I have been touched three times in my life. Intentionally touched. Firstly by my mother, although I don’t remember much affection when I was small2.5
I have been touched three times in my life. Intentionally touched. Firstly by my mother, although I don’t remember much affection when I was small and certainly none after I was sent away to school. The second instance was at boarding school. It involved a fellow student. I was fourteen years old. The third time of purposeful physical contact was with Mr. Gregory, under the makeshift bomb shelter of the dining-room table at Mrs. Royce’s London boarding house.
One’s first experience of love is either love received or love denied, and against that experience all our future desires and expectations are measured.
My mother touched me on the head. She said, “At least you have beautiful hair.” She rubbed my chest with liniment. My mother held my hand one year when I was afraid of the bull in the back field, and wouldn’t hold it the following year, even though I was still afraid. She wiped the crumbs from my lips. “Learn to cover your mouth,” she said. Once she brushed the rain from my forehead. She spanked me. She pulled my arm too hard trying to make me keep up with her. She slapped my hand away from the cakes at tea. She dressed me. She undressed me. She soaped me in the bath, rubbed my scalp fiercely when washing it, clipped my toenails impatiently with rusty scissors. The last time I saw her, when she was small and sick and dying in the hospital, she held my head in her bony, shaky hands and said, “At least you are useful.” (ch5 -- beginning)
Ever since Jane made that remark at dinner about the Land Girls being akin to potatoes, this is how I have thought of them. I can’t be bothered to learn their real names, but I have given each of them the name of a potato. (ch10)
Before, when I’d read the book, I liked the character of Mrs. Ramsay, but now, hearing Jane read it from behind the door, I find her pessimistic self-centredness very unsympathetic. Her great gift is that she responds to life, lives in the moment. She is spontaneous and enthusiastic, gets swept up with what is happening. Most of the other characters aren’t capable of this and so they are drawn to her. But she often connects to people emotionally by feeling sorry for them. I don’t approve of this at all because I am always suspecting people of this in relation to me.(ch29)
I have debated about the filling in of my particular space on the curtain. There I am, a vertical rectangle next to the Lumper’s piece of music. The black of the drapes seems so funereal that, at first, I think I should use the space to do some sort of memorial to my mother, or to London. But although I did love both my mother and the city I lived in, I no longer suffer any illusions that I was loved much in return. So I fill my space with what has responded positively to my love. Flowers. I fill the space with flowers. I pin them onto the fabric and make a garden. And because I don’t want to be limited only to flowers that will dry well, I change what is pinned to the curtain almost daily.(ch30)...more
born in april 1996, tavi started blogging at age eleven – then rapidly became a bona fide fashion icon. in 2009 she was featured on the cover of pop magazine and was invited as a special guest to ny fashion week. (..) she’s currently the editor-in-chief and founder of rookieag.com and writes thestylerookie.com and has written for several [magazines]. [ted.com]
the female lead jeane is all about being your own person and not succumbing to peer pressure. michael, the male lead (view spoiler)[bonus: he's half asian (hide spoiler)] on the other hand is what everyone wants him to be. adorkable alternates between two povs: jeane (view spoiler)[the tavi-lola hybrid (hide spoiler)] and the school's jock michael lee, as their slap-slap-kiss relationship changes to something more.
the best part is probably the healthy pro-sex & body image messages it sends out to teen girls and how really it is okay too, because girls have "wants and needs and desires". jeane is comfortable in her own skin and embraces all her flaws. can't say that either character completely won me over, but anyway -- here's an extract from michael's pov:
(view spoiler)[i hadn’t had performance anxiety either, although i’d been worried that once jeane was naked i wouldn’t fancy her. she was kind of chubby but a bit flat-chested out of her clothes, and that shouldn’t have been sexy, but it was. maybe it was because jeane’s clothes were so hideous that looking at her naked was the better option.
or it might have been because jeane was comfortable with her own body. not once did she moan about her thighs or her pot belly or about how fat she supposedly was like every other girl i knew, even the really skinny ones because they wanted you to say, ‘oh, fat? i think what you meant to say is that you’re really fit.’ that wasn’t jeane’s style and anyway her skin was soft and smooth and i liked that she had proper muscles in her arms and legs. sometimes when i’m with a girl, even just hugging a girl, they can feel so fragile and frail that i’m frightened of breaking them.
apart from the shocking twist and abrupt ending, which i was not so fond of, i love how the author effortlessly blended the humour with the dram3.75/5
apart from the shocking twist and abrupt ending, which i was not so fond of, i love how the author effortlessly blended the humour with the drama. and that you couldn't quite pigeonhole most of the characters. taking e.g. raven's dad who seemed to be the villain in his family, but had his jolly moments (view spoiler)[ and also grieved like any other parent for the death of his child (hide spoiler)]. gemma .. she was relatable and witty for all her bluntness, but also unsufferable when looking down from her moral high horse, fortunately she came to her senses (more or less).
aussie ya-lit at its best, folks. i enjoyed every glorious minute of it!
book pairings: okay for now, looking for alibrandi
i hesitated. "i thought wearing blue eye shadow was out now?" "what would you know?" said debbie. dad walked into the kitchen, his hair slicked down with baby oil. "bloody hell!" he said."did you fall on your face?" mum's bottom lip flickered. "debbie gave me a makeover." "with a plank?" "no," said debbie. "she can't go to brian's like that," said dad. he wiped the oil off his hands onto a tea towel. "they'll think i bash her." (p30)
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"how do you know when you're in love?" i asked. mum stood up and popped her cup in the sink. "oh that's easy. i know a good test. you'll know when you're in love when you meet someone and --despite his faults and flaws-- you'll happily clean his shoe for him after his trodden in dog poo." "that's the test" i asked. "dog poo? that's the test you used on dad?" "your father had a lot of flaws," said mum. "he hocked up his phlegm in a way that made my skin crawl. he wasn't a good listener. he was tight with his money. his hair was oily and he always seemed to have a speck of red capsicum caught in his front teeth - but one day we went for a walk and he trod in a mountain of poo, and i couldn't clean it quickly enough. it was delight. a pleasure. after that, i knew he was 'the one', even though his flaws are the same if not worse." she dipped her hands into her pockets and beamed at me. "the moment that something like the dog poo happens to you and you don't care, you'll know you've found 'the one'!" "but what about the fireworks, the heart thudding and the legs trembling like jelly?" i asked. "the're important," said mum. "but they're not always the most reliable hallmarks of enduring, true love." she patted my head. "no, gem. you can't go past the dog poo test." (p112-113)...more
story a mother and her daughter go to the library together. the mother so absorbed in finding a book, absently "mmhmms" all of anna's questions. meanwhistory a mother and her daughter go to the library together. the mother so absorbed in finding a book, absently "mmhmms" all of anna's questions. meanwhile anna goes to the toilet and accidently locks herself up.
cover very colorful and obviously meant to catch a squirt's eye with its bright splashes of color. but my neck hairs stand up when i see someone crawling on a (VERY! GERMY!) floor. *shivers*
random notes it's got bits and pieces of different books thrown in like ...
* a soul/totem which manifests itself in an animal form(the golden com2.25/5
random notes it's got bits and pieces of different books thrown in like ...
* a soul/totem which manifests itself in an animal form(the golden compass), * on a mission to find the lost (twin) brother (blood red road) and * a dark tinge not unlike that of the dark angel trilogy(view spoiler)[come to think of it .. the red garden too (hide spoiler)] * various myths, * aborigines culture and * the magical feel (including the relationship between humans between animals and nature) of miyazaki films woven into it (particularly princess mononoke, imo) * and all of that in a post-apocalyptic setting, talk about random. it definitely sets itself apart from other ya-books, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. still, the gorgeous cover begs you to pick up the book and take a peek...more
[...] she's breathing shallowly. she watches as the blood springs from the cut she's making, but it doesn't change anything. not this time. she swip
[...] she's breathing shallowly. she watches as the blood springs from the cut she's making, but it doesn't change anything. not this time. she swipes again, deeper. now she feels pain, but will it be enough?
a few months ago, willow lost her parents in a terrible car accident. knowing that she was the one who drove the car makes it so much worse, because she has no one but herself to blame for the death of her father and mother. now, she has to live with her older brother david and his family in a tiny apartment. where before they had a lot to talk about, there is barely anything they tell each other nowadays. willow finds comfort in the angry welts she inflicts on herself through a sharp razorblade, but when she gets to meet guy things slowly begin to change ...
more and more young people injure themselves, --participate in self-mutilation. having more books out there dealing with people who try to cope with a painful event certainly does help to grow awareness on what a serious problem it is and how widespread already.
when guy saw the cuts, he thought she was suicidal, but no, she wasn’t. cutters (at least as the book leads us to believe) usually aren’t. sure, they seek relief, so as not to feel the overwhelming emotions and situations, but accidental deaths occur as often as not.
the book was smoothly narrated. the book cover suits both the tone of the book, as well as the character's inner turmoil. how very fitting for our main protagonist to have the name "willow". if you consider the anatomy of a tree ... with its sturdy bark and all, it's supposed to protect the tree from the outside world, including enemies. the issues tackled were about dealing with death, self-mutilation, sibling-relationship and guilt but adding puberty to the mix, made it a more delicate/difficult stage of life for willow to go through.
leaving aside the fact that i was slightly irritated about willow who seemed very intent on self-pity, calling herself a “killer” all the time, i’d say this is a book which is worth a read.
The story switches back and forth the whole book through. It's told in 1st person from Ellie's point of view.
At the beginning, Ellie is 15. And this iThe story switches back and forth the whole book through. It's told in 1st person from Ellie's point of view.
At the beginning, Ellie is 15. And this is where she gets in touch with Pride & Prejudice and thus Jane Austen, with whom she gets a good friend and companion ... so to speak.
Ellie is pretty much an average girl. She gets good grades. She loves books. She thinks about boys. If only she could get that bad boy Sam out of her head.
Then we see her, a few years later with her disastrous relationships with guys (one turns out to be gay, another is a two-timer, then one who's scared of being committed and doesn't want children ... etc).
Her relationship with her family isn't described thoroughly, probably because she just doesn't have a very good one, especially with her very mean sister Di. Yet. Because that improves a lot, as time goes by.
As I said, the story switches back and forth the whole time.
First she's 15. The next chapter she's an adult. Then we get a flashback and she's 17, then 18. Then she's an adult again and the author tells us how Ellie loses her virginity, to the one guy she supposedly hated (& feels attracted to nonetheless), - Sam Blaine. She's happy and in 7th heaven, only Sam suddenly doesn't speak to her anymore. She's hurt and angry. Their ways part anyway, because it's the last year of school.
In the last few scenes of the book, she's finally already 34. Just like in the first chapter, as she begins to tell us her tale of finding her one true love.
The Jane Austen, in Ellie's mind proves to be a very important friend to Ellie. Austen warns & encourages Ellie all the while with help and advice. At the very end of the book, we even get to know, why Ellie can hear Austen's voice in the first place.
You are more imaginative than any of them. Your cousin. Your siblings. Even your schoolmates. They have talents, to be sure, but beyond an intelligent mind there must be a creative spirit. It is not enough to absorb mere facts. True invention is in the application of vision. This you have in grand measure, far beyond your years and experience.
It was funny how Austen eyes the male species still very suspicously. Let me give you an example ...
It is more likely a result of the philosophy you persist in holding dear. Romanticism encourages an abandonment of restraint and, as you’ve so often wished to fall in love without regard to rationality, this invites the absurd. Your mistakes in judgment are not due to the complexity of humanity, Ellie. They are due to the lens with which you view love.
Yet, as for knowing the truth of your fate, Ellie, I confess I do not. I do believe, however, that it is always better to have loved well—fully and purely—for once, rather than halfheartedly for always. I had hoped this advice might be of use to you, too.
So ... is the book worth your time? Oh, yes.
WARNING ! WARNING ! WARNING ! WARNING ! WARNING ! This might be a YA book, but includes plenty love scenes. You have been warned....more
it hurts, it really does. impossible had so much potential. it was all there. the plot, the (folktale-ish) back story, but sadly it lacked in va1.75/5
it hurts, it really does. impossible had so much potential. it was all there. the plot, the (folktale-ish) back story, but sadly it lacked in various departments: the characters, the dialogue, the romance angle. in sum: it failed in its execution.
as i seem to be in the minority in thinking that, by all means, paint your own picture.
plɹoʍ lɐǝɹ ǝɥʇ uı olǝɔɹɐɯ marcelo can be a bit naive, but not in an annoying way. he's naive in the way that makes you wonder how the hell you tur3.5/5
plɹoʍ lɐǝɹ ǝɥʇ uı olǝɔɹɐɯ marcelo can be a bit naive, but not in an annoying way. he's naive in the way that makes you wonder how the hell you turned out so bitter and question why the world can't be as simple or straightforward as someone like marcelo sees it. marcelo is just a great person and anyone would be lucky to have him as a friend. many of the people marcelo encounters at the law firm treat him like crap or act as though he's stupid. so being marcelo's friend would probably lead me to an aggravated assault charge or two, but marcelo is constantly running into people who need to get bitch slapped. [ fya | megan crane ]
some notes: the relationships were not fully fleshed out, but that was fine. i wasn't really that interested or invested (what i read about that anyway) in any of the other characters (parents, jasmine or the rabbi for example), but i appreciated them nonetheless. marcelo was an endearing literary character, i was glad i had the opportunity to meet.
his thoughts on religion, his internal music, various other opinion pieces and bible passages he discussed with the rabbi were the most enjoyable for me to read about.
it's the summer of 1899. the sun is burning hot like a ball spouting fire, even the insects are desperately trying to get to a droplet of water by marit's the summer of 1899. the sun is burning hot like a ball spouting fire, even the insects are desperately trying to get to a droplet of water by marching through the smallest cracks in the tate house. amidst all the chaos is 11-year old callie vee tate. the only girl out of seven children. the title says it all. this is her story.
callie is as witty, entertaining, caring, understandably self-conscious, vulnerable as she can be determined and blunt to the point of being insolent. when being explained something, she doesn't just leave it at that and accepts the answer as the absolute truth. callie belongs to the group of people who regards the answer like an object to be viewed from all angles and corners and prods it with a stick, like the scientist she is.
i asked mother if i could cut my hair, which hung in a dense swelter all the way down my back. she said no, she wouldn't have me running about like shorn savage. i found this manifestly unfair (..). so i devised a plan: every week i would cut off an inch of hair - just one stealthy inch - so that mother wouldn't notice. she wouldn't notice because i would camouflage myself with good manners. when i took on the disguise of a polite young lady, i could often escape her scrutiny. - (p4, paperback, january 2011)
see? have a smile on your lips? i am not the least surprised.
callie tries to juggle her interests with the jobs that have to get done, like how her mother forces her to master the art of housewifery.
how were you supposed to make the stitches the same size? (..) who cared about this stuff? well, i could answer the last one. my mother cared, and the rest of the world apparently did too, for no good reason that i could figure out. and i, who did not care, was going to be forced into caring. it was ridiculous. - (p217)
"boys, i have an announcement to make. your sister made the apple pies tonight. i'm sure we will all enjoy them very much." "can i learn how, ma'am?", said jim bowie. "no, j.b. boys don't bake pies," mother said. "why not?" he said. "they have wives who make pies for them." "but i don't have a wife." (..)
was there any way i could have a wife, too? i wondered .. -(p228)
the evolution of calpurnia tate reads like part memoir, part scientific logbook recorded by the protagonist (who happens to be a devoted naturalist), as much as it is based on historical facts (obviously darwin is being mentioned, but also coca-cola, the invention of the telephone and the automobile, famous authors like charles dickens and robert louis stevenson).
as the story nears its end, it turns more and more serious, because callie struggles with the answer about who she wants to be and who she is supposed to be. ...more