Yes, it's another fictional piece that attempts to bring philosophy and bittersweet hopefulness through the exploitation of illnesses—only it succeedsYes, it's another fictional piece that attempts to bring philosophy and bittersweet hopefulness through the exploitation of illnesses—only it succeeds in the message it brings. I am currently thinking up a proper review that won't be written on my phone; although I don't doubt that what I'd want to say hasn't already been said....more
Too short. It felt like I watched half of an episode...it would probably be half of an episode if it were transferred to the screen. However, it's a rToo short. It felt like I watched half of an episode...it would probably be half of an episode if it were transferred to the screen. However, it's a relatively good start to what may come. Some parts weren't all that interesting only because, for those of us who've already seen the first two episodes of Legend of Korra, we already have a good idea of what's gonna happen. It's still good and I still want to know what happened to Zuko's mother. I think we're all waiting on that....more
PROS: - Easy read. - Poignant storytelling. - Engaging from the get-go. - Incredible prose. - Gives great insight into mental disabili*Goodreads Giveaway.
PROS: - Easy read. - Poignant storytelling. - Engaging from the get-go. - Incredible prose. - Gives great insight into mental disability. - Every single character in her life had personality and made a significant contribution to the book no matter how minor their role. - I loved how marginalized groups were not made ambiguous. For example, "the black woman in a pink coat" versus "the dark woman in a pink coat." Gave more clarity and identity to people which I now appreciate. - Audience was shown things, not merely told.
CONS: - None. This book is beautiful.
COMMENTS: I won this book as a Goodreads Giveaway and I'm so glad I did. I rarely ever read memoirs and when I do, they're usually about privileged white folk with nothing to do except a) wallow in their misery, b) talk shit about the world, c) pull purple prose out of their asses, d) sit around and do absolutely nothing to mend their "horrible" privileged situation, or e) a combination of all. They are a huge waste of time for the audience to read and for the author to write. However, I was very happy to find that The Memory Palace did not fit in any of these categories.
The beginning of each chapter usually tells a fun fact that's relative to the entire section. In the end of each chapter, it always circles back to it. The fact and the way she applied it to situations that occurred in her life isn't like anything else I've ever read. I'm glad for Bartok's powerful memory and incredible writing style because it taught me a lot about homelessness and mental disability. Bartok's memoir was incredibly engaging and evoked so many emotions people don't normally feel throughout a novel—joy, fear, warmth, sadness (made me cry several times), confusion, grief, empathy, etc. Usually novels only provoke one or two emotions out of me but this was just a plethora of powerful feelings, sometimes at once. Her life is very exciting, terrifying, depressing, and most of all, beautiful. I personally think this should be a literary classic and made into an official high school reading requirement. I believe it could teach impressionable young people a lot about compassion, possibly inspiring action.
Not only did the author honor the memory of her mother, but she did a great service for homeless people living with mental disabilities—something the American government always fails to do. As a society, we need to understand why people are forced into homelessness, especially when they are affected by mental disabilities as severe as Bartok's mother's (schizophrenia). Bartok's memoir illustrates why it's difficult for families who do not have the wealth, resources, and legal capacity to provide proper care for them. Like a broken limb, if left untended to, mental illness will develop to become severe enough to be fatal. It's not given the attention it needs because there's little to no visible physical ailments. This book depicts that it can not only threaten the person who lives with it, but it threatens the lives of the people in their lives as well. If the government and more people heard what schizophrenia is actually like, mental disability would have far more funding (VIDEO TRIGGER WARNING: noises compiled by scientists to accurately depict schizophrenia—very startling and may trigger anxiety for some people). This book could be a gateway to being more compassionate and understanding about people who live with mental illnesses and are pushed to homelessness.
This was the best and most brilliant way Bartok could have dedicated something to her mother. I thank her for this poignant gem and am definitely going to be recommending this book to others, especially those who need a better understanding into the mind of people affected by mental disabilities....more
I don't know anyone who has read this book who has given it less than 5 stars. I also don't have much to say that hasn't already been said. It's a flaI don't know anyone who has read this book who has given it less than 5 stars. I also don't have much to say that hasn't already been said. It's a flawlessly written, well-thought out book. It is the single wittiest book I have read and there are very few books out there that can compete that aren't written by these two authors. It is, as I have predicted at the start of reading this, now one of my all-time favorite books. I would definitely recommend it to people I know who have good taste in literature and would like a good laugh (or ten). I'm sorry it took me a year to read this—the only real thing I would have regretted is never having read it at all....more
PROS: - Engaging. - Fast-paced. - Brilliant world-building. - Brilliant storytelling. - Great commentary on society, exploitation, capitalism, and currentPROS: - Engaging. - Fast-paced. - Brilliant world-building. - Brilliant storytelling. - Great commentary on society, exploitation, capitalism, and current-day social issues. - Good blend of Greek mythology (minotaur), modern day, and Battle Royale. - Like watching a good action/sci-fi film.
CONS: - Cliffhanger in the end. I love cliffhangers if the story continues but I had to find a con and this is the only "flaw" I could find in the book.
COMMENTS: I don't think very many people enjoy reading about children fighting each other, much less to the death. Let me tell you now: this book is not meant to appease anyone's comfort. You are 100% guaranteed to feel uncomfortable at one point or another unless you're a sadist.
The book is a well thought out commentary on how ignorant and desensitized humanity has become what with the way they glue themselves to the television screens, watching mindless "reality" television shows. It's calling people out on the exploitation and it's supposed to make people realize the horror of using other people's pain for their own entertainment, reality or not, child or adult. There are shows where kids are being exploited because their parents have them pit against each other to win $50 grand (I Know My Kids [sic] A Star). Or the show where 40 children compete against each other to win $10-50 grand (Kid Nation).
Not only that, I love how Collins manages to make it clear that if the cosmetic "beauty" industry continues the path they're on, society morals and ethics will follow suit. If people are unhappy with their skin tone, they can turn it neon green. If people are unhappy with the way their skin feels, they can make their skin satiny with advanced plastic surgery. If people want to draw attention to themselves and a tux isn't enough, add fire. The author makes people realize how much our society cares about the way people look instead of caring about the way people are. The world has replaced character-building with an image-obsessed business (as it is today). You see that throughout the book.
I cannot fully express how happy I am to finally see a solid, independent and intelligent female character (who is a person of color!!!) take the lead in a bestseller, especially in the Young Adult genre. Today, there are plenty of white male leads for young men to look up to: Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Eragon, and Percy Jackson to name a few. Where will you find a woman of color lead whose mission isn't to look for love? Not a whole lot of places to look. I love how Katniss is willing to sacrifice herself for her family and how she isn't willing to sacrifice all of herself for the sake of the government. At least, not without consequences. She's willful but she isn't without flaws. Katniss is a good person to look up to and young adults could learn a lot from her, especially young women.
Besides the incredible societal ties to our world, Panem's world-building is absolutely incredible. Goods from poor states are sent to The Capitol which are sold for profit and to benefit the people in The Capitol. If a laborer "steals", they pay a high price. What most people don't understand is that this is actually happening today, right now. Coca Cola, Starbucks, Marlboro, your clothes, your tea—it's being harvested by children and families in fields and people die in those fields. And when they get home, they get terrorized and tortured by similar police officers that you read about in THG. With this book, there's an excellent commentary about exploitation of labor that's Marxist-like in narrative. It brings to light the issues happening today that not enough people know about.
For this, I love dystopian novels and I love how realistic this novel feels. I haven't been able to hang on to every word since Harry Potter. The writing is great and the storytelling is captivating. Collins did what she set out to do and executed it with success. I'm glad she continued with sequels and that this series won't be ten books long. I thank the author for gifting us with this series and can't wait to see how Katniss outsmarts The Capitol in Catching Fire.
JAN 2014 EDIT: I was extremely disappointed with the film. They failed to illustrate the desensitization the way Collins has and trivialized it into a film about teen romance. I asked my friends and peers what they thought about it and they said they didn't even know that The Games were being filmed and broadcasted on television after I'd explained why The Games existed and what it entailed. Not only that, KATNISS. IS NOT. WHITE. HOLY SHIT. And NOBODY understood where The Capitol got their shit and who was being oppressed for it and JUST HOW BAD CORPORATE EXPLOITATION REALLY IS. I just can't. ...more
Warning: This book is not for the squeamish...but then again, zombie books wouldn't be entertaining without the gritty details.
PROS: Engaging storyWarning: This book is not for the squeamish...but then again, zombie books wouldn't be entertaining without the gritty details.
PROS: → Engaging story plot and great character development. → Difficult to put down; easy read. → Unconventional zombie twists without feeling unrealistic. → Very funny; surprisingly sensual. → Great writing style; everything was so descriptive, I felt like I was there with the protagonist. → I loved how the author shifted the chronological order of the events with each chapter.
CONS: → I can see this book being made into another book-butchering movie.
I love this book. It was my first zombie book and I am forever grateful to Brown for writing it. The novel is pure magic. I love how unconventional it was—the zombies have a mind of their own, just like you and me. They have a sense of morality and know that they are the most oppressed species(?) "alive". Very easy read if you're not too squeamish about guts, lots of dark humor, and very good as a starting novel for potential zombie-lovers....more