review

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Reviews of a Bibliophile: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Published February 10, 2014 by Britt

Finding a cover that made me the least uncomfortable was a bit difficult here.

Thug Notes summaries are the best summaries.

Please read no further if you’re not in the mood to cringe. I’m disturbed.

Maybe it’s because I’m young. Maybe it’s because I knew from the beginning kind of what the subject matter of this book was. BUT WHAT DID I JUST READ?

I was originally drawn to this book because I love Russian literature and I’ve heard some hype about it. Not much, but some.

Apparently one of the main goals of this book was to make out Humbert Humbert, our narrator, to be a big shot, fancy, well read gentleman who just has issues like we all do. The goal was to make a reader sympathize with him, a very unreliable narrator, and make the reader unreliable. If you do sympathize with him, you’re an awful human being. And I’m going to dance around the subject a lot about this rather than flat out say what this book is about because I don’t want to set off any triggers, BUT THESE ARE NOT JUST PROBLEMS. THESE ARE JUST DISTURBING.

Maybe it’s because I’m closer to Lolita’s age group so I sympathized with her more (but still, she got problems too and I don’t like her much either), but I was not fooled by the elevated prose. I don’t sympathize with just about anybody. I hope this means I’m not an awful human being.

But I need a good brain bleach after reading this book. I was kind of uncomfortable from beginning to end. Time to go watch that commercial from the Super Bowl with the puppies and clydesdales.

Also, if you watched the Sochi opening ceremonies and watched the video with the Cyrillic alphabet, the Russians are proud of this guy??? I don’t even know. I mean if we consider Twilight good literature… I guess its only redeeming qualities are the little bit of intrigue to see how it all comes crashing down on him like you hope it will, or how it’s surprisingly well written. From a technical standpoint. And it had good imagery. Almost too good.

★★

Going to go weep for humanity now.

Reviews of a Bibliophile: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Published January 9, 2014 by Britt

Summary: The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories. But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Here is my reaction when I finished this book.

Happy endings were once a thing…

There’s a second part to this gif I chose not to add in because I have family reading this and they’ll probably kill me.

But seriously though.

MOST. UNFAIR. ENDING. EVER.

WHY.

I’d make that bigger but darn you WordPress.

I mean yay for staying true to yourself BUT NOT LIKE THAT. I’m dancing around the significant spoiler BUT YOU WILL BE UPSET.

I mean, whatever happened to happy endings? I just want to hug a particular character and put a shock blanket around him and give him a teddy bear and tea and make it all better. But no. No. I know not everyone gets their happy ending, but sometimes a happy ending is good, right? I mean this isn’t Dexter or Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones. I don’t want them to run off and become a lumberjack (I’ve seen the endings around the internet… never actually watched the shows beside Game of Thrones) BUT THEY HAD IT SET UP ON A TEE. I guess they had this one set up on a tee too BUT NO STOP I’M NOT OKAY.

Besides that, it WAS SO GOOD. The plot was so good and I just can’t right now. In case you couldn’t tell, I just finished reading this within the past couple of hours.

I like this one better. Sorry, Anchorman.

Tobias stars. For the ending. ★★★★

cwutididthar?

Reviews of a Bibliophile: City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte

Published January 5, 2014 by Britt

Pretty cover is pretty.

Summary: Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.
     Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.

Whoa, this book was a good book to start my 2014 One Year Book Challenge with. This book started off a little slow, but once it really got into it, I was hooked. Prague is a city I’ve started to see turn up in a couple books I’ve been reading, and it’s an interesting city from what I’ve been reading. Also, they have a problem with defenestration. That’s probably my favorite word. I also really love history mysteries, which led to me buying this book with my Christmas money. I’m happy to say I got my money’s worth. The plot was intriguing, and I liked the elements of magic they had. They also had the time traveling drug, which was an interesting approach to time travel as well. It had its noted flaws, but at least had a decent explanation behind it.

Sarah Weston is an interesting character. She has things I love about her, and things I hate about her. She’s a smart girl with a bit of a plucky personality, and her intelligence is in a bit of an obscure subject: musicology. I didn’t even know that was a thing. But she seems really passionate about it, although I can’t really remember if there was much of an answer about why. But she really loves Beethoven, and came up with a clever nickname for him: LVB. What really bothered me about her was how she couldn’t seem to keep her legs closed, if you get what I’m saying. She kept talking about how sexy a STATUE was. A STATUE. I don’t know why, but that aspect of her personality just bothered me. I think it’s because it drew away from the story a little.

I really love seeing characters from Virginia, by the way. Especially when it comes out of left field. The senator was from Virginia. I liked that.

Overall, this was a good read. Four stars. ★★★★

Book Challenge Roundup- And What’s In Store for 2014

Published December 27, 2013 by Britt

Well, I promised you I’d do a roundup with quick reviews of all the books I fell behind on… So here it is. From November 13, 2012- November 13, 2013, I read 41 books.

  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  • El Principito by Antoine De Saint Exupery
  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • Battle Royale by Koushin Takami
  • The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
  • Shada by Douglas Adams and Gareth Roberts
  • The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • Matched by Ally Condie
  • The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
  • The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
  • Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
  • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  • A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
  • A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin
  • Nevermore by James Patterson
  • A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin
  • Insurgent by Veronica Roth
  • The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan (Started falling behind on reviews about here.) Quick review: ★★★
  • Inheritance by Christopher Paolini: ★★★
  • Passenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie ★★★
  • A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin ★★★★
  • The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien ★★★★
  • A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin ★★★★★
  • Light by Michael Grant ★★★★★
  • Death by Petticoat: American History Myths Debunked by Mary Miley Theobald ★★★★
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald ★★★★★
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote ★★★
  • Witchlanders by Lena Coakley ★★
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman ★★★★★
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ★★★★★
  • The Color of Water by James McBride ★★★
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor ★★★★★
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman ★★★★★
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor ★★★★★

Now, what’s next for 2014? I’ll be restarting my book challenge on January 1, 2014. What would I personally do differently?

  1. Sometimes it’s fun to have competition. I made a group on GoodReads you can join and participate with me and other people. The person who reads the most books gets bragging rights. Yay, bragging rights.
  2. I’m going to try to avoid the library this year. I have too many books on my shelf I need to read, and I need to get those done first. I have a dream to have more books than the Library of Congress. It may not be done, but I’ll try and get awful dang close. Right now I have over 200 books neatly organized in my closet because that’s where my shelf will fit. The books trail out beside the case. Yeah, I have a book-buying problem. I don’t care.
  3. Yes, I’ll try to be better about reviews.
  4. I’ll try and beat my record of 41.

Other than that, I’ll try to be better about posting in 2014. I’m a little scatterbrained at times, in case you couldn’t tell. I need to either set up a better schedule for posting that I can follow religiously or at least set my calender reminders. Maybe both. I’ll figure something out.

Reviews of a Bibliophile: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Published September 14, 2013 by Britt

Summary: One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

It’s been a while since I read this book, so I don’t quite remember the details. Please forgive mistakes.

I’m so excited for the Divergent movie. You don’t understand. They better not make this another Percy Jackson. I started reading this series from a recommendation by Dinosaur. I think it’s his second favorite series after The Hunger Games.  Insurgent was just as good as the first book, but very different. I much enjoyed it, although I usually read each book in this series in about a day. Dinosaur is really surprised by this. It’s a combination of fast reading, good pacing and plot, and large font.

The events of this book definitely shape things for the third book. The ending makes me incredibly excited for the third book, leaves you with a good cliffhanger. I also like the fact there’s a severe lack of a stereotypical love triangle. That seems to be what the modern teen literature has to be about nowadays, and it’s definitely a fresh face in teen literature. Can’t wait for Allegiant!

Also, pretty covers. Love it.

★★★★ Four stars.

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