Wednesday, April 30

Book Review: The Stranger by Albert Camus

Author: Albert Camus
Title: The Stranger
Genre: Classic, Fiction
Pages: 123
First Published: 1942
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"Through the story of an ordinary man unwittingly drawn into a senseless murder on an Algerian beach, Camus explored what he termed 'the nakedness of man faced with the absurd.'"

Randomly stumbled upon this while at the library and I thought I'd give it a go. Had no idea this was a "popular classic".

Well....I'm not sure where to begin or what to really say....ummm....

Well, this was interesting and random. I'm honestly surprised in my college experience so far I haven't read this yet or even heard of it. It's supposedly a "fine" example of existentialism. NEW LITERARY TERM I LEARNED! Head of the English department would be proud of me. haha. After doing some research on this theory and thought process, I can agree. Albert Camus' novel does embody it. The main character, Mersault, especially is a model of this.

Oooooooooooooh Mersault. You silly, silly man. I think he has something wrong with him. He has no feelings. What do I mean by that? He doesn't care about anything. Even when he ends up in jail he shows nothing and feels nothing until he snaps at a priest. That was the most he ever displayed or felt. Throughout the whole book he just didn't care. The only things he cared about was eating, sleeping, having fun with his pals, and sleeping with his girlfriend. I get the message and that it doesn't matter ultimately in the end. Everyone is to die and there is nothing one can do. Fate has already dealt out your hand without your consent. The government and law and other people have complete control over you ultimately. That is why Mersault doesn't really care. 

Also, the book makes one question what makes one human or makes one part of society. There are certain things one must feel/display to be considered human. There are certain norms of humanity. Mersault does not follow the majority of these norms and thus is used against him and labels him "inhuman" and a "monster" and should be punished. Even though him killing the Arab was an accident, he doesn't feel regret one would normally feel. It's not that he's a cold-blooded killer, he just doesn't have the ability to feel "regret" or "remorse". Hell, he didn't feel anything when his mother died. He just felt tired and wanted a cup of coffee with a cigarette. Yet, again, the last point I made comes to play here. He could have stood up and defended himself until his throat was raw, but he saw no point. In the end, he's going to die someday. 

I could defiantly see this book being discussed in a literature class. 

It is a simple and quick read. The author wrote this in Mersault's POV, so it was simple and not over flowing with fancy words or anything. I'm glad he picked this way, because it made one understand the character better. I do, however, wish I had read this in the original language. It's in French and I'm a little rusty, so I decided to continue this in English. Usually in translation something is lost, so someday I think I may find this in the original language and read it. 

In the end, this was an interesting read. It was a small book and I got it done within 24 hours. This is not by any means the book of the century, but it is something someone should read if they like the classics. It truly does make one look at the world differently and makes one think. I shall stamp this with...ummm....4 stars? More like 3.5 but I don't give decimals. 

Favorite Character(s): No one
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Raymond and the Magistrate

Sunday, April 27

1.1 Shattering the Glass Window

(This is prompt one from the writing challenge that I mentioned earlier)

1.1 Shattering the glass window: List 8 personality flaws you have. Then write a couple sentences describing them.

  • Worry-wart
    • If you're looking for someone who should have their picture next to this word in the dictionary, then it is I who you're looking for. I try not to, but I worry and worry.
  • Frugal
    • Yes, I'm one of those. I try not to spend money needlessly when I can find the same object for way cheaper. I prefer a little diners over 5 star restaurants; cheaper and more food. 
  • Homebody
    • Don't get me wrong, I like to go out and about and go party. However, I love staying home with a book in one hand and tea in the other. 
  • Rambling/Ranting
    • Trust me, when I get going on something I won't stop! I try not to get mad when people ignore me after a while. My parents have often express their true feelings on this flaw.
  • Crying while mad
    • It's one thing to cry when you're upset or sad, but it is not effective crying while trying to express anger. It's super frustrating.
  • Being lame
    • I've often been accused of being lame or even at times ridiculous. This window didn't shatter until a few years ago when I graduated High School. Someone pointed out this fact to me. I suppose that I'll be that lame mom who embarrasses her child.
  • Self-conscious
    • Sometimes people mistake this for seeming prude, but I'm not to that point where I'm comfortable with myself physically and sometimes even emotionally or mentally. Honestly, though, I was taught to act like a lady, so I guess sometimes I do have an unnecessary "prude" side to me.
  • Stuttering/Lisping when nervous
    • I naturally have a small lisp, but it becomes quite noticeable when I'm put in an awkward situation or I'm nervous/anxious. Also, stuttering may occur in super "fun" situations.
(The first 5 prompts are really basic and easy-ish. Some seem to be a challenge.)

Friday, April 25

Comic/Book Review: Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman

Author: Neil Gaiman
Title: Marvel 1602
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Sci-Fi, Comic, Graphic Novel
Pages: 248
First Published: 2003
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

"All's not well in the Marvel Universe in the year 1602 as strange storms are brewing and strange new powers are emerging! Spider-Man, the X-Men, Nick Fury, Dr. Strange, Daredevil, Dr. Doom, Black Widow, Captain America, and more appear in the waning days of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. As the world begins to change and enter into a new age, Gaiman weaves a thrilling mystery. How and why are these Marvel stars appearing nearly 400 years before they're supposed to?"

Randomly stumbled upon this when I was at the library. I use to read comics and mangas all the time in my youth, but when High School came around, I stopped. Maybe it was because I got a group of friends (who were mostly girls) and none of them were really interested in that stuff. Well, one other girl. Our nerd world was a secret world. Thus is life. Now that I'm out of High School and dating someone who is also into this stuff, my love of comics and manga are resurfacing. yayy! When I found this I HAD TO READ IT! It mixes my love of history and superheros. eeek!

First off....this was certainly a spin on the original marvel comics. They had an interesting cast playing interesting roles: Spiderman (who didn't even get his powers until the very end), Nick Fury, Dr. Strange, Daredevil, Dr. Dooom (wish he played a bigger baddie), Black Widow (who was a baddie), Captain America (didn't expect him to pop up), Quicksilver, The Fantastic 4 crew, Thor, Cyclops, Ice-man, Professor Xavier, the Beast, the Angel, Jean Grey, and many more random ones. Clea was there too, but I didn't think that was her until I looked it up. Sad to say it, I thought she was a white version of Storm. Well, she looked like her and she summoned thunder and etc. I missed the reference that she went back to her dimension. >__< I liked the characters they picked. It mashed well. There were a couple characters I wished they put in there, but honestly there is only so much one can do. I do wish that Spiderman got his powers sooner, but oh well.

I loved the cast of real historical figures as well: Queen Elizabeth, King James of Scotland, William Shakespeare (I didn't catch that was him until waaaaay later), and legend that is Virgina Dare. I loved how they made Miss Dare sort of into a superhero with powers of shape-shifting and whatnot. It was a nice twist to that. 

The blending of two different worlds is tricky. It's like adding two different book genres together. One slip-up could ruin the whole story. This did wonderful at combining the two worlds. The characters didn't seem cheesy in this world, they made some sort of sense. I loved how they blended Magneto's Jewish history into that of the Spanish Inquisition years previous. His parents fell victim and he somehow managed to get away and grow up to be a Christian priest in disguise. Clever writer.

The drawings were lovely and the dress that he had them wearing was done well. Some were off by historical measure, but on the whole he did a great job with being historically correct. He should have given Black Widow more weapons (I think she at one time had a cross-bow...I don't recall). I loved the drawings...they had that classic comic-ness about them. Beautiful and gory (but not over the top) when need be. 

Honestly, there is so much I want to talk about, but I shall stop myself. I'm trying to get Boyfriend to read it (he's into all that stuff), so we can chat about it. Alas, he says he'll try. Hopefully he does before I have to take it back to the library. I recommend this to those that like comics or just the superhero genre. It's interesting. In the end, I shall stamp this with 5 stars. 

Favorite Character(s): Nick Fury, Dr. Strange, Cyclops, Virgina Dare, Jean/John Grey, Javier, and Elizabeth I
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Magneto (I usually like him for the baddie he is, but he was a hypocrite), The Hulk (he's a baddie), and Iron Man (a a way...). 

Thursday, April 24

10 Writing Prompts

As promised, I will post the 10 writing prompts from another blog I'm part of. It's divided into two parts. Feel free to join in! Every Sunday, I'm going to share one prompt. Part one is kind of a warm-up. Part two gets more creative-y. :) 

Describing Time....Part 1

-Shattering the Glass Window: List 8 personality flaws you have. Then write a couple sentences describing them. Try to keep to personality traits/things you do.

-Describe your favorite character from a book, movie, or TV show. Be sure not to use the character's name or the name of where he/she comes from.

-Firsts are first: Describe a "first" moment (ie first kiss, first lie, first time driving, etc). Be sure to use all 5 senses; sight, smell, hearing, feel/touch, and taste.

-Look But Don't Touch: Look to your right with your eyes closed. When you open your eyes, what is the first thing you see? Write six sentences describing it without mentioning what it is until the last sentence.

-Pick one of the following elements: Fire, water, wind, Earth, or metal. Describe the element and why you like it or dislike it. How does this element make you feel? How does it affect you?

Short Story Time....Part 2
*For this section write a paragraph or two following the prompt. It can be longer if you feel ambitious.

-Use the words at least once in the short story: Chef, blue, hate, love, ribbon, and Lisa.

-Use the words/phrase at least once in the short story: Lamp, heart, "I'm just a dazzling rapscallion.", coat, lace, and gun.

-Write a flash of you in one of your dreams/ fantasies (ie fantasy job, fantasy men, dream house, or etc)

-Write a prompt with the given prompt: Your made up character starts receiving flowers and anonymous gifts. She/he doesn't know who is sending them. Her/his lover is suspicious.....

-Write a prompt with the given prompt: Your made up character is caught shoplifting. The shop owner says he/she won't call the police in exchange for a personal favor....

Tuesday, April 22

Book Review: Running Fox by Cassie Edwards

Author: Cassie Edwards
Title: Running Fox 
Genre: Historical Romance
Pages: 336
First Published: December 5th, 2006
Where I Got It: On my shelf (a used book store at Frankenmuth)

"Nancy Partrain's life in pioneer Michigan has become a nightmare since her mother married her stepfather--who has involved her in his underhanded whiskey trading scheme. Then Nancy meets handsome Running Fox, chieftain of the Fox band of the Lakota tribe, who wants to put an end to her stepfather's corruption of his people. In each other they stir feelings of hope, freedom...and longing. Stolen away to eerie Ghost Island by Running Fox, Nancy finds herself falling for her abductor. But can she allow his tender passion to finally heal her wounded heart?"

This certainly was a cute and fluffy romance and that's what I needed. It was a quick and light read and I got it done in a day and a half. There was did seem to be a couple dark reminders in there - whites taking advantage of the Native and how alcohol has and will destroy many lives. I certainly didn't expect Whiskey Joe (Nancy's evil step-father) to be the only bad guy. In the end, he did prove to be quite the baddie and a madman. 

Sometimes this did seem to be over the top of cute and fluffy. Oddly, there wasn't an abundance of smutty scenes. Not complaining...but it was odd. There was more kissy-face and lots of talk of loving each other. More talk then action in this. It was cute...but got a little annoying, because it was pretty much copy and paste of previous talks they had. Meh. 

The characters were okay. Running Fox was your a-typical Historical Romance man character. Loving, but a man's man. It did seem odd that he fell in love the moment he saw her. There was not much of a fight there...that was part of the motivation of kidnapping Nancy to begin with. Yes, he wanted revenge and he wanted to teach Whiskey Joe the errors of his ways, but c'mon...he even admitted that he fell in love with her the moment he seen her. I liked him though. I wish he was more complex and not so 2D, but oh well. 

Now Nancy...I had mixed feelings with her. At the beginning and middle, I really liked her. She's very beautiful and she can sing and she has a brave, but loving heart. Perfect in almost everyway. BUT she has to wear glasses. LOVED the fact that without them, she was lost. She couldn't see worth a damn. She was humble. However, a certain event happened, which seems TOTALLY not possible; maybe a one in one million chance. It ruined it. I was not happy. *SPOILER ALERT* The author took the one major flaw that made me like this character. Nancy just happens to slip and fall and hit her head on a rock. She comes to and she can freakin' see perfect. 20/20. WHAT ARE THE CHANCES????? *END OF SPOILER* I couldn't keep it in. I had to rant a little bit about that event.

In the end, this was certainly a cute and fluffy romance. More kissy-face and words, then actual dirty stuff. It was there, but not what is normal for these type of books. I liked it. Even though the kissy-face got annoying from time to time, it was a nice change. I liked the baddie, he certainly was a baddie and a madman too boot. The other characters were alright too. I would recommend this to those that like Historical Romance and for those looking for a nice cute, light, and fluffy book to read. Out of five stars, I shall stamp this with...ummmm....3. 

Favorite Character(s): Nancy, Whiskey Joe (just because he was a good baddie) Tiny Doe, Soft Star, and Running Fox
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Carole (Nancy's madre. Just ugh.)

**PS - Doesn't the guy on the cover look like a super tan and buff version of James Franco????**

Sunday, April 20

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone. I get to work today, so it's going to be a lack-luster day. At least I went and seen my parents yesterday - to make up for it. Hope you all enjoy the day off and hopefully the weather is good for you! 

Wednesday, April 16

Book Review: The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall

Author: Kate Furnivall
Title: The Russian Concubine (Russian Concubine #1)
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Pages: 517
First Published: May 1st, 2006
Where I Got It: Borrowed from the library

"A sweeping novel set in war-torn 1928 China, with a star-crossed love story at its center.

In a city full of thieves and Communists, danger and death, spirited young Lydia Ivanova has lived a hard life. Always looking over her shoulder, the sixteen-year-old must steal to feed herself and her mother, Valentina, who numbered among the Russian elite until Bolsheviks murdered most of them, including her husband. As exiles, Lydia and Valentina have learned to survive in a foreign land.

Often, Lydia steals away to meet with the handsome young freedom fighter Chang An Lo. But they face danger: Chiang Kai Shek's troops are headed toward Junchow to kill Reds like Chang, who has in his possession the jewels of a tsarina, meant as a gift for the despot's wife. The young pair's all-consuming love can only bring shame and peril upon them, from both sides. Those in power will do anything to quell it. But Lydia and Chang are powerless to end it."

Been wanting to read this for a while now and I randomly found this at the new library I live by now. I was sooooooo excited! can't win them all...sighs. 

The beginning was really good. It was pretty intense and even though you know Lydia and Valentina live, it was still worrisome. I was super sad about the Dad being taken...even though I knew this ahead of time.

After slowly fell apart:

Let's begin with a little rant about a couple of the characters:

I lost all respect for Valentina. I just wanted to punch her RIGHT in the face. She was a selfish and didn't care that they didn't have food on the table or that she pretty much made Lydia feel as if she had to take care of them. Onw of the times that Lydia brought home some money (strictly for bills), Valentina went out and bought dresses for the both of them. GAAAAH! This lead Lydia to steal in order to get money. This nearly cost her life multiple times! lead her to her lover, Chang. However, when Valentina found out that Lydia was stealing, she was furious! LADY YOU HAVE NO RIGHT! IT WAS YOUR FAULT!!! Meeeeeeeeh.   

Now Lydia...okay...I get that you have to steal, but really? Maybe try and get a job, so you don't get almost killed or taken into slavery EVERY DAY! Chang can't always be there to save your little butt. one really cares. I couldn't stand him or his POV. I admit it...I totally skimmed RIGHT through all his parts. I felt totally bad about his lover having to deal with him. 

Okay...I'm done with my rant.

The story was okay. It was interesting and there were a couple of times were I didn't expect something to happen. Especially the ending. The ending was okay, but it was defiantly a cliffhanger. I actually, kinda, want to read the next book to see what happens. We shall see though. I do, however, want to read the prequel of this series which is about Valentina and Lydia's father. Even though I have no respect for Valentina, I did like her in the beginning. She seemed strong and willing to do anything for her family. She offered EVERYTHING to the rebel's leaders to save her child and her husband. I want to learn more about that version of Valentina. 

The characters really upset me and I didn't really connect with any of them. It made it hard for me to like the story. This story also was very unrealistic at many points and bad things had easy solutions it seemed. It was all too tidy and convenient for my liking. It's hard to explain without giving away spoilers.

In the end, this was a disappoint for me. I was so looking forward to reading this. Sighs. You can't win them all. I would recommend this to those that like historical fiction with a touch of romance. Out of five stars, I grant this one 2 stars. The beginning and ending saved this from getting only one star. Also, Chang deserves some credit. He was a decent guy and oddly felt inclined to save Lydia.....

Favorite Character(s): Chang, the beginning version of Valentina, and Alexei 
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Theo (enough of your face), Lydia, Valentina, and Alfred. 

Monday, April 14

Book Review: Raising John by Jennifer Lesher

Author: Jennifer Lesher
Title: Raising John
Genre: contemporary, fiction
Pages: ebook
First Published: January 17th, 2014
Where I Got It: Given to me by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion

"How do you go on living when you have done the unforgivable? How do you love a mother you barely remember? John is an orphan who misses the mother he hardly knew. Robert is the drunk driver who killed her. As the story opens we meet 4-year-old John, who wonders why his mother had to die. Robert wakes up in lockup, expecting to sleep off a blackout and go home, until he learns of the accident he caused.

John grows up under the care of his devoted maternal grandmother, who grapples with guilt over her daughter’s past. Just as John is on the cusp of manhood, he must confront his mother’s death anew and question everything he has come to believe about himself and the people he loves.

Robert is sentenced to 4 years in state prison. His incarceration begins a journey that will have a profound effect on not only himself, but on the life of the boy he orphaned, and on the legacy of the young mother who died."

Like earlier stated I was given this book for my honest and unbiased opinion from the publisher/author.

Wow. Just wow. I am stunned by how much I liked it. I absolutely loved it. I finished this in one day. That hasn't happened in a while. It was a simple read and quick read, but man it was a good read. The writing wasn't overly done and anyone can read this. I loved how the author wrote this. 

Even though there was four POVs it worked. You knew when the POV would change (at each chapter with a POV change there would be a month and year and location - so you never got confused) and I highly praise authors who do that. The POV changes made sense and helped you understand the story better. I'm really glad that the author established Mary (the mom who dies) as a character. You get to know her and her story through her eyes. It was nice. Normally stories like these the dead parent is marginalized and you never get know them. It's actually kind of sad, because you know the mother more then John. :/

Honestly...the author threw me through a loop. The twist certainly surprised me. I can not say for it is a big spoiler. Just like John, I was hurt and angry by this spoiler. WHAT?! What are the chances? Crazy shit. *shakes my head* Loved the spoiler though. It was a good one and in some cynical part of me I'm glad that that person had to suffer and still suffers with the fact he killed Mary. I wish that Mary wasn't killed, but the irony is fantastic and karma is a revengeful witch (you know what I really mean). 

I loved, LOVED this book. However, the ending confused me. I think I know what was inferred, but I'm not sure...mmmmmm. I'm still gnawing over it and trying to wrap my head around it. I do wish that ending was a little more solid and less making the reader assume and guess. Mmmmmmm. It's still making me think. hahaha. I guess the author is brilliant and has left an impression on the mind of the reader. 

In the end, I loved this book. I loved the characters, the story, and they way it was presented by the author. Even though the ending left me a little unsure, because it was not very solid, I stilled loved it. This is defiantly on the list of Favorite Book of the Year. ^.^ I would recommend this book to everyone, even as a YA (but I would advise the older of those in that age group, because there is some language). Out of five stars, I grant this 5 stars. 

Saturday, April 12

Missing Writing & An Idea

You know what I miss? I miss the Friday Flash Fictions that Dottie had on her blog. It sort of fell apart, because people stopped doing it. I just miss it a lot. A group of friends and I had decided to do writing challenges (thus we created a blog, so it would easier to share with each other). It was going great and then my purse was stolen from my car which had my writing journal in it (we used journals because each challenge was timed pretty much and we are nerdy, hahaha). That really disheartened me and so I stopped that. Recently, we have came up with new prompts and we are trying to get back into it.

Which leads me to an idea......

What if I shared these prompts on my blog (here) and if anyone wants to join and share a link in the comments below thats cool. I was thinking every Saturday or Sunday I would post one of the prompt entries here. ^.^ I'll have to make sure the girls are okay with me sharing our prompts. I doubt they'll object.

What do you all think?

Would you join?

Tuesday, April 8

Movie Review: Ironclad

Length: 2 hours and 1 minute
Released: 2011
Genre: Historical Fiction, War, and Action
Rating: R
Directed By: Jonathon English

Where I Got It: watched on Netflix


A ragtag group of Knights Templar hold out for months against the hard-fought siege of Rochester Castle in the thirteenth Century. Set in the time of King John's signing of the Magna Carta treaty, the group struggles against the King to defend the freedom of their country. 


Thomas Marshal - James Purefoy
Baron d'Aubigny - Brian Cox
Lady Isabel - Kate Mara
King John - Paul Giamatti
Gil - Jason Flemyng 
Jedediah - Jamie Foreman 
Daniel Marks - Mackenzie Crook

Okay...I'll be honest....the main reason why I wanted to watch this was because of James Purefoy and Paul Giamatti. Love them! 

Besides for the actors and the awesome fight scenes this...well...disappointed me. It was extremely historically inaccurate and there was a huge lack of dialogue and depth. Pretty much the actors are the only ones who saved the film. Especially James Purefoy who played the Knight Templar, Thomas Marshal. Thomas Marshal is made up (I looked) and was based off of the famous William Marshal. Poor Thomas. He lost everything in one day thanks to good ol' King John. He snapped and decided enough was enough, so he teamed up with Baron d'Aubigny. They take over a different Baron's castle and hold up against King John and his Danish army until the French arrive. 

Throughout all this there is blood and love. Yes....there is a love story between Thomas and Lady Isabel (the castle's baron's wife. Tsk). It was forced and just didn't make sense. o.o She pretty much raped him, because he refused and said he was a man of God and had given up normal life to fight for God. She was like, "NO WAY JOSE! THE ORDER IS DONE, SO LET'S GET IT ON!" And he responded, "NO, NOOOOOOOOOOOO!.......OKAY. Just this once though!" Tsk, tsk. I feel like they forced this romance to add more depth to the story, but it failed. Plus it didn't help that they made her look slutty.

Not the best example...but all her dresses are missing shoulder pieces and her cleavage is always hanging out. 

Is there and HEA? That I can not tell you....but the ending will make you shake your head. I loved the last fight between the head of the Danish army and Thomas. Awesome and had me worried for Thomas. There were lots of sad heroics, but then...something happened and it made me mad. I can not say, but alas, that's not how it should have ended.

There's not much else to say. 

This was okay and I enjoyed it well enough. It was an interesting take on a historical event that happened during the time of King John and the magna carta. The amazing fight scenes and actors are the only reason to watch this film. If it wasn't for them...this would have been crap. I wish that they would have cut out the romance between Lady Isabel and Thomas (because it would never had happened). Also, the ending made me shake my head. I loved the last epic fight scene and the heroics...but the last 5 minutes was not okay. I would recommend this to those that like James Purefoy and for those that love a good war movie. Out of five stars I will grant this...ummmmm.... 2 stars. 

Re-watch?: Mmmm, if it was randomly on I wouldn't protest. 

Favorite Character(s): Thomas, King John (just because of the actor and how will he played him), Daniel Marks (hahaha), and the Squire
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Lady Isabel

Friday, April 4

Book Review: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Title: Middlesex
Genre: Historical Fiction, contemporary
Pages: 544
First Published: September 16th, 2002
Where I Got It: Borrowed from library

""I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver's license...records my first name simply as Cal."

So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of 1967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic."

Yet another book I would never have picked up if it hadn't been for the book club my friends and I recently created. Reece had picked this book. 

For this review, I'm going to divide the book into 4 parts (each one talking about the different parts). 

Part 1:
Oh, the beginning. 
It was slow and hard to get through at times. Why was it slow? Not because nothing happened or that it was all set-up, but because of how it was written. Too much detail and too much jumping around present time (Cal's present) and then his grandparent's love story and then his parents love story. I had to re-read sections to get who was who and what was going on. It was very sporadic. It gave me a headache. I was worried that this was going to be how the whole book was. Not my favorite part at all.  

Part 2:
OH MY GOSH! Sooooooooooo much better. I was actually able to enjoy myself. It followed Desdemona and Lefty and their love story. They are Cal/Callie's grandparents. HOWEVER, they are brother and sister. 0.0 Yes, there is some nice family incest going on in this book. I'm super glad it took a long time for them to actually GET together and be slightly okay with it. Dessie had issues and regrets all her life. Good. It's not at ALL okay to marry your brother. Nope. That is main reason that Cal/Callie came out the way she did. Too much family-loving in that village. The village was small, so it wasn't uncommon to marry a cousin. According to Dessie's madre, it wasn't uncommon for odd things to happen to babies every so often. RED FLAG! DON'T REPRODUCE WITH YOUR BROTHER!!!!!!!!!! Good lord. 

Off my rant about incest....

There was still some jumping around in time, but it happened less and it was more announced. It mainly would flash to Cal's present at the beginning of the chapter. I enjoyed this part of the book much better. It was a nice flow. From Dessie and Lefty coming to America, to them having kids, to seeing the love romance blossom of their son to his second cousin (yet more family loving going on), Tessie, and then the birth and growing up of their kids. Finally...the spotlight would arrive on Callie.

Part 3:
Poor Callie/Cal. I can't imagine that life. It all was normal and she didn't really feel different until puberty came along. She wasn't getting all the girly stuff she was suppose to. All that happened was that she got super tall and her voice dropped an octave. The only girly thing on her was her long, black hair. 

I wish that her first love would have last. I wanted more of WHY they never seen each other again. Why they didn't try to make it work. Sighs. She sort of flew by that and gave no explanation. Oh well... 

I enjoyed the story more and more with each page. In a way, I did like Callie's story better then that of the last two generations. Can't explain why...perhaps it was because she was a completely different character for me? I never, ever read a story narrated and spotlighting on a hermaphrodite. A whole new world for me.  

Sorry...couldn't help myself with the last one....haha

Part 4/Conclusion:
Wow...just wow....I lost a lot of respect for Cal/Callie. Many will disagree with me, but it made me mad what she did. I can't say it without giving away a lot of spoilers. Her parents gave her nothing but love and trying to help her. Her parents would have understood. In the end, she did come to senses (forcibly) and realize that her parents love her and accept her. It's not the parents or the doctors fault for thinking she identified with being a girl. Callie lied to the doctor with all the questions he asked. He gave her a million chances to say that she felt more boy then girl and that she liked girls. C'mon...what did you except? I know, I know, she was scared, but still...>__> Daft.

The ending was was a little anti-climatic. It seemed forced and quick. After such a long tale, a one page conclusion WILL NOT WORK! Please, give the ending some thought.

There's so much more I want to go on about, but I can't...too many spoilers would be unleashed. 

Again...can't help myself. Once I do one gif...I must do them all!

I must give a sigh of relief, however, because I was worried this book would be sporadic and jumping through time like in Part 1. Thank you Mr. Eugenides. Thank you. (One more, I'm sorry)   

In the end, I did enjoy this book. Every page was better and better. The author seemed to cool his jets as he went along. There is no reason to over-write and try to establish EVERY character in the first part. Introduce them along with the journey. Once the ball got moving, I enjoyed the journey. I liked Cal and his/her story, but at one point I did lose some respect. However, she/he gained a lot back at the end. I wish that the ending was a little longer and not so anti-climatic, but it worked. 

This whole time I've been wrestling with myself on what rating I should give this. It's so hard to decide, because I had such mix feelings with the book at times. Ultimately, I did enjoy it a lot. Maybe we can get an average. Part 1 - 1 star. Part 2 - 4 stars. Part 3 - 5 stars. Part 4 - 3 stars. So in the end, I shall stamp this with.....3 stars. It's more like 3.25, but I don't give decimals, so I rounded. 

Favorite Character(s): Cal/Callie (lost some respect, but it was returned), Lefty (he reminded me of my grandpa, except for the marrying and sleeping with his sister....), Tessie, and Zora (wish she had more stage time)

Not- so Favorite Character(s): Milton (meh), Chapter Eleven (creep and a stupid name I don't understand), Jerome (another creep), and Father Michael (something was wrong with him...)

Thursday, April 3

Thursday Book Teaser: Middlesex

Happy Thursday everyone! It's time for a little teaser from a book I'm currently reading. It's taking me longer then I wanted...but I should have it done and a review typed up for tomorrow. It's a good day to read, so maybe I'll get it done tonight. It's cloudy and windy and threatening to rain. ALSO, it's my day off and I have no ambition to adventure out of my den.

Page Number: 401

'From my birth when they went undetected, to my baptism where they upstaged the priest, to my troubled adolescence when they didn't do much of anything and then did everything at once, my genitals have been the most significant thing that ever happened to me. Some people inherit houses; others paintings or highly insured violin bows. Still others get a Japanese tansu or a famous name. I got a recessive gene on my fifth chromosome and some very rare family jewels indeed.

My parents had at first refused to believe the emergency room doctor's wild claim about my anatomy. The diagnosis, delivered over the phone to a largely uncomprehending Milton and then bowdlerized by him for Tessie's benefit, amounted to a vague concern about the formation of my urinary tract along with a possible hormonal deficiency. The doctor in Petoskey hadn't performed a karyotype. His job was to treat my concussion and contusions, and when he was done with that, he let me go.

My parents wanted a second opinion. At Milton's insistence I had been taken one last time to see Dr. Philobosian.'