Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Catcher in the Rye: Review

Author: J.D. Salinger
Age range: 13 & up
Content: Mild romance, mild sexual content, moderate language, no violence
Genre: Classic Fiction
Publisher: Little Brown
Pages: 224
Where to get it: Barnes & NobleAmazonTargetHalf-Price Books

The coming-of-age story of Holden Caulfield.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned about much I dislike this book in previous posts. And those feelings of dislike are definitely still alive. I don't like this book and I don't understand why everyone makes such a big deal out of it.

I mean, I get that it was written in a different time and the people from that time probably thought it was revolutionary and groundbreaking and oh-so relatable. But it's 2014 now and people need to calm down because there's definitely a lot better novels out there that capture more serious and interesting topics besides a teenage boy being sad and wandering around the city and almost sleeping with a prostitute.

I reread parts of this book earlier in preparation for writing this post. And I still don't get what Holden was so sad about. He came from a really wealthy family and got to go to a nice private school that he was annoyingly ungrateful for. I mean, why are you complaining? It was a nice school with nice teachers and a nice campus. Holden tried to make it seem like, "Oh, I'm doing bad in school because nobody understands me." No, buddy, you're doing bad in school because you don't freaking try at all. Basically, this is the story of a pitiful, ungrateful, lazy stupidhead. The whole time I was reading, I couldn't figure out if I was supposed to feel bad for, love, or relate to Holden. I couldn't figure out what the author was trying to tell me. All in all, it was confusing. I didn't understand what Holden's deal was. Bad grades? Try a little harder maybe. Feeling depressed? Ask your parents for a therapist. I'm sure they could afford it. Nobody understands you? Join the club. Nobody is going to try to understand you, if you don't make the effort to understand them. 

Another thing that bothered me, was that nothing changed. Holden had this expedition of leaving school and trekking around the city for no reason besides the fact that he was sad and his grades were bad. Holy drama queen. But he does this and it doesn't change anything. He doesn't go back to school or find something else he wants to do with his life or feel a little bit better emotionally. He doesn't even, like, find a girl he likes or something. Zip. Zero. Nothing. There was no climax to the story. There was no point in the story where I said, "Oh my God! Poor Holden." No, I just thought he was an idiot the whole time. At least in Of Mice and Men, Lenny gets shot. It's almost offensive to people who have serious life problems, how big of a deal Holden makes and the annoying amount of carrying-on and whining he does.

If you like this book, all I have to say is: first of all, why? And second of all, how? I have a friend who really loves this book. Granted, she's a little bit of a weirdo. She did try to explain it to me and it all just went right over my head. There's nothing anyone could say to me that would make me appreciate this book like the rest of the world does.

That's what I think of CITR. If you don't like it, I don't really care. This is my blog. And... yeah. Have a happy Good Friday and Easter and yada yada. Byeeee.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Those People Who Imagine for a Living

I'm really stuck for post ideas so here's a list of all my favorite authors. In no particular order. 

John Green.
Rainbow Rowell.
Stephen King.
Dean Koontz.
Cassandra Clare.
Jonathan Safran Foer.
George R.R. Martin.
Harper Lee.
Paul Zindel.
S.E. Hinton.
David Levithan.
Markus Zusak.
Ruta Sepetys.
John Corey Whaley.
Stephen Emond.
Tom McNeal.
Suzanne Collins.

Yes. It's a short list. Usually when I fall in love with authors, I obsessively stick with them until I've read every single one of their books. Example: Stephen King Month. This will probably go down as one of my most boring posts ever. But I don't care. I'm tired and giving a little S/O to my favorite authors seemed easy. Yeah. Cool. Bye.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Doctor Sleep: Review

Author: Stephen King
Age range: 16 & up
Content: Moderate romance, moderate sexual content, high language, high violence
Genre: Science Fiction / Horror
Publisher: Scribner
Pages: 531
Where to get it: Barnes & NobleAmazonTargetHalf-Price Books

Across America, a tribe of people called the True Knot travel in search of bright and shining children. They look harmless; mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their crappy RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, the True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off of the "steam" the shining kids produce when being tortured and killed. Haunted by the incidents of the Overlook hotel, where he spent one horrific childhood year, the now grown up Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father's (and grandfather's and great-grandfather's) legacy of violence and alcoholism. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides a crucial final comfort to the dying. There is where he comes into contact with young Abra, who has the brightest shining he's ever encountered and reignites Dan's demons and summons him into battle for Abra's soul and survival.

Right off the bat, I'm just going to say it: Doctor Sleep is not as good as The Shining. But really, what could be?

Remember how I said that Half-Price books is the best place for King books? I really meant it. The regular price for the hardcover edition of this book is $30. That's kind of a lot for a book, in my opinion. But I was still ready to spend it because I'm ridiculous. When I checked Half Price books, they had a practically brand-new hardcover copy of it for $14. Less than half of the price of the one at B&N. So definitely check HPB before any other book store.

Repeat of my last four posts: I love King books, so I love this. Surprisingly, it's a lot more mild than, like, It and The Shining and Misery. Probably because those were written so long ago and the Stephen King who wrote those books isn't the same person who wrote Doctor Sleep. Here's a (not so) fun fact: Stephen King was an alcoholic when he wrote The Shining. So it makes sense why Doctor Sleep is so different as he's no longer an alcoholic.

I loved Abra. She was adorable and funny and smart. I liked how she never really lost touch with being a "normal" teenage girl. The shining was a part of her, but it didn't dominate everything and it didn't define her. And in the years she suppressed it, she picked up other things that defined her. Again, the details were spot on. Like the fact that her friend told her that cursive writing looked "more romantic." That part made me giggle because one of my friends in elementary school told me the same thing. (I hated cursive writing and didn't really care about romance, so I didn't listen to her.)

Dan was a great character too. You could definitely see how the incident at the Overlook made some long term damage and really pulled him under. It was, I don't know, interesting to see him get himself back together and build a better life for himself, with the help of Abra and her journey. Of course, nothing is absolutely perfect by the end, but it is better.

I'm sorry. I've run out of interesting things to say. I hope you've enjoyed my spontaneous SK Month. I definitely did. Next on my reading list is The Stand. And yes, it's another Stephen King book. Surprise, surprise. But it's been recommended to me so many times. Also Dean Koontz. So maybe I'll do a Dean Koontz Month. Who knows? Well, have a wonderful day and I'll be back in April (which I always think of as Ape Month, for some reason). Okay. Bye.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Firestarter: Review

Author: Stephen King
Age range: 17 & up
Content: Moderate romance, moderate sexual content, moderate language, high violence
Genre: Science Fiction / Horror
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Pages: 416
Where to get it: Barnes & NobleAmazonTargetHalf-Price Books

First, a man and a woman are subjects of a top-secret government experiment made to produce extraordinary psychic powers. Then the man and woman get married and have a child. Early on, their daughter shows signs of a powerful, yet horrific force growing inside of her. Almost desperately, her parents try to train her to keep the force in check, to try to "act normal." Now the government wants the brainchild back for its own insane ends and reasons.

I think it goes without saying that this is a very very good book. And I do recommend it to everyone, along with every other King book because, as of right now, he is my most favorite author.

You know how sometimes you only like a book for that particular story and those particular characters?  And when you go to read other books by that same author, it's not as good because you just can't seem to fall in love with these new characters the same as the other ones. I don't know if that makes any sense but sometimes that happens to me.

But that hasn't happened with any Stephen King books. I mean, I always fall in love with his characters but mostly, I've fallen for his writing. So with every new (new to me, anyway) book of his I read, I fall in love with everything about the story and characters because I already love his writing so much.

Which is why I think I love this book. But, with that being said, it's not my favorite. It didn't have as much... oomph as other King books I've read. It wouldn't make my top 3, but it definitely makes my top 5. I can picture it doing really well as a film. And yes, I know it was made into a movie a long, long time ago. Drew Barrymore is in it. I haven't watched it. In fact, I haven't watched any Stephen King book-inspired films.

I feel like in all the posts apart of King Month have been sort of repetitive. It's just me saying, "I love Stephen King so I love this. But it's really graphic and is better suited for mature readers." So I'm having issues thinking of interesting things to write. I feel like I'm writing in circles. I'll feel like I'm making a lot of progress with this reviewing thing and then I'll find myself right back where I started: talking about how much I love Stephen King.

One of the sort of bittersweet things about King's style is that it makes everything else I've read seem so juvenile and kiddish. Like his books are so well executed and flawless, that nothing else can match it. Although I was kind of over them already, I think it's safe to say that Stephen King has ruined YA books for me. Thanks a lot, SK.

Okay. There will be one more review to round off Stephen King Month. Not gonna lie, April might turn into SKM 2.0 because that's still all I've been reading besides the Game of Thrones sequels and you know how I feel about reviewing sequels. Alright. Um. Bye.

Monday, March 24, 2014

It: Review

Author: Stephen King
Age range: 18 & up
Content: Moderate romance, high sexual content, high language, high violence
Genre: Fiction / Horror
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Pages: 1104
Where to get it: Barnes & NobleAmazonTargetHalf-Price Books 

They were mere kids when they first discovered the horror in their hometown of Derry, Maine. Now as adults, they still don't understand what's pulling them back, after twenty-seven years of peace, to face their childhood nightmare, the evil without a name.

Yeah, March is gonna be SK month. I just decided.

The reason I bought this book was because it was the biggest King book at Half-Price Books. (HPB is the best place to get King books at a really cheap price. They literally have all of them.) I wanted a seriously hefty book to read at work. I had no idea the book was going to be so hectic. Well, I knew it was going to be hectic (I mean, hello, Stephen freaking King) but I, in no way, prepared myself for this level of twisted weirdness.

That being said, It is a very very good book. It has its gory moments that made me want to throw up. But there also sweet and funny moments that made me laugh and cry. King's books are never just about the gore. They're always a lot deeper and have a lot more meaning than you'd originally think.

I just can't emphasize enough how freaky this book is. If your mind or your heart is unguarded and sensitive to weird, dark, explicit stuff, do not read this. Or any other King books, for that matter. Honestly, I'm not easily influenced by... anything, really. So I was able to appreciate this book for what it is: really amazing writing.

One thing that did annoy me was the fact that three of the main characters had names that started with B. (Benjamin, Beverly, Bill.) It just confused me so much while I was reading. Especially since they kept calling Beverly, "Bev." And when you're speed reading, "Bev" looks a lot like "Ben" and "Ben" looks a lot like "Bill." In one instance, I was like, "Why is Ben wearing a dress? I don't get... Oh that says Bev." Bill's full name was William. Why not call him Will and break up all the B names a little? I will never understand why the nickname Bill comes from William. Same with Bob and Robert. Why substitute the first letter with a B? What's so great about Bs?

I liked how the "villain" wasn't ever fully uncovered or exposed. "It" stayed a mystery which made it 100x scarier. I thought It was going to be just a clown based on, you know, the cover. Well, the cover that's above shows a spider. But the copy I have has a clown on it. So I liked how there were different layers to this freaky evil clown character that cut into the different layers of fear that the six kids possessed.

There's gonna be two more reviews apart of my impromptu King month, unless I decide to squeeze in, like, a biography of Stephen King or something. Either way it'll be a lot of Stephen King. So, um, happy King month and have an awesome day. Okay. Bye.