When you review a three page story, saying anything about the plot would spoil it. "The School" centers on the deaths and lives that take place withinWhen you review a three page story, saying anything about the plot would spoil it. "The School" centers on the deaths and lives that take place within a single classroom, and Donald Barthelme uses magical realism and absurdity to make us think about the greater implications of his humorous and off-putting plot. Every word within this piece propels it forward toward its confusing yet fitting conclusion. Would recommend to those interested in thinking about why every word or phrase within a story matters and to those who enjoy a little bit of weirdness in their fiction....more
Similar to the publication of Go Set a Watchman, the relevance of The Opposite of Loneliness raises a lot of interesting questions. Would this collectSimilar to the publication of Go Set a Watchman, the relevance of The Opposite of Loneliness raises a lot of interesting questions. Would this collection have been published if not for Marina Keegan's death? What if she had not attended Yale? How much did her privilege play a part as opposed to her talent? I do not ask these questions to mitigate the tragedy of her all-too-early passing, just to stimulate thought surrounding this book's publication overall.
Those inquiries aside, I enjoyed Keegan's short stories and her essays. While I found a few pieces bland or under-developed, almost all of them show great potential. Her vivacity and idealism resonated with me the most. She makes her characters intriguing and honest as opposed to just sophisticated, and her nonfiction shows her range of interests and ideas. While I cannot say I will remember too much from reading her work, I will recall certain thoughts and emotions, like Yale's unfortunate propensity for producing business folk, as well as one of her character's guilt over the death of her romantic fling.
Overall, recommended for those searching for some quick reading material by an author with a heartbreaking backstory. It saddens me that we will not have the opportunity to see Keegan develop even further as a writer....more
Pain. That word reverberated within me as I read All the Rage. Courtney Summers does a splendid job of delving straight into Romy's soul and3.5 stars
Pain. That word reverberated within me as I read All the Rage. Courtney Summers does a splendid job of delving straight into Romy's soul and unveiling all the brutal stuff within it: her wounds, her anger, and her despair. AS someone who has experienced trauma in his life, I appreciated Summers' portrayal of raw and unflinching pain.
No one really likes Romy Grey. After Kellan Turner, the sheriff's son, rapes her, everyone at school turns against her and casts her out. Romy finds solace working in a small diner outside of town, but when another girl goes missing at a well-known party, Romy must decide whether she wants to speak out and sacrifice a part of herself, in order to perhaps save somebody else.
Courtney Summers has such a visceral voice. One scene, in which Romy pushes another girl into a locker, made me gasp aloud; I felt Romy's adrenaline rush through me, just as I experienced her angst alongside her throughout the story. Summers portrays the inherent injustice that pervades rape culture: the atrocious blame brought onto survivors, the guilt and rage that floods one's senses, the feelings of despair.
While the writing possessed a piercing amount of emotion, the plot line felt a little too jagged and disconnected at times. A more thorough vision into Romy's world would have further fleshed out All the Rage. Details about Romy's underlying motivations, Kellan Turner's whereabouts, and Leon's personality would have expanded the scope of the story to give it more definition and meaning. All the Rage had a strong emotional center, but its edges felt a bit too blurred to achieve perfection.
Overall, a novel worth reading for those interested in realistic YA fiction or trauma, as well as Courtney Summers fans. Though not my favorite novel of hers, All the Rage packs her signature visceral punch, and it will send readers reeling. ...more
A story about a St. Petersburg official whose nose leaves his face and creates a life of its own. The precursor to magical realism, this story containA story about a St. Petersburg official whose nose leaves his face and creates a life of its own. The precursor to magical realism, this story contains a ton of satirical elements and a lot of commentary on politics, masculinity, and power roles. Recommended for those interested in Russia, strange short stories that blend together humorous and odd subjects, and noses....more
A good old ghost story centered on a Governess who watches over two kids while their mysterious Uncle disappears. The Uncle tells the Governess not toA good old ghost story centered on a Governess who watches over two kids while their mysterious Uncle disappears. The Uncle tells the Governess not to contact him under any circumstance, a sketchy command that the Governess attempts to abide by.
I have written multiple papers on this book for college, and to spare my sanity during finals, I will just say that Henry James presents intriguing concepts on a psychological front. As the brother of William James, he brings in ideas like transference and Freudian relationships, which supplement some of the other themes within the book that do not receive as much development, such as the Governess's role as a woman within her position. A short and almost Gothic novella that packs a decent amount of suspense in its pages. Would recommend for a Halloween read, or if you want a somewhat spooky classic....more