there is definitely something addicting about this series. with three movies out and two more on the way (breaking dawn is being split in half), you c...morethere is definitely something addicting about this series. with three movies out and two more on the way (breaking dawn is being split in half), you can't argue that twilight isn't popular. and, as with most popular books, there's usually a reason. i guess it's how totally, unconditionally, and irrevocably "in love" with each other they are. it's dramatic. it's high school all over again, only without all the messy schoolyard fights and failed grades that we remember. it's high school, as portrayed through the lens of nostalgia and wishful thinking.
and yes, sometimes it can be a little too dramatic. bella tends to put herself into troublesome situations that anyone with an ounce of sense could avoid. she's like the ditzy blond girl in horror movies that heads right into danger, while the audience screams, "NO YOU FOOL, DON'T GO IN THERE!" but it's okay, because edward will save her. and he does.
over. and over. and over.
by the time she goes head to head with the evil vampire, i was desperately hoping that bella would finally get a chance to get some kicks in. i mean, she reads jane austen and writes about the misogyny of shakespeare - you'd think a girl like that would tell edward to give her some space, and at least give james a courtesy kick to the family jewels. but no. and that, i think, was the most disappointing aspect of the novel for me. because love isn't about putting someone on a pedestal and perfect marble chests and topaz eyes. it's about sacrifice and accepting people's faults because of their virtues. it's a trade.
but you can't always have godiva when you're craving chocolate and sometimes a hershey bar works just as well. which is exactly what twilight is: simple romance, without any of the off-putting complexities. you might feel ashamed or guilty after reading it, but let's be honest: it was pretty satisfying, too, wasn't it, at the time?(less)
How could I have NOT reviewed Jane Eyre - one of my all-time favorite books ever? This is both a travesty and a tragedy. It is a travedy.
Before I put...moreHow could I have NOT reviewed Jane Eyre - one of my all-time favorite books ever? This is both a travesty and a tragedy. It is a travedy.
Before I put on my fangirl hat, I should probably say that yes, I can appreciate the literary merits (yark) of Jane Eyre. Yes, she is thumbing her nose at the grandiose expectations we have for ourselves and for love, and that love is always this beautiful, pure, good thing, when actually, love can actually be quite ugly, and inspire acts of cruelty that are quite horrendous when it turns to hate. Yes, she is saying that women can have control of their fate and still have self-respect.
(Put down those bits of wood and ducks, peasants! She's not a witch!)
Do I care? No, not really. I spent most of the first 200 pages fangirling over how awesome Jane was, and I spend the next 300 fangirling over Mr. Rochester and crying and biting my nails and stomping on the book before picking it up again to cry and fangirl some more. It is my opinion that a truly good work of literature can be appreciated as much for the compelling storyline as its message. That's why I make no apologies for my punishing reviews of books that bore the shite out of me even if they're supposed to be as ground-breaking and controversial as hell.
Anyway, Jane Eyre is the first Bronte book I read...I think. I read it and Wuthering Heights within days of one another, back when I was still in my Twilight phase (I read it before it was popular, bitches!), and I was curious by the references since I had convinced myself (I was also in my hipster phase) that I, too, was a connoisseur of the classics just because I had thumbed through Pride and Prejudice. (I was such a pretentious little asshat during my first year of college.)
It's been a little while since my first reading, but one thing I do remember thinking is, "Wow! This is so different from what they make us read in school!" Because, you know, being fresh out of high school and all, I still equated classics with agonizing mental torture on par with having your hippocampus hooked up to a pair of electroshocking nipple clamps, while being forced to watch the Teletubbies quoting Plato. But Jane Eyre was good. I could sympathize with Jane right away, because she had problems I could understand. I feel Plain! I feel Unloved! Nobody Understands me! Oh my God, Jane and I - we were soul-sisters. Pretentious little soul-sisters.
When she goes to Rochester's house, I was excited and apprehensive, all at once. It's the epitome of gothic mansions, full of doom and misty moors and tall-dark-and-brooding gentlemen leering out at you from behind crumbling chimney stacks. Some of their interactions are hilarious. I was charmed by his little ward, who was absolutely adorable. I was by turns, amused and annoyed by how obviously attracted the two of them were to one another and I wanted to smush their faces together and be like, "NOW KISS." When the "gypsy" comes to the door and is basically like, "SO HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT DASHING ROCHESTER BLOKE," I was like, "I C WUT U DID THAR." When we find out the secret in the attic, I was like, "OMG."
The ending pretty much just about killed me, and those last 100 pages or so were pure torture and agony and oh my god, feels. It wasn't fair. When I thought about what they had, and what they had lost, and that they had to be reunited under such tragic circumstances after already going through so much tragedy already, it wasn't fair.
On the other hand, I guess it just goes to show that passionate "fire in my loins" and "gushing fountains of need" kinds of love aren't always the best (in fact frequently they are the worst) measures to use in order to see if a relationship will stand the true test of time. Sometimes you need an ice-cold glass of LIFE SUCKS splashed in your face to see if you care for and understand your love interest even after the flames of passion have cooled. Mr. Rochester and Jane understood one another, and it was only once they learned to respect one another as well, and see past their ideals and own selfishness, that they were allowed to be together.
This is probably one of the most powerful, epic love stories I have ever read, and I suspect it will remain a favorite for a long time.(less)
This book is like Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver for grown-ups; it features the same characters, but in adult situations. I'm barely a fifth of t...moreThis book is like Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver for grown-ups; it features the same characters, but in adult situations. I'm barely a fifth of the way through, but I'm already noticing a lot of parallels between this book and the one I read by E.L. Konigsburg. Not that this is a bad thing. If you can get past the prologue, which features some tedious descriptions of rain and Welshmen, the book becomes much more enjoyable.(less)
I tried to read this with an open mind, really, I did, but the us versus them motif really got on my nerves. Rather than snapping this nation like a w...moreI tried to read this with an open mind, really, I did, but the us versus them motif really got on my nerves. Rather than snapping this nation like a wishbone-which doesn't even work, anyway, since one party always comes out ahead-I think the focus should be on unification.
Plus, this book was full of logical fallacies: citing from the bible, personal experience, and politically biased news reports does not a logical argument make. Pathos can never be a successful substitute for logos.
Ah, yet another work of literature permanently ruined for me by high school. And they wonder why literacy rates suck so much...
There is an assumption that if you are a woman, and possess functioning ovaries, you must love this play.
I hate. This. Play. And I'm not just saying that because the teacher paired me with a guy who liked to bully me for that infamous balcony scene. It is stupid. It is a stupid, stupid play.
(My favorites, if you are curious, are 1. Titus Andronicus, 2. The Taming of the Shrew, and 3. Twelfth Night.)
Romeo and Juliet is a play about a seventeen-year-old boy who decides he wants to get it on like Donkey Kong with this sexy thirteen-year-old girl but, oh whoops, she's the daughter of the family that his family hates. Why do the families hate each other? Because of reasons. They can't remember what those reasons are, but still; THE HATE MUST FLOW.
(I should have a jar I should pay into, every time I reference 'Dune' in a one-star review.)
The two then proceed to fall in love with each other in the most stupid fashion possible. Sneaking around, pledging each other their hearts (never mind the fact that Romeo was in love with someone ELSE just a few days ago). They end up sleeping together and decide they must get married. The nurse and the priest end up getting roped into it, too.
BUT THEY DON'T TELL ANYONE THEY ARE MARRIED. BECAUSE MOMMY AND DADDY MIGHT BE MAD. Which is why Tybalt thinks Romeo is implying he's a pussy instead of an in-law, and why Tybalt and Mercutio both die.
Oh, and then, just when you think it can't get anymore outlandish and WTF, Juliet pretends to be dead. But Romeo doesn't get the memo, so he is actually dead. And then Juliet wakes up and finds out that Romeo's dead, and the two of them exchange a Jonestown-esque toast to their failed marriage and both die, thus sparing us, the readers, from further misery.
Those of you who find this play romantic, I fix you with the side-eye.
And that is why this book gets one star.
P.S. I got an F on the test for this book for the most stupid reason ever. We were supposed to sort the characters by whether they were Montagues, Capulets, or Neutral. My teacher believed:
1. The Nurse was a Capulet. 2. Paris was a Capulet. 3. Mercutio was a Montague.