19th century: iris, a plantation owner's wife is sent away to an asylum to "cure" her of her madness. as soon as she's there, she already plans h...more3.5/5
19th century: iris, a plantation owner's wife is sent away to an asylum to "cure" her of her madness. as soon as she's there, she already plans her escape. she meets a boy who becomes a friend. a man who becomes the object of her affections. a docter who is obsessed.
a terrific premise if you ask me. but a premise that did not quite live up to its potential. memorable nonetheless. just not a book you would ever think to read again. ever.
the book's narrative is split into several different views: that of iris, ambrose, dr. cowell, the doctor's son wendell and occasionally some other minor characters.
the issue i had with blue asylum is that the reader is always, always kept at arm's length from completely connecting with any of the characters. although i was moved at a few scenes (alright, dammit! emotionally drained!), the author's writing lacked in ... arggh, i do not even want to go there, so the short version: it was too detached, too dry, too everything, even though a great many things happened and most of them tragic.
now, on reflecton, it reminded me a bit of the orchardist, the lost garden and atonement. all of them brutally ugly stories as only life itself could have written them (minus the moments of relief. there are zero in them).
fair warning: ambrose will destroy you with his war-stories and ptsd hallucinations!
this must be some kind of art, as i do not understand how so many horrible things can happen to the characters and all i felt after finishing this book is relief, resignation and a quiet sadness. (view spoiler)[ and i really wanted to mention in this spoiler-tag how ridiculous i found the part of the wendell boy who masturbates constantly (constantly! in every of his pov's *weary*) --that is until he loses his hand and he rejoices in that fact, and praises it a fricking miracle) (hide spoiler)]
this book is everything i wanted by these ten bones by clare b dunkle to be and then some!
book pairings: plain kate by erin bow foxmask by juliet marill...morethis book is everything i wanted by these ten bones by clare b dunkle to be and then some!
book pairings: plain kate by erin bow foxmask by juliet marillier the near witch victoria schwab wuthering heights by emily bronte (view spoiler)[ haven't read it myself (yet), but i think its a somewhat good match anyways (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
3.5/5 really, really different. original. bit too corny, but cute nonetheless. how she finally seperated her strings to her father (view spoiler)[by tel...more3.5/5 really, really different. original. bit too corny, but cute nonetheless. how she finally seperated her strings to her father (view spoiler)[by telling him she loved him. (hide spoiler)] as simple and difficult as that.
quote: (view spoiler)[ Nick McGowan came to stay with my family for only a few weeks in 1989, but it was enough time for me to realize that sometim...more3.5/5
quote: (view spoiler)[ Nick McGowan came to stay with my family for only a few weeks in 1989, but it was enough time for me to realize that sometimes change is a good thing. That when you’re looking for the truth, it’s always better to go to the source. That life isn’t always better with a Party Hostess crown on your head.
And that the best free feeling in the world is when you find a new friend who you know you’ll have with you for the rest of your life. (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
i still felt alone. i still fended off grief every day, but it didn't take me by surprise anymore. it was a dull ache all over, not an acute physical hit every time i thought of her. if it wasn't for the fact that the others saw him too, that he was made of flesh and bone, i would have suspected silence was my invisible guardian angel. since the attack on joe, he'd started sleeping in the room i shared with carrie and bree. the first night he crept in, i was unnerved. the second, i was resigned. by the third i was comforted by his presence and i missed him if he wasn't there. we found peace in each other and nobody else seemed to think it was strange that he watched me all the time.
i thought he was waiting to see when i'd leave. without him. that was what he expected -- to be left behind.
sometimes he knew what i was thinking before i knew it myself. he left me food when i was busking. offerings, like a cat might leave on your doorstep --a cinnamon doughnut, a bunch of grapes, a bag of nuts, a fresh bread roll. [ p 143 - 144 ]
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 dram...more3.75/5
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)["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
fairy tales are short stories which are read to children with the mission of giving them an important message that they will use at some point in thei...more fairy tales are short stories which are read to children with the mission of giving them an important message that they will use at some point in their lives. different values and beliefs are experienced through the stories . such tales helped distinguish good from evil and in many cases, fortune would come knocking on one's door and reward the main lead for making all the right choices.
with the classic opener "once upon a time", readers are thrust into the world of the beauty and the beast infused with magical realism, where the main leads are named after their physical traits.
we all know how the story goes. a widowed merchant (in most versions) and his three daughters fall from grace without a penny to their name. then one day, the father stumbles upon an enchanted castle where he seeks shelter, but makes the mistake of plucking a rose from the beast's garden and thus strikes a bargain with the beast, to take one of his daughters in his stead. so .. beauty, the youngest and fairest of the daughters goes to the beast. long story short, in the end the beast transforms into a handsome young man, whose vicious curse is lifted soley through the power of true lurv.
now, this is where it gets interesting, as a lot of people see a many different aspects in the beauty and the beast folklore ...
the disneyfication of the beauty and the beast folklore objectifies beauty or belle, a prize to be won. disney has made many changes from that original. for example, there is a battle in the end of the disney movie instead of a journey, plus they made the final scenes, a fight between two guys over girl, diminishing her role. in the original version, she has returned to him after a visit to her family, deciding to return to him out of a sense of duty, and a love she does not realize until she fights through the forest and reaches him. again, the meaning is lost in the disney retelling. disney tries to return to the archetype and in the end, as the beast lay dying, she does declare her love for him and he transforms into a prince. belle seems like a good role model, she reads and sees through gaston’s handsome exterior, but she still is demeaned into a prize to be protected and won by the end of the movie .
according to maria tater, the beauty and the beast was meant to emphasize the importance of virtue rather than intelligence or looks when marrying. indeed, tater's interpretation of the story can be taken further, as she also argues that beauty and the beast was a tale meant to encourage young women who were forced to marry older men. in this interpretation, the fact that the beast transforms into a handsome, intelligent prince after beauty marries him may signify the fact that a happy marriage can be derived even from those marriages in which there is a great age difference or in which the man is ugly or unintelligent. it may even serve as a way to inform a wife that she can transform her husband . it has even been argued that the beauty and the beast is the prime example of the stockholm syndrome told through the lense of a fairy tale, because how do you overcome fear when you are surrounded by vileness? answer: you embrace it by finding beauty in it as well, of course.
unlike many of the other fairy tales that [the brothers grimm] reproduced, beauty and the beast contains many subtle symbols in its purest form. it shows a girl and how she transfers to a woman; it also shows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. the one major thing that separates this story from all the rest is that beauty gets to know the beast before marrying him . it shows powerfully, that the deeper you go and the more you want to know, the more meaning and value you will find .
book quote: "well, you are very handsome now," said beauty, with a smile, " but i loved you anyway, the way you were." she stroked his smooth cheeks and his strong hands, pleased to see that his nose was still a little bent and his eyes just as deep, for he looked so much more interesting than the picture-book prince she had always imagined.
sources:  oppapers, beauty and the beast anthropology  oppapers, disneyfication of the beauty and the beast  academon, persuasive essay - a feminist interpretation  studymode, beauty and the beast interpretation  lynetteabel, aesthetics essay
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 tur...more3.5/5
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.