Review: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

east-of-edenI realise I’m going to take a lot of smack from many friends for my low rating of this novel….but it really just isn’t the book for me. I just didn’t much care about any of it….I couldn’t get into it….and by the time I gave up hope of getting involved with the characters, I just wanted it to end….it took FOREVER for that to actually happen….but I did stick it though until the end…..now all I can think of is all those books I could have been reading…

I often avoided “classic novels” in the past, just because I was afraid I would hate them. However, I no longer worry about hating them. So if I think they might interest me, I read them. If a new thriller comes out I think I might like, I will read it too. Or a *fluff* book. I read for me. Me alone.

There are many classics I love, despite them being hundreds of years old and labeled as classic. I no longer feel inferior if I hate them. I’ve never been the type to feel superior if I love them either. Reading has never been about impressing others. It’s always been about trying to impress myself with the wonderment of words set to a page…to have those words move me…to entertain me…to show me the world in a different light…to take me to a different world…or maybe even to inspire me to change something in my life…be it my views or my actions…but it’s never been about lying to impress someone else…so there you have it…

I hated this book…

Until next time…
Urania

Buy it now East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Review: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

fine-balanceHow does one even attempt to review such a scopious novel? Seriously…I think I need to weep, but there’s just nothing left inside of me at the moment. Perhaps a bit of happiness, hope, faith restored…but only a tiny bit…and perhaps there is some despair, hatred, anger, even dubiosity….or maybe they all just cancel one another out and that is why I feel so much…nothingness…I want to be all of these things…I want to have all of these emotions…and I want to make sense of it all…but I just can’t…

Who can make sense of destiny? Who can think they know better than fate?

“..my life would have been so different today. But our destinies are engraved on our foreheads at birth.”

I think this novel has left me in shock…it gives so much hope in so many places, but just as real life often does, it snatches it all away in a blink of an eye. You want to be angry, but how can you? What gives you that right when the characters themselves handle their fate with so much grace and acceptance. How can you even attempt to place blame, when they themselves do not…How can you weep for them, when they do not weep for themselves?

As I sit here writing this review, I am not ashamed to say that as I sit here, trying to make sense of it all, that my numbness has turned to me openly weeping at this book’s ending…Nor am I ashamed to admit I do not know who I weep for the most…it could be any single one of these characters..they have all touched me in some way….or maybe I weep for myself…or all of humanity together…

Read this book…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Review: White Teeth by Zadie Smith

4200Parts of this I really loved…I loved how “English” it was….however, overall I couldn’t wait for it to end…and at the end I was reminded why I don’t really enjoy contact with people very much….I much prefer the company of my tarantulas and solitude….this book and the characters in are exactly why…

People just annoy me. If I spend too much time with them, I get, not only annoyed, but highly agitated. I just want them to leave.

That’s how this book was. By the end of it, I was just glad I no longer had to spend any more time with these people.

As funny as it is, this was still my favourite quote in the book…I can’t help it….

The whole plan’s so high on the cheese factor it’s practically Stilton.

bwhahahahaha….now that was brilliant….

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Review: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Illustrated Edition

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Even in this age of ebooks, even with my dedication to my Kindle, there’s a place for real, actual books. And this is one of those places.

Simply beautiful.  That’s the only way to describe this newish addition to the Harry Potter family.  I say newish because this first one came out last year with the second volume available now.

Some people will say that an illustrated version of these timeless stories messes it up by putting another person’s visions in our heads.  I disagree. Because chances are, if you are buying these hardcover books for yourself or for a loved one, you’ve already read the original stories multiple times.  And you’ve seen the movies. So for me, these books are just another take on a much loved story.  And they absolutely do justice to the originals.

So grab these amazing books.  They make great gifts. And it’s okay to gift yourself from time to time!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

 

Review ~ The End of the Affair by Graham Greene. 

You know, there’s nothing like going back to an old favorite! Make your favourite drink, prepare some favorite snacks, change into your comfortable clothes and sit back and relax into blissful familiarity. 

I’ve read this book multiple times and I still think that this is possibly one of the most complex, and realistic, dissections of human emotion.  Love, hate, confusion, lust and friendship, all play their parts. However, Greene does not do what most writers do and give each emotion it’s own familiar little compartment; love and hate often get mixed together, becoming one and the same, lust is often the focus, with confusion rearing its ugly head at the most inappropriate moments, and friendship arises, and ends, from the most obscure places. 

This is certainly not a plot driven novel. We know that the affair has ended before we even read the first page. We know another important fact as well, before we get even a quarter of the way through. This novel examines reactions, and the consequences of those reactions, whether it be physical or emotional. 

   We read books to escape, I get that. But sometimes it’s nice to realise that those effed up emotions that you feel at the most inappropriate of times, are completely normal, and quite frankly, inevitable. 

Give this classic a go – it’s short, but packs a major punch.

~ Pegasus.  

The End of the Affair

Review: On the Road by Jack Kerouac

2552Okay, confession, I don’t even know what “beat lit” is….and if this is an example, I don’t want to know any more.

If I understood “beat lit” would it make me love this book? Appreciate it more? I don’t think so. I didn’t find it well written. I didn’t find it interesting. I didn’t find it anything except me glad to finish it. I saw lots of sex, some more sex, some sex with adults and minors, some drugs, some thieving, more sex, lies, disregard of promises and responsibilities….rinse and repeat…

Please don’t tell me it was the generation. Please don’t tell me it was a rebellion against society and the government. Please don’t tell me I don’t understand. It might have been different if all of what was portrayed was mutual and done with honesty between both parties…but to me it just stank of the selfishness of some parties on various levels….

If you’re more enlightened than me and you know it, feel free to bask in that knowledge whilst I bask in the knowledge that I didn’t enjoy any of this book…

Call if my own personal rebellion of the “American Classics and Beat Lit”…

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Review: Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell

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I love it when authors put their own unique twist on classic stories and fairytales.  Bonus points if their version is even more dark and twisted than the original.  This is what you get with the latest from Lisa Maxwell.

We all know the story of Peter Pan and the Lost Boys.  The story from my childhood places Peter in the role of hero, saving all who are lost.  And the Neverland I remember was a magical place full of swashbuckling fun with a dash of danger thrown in.

This is not the story we grew up with.  This Neverland is full of deadly secrets at every turn.  There are more beasts than you can keep track of.  And death is a regular occurrence.  Oh and Peter?  He may not be what you remember.  This Peter is more sinister and conniving. And then there’s Captain Hook.  Because what would a Peter Pan story be without a bad guy?  But maybe Hook isn’t really the bad guy.  Or maybe he is.

This is what Gwendolyn has to decide for herself.  Her entire life has been spent moving from place to place.  Just as soon as she gets settled, her mom uproots them yet again.  She has a good reason.  They are running from monsters, after all.  To Gwen, this is just more of her mom’s eccentric behavior.  So when they end up in London, she doesn’t take any of the warnings seriously.  Keep the windows closed, don’t turn off the lights…

And when she doesn’t heed these warnings, bad things happen.  In the form of dark shadowy creatures who swoop in and capture Gwen along with her friend Olivia.  When Gwen wakes up, she finds herself on the ship of the infamous Captain Hook.  She knows the story, so she knows he’s not the good guy.  So she escapes and is rescued by Peter Pan.

Here’s where the story takes even more twists and turns.  Gwen quickly realizes that Pan may not be what he seems.   And it would appear that she holds the key to saving herself and Olivia.  Maybe her mom wasn’t so crazy after all…

This was such a fun book to read.  The author has a way with words and is able to create magical worlds that transport the reader.  While staying close to the original storyline, she still gives us a fantastical alternate version.  Add this one to your list!

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  Unhooked