Missoula Review

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Missoula by Jon Krakauer is a deeply emotional book. I couldn’t read continuously. I had to read something between sections. But how do you read a book about rape continuously and it not affect you? Krakauer is a nonfiction writer that I really appreciate and can read easily. Even though it took me like 2 months to read.

My last two years of college I went to college in a town that was sixty or so miles from Montana so this whole book happened relatively close to home. Except this happened in Missoula, which is western Montana and Montana is a huge state. When I was in Hungary, the couple that ran my bible study was from Montana and he would give me crap about being from North Dakota. And now they’re both moving to Ethiopia and I’m bitter even though I don’t live in Hungary anymore. Anyway, back to my point. I was thinking about being in college while reading this book because these were young women in college. When I was in college, it was right before the oil boom and I felt safe. I wasn’t a partier so I didn’t have to worry about being raped by someone there. I locked my door. Even when my roommate had random guys over, I didn’t feel like I was in danger. But then I was asleep most of the time she brought home guys and I had a different bedroom and she was better when the third roommate moved in. Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t feel more in danger. There’s still creepers out there. Oh the ignorance of youth.

How does this book like this not break your heart? How does this book of this subject even exist? In the case of this book, alcohol is the reason for this book. It did remind me of how much athletes were adored in this book. And the book talks about how they went a little crazy an how it’s part of the culture. It’s true. I have seen it in high school and college. Even last night, a kid from North Dakota got drafted to the Eagles and there was so many people that showed up to drafting parties. I mean, the kid seems like he wouldn’t rape anyone and has a good head on his shoulders but he’s adored here. I think in some cases the adoration goes to a person’s head and it ends like Missoula.

I felt for these girls. I can’t imagine the magnitude of their pain. You can clearly see it in the book. There’s a part about two thirds of the way through where one of the girls is talking to her attacker and I feel like it would be like how I would talk to him, but way more eloquent. I think, by the way that he ended the book, this broke the author’s heart. How could it not?

This is a great book but it’s heartbreaking. It took a lot of me. There’s so much to say about this book but I think you should just read it.

Queen of Shadows Review.

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First of all, that last post has parts of it that, going back, make no sense to me. I’m sorry. My mind farts quite a bit.

I have really been into having full series. Like if I’ll never read the whole series not so much but full series that I’ll read and somewhat enjoy. I’ve slowly been making my way through the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas and just finished Queen of Shadows.

First let me say that these are books I never thought I’d read. They’re a Y.A. fantasy books and usually I get into historical fiction. (and let’s be honest, I get really excited about WWII historical novels. I like war. It’s morbid, I know. But I’ve always been fascinated about it. My senior paper for my history minor was centered in WWII. And is wasn’t that good and I still got a B on it.) I did read and enjoy the Harry Potter series and the Inheritance Cycle but I was in high school when I read those. My tastes have changed some. I felt like I had moved on to more refined things. I have enjoyed these books to a point. Except this one.

Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate this book. I know that to a lot of people this is their favorite book. I did like this book nearer the end. Maybe that’s because I started getting in the swing of reading again. There were to many ‘A’ names. Aedion, Aelin, Arobynn. I had to slow my reading at some points because of the ‘A’ names. And then sometimes I was thinking of Chaol when Rowan was around and Nesryn turned into Nehemia. Names was such an issue for me in this book. Now if I had read this series straight through and I hadn’t read Queen during a reading slump, I may not have had this trouble. I also get frustrated with the witch parts. I know the point of the witches but I don’t want to read about them. I skimmed those parts. And of course Lorcan betrayed them or messed up or whatever. We knew that was going to happen. Let’s not fool ourselves.

 

I am totally Team Chaol. But at this point, I don’t think it’s going to happen with him. It’s more likely with Rowan because let’s face it, Aelin and Rowan are practically married. And there was a point in the book where Chaol saw Rowan help Aelin and was like I should be jealous or something right? I was disappointed because he’s moved on. And I thought he died for a while. That makes me not happy. I was mad for a while. How could Chaol die? He’s too important to the story. I feel like if I wanted a relationship, he’d be the guy I would to relationship with. And Chaol is totally going to get it on with what’s her face. Yup. That’s right. I just called her what’s her face.

Aelin learned how to make friends that’s impressive. She’s let down her guard from the first book which can be a good or bad thing. Depending on the situation. It’s taken me forever to switch to Aelin and not Caelena. I spent a good portion of the series, and this book, thinking Caelena. She does accept the responsibility with the name. I don’t mind her but I do like her with Chaol more. With Chaol, she was a youthful happy rather than a more mature happy with Rowan. I think that the way the whole relationship thing has ended is good. Even though it’s not how I want it. I don’t like to be wrong and I’m still letting go of that.

There were parts of this book that I felt were unnecessary. There’s a part near the end of the book between Rowan and Aelin that had no point for me. No, that’s a lie. I do understand what some of these parts are for I just am impatient for the resolution of things. As of now, I think I heard this is going to be a 6 book series and this is only book 4. I wonder though if some of the things that she has in some of these books, especially this one, is just trying to make them longer and to keep the series longer.

There’s good running themes in this series about freedom and friendship. Now I know I’ve sucked in the friendship category the past year and a half like so sometimes the friends’ thing bothered me because I know I’ve sucked. And the freedom thing is always a nice thing to be reminded of because to be a prisoner would suck.

Yes, I will continue this series just to see how it ends even though I am getting bored with it.

Just Another Kid Review like thing

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I do have to apologize for my absence. Lots of things going on. I had a small grass fire in my yard, there was Easter and a small anxiety spell there. (It was nothing major, just a need to leave the table and not be trapped.) I’m reorganizing my book shelves so that genres are somewhat together but with my setup now, it’s not going to happen. If anyone wants to get me big bookcases, I’d be in love with you forever. I also have had a reading slump. I recently talked about what a reading slump is to me compared to someone who doesn’t like to read. It’s radically different. It’s not fun for me. I, in general, needed some time to clear my head and not have so many words in it. And I kind of broke my glasses so I will be chilling with the reading until they’re replaced or fixed because my old glasses aren’t quite the right script. So I recently read and finished Just Another Kid by Torey Hayden. I had a few hours before meeting someone for coffee so I sat at a library and read 200 pages or so.

This book is an interesting book. It’s about Hayden’s last year of teaching and she had 6 ‘emotionally damaged children’. (coming straight from the back of the book) Three are from war torn Ireland and the other three are from various situations. It was interesting to me read this after teaching one year. And I know I will never fully understand teaching and I have a great appreciation for good teachers, especially special education teachers. I know I described the children Hayden taught as emotionally damaged but they were ideally in special education. I liked reading how she dealt with each kid. Some kids weren’t talked about as much and I think that was because some didn’t need as much help as some of the others. Not only did the children need help but some of the parents as well. It’s interesting how sometimes the parents need just as much help as the kids. I feel like there’s a lot of ‘well, it’s the parents’ fault that there kid is messed up’. I know, because I’ve said it as well. But it’s taken me a long time to realize that sometimes there needs to be an intervention. I liked how Hayden handled the parent situation(s). It would have been easy for her to step back because she was leaving as soon as she could but she made the right decision and helped. I appreciate the real life circumstances. I also liked the updates at the end of the book. I only wish that there was an updated update. Like this was published 28 years ago and the updates are from 23 years ago. I kind of wanted a 20 year update. Is that wrong of me?

Recently I’ve been thinking about violence that kids have seen. I just re-watched the second Mockingjay movie. When I watched it in theaters, I had a hard time sitting through it. Especially the part when they lift up their children and try to get them to safety and then there’s the scene where the little kid is yelling at their dead parent. I literally was grabbing onto my chair so I wouldn’t leave the theater and abandon the friend I was with. She doesn’t know about my random spurts of nervousness and I keep that to myself with a lot of people. Anyway, the reason I brought that up is that I was comparing The Hunger Games trilogy with the three Irish kids in this book. Yes, I know the Hunger Games is fabricated. There’s different trauma in each book. In the Hunger Games, you see trauma happen as things unfold. In Hayden’s book, you see the trauma after the main activity has already occurred. And not to knock Collins’ work, because I think she did a very good job at showing how fragile a person can be, Hayden’s book was more realistic. (Yes again, one story is based off real events and the other isn’t. Of course there’s going to be a difference.) In my little area of the world, there aren’t many kids that have had traumatic events and I think literature is a good way to show that and to teach kids empathy. Now, I wouldn’t give Hayden’s work to the same kid I would the Hunger Games. They are at different reading levels and they are at different realities.

Overall it’s a good book. It is not a quick read. If I re-read this book, I would take it a lot slower. But, I had a few hours to waste while waiting for someone to be done giving music lessons. Such is life.

The Time Traveler’s Wife Review

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I didn’t feel like I wanted to read a new novel. I’ve been reading a lot of new stuff lately and it’s time to read something new. I recently got my own copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneggerr. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this book before but reading a book a second time, you see different things. And I read this originally back in college and then listened to the audiobook right after college when I was traveling to do interviews. So it’s interesting how my opinion is different.

I re-read my GoodReads review. It was interesting look back at myself. I wrote one the first time I read it and then had an update. Each time my opinion of Henry as gotten better. I think in my head, the vision of a time traveling man is different now being in my late 20’s than it is in my early 20’s. No. Let me change that. My view of people has changed since my early 20’s. It’s probably more realistic and less optimistic now than it was a few years ago. Anyway. I think that Henry has a miserable existence. He doesn’t want to travel but he has to. It would be different if he could have chosen when and where he could go like Alba. Then he probably wouldn’t be as miserable. Henry gives Claire things to think about throughout her life and I appreciate that. In this re-read, I took more notice to Henry’s reaction to Ingrid killing herself. He had more compassion for Ingrid than I felt he had before. He is complex but his situation is complex. At this point in my life, I’m the most attracted to Henry that I’ve ever been.

I never have had a driving opinion about Clare. I don’t hate her. I feel like she is very flawed. But so is Henry. Henry is probably more flawed. The older she gets she does have frustrations about Henry traveling. It’s out of her control. It’s out of his control and she hates it. I would be the same way. Give me a husband that doesn’t get lost in time. But at an earlier age she is fascinated because he just appears and disappears. I would be when I was 6. I do appreciate her struggles more. Like I felt for her when her mother died more that I have before. I appreciate her want of a child more than before. This time reading, I appreciate the human-ess of the characters and their flaws. It’s adulthood. I’m finally maturing into adulthood.

Gomez is something else. Charisse has plenty of reason to worry. I would have the exact same conversation with Henry as she did. But the relationships with the DeTambles is something I can’t put my finger on. Gomez has sex with Clare twice. Once pre-Henry and once after Henry dies. The first time I shook my head because it was so close to when Henry comes, I wonder why but Henry was like, yeah I don’t care I had Ingrid. The second time it was because of grief I think. But even though I was not a fan of Clare and Gomez having sex, Gomez and Henry were best friends. So I’m torn. Like at least Clare didn’t find some random hook up and Henry was okay with the first time because it wasn’t an ongoing affair.

There’s probably more obvious symbolism in this book than I have ever admitted. The Odyssey kind of plays in this book. Which I liked and it makes sense and I’m surprised I haven’t thought about this before. Henry leaves and comes back to Clare like Odysseus leaves his wife. I never really realized that before. Then there’s the birds and longing. There’s symbolism throughout the whole book and it’s blatant.

I also have to bring up the movie in relation to the book. Movie is not a great adaptation. There’s a lot missing. Like I wish Ingrid was in the movie and not just a reference. I wish Henry’s job and co-workers were in the movie more. I know that the book is complicated but then don’t make it into a movie if you can’t make it better. But I do love Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. They’re really pretty together. OH! They should make a mini-series from the book and have those two in it. And I do realize they can’t get all the book in a movie. There’s 500+ pages in this book. There’s no chance that would get in a movie. But I still appreciate the crap out of the movie. I do say appreciate a lot in this blog.

There’s also a sequel in the works that is Alba’s story. I rarely say this but hell am I excited to read that.

 

 

The Winter People Review

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So I typically will say that I’ll read anything, everything and do it on a regular basis. That’s not true. I realized that I don’t have a wide range in what I read. Let’s face it, I read a lot of historical and YA novels. At least I know what I like. At least in that part of my life I’m not searching. I recently picked up The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon. It is definitely not a book I would normally read.

One of the things that I’ve always boasted about a little bit is my ability to almost disconnect. In that way I mean that I get into a book and into a world but I never let it get under my skin. I never let it bother me to point of paranoia. This book got to me a little. I did a lot of reading of this book late at night and, though not fighting sleep, was definitely tired. My defenses were down. And it doesn’t help I was sitting in the back of my dark house in a little room. Am I trying to make excuses for myself? Absolutely. But I did find myself looking out the door of the room quite a bit and turning on all the lights when I went out to the kitchen. Now I’ve heard this book compared to Pet Sematary by Stephan King. I’ve never read it so all my opinions are completely untainted by any other book. But I as trying to figure out what movie this reminded me of. For a while it was The Village but that was false. If you can make a suggestion that would make sense, I’d appreciate it.

Because this is not my normal genre, I did not put any holes in this book plot wise. I was trying to keep up and pay attention to what was going on. It’s like that with genres you don’t read often. You have to pay attention a lot more. So I will not complain a lot about that. To me, this book was tightly woven with the plot. But that’s just me. If I read this genre more, I would probably poke holes into it. But to my unsuspecting eyes, it’s good.

In this case, I like that the author went back and forth between time periods. It made me wonder who Gertie really was then and who she was in relation to now. For a while, I was convinced that Alice was the modern Gertie or Sara and her time was up and she went to go die or went back into time. It’s logical. In my head it’s logical.

I couldn’t relate to Sara and Gertie’s relationship. I don’t know anyone that’s that close to their child. There’s always a boundary. I’m sure every parent who has lost a child would bring their dead child back without a doubt. But I think that Sara went a little far. The part that I was confused was that this spell thing was supposed to last 7 days and then they were gone. Why was Gertie around for decades? Will Katherine’s husband be around for decades? That surprised me. When she did the thing to bring him back, I thought it didn’t work and then BAM! Also will he be as needy with attention as Gertie? Gertie needed a lot of attention it seemed.

I liked Martin. At least I think I would have liked Martin. I saw him in a kind of an extreme part of his life. But I’m pretty sure I would have liked him. I also might have liked Katherine’s husband. But he was dead and then he was a winter people so we’ll never really know will we? No, we won’t.

The whole Auntie thing. Was she a legitimate Aunt or was she a close family friend that they called Aunt? I missed that part. And that she was really who was in Martin’s arms and not Sara. That explains the fact that Sara haunted the town for years. But I was also a little unsure if she was the one who actually caused some of the murders. Like I know Martin’s she didn’t directly cause. But like Martin’s brother did she? I know she went to go visit him after the whole situation but did she give him the gasoline? It’s one of those questions I don’t necessarily think that I will ever get an answer for because it’s supposed to be unanswered.

I know I wasn’t really going to poke at this story but something has been bothering me. Why in the hell did Alice keep Ruthie there instead of letting her go far away for college in the first place? Was it just because of Gertie? That would be totally lame. I feel like she was almost pressured to stay there. And what kind of name is Fawn? It’s so weird to me.

Overall, I didn’t mind this book. If you read a lot of ghost stories, you might not be impressed at all. It’s an easy, quick read that makes you think and it will get you to talk about some of the characters endings. And just as a disclaimer, I know there’s a lot of things I didn’t talk about with this book so just deal.

The Fortune Hunter Review

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So this book took me forever. I have been so unmotivated to read. I have looked at my GoodReads challenge and been like, I’m good, I’m far enough ahead that I don’t have to rush. This book ate up some time and it’s not even that long of a book. A while ago, I read The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin and I think I liked it more than The Fortune Hunter.

First of all, I love that these characters were based off of real characters. And I know that this book is heavily fictionalized. The author says so in the interview at the end of the book. I also found that Goodwin was ‘obsessed’ with Sissy from an early age. And looking into the Empress of Austria, I understand why. She was interesting character. The Empress relates very well to Hungarians and speaks Hungarian very well. The first one make me love her and the second makes me admire her because Hungarian is hard. They even mentioned that in the book. But she was, I want to say, eccentric. She put meat on her face when she slept so she would be young, she hung her hair when she slept. She was, in my head, very vain. In the book, she was very against having her picture taken and the way she describes it, I get it. This book almost makes me want to know more about her. And what’s more interesting is that one of my kids from Hungary posted an event that’s in her honor. I don’t know all the details because I am not fluent in Hungarian but it’s definitely something about her.

Bay is lame. Let’s talk about him for a second. In real life, he was associated with Sissy (the Empresses’ nickname) for much longer and he did actually marry Charlotte. In the book and I’m sure in real life, he was known as a ladies man and was looking for a fortune. Which makes him not honorable. At the beginning of the book I grew to like him and then he had that tryst with the Empress and I’m like I want to hurt your manhood and then I grew to not mind him at the end of the book. I wish I had a set opinion of him for all of the book. I don’t always say that but with him I do. Like make me like him all the way through the book or hate him and then make me hate Charlotte at the end because she was with him. Tell me what I think in this case. Sometimes I want that.

Charlotte got a little feistier at the end. She spent a long time being, or being close to being, a good English lady. But that was also a product of who she was around. Charlotte got a lot bolder, in my opinion, after she started hanging out with the American. The American I felt was very stereotypical but I didn’t mind. Like he was lippy in a way that was okay and natural for him. I almost wish that Charlotte had ended up with him. But back to Charlotte. She had a lot of development through the book. Bay did too but I liked her development more. I always like watching girls become more independent.

One thing that bothered me is that they used the word stuff at the beginning of the book and it took me out of the book. I hate when that happens. I felt like stuff is not a word they would have used weather they did or not. I am still obsessing over it. Sometimes I do that.

Overall, it’s not a bad book. For what I was looking for, it was weak. I wanted something a little bit….stronger. Like I get the reason how this book was written. It was because of the manners of the time. But this book did take me a long time to read. Like 3 weeks. It’s been a long time coming. I’m excited to pick up another book and something that will keep my attention and I keep reading at a decent pace.

Disney Book Tag

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Okay. Last post was a downer. I get it. I’m working on me. So let’s get back to books. Because that’s safe. Reading has been slow lately because I’ve been sick and in a slump. So I decided to do the Disney book tag because I appreciate Disney.

1. The Little Mermaid – a character who is out of their element, a “fish out of water.”

Evelina by Fanny Burney. This is a ‘manners’ book from long ago so yes Evelina was set up, on purpose to be a fish out of water at first. It’s just how these books were set up.

2. Cinderella – a character who goes through a major transformation

Eragon from the Inheritance cycle by Christopher Paolini. You look at who Eragon was at the beginning of the book and then look at the end of the last book, there’s not a whole lot of similarities. In any sense.

3. Snow White – a book with an eclectic cast of characters

This might be a weird answer but Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.  That’s because the author talks a lot of the people who were in his life.

4. Sleeping Beauty – a book that put you to sleep

The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud. I can’t even remember what this book was about.

5. The Lion King – a character who had something traumatic happen to them in childhood

Jane Eyre. That’s Jane’s whole life.

6. Beauty and the Beast – A beast of a book (a big book) that you were intimidated by, but found the story to be beautiful

Shirley by Charlotte Bronte. I was scared that I was going to like it more than Jane Eyre and I didn’t want to. And it’s not even that big of a book.

7. Aladdin – a character who gets their wish granted, for better or worse

Andras from The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. He got his wish for this perfect woman. Then happened WWII.

8. Mulan – a character who pretends to be someone or something they are not

Caelena from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I can’t say too much else without giving away certain things.

9. Toy Story – a book with characters you wish would come to life

Outlander series. Jamie and the Ians. I was just watching the series last night and swooned over the actor that plays Ian. But I have been obsessed with this series for a long time.

10. Disney Descendants – your favourite villain or morally ambiguous character 

I liked Tom from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. He was a horrible person but super villain-y.