the plot: raised first by unkind relatives and later relegated to a hellish boarding school, the orphan jane learns to rely on her own inner strength,...morethe plot: raised first by unkind relatives and later relegated to a hellish boarding school, the orphan jane learns to rely on her own inner strength, moral convictions, and religious faith. she takes a job as a governess for the ward of the reclusive edward rochester, only to fall in love with him (view spoiler)[and accept his marriage proposal. on the day of their marriage, jane discovers that rochester is already married, to a madwoman whom he can't divorce. she leaves him, ends up in the house of her long-lost cousins, and discovers that an uncle has left her money, but before her domineering, missionary-in-training cousin, st. john rivers, can whisk her off to india to be his helpmeet, jane senses that rochester needs her and goes back to him. she discovers that rochester's wife set the house on fire, and that he was gravely wounded in a failed attempt to save her life. rochester acknowledges his guilt in trying to force jane into a bigamous marriage, and the two eventually marry (hide spoiler)].
the good: primarily, what's remarkable about jane eyre is the character of jane herself--a steely, self-assured young woman who takes charge of her own life. despite a soul-killing experience as a teaching drudge at her boarding school, jane's spirit is never broken. when her situation at the school becomes unpleasant, she make the decision to change her life and acts upon it with courage and decisiveness--no mean feat for a 18 year old girl with no money or friends in 19th century england. she holds her own against rochester's passive-aggressive mind games until the guy actually offers her a substantial emotional commitment, and she refuses to allow him to change her or compromise her sense of right and wrong. the only person who comes close to dominating jane is her terrifying cousin st. john, who all but stalks her in her own house as he tries to convince her to throw her life away in the service of god (and of himself), but jane manages to shake him off as well, and as the book ends she is the mistress of her own life.
even more intriguing is the fact that throughout her perils of pauline, jane remains believably and lovably human. she's steely, but not hardened; moral, but not preachy; religious, but not a proselytizer . for all her superhuman accomplishments, jane has unmistakable feet of clay, and nowhere is this more apparent than in her obvious sexual attraction to rochester. although it's never spelled out, there's a prominent undercurrent of desire in each of their shared scenes, which gives both the characters and the relationship an added dimension that's all-too-often missing from 19th century romances. unlike too many other brontë heroines, jane isn't ruled by her desire, but the fact of its existence arguably makes her triumph over it a greater moral accomplishment than anything we see from austen's heroines, for whom sexuality is a non-issue.
the bad: in a room of one's own, virginia woolf wrote of jane eyre that "it is clear that anger was tampering with the integrity of charlotte brontë the novelist. she left her story, to which her entire devotion was due, to attend to some personal grievance." woolf is referring here to a scene in which brontë allowed her own anger at being shut away from the world take over jane's thoughts, but to my mind the same sort of score-settling is obvious in the novel's first segment, the monstrous lowood school. charlotte herself spent several years at such a school and watched her two older sisters, maria and elizabeth, succumb to illness due to the poor conditions there. as a result of her still-simmering anger at this mistreatment, the lowood section is disproportionately long, and features some of the most obvious moralizing in the book.
but the lowood section does end, and if it (and the rather absurd deus ex machina that is Jane stumbling, in the middle of a cold and rainy night, on a house that happens to contain her long-lost cousins who have just been informed of the fact that Jane has inherited a fortune) were the novel's only flaws, it would still have a very near claim on perfection, but where jane eyre fails is in its fundamental perception of itself as a romance. the book offers a bleak vision of what an intelligent, strong-willed woman can look forward to when she goes searching for a mate. if she's lucky, she can avoid the fate of being shackled to her intellectual superior, who will bully and belittle her, use her for his own purposes with no regard for her identity or personhood. but, out of the frying pan and into the fire! for, as brontë tells us, the intelligent woman who avoids this fate has only one other option: to be tied down to a needy, selfish, intellectual inferior, and spend her life as his savior, his mother, and his nurse. there's no question that rochester undergoes a change over the course of the novel--from a man whose every early conversation with jane revolved around how she might help and save him, he learns to think of the needs of others, and he has the scars to prove it--but not enough to make the notion of someone as remarkable as jane wasting herself on a person whom she will soon outstrip in every regard at all palatable. to put it simply, jane eyre is about as romantic as carrie.
oliver twist was a pain in the ass to read, with its slow paced writing it took all my will to keep reading. it was a tough struggle, but i won. olive...moreoliver twist was a pain in the ass to read, with its slow paced writing it took all my will to keep reading. it was a tough struggle, but i won. oliver twist has been on my to-read-list for some time now, while i can’t say the book amazed me ... i’m still glad i could finally bring myself to read this piece of classic literature. i think one of the many reasons i decided to give it a shot (besides it being a part my english classes in school), is definitely that both my parents have read the book many times (in school) and loved it.
charles dickens illustrates the life of the poor in the 19th century, taking place in england and gives them a voice through the eyes of an innocent child: oliver twist. we get to accompany him through joy and sorrow. he gets bruised, beaten, abused, humiliated and shot at. in the end though, (view spoiler)[he gets his own happy ending by inheriting a fortune, but most importantly by being loved. (hide spoiler)]
i can see why dickens became famous at his times, just like harriet beecher stowe was, when she published uncle tom's cabin(view spoiler)[which became the second best-selling book (hide spoiler)]. both people, giving voices to the suffering/poor/pariahs, who got overlooked most of the time.
although charles dickens is and was known for being overly dramatic, it helped him make a point. otherwise, the book would not have been able to become what it is today. a classic. in the victorian era, where most of the victorians showed only indifference to the plight of the poor, dickens’ writing style helped serve his purpose, which was to change society’s views of the abuse of children.
oliver, our protagonist is actually not a very believable character, considering how he grew up and was treated like. the author described all of his book’s characters as being either good or evil, which was easy enough to guess, when he defined their appearance. black or white, with no shades of gray. the power of oliver’s complexion is emphasized, through his noble manners despite all the ugly things that happened to him. the same way oliver, rose and harry are described as beautiful, fagin and sikes are uglified. the external appearance gives the reader an impression of the person’s inner character.
he described with a good dose of humor or rather sarcasm the hypocrisy, laziness, greed and arrogance of the upper class people. but despite all that, oliver twist is able to experience the friendliness of strangers. oliver, indeed, was an extremely lucky boy to have so many strange people help him out, especially when compared to his peers (e.g. dick). all the characters that ill-treated him or were evil either (view spoiler)[died or have had bad things happen to them in return, (hide spoiler)], which is dickens’ way of telling us readers that “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
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 va...more1.75/5
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.
This is a book that pulls at your very heart strings (Ha, always wanted to use this expression!). It was an exhausting & emotionally draining read...moreThis is a book that pulls at your very heart strings (Ha, always wanted to use this expression!). It was an exhausting & emotionally draining read. I actually only cared what happened to our leading characters, which I assume was more or less intended. The ending was unsatisfying, - BUT it still exceeded any expectation I might have had about it, before I turned the first page.
This is NOT a love story (at least to me), but a story about love.
I feel so depressed, now that I've finished it. Unfinished business, that's what it is. But then again, Jenna/Jennifer already says admits that in one way or another:
In the end, I decide that the mark we've left on each other is the color and shape of love. That's the unfinished business between us.
Because love, love is never finished.
... Argh, this book made me really grumpy! I guess I'll just go & take a nap! *unhappySigh*
P.S. SORTA - S P O I L E R START In my imagination both Cam & Jen finally get to be together even if only years later. Jen said she wasn't in love with Cam, only loved him. Uh huh.
And in the end? She tells us, she has had a pile of boyfriends by now, though none of them even close to Cam & what they had together as 3rd-graders. That's got to count for something, right? The book doesn't necessarily end sad, just ... open, which is (as you can clearly read) driving me nuts! For the sake of it all, let me put little quote here:
There’s never enough time to do it right, but there’s always enough time to do it over. - Jack Bergman
I wish for all Cams & Jens in this world to have their own happy ending! THE END. SORTA - S P O I L E R END (less)
i found the many bits and pieces of the story intriguing, so no surprise there that it was so many things at once: unsettling, beautiful, dark, grippi...morei found the many bits and pieces of the story intriguing, so no surprise there that it was so many things at once: unsettling, beautiful, dark, gripping, weird, magical & creepy. written in a beautifully refreshing narrative style which emphasized the story (and ultimately its narrator as well), --sometimes easy, often difficult for me to follow--, it is about a girl trying to find a place in the world... in a story centered on (fallen) nobles & all the other people serving those nobles it has many intrigues, conspiracies, playing off people against people and so on, but with lots of space for world building & character development.
since i wasn't able to understand many of the things that happened, i wasn't sure how to rate the book. 2.5 stars for not understand all of it & thus also not being able to enjoy the story in its entirety? or 3.5 stars for being utterly fascinating, never mind I didn't grasp the whole book? my conscience battled throughout the night and decided to settle on ... ~~ dramatic music ~~... 3 stars.
conclusion quote it is blasphemy to separate oneself from the earth and look down on it like a god. it is more than blasphemy; it is dangerous. we can never be gods, after all—but we can become something less than human with frightening ease. still… I could not help drinking in the view. it is important to appreciate beauty, even when it is evil.
imagine my surprise, after the disappointing cracked up to be. this book shook me to the bones. it was absolutely painfully horrible in an honest kind...moreimagine my surprise, after the disappointing cracked up to be. this book shook me to the bones. it was absolutely painfully horrible in an honest kind of way. (my brain is still mush from reading that book) glee. anger. fear. disgust. scorn. - i'm sure you'll experience a variety of emotions yourself while hungrily devouring this book.
before being frozen out of the fearsome fivesome clique, regina afton was a horrible girl intent on being popular and doing all it took to stay that way. when that changes, though, so must she.
the book is a probably a good pointer for those who read and enjoyed before i fall. finally for all the tv junkies out there, you should watch cold case's episode stand up & holler (S04E20).
rainey karlsen finally got what she wanted: to be on the varsity cheerleading squad, to hang out with the popular kids. but not long after becoming their friend she realizes they're not true friends afterall. she's found dead in 1997 on the football field of an overdose of ghb. --(summary taken from tv.com)
"for eight years i dreamed of fire. trees ignited as i passed them, oceans burned. the sugary smoke settled in my hair as i slept, the scent like a cloud left on my pillow as i rose. even so, the moment my mattress started to burn, i bolted awake. the sharp, chemical smell was nothing like the hazy syrup of my dreams; the two were as different as indian and carolina jasmine, separation and attachment. they could not be confused.
standing in the middle of the room, i located the source of the fire. a neat row of wooden matches lined the foot of the bed. they ignited, one after the next, a glowing picket fence across the piped edging. watching them light, i felt a terror unequal to the size of the flickering flames, and for a paralyzing moment i was ten years old again, desperate and hopeful in a way i had never been before and would never be again."
just this week -- i was riding the bus on my way to school. and as i was sitting there and pondering about life (aren't i the intellectual?), i notice...morejust this week -- i was riding the bus on my way to school. and as i was sitting there and pondering about life (aren't i the intellectual?), i noticed this guy who was sitting in the row in front of me, who was doing something with his hands. he couldn't seem to stop his nervous gestures. so i looked. (of course i looked.)
dude was scratching on practically every exposed skin surface on his body. he generously liberated his ears from earwax. picked his nose as if there was no tomorrow. rubbed his eyes till they were red. ran his fingers through his hair, yanking some in the process. a minute ticked away. ten minutes. a solid hour passed. he did not stop. and i tried desperately not to see anything out of the corner of my eyes.
so, this is what nothingis feels like to me. you can't help but stare, no matter how disturbing. try as you might to distance yourself from things that make you uncomfortable, but they are still happening. (less)
i actually, really, honestly thought this was a sci-fi book, an assumption based solely on the title and (gorgeous!) 90ies cover. i was wrong. oh...more3.5/5
i actually, really, honestly thought this was a sci-fi book, an assumption based solely on the title and (gorgeous!) 90ies cover. i was wrong. oh, so wrong.
ginny and her family relocate to another place. a new school. new faces. she makes some friends and finds a intriguing young man at school, who's treated like a pariah. michael (the pariah) doesn't talk, nor does he show any kind of emotion. she's curious and learns more about him than she bargained for. ginny feels responsible when she hears the truth about what happend to michael or as the other students call him "alien", although she's not used to so much responsibility.
female protagonist was annoying most of the time. smitty/michael's a genius, so are ginny's brothers. they talked like adults instead of teens on most occasions, which just seemed very unlikely and just didn't fit into the story, since ginny would act out immaturely in sudden bursts. ginny and her (male) friend caulder made some pretty stupid decisions along the way.
in the end, smitty/michael confronted his demons of his past through his friends. michael really was the redeemable character who saved the book (..i otherwise would've chucked at the wall). i'm still shaken about what happened to him. (view spoiler)[ hint: abuse (hide spoiler)]
good story, not so well written. dealio: 3.5 stars
"all day, it had looked like he did nothing but dream, somewhere away inside of himself."["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
The chair was padded, obviously intended to put him at ease, but it wasn’t working. He rarely felt comfortable. Anna said it was because he li...more#--##--#
The chair was padded, obviously intended to put him at ease, but it wasn’t working. He rarely felt comfortable. Anna said it was because he liked to make things difficult for himself, but he wasn’t sure. He figured that it just wasn’t in his nature to feel too comfortable. Comfort made you lazy. It was the easy option.
‘All beauty has a dark side. Heaven can’t exist without hell.’(less)
lo's brother died and the whole family still hasn't coped with the loss. falling into this dark abyss, where they distance themselves from each other...more
lo's brother died and the whole family still hasn't coped with the loss. falling into this dark abyss, where they distance themselves from each other more and more. when one day, she gets tangled in the murder of a stripper, things start to change. (pene)lo(pe) obsessively tries to solve the case, as the police doesn't even really try to look behind the curtains, which in turn makes her the target of the killer who's still on the loose. of course lo finds out more than she bargained for.
what sets this book apart is most notably that the author made her main character a person with an anxiety disorder (ocd). for those who lost a loved one, there's the familiar pattern of not knowing how to handle the grief, guilt, anger and depression. growing apart as a family. and finding a way back.
"after school, i've been picking bus lines at random, finding new places to explore. mostly i go to other parts of the suburbs, find the high school or the baseball hat store at the mall or a restaurant my brother might have liked"
overall, the book was surprising in its subtle writing, which i appreciated a lot and made my rating higher. she didn't try to make a melodrama out of a drama, which happens more often to authors and their books than i'd like to admit.
random quote "i barely know anything about him, but he seems so familiar --as though i could flip through childhood photo albums and he'd be in every picture."
i'm having (fondly remembered) flashbacks:
"a warmth fills me, like it used to on saturday mornings when i was a kid and i'd wake before anyone else to watch cartoons, wrapped in my fuzzy pale blue blanket, waiting for everyone else to wake up, too"
random quote "a rush fills my whole body as i do, clears up my head, makes me feel instantly like everything in the whole world is okay, like the universe and solar system and every big, holy planet and blade of grass and flake of fresh-fallen snow are rotating and growing and falling just for me right now. when i find where it belongs, where it fits, everything will be whole: i will plug up the emptiness, the swirling, sucking drain of the universe spinning into chaos."