biography, book love, book reviews, books, contemporary fiction, Cut, fiction, finished books, inspirational books, Jeanette Winterson, Just Kids, magic realism, Patricia McCormick, Patti Smith, Teen Books, The Alchemist, The Passion, White Teeth, YA books, young adult book reviews, Zadie Smith
Wow, it’s been a while! My last term of university took over my life and now that it’s over and I’m officially a college graduate, all the stuff I say about books is going to sound way, way smarter than it did before.
Just kidding, it’ll be just as stupid as it’s always been….but with all this free time (A WHOLE SUMMER! WOO HOO!) I will be reading a lot more. I am so excited about that it. Seriously. I pee my pants a little when I think about it.
Here are my most recently finished books:
The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
I’m late on this one, I understand that. I guess I also kind of suck because I just DON’T GET WHY people busted such a nut over this book. I loved the beginning- for such sparsely detailed writing, the imagery was vivid and unique and it sucked me right in.
“Everything is one”…yeah, ok.
Then came the discussion between the shepherd and the alchemist about people not trying to achieve their dreams because deep down they feel they don’t deserve them and are afraid of failure…I like that, I agree with that. I was still with it.
Then my contentedness started to slip- the “Secret” B.S. about how all you gotta do is want something REAL BAD, and you’ll get it. That’s just…not true. THENNNN it goes way out there and the kid starts talking to the wind about love and the wind is all jealous, and then he’s like, “hey, sun! you want in on this conversation or what??”…. Ew.
Cut- Patricia McCormick
This wasn’t great but I realized that compared to Girl, Interrupted, which I read a while back… I liked this. Super quick read, great for a nice, sunny weekend…also great while drinking because its very, very simple. The character backgrounds in the rehab clinic were cliche but then again, this was YA so what did I expect? I liked that S.T.’s problems didn’t all disappear in the end in order to give the novella a warm, fuzzy “I got some closure” feeling. A lot of teem fiction tends to seem gritty at first, but then take the lesson learning path. I appreciated that this stayed realistic and messy.
Just Kids- Patti Smith
My sister recommended this book to me long ago and I’ve finally gotten around to reading it. I didn’t know a thing about the lives of Patti Smith or Robert Mapplethorpe before hand, which I think was a good thing, going into this biography. Let me get my sarcastic stuff out of the way: OMG Patti Smith you are such a F*cking ARTIST!
I’m kind of kidding, I know that she actually is a talented artist and musician but I felt like she REALLLLLLYYYY wanted the reader to know that. I got sick of all the name dropping, the descriptions of her clothes that you know she thinks are chic the whole “I am above all this BS you see around you, I live for art and art alone-” in the world, but not OF it? bitch, please.
Basically, I think she was obsessed with becoming famous and she tried a little bit of everything (writing, art, music) to see what would get her there. If you’re looking for a Sex Drugs and Rock N Roll thing, you’ve come to wrong place. This is quite a romanticized, idealized account of Patti’s life with Mapplethorpe. Everything is downplayed…even the STDs. I do think she’s a good writer and I really enjoyed the little bits about her book store purchases. I think her artwork is great….and her music is terrible.
I didn’t like Robert Mapplethorpe. Shoot me.
White Teeth- Zadie Smith
This was very funny at times but I didn’t like this as much as I was supposed to? Something like that. I suck at being bourgey.
Through the first few pages, I liked it. I’m not quite sure how to describe this book- a synthesis of Smith’s thoughts, feelings and experiences revolving around the diaspora of the UK today? Then it really ended up taking a different direction than I had expected. Something about the rhetoric suggested chaos, yet I could see how meticulous Smith had planned each character connection. That ruined the destiny aspect for me.
The omniscient narrators snarky stuff was annoying. I found the characters to be ethnically stereotyped to a ridiculous, embarrassing degree. I also hated all the narrators accent imitations and Smith seems like she may have been experimenting with her style while writing this…it’s just all over the place and the changes in voice while sticking with the same narrator was schizophrenic.
The Passion- Jeanette Winterson
An earlier venture into magic realism in the past few months kind of left a bad taste in my mouth regarding the genre…or subgenre? Whatever.it’s part modern realism, part fairy tale, part war story. I am considering taking on “Oranges are Not the Only Fruit” now, but it’s going to be a while before I can get to it. I don’t understand how Winterson makes her words so corporal for the reader, without metaphor or intense visual.
Here’s a good example: “They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?”