Written in tense, patient urgency, this was a heavy and familiar tale that stayed steady on its track right up to its expected destination. Baszile haWritten in tense, patient urgency, this was a heavy and familiar tale that stayed steady on its track right up to its expected destination. Baszile has such an authority over her pen, however, that even when all the chips began to fall directly as I knew they would, I never once felt like she'd done something cliched, only that it was how it must be.
I'm even more eager now to see what Ava Duvernay has done with the television adaptation. ...more
After you read it,... Watch this Pitchfork documentary http://youtu.be/O0yrp3nsvAs and see it all come to life in a far more raw manner than Freedia'sAfter you read it,... Watch this Pitchfork documentary http://youtu.be/O0yrp3nsvAs and see it all come to life in a far more raw manner than Freedia's television show. An absolutely captivating individual. Freedia's gentle spirit, combined with her "no nonsense" ability to cuss you out with love is only one of the many seemingly contradicting parts of her life. He talks about being a sweet hearted choir director who loved(and needed the love of) his church, while at the same time his popularity as a booty shaking "sissy bounce"(his term) rapper was growing rapidly. Beautiful passages about the many times he was blessed with the reassurance that it was okay to be himself, are filtered through stories of friends who were not as lucky, and a harrowing recollection of Hurricane Katrina is juxtaposed with a peaceful display of how supportive and giving his family has been. Music fans will appreciate some perspective on the origins of the dance form many unwittingly credited Miley Cyrus with: twerking.
While not a groundbreaking literary work, Big Freedia's memoir of life and love and bounce in New Orleans was still a highly entertaining and endearing read....more
I get it Sarah, and I too want teens to love the "real" fairy-tales. However, force-feeding them snippets of historical tales inside a Twilight and GoI get it Sarah, and I too want teens to love the "real" fairy-tales. However, force-feeding them snippets of historical tales inside a Twilight and Gossip Girl-esque plotline, is just not the way to get it done.
I'm so confused at how this book has gotten such high reviews. For the outstanding description, I was expecting something much more engaging and sinister. The story was full of promise, but the tale left much to be desired.
After losing her parents in a fire as an infant, Mirabelle has been raised for 15 years with her godmothers. Loving but extremely overprotective, Mira hasn't been able to do much. No riding in cars with boys, no returning to her hometown of Beau Rivage, and no touching sharp objects. Whoa, guess you'll never figure out which fairytale character she is now.
Well 15 years is a long time to not know much about where you really come from, and Mira has had quite enough. She decides to run away home, to see what is so bad about Beau Rivage, and discover where her parents are buried. To throw her godmothers off, she pulls together an elaborate false trail of emails with a fake boyfriend, and heads off.
Upon reaching Beau Rivage, we find that Mira didn't really think to plan beyond actually arriving in the town. She hasn't pulled together any plans on food, lodging, or connecting with people who could possibly help her find her parents. Instead, after a few hours in, she finds herself to be hungry and hopeless, and sitting inside of The Dream casino where there is apparently no security to escort underage people from the premises.
While sitting there, she has a gruff introduction to a blue-haired boy named, surprise, Blue, who tells her to get out before she runs into his dangerous brother. She's instantly offended, (not worried or cautious), and while fuming about it in the rose garden outside, she meets, you guessed it, his brother Felix. A handsome, charming 21 year old casino owner, who just happens to be on a date with another girl but is so intrigued by sad Mira, that he gives her a SUITE in the hotel.
Pretty soon, Mira is not only back in the hotel where Blue told her not to be, but sleeping in Felix's room. Because it's totally plausible and uncreepy that a 15 year old girl would sleep in the room of a strange 22 year old she just met AFTER being warned about him by his OWN family. Makes perfect sense.
The rest of the book is all about how Beau Rivage inhabitants are actually cursed fairy tale characters (Once Upon A Time, anyone), who are destined to meet the curses of their tales no matter what they do. A town full of angry, depressed, and self-damaging young people who face their futures with about as much zeal as can be expected when you know you're one day going to become a beast, or choke on an apple. Meanwhile, the only characters we don't learn fully about are Blue and Felix, although anyone who has read more than the usual fairytales, will quickly figure out who they are supposed to be.
I was extremely underwhelmed with this book. Mira was the Bella Swan of the new year with her whiny, "I want what I want and that's all I want" attitude when it came to Felix. Warnings from all over the town, and she was still "in love" with this older man she just met. Not to mention, she's just gallivanting all around this strange town without once actually asking people for information about her PARENTS, without a care in the world because her food, clothes and shelter have been provided by Felix and Blue.
I also found it hard to care about the characters. They were miserable, boring, and unresolved. They were SO uncareaboutable, that at some points, I forgot which character was which. That's bad.
By the end of the book, I found myself trying to force my way through the final pages because I honestly couldn't care less about what was going to happen with Mira, her love dilemmas, or any of the rest of them. Things just didn't make enough sense. You're smart enough to come up with a plan to run away, but not enough to do anything else? Your godmothers are actually your "fairy" godmothers but they don't find you immediately? It was annoying.
For those who are really interested in some great fairy tale retellings, I'd recommend Cinder by Marissa Meyer, A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz, or Cinderella, Vol. 1: From Fabletown With Love by Chris Roberson. These stories, for three separate age groups, speak to a number of familiar characters in new ways. Each prseented a fascinating and mature reimagining of classics without trying too hard, which was the unfortunate downfall of Kill Me Softly. ...more
A classic re-imagined with YA flair in an adult package.
When She Woke is clearly a play on The Scarlet Letter, (which I never read but did see the DeA classic re-imagined with YA flair in an adult package.
When She Woke is clearly a play on The Scarlet Letter, (which I never read but did see the Demi Moore movie), set in a futuristic America that is frighteningly similar to what some may actually want to see.
In an un-named year, America has undergone a spiritual reclamation. A great drought and infertility plague has ravaged the country for years and once a cure was discovered, the fear and pain it brought about has ignited a national religious overhaul. There is an office of the Secretary of Faith. Sanctity of Life Laws have made abortion a murder charge. Things in America have gotten very black and white.
But not all things.
The Great Second Depression made the country look at where money was being spent, and they no longer saw fit to pay for the inmates in the overcrowded prisons. To cut down the amount of minor criminals housed in prison, they looked to science. Chroming was what they came up with. Through a genetic mutation surgery, now criminals have their skin colors changed to identify them. Yellows and Greens are petty criminals, arsonists, drug users. Blues are the second to worst, pedophiles and child molesters. Only class worse than the Blues, are the murderers. The Reds.
When Hannah Payne woke...she was as red as a rose. Having been found guilty of murder for an abortion she'd had, and her refusal to name the abortionist or the father, Hannah has been sentenced to fifteen years as a Red. She has been disowned by her mother, mourned by her father, and her pregnant sister's new husband Cole forbids her sister Becca to have any contact with her. And yet, Hannah refuses to name her lover. Aidan Dale. The married pastor of the country's largest congregation, and the new United States Secretary of Faith.
The tale that follows this stark awakening in Hannah's prison cell after she's first Chromed is one of pain, romance, and enlightenment. Reaching rock bottom makes Hannah take hard looks at a side of thinking that she was once a very big supporter of. She once also believed abortion was murder, that Chroming was right and necessary, and that the lines were very clearly drawn about women's roles and rights. Now, an outcast from the society she once believed in, Hannah can see some of the double standards and injustices.
The Fist, a supremisist group committed to extinguishing Chromes, is reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan. Novembrists, a secret Canadian Feminist sect that lives by the motto "It's Personal", seeks to fight for abortion rights. There is also a look at how Chrome ghettos have emerged, Chrome discrimination reminiscent to Jim Crow, and other Chrome issues are developed quite beautifully.
Author Hillary Jordan deals with the issues of today in a far off, plain way that makes a reader calmly think, rather than get in an uproar. I appreciated that. My one complaint would have to be that towards the end of the book it does seem as though there is a mad rush to throw in as many "sins" as possible for Hannah to grapple with, so that one can dissect them all in the eyes of a truly religion-led society. I got the point, but thought it was unnecessary and redundant at that point. Hannah was an interesting companion to walk with through this book, and she kept my attention fairly well until the last chapter.
As I said, the book is clearly an adult one, as Hannah is a little over 25 years old, but as the story opens this was not clear. In fact, many of the ways in which she was treated and regarded by family and men in the beginning of the book had me thinking she was 17 at best until her age was actually stated. Parts of this book reminded me of "After" by Amy Efaw, and would be a nice companion piece to examine the choices and hopelessness.
Every now and then when I finish one of these, I find that I'm glad the show's writers changed a few plots. As Sookie deals with the "in-laws", Eric'sEvery now and then when I finish one of these, I find that I'm glad the show's writers changed a few plots. As Sookie deals with the "in-laws", Eric's maker and "brother", I was amused but irritated. A lot of the plot here was lost on me. I was more interested with the lives of Bon Temps than the many other supe worlds Sookie visited in this title. I couldn't care less about Were politics and I thought it was disconcerting for Harris to reincarnate the very real Prince Alexai Romanov for the throwaway vamp plot happening. I'm always entertained by Sookie, but this one packed far less punch....more
I was hesitant to read the Sookie Stackhouse books. But then, I was also hesitant to watch True Blood for the first two seasons also, and now I will cI was hesitant to read the Sookie Stackhouse books. But then, I was also hesitant to watch True Blood for the first two seasons also, and now I will cut off conversations and webchats to make it in front of the television on Sundays. The books have gotten me the same way. The Sookie of these books is not too far removed from the Sookie of True Blood, but everyone else is. The Lafayette of this first book, for instance, was just enough to make me more appreciative of my beloved True Blood Lafayette.
As the first in the Sookie Stackhouse series, Dead Until Dark recounts Sookie's relationship with Vampire Bill. Her life in Bon Temps is cluttered with the burden/blessing of telepathy and she loves the fact that Bill's thoughts are unheard in her mind. This peace and curiosity stems a frantic love affair much like that of Bella and Edward (Twilight), but Sookie is nobody's wispy teenager. She knows what and who she wants, and has more than her share of unexpected outbursts.
Sookie Stackhouse is a genuine and honest heroine that I found myself chuckling at often. Although the vampire world has "come out of the coffin", Bon Temps has to be a cesspool for all types of things that go bump in the night. And there's a whole lot of "bumping" going on.
Had I not watched True Blood, I probably would have never even known about these books, and for that I'm grateful. I'll keep the two very separate in my entertainment lists though. True Blood for the gore and mature content, but Sookie books for fast-paced and humorous science-fiction romance....more
A good read for the wait between seasons, but nothing to hold your breath over.
This first installment of the new True Blood Graphic series finds all oA good read for the wait between seasons, but nothing to hold your breath over.
This first installment of the new True Blood Graphic series finds all our favorite characters sequestered against their will inside Merlotte's. They have been trapped inside by an evil Imp Shaloop, a Native American trickster spirit who feeds on shameful secrets. Each of our friends, from Tara to Eric Northman all give in and tell their darkest secret or personal story.
To be honest, the stories are somewhat not as juicy as I would have liked. The benefit of this kind of series is that it could serve to enlighten those of us who haven't read the original Sookie Stackhouse novels of some valuable backstory. This book didn't do that. It actually replayed a lot of the character flaws we already know about thanks to the television show. For people who don't know the show, and want a quick introduction, it may work.
Hopefully the stories will improve as time progresses but for now, I was only mildly entertained....more
I always, ALWAYS try and keep an open mind when reading. I also try and keep an open mind in terms of the differences and similarities of married andI always, ALWAYS try and keep an open mind when reading. I also try and keep an open mind in terms of the differences and similarities of married and single lives. I try and read lots of books on dating and single life, because they truly benefit relationships as a whole, and not just new ones. With all that being said, this book was a perfect fit for me.
First of all, I have to admit that what I enjoyed most about Ms. Lucas' book...is Ms. Lucas. I may not agree with each and every philosophy or idea she presents, but I am greatly impressed and supportive of her reasoning behind them (if that makes sense). Her blues aren't like mine: I was married for most of my twenties while she explored singlehood and what it had to offer, but she is a thinker. And as a thinker, I feel on some level we are kindred spirits.
Demetria's blog and my own were both up for Black Weblog awards in 2010, (two different categories), and that was how I first found her writing. She was funny and practical, things I value very much. I visited a few times and soon began to think, as another reviewer said, that she did seem to be somewhat of a real Carrie Bradshaw. As I read this book, however, I found her to be much more than that. This book is what SHOULD have been getting women motivated to date smarter, not that tripe rag Steve Harvey put out.
A self aware woman is a gem. They can recount events and people with enough detail to give you the lesson learned, but not the bitterness or regrets. These short vignettes into Belle's dating twenties, were done in such a way that I never once felt anger or even more than heavy frustration for her male counterparts. She told what went down, how she took it, and where things left off. Quick and to the point without the b.s. found in most single women books. This was not the book that would have you "exhaling" in a Terry McMillan fashion. Men were men, not enemies. Women were women. Not lovesick fools.
One other thing that I think all women (or men) should take from this book is that dating is dating. It is not a means to an end. The good times, good meals, or good friends you gain from dating are not equivalent to failures if they don't result in wedding bells. This book was not at all about being single or being in a relationship, despite the title or the description. This book was about being self-reliant, self-aware, and intrinsically motivated.
A southern romantic ghost story! YES! Beautifully done and didn't feel one bit over the top. It was very believable to me that one could fall in loveA southern romantic ghost story! YES! Beautifully done and didn't feel one bit over the top. It was very believable to me that one could fall in love with a spirit and a place and I so wanted to move down there to relive her reality....more