12 November 2012

Book Review No. 66

I can't even believe it's been 3 months since I last blogged...you know that means it's been 3 months since I last finished a book!  As a librarian, that is just shameful.  In my defense I've picked up several books between then and now and attempted to read them but they just didn't hold my interest enough to finish them or I was too busy to do so.  Incidentally, it's also been 3 months since I started my second job at DSW...coincidence?  I think not.  I've just been so busy working that when I do get a day off I want to spend it with my husband or I have other things to do that have been neglected.

At any rate, I was determined to get back into my reading habit as it's something I miss.  And I picked a great book to immerse myself in!


















The Giver by Lois Lowry

Summary:  "It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened."  Thus opens this haunting novel in which a boy inhabits a seemingly ideal world; a world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality.  It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life.  December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve year old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation.  But Jonas has been chosen for something special.  When his selection leads him to an unnamed man--the man called only the Giver--he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.  (taken from book jacket)

First Paragraph:  "It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.  No.  Wrong word, Jonas thought.  Frightened meant that deep, sickening feeling of something terrible about to happen.  Frightened was the way he had felt a year ago when an unidentified aircraft had overflown the community twice.  He had seen it both times.  Squinting toward the sky, he had seen the sleek jet, almost a blue at its high speed, go past, and a second later heard the blast of sound that followed.  Then one more time, a moment later, from the opposite direction, the same plane."

My Critique:  OK so yes...I'm late to The Giver game.  Originally published in 1993 it seems as though all my peers have read (or at least heard of this series) but I had not.  We discussed the possibility of reading this for my book club but selected something else and so I just as quickly forgot about this book...until recently when a copy came across my desk at work.  Intrigued I picked it up to glance through it and it caught my attention.  Always a fan of dystopian fiction (let it be known that The Giver was dystopian before dystopian was cool) I knew I wanted to read it.  Written for children and young adults it's a shorter book at only 180 pages so I was excited that it would be a quick read.  Also for all your children's literature people who might care, it's a Newberry Medal winner.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next book in the series.  I highly recommend it.  There is talk that Jeff Bridges may be in the process of making this into a movie so get your copy now and read it before it gets popular so that way you can say, "Oh yeah...I read that a couple years ago."  LOL  I'm not really going to talk much about the contents of the book or the plot because I don't want to give anything away (sometimes I don't care if I do but I want you guys to read this book so I'll keep the details to myself).

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, The Giver, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

27 July 2012

Book Review No. 65


















Divergent by Veronica Roth

Summary:  In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent).  On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives.  For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both.  So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, included herself.  During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen.  But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death.  And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her sve those she loves......or it might destroy her.  (taken from book jacket)

First Line:  "There is one mirror in my house."

My Critique:  First of all, let me give another "Woot woot!" for another YA book that doesn't involve a love triangle.  This is Roth's debut novel and it's part of a series.  Her second book, Insurgent, is out now.  Now, let me get to my critique.  Did I love it?  No.  Would I recommend it?  Yes.  The book just moved a little too slow and didn't grab my interest as quickly as I like.  By about page 320 I was finally interested.  HOWEVER, that being said, I have a few friends (we read this for book club) who couldn't put it down and/or read it in one day.  I felt the plot was a little too underdeveloped for my tastes and I just didn't care for it...as in, I've read much better dystopian novels.  Without giving too much away, I feel like perhaps it would've been more interesting if, when babies are born they are assigned a certain faction and raised in a communal way...the entire faction raising all babies, etc.  And then someone, as they are older, rebels against their assigned faction or something along those lines.  But at any rate, it's still worth a read.  I can see how many people would be interested in this book.  And I'm not saying it was bad by any stretch of the imagination.  I will read the second book but I have a few other ones to read first.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Divergent, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

02 July 2012

Book Review No. 64


















The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Summary:  The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion.  For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school.  But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city--gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific work of Jack the Ripper in the autumn of 1888.  Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses.  Except one.  Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect.  But she is the only one who saw him.  Even her roommate, who was with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man.  So why can only Rory see him?  And more urgently, what is he planning to do about her?  (taken from book jacket)

First Line:  "The eyes of London were watching Claire Jenkins."

My Critique:  HALLELUJAH!  Finally a young adult book that doesn't involve a wimpy female lead or a love triangle!!  I really really liked this book.  Was it profound?  No.  But it was very very good.  And well written.  And intriguing.  And not overly gruesome like some thrillers tend to be...especially one involving Jack the Ripper.  The lead character, Rory, was charming in a clumsy funny sort of way.  I was intrigued by the fact the lead character was from Louisiana and I went from there.  I haven't been able to determine if Maureen Johnson has any ties to Louisiana but her anecdotes and depictions of Louisiana are spot-on.  I don't really know what else to say without giving stuff away about the plot.  I highly recommend this book and encourage you to read it.  Very entertaining and worth the read.  I found out (by superstar YA acquisitions librarian Jennie Weeks) that this is book one of the Shades of London series so I'm super pumped about that and look forward to the next  book!  Oh...and I've started following Maureen Johnson on twitter...she's hilarious.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, The Name of the Star, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

Book Review No. 63


















The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Summary:  Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis.  But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.  (taken from book jacket)

First Lines:  Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.  Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer.  But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer.  Depression is a side effect of dying.  (Cancer is also a side effect of dying.  Almost everything is, really).

My Critique:  This book was selected as our June book club selection.  We met last week and I wanted to wait until after our discussion to post my review.  This was the first book I had read by John Green and I'm so glad I found this author.  He writes in a way that makes his characters seem like they're sitting on the couch with you...they're so real.  This book is about two teens who have cancer so obviously it's a sad book and it pulls at your emotions.  I didn't cry while reading it but I'm not a big cryer.  I normally don't like these types of books, preferring happier books but this one pulled me in.  Jennie said, and I agree, that she found herself liking this book against her will.  I think that's a good summation of how I felt.  It's like you don't want to like it but you can't help it.  The characters are charming and witty and Isaac provides good comic relief...which is strange given his tragic life as well.  In addition to genuinely liking the characters, I really loved the writing of Green.  He has a way of phrasing sentences that are just beautiful.  Like written art.  Here are some of my favorite lines:

(Pg.  9) “It occurred to me why they call it eye contact.”  (after see Augustus for the first time and looking into his eyes)

(Pg. 124/125)  “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep:  slowly, and then all at once.”

(Pg.  153)  “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things.  I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

(Pg. 203)  “As his parted lips met mine, I started to feel breathless in a new and fascinating way.”

(Pg. 262)  “It felt like losing your co-rememberer meant losing the memory itself…”

(Pg. 270)  “I love you present tense.”

(Pg. 286)  “Grief does not change you…It reveals you.”

I definitely think this book is worth reading. and I will for sure be checking out some other stuff written by John Green.  This is now up there with one of my favorites.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, The Fault in Our Stars, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...




15 June 2012

Book Review No. 62


















Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith

Summary:  Kiss.  What Leah did--only she really shouldn't have--one hot night at a country club party.  Crush.  What Leah has--only she really shouldn't have--on the guy with the green eyes, the guy who is not her perfect boyfriend, the guy who does not fit in her picture-perfect life, the guy her sisters will only mock and her mother will never approve of.  Not in a million years.  Collide.  What happens when everything you always thought you wanted--having cool friends, being class valedictorian and homecoming queen--runs smack into everything it turns out you really do want.  (taken from book jacket)

First Line:  "Leah!"  My mother rolls her eyes, sounding completely exasperated as she steps down the three thick stone slabs at our front door.

My Critique:  Slow motion...L-A-M-E.  I've seen made for TV Disney Channel movies that had more chemistry.

Dear Leah Johnson,
Please forgive me if I can't feel bad for you and your skinny rich white girl problems.

Sincerely,
Someone who knew even at 17 what it was like to have REAL problems

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Kiss Crush Collide, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

04 June 2012

Book Review No. 61



















Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James

Summary:  When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating.  The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him.  Unable to resist Ana's quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too--but on his own terms.  Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates.  For all the trappings of success--his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family--Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control.  When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey's secrets and explores her own dark desires.  (taken from the back of the book)

First Line:  "I scowl with frustration at myself in the mirror."

Be forewarned...this review is a doozy and contains spoilers galore.  It's LONG as I've compiled some other review type info as well.

15 May 2012

The Best Thing I've Never Eaten - Take 8

I've taken a break from this little project for a while--mostly because I just got busy.  But this past Sunday Ragan and I were in Kroger doing our weekly grocery shop when we noticed a fruit that we had never heard of.  A quick Google search intrigued us enough to give it a go.

Cherimoya
Some consider cherimoya one of the most delicious fruits available.  Mark Twain even said it was the most delicious fruit he had ever eaten.  It is native to Ecuador, Colombia, and Bolivia later making its way to Chile and Brazil.  This fruit is very fickle and requires hand pollination as it does not pollinate itself.  It also has a very short shelf life and is in season from March thru May.  This may help explain the $4 PER UNIT price tag at the grocery store...a fact we weren't aware of I can guarantee you it wouldn't have found its way into my shopping cart!  
When buying Cherimoyas, you should look for a firm fruit which means it is slightly under-ripened.  It will feel heavy for its size.  Store on the counter out of direct sunlight for a couple of days until it has a little give to it (think a ripe avocado).  The skin may brown but that's ok.  Once it is fully ripened, the cherimoya can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days.
(all of the above information is from the Serious Eats website)

What's on the inside?

The flesh of a cherimoya is white.  It has brown inedible seeds and the skin is also inedible.  Once it is sliced open it oxidizes really fast so you will start to see some brown spots almost immediately.  I sliced off a small piece and took a bite.  The texture of the flesh was of a really ripe honey dew melon...somewhat firm yet also squishy.  WOW...is it sweet!  I'd say the flavor is a cross of melon, mango, and sugar.  But the flavor is distinct.  I'm describing it this way because it's the only way I can think of but it really didn't taste like anything I had ever tasted.  


The Verdict
Eeww gross!!
This cherimoya tastes like a toothache!
Whatchu talkin about Willis?
This cherimoya is yummy!

14 May 2012

Book Review No. 60


















Crossed by Ally Condie (book 2 of the Matched Trilogy)

Summary:  Rules are different outside the Society.  Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his sure death--only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons.  On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of rebellion.  But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again.  (taken from book jacket)

First Line:  "I'm standing in a river."

My Critique:  You definitely need to have read the first book in this trilogy in order to follow along with the events in the plot of this book.  And I admire the author for not taking up  time by re-explaining certain events or people that we know about from having read the first book.  Which as you know from previous posts is something that annoys me.  That being said, I didn't really care for this book.  It was just so slow and boring.  I found that I didn't really even care about the characters or what happened to them.  I just persevered through it because I wanted to see if it got any better but it didn't really.  The ending was incredibly anti-climatic and at this point I'm thinking I can either take or leave the third book that comes out in November.  Everything was so flat and boring so I wasn't excited about.  

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Crossed, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

10 May 2012

We Interrupt This Program...

I'm going to interrupt this blog for a little rant.  Feel free to read it or not...but I hope you do because I'd really like to hear your opinions.

So as you know I've been reading a lot of young adult fiction these days and the one thing that irks me more than anything else is the false idea they put out there of this perfect, overwhelming, undying love.   Personally I don't think that kind of love exists...at least not romantically...I can perhaps believe it in a parent-to-child sense (a la Liam Neeson in the movie Taken).  See there's always a love triangle (and don't even get me started that it's always one girl and two guys) wherein the girl has to decide which guy she loves the most.  There's always a favoritism toward one of the guys and then there's this crazy, life or death type situation where she is willing to upend her entire world for that love.  She will leave her entire family, change her entire future, and in some cases even willfully disobey governments and laws, just to protect this one guy because she loves him so fiercely.  My friend Jennie brings up a good point...she has this perfect willing to die for love and yet it's not strong enough to get rid of the feelings she has for the other guy until the end of book three.  What's up with that?  I'm specifically thinking of books such as the Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer and the Matched series by Ally Condie but I'm sure there are others as this seems to be the unwritten rule of writing formula for success.

There are so many things wrong with this scenario!  First of all it perpetuates the idea that a girl must change her entire life (her plans, her future, her goals, her dreams, her LIFE) to be with the one she loves.  It also falsely gives girls hope that there will always be too many guys to choose from--------------ummm...no.  It's just so totally unbelievable and sometimes I get so frustrated with it.  I mean, I may be in the minority but I don't believe in soul mates, I don't believe in that overwhelming undying perfect love...I believe that love is a choice.  Love is not perfect because we are not perfect.  Love is choosing to be with somebody despite their faults.  Love is making a decision to every single day be with someone.  Love isn't something that just happens to us...that we accidentally fall into...  As I mentioned I don't believe in soul mates.  I don't believe there is just one person on this entire earth you can fully and truly love and be happy with.  That's a sad and lonely way to live.  If that's the case what happens to those who lose their spouse?  Are they not ever able to love again?  No.  I believe that at any given time there are many people on this earth we can love and be happy with.  I also believe it's possible to love more than one person (romantically) at the same time...I mean we can love more than one child, we can love more than one friend, we can love more than one parent, so it stands to reason that we can love more than one person.  Is our capacity to love staunched simply because it's a different type of love (i.e. romantic love)?  Like I said above, I believe love is choosing everyday to be with someone.

That being said I have a couple of questions for you:

1.  Do you believe in soul mates?
2.  Do you believe in love at first sight?
3.  Do you believe it's possible to love more than one person (romantically) at the same time?
4.  Do you think I'm a total lunatic and in need of therapy because of my cynicism?  lol

Go ahead...talk amongst yourselves...

03 May 2012

Book Review No. 59

















Ascend:  A TRYLLE Novel by Amanda Hocking

Summary:  Wendy Everly is facing an impossible choice.  The only way to save the Trylle from their deadliest enemy is by sacrificing herself.  If she doesn't surrender to the Vittra, her people will be thrust into a brutal war against an unbeatable foe.  But how can Wendy leave all her friends behind...even if it's the only way to save them?  The stakes have never been higher, because her kingdom isn't the only thing she stands to lose.  After falling for both Finn and Loki, she's about to make the ultimate choice...who to love forever.  One guy has finally proven to be the love of her life--and now all their lives might be coming to an end.  Everything has been leading to this moment.  The future of her entire world rests in her hand--if she's ready to fight for it.  (taken from back of the book)

First Line:  "I had my back to the room as I stared out the window."

WARNING!!!  SPOILER ALERT!!  THE FOLLOWING CRITIQUE CONTAINS SPOILERS!
Pictured above:  Spoiler.














My Critique:  Well I'm glad that the tempo of this book matched the first book.  I found the second book of this trilogy to be a bit slow but this book was full of action from the first page which I liked.  It really did fell like the climatic end to the entire trilogy...which is exactly what it was supposed to be so that's handy.  I really liked the way the book progressed and we got to see Wendy grow as the story developed.  Her relationships grew, her abilities grew, and her confidence grew.  By now you all know that I really like this series and I highly recommend it.  So let me take this moment to point out just a few things that disappointed me about this trilogy (or should I say trylle-ogy?  hehe):
  1. While the author did attempt to explain away how all this violence, attacks, destruction, etc. could take place without the media picking it up (i.e. the Trylle kingdoms are secluded) I find that a bit far-fetched and hard to believe.  I mean, these days you can't sneeze without somebody seeing it or some camera somewhere picking up on it.  So trying to believe that the Oren and the Vittra could have carried out these vicious attacks (resulting in mass destruction and death) without some news crew somewhere reporting on it is harder to believe than believing there are these secret kingdoms of trolls out there with abilities.
  2. I find it difficult to accept that Wendy could have killed Oren.  I mean I know it was vital to the story and all and I'm not doubting that she had the strength or determination to do it.  What I'm saying is, how did all these things happen without law enforcement getting involved?  I mean not even a little bit?  That's not believable.
  3. Why do books like this always have to result in a baby?  I mean seriously?  And the way the author described Wendy's love for her child honestly kind of pissed me off.  It talks about how there was a part of her that was unlocked when she had a child and that there is no greater love than that of a mother and her child.  I mean, I get the sentiment and all but I think it's bogus.  I don't have kids, that doesn't mean I'm not a complete person.  To be fair, this was brought about in the bonus story inside and wasn't part of the original novel so I'm not fully convinced it's fair of me to take issue with this but whatevs. 
So that's it folks.  I definitely recommend you read this trilogy.  In a world populated by vampires, witches, and warewolves, it's nice to have a different type of fantasy creature for a change.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Ascend, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

30 April 2012

Book Review No. 58

















Matched by Ally Condie

Summary:  In the Society, Officials decide.  Who you love.  Where you work.  When you die.  Cassia has always trusted their choices.  It's hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate.  So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is the one...until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.  Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices:  between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path no one else has ever dared follow--between perfection and passion.  (taken from book jacket)

First Line:  "Now that I've found the way to fly, which direction should I go into the night?"

My Critique:  I told y'all in my last post that this was on my list of books to read.  It's definitely more SciFi than my normal genre but I still really liked it.  It's a distopian (sort of) novel that demonstrates a Society that has perfected...it relies on statistical data to make decisions...meals for each person are perfectly formulated with their exact balance of nutrients and vitamins, cancer has been eradicated, marriages are long and happy because you are matched with someone who statistically meshes with you.  It's a very Stepford type of situation.  And everyone accepts it...except for Cassia.  With a little prompting from her Grandfather to be her own person, to have her own thoughts, to create her own words...paired with the error of seeing Ky on the Matched screen, Cassia starts to question the way things are done.  And together she and Ky envision a new world...a way things could be.  This is a trilogy and I have the second book on hold for me right now.  I'm very intrigued.  It perfectly sets it up for the second book.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Matched, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

23 April 2012

Book Review No. 57

I intended to start this blog off by apologizing for it being so long between my previous book review and this one then I noticed it's only been like 2 1/2 weeks!  LOL  I guess to me it has felt like I haven't read much lately.  My last book review was on Switched by Amanda Hocking (which I loved) and I immediately wanted to begin reading the second book in the trilogy.  BUT the problem with that was the book was still being processed in my library and wasn't available for check out yet...also, a book I had been waiting for came in for me to check out and I knew it had holds on it so I needed to read it in my 2-week time frame because I wouldn't be able to renew it.  That book was:


Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James.  If you know me, then you know how obsessive I am about Pride & Prejudice.  I thought this would be precisely up my alley...a novel that picks up after Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy are married and a murder takes place inside the walls of Pemberley...a who dun it type of deal.  Sounds intriguing right?  WRONG!  I read the first five chapters but could never really get in to it...it was so slow and the author took way too much space to describe every little detail.  I mean, who cares if it took Elizabeth two hours to get ready for the ball right?  I just hate getting bogged down in details that have absolutely nothing to do with advancing the plot in any way.  So I gave up on that one.  







Then another book I had on hold came in, Matched by Ally Condie.  This book is a SciFi type of deal that involves a totalitarian government and I'm very intrigued.  My friend Jennie suggested I read it so I wanted to give it a try.  The only problem is that it came in the day before I knew Torn would be ready for me to read.  So I didn't want to get involved in a new story and confuse the plots in my head so I decided to just skip Matched for now in favor of reading Torn.  No worries though...Matched will be read soon and that review is forthcoming.




Oh yeah...and something just a little bit imporant happened...my best friend had a baby!!!  So I've been a little bit busy.  But Torn came in last week and I read it over the course of this weekend.  (By the way, Blogger has a new formatting situation and I'm not quite sure how I like it...I'll have to play around with it some more).

Without further aideu...

















Torn:  a TRYLLE novel by Amanda Hocking

Summary:  When Wendy Everly first discovered the truth about herself--that she's a changeling switched at birth--she knew her life would never be the same.  Now she's about the learn that there's more to the story...Wendy shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined--and they'll stop at nothing to lure her to their side.  With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to master her magical powers--and marry an equally powerful royal.  But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who's strictly off-limits...and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction.  Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate.  If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything--and everybody--she's ever wanted...in both worlds.  (taken from the back of the book)

First Line:  "When Rhyse and I showed up at my 'brother' Matt's house at eight in the morning he was happy...in the sense that he was glad I was alive and hadn't disappeared forever."

My Critique:  You know what I don't like about sequels to books?  I hate how the author feels the need to replay certain facts from the first book so those readers who might pick this book up without having read the first book aren't totally and completely lost.  But I hate that...I messes with the authentic flow of the story/plot.  It feels forced...at that point it feels like I'm reading a novel, not experiencing a story.  Does that makes sense?  I just feel like it breaks the mental connection with the story.  Anyway, I understand it has to be done but I just don't like it...I mean if somebody wants to read book 2 then they should suck it up and read book 1 first.  At any rate, moving on.  I really enjoyed this book.  It wasn't as action packed as the first book but it was still good and I can tell its entire purpose was to set up book 3.  At the end of this book I found myself saying, "Wait...no...there's more to the story...it can't end now!"  Which of course, is the entire purpose so there will be a book three.  It did its job well in setting up the final book of the trilogy and expanding on the first book but it in and of itself wasn't completely enthralling.  However, I really enjoyed it taking in to account its part in the entire trilogy.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Torn, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

04 April 2012

Book Review No. 56


I gotta say, I'm pretty excited that I've managed to stick to my goal of reading at least 12 books a year thus far. I mean it's one book a month which I know doesn't sound like much (and it's not) but for too long I just let reading sit on the back burner of things I'd like to do but then I'd get involved in watching tv or some other such nonsense and I'd never actually get around to reading much. So now I have a goal and I'm sticking to it so far. Last week we were on vacation (about which you can read more in my previous blog post) and I selected a book with the goal of reading the entire thing. I was so excited to read an entire book in a matter of days...I'm usually too busy to have enough time to do that but I did it! Here's my review...




Switched: a TRYLLE novel by Amanda Hocking



Summary: When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and stried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She's not the person she's always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel--all because of Finn Holmes. Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken...though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she'd ever admit. But it isn't long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth--and he's come to take her home. Now Wendy's about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that's both beautiful and frightening. and where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she's meant to become... (taken from back of the book).



First Line: "A couple things made that day stand out more than any other: it was my sixth birthday, and my mother was wielding a knife." (Sparks your curiosity doesn't it?)



My Critique: Amanda Hocking is a success story every aspiring writer dreams of. She wrote the Trylle trilogy and self-published them as e-books. After gaining momentum and massive popularity, they were eventually published...and I'm glad they were because I hadn't heard of them before. The books are technically classified as Young Adult and honestly, young adult literature has gotten a bad rep as something less...less entertaining, less intellectual, less literary. But I have to say, young adult literature has some of the most enthralling plots out there (think Twilight or The Hunger Games or Harry Potter). Admittedly some young adult books are a bit juvenile for older readers but once in a while you come across a book (like those just mentioned) that span the generations. I believe this is another book that has mass appeal to all readers...no matter your age. I throughly enjoyed this novel and can't wait to read the next one in the trilogy (though I'll have to because another book I've been waiting a few weeks for finally came in for me at the library and I need to get it read before it's due back). I don't want to say much because I don't want to give away any of the plot details but this book has mystery, an element of fantasy, intrigue, danger, and just a touch of romance. Do yourself a favor and read this...both guys and girls will find this book intriguing. READ IT! Do it! I'm not kidding...



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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Switched, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...



Other books in this trilogy:

03 April 2012

I'm Just Not a Beach Person...

Well I'm back in full swing after our vacation to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The food there was DELICIOUS! Every place and every thing we ate was so good (well, with the exception of Skillets Café). We decided to drive this time. It took 14 hours to get there and we went through Montgomery, Alabama and stopped for the night. It poured down rain the last 200 miles...it was awful trying to drive in that! I'm talking 40mph, can't see the front of your car or the lines of the road rain. On the way back we decided to go South to Jacksonville, Florida and then head West to Louisiana and then North to home so we could stop in Natchitoches to pick up Jax. This was supposed to take about 15 hours. Well as we headed out from Hilton Head we planned to drive for 9 hours and stop in Mobile, Alabama for the night. The 9 hour trip ended up taking almost 12 hours...11 hours and 45 minutes to be exact. This was thanks to some sort of accident that halted traffic to a standstill...it took us about an hour and a half to go 3 miles. Lovely. I can't tell you exactly what happened because there were 5 lanes of traffic and we were in the far left lane. I saw flashing lights but that's it. It was an accident according to the 511 traffic line. After this traffic was heavily congested on the interstate and then it started raining on us again...what fun. By the time I pulled in to Holiday Inn Express in Mobile I was frazzled to say the least. My blood pressure was up, I was shakey, I had a massive headache, my body hurt from being tensed...just exhausting. I also decided I can't go on vacation with my husband again. LOL We are completely incompatible vacation partners. He wants to go, go, go and explore and see and I want to sleep in, relax, read, take a nap. Haha.



I got to see the Atlantic Ocean...it was brown...I was expecting blue/green for some reason. I knew I didn't like the tropical beach but I had somehow decided I would like the East Coast beach with seashells and lighthouses. I was wrong. I'm just not a beach person. I don't like the sand getting into everything and sticking to my skin...at one point I was practically blinded because the sea breeze that blows off the ocean that everyone else finds so charming and refreshing created a sand storm that resulted in sand in my mouth, my teeth, up my nose, and in my eyes...which as a contact-wearer is just no fun. I walked barefoot on the beach once but honestly I kept thinking I was going to step on broken glass buried under the sand at any second that I couldn't enjoy it. My Vibram 5-finger shoes (i.e. toe shoes as I call them) worked GREAT for walking on the beach. There were jellyfish everywhere...lots of them washed up on shore. I wasn't sure if they were dead or not but I wasn't going to be the one to touch them to find out. I wonder if I'm allergic to jellyfish...I'm allergic to insect stings so I don't know...Ragan told me he wouldn't pee on me if I got stung so I was trying to figure out how I was going to pee on myself because I certainly wouldn't let a stranger do it. I walked along the water line as the tide rolled in...the water made my legs itchy. The sun kept shining down and it was HOT. We took a Dolphin Watching cruise but didn't see any dolphins. I did however get a sunburn...even though I was wearing SPF 85+ sunscreen. We had a great view from the balcony of our condo overlooking one of the pools but about 10 GIANT bumblebees also thought it was a pretty view and set up camp out there. Due to the aforementioned allergy this prevented me from enjoying the view or breeze from the balcony as I couldn't go out there or open up the door to let the breeze in. There was a really pretty lighthouse in a section of the island called Harbor Town. We went there and visitors are allowed to go to the top for a gorgeous view of the island. Since it was 144 steps to the top I sat in the shade in a rocking chair while Ragan went up and enjoyed the view by himself. You would think that in a town full of time shares that there wouldn't be too many salesmen trying to sell you a timeshare...I mean it's just not logical. Most people there are already staying in a timeshare right?!?! That's like going to an exclusive club for people who own new cars and trying to sell them a new car... Well if you think that you'd be wrong. These people are worse than the hooker pushers on the streets of Vegas. There's a booth on practically every corner. I tried polietly listening with fake interest, ignoring them, polietly saying no, flat out saying no...nothing worked. They would harrass you. Finally I became a master at dodging and just dodged them the rest of the time. On Sunday, we were in Mobile, AL and decided to do something fun before we came home so we took a tour of the U.S.S. Alabama battleship commissioned in 1942. It was neat but I was hot which means I was grumpy. The tour involved a LOT of stairs and climbing. My legs are still screaming angry things at me every time I move. There is an airplane pavillion there that houses lots of military planes, both old and relatively new. It was really neat. They have a flight simulator that simulates a take off, engaging in a dog fight, and landing. Ragan did it but I didn't...I don't like flying in real life so I don't know why I'd do it for pretend. There was also a submarine there, the U.S.S. Drum, that you can tour so we did that. There was a herd of Boy Scouts there and three of them decided the submarine was a good place to race. I mean it's a freaking submarine...it's cramped...Ragan could barely stand all the way up and my shoulders were brushing both sides of the walkway inside...yet these heathens decided to race through...THREE TIMES. No adult around. I ranted about how they were rude and obnoxious...Ragan was embarrassed. I finally decided that the next time they ran through I was going to trip them to teach them a lesson but they must've sensed my evil plan and didn't come through again.



That about sums it up. All said and done we drove 2,263.7 miles. I like to play this game when I'm on a roadtrip where I look at the license plates on cars (anything but an 18-wheeler...they don't count) and write down all the states/places I see. Here's the list from this trip:



Louisiana

North Carolina

Texas

Georgia

Mississippi (Ragan had never heard the M-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-crooked letter-crooked letter-I-hump back-humb back-I thing and thought I had lost my mind).

Alabama

New York

Illinois

Tennessee

Florida

Arkansas

Virginia

Pennsylvania

Connecticut

Ohio

Arizona

Massachesetts

Quebec, Canada

Maryland

Ontario, Canada

New Jersey

Michigan

Wisconsin

Indiana

Vermont

Nebraska

Washington, DC

Iowa

New Hampshire

Colorado

Washington (state)

Maine

West Virginia

New Mexico

Nova Scotia, Canada

Minnesota

Missouri

Delaware

South Dakota

Oklahoma

Kentucky

California

Oregon

Tamaulipas, Mexico

Kansas

Consul (which I discovered is issued to foreign consulates...had I known this and jotted down the number I could have found out what country they designated for).

21 March 2012

Book Review No. 55




Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides to Every Story edited by Kelly Milner Halls


Summary: What do guys and girls REALLY think? Twelve of the most dynamic and engaging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of he said/she said stories--he tells it from the guy's point of view, she tells it from the girl's. Stories of love and heartbreak, like the good-looking jock who falls for a dangeroud girl and the flipside of the toxic girl who never learns to be loved; a basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; and a gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen, teach us that relationships become complicated because there are two sides to every story. (taken from book jacket)


Contributing Authors: Chris Crutcher, Kelly Milner Halls, Joseph Bruchac, Cynthia Leitich Smith, James Howe, Ellen Wittlinger, Rita Williams-Garcia, Terry Trueman, Terry Davis, Rebecca Fjelland Davis, Sara Ryan, and Randy Powell


My Critique: I'm not going to put a first line in the book section because that would be rather futile. This book is a compilation of six short-stories, written by twelve authors...each story told from the guy's perspective and from the girl's. Sounds like a really interesting concept and riviting read right? That's what I thought too...but unfortunately this book failed to deliver. It fell short. All of the stories were a bit thin. I felt like there was no character development...that the story was only there to bring up a hot topic...like a hit list of sexual/relationship issues. They covered all the bases--homosexuality, trans-gender, lost girl looking for love and so does so by using her body to get her way, interracial, inter-religional, etc. It just seemed like the stories were there for the sole purpose of trying to bring these topics to light...and not because the authors truly had something to say about them but simply because they are "hot button" issues so why not? There was no depth of characters...I felt like the authors didn't really care about the characters and they were only there to serve as a catalyst for this controversial issue they wanted to bring up. Yes, I know it is comprised of short stories but evenstill, plenty of short stories fully develop a character (The Lottery, The Most Dangerous Game, The Storm, etc.). I didn't really enjoy this book and I don't think I'd recommend it. I had such high hopes for this book because the concept is really fresh and different but it was a gigantic let down.


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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Girl Meets Boy, are the sole views and opinions of the authors/editor and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

14 March 2012

Book Review No. 54




the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky






Summary: Since its publication, Stephen Chbosky's haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion has received critical acclaim, provoked discussion and debate, and grown into a cult sensation with over one million copies in print. It is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charilie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, where all you need is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. (taken from back of book)




First Line: "Dear friend...I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn't try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have."




My Critique: The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of those books I've always heard about and wondered about but promptly forgot and never actually got around to reading. It's always controversial and the target of many book bannings...which of course, makes me want to read it. It's a young adult book and I'm finding more and more I enjoy reading these types of books--I find the characters to be a bit more complex as they are struggling with all the puberty-infused turmoil that comes with the teen years. Is this book controversial? Yes. It discusses suicide, sex, drugs, abortion, homosexuality, underage drinking and smoking, rape, and even molestation. If it doesn't discuss these topics outright, they are alluded to or mentioned at least in passing. Nothing is glamourized--it's just a raw and real depiction of Charlie and how he is dealing with being fifteen/sixteen. It was fascinating and I am so glad I read it. I heard it's being made into a movie...find the IMDB page here http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1659337/



The movie is rated R and I'd say that's along par with the book...so if that offends you, you'll probably be offended by the book as well. At any rate, I do recommend it. It's not written the way you normally find books...it's all first person narrated by Charlie (think Cullen Witter in The Catcher in the Rye) and it's in the form of letters. Charlie writes letters revealing events of his life, his emotions, himself to an annoymous source but I get the feeling it's to us...the reader. Very interesting.






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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

09 March 2012

Book Review No. 53





Bossypants by Tina Fey


Summary: Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV. She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon--from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence. Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we've all suspected: you're no one until someone calls you bossy. (taken from book jacket)


First Line: "Congratulations on your purchase of this American-made genuine book."


My Critique: Not usually one for non-fiction, I picked this up after watching the Oscars red carpet...strange, I know. But somebody from one of the fashion shows was interviewing Tina Fey and mentioned how much they liked this book and how they kept laughing literally out loud while reading it. I've always thought Tina Fey was funny so I decided I'd give it a go...and I'm glad I did. This book comes with a heavy dose of sarcasm--which is just the way I like it. Purely entertaining but it also gives a glimpse behind the curtain of the world of Hollywood executives. It was entertaining and interesting and I felt as if I were on a long road trip with Tina swapping stories about things we've experienced in life. I definitely recommend you read it but it's not for those who might take themselves or life too seriously. And if you're easily offended, you might want to pass this one over and the author does share some of her opinions on everything from gay rights to religion to breastfeeding...BUT...if you're a fan of Tina Fey at all you'd expect nothing less.


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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Bossypants, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

20 February 2012

Book Review No. 52

Continuing with my quest to read at least 12 books a year, I bring you my February selection.


Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich


Summary: Before Stephanie can even step foot off Flight 127 Hawaii to Newark, she's knee deep in trouble. Her dream vacation turned into a nightmare, and she's flying back to New Jersey solo. Worse still, her seatmate never returned to the plane after the L.A. layover. Now he's dead, in a garbage can, waiting for curbside pickup. His killer could be anyone. And a ragtag collection of thugs and psychos, not to mention the FBI, are all looking for a photograph the dead man was supposed to be carrying. Only one other person has seen the missing photo--Stephanie Plum. Now she's the target, and she doesn't intend to end up in a garbage can. With the help of an FBI sketch artist Stephanie re-creates the person in the photo. Unfortunately the first sketch turns out to look like Tom Cruise, and the second sketch like Ashton Kutcher. Until Stephanie can improve her descriptive skills, she'll need to watch her back. Over at the bail bonds agency things are going from bad to worse. The bonds bus serving as Vinnie's temporary HQ goes up in smoke. Stephanie's wheelman, Lula, falls in love with their largest skip yet. Lifetime arch nemesis Joyce Barnhardt moves into Stephanie's apartment. And everyone wants to know what happened in Hawaii? Morelli, Trenton's hottest cop, isn't talking a bout Hawaii. Ranger, the man of mystery, isn't talking about Hawaii. And all Stephanie is willing to say about her Hawaiian vacation is...it's complicated. (taken from book jacket)


First line: "New Jersey was 40,000 feet below me, obscured by cloud cover."


My Critique: I've read these books from One for the Money. They are always good for mindless entertainment. While this book I felt was a bit lacking in terms of the sexual tension that generally makes these books so fun, Lula made up for it with comedic relief...I've always loved Lula and was glad she had more of a role in this book and she kept me literally laughing out loud. Worth the few hours it'll take you to read it but only if you're already an Evanovich/Stephanie Plum fan.


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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, Explosive Eighteen, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

09 February 2012

Bucket List

I've decided to make a list of things I want to do in life. Some are silly, some are ambitious, but all are perfectly mine.

Still To Do:


  1. Write a children's book.

  2. Visit all 50 states in the U.S.

  3. Adopt a dog from an animal shelter.

  4. Volunteer my time to work with animals.

  5. Own a book store...or a shoe store...I'm not picky.

  6. Be an academic librarian.

  7. Own enough shoes to have at least one pair for every day of the year.

  8. Take culinary classes.

  9. Learn to dance.

  10. Learn to play a musical instrument.

  11. Own a motorcycle.

  12. Live somewhere I can paint the walls.

  13. Have a makeover and do a professional photo shoot.

  14. Read at least 12 books a year.

  15. Be a good aunt/daughter/sister/friend/wife/person.

  16. Learn more about my ancestory.

  17. Ride in a limmo.

  18. Go to an NBA game.

Things I've Already Done (but were still on my Bucket List):



  1. Travel by train.

  2. Go to NYC.

  3. See the Starry Night in person.

  4. Visit the Library of Congress.

  5. Go to a Braves Game.

  6. Front row seats at a concert.

  7. Get a college degree.

  8. Get a mater's degree.

  9. Have a job I love.

  10. Move away from Natchitoches.

  11. Fall in love.

  12. Write something that gets published.

  13. Actually believe I'm beautiful.

31 January 2012

Book Review No. 51

So I've decided to make a bucket list of sorts and one of the things I want to do with my life, beginning now, is read at least 12 books a year. So here we go with number 1 of 2012.




The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler (yeah...I went there)


Summary: A poignant and hilarious tour of the last frontier, the ultimate forbidden zone, The Vagina Monologues is a celebration of female sexuality in all its complexity and mystery. In this stunning phenomenon that has swept the nation, Eve Ensler gives us real women's stories of intimacy, vulnerability, and sexual self-discovery. Celebrated as the bible for a new generation of women, The Vagina Monologues has been performed in cities all across America and at hundreds of college campuses. It has inspired a dynamic grassroots movement--V-Day--to stop violence against women. Witty and irreverent, compassionate and wise, Even Ensler's Obie Award-winning masterpiece gives voice to women's deepest fantasies and fears, guaranteeing that no on who reads it will ever look at a woman's body, or think of sex, in quite the same way again. (taken from book jacket)


First line: "I bet you're worried."


My Critique: I'm not usually a big fan of non-fiction but a week ago I was working the Circulation desk at the library when this book came through the return box. It caught my eye because I remember hearing all about the performances of this on Broadway but I didn't really know anything about it. I'll admit that sometimes I want to read books simply because I'm curious...I have an intellectual interest in them...discovering what they're all about. That was the case with this book. I checked it out not knowing anything about it (and to be honest, I didn't even realize until then that it was a work of non-fiction). I had judged this book to be silly, absurd, even vulgar and obscene...and that's without ever having read a word. Why do we tend to do that? Human nature I suppose. Anyway, I checked it out and began to read. It's a very quick read. I will say I was pleasently surprised. Does it talk about sex? Sure...it's a book about vagina stories after all. But it also talks about other stuff--female casturation, rape, shame... These are powerful stories and I must say that I am glad I read this book--from an intellectual point-of-view if for nothing else. I will say though, that this book has a very overt tone of feminism which to me gets old but the stories behind the book--the stories that inspired the whole project--are what kept me reading. I love studying people--societies and culture--and this book offers a glimpse into a subject that is still taboo in today's liberated world. Definitely recommend you read it but just be forewarned if you're easily offended you probably won't like it.

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DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in the afore mentioned book, The Vagina Monologues, are the sole views and opinions of the author and have nothing to do with me or my own views/opinions/beliefs...so get off my back. I am in no way affiliated with with afore mentioned author...except that one time in Vegas------------uh, nevermind...

23 January 2012

The Myth...The Legend...

A woman in her 30s who isn’t a mother is somewhat of an urban legend…along the lines of Sasquatch, the Abominable Snowman, and the perfect shade of lipstick…they don’t exist. That has been my experience anyway. As a nearly 33-year-old woman who doesn’t have kids I seem to be the huge minority in my circle. In fact, I can only count off the top of my head 2 other friends who are my age and remain without child. Whether we choose to be childless or not, the fact remains that it can be difficult to find our place sometimes in our group of cohorts. I have a couple of really close tell-your-deepest-darkest-secrets to girl friends and an overflowing handful of girl friends whom I consider close friends. When we get together to hang out sometimes it can be difficult to contribute to the conversation when they are sharing their “war stories” from battlefield mom-zone – or when they’re sharing their triumphs or the hilarious antics of their kids. Or even when they’re swapping advice on this or that mom-related issue. It can be lonely over here on this side of the road but at the end of the day I know I am blessed. And besides…it’s not all bad over here…I can be spontaneous, I can stay up late, I can leave/come home any time I want, I don’t have to worry about my screaming kid in public places, I don’t feel guilty spending money on myself because I have no little kiddo to provide for, I can buy that lime green Camaro and not have to worry about carseats, I can leave the house in a split second without packing up my entire apartment, I can leave stuff out without worrying I’m going to poison my child with some sort of horrible mutant disease…. So like I said, it’s not all bad over here. Honestly, and this may make me sound like a horrible person but you know I’m bluntly honest if nothing else, sometimes I’m glad I don’t have kids because I worry I would lose myself—I’d become Mandi, mom of so-and-so instead of the Mandi I have always been—and I’m kinda partial to her. I enjoy the lack of responsibility that is being a parent and I think that’s ok…doesn’t make me selfish or a horrible person. I enjoy not having to worry about molding the entire character of another human being. I enjoy not having to worry about setting good examples with my every single word and action…because let’s be honest…that’s impossible. I enjoy just relaxing when I get home from work. I enjoy not having to worry about making a nutritious dinner every night to feed a growing child (hey, popcorn for dinner is perfectly acceptable as far as I’m concerned). But most of all, I enjoy knowing that my life is not meaningless simply because I’m not a mom…my life is not empty. I have 2 sweet nephews and 2 beautiful nieces (both of whom possess a tiny bit of me in them I believe) who make my life full. So I guess what I’m saying is…yes I’m a 32 year-old-woman…no I don’t have kids…and I’m ok with that.

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