cutie can haz read- take deuce

Posted 23 June, 2011 by Danny in / 0 Comments

I read.
You read.
We all read for ice cream!!
Wouldn’t that be peachy?!
Every time you finished a book
a person/thing/whathaveyou would magically
appear next to you and hand you a delightful ice cream cone?
What am I doing?
Oh, yes, I’m reviewing.
So last time on cutie’s corner,
I shared my summer reading goal of five books a week.
I’m happy to report I am still on track.
Imagine that?!
If by chance, you are interested in what I’ve read so far this summer
you can find a nearly complete list of books here on Goodreads.
And now I shall present to you five of those books and their reviews.
1. It’s Kind of a Funny Story
There are a few books in this world that I would humbly deem as important must reads. It’s Kind of a Funny Story is one of them. It is the story of a fifteen year old boy named Craig. Since being accepted into a prestigious and competitive school for future lawyers and presidents, Craig has felt his perspective shift. He is unable to feel good or hopeful and there are a million tentacles ensnaring him, forcing him to realize how worthless he is. And so sets in the depression- which triggers the man in his stomach that won’t let him eat- which causes him to sweat and fret- which keeps him up night after night cycling his thoughts- which triggers the drill Sergent in his head- which suddenly makes him start to question why he is even still alive. These thoughts spiral out of control until a fate-filled moment when Craig decides that he is just going to give up and leave this world behind…

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.

My Bewitched Rating:
2. The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss
I love a good art book and I often pick them up from the library to browse through, but I’ve never reviewed one, simply because I just don’t feel qualified! However, this one was so much fun and so different that I just had to share.
A few of my favorites:
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)
If you are a fan of Dr. Seuss, you will love this simple picture book filled will all sorts of strange delights!
My Bewitched Rating:
3. The American Crisis
I know this was a huge propaganda tool. I know this is one man’s impassioned opinion and that I must take it all with a “grain of salt.” But I just can’t help being pulled in by Paine’s persuasions and believe that what he says is the one and only truth! What a beautiful wordsmith he was with such awesome lines as:

“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.

My Bewitched Rating:
4. Spellbound
ARC received from NetGalley for a fair review.
Make sure to check out Danny’s awesome review 
and check out the Kismet Blog Tour which ends June 24th!

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.

My Bewitched Rating:
5. Divergent
My Bewitched Rating:

And in conclusion:

1. Reading makes my heart happy.
2. I need me some ice cream.
3. Jolly Rancher Popsicle rock.
4. I could win an award for rambling.
5. Annnnnnnnd I’m spent.

Until Next Time-
Happy reading to all and to all a good book!

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Obsessive Reader by Night - Scientist at Day! You can also find me on goodreads. I'd love to get to know you so, don't be shy and say Hello!

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