Sunday, April 21, 2013

Review: Me Before You

Me Before You
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

F you Jojo Moyes. I love this book and hate this book at the same time. I had no idea what the subject matter was going to be about and have no idea why I event chose to read this book. Did I read about it somewhere else? Was someone in one of the book groups mention it? Why did I stumble upon it and why was it so good? Although warning it's a tearjerker.

This book is about death and dying and life and living. A subject I became very familiar with in college. It deals with a patients choice to end their suffering which is a subject I struggle with, but only because it has been ingrained in me since I was a child that suicide is wrong and selfish. But isn't it humane sometimes? Isn't it better than letting someone's soul die inside a body that no longer works for them?

I can't really write a review for this because there's no way to without giving away huge plot points. But I'd like to give it 4 3/4 stars because it was a great book, but I can't give it 5 stars because F you Jojo Moyes.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Once a month is probably enough

And now that I've typed it I'll probably be inspired to write more than that.  But around my move date anniversary I'm always more compelled to write, if for no other reason that to just update on how things are going here.

So April 15th marked my 7th month here in BCS, Tax Day and my dad and stepmom's 13th anniversary.  Since my six month anniversary I've gone home to SA for a full weekend, home for about 24 hours for the Woodzie and been to two theatrical events in BCS.  I turned 28, received a ridiculous number of shoes, got to spend my first full day with Hail since probably before she got pregnant.  I graduated from therapy, after a full year of it, first half in SA, second half here, I'm cured! Mental health is mine!  I've had a really great month.

That 6 month cut off date really just did something to me, it made me wake up and appreciate what I have here.  I have an amazing job, great co-workers, really good new girlfriends from Sunset and a wonderfully supportive family 160 short miles away.  I have finally gotten my reading appetite back and while last year at this time I had read about 30 books, I'm fine that I've only read 9 this year so far.  Last year I was in a completely different place emotionally and I retreated into books.  Now I'm reading because I enjoy it, not because it's an escape.  I've been playing my guitar more and even invested in a giant white board for my wall to try to write.  I've written a few words down I even like some of them, but I'm not sure of the current order.

I'm still waiting to find music here.  I have music in my life through my guitar and the constant stream of Google Music or Pandora I have going, but I need the live music.  The Woodzie only gave me a brief taste and it wasn't enough.  Especially as summer approaches I'm going to need it so much.

This week will be my first Fiesta away from SA.  We're doing a Fiesta Karaoke night at Los Cucos on Thursday, it's like the bastardized form of Fiesta, but I will take it and run with it and Fiesta the hell out of these BCSers.

It gets easier day by day, every day I am reminded thought that I have made the correct decisions in these last 7 months, in the last year.  I know I'm where I'm supposed to be.

Review: Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For my second Murakami I think I was expecting more. This was a really good book and I enjoyed it immensely, but I think if it had been my first Murakami I wouldn't have been as excited to read another.

So basically this book is about a college student who is very boring. He's a good student, follows the rules, maybe drinks a little much but for the most part he's your average good guy. He has this problem of being attracted to crazy girls, not just your normal crazy girls but girls that have issues. The story itself was fine, I didn't really know where it was going so it still surprised me a little, but I feel like it was kinda always leading up to something but never got there. There was no climax for me.

Like [b:1Q84|10357575|1Q84 |Haruki Murakami||18160093] sex is everywhere in this book, as are the amazing descriptions. I loved 1Q84 because of the story, but the descriptions and details are what made me so interested to read another Murakami. The description of the food, the way the girls looked and the journeys into drunkenness.

One of the reasons I think I'm attracted to this book is because it takes place somewhere real but that is completely foreign to me. I love that Japan is a place I'm familiar with culturally and geographically. I don't really know the cities or why traveling by train is so common, but it's something I can just accept because it's a real place out there, instead of having to imagine what it would be like because the author just created it in his head. Maybe some of the cities he wrote about aren't real, but because so many things are real it makes the whole book feel real. Too many "real"s in that sentence, but whatever.

When the book was over I couldn't sleep for a little bit because I just wanted to think about it. It was really good and I enjoyed it but I don't know who I would recommend it to. Can't give it 5 stars because there were lots of minor things that annoyed me, but the story was so good and like in 1Q84 the stories inside the story were so good too and so detailed. I loved the talk of music and the letter writing. I liked the three female characters but Reiko was by far my favorite and her ending shocked me. Can't decide if I want to go into another Murakami this year though, they seem to need space between.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: Every Day

Every Day
Every Day by David Levithan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I already know this is going to be a favorite. I just finished it and I know. This book was awesome and my first 5 star of the year. I read it too fast I wish I could have lived in it longer, but I had to know what would happen.

Imagine everyday waking up in a different body. You have the same consciousness everyday but each day you're physically someone new, you can access their memories and try to live their lives like they would so the next morning when they wake up back in their body there isn't too much disruption. You age at the regular rate and everyday you wake up in the body of someone the age you're supposed to be. Some days you're a girl, somedays a boy, somedays overweight, somedays super hot, somedays an addict, somedays broken or hungover. One day you fall in love with the body's girlfriend and for the first time in your life you tell someone what's happening to you. What do you do?

There are parts besides the end of this book that made me cry, A (the consciousness' name) inhabits some truly horrible people, A inhabits some wonderful people and he tries to respect their lives until he can't. Only intervening when absolutely necessary (that one made me cry). I loved this book and want to tell everyone about it. Have you read Every Day? OMG you should. Go read it, go read it cause I'm not gonna stop bugging you till you do.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: The Romantic Movement: Sex, Shopping, and the Novel

The Romantic Movement: Sex, Shopping, and the Novel
The Romantic Movement: Sex, Shopping, and the Novel by Alain de Botton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Similar de Botton setting, character types and philosophy. London, two successful people, and love through literary eyes and philosophy. Two people brought together through ordinary circumstances and the dissection of their courtship. She is completely more into him than he is into her. It's not a spoiler to share that the relationship eventually fails because after all this is Alain de Botton not some YA BS. One thing I can say about the characters is that they grow, they evolve and by the end of the book I no longer wanted to slap Alice- well I did but not for the same reasons I had in the beginning.

Alice is your typical needy, emotional and over-thinking 24 year old girl in a profession beyond her years. Eric is a self-centered, successful and almost ten years her senior aloof man. She was frequently awe struck and he was frequently frustrated by her youth and naiveté. Their little more than a year relationship is stripped of all emotion and analyzed for our reading pleasure and it is both educational and enlightening.

In a few days I'll know if this can be added as one of my favorites. The female version of his [b:On Love|23426|On Love|Alain de Botton||14280312] both are amazing in their own ways. This one was much more difficult for me to read because the female character made me want to slap her all the time for being such a total wimpy sap. But as a whole it makes some great observations about life and love and that horrible transition from young 20 year old in the professional world to young woman. Young woman in love to young woman who understands mature love. While I still strongly dislike the character of Alice and hope I was never her, I still think she is a great character who evolves very believably.

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