you know god? he can be a real piece of work sometimes with a lot of mood swings.
or to borrow richard dawkins words: "is arguably the most unpleasantyou know god? he can be a real piece of work sometimes with a lot of mood swings.
or to borrow richard dawkins words: "is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully."
.. if he exists that is and not some figment of my imagination. praying is supposed to be this meaningful experience filling you with faith in the spirit's power and wisdom and whatnot. instead it makes one (well, me) feel stupid, as if i am talking to myself in a conversation that is supposed to be two-sided. i can constantly hear from relatives and family members that it can make you happy and give you strength and so on and so forth. the great thing about belief and faith is that it can take shape in different ways. if i wanted to i could choose to believe in the magical power of chocolate chip cookies and that they bring together people with their chocolate-y awesomeness. maybe big brother is watching. maybe not. while i may not like being forced to pray with my family every day and dedicate sunday mornings to going to church, it cannot be denied that for better or worse it is part of me and my life.
as a consequence i like reading novels that reflect these topics through thoughtful, critical or original lenses and authors who write these stories without coming off as pretentious. like whitcomb's previous work, this too, deals with death, faith and the afterlife. but in a non preachy and accessible way. i always come back for more.
whitcomb has a way with words, it trickles into you, lulls you in with its dreamlike sequences and quiet, unassuming writing. there is something to be said about authors who seemingly write without knowing what a thing of beauty they have created, but making it seem so effortless.
"under the light" is a companion novel to "a certain slant of light". in a certain slant of light two spirits who were stuck between the netherworld and the living world and per chance come to inhabit two teenagers bodies and their respective problems. under the light continues right where the acsol left of. utl is split into three parts. part 1 is told from jenny's pov, part 2 from helen's and the last part switches back and forth between the both of them. jenny is in a place where she tries to separate fantasy or perhaps dreams from reality. she has lost about a week worth of memories about things that supposedly happened and people tell her she has said stuff that were totally out of character. instead jenny remember magical occurences where she was a spirit without an actual body, meets another spirit she clicks with and they do fun stuff. like (view spoiler)[ move the stars. travel the world. glimpse into each others life. and fight (hide spoiler)]. but when jenny's spirit is placed back into her physical form she cries for the loss of something she doesn't quite remember anymore. the broken pieces of the past eventually come back, one by one to slowly, but surely fall into place. she tries to reconnect with her mother and reconstruct her past history with billy. as a reader of course, particularly those who have read a certain slant of light it comes as no surprise that (view spoiler)[ billy is the other spirit who she connected with (hide spoiler)], but is all the more beautiful to watch as we get to experience their journey towards coming to terms about what happened and finding a way to move on with life and stick up for yourself and your beliefs.
whitcomb successfully captured the universally familiar feeling of dread of not being understood and highlights what a world of difference it makes when you find someone who makes the effort of doing so. some readers may find it too slow moving, which is probably true, because under the light is not a plot driven but a character driven novel. (view spoiler)[ in fact .. the only bad thing i can say about it is that i hate the cover. yep. i really, really do! (hide spoiler)]
“You’re all younger. Children, every one of you, running around like crazy so you won’t notice how soon you’re gonna die.” Max took a silurban fantasy
“You’re all younger. Children, every one of you, running around like crazy so you won’t notice how soon you’re gonna die.” Max took a silver case out of his jacket, opened it, and selected one of the cheap cigars he liked to poison the air with. ‘Take the way you idealize truth—telling it, finding it.” He snorted. “Finding it! As if it were lying around somewhere, waiting for you to pick up. Childish. People live by stories, not truth. What you really want are answers so you won’t have to figure things out for yourselves.” He pulled out his lighter. “I admit, thinking takes time.”...more
for all the books i've dropped left and right, --some of them historical romances that i didn't even bother to put on the "dropped" shelf-- i sh2.25/5
for all the books i've dropped left and right, --some of them historical romances that i didn't even bother to put on the "dropped" shelf-- i should be walking the walk of shame..
stolen magic is one of the few i've actually been able to read cover to cover, despite the ridiculous unicorn-virgin aspect of it and a one-dimensional villain. now, leaving those complaints aside, there were some good scenes too that kept me reading till the very end, like this one where the heroine (rightfully!) opposes the decision to wed the book's hero:
What kind of life did she want?
More than anything, she wanted to be strong. It was good to be protected, but even better would be the ability to defend herself against a villain like Drayton without aid. That meant learning how to use the tantalizing magical abilities that seemed to be part of her. She wanted to be a woman equal to a man, which seemed possible among the Guardians if Lady Bethany was typical.
Next to safety, she wanted to belong somewhere—to be part of a circle of family and friends. Though she had been welcomed into the Guardians by Falconer and Lady Bethany, she still yearned to find the family that had produced her. She wanted a home where she was accepted by right of blood, not by charity.
If Falconer was right that her magical power made her a desirable bride in Guardian circles, did that mean that marriage between them might someday be seen as a reasonable match? Perhaps. But not now—she felt that in her bones. To accept Lady Bethany’s suggestion would be to lose her chance to find strength and equality.
If they were ever to wed—and privately she admitted that the idea was . . . appealing—it must be after she became a woman secure in herself and her power. She might never be Falconer’s equal, but she must be her best self, or she would always be humble and unsure around him.
note: besides the female lead, the characters were not that defined or fleshed out. lots of gore and goosebumpey moments which i thought were well done. i liked the overall plot, setting and tone better than the author's writing style. the hallowed ones lacked .. something and yah, i cannot quite pinpoint what it was in particular the book lacked. (view spoiler)[
in the hands of another author it would have been pure magic with its potential realised to its fullest which i know is an unfair thing to say, as that could be applied to any book. *shrug* maybe make the sequel longer?
(hide spoiler)] anyways, even with that complaint of mine, i cannot ignore what a page turner it was, -- hence the rating.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
bantering between the sisters: My mood does not improve at dinner. Mrs. O’Hare’s fish chowder is as awful as I’d anticipated: salty and ill seasone1.5/5
bantering between the sisters: My mood does not improve at dinner. Mrs. O’Hare’s fish chowder is as awful as I’d anticipated: salty and ill seasoned. She’s an excellent housekeeper but a poor cook. I spread fresh butter on thick slabs of sourdough and ignore the bowl in front of me. Tess holds Father’s bowl in her gaze, and a moment later he’s declaring it a wonder. I frown at Tess until Maura kicks me under the table. I kick her back harder, and she jumps in her seat. The bread in my mouth turns to peppery ashes. I gag and reach for my glass of water. “All right, Cate?” Father asks, looking up from his miraculous chowder. “Fine,” I choke. Maura gives an angelic smile. She knows I won’t fight back magically, I never do, but I’m hard-pressed not to lean across the table and slap her.
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,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, 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.
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.