For the first time in like, a gazillion years, I’ve been reading books. Some have been for class, yes, but others I’ve read just because. So here’s my mini book review of everything I’ve read in the past few months.
My boyfriend, V, first gave me Twilight when he went to the States for a few days over the summer and his aunt bought it for me. I devoured the book in a day and a half. Once I read the book, I watched the movie (which I found meh). Read New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn shortly after. I found the entire storyline in general to have its ups and downs. Some parts of the book seemed to drag on forever, while others were rushed and over and done with in what appeared mere minutes. Breaking Dawn took me the longest to read, but I liked the way it was split into three sections, each of which offered a different point of view. In the end, everyone got their happily ever after. No shock there.
I took a class in September called “The Art of Writing Life,” which I was hoping would be a creative writing class about writing (auto)biographies. Instead, it was the most tedious of my classes where I read the pictured diaries/memoirs. The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank was a collection of diary entries Anne Frank wrote when she was 13 years old, living as a Jew in hiding during WWII. Honestly, it was a really, really good book. It was raw and it was honest – just like a diary.
I hated the next book, The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston, when I first read it. I found myself re-reading things I had already read and I was simply lost throughout the book. After analyzing the book in class, though, I understood the way it was written and what it was about and I fell in love with it. It’s written as a discontinuous memoir split into five “chapters.” Each chapter tells about one point in Kingston’s life and also contains a “story” that’s been passed down to her about her Chinese roots. Each of these stories has (what can be considered) a female warrior that can be matched to one of the people in Kingston’s life.
The third book, The Silent Woman by Janet Malcolm, was a snore. In class, we categorized it as an autobiography of Malcolm, a biography of Anne Stevenson and Ted Hughes, and as a biography of the biographies of Sylvia Plath. Honestly, after reading this book, I was still thinking, “So who is this Sylvia Plath chick and what happened to her?” This was the most brutal book I read all semester – it would have done much better as a documentary, or something on TV, than a book. Never reading that book ever again. And I don’t recommend it to anyone else either.
Next book after that was A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. The book was awesome! I loved the writing style, I loved the storyline – I really liked the book. In class, we discussed the issue about Frey being on Oprah and the Smoking Gun article and the fact that some parts of his book were made up. I remember just thinking, “Who cares?” Does it matter that parts are fake? He tells a good story? He tells a convincing story? And I personally feel there is a very, very blurry line between fiction and non-fiction anyway, which I probably why I failed to see why some people were so uptight about his book. All I know it that it was a good book. I liked the way it was written. And I like the story Frey told, real or made up – I liked it.
The last book of the class was The Peep Diaries, by Hal Niedzviecki. This book had me LOL-ing. It wasn’t really an autobiography or a biography. It was more a look a Peep Culture and Web 2.0 and what being online or on reality TV means. This book it a must read for people who like to come online and blog, tweet, etc. — In a nutshell, that was my English class of the semester.
I started reading the House of Night series by PC Cast and Kristin Cast when a friend lent me the books. The series is about a girl named Zoey something who gets marked by a Vampyre Tracker and then has to forfeit her human life to go attend the House of Night school as she prepares for her transformation into a vampyre (or death, whichever comes first). She becomes Zoey Redbird, with a crescent shaped moon tattoo on her forehead that quickly gets colored in (which is rare). She enters the school as a “freak” of sorts, being the only student with a filled in tattoo (everyone else who is not yet a vampire only has an outlined crescent moon shape). Eventually she becomes even more unique when tattoos keep appearing on her body and she learns that she has the ability to control five elements (earth, fire, wind, water and spirit), which again is rare and has never been known about in the history of vampyres.
The books are cheesy. And yes, I have read all four and am currently on the fifth one. And yes, I will most likely read the next book as well. But jeesh, Zoey’s always finding herself in trouble and then she always manages to get herself out. She’s got like 20 boyfriends – human, vampyre, fledgling, undead, etc. She’s… annoying. She’s a prude. The book itself is written in a very teen-ish language. “Lyke ZOMG!” Ok, it’s not that bad… but it is pretty bad. The cover of the next book kinda leads me to know what will happen in the book I’m reading now, Hunted.
Overall though, the idea of the series, with a school for vampyres, is catchy. However, there’s been so much happening in the books over such a short period of time – Zoey joined the House of Night in September (or October?) in Marked, and New Years just passed in Hunted. And each book contains an un-needed summary of everything that’s happened so far. If Zoey’s going to be a student at this school for 3.5 more years, there’s going to be plenty more books to come. Plenty more things Zoey will mess up and make right again. Plenty more Nyx worshipping and rituals and circle castings (which I find so irksome to read through). Hopefully as Zoey grows up and matures, so will the writing style.
There are more books I’d like to read, but it’s always hard to find the time. I wanted to read the Boy in the Striped Pajamas, but I ended up watching the movie instead. It was one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s become one of my favorite stories ever! Maybe one day I’ll read the book as well. And with that, I’ll leave you with some humor that I found while searching the net: