Sunday, November 30, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Bloody Jack Series Review

I'm fascinated by the lengths of series.  What decides how long a series will be?  Popular trends definitely play a factor; the trilogy is huge right now.  Duologies are out of fashion, but still pop up every now and then.  J. K. Rowling famously decided upon the magically resonant number seven.  Richelle Mead writes six-book series.  Some series go on for as long as they turn a profit.  Other series don't make a profit, but continue indefinitely.  

The Bloody Jack series by L. A. Meyer falls into the latter-most category.  I started reading these books as a young teen and its end still isn't in sight.  These books are not particularly well known, but nonetheless have a small, loyal readership.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Prodigal Summer Review (The Video Blog Has Launched!)

Saints preserve us all, but I've decided to give video blogging a go.  I'm not a camera-hungry person, so this process was fairly nerve-wracking, but I thought it would be cool to put myself out there in a more personal way. 

I tried to edit the video, but I found iMovie to be pretty incomprehensible, so it's all in one, poorly lit take.

I decided to review Barabara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer, first up. I hope you all enjoy! 

UPDATE: My excellent brother-in-law took pity on my nonexistent editing abilities and re-did my video for me! That's him playing the mandolin in the opening! Stay tuned, readers, for even more advancements in video-making!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Attachments Review

I seem to have hit a bit of a speed bump on my Rainbow Rowell track with Attachments.  I know that Rowell writes sweet stories, but Attachments wound up being a little too saccharine for my tastes.  There was a small vein of tragedy in Eleanor & Park, and a small edge of weirdness to Fangirl.  Attachments, however, was all 90's rom-com.

However, I must say that Rowell is perfectly aware of thisAttachments is littered with romantic comedy references:
Beth was funny. She was smart. She was interesting. And she had the sort of job that made someone more interesting. The sort of job a woman would have in a movie, a romantic comedy starring John Cusack.
Spot on.

What Is Reading?

What is reading? In Rainbow Rowell's book Fangirl, a character has some confusion over this question. Here's the scene:

“I tried to read it,” he said roughly. “I’ve been trying for the last two hours. I just, I’m not a reader. I’ve … I’ve never finished a book.” 

Cath turned to look at him, feeling a sudden guilty grab in her stomach. “Are you trying to tell me you can’t read?” 
Levi pushed his hair back violently. “Of course I can read,” he said. “Jesus Christ.” 
“Well, then, what are you trying to tell me? That you don’t want to?”  
“No. I—” He closed his eyes and took a deep breath through his nose. “—I don’t know why I’m trying to tell you anything. I can read. I just can’t read books.” 
“So pretend it’s a really long street sign and muddle through it.” 

Fangirl Review

I'm pleased to report that my second Rainbow Rowell went down nice and easy.  Last week was Eleanor & Park, this week it was Fangirl. Also, I took a trip to the library today and procured Rowell's other two books.  Attachments and Landline are waiting in the wings.  So, why have I decided to binge on one author's written works?  First of all, Rowell's prose is so very readable.  She has a talent for conjuring compelling scenes out of character-driven plots and fashioning dialogue so real that you can hear the conversations play out in your head.  I found this to be true in Eleanor & Park and the trend continued in Fangirl.  Second, it's fun, every now and then, to consume one author's works in their entirety.  You become so aware of an author's personal style and technique. There's also the added rush of achieving expert status on a certain writer.  Think about it.  For how many authors can you say that you've read everything they've written?  Including short stories? For me, not very many.  But anyways, onto the synopsis...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Snow Like Ashes Review

I'm just shy of half-way through Snow Like Ashes and I loathe it utterly.  I've been wrestling back and forth over whether or not I should finish this book — the only reason I'd continue is so that I could write an informed review. But, I have a feeling that I'm not going to warm up to this story...

/ / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / / 

It's about thirty minutes later and I've come to a decision.  I can't keep going.  I just... disagree with every element of the book.  The plot, the characterizations, the style, the dialogue, the descriptions.  Everything is pissing me off.

It's not often that I react with anger to a book. Yet, that's what's happening.  It could very well be that I'm PMS-ing right now.  If that's the case, then my sincere apologies to Sara Raasch. But, right now, I'm going to write the only kind of review I'm capable of writing at the moment and that is an incoherent, harsh one.