High School, True Love, and Glitter

8 01 2010

Through the next few weeks I thought I’d write a bit about the books I read in 2009 and never said anything about.

I decided that no blog about books by me could ever be complete if I didn’t at least say something about the Twilight Saga. I originally read Twilight in the spring of 2008 when a friend tossed it to me and said, “Here. You’ll like it.” I was skeptical at first when she tried to tell me what it was about. Vampires in love with humans? Glitter instead of turning to dust? What kind of weird-ass book is this?

I read through Twilight in the matter of 2-3 days and went out immediately for New Moon. I read New Moon in 2 days and went out for Eclipse while on a trip to Indy. I drove home that evening with visions of Bella and Edward and Volturi swimming around in my head; eager to be stationary so that I could read my new book. I finished Eclipse in the wee hours of the morning with barely enough time to shower and brush my teeth before stumbling off to work. I stopped by Borders on my way home to pick up Breaking Dawn only to find out that it was not yet released! I have no idea how anyone else read the series book by book waiting for each new one to be released because the month or two I spent waiting for the last installment of Edward and Bella’s story was excruciating. I went back and re-read the whole set I had so it would be fresh in my mind. I went out early the day it was released and sat in a coffee shop reading for hours before going to work. After work that night I went home and read the rest of the book.

Through each book I had moments where I laughed; moments where I cried; moments where I threatened the book with a flight across my room when I got angry; and moments where I just sat dumbfounded at something that was happening. Many a Facebook status went something along the lines of “Bella and Edward did WHAT?” “Jacob imprinted on ____?!?!?!?” Not to mention all of the calls and texts to Prose (the friend that gave me the first book to read).

Though the word vampire normally conjures an image of a pale Bella Lugosi in a cape with oiled hair; Stephanie Meyer asked readers to envision an attractive 17-year-old with amber eyes and skin that sparkles in the sun. Though it took a little time to come to grips with the ‘new’ vampire image, the book did a good job of giving some background. Through ‘ancient legends’ from the native tribe in the area as well as personal account from the vampires themselves; the story made it seem almost natural. There were even a few comments about “Hollywood not getting it right”.

Skeptical at first, I did find that the story pulled me in. I found my heart breaking for Bella time and again as she dealt with her feelings of inadequacy and abandonment. In later books I found myself holding my breath through the tense moments and my heart beating harder with the intense emotion. I have no idea how Stephanie Meyer made me feel what her character was feeling.

I do have a small objection to Bella thinking that she cannot survive without Edward by her side. The fact that she falls apart when he leaves and is unable to function is worrisome. In addition, in the later books she seems to be attached to his side with a weird gravitational pull. I don’t think that it portrays a healthy relationship. In fact, in real life anyone would look at that relationship as codependent and tell them to seek professional help. I hope that anyone allowing younger children to read the books has a serious conversation with their child about real love and what a healthy relationship is. The Twilight Saga is a little heavy on the drama.

I am a total Twilight-aholic. I took the day off work and bought tickets a few days ahead of time to watch the first daytime showing of the Twilight movie. I was unable to do the same for the recent New Moon movie, but I did see it during its first few days. I had both soundtracks before the movies were released, and I can tell you what is happening in the movie during each song. I have more Twilight related flair on my Facebook flair board than any other type of flair.

I am that lame.

I know some people think Twilight is lame. I really don’t care. I enjoyed the series. I read for fun and I read what makes me happy. If it isn’t something that would make you happy, don’t read it. I won’t read things that don’t make me happy so I don’t expect anyone else to either.

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A Year In Review

6 01 2010

So, I have been a terrible blogger this year. I started the blog with the best intentions and then life got in the way. I spent January though July taking classes in addition to my full-time job. Then I focused on work and a new relationship letting everything else take a back seat to love and money. I’ve read plenty of books. I’ve thought about blogging most of them. 2009 had me reading 30+ books and re-reading at least 4.

Quick list of 2009 reads:

Enemies and Allies by Kevin J. Anderson–Novel about Superman and Batman set during the 1950s. The two begrudgingly team up to stop the world from total destruction. 4 stars

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen–Classic chick lit. 5 stars

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith–The classic regency romance with added zombie mayhem. 4.5 stars

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters–More classic literary romance with some slimy, tentacled or clawed disaster. 4 stars

Persuasion by Jane Austen–Classic tale of a girl letting herself get talked out of love based on a mistaken emphasis on wealth and status. To my knowledge there are no plans to add vampires or ghosts. 5 stars

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen–More classic chick lit. Poor girl lives with rich relatives and finds herself between the two worlds trying to find love and happiness. Also no plans to add any strange apparitions as far as I know. 5 stars

The Teahouse Fire by Ellis Avery–French-American girl goes off to Japan and become separated from her family through fire and choice. Passes herself off as a Japanese lady’s maid in a respectable teahouse. 3 stars

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte–More classic lit about two selfish people and their love for themselves and each other and their inability to function in their worlds apart. 2 stars

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown–Intrigue with a art history geek trying to solve the mystery, murder, and win the pretty girl. 3.5 stars

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown–Same hero as The DaVinci Code with a new mystery, murder, and pretty girl. 3.5 stars

White Oleander by Janet Fitch–Dysfunctional family at its finest. Plus a look into the foster care system through the eyes of a teen. 3 stars

Mary Called Magdalene by Margaret George–Novel of the possible and probably life of Mary Magdalene. Rich with history and a little possible blasphemy. 3.5 stars

Death of a Darklord by Laurel K. Hamilton–Weird novel filled with magic, zombies, and a witch hunter. 4 stars

Why Mermaids Sing by C.S. Harris–Murder mystery set in England. Part of a series. 3.5 stars

Chocolat by Joanne Harris–French lady opens a chocolate shop in a rural village and turns the town upside down. I believe I actually reviewed this one. 4 stars

The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster by Bobby Henderson–Hilarious blasphemy. No way to really explain this. You just have to read it. 3 stars

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini–By the author of The Kite Runner. About 3 separate females and how their lives intersect in Afghanistan. 5 stars

A Widow for One Year by John Irving–Reviewed last January. About a family and how their actions impacted them and those around them. 4 stars

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd–Reviewed already. About a girl looking for her roots and finding them in unexpected ways. 4 stars

Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster–Snarktacular chick lit. 4.5 stars
Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster–More Snarktacular chick lit. 4.5 stars
Pretty In Plaid by Jen Lancaster –Less snarktacular but totally hilarious chick lit. 4.5 stars

The Host by Stephenie Meyer–Alien being inhabiting human bodies and a band of refugees trying to survive without detection. 3 stars

Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer (re-read)–Sparkly vampired and teen love. If you haven’t already heard about Twilight; you’re probably hiding under a rock. 4.5 stars

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison–Can’t even really describe it. 3.5 stars

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton–Mystery about a lost child with amnesia trying to find the truth and her granddaughter who finally figures it out. 4 stars

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson–Non-traditional Patterson safe for the whole family to read. Daniel is an alien hunter with a few advantages trying to get revenge for the death of his family by killing the most dangerous aliens in the U.S. 3.5 stars

Swimsuit by James Patterson–Killer on the loose ravaging models. Sort of standard for Patterson. 2.5 stars

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath–Whiny, depressed, suburban girl. 0 stars

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks–Love story spanning a few decades about reconnecting with first love. 4 stars

The Guy Not Taken by Jennifer Weiner–Short stories about everyday women finding their Prince Charming. 2 stars

I also failed two books (Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift). I may try them again later but I have plenty to keep me busy right now.

All in all it really wasn’t a bad year for reading. Despite a lot of happenings I truly read 2-3 books each month with a full time job and classes.

Here’s hoping 2010 is even better!





Back From Hiatus

23 05 2009

So I realize that it has been a great many months since posting. In that time however I was reading many unexciting things about psychology and the English language as it pertains to ‘college writing’. I went back to college after a great many years in hopes of getting in to nursing school. I’m happy to say I’ve come out of this first semester with a 4.0 GPA (for the first time in my entire life) and a whole lot of nothing done other than school work.

In the few weeks since finals however, I have taken it upon myself to try to tackle the ‘1001 Books to Read Before you Die‘. True, I’ve already read a few of these books. I can already tell there are a few that I will not read as well. I have no desire to read “Mein Kampf” or some of the books by the Russian guys that are so dry as to make my brain shrivel into a zombified nothing. I will, however, at least read a synopses of each book and give them all a shot. I’m also adding to the list with books I’d like to read, am reading, or have read; and adding in elements of the list from a book I found at Borders with about 500 or so titles in it.

I’ve managed to make a small chip into the list the past week or so. It would have been a bigger chip if I had not been sidetracked by some ‘chick lit‘ and my re-read of the Twilight Saga. I’ll be posting a few blogs soon to document my progress and inform of a few good reads for any readers that I have.