THE SHINING by Stephen King | Review

12977531I had never really been interested in reading Stephen King’s thriller The Shining– that is, until I saw the movie adaptation and became fascinated by the twisted and suspenseful story. Eager to see what it would look like in writing, I immediately made it a goal of mine to read the novel as soon as possible. Though I was surprised by how different the novel was from what I had seen on-screen, I still enjoyed it immensely.

A major strength of this novel is King’s impressive attention to detail, particularly regarding the backgrounds and development of the characters. Over time you come to realize that the Torrance family’s past is much darker and more complicated than first expected. It was simultaneously fascinating and unsettling to learn how Jack thinks, how he justifies his erratic and dangerous behavior even when it becomes harmful to his family. My favorite character was by far Mr. Hallorann, the chef at the Overlook Hotel who shared Danny’s “shining” abilities. Not only is he one of the only logical, sane people in this story, but he is also an incredibly caring and brave person. I loved his relationship with Danny and the way he seemed to care about him as though the boy was his own son.

mv5by2i4ztnlmgutzgflys00ndi4lwixotetyta0ytfhntdmnzvixkeyxkfqcgdeqxvyntgzmzu5mdi-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_At this point Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 movie adaptation of The Shining has become so iconic that is can be difficult to separate the novel from the film. Both the book and the movie adaptation have their own advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to choose one over the other (so I won’t!). The book is obviously much more detailed in regard to the Torrance family’s background and further explains the extent of Jack and Wendy’s marital problems, Danny’s shining ability, and the financial desperation that prevents Jack from abandoning his job at the Overlook when circumstances take a turn for the worse. However, the downside to the incorporation of so many interesting details is that the pace of the plot slows down significantly, which is where the movie adaptation gains an advantage. Because fewer background details are shown on-screen, more time is dedicated to building as much suspense as possible and packing in the creepy punches. It seems as though most of the exciting action takes place in the last one hundred pages of the novel, meaning that the other five hundred or so pages could certainly use some

Key scenes in the movie are not in the book. I know this is opposite of what I usually tend to complain about when it comes to movie adaptations (more often it bothers me when movie adaptations leave out details from books) but I think this is because in this case I watched the movie before reading the book. This might be an unfair complaint to make, but I’m going to say it anyways because it nevertheless impacted my opinion of the novel. I eagerly waited to read about the creepy twin girls, Wendy reading the utter nonsense that Jack had been typing on his typewriter, and the climactic chase between Jack and Danny in the maze. The plot of the novel was fine the way it was and made sense with the story it told; however, part of  me couldn’t help but feel disappointed that I wouldn’t get to read Stephen King’s description of Jack’s cold, icy face as he sat by the maze, defeated.

Overall, Stephen King’s The Shining is a standout thriller in its attention to detail and incorporation of family dynamics, human nature, and the perspective of a child into a twisted, creepy story. Whether or not you’ve seen the movie adaptation or are a fan of thrillers in general, The Shining is one book that you must add to your TBR list!

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Definitely!

What are your thoughts on The Shining, either the book or the movie (or both)? Have you read the sequel? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,
HOLLY

FEBRUARY 2017 | Wrap-Up

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WOW, what a month February was!! It feels as though I’ve hardly had time to process the whirlwind of events that have happened recently, so I’m just going to jump right into this wrap up and see what happens.

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In February I read a total of ZERO books.

That’s right: I read nothing in February.

Well, that’s not technically true. I read SO MANY articles and short stories and poems (sonnet overload for my Renaissance Poetry class), but no novels to speak of for the entirety of February. This is the first month in ages that this has happened (years, even?) but I’ve come to accept the fact that it simply can’t be helped. I’m been incredibly busy this semester and free reading time just doesn’t fit into my chaotic schedule. But my spring break starts in two weeks, and you can bet that I’ll be sitting down with a good book (or two or three) when I finally have some free time on my hands!

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My second semester of sophomore year started off with an event I’ve been looking forward to for months: the annual tap show! I’m part of my college’s tap dancing group, and each February we have our annual show. Our opening night had the biggest audience of Tap Out Loud history, and it was amazing to feel the support and appreciation of all of my peers. It was also surreal to see the dance I choreographed to “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! actually performed on stage. Definitely a night to remember!

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(P.S. That’s me in the pink in the front)

Another great weekend was when some of my friends and I went to the Museum of Fine Art in Boston, MA. I love going to museums but I don’t get to do it nearly as often as I would like. It was so nice to get off campus for a bit and spend a relaxing day admiring some beautiful art. My favorite part of the museum is definitely the Monet room. ❤

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In front of my favorite paintings by Monet.

The fun continued when I went to see the movie version of the musical Newsies. HOLY COW, THIS MUSICAL IS AMAZING. The choreography is so impressive, especially since I had no idea that this was such a physical, energetic, dance-heavy musical. Jeremy Jordan was fantastic and I’ve basically had the soundtrack playing on repeat since that day. If you’ve never listened to Newsies, I highly recommend checking it out!

Then came the magical day when my friends and I went to NerdCon 2017 in Boston. I recently wrote an entire Top Ten Tuesday post about the amazing time I had there, which you can check out by clicking here. I met so many talented, kind, inspiring people who I’ve looked up to for years, as well as some that I’m looking forward to looking up to in the future. It was absolutely surreal to be surrounded by thousands of Nerdfighters (and JOHN AND HANK!!) and I’m so grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such a wonderful event.

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Here are some notable posts from my blog this past month:

Here are some posts that I loved reading this month:

How was your month of February? What was the best book you read? Have you ever had a month where you read nothing? Did you do anything really fun or exciting? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Reasons NerdCon Was AMAZING

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Happy Tuesday!! Since the ladies over at the Broke and the Bookish blog are taking a short hiatus from Top Ten Tuesday, I’ve decided to do a few freebie posts until they begin again. Today I’m here to talk about an exciting recent experience of mine: I went to NerdCon in Boston, MA!!! (If you want to learn more about NerdCon, you can check out the website by clicking here.) In no particular order, here are ten reasons why NerdCon was AMAZING:

1. Being in the same room as Hank and John Green.

I started watching the Vlogbrothers’ Youtube channel back when I was in seventh grade. Middle school was a tumultuous time, and the sense of community that Nerdfighteria provided me was invaluable in getting me through. John inspired and captivated me with his novels, Hank made me laugh endlessly with his jokes and songs, and their videos were four minute-nuggets of happiness. I owe so much to these brothers and it was absolutely surreal to see them standing on that stage in front of me, being their genuine and hilarious selves.

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2. All of the Pizza Johns and Hanklerfish.

Never before had I seen so many of these strange and lovely creations all in one place. I even drew my own Hanklerfish on the Hanklerfish wall!

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3. Being introduced to so many new Youtubers and content creators that I never knew about.

There’s nothing better than discovering even more fantastic people to follow! From musicians and writers to Youtubers and artists, I’m so excited to delve deeper into their work (as soon as all of this homework lets up, that is!).

4. Talking with Sabrina and the Nerdwriter.

I’ve been a fan of Sabrina (NerdyandQuirky) for quite some time, so it was awesome to actually meet her in person. I also got to meet the Nerdwriter (Nerdwriter1), who was an absolute joy to talk with.

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5. THE MERCH.

6. Being surrounded by so many people who genuinely love nerdy things.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget how wonderfully nerdy the world really is. NerdCon was an important reminder that we’re not alone in being unabashedly nerdy, quirky, and passionate about the things we love.

7. Meeting Watsky.

I met Watsky and I’ll never be same. fullsizeoutput_16c6

8. Seeng Harry and the Potters perform live.

Can you say, instant new fan??? This band was so full of energy and life and positivity on stage that it was impossible not to feel empowered by the end of the performance. (Besides, who doesn’t love being able to jump around and scream about Harry Potter?!?!?!)

9. Feeling the overwhelmingly positive support of the Nerdfighteria community.

Nerdfighteria is truly a community of people unlike any other. A sense of togetherness pervaded the atmosphere of the convention, and everyone was so friendly and kind and thoughtful to one another. It made me proud to call myself a Nerdfighter!

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10. The warm and fuzzy sense of nostalgia and gratitude that continually washed over me throughout the entire day.

It’s not an understatement to say that Nerdfighteria has shaped my life in too many ways for me to count. This day took me right back to my middle school and high school selves, those younger versions of myself that found comfort in the content produced by John and Hank and all of the people associated with their incredible community. I am unbelievably grateful to Hank and John for all that they have done!!

If you ever get the chance to go to NerdCon, I have two words for you: DO IT!! Hope you’ve enjoyed this quick summary of my amazing experience at NerdCon 2017!

What are your thoughts on NerdCon? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Is there a RIGHT time to read a book? | Discussion

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Have you ever started reading a book you’re really excited about, only to find after a few pages that it’s just not really… clicking with you?

I think that the time in your life when you read a book can definitely impact your opinion of the work. For example, I primarily read Young Adult books all throughout high school. I loved the feeling of being able to directly relate to what the characters were experiencing. From awkward first relationships and hallway drama to prom nights and eventually graduation, I felt as though I understood where they were coming from. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that my love for these stories would wane a bit if I reread them today. With age comes perspective, something that can change the way you view your world. Issues that seemed grandiose and life-altering back in high school– the latest gossip, who was dating who, etc.– now seem quite petty in retrospect.

My AntoniaSimilarly, there are many books I’ve read recently that I love that I don’t believe I would have enjoyed had I read them when I was younger. One example that I talk about all the time on this blog is My Ántonia by Willa Cather. Published in 1918, this classic tells the story of Jim Burden’s experience with immigrant life on the rural plains of Nebraska. My Ántonia is definitely not something I would have picked up and read on my own before college, but after discussing it in class and learning more about Cather it is now one of my favorite books. I’ve noticed that over the years I’ve gained a greater appreciation for novels and stories that are driven by characters rather than plot. When I was younger, fast-paced and exciting plots were the most important aspects of books for me, whereas now I would much prefer to read about a well-developed character.

Apart from ways in which greater perspective can influence your opinions at different times, I think it’s safe to say that personal experiences can also have a significant impact on your perception of a book. For example, a few months ago I finally got around to reading Stacy London’s The Truth About Style. I read this at the perfect time because I could really relate to some of the issues she discusses. Another example I always think about is when I read The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern a few years ago around Christmastime. This ethereal, mysterious, almost fantastical story fit the mood of the holiday season flawlessly. It was just enough magic and mystery for those cold winter nights!

In my experience, I’ve definitely noticed that timing is an important factor in forming my opinion of a book. What do you think? Do you think there’s a RIGHT time to read a book? Have you had any specific experiences like this? Are there any books that you wish you had read at a different time in your life? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Sims Book Tag

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Hello, hello! Today I’m here to do the Sims Book Tag, despite the fact that I think I’ve only played Sims about once before. The prompts for this tag are just so fun that I couldn’t resist participating anyways. Thanks so much to Michelle @ Book Adventures for tagging me! This tag was created by Hailey from Hailey in Bookland.

WHERE THINGS COME BACK by John Corey Whaley

The Original Sims – The best author debut.

When I read Where Things Come Back I couldn’t believe that it was John Corey Whaley’s debut novel. It’s clever, well-written, unique, and woven with an intricacy and attention to detail that I can’t help but applaud and admire. Considering I randomly picked this book up at a bookstore years ago because I loved the cover design, it’s safe to say that I was pleasantly surprised!

looking for alaskaThe Grim Reaper – Saddest character death.

The book that immediately comes to mind is Looking for Alaska by John Green. Not only do I have a strong nostalgic attachment to this book, but I also believe that it’s a witty, touching, well-written story about love, loss, and growing up. I’ve read it countless times since middle school and each time I come back to it I’m filled with a sense of familiarity and comfort all over again. I’m not going to say anything specific about the death because I don’t want to give anything away, but suffice it to say that it crushes me every time.

Jurassic Park by Michael CrichtonSims Getting Stuck – A character that just got in the way.

When I read Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, I was astonished by the level of frustration that the character Dennis Nedry caused me to feel in nearly every scene he was in. He’s obnoxious, conniving, malicious, and one of those opportunistic people who will do anything to in order to make a profit or move up in society.

14800528-2Simlish – A book with amazing writing.

Due to my lack of experience reading Thomas Hardy I was surprised to find while reading Far from the Madding Crowd that his writing style is beautifully and brilliantly descriptive, witty, and poignant. Even though the story itself was fantastic, his writing alone is enough to make me want to read more of his work.

city of bones coverExpansion Packs – A series where the books keep on getting better.

My initial response was to list Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, but I’d like to try to mention some books that I don’t talk about all the time on this blog. Instead, I’m going to go with a series that I haven’t talked about much since I finished reading it a few years ago: The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. Though I love the beginning of this series, the complexity of the plot and the character development that occurs over the course of the six books makes the final one fantastic.

18475596-2Sim Romance – The worst case of insta-love.

The insane insta-love in Only Everything by Kieran Scott was almost unbearable. I barely even finished reading this book (to be honest, I basically skimmed the second half) because I couldn’t deal with how artificial and forced the romance felt. The main character’s annoying narration certainly didn’t help matters, either!

nick and norah's infinite playlistCheats – A book that was entirely unrealistic.

I don’t know about you, but when I read Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan I was pretty doubtful that the entire plot would actually be able to take place in the span of a single night. Someone needs to test out this theory once and for all and then report back to me about the results.

12977531Needs Fulfillment – A character who made all the wrong decisions.

I feel like the entire Torrance family made some pretty bad decisions in The Shining by Stephen King, especially considering that Danny had the Shining ability and could sense all along that something bad would happen eventually. They had so many opportunities to turn back, yet they foolishly and resolutely moved forward time and time again.

the maze runner coverError Code 12 – A series that started off great but went downhill from there.

I absolutely loved The Maze Runner by James Dashner and was incredibly excited to continue on with the rest of the trilogy when I read it in middle school. Unfortunately, the other books suddenly careened in a downward spiral that I wasn’t expecting. The arch of the story changed completely and I thought the original premise of the first book had a much more interesting twist with a lot of potential.

13581132The Sims Vortex – A book/series that completely engrossed you.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh was so captivating that I ended up reading the majority of it in a single day. I’m so glad that my coworkers recommended it to me over winter break because I had never heard of it before.

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What do you think of the books on my list? What books would you pick for these prompts? Have you ever played Sims before? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott | Review

20893528-2The enduring popularity and praise of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women has intrigued me for some time. I couldn’t help but wonder what made this classic American novel stand out among its neighbors, particularly since it initially seemed to be a simple story about four sisters living during the Civil War. What is it about the March family that has captivated and enchanted readers, especially girls, since its publication in 1868? What was so special about Beth, Amy, Jo, and Meg that catapulted these fictional sisters into over a century of literary fame? These and numerous other questions swam in my mind as I purchased my own copy of Little Women and ultimately fueled my desire to read this beloved classic.

Needless to say, I now understand all of the praise that these sisters’ story has received over the years. What first appears to be a simple story about a poor family’s optimistic way of life actually offers the reader so much more: lessons of morality, right and wrong, friendship, love, loss, materialism, growing up, and countless other meaningful messages that anyone and everyone can benefit from reading. If I had to describe Little Women in only a single word, I would resolutely exclaim: “QUAINT!” This is perhaps the most quaint book I have ever read. A warm, fuzzy feeling blossomed within me from the very first page and continued to bloom until I had closed the cover for the last time. If you’re looking for a book to make you sigh with contentment and joy, then do yourself a favor and look no further than this classic.

I think a great deal of the charm and fun of this novel stems from the reader’s ability to see him or herself reflected in many of the characters. It’s tempting to label myself purely as a headstrong, adventurous, curious Jo or solely an obedient, responsible, kindhearted Meg. However, over time the reader surely realizes, as did I, that she is a blend of all of the sisters combined. Each sister has personality traits that we wish we could both embody and cast aside. They are undeniably human, complete with faults and flaws that make us point at the page and exclaim, “So I’m not the only one who does this!” or “Other people feel this way, too!”

Apart from the sisters, my favorite characters were by far Laurie and Mr. Laurence. I loved watching the friendship between Laurie and Jo grow and develop as they aged as well as the adorable friendship between Beth and Mr. Laurence. I longed to visit their house and spend hours in their impressive library, listening to the notes of the grand piano floating down the hall. Laurie’s funny, witty personality made me laugh and grin more times than I could count and he consequently played a main role in many of my favorite scenes. (Camp Laurie, anyone?)

Is this story unrealistically ideal? Yes. Though it does address a handful of unpleasant topics (death, poverty, etc.), on the whole it almost resembles a fairy tale in the way that everything wraps up neatly at the end. Part of me wishes that Alcott had allowed a few of the girls– especially Jo– to be more independent and, essentially, not get married. Because this story is set during the Civil War, it is understandable that it wouldn’t align with the values of modern feminism and the idea that women need not marry in order to live a happy and fulfilling life. Still, while reading I couldn’t help but hope that at least one of the girls would find the courage and independence to go off on their own and set sail for a life of unexpected adventures. I did cringe inwardly at times, particularly when Meg’s mother emphasized the vital importance of pleasing her new husband and ensuring that he was happy no matter the circumstances. Again, a little more female independence would have been lovely, but my expectations weren’t too high given the time of the book’s publication.

Another small qualm I have about Little Women is that I was hoping for more historical context or direct interaction with the time period. Of course, the war was obviously mentioned in regard to the girls’ father being away fighting in it; however, no specific information was discussed concerning sides of the war or race relations in general. I’m assuming that they were fighting on the side of the Union since none of the people surrounding them seemed to own slaves or live on plantations, but no questions are answered concerning their views towards what is going on in their country at this tumultuous time in American history. I find it a little hard to believe that race relations and the war more specifically would not have come up in conversation at some point over the course of these years in their household.

Overall, it’s clear that Louisa May Alcott deserves all of the praise given to her charming, enduring novel Little Women. Despite its predictability and slow pace at times, I couldn’t help being captivated by this adorable, heart-warming story of sisterhood, family, love, and life.

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) :0) 4 out of 5

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Absolutely, especially to someone who enjoys reading character-driven stories that focus on family and relationships.

Have you read this book before? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Exceeded My Expectations

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Happy Tuesday! Today I’m here to share an incredibly positive bookish list with you all that will hopefully brighten your day with some recommendations. Usually I try to begin reading a book with an open mind, but it’s inevitable that there will be some initial expectations floating around. Fortunately, I’ve read countless books that I’ve ended up loving so much more than I first thought I would. Without further ado, here are ten books that have exceeded my expectations: 

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What are some books that have exceeded your expectations? What do you think of the books on my list? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

Do You Think About Linguistics When You Read? | Discussion

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This past semester I took my first ever linguistics class in college and it opened my eyes to this exciting and interesting field of study. Previously I had always made the distinction between linguistics and the study of literature, mostly because I had never explored linguistics in a classroom setting before. However, there is actually a close and valuable connection between these two different branches.

[ling-gwis-tiks] 
noun, ( used with a singular verb
1. the science of language, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and historical linguistics.

The suggestion that we can use linguistics to help us better understand literature (such as why Holden Caulfield evokes certain emotions in us) made me realize that this specific focus on words has always been something that has interested me. Whenever I’m asked to analyze a text, be it a novel, poem, or other work, I tend to first gravitate towards the language itself. For example, the first English paper I ever wrote in college was about Daniel Defoe’s use of language in Robinson Crusoe to denote the conflict between savagery and civilization on the island. In order to present an image of sophistication to the reader– and perhaps even to stay sane while attempting to survive on the island– Crusoe seems to make a conscious effort to portray himself as a civilized man, as though he were still living in what he considers to be human society. Crusoe constantly describes physical aspects of himself using language with European connotations, thus reproducing himself as more sophisticated and civilized.

Though I didn’t delve into the specific etymology of Crusoe’s vocabulary, I now realize that this paper was edging towards a more linguistic approach to analyzing literature. It is all too easy to become tangled in grand symbolic meanings, representations, and implications while interpreting literature that the actual language of the text is often forgotten. It’s safe to say that writers do not meticulously comb through their lexicons looking for the most etymologically correct or appropriate word to use every single time they write, but that does not mean that language is meaningless beyond what it conveys when it is read as a complete text. To ignore the particular descriptive words and meaning behind names of characters and places would be to discount much of what the writer might have wanted to convey.

After having taken this class, I find myself being much more aware of the specific language being used in texts. Do you think about linguistics when you read? Have you ever taken a linguistics class or learned about the subject in general? Do you think it’s useful or valuable? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

The Totally Should’ve Book Tag

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Hello, hello! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day. Today I come to you with the fun little Totally Should’ve Book Tag. Thanks so much to Azia @ The Uncharted World for tagging me!

When We CollidedTotally Should’ve Gotten A Sequel

Does anyone else ever wonder what happened to Jonah and Vivi years after When We Collided by Emery Lord ended? Or Jonah’s family in general? Or the restaurant or the pottery place or any of the people living in Verona Cove? I would love to read even a novella about where these characters are at years later.

Jurassic Park by Michael CrichtonTotally Should’ve Gotten A Spin-Off Series

I’m not really a fan of spin-off series in general, but I guess I’ll have to go with Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. Who doesn’t want more dinosaur fun? I’d love to read about the park from an outsider’s perspective living in another county or even the process of how they developed the idea for the theme park in general.

the night circus coverAn Author Who Should Write More Books

After reading and loving The Night Circus a few years ago, I’ve been eagerly waiting for Erin Morgenstern to write another novel. I would read anything that she writes in a heartbeat! A bookworm can always dream, I guess… fingers crossed!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsA Character Who Totally Should’ve Ended Up With Someone Else

Is it weird that I’ve always felt that Katniss should have ended up with Gale in Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games? Few people seem to ever agree with me on this, but it’s a gut feeling that I’ve had ever since first reading the book years ago.

ready player one coverTotally Should’ve Had A Movie Franchise

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline would make such a fun movie! I once heard rumors that there was a movie adaption in the works for this novel, but I’m not sure how true that is. Hopefully a movie adaptation will be made someday!

A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall coverTotally Should’ve Had Only One Point of View

I’m generally a fan of books with multiple points of view, providing that they actually add meaningful depth and intrigue to the story. However, I was really disappointed when I read A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall because the numerous different perspectives instead made the characters feel distant from the reader.

16156303Totally Should’ve Kept the Original Covers

My answer to this is basically any book with a movie poster as the cover design. *cringes* A recent example of this that I’ve come across is Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. There are so many better cover designs!

the maze runner coverTotally Should’ve Stopped At Book One

I absolutely LOVED The Maze Runner by James Dashner when I read it in middle school, but the rest of the series? Not so much. The other books don’t even feel like they’re a continuation of the same story. The series has so much potential stemming off from the first book, but unfortunately it all goes downhill from there.

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What are your answers to these prompts? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY

HOW TO BE A WOMAN by Caitlin Moran | Review

10600242How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran had been floating around in my peripheral vision for some time before a noteworthy recommendation from Ariel Bissett put it fully on my reading radar. Because I trust Ariel’s opinions and have never been led astray by her recommendations in the past, I decided to download the audio book version that she had listened to and endeavored to give it a go myself.

It saddens me to report that I have very mixed feelings about this memoir/nonfiction hybrid. The first few chapters had me cheering with delight– finally! A writer who isn’t afraid to talk about menstruation!– but my enthusiasm waned the more I listened. Some parts were truly hilarious and had me literally chuckling to myself in my bed as I listened to it, knitting needles and tangled yarn falling from my lap. Other parts had me shaking my head in confusion, wondering why she was emphasizing the discomfort of certain bras when the clear solution to the problem would be to simply buy a more comfortable one. Though I appreciated the fact that she wanted to discuss the smaller but still influential and important obstacles that women encounter throughout their lives, many of these issues sounded frivolous and exaggerated by her over-the-top narration and tendency to take problems to the next level. (Honestly, are weddings really the torturous, unbearable occasions that Moran makes them out to be?)

Again, I really wanted to like this book because Moran is coming from an important and unique perspective when it comes to modern feminism. At times it feels as though feminism is discussed primarily by those in academia or politics, when in reality it should be a common topic of conversation among everyone. Gender inequality impacts people regardless of their level of education, socioeconomic status, or political affiliation and therefore everyone should be able to have a say in the matter. I wholeheartedly agree with Moran on this point and wish that this message would have been executed and delivered in a different manner.

It’s difficult to explain, but while listening I felt like the book could have been toned down several notches overall. She almost seemed to be attacking certain women for liking things that may be considered stereotypically feminine. Is it so terrible if I actually like my designer purse or enjoy shopping for clothes or wearing bras? Her constantly pessimistic view towards numerous aspects of many women’s lives was quite off-putting and made me scratch my head more than a few times. Was she really arguing for gender equality if she was denouncing many of the ways by which some women feel more feminine or allow them to identify as women?

Though I began this book with an opened, eager, and excited mind, unfortunately I cannot shake my mixed feelings towards How to Be a Woman. I do appreciate the presentation of this memoir/nonfiction book, especially the engaging, hilarious, witty narration of the audio book as well as the message that it attempts to deliver. Its intentions may be in the right place; however, in my eyes it missed the mark and went a bit beyond the line of a coherent, realistic message and an effective delivery. While I most likely won’t be returning to this book in the near future, I have certainly gained a new appreciation for the way that Caitlin Moran loudly and unashamedly voices her bold, brutally honest opinions.

My Rating: :0) :0) :0) 3 out of 5

Would I recommend it to a friend?: Yes, but I would probably warn them ahead of time about Moran’s rather in-your-face delivery of her message. Also, they would have not mind an abundance of cursing, discussions that could be considered “too much information” by some people, and a lot of strong opinions.

Have you read this book before? What are your thoughts on it? Would you recommend any of Caitlin Moran’s other writing? Let me know in the comments section below!

Yours,

HOLLY