delicate watercolor paintings depicting a wide range of things from shoes, food, architecture, plants etc. etc. not very informative (there small pas...more
delicate watercolor paintings depicting a wide range of things from shoes, food, architecture, plants etc. etc. not very informative (there small passages of text --mostly quotes -- but midda's handwriting is illegible) as it is a sketchbook diary of sorts, but exquisite nonetheless.
as far as fairy tales go, this one includes the expected and disappointing flat, 2-dimensional cast of characters. not a whole lot of plot and t...more2.25/5
as far as fairy tales go, this one includes the expected and disappointing flat, 2-dimensional cast of characters. not a whole lot of plot and thus simultaneously sparse text. and of course the happily-ever after with the prince.
the raven girl is the product of a raven and postman who fell in love. she is born as a raven who cannot speak the human tongue, but neither can she fly like she's always longed to. the raven girl goes to college and there by chance encounters someone who might be able to correct that 'mistake' ...
ah, about the art. well, the illustrations have a horrifyingly, ugly quality (gonna scan a page or two to showcase and emphasize my point soon) which i know is a really weird thing to say, as i love the overall book design of raven girl. (less)
☺ name: mary shelley black ☺ character: mary shelley black ☺ goggles ☺ mary's bluntness ☺ mary's love for science ☺ stephen's anagrams ☺ spirit photog...more4.5/5
☺ name: mary shelley black ☺ character: mary shelley black ☺ goggles ☺ mary's bluntness ☺ mary's love for science ☺ stephen's anagrams ☺ spirit photography ☺ illustrated book (*swoon*) ☺ creep factor (including the beak mask) ☻ julius, not enough of a fleshed out character ☻ ending :'( ☻ stephen's (view spoiler)[disdain for his brother, cause i kind of pitied him and how his family treated him as if he were exactly like his father .. well, it just seemed as if they didn't really give him a chance that's all: "his father was a drunk who treated my mother terribly before she left him. and violent, thieving drunks often breed violent, thieving children." (hide spoiler)] [ click ] ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
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 unpleasant...moreyou 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)]
forgive me father, for i have sinned. it’s been a long time since my last confession. these are my sins:
i bought rossetti’s goblin market and se...more1.75/5
forgive me father, for i have sinned. it’s been a long time since my last confession. these are my sins:
i bought rossetti’s goblin market and selected poems as an expensive a folio edition, because i enjoy a good story as much as thoughtfully crafted book design. plus i only understood fractions of it, the writing style is not much to my taste, but that might change if i understand the subtle undertones and messages the author is trying to convey.
this is it, you guys. you cannot get a better designed book if you’re looking for a collection of rossetti’s poems. and … holy shit, it’s just awesome because jillian tamaki illustrated it! [ see more ]
obviously the most famous of her poems is the goblin market. i had my first encounter with her work through laini taylor’s beautiful book lips touch: three times which can be discribed as a nod to rossetti’s poem. here some of my favourite lines:
two thoughts of death.
her heart that loved me once is rottenness now and corruption; and her life is dead [...] foul worms fill up her mouth so sweet and red; foul worms are underneath her graceful head. yet these, being born of her from nothingness these worms are certainly flesh of her flesh.
- p 114
buds and babies
a million buds are born that never blow, that sweet with promise lift a pretty head to blush and wither on a barren bed and leave no fruit to show.
sweet, unfulfilled. yet have i understood one joy, by their fragility made plain: nothing was ever beautiful in vain, or all in vain was good.
- p 100
life and death.
life is not sweet. one day it will be sweet to shut our eyes and die [...]
life is not good. one day it will be good to die, then live again. [...]
- p 72
when i was dead, my spirit turned to seek the much frequented house: i passed the door, and saw my friends feasting beneath green orange boughs [...]
emily webster and the class of 1912 are graduating from high school. for emily's friends, it's the beginning of a new chapter in their lives as they p...more emily webster and the class of 1912 are graduating from high school. for emily's friends, it's the beginning of a new chapter in their lives as they prepare to go to college. but not for emily. despite her love of learning and her academic achievements, she will be spending her next year at home. she is an orphan whose only living relative is her elderly grandfather and she feels it is her duty to take care of him. when her classmates leave home, emily becomes lonely and depressed during her "lost year." but with a little dedication, emily eventually finds that learning can take place outside of the classroom and you don't need college to grow as a person. [ foreveryoungadult ]
and here we go with the next fairy tale .. i did not even notice how much i like reading picture books until recently when i checked out my bookshelve...more
and here we go with the next fairy tale .. i did not even notice how much i like reading picture books until recently when i checked out my bookshelves. this edition retold by laurel long & jacqueline k. ogburn and illustrated by laurel long was particularly difficult to acquire and it was only a used one at that (grr)!
the author's note states the following:
this grimm's fairy tale is also known as "the singing, springing lark. [..] the story combines "beauty & the beast" and "east of the sun, west of the moon." our retelling condenses the action, but we chose to follow the dramatic spirit of the ending of "east of the sun, west of the moon" in our treatment of the villain.
plot: a merchant promised his three daughters to bring home gifts. pearls for the first, gold for the second and a singing lark for the youngest of the three. when he stumbles upon a castle's garden with a singing lark, he immediately climbs the tree to fetch the bird and instead ends up bargaining with the lion that he may keep the lark and his life but must give up whoever greets him first at home. of course, the youngest daughter then has to go to the lion. they spend time together, fall in love and marry. she discovers that he is in fact a prince who has been cursed because he refused to marry the wicked enchantress. not only is he a lion by day and a human by night, but if a ray of candlelight touches him, he becomes a dove, forced to fly across the world for seven years. the lady is the actual hero/ine of the story for it is she who rescues the prince (hee). [ side note: neither the lion/prince nor the lady are given actual names ]
the book is richly illustrated with a lot of ornaments. the attention and love to detail that went into it, are apparent with a single glance. the illustrations are very dark and moody with bright splashes of color. the lady & the lion has an abstract feel to it, you will know what i mean when you take a look at them. the characters are bleh, but what it lacks in characterization and heart, it makes up in breathtakingly gorgeous pictures. it also seems as though its setting is somewhere in persia or northern india.
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 ]
in comparison to eagar's other novels saltwater vampires lies smack in the middle. the author's undisputed #1 being her debut raw blue, saltwater vam...more
in comparison to eagar's other novels saltwater vampires lies smack in the middle. the author's undisputed #1 being her debut raw blue, saltwater vampires is slightly better than eagar's newest work night beach.
what eagar always gets right are the character studies. saltwater vampires' protagonist, jamie mackie struggles with guilt, shame and self-hate over how he left one of his friends alone when he was needed the most. nice also, was the way the author played with various vampire clichès.
the end scene where jamie and his group of friends (view spoiler)[ finish off the vampires and thus enable both jamie and dale to regain their mortality (hide spoiler)] will either lead readers snorting in disbelief or make them succumb to nostalgia with its buffy/charmed-esque scene:
he heard screams that weren't human, noises that sounded like they'd been wrung from hell. then there was a loud whoosing noise and he was pulled forwards (...) high above, the four vampires were trapped in the still centre of a vortex, a tornado of air spinning around them, lifting them up and up, sucking at their hair and clothes, blurring their movements. the pull of the whirlwind was so great it crinkled the air around it, creasing the fabric of the night. (...) the vortex seemed to swell and buckle. then there was a phssst noise (...) the centrifugal force of the vortex was destroying the vampires. (...) the vortex exploded with a deafening cracking noise that had jamie covering his ears. it sounded like the sky had been split apart. then shining specks of gold showered down out of the darkness, extinguishing before they reached the ground.
jamie's eyes snapped open. there was no pain. he felt good, but he felt different too. something had changed in him and he knew what it was even before he placed his hand on his chest. he had no heartbeat. he knew then what a heart really is: the clock that counts away the moments of a life. without a heartbeart, you are dead. or you will never die.
i wouldn’t say the film improved upon the book, but rather, it revealed the limits of my own imagination, which is what good adaption can do. th...more2.75/5
i wouldn’t say the film improved upon the book, but rather, it revealed the limits of my own imagination, which is what good adaption can do. the film imagined the abject poverty of the ozarks with more dignity and respect than i could. characters i thought of as monsters in the book came through with such humanity on screen—their restraint told you so much about who they were and their strict code of conduct. the mythic overtones i gathered from the book —-ree dolly as a modern-day antigone—were fully captured in granik and rossellini’s treatment. [ article ]
it was a relief and, ultimately, a pleasure to discover that the film avoids all of the inherent pitfalls of its premise. though it is driven by the poverty and insularity of ree's world, winter's bone neither romanticizes that world, nor does it make it exotic. it achieves this by locking us thoroughly into ree's point of view--to which end jennifer lawrence's unflinching performance is an integral component without which the film would have failed completely.
ree spends the film tramping up and down hills and through forests as she tries to determine where her father is and why the local criminal element wants to stop her asking questions about him, and an important subplot involves her teaching her younger brother and sister important survival skills--how to hunt, clean their kill, and prepare food from it--but winter's bone is subtle enough, and ree, who takes the world she shows us for granted, is a powerful enough presence at its center, that the film never feels like a guided tour. as she draws closer to the criminals who know where her father is, ree is repeatedly confronted with the attitude that she has done something wrong by working with the law and going outside the community, even though that community is happy to see her and her siblings thrown out of their home. what's interesting about winter's bone is that ree herself doesn't dispute the notion that what she's done is wrong, but rather insists that her obligations to her brother and sister take precedence over her obligation to remain stone-faced in the face of threats from law enforcement. the film, in the end, isn't one about a rebel or an outsider, but about a girl who plays by the rules and uses them to her advantage, even when those rules are designed to keep her down and seem cruel and restrictive to the audience. the arc of the film is ree's acceptance--as the abandonment of both her parents becomes more obvious, and as her dreams of escaping to the army grow more distant--that she will likely never leave her home, and this is depicted as neither a tragedy nor a triumph, more an acceptance of the fact that though ree could have a better life, she is well-suited, through breeding and upbringing, to the one she has, and can even be happy in it, at least for a time. [ asking the wrong questions / abigail nussbaum] [ unfortunate metaphors ](less)
expected to feel devastated after reading the book. not arguing about it being good. it was. it is. i just didn't think the female characters were as...moreexpected to feel devastated after reading the book. not arguing about it being good. it was. it is. i just didn't think the female characters were as well drawn as the male ones. pity.
i saw coppola's dreamy directorial take on this story before i decided to finally read the book. the virgin suicides is more about mood than it is abo...morei saw coppola's dreamy directorial take on this story before i decided to finally read the book. the virgin suicides is more about mood than it is about plot, so there is a lot of space to philosophize about, just like the neighbour boys reflect on the past of their youth in a romanticizing manner. viewing the beautiful lisbon sisters as haunting creatures, they still can't stop puzzling about.(less)
sure sense of mood and tone, the actual storyline left me rather indifferent to any of the characters. confusing mess of a book. unintelligible...more1.75/5
sure sense of mood and tone, the actual storyline left me rather indifferent to any of the characters. confusing mess of a book. unintelligible slang and fairly heavy use of symbolism. should probably read it again.
likeable female protagonist on a quest to save her sister. loved the parts about the family. as an individual pal (you know, drinking beer on th...more3.75/5
likeable female protagonist on a quest to save her sister. loved the parts about the family. as an individual pal (you know, drinking beer on the porch with), i'd have liked him, but as a serious love interest, he was .. bleh so far.