A haunting, compelling story that was almost undone by a few superfluous, cringe-inducing chapters at the end that would make Nicholas Sparks and Mitc...moreA haunting, compelling story that was almost undone by a few superfluous, cringe-inducing chapters at the end that would make Nicholas Sparks and Mitch Albom proud. This was an imperfect novel, for sure, but still one that broached a subject that should be explored more, and brought to life events that were tragically swept under a rug. Like many other reviewers, I wanted more Sarah and less Julia. At one point, Julia's boss tells her re: her story, "But you forgot a couple of things. The cops. The French cops." Julia responds, "He was right, of course. It had never entered my head." I wondered if perhaps that was exchange Tatiana de Rosnay had had with her own boss because I was curious about the cops too, but unfortunately, there is no mention beyond that.
Despite its unevenness, Sarah's Key is worth a read and shows with terrifying detail some of the atrocities that occurred in 1942.
This is a book that not only holds up on a second reading, but also absolutely deserves a reread.
The week before Mockingjay was released in 2010, I ca...moreThis is a book that not only holds up on a second reading, but also absolutely deserves a reread.
The week before Mockingjay was released in 2010, I called around to different bookstores trying to find one that was having a midnight release. When all ten chain and indie stores said they weren't having one, I called back from a private number and, with an Eliza Doolittle meets Mary Poppins accent, asked if they were willing to sell me a copy one day in advance if I paid double. I know, I have zero book shame. But fear not, Scholastic. They wouldn't. I even went to Ralphs at midnight because I heard some supermarkets released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows early. No luck there either. That's how I ended up in front of Borders at 9:45 am saying, "Open, open, open."
I spent the next few hours in a reading frenzy. I had to switch locations every couple chapters because I looked like this:
Unsurprisingly, it's easy to miss nuance and development when you're sobbing.
Not only that, but by the time Mockingjay came out, I had to know how everything ended. Peeta or Gale? Districts or Capitol?? Life or death?! The only thing I thought while reading was, Okay, how is this going to affect the ending?
Rereading it now, minus the frenzied anticipation and expectation, I could really appreciate the story Suzanne Collins crafted. I could see the character development and why choices were made and really process what was going on instead of just inhaling it.
Something that surprised me: I really disliked Gale. I loved him the first time around and, more than that, I understood him. He wants to fight. War, to him, is the only answer and as such, there will be some unfortunate but necessary casualties. Katniss, on the other hand, can put faces and names to so many casualties already, too many by her own hand. There is no desire for it. Last weekend, I attended a going away party for my friend's younger brother, someone I've known since he was in elementary school. At some point this month, he'll be sent to Afghanistan. War, for me, suddenly has a very familiar face -- one that I'll always see as a little kid. Gale's attitude, his enthusiasm, now seems almost thoughtless. Or is it the necessary mentality of a soldier? The great thing about this book is that it keeps you thinking and even debating with yourself.
For a book that I had such expectation for, Mockingjay delivered. Of course I wanted more of certain characters and storylines (Finnick!), but the characters and the story gave all that they could give. If it's possible to feel fictional characters' blood, sweat, and tears, then you'll feel them with this book. The second reading just confirms that The Hunger Games stands alone as my favorite series.
Pride and Prejudice is a book that can introduce itself. If you don't already have an opinion of it, well, take that up with your non-accredited high...morePride and Prejudice is a book that can introduce itself. If you don't already have an opinion of it, well, take that up with your non-accredited high school. The question of which edition to buy, though, is whole 'nother beast because there are just so many to choose from.
Just a sample of Amazon's selection:
You can click "See 15 more paperbacks" three more times and still not be done.
This is how e-books have actually changed my life (and how I think they'll change the world):
I've started judging books by their covers.
Oh, I'll still read exactly what I want to read. But if I'm going to buy a book, an actual book — if I'm going to bring it into my house and make space for it — it better be beautiful. It better justify its visual existence.
I totally agree with this. And amongst the hundreds of editions of Pride and Prejudice, here are the two that I made space for in my library. It's no surprise that these are ones where publishers collaborated with artists to create something beautiful and unique.
Hardcover (ISBN: 9780955881862):
The cover art was done by artist Kazuko Nomoto. I love the little details of this edition, like the white ribbon bookmark and how the first word of the next page is written at the bottom of the page.
Paperback (ISBN: 1402785305):
The cover art was done by fashion illustrator Sara Singh. I think I actually gasped the first time I saw this. (Such a nerd, I know.) I would hang a print of this cover on my wall.
Hope this helped narrow your search if you're like me and still always looking for gorgeous additions to your library. Thanks to Noelle, whose artist eye always hones in on the prettiest covers and forwards them along. Now stop that shit before you bankrupt me! :)(less)
You know the term "helicopter parent"? I'm a helicopter reader. I am ridiculously protective of my books and the characters that come to life through...moreYou know the term "helicopter parent"? I'm a helicopter reader. I am ridiculously protective of my books and the characters that come to life through them. Film adaptations always make me nervous because empirical data suggests a high rate of illiteracy amongst Hollywood executives. When I found out The Hunger Games, or MY FAVORITE SERIES, was getting adapted to the big screen, I put on my aviator cap and goggles and started hovering. I had already mentally cast my Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, and Cinna, so I was obsessed with any and all casting news and how the real cast matched up to my mental cast. Aside from Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, EVERYONE else made me nervous. Miley Cyrus's boyfriend? Gale would never! Woody Harrelson?? Haymitch is a drunk, not a stoner! Josh Hutcherson? His name is longer than he is! Lenny Kravitz? Being married to Denise Huxtable does not an actor make! I analyzed every trailer and tried to tamp down my expectations. I decided to re-read the books instead so the story would be fresh in my mind for the premiere -- because obviously I was going to a midnight showing.
I really liked the movie, but the standouts were undoubtedly Katniss, Cinna, Rue, and Prim. Those actors nailed their roles. They exceeded every expectation and brought these characters to life as Suzanne Collins wrote. Lenny Kravitz WAS Cinna. Rue and Prim were even more impressive, not only because they're so young, but also because they're the emotional centers -- Prim is Katniss's heart in District 12 and Rue is Katniss's heart in the Arena. Amandla Stenberg and Willow Shields had more of a performance burden on them than, say, Liam Hemsworth because if they didn't deliver, it would've undermined Katniss's journey. At least, that's how I saw it. But those girls, those actors, delivered. I had to stop myself from bawling at the Reaping and bawling during that scene in the Games. I can't even imagine the emotional and professional high those girls feel right now, knowing all the pressure that was on them from crazy helicopter fans like myself.
And then I saw the article on Jezebel. Disgusted doesn't even cover it. Pissed isn't strong enough. When I saw Amandla Stenberg's tweet, "#spreadlove", I just got so sad that this 13, THIRTEEN year old girl had to be subject to this when she should be ecstatic. Since I don't condone meeting stupidity and ignorance with violence, let's have a chat. People who don't agree with Amandla Stenberg's casting but claim to be fans of the book: let's talk reader to reader. WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU READ?? What part of "dark brown skin" is difficult to understand, imagine, and see? I'm truly flummoxed. If you missed the description the first time around or it went over your head, I urge you to read the book again. You're not only missing the words, you're missing the point.(less)