Oh, yes, I’m reviewing.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story is a hopeful, funny, lighthearted novel about a young man struggling with a mind-numbing depression and trying desperately to get a grip on his life. Having struggled with depression myself and having lost a loved one to suicide, I am always leery of books on clinic depression. Most authors tackle this subject matter with a heavy hand and a dark, twisted storyline. However, Mr. Vizzini does the exact opposite. It’s not that Craig’s depression is dealt in an off-handed manner nor that it is an unrealistic view, but that Mr. Vizzini weaves so much hope throughout his story. Never once did I get tired of Craig or think he was just a whiner. I was cheering for him. Laughing with him. And praying that his big shift would happen!
Filled with wonderful secondary characters, a great setting, a lovable protagonist, and an antagonist we can all relate to this beautifully written novel is a fantastic read. If you are struggling with depression, if you know someone who is struggling with depression, or if you just feel sometimes that life is weighing you down then this is a book for you.
1. Oh, I’d Love to Go to the Party, But I’m Absolutely Dead (p. 26)
2. There They Stood Exactly as They Were Created (p. 28)
3. Gosh!, Do I Look as Old as That! (p. 45)
4. Green Cat with Lights (p. 58)
5. Untitled (p. 86-87)
“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: ‘Tis dearness only that gives every thing its value.”
Not to mention his powerful opener:
“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer solider and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
Can you imagine how this rallied General Washington’s despondent troops? Can you imagine the fire it light under un-enlisted men to get up and join the fight?!
His last and final pamphlet entitled The Last Crisis is filled with hope for a new world that had pushed the boundaries and declared its freedom. It just gives me a sense of pride for my country; an imperfect land that has struggled to get things right, but has never stop in its pursuit for liberty and justice for all. While reading these passages, I couldn’t help but feel gratitude toward those men (like Thomas Paine) who fought for the place I call home.
Spellbound is the story of Emma, a high school girl who after the death of her mother and a terrible accident that nearly kills her, moves to New York to live with her aunt. There she is enrolled in a richy rich high school filled with stock characters (the rich-bitch cheerleader, the angry jock who uses his fists to rule the school, and the classic rich boy next door who is a bit of a trouble maker and not at all interested in the hotties surrounding him). When Emma finds herself falling madly in love with said hottie, Brendan Salinger, she starts to uncover an age old curse that could endanger her life, while at the same time finding out that she has a few powers she never knew about.
Overall, I enjoyed reading Spellbound. There were a few description that just had me eye-rolling: i.e. boots that are fierce and voices that are smokey due to illness. These descriptions pulled me out of the story. I’m not sure if Ms. Shultz was going for an edgy modern feel to her story or if she was just trying to “teen” speak. Either way, I couldn’t help but feel it took away from the story. Also, I was confused at times about who people were in relation to Emma. For example, it took me half the story to realize that Emma’s spunky little cousin didn’t live with her.
On the characters, Emma was a sympathetic character if not a little contradictory at times. Her goth-witchy friend was a little flat and seemed to be a mere tool in the story, not adding much expect plot information. Luke was a hottie- loving, smexy, and protectively overbearing- which always gets a yes please from me. And the “main” bad guys were your classic stock characters that just bordered on being too cliche and evil.
The emotional side of this story was a little empty. I didn’t feel Emma’s fear when she thought about her step-dad nor her sadness when she thought about her mother and brother. But I sure as heck felt that tingly feeling when Brendan Salinger (J.D. Salinger, anyone?) looked her way.
In summation: Spellbound is your classic teen paranormal romance, plain and simple. It’s got a few interesting plot twists. It satisfied that romantic fix we all have. And it does take the old standard of star-crossed lovers and makes it interesting. If you are a fan of paranormal romance, this book is a good fit for you.
Set in a dystopian Chicago, Divergent is the story of Beatrice (Tris for short). Having been raised to be unselfish in a society that sorts its people by their dominate character trait and places them into one of five factions [Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent)], Beatrice has never felt like she has what it t…moreOh my!! What does one say about a book like Divergent?! Simply put: It is epically awesome!
Set in a dystopian Chicago, Divergent is the story of Beatrice (Tris for short). Having been raised to be unselfish in a society that sorts its people by their dominate character trait and places them into one of five factions [Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent)], Beatrice has never felt like she has what it takes to be completely humble. When sorting day comes, Beatrice throws caution to the wind and chooses to leave her Abnegation family behind by joining another faction, the Dauntless. Being a Dauntless will test her not only physically, but mentally as well. And Beatrice finds that she is not only fighting to be a member of the Dauntless but to keep a deadly secret about herself safe. A secret she doesn’t understand but knows could get her killed.
Unique in its story tell, breath-taking in its scope, and additively written, Divergent is the type of story you wish would never end. This is an awe-inspiring debut novel from a fresh voice in the literary world. I am anxious to get my hands on the sequel and totally, completely, one hundred percent Team Beatrice!!!
Oh and Four has stolen my heart completely. *swa-woon*
In summation: Pick this book up TODAY. Like stop everything you are doing right now, rush to the store, buy it, read it, and enjoy. Those are dr. cutie’s orders.
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