Thursday, January 26, 2012

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Extremely Loud and Incredibly CloseExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was not a fan of this book at first, and it took about half the book for me to really get into it. After finishing this book, however, I think it was more because of me and my attitude toward sad stories than because of the book itself. Foer puts so much emotion and passion into this book, I was laughing one chapter, and then near tears the next. Very powerful story, and while a good portion of it was confusing, almost everything was explained by the story's conclusion.

Oskar is a lovable character, kind of a young Spencer Reid (for the Criminal Minds fans out there), bordering on obnoxious and annoying but in an endearing, funny way. I feel like I learned more through this book than I had thought I would (especially since it's all random factoids and information I learned). Honestly, I only picked this book up because I got it for a dollar, and because I wanted to read the book before going to see the movie. I do not regret that decision, and for anyone tentatively interested in reading this book (or seeing the movie), I suggest picking it up.

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SIDENOTE!! My friend Serge and I have decided to have a blog-duel. He'll be reading a book and posting a review on his website, and I'll be reviewing a video game within the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for them! I'll send a link to his blog once I know which blog he's going to be using. :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3)A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I'm really enjoying this series, and highly recommend it to anyone who liked the HBO series or who likes medieval fantasy stories. There's war, there's sex, there's adventure, and there are dragons. Basically, I'm happy. A Storm of Swords is the third installment in George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series, and I have to say its just as good as the first two. My only issue is that I have the first four books in one file on my Nook (like having the boxed set. And it saved me money), so it's sometimes difficult for me to keep track of what happened in which book.

Similarly, it's sometimes hard to keep track of the many different characters; there are nine different main characters and the chapters alternate between their differing perspectives and plots. Dany is one of my favorite characters, but she only has one chapter out of every nine so it's hard to remember what's going on across the seas from Westeros. Other than my difficulty in keeping track of what's going on with which characters, I love this series.The Lady Tyrell, otherwise known as the 'Queen of Thorns', is a phenomenal character and I look forward to seeing more of her and the whole Tyrell clan. I also hope to see more about the war from Stannis Baratheon's camp; there were so few chapters and references to him I didn't really see what was going on.

The Starks' downfall is so sad to read. Martin has absolutely no qualms about whom he kills off, or how. There were several nights I couldn't put this book down, and found myself irrationally upset in real life over something that happened in the book. That's how you know it's a good story, when you are so invested in the story and what happens to your favorite characters..

In my opinion, this is definitely the best installment in the series so far. I am so excited to see what happens with Danaerys and her fight to reclaim the Iron Throne, and at this point just to find out who lives and who dies. It's painful, every time I have a new favorite character, they die. So sad, but that's clearly how the game of thrones is played.Seriously though, I need to stop getting attached to these characters. At least 15 major characters died in this installment, and i happened to like (or liked to hate) most of them. Definitely my favorite in this series (so far), and I'm looking forward to starting A Feast for Crows as soon as I can.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

My Booky Wook 2 by Russell Brand

My Booky Wook 2: This Time it's PersonalMy Booky Wook 2: This Time it's Personal by Russell Brand

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Much like the first book, but i was still shocked at several parts in the book... Drinking breast milk, really? I don't know, I'm a fan of Brand, but I don't think it was necessary to split a biography into two. Especially since it took a while for me to get reacquainted with the characters in his life. Prob should have had a little meet and greet in the beginning of this book or something, rather just picking up where the first book left off and assuming everyone had A. read the first book and B. remembered everything and everyone. Took longer than it should have for me to get into this book, especially since his style of humor and writing really are entertaining. I just can't get into a book if I have to sit and play catch up (one of the reasons I like Stephen King's Dark Tower series is for his recaps in the beginning of each new installment, minus the sixth for some odd reason).

One of the parts that I did like was his account of the 2008 MTV VMAs, and the utter failure of his humor being accepted right off the bat in America. Those death threat emails (so thoroughly analyzed in this book) were actually a lot of fun to read. Even though they really just serve to show the world how violent and self-righteous American citizens are. Of course, that's a topic better left for political blogs. Or at least, from a separate post than a discussion of a comedian's memoir.

As much as I appreciated the fact that more of this biography was relevant to me, an American with little access to Brand's earlier work in Britain, I feel like this was just an effort to make a little bit more money off the hype surrounding his first Booky Wook. Less entertaining than the first one, it almost felt like a chore to read.

I have to say though, I thought the ending, all about Katy Perry, was pretty sweet. Even if they're getting divorced and he was apparently a jerk to her anyway, it's good to see love in action. Cheesy and lame and a little too romantic for my tastes, but there you have it. Everyone just wants to be loved. Sidenote: the psychologist in me really enjoyed the intense relationship with his mother, and the not-so-close bond with his father, and his countless sexcapades throughout his life. Both to impress daddy and make him proud, and to feel some attachment, even somewhat close to what he feels to his mother (although clearly a different relationship than mother-son)... I really am a nerd for once again bringing psychology into my recreational reading.

So anyway, my final thoughts- I was still entertained by Brand, but this felt a little more like required reading to me. Plus it was so similar to his first Booky Wook, it got kind of monotonous and boring. Which is something I never thought I'd say about Russell Brand, especially after reading his first book. I recommend it, but take your time reading it or you'll feel forced to read it which makes it less fun.

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