Trash, trash, trash. I really can't explain why I picked up this book at all. Curiousity, I guess. Wanting to read something fluffy and gain insight i...moreTrash, trash, trash. I really can't explain why I picked up this book at all. Curiousity, I guess. Wanting to read something fluffy and gain insight into the teenage mindset. This is not a horror novel, it is a romance novel (and also without much conflict until the very end), and teenage girls all over the country are masturabating to this book because it is their most fervent fantasy to have some preternaturally good looking guy entranced with all the minutiae of their lives. "Your favorite color is brown? Oh my god, please tell me more! You are the most fascinating creature, I love the smell of your strawberry shampoo and would gladly lay down my life for you!"
The story is about a girl moving to a new town and falling for the local teenage vampire. The protagonist Isabella "Bella" Swan is a clutzy teen and very ordinary, albeit pretty. At first I didn't mind Bella's clumsiness as I figured Meyer gave her this trait to make her more relatable, but it soon becomes over the top when she can't even go hiking without constantly tripping over tree limbs and falling down, and her new vampire buddies frequently end up carrying her as if she were nonambulatory. Oh yeah, and she literally faints from lust at one point when Edward kisses her because he's just too dreamy and she's oh so fragile. I think Meyer was attempting to make Bella appear independent by having her be a sort of caretaker for her flaky mom, and her unhappily divorced obtuse bachelor dad, but that is quickly overshadowed by her fragility bordering on disability. Since this is a young adult novel and there cannot be any sex, Edward spends a lot of time stroking her collarbone. Yes that's right. He strokes her collarbone and is constantly cradling her face in his hands which just seems a little needy and weird to me. Meyer has also succeeded in tapping into some kind of twisted rape fantasy because Edward finds Bella so appealing that he worries he may lose control and drain her of her especially fragrant blood which has floral notes - I shit you not. She's so beautiful and smells so great he just may end up killing her, especially if she pushes him too far by kissing him too passionately because men, uh I mean vampires, cannot control their appetites. Also, if one would happen to lose the other they would each want to kill themselves because, you see, Edward is Bella's whole life and vice versa. Nice role models, huh? Wait there's more. Edward really wants to pay for Bella to go to college (I guess I'm skipping ahead to the preview chapter of New Moon they put at the end of the 1st book), but she just wants to skip all that and become a vampire so she can forever remain 17 yrs old with him. So all you young girls out there, skip college and just look for the man of your dreams, okay? Because only something outside of yourself will complete you. Meyer, you are one fucked up chick.
Okay, after re-reading Hunger Games I take back all my former complaints. Now I get it. Funny how I enjoyed it so much more the second time around aft...moreOkay, after re-reading Hunger Games I take back all my former complaints. Now I get it. Funny how I enjoyed it so much more the second time around after a couple years' gap. Probably because of all the hype the first time. Moving on to Catching Fire. (less)
This one seemed promising at the beginning, then like so many books I've read took a major dive. I liked the author's description of heaven and liked...moreThis one seemed promising at the beginning, then like so many books I've read took a major dive. I liked the author's description of heaven and liked that it was told from the dead girl's perspective, but thought there was a lot of potential in the story that Sebold didn't take advantage of and some of the dialogue was god awful. I also hated the characters of Ruth and the mom. I almost preferred the murderer over these two.
I'm back to not trusting any book that I see too many women on the train reading. (less)
My mother-in-law sent me this book because it takes place in Chicago including my own neighborhood of Lincoln Square. I didn't have high hopes for it...moreMy mother-in-law sent me this book because it takes place in Chicago including my own neighborhood of Lincoln Square. I didn't have high hopes for it at the outset because of the romance angle and because I've seen so many women reading it on the train (usually a bad sign.) But to my surprise, it was well written and I really enjoyed it. I loved the references to the Newberry Library, Vintage Vinyl and Bookman's Alley in Evanston, clubs and bars in Chicago that existed in the '90's, and bands like The Violent Femmes. It's an ambitious story to write because of the jumping around in time, but Niffenegger pulls it off with aplomb. I guess it's as much a chick book as it is a sci-fi book, but the characters are interesting, arty and likeable enough (they have good taste in food, books and music)that I was empathetic with them. (less)
One of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. Horrifying, yet life affirming. McCarthy reminds us of what really matters in life, beyond a...moreOne of the most beautifully written books I've ever read. Horrifying, yet life affirming. McCarthy reminds us of what really matters in life, beyond all cliches, by stripping away layer after layer until the raw core of the human soul is revealed. (less)