I liked about it or didn’t like about it and give it a star rating. Hopefully, because of this, you will find that you aren’t as anti-poetry as you thought you were.

This week I read Lacemakers by Claire McQuerry.

LacemakersPoetry

Lacemakers by Claire McQuerry
Published on January 19th, 2012
Purchased as Paperback on Amazon

As superficial as this sounds, I fell in love with the cover (don’t judge, we ALL do this). But most of all I was desperate to read more modern poetry. Don’t get me wrong, I like the classics as well; Dickinson, Cummings, Whitman, but I needed something I could relate to in a language I understood.

This book of poetry is beautiful, there’s not doubt. Is it my favorite book of poetry? No. I found that some of the poems felt a bit disjointed, possibly not fully fleshed out, but the language was beautiful and there was an imagination factor I really adored. If you’re new to poetry, don’t make this your first choice, but keep it in mind for later. It’s quick and full of beautiful words.

HeartRatesHeartRatesHeartRatesHeartRates

Book #7 of 2014

TheEvolMara

The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Published on February 28, 2013
Purchased Hardcover from Amazon

This is the second installment in the Mara Dyer series (the first being The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer). There WILL be SPOILERS! You’ve been warned.

So, we left Mara in the police station in the first book after she realized Jude Lowe (her ex-boyfriend, Claire’s brother, supposedly died in the asylum collapse, sexually assaulted Mara which caused her to force the building collapse) is alive. We find Mara now in the mental hospital; she’s been committed by her parents and no one believes what she’s saying.

This book really focuses on Mara’s struggles with her family; she is attempting to act as if everything is okay and she’s getting better. Meanwhile, Mara and Noah try to figure out what or who is causing the strange occurrences like a dead cat on the stoop or Mara’s creepy doll appearing in strange places. Mara knows it’s Jude and Noah believes her.

I loved the first book in this series so much so that I ordered the second the day I finished the first. The funny part about this is that I received the second book about a year ago and I just picked it up now. I can say that for the first couple of chapters I was a bit lost, thankfully it came back to me pretty quickly.

MY PROBLEMS

Unfortunately, I didn’t love this book quite as much as the first. This is a shame because usually the second book in a series answers a lot of questions for us. The problem I have with this book is that there are too many questions and instead of answering all of the ones from the first book, more are being created. I enjoyed every moment of the second book UNTIL the last ten chapters. What is happening? I feel as though this has become too complicated, Everything seems a bit too far-fetched now.

How is it that all of these kids have some weird and inexplicable power, they all end up together somehow, under the observation of some crazy doctor that KNOWS about all of this, who also knows that Jude is alive and allowing him to stalk Mara, who also has cameras all over Mara’s house, watching Jude watch her, who must know that Noah and Mara are together since she has videos and yet seems totally confused by this when he shows up on the island, AND the adults ALL leave the island that is filled with mentally ill children so they can…what? Fight it out? Oh and the guy, who is also the main love interest and who is most definitely not dead though that’s what they’d like us to believe, is dead….even though he can heal himself? Oh, AND there is some strange, voodoo relationship between Noah’s dead mother and Mara’s dead grandmother…because there is a pendant that they both randomly have…AND Mara is starting to have strange visions of a past life in India???

Alright, I love this story and I love these characters, but…seriously. What?

All I can say is the third book better find a way to tie up all of these loose ends that doesn’t make it sound as unbelievable as this book. Unfortunately, I’m not confident enough in that to hold my breath.

HeartRatesHeartRatesHeartRates

Book #6 of 2014

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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Published on September 3, 2013
I borrowed this from my local library

I think a lot of us are wary when we come into contact with a YA vampire novel. But, for some reason, I was absolutely drawn to this book the moment I saw it come into my bookstore (it’s probably the cover, seriously, it’s beautiful). Holly Black brings us a full-length novel, inspired by the short story.  The story follows a young girl named Tana who wakes up from a house party in the bathtub unharmed, but realizes that the other party patrons have been murdered by vampires. She discovers only two other survivors–her ex-boyfriend and a chained-up vampire and she decided to rescue them and deliver them to Coldtown.
I found this story addicting, though it took me quite a few pages to be totally glued to it. It starts slow but when it picks up, it picks up quickly. Also, there are several characters and I feel that some of them aren’t totally fleshed out; I did find myself confusing some characters with others.  Every chapter, the story switches from the past to the present; sometimes the it’s Tana’s past and sometimes it’s Gavriel’s (the vampire’s) past. I think that this is done very well and while sometimes I find this kind of writing style unnecessary, I didn’t feel that way reading this.
I am surprised that this story is a stand-alone as of right now; Holly Black has stated that she has no immediate plans to continue this story. I have to disagree that this story felt finished to me. Did it end on a cliffhanger? Not necessarily but it definitely didn’t end with a conclusion.
Holly Black’s vampires are a happy medium between Stephanie Meyer’s and Anne Rice’s. All in all, a good story with good characters.

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Books #4 and #5 of 2014

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101 Things You Didn’t Know About Jane Austen by Patrice Hannon
Published on January 19th, 2007
Borrowed from my local library

While I always enjoy biographies, especially biographies about authors like Jane Austen, I wasn’t super impressed with this one.
I did enjoy the fun format, it was quick and intriguing. I also enjoyed learning about Jane’s family.
I don’t think this book delivered on its title, however. There definitely wasn’t 101 new facts, maybe 101 speculations. I also wish that this biography focused more on Jane than on her characters. I understand that her characters are a part of her but that wasn’t what I was hoping to gain from this book; I wanted more about Jane and more about the little things that aren’t constantly talked about.
All in all, this is a fun and quick read, but not for someone who is looking for an in-depth look into Jane Austen’s life.

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Close Quarters by Amy Monticello
Published on February 2012
Borrowed from the Amazon Kindle Library

Close Quarters is a short nonfiction story about the author’s childhood and the relationship of her parents. It’s complicated and beautiful and felt close to home for me. She has a way of turning her short story into something close to the prose of poetry. It’s a short read but it was so good I devoured it in an hour. I’ve read some of Amy’s other projects, most of which have been published online.
I don’t have a lot to say about this EBook. It’s beautifully written and organized and after you’re done you feel like you know this author and her parents in a very personal way. I found myself looking back on my own childhood and my own parents’ complicated relationship and how it has shaped me.
Seriously, if you have even an hour or two, grab this one. It’s FREE to read if you have a Kindle. It’s worth it. Trust.

Book #3 of 2014

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Shatter Me #1 by Tahereh Mafi
Published on January 1, 2011
Purchased at Books-A-Million

    I know I’m very late to this series. Heck, everyone’s already ranting and raving about Ignite Me and I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the first one. 
      I avoided this book for quite a while. I had heard good things, I’d heard bad and I wasn’t sure what to think about it. Turns out, it was pretty fantastic. The characters, especially Juliette, just drag you into this complicated and sad world. And all the while all you want is to see Juliette get out of this somehow, live happily ever after with Adam. 
     But here’s the thing, because I am so late to the game, I KNOW something else is coming. Something that may potentially change my mind about Adam and the creepy Warner. But, I don’t want it to. I like Adam and I don’t know that there is anything that can redeem Warner after this book.
     Needless to say, this book series is definitely going to take me for a ride. And any book series that can make your feelings change over and over again, and make you keep questioning the truth is good. I’m looking forward to continuing this series and my biggest complaint is how ugly and terrible the first book cover is. I prefer hardcover books but, my goodness, Shatter Me’s cover left something to be desired. I’m so hoping that they’ll reprint the hardcover with the better cover. Silly and petty, but still, this is a true feel.

 

 

Book #2 of 2014

 

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About a year ago I picked up the movie Something Borrowed based on the book of the same name by Emily Giffin. I decided that I wouldn’t watch the movie until I had read the book, because nine times out of ten, the book is better, right?

Well, not this time.

I love a little scandal in my books once in a while and I rarely pick up contemporaries, but I really wanted a bit of reality after spending so much time reading fantasy. The plot was interesting but that’s where the good stuff ends.

My number one problem is that, besides Ethan (the random friend that shows up on the phone once in a while) none of the characters were likeable (maybe Hillary but she wasn’t a major part until towards the end). The main two characters, Rachel and Dex, blah blah blah. What terrible people, I mean I was disgusted with them, Rachel especially. Giffin tries to make her the victim but she fails; Rachel is selfish and always throwing herself a pity party. She’s way worse than the best friend she’s screwing over. Darcy, the best friend, is supposed to come off as selfish, conceited, and superficial. But here’s the thing, it becomes obvious to me that the author is trying to make her sound terrible but I’ll bet if the author allowed some depth into her characters we would find Darcy to be a bit more human.

The second major problem is the ending. Besides being totally predictable, it was terrible. I won’t go into specifics, don’t want to be a spoiler, but just now that the author took the easy way out instead of taking the chance of making her characters a bit better.

To be honest, the movie was way better. I think that she should have written it the way the movie portrayed it. Ethan has a much bigger role, Rachel doesn’t come off as victimized, and Darcy becomes a likeable character with a lot more depth than she had in the books. How sad is it that a movie made the characters better?

So, while this book did disappoint, it says something that I managed to read it in two days. The plot is addicting and you while you cringe at some major errors, you can’t help but want to know when they’re going to get caught, how they’re going to get caught, will they get caught? By who? What will they do? What will Darcy do?

In my opinion, if you don’t have the time to read this book, check out the movie. You’re not missing anything.

Bookish Pet Peeves

Today I’m going to write about some of my bookish pet-peeves. Now, I have a lot of general pet-peeves but some of my favorite books from my favorite genres cause the *eye roll*

Some of my pet-peeves will be expected since we all seem to have the same irritations with our favorite Young Adult Literature (why do these issues still exist? Can’t the authors hear us?)

Other issues I have may be more surprising…or not.  I guess we’ll see.

1. Insta-love. I think that we can all agree that this is an all too common issue in YAL.  Unless you do it really well, insta-love will always fail.  While teenagers are emotional and tend to fall quickly, this is becoming a bit ridiculous. How can you have a strong heroine who can’t handle herself around an attractive man? That doesn’t even make sense.

2. Gasp. But, seriously, this is getting annoying.  No one GASPS that often, knock it off.  He said he always loved me and I gasped because why?  Are we all tied into our corsets a bit too tight?  Please, please, please stop.  No one does this and if they do, if they are that obnoxious, I bet they don’t have any love interests because no one wants to deal with a gasper on a daily basis. Just saying.

3. Love triangles. .Why is that every heroine these days has two specific men after her? Why? And why do they always become love interests around the same time? Come on. Gale didn’t show any signs of true feelings for Katniss until she started galavanting around with Peeta. And this happens in the Legend series by Marie Lu, although I have to say she does it much better.  Still, it’s becoming too much of a thing and we’ve all had it.  Come up with something different, please. I hate buying the same books over and over.

4. Switching POVs. While some people tend to enjoy this more, it drives me insane and it’s usually because I can’t tell the difference between the two. Like in Twilight, why was Jacob’s POV needed? I mean, yeah, it was interesting to get a more in-depth look at his world but, let’s be honest, I didn’t care about the wolves. If you wanted to give me a new POV, you should have given me Edward. That would have been worthwhile.  The only author I’ve seen succeed with switching POVs is Marie Lu but that’s because I love Day and June equally.

5. Exclamation points. Let me be honest here. I hate exclamation points in almost all things. Facebook posts Twitter posts. Emails. Texts. Books. Those exclamation points have got to go; especially in the YA genre. I feel as though people don’t understand how they’re supposed to be used. SHOW me exclamations, don’t tell me about them.

6. Beautiful girls who think they’re ugly. There is nothing wrong with a girl thinking she is beautiful; actually that might be the breath of fresh air we all need. It’s hard to take a character seriously if they are described with long, thick hair, big eyes, small waist, delicate hands, blah, blah, blah, and then the same girl goes on through the WHOLE book with insecurity issues on her looks while every fucking guy is trying to win her over. That’s stupid, first of all. Second of all, you’ve just made your character completely unrealistic, so stop.

7. Exceptions to the rule. It seems that lately there have been many books out about a a world or a person with a curse/gift. But, somehow, there are always these exceptions like “The world WILL END!” except that it won’t and it’s actually a very easy fix. “You will DIE if you come any closer,” except he/she doesn’t and everything is fine and they hook up. Come on. Give me some depth.

Alright, so I could only think of seven in this moment.  That’s a lie, I thought of more but I feel like seven is a good place to stop. Do you agree with these? Do you disagree? Let me know.

Peace, Love & Empathy.