Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: Grimm's Fairy Tales

Title: Grimm's Fairy Tales
Author: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
Pages: 508 pages
Published by: Barnes and Nobles Books
ISBN: 1-59308-056-5
Rating: B+

With the words "Once upon a time" the Brothers Grimm transport readers to a timeless realm where witches, giants, princesses, kings, fairies, goblins, and wizards fall in love, try to get rich, quarrel with their neighbors, and have magical adventures of all kinds-and in the process reveal essential truths about human nature. 

Is it wrong if I enjoyed this?

This is the sickest, twisted collection of stories and tales, ever. Great job, Grimm brothers! LOL. But seriously, I'm a dark person-ish so it's not really a surprise I enjoyed this. But other than the fact that I'm a dark person, it's more of the fact that all fairy tales are ridiculously happy so a change is good. I mean, these stories are disturbingly written but that doesn't change that fact that these are WELL written.

All these tales that everyone knows have the happiest endings but no, that's not even how it was. This book reveals that and I like it. Not all the tales were enjoyable but there are a lot, it'll be hard for anyone to like every single story.

I will not deny that these stories and tales are absolutely horrible in terms of what comes out (death, manipulation, sick behaviors and everything) but they are well written, like I was saying before. The writing is kind of in the old time english but I don't think it's that bad. It's definitely not that hard to understand.

Each tale is a couple of pages which is really convenient because with this long book, you're not gonna want to keep reading it. When I'm reading a long book with long chapters or something, I HATE stopping but I can't help that I have to like eat and stuff. With this book, the tales are all unrelated so the pacing is all up to you. FREEDOM!! Ahahaa!

I really don't know what else to say. If you'd like to read twists on some of your favorite fairy tales then go ahead and read this book but if not then I suggest you stay clear from reading anything Grimm.

(LATE) Follow Friday #7

If you could have dinner with your favorite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?

This is seriously the toughest question ever. Considering all of the books I've read has a million characters, I really can't choose one. How about I just have a huge party with all my favorite characters? Then, I'll have a buffet kind of set-up and waiters carrying delicious appetizers and stuff. Everyone could mingle, I could talk to everyone and it'd be great. :]

Sorry for posting this late though. And missing a lot of the past weeks.

Review: Between Shades of Gray

Title: Between Shades of Gray
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Pages: 312 pages
Published by: Philomel Books
ISBN: 978-0-399-25412-3
Rating: A+

In 1941, fifteen-year-old Lina is preparing for art school, first dates, and all that summer has to offer. But one night, the Soviet secret police barge violently into her home, deporting her along with her mother and younger brother. They are being sent to Siberia. Lina's father has been separated from the family and sentenced to death in a prison camp. All is lost.
Lina fights for her life, fearless, vowing that if she survives she will honor her family, and the thousands like hers, by documenting their experience in her art and writing. She risks everything to use her art as messages, hoping they will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive.
It is a long and harrowing journey, and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?
Between Shades of Gray is a riveting novel that steals your breath, captures your heart, and reveals the miraculous nature of the human spirit.

One word: Wow.

My friend hadn't read this book when she told me about it but she said that she heard it was really good. I was skeptical about it because I really don't like historical fiction except for a couple of exceptions. This has now been added to the list of exceptions! This novel was absolutely amazing. I know I say that for a lot of books but this book is the best historical fiction book I've read. Ever.

From the first word to the last, this novel really did capture my heart like it said it would. The historical fiction books that I like are almost all about people that have been through things like the Holocaust and concentration camps because I like to read about those experiences that people had even though they may not be real people. It's important to know what happened so things like that don't happen again. It really touches me how these people believe even though their situation is horrible.

I love how Sepetys added a lot of romance into this because it just brings the whole novel together. It's a beautiful love that persevered throughout the novel and it made me squeal like a little girl. I'm such a romance-loving person, ahahaa!

I love love loved the ending. So much. There was kind of a "in the future thing (epilogue) and I love those! I love books that tell you what happened in the future and this ending was really satisfying.

The novel was written really well and I like Sepetys' writing style. It's unique in a way that you don't notice it until you really concentrate on the writing, not the story. The author uses imagery specifically well which I think is one of the most important things in writing books. It makes it easier for readers to imagine everything in their heads.

Overall, one of my favorite books now and I recommend it to everyone. It's sad, happy, exciting, everything you could ask for in a novel.

Review: A Walk to Remember

Title: A Walk to Remember  
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Pages: 207 pages
Published by: Warner Books
ISBN: 0-446-69380-4
Rating: B+

There was a time when the world was sweeter...when the women in Beaufort, North Caroline, wore dresses, and the men donned hats...
Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he'd been in love. Certainly the last person he thought he's fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town's Baptist minister...Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart-and the joy and pain of living. 

Why am I even reviewing this book? Everyone's definitely already read it or at least watched the movie right? Ahaha, well I still wanted to express my feelings about this book.

Honestly, I just read it, not too long ago. I apologize, I just never thought that after seeing such a good movie, the book was necessary. I mean, I believe that before you watch a movie, if there's a book, you should read it but I didn't for this one. I think that this is the first book that I think the movie was better. I'm sorry for all of those who just gasped in horror, LOL.

The book was amazing, don't get me wrong. It was beautifully written (obviously the work of Sparks) and the characters were off the page, the plot, the ending, everything was amazing. But, the movie portrayed the love and feelings so much better for me. I'll never know if this is only because I saw the movie first but the actors were really well chosen.

I can't get over how complex the characters are. They really come to life. Jamie is a girl who kind of pisses you off for being so nice and fragile but always accepting no matter what and then you just come to love her which is probably why Landon fell for her. My favorite thing about this book is how Landon changes throughout the story.I'm not even sure why but the way he grew out of being a real douchebag (ahahaa) because of one girl and how he became so romantic and mature. I love it.

The storyline is definitely cliched. There's a guy and a girl from two completely different worlds that come together and fall in love but I just love it! It WORKS in this book.

Really recommend both the movie and the book but I gave the book a B+ just because the movie did it better for me, ahahaa. Warnings though, it's sappy. 

Review: A Child Called "It"

Title: A Child Called "It"
Author: Dave Pelzer
Pages: 160 pages
Published by: Health Communications, Inc.
ISBN: 1-55874-366-9
Rating: A+

A Child Called "It" is the unforgettable account of one of the most sever child abuse cases in California history. It is the story of Dave Pelzer, who was brutally beaten and starved by his emotionally unstable, alcoholic mother: a mother who player torturous, unpredictable games-games that left him nearly dead. He had to learn how to play his mother's games in order to survive because she no longer considered him a son, but a slave; and no longer a boy, but an "it." 
Dave's bed was an old army cot in the basement, and his clothes were torn and raunchy. When his mother allowed him the luxury of food, it was nothing more than spoiled scraps that even the dogs refused to eat. The outside world knew nothing of his living nightmare. He had nothing and no one to turn to, but his dreams kept him alive-dreams of someone taking care of him, loving him and calling him their son. 
Through each struggle you'll find yourself enduring his pain, comforting his loneliness and fighting for his will to survive. This compelling story will awaken you to the truth about child abuse-and the ability we all have to make a difference.

First of all, before any of you comment on how you probably can't read the story because you couldn't bear to read about child abuse, think about how hard it was for Dave Pelzer to WRITE it. It's a true story from his point of view. Just think about how painful it would've been for him to recall these memories, detail by detail. Memories that probably still haunted him from time to time anyway.

I think that everyone should appreciate this and read the book. It's seriously a life-changing story and you'll never be the same. Knowing what happens to children that are abused helps you understand that this is real and there are children out there that really do need help. The pain you'll go through reading this is nothing compared to the pain he went through living it.

Anyways on to the book itself, it was AMAZING. Real props to Dave Pelzer for writing this beautifully crafted story solely on his memories. It was engaging and made me picture everything, even the parts I didn't want to. It was disturbing but not in a way that made you say "gross". You know it's gross and just utterly despicable but you're not thinking about this while you read it. Pelzer REALLY knows how to write (in my opinion).

The ending was a real cliffhanger and very depressing but he definitely fixes that with the epilogue and obviously, by the fact that he wrote the book. The book is very short, and very fast-paced. You'll be done before you know it. You'll be crying throughout the book if you cry easily like I do but really, I can't stress how good this book is.

This is a horribly written review, LOL. But I really don't have anything to say! It's definitely a book that belongs on everyone's "books to read before I die" list.

I hope that many of you will pick this book up regardless of whether you think you'll be able to handle it or not.