Is reading about the racism of the sixties depressing? Uh… yeah! Was “The Help” an informative piece of writing? Of course. Was it worth the heart-sto...moreIs reading about the racism of the sixties depressing? Uh… yeah! Was “The Help” an informative piece of writing? Of course. Was it worth the heart-stopping moments and sadness I felt during the read? Most definitely.
Really, there is nothing to complain about with this book, besides the depressing hardships that made up the beginning of the civil rights movement. But, hey, that is history. And, if I am going to have a bit of a history lesson, thrown in with some fictional characters, I would rather it be done by someone like Kathryn Stockett. Not that I am trying to make this novel into a history lesson, but it is interesting to find that there is much to learn while reading a book of fiction.
What made “The Help” so interesting to read was delving into several different ladies’ perspectives. Switching from Minny to Aibileen – both African American maids – and an unprejudiced white lady, named Skeeter, is part of what held my intrigue reading this book. While the purpose of the three ladies is to write about the different perspectives of working as the “help,” the book itself gives different perspectives, as well. Can we say irony?
The characters are so different from the way they view situations and people, to the way that they relay their stories. It’s hard choosing a favorite when it came to the three women. I could not help feeling a little sad when each character’s chapter was over. I just wanted more.
Although I do admit to feeling sickened and scared while reading about the injustice the maids undergo, the angst I felt just made me admire Stockett’s skills as a writer. I was disgusted by the injustice of some of those employers, and I was angered when I realized that though this novel may be fiction, much of the trials these maids faced – discrimination, low wages, imprisonment – were the kind of ugly events that were actually faced in the 60’s.
Of course, the book is not entirely sad (and I will not admit to crying!). Looking on the bright side, it is comforting to know that there are good people/characters in the world, like Skeeter, who don’t see the color of people’s skin. They just see people. (less)
Just as there are too many things to describe about a circus, there may be too many things to describe this book. How do I possibly explain it all? Th...moreJust as there are too many things to describe about a circus, there may be too many things to describe this book. How do I possibly explain it all? The sentimentality; the struggle to survive; the fight for true love… I could go on and on.
Like the colorful tent of the big top, there was a whirl of emotional colors playing throughout this book. Told from the perspective of Jacob as an elderly man, my heart wept for the senior as he reminisced on the days of his prime. As a strong man who fought for love and independence in his youth, no wonder Jacob is embittered sitting in his wheel chair in a nursing home.
Anger swelled my veins to read about the cruelty that comes with greed; the inhumanity created by the drive to success, which is exhibited by characters like Uncle Al – the big boss of the bit top. Of course, August’s wavering temper tantrums boiled my blood enough to make me feel like I would completely bubble over.
Like the sweetness of chocolate and PB that make a peanut butter cup, fear and romance could not dwell without each other in this story. Though I do not condone Jacob’s love for a married woman, it is hard for me not to sigh and root on his romantic feelings. Oh the turmoil that is love! But, Jacob’s unrequited feelings are not the only elephant in the room, obviously.
There is even a bittersweet love for Rosie, the pachyderm. Instantly winning my heart on her first appearance, I dare anyone to feel anything other than admiration for this magnificent and underestimated animal. Clearly, there are plenty of other characters to pluck my heart-strings, playing me like a sad little guitar. But, there is no shame admitting that Rosie has to be one of my favorites. She’s larger than life with zero lines in the story… and I love her! I love Rosie as much as I love this whole book. (less)
Yes, it all started with a one-night stand, or at least what was supposed to be a one-night stand. The physical relationship was easy enough for the c...moreYes, it all started with a one-night stand, or at least what was supposed to be a one-night stand. The physical relationship was easy enough for the couple to get addicted to, but the other part of the relationship – the important stuff – is figured out afterwards.
It’s watching a relationship develop backwards, or a car driving in reverse on the highway. And just as scary as it sounds, it is still eye-catching. Good luck looking away from that scene! Especially with the humor and strain exhibited between Charlie and Allie, not to mention Charlie’s character. Did I mention Charlie?
How can anyone not fall for a guy who defends a woman’s honor against the scathing words of her ex-boyfriend? Or a guy who is gentle enough to cradle a tiny puppy against his muscular shoulders? (I bet that image alone could make many women swoon). His skills in the bedroom don’t hurt his appeal, either. That’s Charlie, in a nut shell. Swooning, yet?
Allie’s character isn’t so bad herself. I cannot help admiring how she is comfortable with her own “soft” figure. I especially love how Charlie appreciates a full-bodied women, too (sorry, digressing back to Charlie, again). I was a tad bothered with Allie’s initial intention to use Charlie to get over her own problems. Then again, without this act, Allie wouldn’t have created the conflict – falling for Charlie – and we wouldn’t have an incredibly fun book to read.
My only complaint is when the book got a bit didactic at the closing, with the whole drug legalization subject. But, I can overlook that point when I think of the smiles, blushing, and laughter I had through the rest of the story.
So, would I recommend this swooning, tender, steaming, and funny novel? Do you really have to ask?(less)
Okay, so the plot has been adequately set up. If you have read any romance novels whatsoever, you have an idea of where things are headed. And, oh yes...moreOkay, so the plot has been adequately set up. If you have read any romance novels whatsoever, you have an idea of where things are headed. And, oh yes, “Sizzle” was adequately named for the heat between Sam and Lyra. There are just enough details for the romance to keep things steamy and provocative, but not too much to make me ashamed of reading it.
The romance itself is nothing mushy or gushy. It was all practical with none of the sappiness. There is just a strong sense of attraction, both physically and mentally, between Sam and Lyra. How could there NOT be? Both characters are described as having perfect bodies. Sam has that whole heroic persona going for him with rugged features and sensitive personality, not to mention a Scottish accent to top it all off. Can you say, swoon?
Yes, yes, Lyra is a very pretty and intelligent girl with a good heart, but who can pay attention to her with Sam Kincaid around?
Alright, enough about Sam. Let’s talk about the comic relief, Milo – the absent minded assassin. I actually called attention to myself a handful of times from laughing out loud while I read the antics and mishaps he gets himself into, not to mention his delusional fantasy of having a relationship with a woman – Lyra – who he barely had a conversation with. It’s just too humorous to keep the laughter bottled inside.
Word of warning: expect to draw attention to yourself while reading this book. Whether you are panting over Sam, blushing from the flirtation between Sam and Lyra, or laughing at the incredulous schemes of Milo, people are liable to stare at you and ask, “What are you reading?”
Don’t worry; it is all definitely worth the risk of onlookers.
Thank you, Garwood! I haven’t had this much fun reading a book in… oh, let’s not think how long it’s really been. (less)
I admit to being a sucker for romances, but honestly, this story could turn typical lovey-dovey haters into appreciators of the art of love. The human...moreI admit to being a sucker for romances, but honestly, this story could turn typical lovey-dovey haters into appreciators of the art of love. The humanism, relatable characters, and humor make readers turn the pages at whiplash speed, wondering whether Vanessa will mend fences or completely tear them down. (less)