book review

Book Review: ROOM

A week after reading this book, I find myself bringing it up in every conversation I have. A huge thank you to Mallorie for letting me steal 20 books off her kindle – this being one of them. This book has opened my eyes to the world, seeing everything that seems so ordinary in a completely new perspective. *spoiler alerts coming so stop now if you don’t want to know what happens *

ROOM is told through the eyes of a 5 year old boy named Jack. At first, it seems like Jack and Ma are perfectly content in their home, but slowly you realize that they never leave – there are no windows, there is barely any food, and the only visitor is a man Jack nicknames Old Nick. The pieces start coming together – the 5 years of Jack’s life was spent in this one, tiny room. He knows nothing of the outside world. Ma tells him that everything on TV is fake and he literally does not comprehend the idea of the other millions of people living outside the walls of his room.

When Jack and Ma escape from the room they were held captive in, Jack has to adjust to this new world – a world full of people, sunlight, wind, rain… He cries when the wind blows too hard and is amazed at the shape of the moon each night. His fascination with every detail of his new world made me both smile and cry. Can you imagine going 5 years of your life without sunlight? Or a shower? Or even with interacting with any person besides your mom? These are the issues Jack deals with as a 5 year old – and it’s both inspiring and heartbreaking.

ROOM was not an easy book to get through, emotionally and also deciphering what Jack means when he says certain things and trying to understand his view as well as his mom’s. If you’re looking for a light beach book, this is not it. If you’re looking for a well-written, eye opening novel – ROOM is the way to go.

Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I’ll start off by saying that Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was a great book and I highly recommend it. The book discusses the story of a married couple, Nick and Amy, and Amy’s disappearance. To say that the book was a roller coaster is an understatement. Both #25hour bloggers (Shari and I) have read the book and we end with differing opinions. The real question is, who’s side are you on? I honestly can’t decide but below lays out some reasons that argue both. Spoilers below! Stop reading if you want to read the book and enjoy it! * Shari’s Note: This is probably one of the best books I’ve ever read and if you haven’t gotten your hands on it yet, you are severely missing out.

Amy’s Team by Cara

I’m going to start off by saying that I am well aware that Amy is one crazy bitch. I mean, she fakes her own death and ruins lives like it’s nothing. That’s not okay. HOWEVER (yes there is a however) Nick isn’t a ball of sunshine. First of all, Nick is a dirty cheater. He cheats on his wife and has no excuse for it! Not to mention he really doesn’t love her. He ignores her and treats her poorly and that can drive any women crazy, right? (Yes, it’s a stretch.) Part of why I take Amy’s side is because I get so confused between Real Amy and Diary Amy. You’re supposed to really like Diary Amy and you keep hoping that maybe she is Diary Amy a little. But she’s not. What I’m trying to say is that I sort of see her side… but she is still a crazy bitch and I don’t really like her in the end.

Nick’s Team by Shari

Poor Nick. He was fooled by a crazy BITCH!!! He fell in love with Amy, or who Amy pretended to be. Even though Diary Amy was fake, you had to believe some of those events took place, or else Nick wouldn’t have fallen for her in the first place. But he was deceived. As soon as Amy got bored pretending, Nick realized he made a mistake. Sure, he handled it poorly by finding a new girl to sex up, but I knew all in the first half of the book he couldn’t possibly be capable of murder. I almost wish Nick had the balls to kill her in the end. Amy’s antics literally made his current life a living hell and will make the rest of his life even worse. Her saved sperm, her saved frozen vomit, all her dirty tricks up her leave, left him no choice but to stick it out with her. He had no escape from her crazy (but admittedly brilliant) mind. I pity him.

Who’s side are you on? Neither? Me too… Share your thoughts below!

Book Review: The Age of Miracles

This book was recommended to me by a fellow co-worker and book nerd Nicole. I was hesitant at first, because it is written through the eyes of a 12 year old and I thought the book would be geared towards teens and would not be something I’d enjoy. The Age of Miracles, however, has a way of sucking you in with the scary realism of its plot line.

The book takes the idea of “the end of the world” and puts a really interesting twist. It focuses on what would happen if the world suddenly slows its rotation around the sun. If 24 hours in a day turned in 25, 26..42, 72… It is told from Julia’s point of view, reflecting on the year between her 11th and 12th birthday living in California when the Earth’s rotation ceases to steady.

The teens who read this book would be able to identify with her adolescent issues – her friendships waning, her crush, her parents’ marriage..  As a 22 year old, I was more focused on the core of the plot and I finished the book reflecting on the possibility of this happening. It really is not too farfetched of an idea. I found myself thinking if I would be susceptible to “the syndrome”, if I could live on “clock time” or if I would be shunned for wanting to live by “real time. I reflected back to 9/11 and was able to identify with Julia remembering all the details of the day the slowing was announced on the news. I wonder why it is we can remember such exact details of the most important moments of our life, but choose to forget what we ate for dinner 4 weeks ago. It is quite fascinating to me.

Anyway, this book definitely stood out from those I have read this summer. It is an easy read and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone!

Have you read The Age of Miracles? Did you like it? Comment below.

‘One Day’ The Movie Versus ‘One Day’ The Book

I’m about to state the obvious; the book was better than the film. But isn’t it always? This was pretty bad though. I really enjoyed the book and watching a relationship grow and change over 20 years. In the movie I felt rushed, anxious, and often confused. The story is about two people who have been in and out of each other’s lives for the past 20 years. Every chapter records the same day of the next year. What a difference 20 years makes! I’ll break down both for you and let you decide. Spoilers below!

The Book
As like any life, people make mistakes, do things that annoy you, etc. As you watch Dex and Emma throughout the years you are just waiting until they get together, and stay together. Sometimes they are best friends, other times they are not speaking, they date other people, live in different cities, etc. but all you really want is to see them get together. It was quite a journey getting there but they finally do. Dex has had a rough life with fame, drugs, isolation, divorce, etc. He annoys you but you want him to be happy. Emma has lived a life of loneliness, unemployment, crazy exes, and more. Even though Dex is annoying, he makes her happy so you want them to end up together. AND THEN SHE DIES. WHAT THE HELL. How completely unnecessary. Emma was finally happy and then she can’t even live to enjoy it. Dex is so messed up in the head that he will never recover. It is ridiculous. I was a tad unhappy…

The Movie
So then I saw the movie. Casted to perfection, Anne Hathaway IS Emma and Jim Sturgess IS Dex. I was happy about that. And I had high hopes. Boy was I disappointed. I get that it’s a movie and there really isn’t time to go through every year but they skipped around a lot. The movie was very rushed and I thought they chose weid years to focus on. Because the gaps in the years were so large, it was confusing to watch if you hadn’t read the book. Last year they were best friends and three years later they don’t speak and one of them has a kid. It’s hard to keep up. Sadly, the movie was also kind of boring. I wasn’t really drawn to either of their stories and I didn’t connect with either. In general, this was not my favorite book adaptation. In fact, just read the book and skip the film this time.

Have you read/seen One Day? What did you think? Share below!

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Book Review: My Sister’s Keeper

First of all, don’t see the movie. Seriously. It was awful and it will ruin the book for you. Even if you read the book first and then the see the movie, you will be extremely disappointed. The plot was dumb, they left out important parts, it was completely miscast, uch. Okay, now that that’s out of the way… Spoiler alert! Seriously, I’m about to ruin this book for you if you haven’t read it.

Overall I really liked this book. It was a quick read and it was a really great story. Thankfully, it is fiction because while it is a good story, it is a tragic one. This story is about a family who has a very sick daughter and can only survive with a series of transplants. Their daughter is so sick that they decide to genetically have another baby who will be a perfect match for transplants. As the younger child grows up, she decides she doesn’t want to keep giving her organs to her sister and sues her parents for the rights to her own body. Now the family not only has a very sick daughter, but another daughter suing them. Oh, and a neglected son turned arsonist.

There are a lot of different thoughts going on in this book. There are five family members plus the people involved in the case. Written as a narrative this would be confusing but thankfully the author is constantly changing perspectives. We can view the story from every side. From the eyes of the mother, lawyer, brother, sister, guardian, etc. I loved seeing and hearing how everyone felt through the whole ordeal. It was original.

The book had a pretty ironic ending. After all they went through with their oldest daughter being sick and dying, the younger sister ends up tragically dying in a car crash. I have to admit, you don’t see it coming. After all the stress and heartache this family has been through you finally feel like things will be right. The older daughter accepts her fate and the younger is free. Of course after the car accident her organs are free to be used and it was sad but at least one sister survives.

The one part of the book that really killed me was prom. This poor girl is so sick and has never lived a normal day in her life. And then she meets a guy who also has cancer. She gets a boyfriend. Falls in love. Has her first kiss and all that jazz. It makes you happy because you’re not really sure if she’ll ever have this chance. And then they go to prom and it is magical. Afterwards he stops calling and she can’t understand why. Eventually they find out he has died. I don’t know what’s worse… being dumped by her first love or not being able to say goodbye after finding out he has passed away. I may or may not have started crying at this point.

So I can’t say that this is a feel good book. It is emotional and controversial and I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend this if you haven’t read it already!

What did you think of this book? PLEASE tell me you didn’t watch the movie instead…. Let me know below!

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Book Review: A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard

After 18 years of captivity Jaycee Dugard escaped her kidnappers, reunited with her family, and lived life raising her two children. If that wasn’t brave enough, she then wrote a memoir retelling her story. I was a little nervous to read this book because the horror story was true but I figured if she went through it, I could at least read about it. A Stolen Life was amazing. It is unreal the experiences that Jaycee went through and how she has grown up to be such a well functioning human being in society.

The writing style is very easy to read. She writes how she would think or speak and she does not have the best grammar. But considering she was kidnapped as a child and wasn’t able to finish elementary school, this was pretty good. While the writing style won’t amaze you, the honesty will. Jaycee takes you step by step through her experience and her though process. There were times when she could have gotten away or contacted her family, but she didn’t. As you read you want to scream and tell her to run but because she has let you inside of her head you understand what she is going through and why she did what she did.

The story is slightly graphic and pretty unbelievable in the sense that you can’t believe someone actually lived this. I recommend everyone to read this book. It is eye opening and really makes you appreciate things in life.

Sorry if this blog got a little deep, but seriously go read this book!

Have you read A Stolen Life? Would you recommend it to others?

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Are You Smart Enough To Appreciate Tina Fey’s ‘Bossypants’?

I was… for the most part. I admit that there were times that I knew a joke was being made but I didn’t quite get it. Overall, I really enjoyed the book and recommend it… if you’re a girl. Turns out, Tina Fey is a feminist! I had no idea! Apparently, the comedic world (yes, it is it’s own world) is very sexist. The more I think about it, the more I agree. I have heard countless times people say “I don’t think women comedians are funny.” That is a general statement. I usually say, “What about Ellen?! Or Tina Fey?! Don’t hold Kathy Griffin out on the whole gender!” Besides being funny, Fey definitely made a point that drove home about women in the workforce and I found it empowering.

One of my favorite parts of Bossypants was the chapter about Tina Fey’s honeymoon. They went on a cruise and she recounted the trip to a tee. Anyone who has been on a cruise knows all about the late night shows, the drums playing on deck, and (my favorite) the animal shaped towels that wear your sunglasses. The whole story was funny and relatable.

I also loved the one sentence paragraph about things you do after you’re forty. Apparently, you take your pants off when you get home more. I do that now at age 22 so I can relate (I guess I’m an old soul).

The book was a little biographical since she took us through her career at Second City, SNL, and 30 Rock.  It was really fun learning about her road, the struggles, and the behind the scenes information. There is a lot of name dropping which I love because it makes me feel like I am part of the gang of these cool, funny, famous people.

The one thing I took away from the book, that I mentioned earlier, was the feminism. Besides advocating for women comedians, she was advocating for the working mother. The mother who chooses to hire a nanny and not breast feed and not be “perfect.” I think a lot of working mothers out there really appreciate her honesty.

OH. I almost forgot about the Sarah Palin chapter. That alone was worth it to read.

Have you read Bossypants? If not, pick up a copy!

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Book Review: Water For Elephants

I had seen the movie and really liked it so I figured I would probably love the book. I mean, I don’t think there has ever been a movie that was based on a book that was better than the book (if you can think of one, please share below!). It was not a very quick read but I really enjoyed it and here are some of the highlights. Spoiler Alerts!

I love the back and forth from the present to the past. First you are in the nursing home with this cranky old man, and then you are at the circus with this wide-eyed moral vet. It is a nice balance between the two and it keeps you on your toes.

I was surprised how quickly they fall in love! I mean, he INSTANTLY loves her and he doesn’t even really know her. And she risks a lot to be with him considering she doesn’t know him very well either. It all works out in the end because you know he ends up with Marlena, it just seems unrealistic to just know.

This book makes me feel bad for grandpas! You never hear that perspective in books or films. It must be a terrible feeling to grow old, not remember things, not be able to do things that you used to do, etc. I love my grandpa. That is all.

I think it had the perfect ending. The only time he was ever happy was when he was with Marlena and when we was with the circus. Since he can’t have Marlena, then next best thing is to run away with the circus… again!

As a side note, I really loved the character of Walter and was devastated when he died. He risks so much for someone who he barely liked at first. 

Have you read the book/seen the movie? What did you think?

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Why You Should Read The Epic Series That Is ‘The Hunger Games’

WOW. That is all I can say when I think of how amazing The Hunger Games was. All three books took me a mere week to read through. I have never chosen a book over a television show before, until now. I never sat and cried like a baby over a book, until now. Instead of gushing over the amazingness of this book, I will try to convince you to read it by giving you a brief overview of what it is about.

Katniss Everdeen lives in Panem where the Capitol rules and the districts suffer. Many years ago the districts tried to rebel against the Capitol to gain power, but they lost and are now punished every year by this thing called the Hunger Games. Two children are chosen from each district to participate in the Hunger Games. The objective is to fight to the death so there is one winner. In the Capitol, this is a fun reality television show. In the districts, it’s a death sentence. Intrigued??? If you haven’t read the book STOP READING! Spoilers below!

The Hunger Games
In the first book, Katniss volunteers to go into the games instead of her little sister, Prim. Best friend Gale stays to take care of her family and the second tribute is Peeta, a baker’s son. Katniss and Peeta decide that being allies is a good strategy for the game but then Peeta confesses his love for her and they go with this act instead. The romance of Peeta and Katniss is amazing. It is sad that one will eventually have to kill the other. Of course they don’t and they threaten a double suicide rather than killing one another. The Capitol folds and both are allowed to leave the games alive (yay!). After the games Katniss reveals that her love was an act (yea right) but Peeta’s was not and there is a riff. Ok, this is a VERY simplified version of an amazing book. I don’t want to give away too many details!

Catching Fire
We pick up book two right after Katniss is back from the game. Apparently her suicide stunt caused a stir in the districts and talks of a possible rebellion against the Capitol. President Snow is not happy about this and has threatened to kill her whole family if Katniss doesn’t put the fire out of this flame. To stunt her more, Snow introduces that this next Hunger Games would be an “all star” version which inevitably sends Katniss back to the hunger Games with Peeta. The other players have a hidden agenda though and plan to start a rebellion while in the game. Katniss and Peeta are left in the dark and separated. The book ends with Katniss being rescued and Peeta being taken prisoner by the Capitol.

The final book is all about the rebellion. There is a full fledged war between the districts and the Capitol. The Capitol is using Peeta as their mascot and the rebels are using Katniss of the symbol of hope. All you want is for the two of them to get together but of course there is always Gale to think about in the love triangle. So many people you love die and it is of course, the product of war. When we finally get Peeta back, he has been brainwashed and trained to kill Katniss which is horrifying in and of itself. The war rages on and there are MANY casualties but in the end the rebels win and Katniss fixes everything. She ends up marrying Peeta but is forever haunted by the games and the deaths of her loved ones.

For a while, all I could do was be depressed. There is barely a happy ending here and it make me want to cry over and over again. After a few days to think about it, I guess this is the best they could have hoped for. Some of the deaths will shock you and the trillions of details I have left out really make this series very special. Take a week out of your life and read these books! I promise you won’t regret it.

P.S. The movie is coming out in March, so read it before then!

Have you read The Hunger Games series? What did you think? Share with others how badly they need to read this series!

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Book Review: The Millenium Series

Everyone told me to read this book. I am not an avid reader. I’ve read the Harry Potter books 3 times but have never ventured past that series. I read a lot of stuff I don’t want to read (i.e. LAW) that I don’t normally like to read. However, ever since I got a Kindle, I have been on a reading binge. I now have something to do on my morning commute and I am thrilled. I was able to breeze through the three books in Stieg Larson‘s series and here is my take on the books:

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The first half pretty slow. Seriously, not much going on. HOWEVER, if you could get past 52% on your kindle, you are golden. After Blomvkist, one of the main characters, makes his first discovery everything goes really fast. This book was such an interesting mystery with an unexpected ended. I’m not into murder mystery novels but this one was different. This book will also make a great movie. It was already made a movie in Sweden but the American version is coming out later in the year and I can’t wait. Overall, it left you withe a satisfying ending and you learn to love a character you never even expected to like.

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Remember how I said I felt there was a satisfying ending after the first book? Well, this book was NOT the case. There was no satisfying ending. There was no ending at all. The book ended as if in the middle of a thought. This book really introduced you to the other main character, Salander. There are a lot of character and pieces to fit together in this book but somehow the reader still gets it. You learn all about Salander and her troubled past. Once again, it was a little slow at the beginning with all the math but it picked up much sooner and turned into such an interesting and crazy story. I found myself constantly clicked the next button and my kindle and it kept me wanted to read more with every chapter.

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

Because of the “cliffhanger” ending we were given in book 2, this book felt just like a continuation. There was no new story, just the unfolding of the story we started in the last book. This wasn’t really book 3, but more like book 2, part 2. As you are reading the book, Larson leaves you with a lot of loose ends. He wants you to be surprised and doesn’t want to give everything away too easily. The problem is, that there are so many loose ends that I was afraid I would lose track. I want to know ALL the answers but if I can’t remember the question, it makes it difficult! Once again there are tons of characters and we are getting introduced to new people up until 88% of the book. Every time Larson invests in a new character I was surprised but excited to learn about someone new. The Teleborian climax will make an excellent movie court room scene and I can’t wait to watch it. All in all, I was left with the ending I wanted to see in book 2 and was very satisfied with the result.

I highly recommend this book to those looking for a new series. The books were a quick read and were really interesting and suspenseful. Read these books and then chat me so we can discuss!

Have you read this series? What did you think? Share your thoughts!

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