The Chase Is On… (The Gunslinger – A Book Review)

The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1)
Author: Stephen King
Published: 1982

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

Rated M for a complex, multi-dimensional mindfuck that you just can’t put down because you really want to figure it out more than that puzzle box from Hellraiser.

 

“The man in black fled across the dessert and the gunslinger followed.”

In a desolate reality that mirrors ours in horrifying ways. A lone gunslinger going by the name of Roland makes his way across the desert land with Jake from our reality. As a gunslinger, Roland is charged with protecting good, or whatever is left of it. His world has ‘moved on’ and the only way to salvage what’s left of it is to catch the man in black.

While the journey has been a long one already, Roland knows that the man in black has all of the answers and secrets that will guide him. See, this is only the beginning of the gunslinger’s journey toward the Dark Tower.

 

The Dark Tower series is one of the series on my New Year’s resolution and this is book 1 of 7 (technically 8, but I’m not including The Wind Through the Keyhole, though I will be reading it.)

 

How do I begin with this one?

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This really was a complex mindfuck. With the utmost originality that can only come out of the mind of the King, this is a series of some epic fantasy. It doesn’t touch Lord of the Rings or any other fantasy series because it’s a league of its own. I don’t say that because this is better than them. It’s not. It’s on the level. I say it because it lives on a plane all its own with its own mythology, language, world. It has a universe all to itself that doesn’t touch anything else. It’s an original work.

I both enjoyed and disliked The Dark Tower. When I finished it, I decided that this came across as a primer/prologue than it did a book in series. You spend more time getting to know Roland and his world and what his journey will entail thden you do actually moving in any form of progression.

So, here comes the downside. While taking in what this series would entail, I found the book to be drawn out in detail. There were times where I thought I could fall asleep from boredom because it was so lengthy. I love attention to detail. It makes the story extremely immersive, but it felt overdone, like a burnt piece of barbeque. It comes across as dull at times and I just wanted to move forward.

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Racing to catch up with the man in black proved to be tricky for Roland. There were many obstacles, some of which were put in place by the man in black. Dark and totally on the mark, Roland didn’t let anything get in his way to get to his objective. For me, it was haunting. I wonder if everything he did was worth what he got.

Side Note: I have seen the film for The Dark Tower and I must say it didn’t live up to what I imagined. One day, I hope to see this picked up by HBO or Starz or even Netflix so it can receive the amazing glory and following of that like GOT. It deserves to have the time it takes to tell an intricate tale like this.

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Consequence of Sound

 

Overall

Reading this book was like starring at a piece of artwork, in a museum, that you don’t understand. But, you’re going to stand there and stare at it until you discover it because it’s beautiful and it whispers some kind of secret and meaning. That’s kind of how it went down. Not a bad read, but damn if I wasn’t enthralled with semi-glazed over eyes. Don’t mistake that for me thinking this book royally sucked. It didn’t. It was fantastic. It’ll definitely need another read though.

 

Quotables:

 “Nineteen would open the secret. Nineteen was the secret.” (p. 56)

“While you travel with the boy, the man in black travels with your soul.” (p. 141)

“Time’s the thief of memory.” (p. 177)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Aron Wright.

 

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Who’s Into Who? (M or F? – A Book Review)

M or F?
Author: Lisa Papademetriou & Chris Tebbetts
Published: 2006

On Goodreads

M or F - Goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated C for quirky cute with a side of crazy and a sprinkle of boy trouble.

 

I’m thinking this whole thing will make a good movie someday.

Frannie has a crush on Jeffrey. Frannie is really shy. So, Frannie gets her fabulous (and gay) best friend, Marcus to help her, by having him chat online as her because she’s too terrified to do it herself.

In the chat room everything goes well, she even gets a date. But, as Marcus keeps chatting the more he’s sure that Jeffrey likes him, not Frannie. His best intentions to help his best friend goes down a shady path. If he doesn’t turn back soon, his and Frannie’s friendship could be over.

But he really likes Jeffrey. What will he do?

 

I plucked this up because it was bright and mysterious, like a bright beacon that said, “READ ME”.

This book was cute, filled with awkward teen spirit. Frannie and Marcus are best friends. Frannie is the shy one while Marcus is the outgoing one, making them two peas in a pod of sorts. They really encompassed friendship and I loved that, especially their telepathy. Everybody wants that with their BFF. I’m VERY lucky to have that with mine. These two were inseparable and it made me all mushy.

I really liked these two’s chemistry, but I also liked the way all of the characters interweaved together. Granted, Frannie was sometimes annoying and Marcus was a little obnoxious, but that’s what made them them. There was a lot of individuality.

I was kept guessing as I read. The way that everything got mixed up between everyone was comical. Plus, all of the drama made me antsy. It really made this book a fast read.

Thumbs Up

This book had one of the most unique styles of writing I’ve ever seen. It was creative and kept me invested with its occasional chatroom structure. That really added to the story. It was entertaining and had me hold my breath from time to time.

And the title complimented the story so well. Not only does the POV move between Frannie and Marcus, but the book is also open about sexuality and how difficult and tricky it can be in high school. I think it’s great to address this factor. Dating is awkward enough in high school, but the hardships and pressure that it can have is stressful.

There were many little surprises even though the whole book was pretty predictable. I really like when a book does this. It’s like sprinkles on a cupcake. Simply delightful. The best part for me was the Coda aka the Epilogue. It perfectly rounded out the whole book.

 

Overall

A fun book to read and fast too. However, it wasn’t memorable. It got a good pass for being entertaining and filled with high school drama, but that’s about it.

 

Quotables:

“If silence speaks louder than words, right then Frannie’s silence was saying crush, crush, crush, which is different than hot for, hot for, hot for.” (Marcus, p. 5)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? One Love by Mariana’s Trench.

 

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NO Vacancy (All the Little Lights – A Book Review)

Hey, my precious!

I hope you are all well. I want to take a moment to apologize for my tardiness lately. I was pretty sick with a nasty head cold that had me weak, dizzy, and a whole lot of other nastiness, so I wasn’t doing much of anything, but being a blob. I’m sorry, I do still love you and still love ranting about books. I’m starting to get back on track. 

I also want to give a shoutout to my mum, though I’m not sure she reads this. LOL. While I was utterly blobby, she was being mum and helping me take care of me. Love you, mum.


All the Little Lights
Author: Jamie Maguire
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

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Amazon

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated S for sweet and strange, with a plot twist that’ll sneak up on you and leave you gobsmacked.

 

Everything buried will come to light.

Elliott Youngblood is just a boy with a camera, and he captures Catherine Calhoun in his lens on a sad summer evening. After that, he had to know her, make her smile. They have an amazing summer together, but then tragedy strikes in Catherine’s life and Elliott is nowhere to be found, she’s heartbroken.

When Elliott returns, everything has changed. He and Catherine are not the same people they were. He’s a football star and she’s a pariah that helps run her mother’s secret bed & breakfast. Elliott will do anything to get Catherine to forgive him for leaving her alone. And, just when she starts to come around and trust him again, he becomes a prime suspect in a missing person’s case. She refuses to believe he has anything to do with it. But, the dark secret she keeps threatens to dismantle happiness she has with him.

 

The relationship this book gave me was on-again-off-again. It was good and it wasn’t. The main characters, Elliott and Catherine, come with their own unique POVs. I found them to be realistic, but at times they both came off a bit over-dramatic. BUT!!!!! The further I got into the book, the more I got to know each of them, the more that was divulged about why they were the way they were. I find that perspective to be incredible. The author writes so that the characters surprise you, not them. And I was very surprised by the time I got to the end.

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Catherine was more surprising than Elliott. He came across as the great Prince Charming that was unexpected and in some cases pushy and unneeded. It’s totally sweet that he wanted to protect and be there for Catherine. He had a way of saying “I’m in love with you just because.” and it was such a peeve. There’s got to be more, and by the time I got to the more part I didn’t believe it.

I did admire Maguire’s attention to the world she built up around the characters. An old town, filled with nothing but a couple of shops and boarded up spaces is very common. The additional extra of the town being poisoned was shocking. The visual was vivid and strong.

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Bustle

I love Maguire’s storytelling. She does such a fantastic job. I just don’t think it reached my inner bookworm. The book started out slow for me. Some places felt rushed. There were parts that sparked my interest and then the ending was a total BAM! SHOCK! But in some places, it just didn’t reach me. There wasn’t enough to keep me invested with intrigue.

EXCEPT: there was a moment, a split second, that left me confused and ever curious. At the very end. And I will leave this open for discussion because I would very much love to talk about it. So, SPOILER for anyone who hasn’t read this book. à Catherine goes to visit her mother after the Juniper closes and they talk about her going to college, but then her mother says the strangest thing that make alarms go off in my head. You know, those flashing red ones that spin? Okay, so it goes,

“I think it’s nice that you still talk to him.”

Mama looked around and leaned in. “It’s okay. We won’t tell anyone. You don’t have to worry.”

“What do you mean?” (p.406)

That’s what I want to know. What the hell did her mother mean? Do any of you know? Was I just blind? Was it just super creepy and that’s all? GAH!

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Gfycat

If you’ve read the book, let’s talk!

 

Overall

Jamie Maguire is an author I very much enjoy to read from. This book was good, but I won’t say it compares to the others that I’ve read by her. I just didn’t get hooked this time. It was good. Definitely glad I read it, but sadly, I think this will be the only time I read it.

 

Quotables:

“Haven’t you figured me out by now? You go where you want. I’ll follow.” (Elliott to Catherine, p. 267)

“Pain…Love. Can’t really have one without the other.” (Catherine to Mrs. Mason, p. 358)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol.

 

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Some Secrets Are Best Stay Hidden (Secret Brother – A Book Review)

Secret Brother

Author: V. C. Andrews

Published: 2015

On Goodreads

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Amazon | V. C. Andrews

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated T for teen outrage and attempted rebellion with a tad-heavy petting that goes absolutely nowhere.

 

The most unexpected Dollanganger story of them all…

Arnold loses his grandson in the same ER that a mysterious boy was dropped off and left for dead from poisoning. The poisoning left him with amnesia. Moved by the possibility of fate, Arnold, grandpa Arnold to most, brings the boy home. Not everybody is thrilled with this.

Arnold’s granddaughter, Clara Sue, feels like her little brother is being replaced by this boy and she’ll do whatever it takes to be rid of him, even try to help him remember what happened to him before he ended up in the hospital. But, when the his story is uncovered, can she really send him back to the life he before, or will she finally move on past her brother’s death and welcome the boy into a new home?

 

So…

This was unexpected.

I’ve read the previous books of Flowers in the Attic (go ahead and take a read of the reviews if you haven’t) and I didn’t know what would be happening here. Starting out with loss right from the get go is hard. Not hard to get across. Hard because it’s tragedy and that’s heavy. On the bright side, the only direction to go from tragedy is up and to better things…unless it gets worse, which is possible i.e. the saying, “It’s not like it can get any worse.”, because we all know otherwise.

Sorry, spoiler here, even though at this point you should’ve read the Flowers in the Attic books before this one, so, not really sorry. LOL. Corey Dollanganger was the brother who was thought to have died in the very first book and now this book confirms he didn’t die. He got a second chance. But, I felt really sad, too, because his twin, Carrie killed herself, in part because of the bullying, in part because of her mother’s rejection of her, and also because of the loss of Corey. This book did make me think back to her and feel even sadder for her.

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After losing her little brother, Willie, Clara Sue feel lost and angry and sad, and you know what? I was TOTALLY with her on that, even though I already know Corey’s story. She loved Willie to pieces. Then suddenly her grandpa brings home a little boy and nearly replaces him. If that happened to me I’d be just as pissed. She was right to act the way she did. You can’t replace family with strangers.

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And that boy that was chasing Clara Sue, who I won’t even give a name because he wasn’t worth remembering was a nozzle of douches. That’s all I’ll say about him. He really got me disliking him. Pfft. The definition of a F-boy. Gross.

So, all in all, each of the kids’ feelings are understandable. Clara Sue and Corey are both in their own right to be emotional. They went through a lot of tragedy.

The emotions rolling through this book were pretty realistic. So much change after such a tragic change will make a person blow a major gasket. Sometimes it came off a little too dramatic, but this is from a teenager’s POV. So, whataya going to do?

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The world building was pretty basic and predictable for V.C. Andrews. Rich family. Big mansion with multiple wings. Family trauma with a side of effed-up dysfunction. Predictable.

The style of the writing was pretty good, though the tone came off bland. I was getting a little sleepy in places and then I’d jolt when something juicy happened.

 

Overall

I was actually surprised that I enjoyed the book as much as I did. It didn’t move me to tears, but it did stir up some emotions. It was the kind you get for family. Protective and annoyed and a love that can really toil in the heart. Definitely one of my favorite books out of the Flowers in the Attic books. Will I reread it? Honestly? No. The family feels are nice, but they don’t screech, ‘read me again!’. I enjoy an intense read that grips me tight, much like Castiel did to Dean during that season 4 premiere of Supernatural. I say give it a good read, get your family drama out, and then donate it.

 

Quotables:

“Looking messy in public says a lot about how you live your life…” (Clara’s mother, p. 72)

“…Life is like a relay. When good people die, they pass something important of themselves on to those who continue…” (Grandpa Arnold to Clara Sue, p. 89)

“Your grandmother used to tell me you can’t fight city hall. City hall is a piece of cake compared with a woman who makes up her mind about something or someone.” (Grandpa Arnold to Clara Sue, p. 279)

“Love has a way of making memories sticky.” (Dorian, p. 345)

“A good-bye is just the curtain closing for this evenings performance. It will open again.” (Bobby to Clara Sue, p. 362)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Secrets by OneRepublic.

 

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Are There Polar Bears On This Island? (Echoes – A Book Review)

Echoes
Author: Alice Reeds
Published: 2018

On Goodreads

Echoes

My Rating: Full boltFull bolt

Rated: T for teen with mild themes that barely approach a teenager’s actual hormone level.

 

Trust no one.

Fear everything.

Fiona and Miles wake up on a deserted island with no memory of how they got there. These two high school enemies will have to work together to survive. As they move forward toward finding a way to escape the island, they discover that they’re not alone. There’s something out there and it doesn’t want them to leave.

 

Both intrigued by the blerb on the back of book and enticed by the cover, I plucked this book up, excited to read. Sadly, this book didn’t fully live up to my hopes.

It started out pretty good. I was dying to discover why Fiona and Miles were missing their memories and what the important reason for them being put on the island was. Miles was the rich kid with the credit card and no real survival skills while Fiona is graced with epic kickboxer skills that she’s extremely proud of, but also feels like it’s a burden. For those of you who have read this, I can’t be the only one who got some MAJOR Lost vibes.

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So I kept reading. But as I read I started to lose interest. After the reason for Fiona and Miles becoming enemies, but not really, was revealed I was left deadpanned. He’d called her pathetic. It wasn’t some shaming kind of name calling or even a physical altercation. He just called her pathetic. It seemed so much less than what she made it out to be. More so, I was getting major whiplash from her. It was like flipping a light switch really fast to create that strobe light effect. One second she was scared the next she was fiercely declaring how fearless she was. It really drew me away from the characters. Their chemistry felt forced and otherwise non-existent.

But I kept reading! I wanted to freaking know what was up because I was beginning to get a little lost! Their memories of everything that came right before their mysterious crash was bit by bit revealed. I give the book kudos for keeping me intrigued. However, the big Ta Da wasn’t so Ta Da.

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After the build-up and all, I felt let down a bit.

The world-building was very nice with the little sprinkles here and there, divulging the main plot. This was also a fast read, but I can’t say that it was because I was so engulfed in this book that I couldn’t get enough. It was just a fast read because the attention to detail was lagging. So, it was quick because there wasn’t much.

 

Overall

While I lost interest in the characters, I still wanted to know what happened. The characters made me cringe on and off as they spun me around in the chair of confusion. Now, this is my own personal review. This book just didn’t really garner my attention the way I hoped. For those of you who did enjoy it, I’m glad. Truly. I wish good books on every reader.

 

Quotables:

“We are going to die.” (Fiona, p. 1)

“Own your fear; don’t let them own you.” (Fiona, p. 73)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Blurry by Puddle of Mud.

 

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Wet Hot Vampire Summer (The Traveling Vampire Show – A Book Review)

The Traveling Vampire Show
Author: Richard Laymon
Published: 2001

On Goodreads

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My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated: M for mature themes.

 

See.

Watch.

Tremble.

Scream.

A hot summer of 1963, there are flyers tacked up all over Grandville, advertising for the Traveling Vampire Show for one night only. The main event: the alluring and blood-draining Valeria.

After a bet is made, three teenagers: Dwight, Slim, and Rusty, are determined to get in to see the show even though only those who are over eighteen are admitted. The day is long and after a dog attack, deceiving friends, and strange break-ins, they wonder if they should go and what might await if they do.

 

This was a pretty good book. Definitely not your typical summer adventure. I’ve never read Richard Laymon before. I’m glad I got too.

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Slipping into the paranormal/horror genre, this book takes place in the small town of Grandville and everybody knows everybody’s business. By the end of this book, hell, not even, a good quarter of the way in, I knew the ins and outs of this town. The description, imagery, and world-building was superb! The entire book took place during the course of an entire day and it was so in depth and extended without a boring drag. It was warm, dry, and breezy during a time when you didn’t have to be afraid that somebody would break into your home. It was safe.

Pretty campy and fun and even humorous at times; yes, these are a few of my favorite things. Such a good Fright Night vibe. I was digging it.

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I really liked Dwight and Slim, but found Rusty to be a horrifying little troll I wanted to shove off of a bridge. His little sister was a needy little imp too. They both made my jaw drop to the ground with horror. Cruel, liars, and completely spineless, the two of them are vicious and I couldn’t believe that Dwight was friends with them. Slim however, was so kick-ass. Tomboy with the curves, she’s gone through her own hell and is so strong for it! And she’s so smart. It’s is my absolute favorite thing about this book that she takes up the names of literary characters over her own name. I am in complete awe of her.

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This book really took me for a ride. There was nothing cut and dry about it. Shockers and sharp turns were around every page and really got me feeling paranoid. Laymon really got my skin creeping with goosebumps on the way to the book’s main event. Fantastic with the build-up and extra side stories that allowed me to get to know the characters so much more. I love it when there’s side stories, and he wrote them so well! I’m mind-blown. So fantastically done without breaking the flow or steering away from the main story i.e. getting to this vampire show.

 

Overall

A pretty good read. I was addicted. It’s not like it was some life-defining read, but it was a good book. Great for a summer time read. Certainly, for mature audiences too.

 

Quotables:

“Most of us tell ourselves we don’t believe in that sort of stuff, but maybe that’s because we’re afraid to they might exist. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens from outer space, black magic, the devil, hell…maybe even God.” (Slim, p. 43)

“And even if you could somehow sort out the whys and find the truth, maybe it’s better if you don’t.” (Dwight, p. 51)

“The blood’ll bring vampires like chum brings sharks.” (p. 352)

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

Song today? House of the Rising Sun by The Animals

 

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Once You’re A Princess You Never Stop (Princess Diarist – A Book Review)

The Princess Diarist
Author: Carrie Fisher
Published: 2016
On Goodreads

Princess Diarist - goodreads

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

I liked being Princess Leia. Or Princess Leia being me. Over time I thought we’d melded into one…So Princess Leia are us.

It’s the story all Star Wars fans have been craving since the beginning. Carrie Fisher, with her wit and sharp sense of self, telling the story that’s been kept safely hidden in her diaries that she’d long forgotten about from her days as Princess Leia of Alderaan and rebel leader oof the rebellion. Rediscovering the words of her youth and naivety, she navigates through the life she had as a princess and how she looks back on it. Intimate and revealing from one of the most popular sets of all time, as well as behind the scenes of it. Outright hilarious and entertaining, Carrie Fisher tells all and she’s not censoring any of it. Not the cringeworthy audition or the truth of the ship: Carrison.

 

To this day, I still miss Carrie Fisher. The woman had a powerful voice whether she realized it or not. A part of me just thinks that she thought she was just being frank, loud, and giving no fucks, which is also possible. I wonder if she knew that she was more than a sex icon, a space princess, and a woman with astounding comedy. But, that she was also the rebel for people who wished they could be heard. She was that for me, and I don’t just say that because I can relate to her and we shared the same birthday. She carried a power to be inspiring and bold, and to never let anyone bring down, especially if you bring yourself down already. If someone was being an asshole she told them. That’s important. It’s important to speak up for yourself. I wish she were still here.

On to the book!

I adored this book as I adore one of my favorite outspoken and bold rebels and heroes, Carrie Fisher. I also loved LOVED Star Wars. One hell of an epic space adventure. Her style of writing matched that over her voice and the way she approaches everything she is and does to a perfect tee. I could hear her so clearly in my head as if she were directly telling me her story and I was just sitting there like a little kid with their legs crossed and their chin propped in their hands, enthralled by this story.

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The story is one only she can tell and I loved that she told it. I’ve only ever heard a few bitts here and there about her time on Star Wars; the most popular one is her time not wearing a bra because there were no bras in space. I loved it even more that she was bluntly honest, even when she couldn’t entirely recall specific details. That’s how it is when you tell a story. You don’t always remember everything and sometimes you have to go back when you do. It’s okay. She knew the story and knew it was hers. The fact that not all of the pieces were there doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. She knew it did. THAT’S what mattered. These moments also provided humor.

And there was so much humor. I was giggling up a storm. And while there were these moments that I felt like I could laugh with her, there were moments that were very serious in her life. Moments that she worried and wondered what the hell she was doing and that’s the way it is for all of us. The moments regarding her mother, Debbie, and her…fling-a-ring-ting?…with Harrison weren’t just spotlights, but human moments that she was just trying to navigate. The drama was there, but so was reality, mingling with it, even though sometimes they got a little lost.

In the midst, the epicenter, of this bewildering story were some of the actual pages of her diary from her time on Star Wars. From prose to poetry to exploration blerbs, her thoughts are laid bare in some of the most incredible writing I’ve ever come across. Vivid with emotions, I was blown away.

Don’t offer me love

I seek disinterest and denial

Tenderness makes my skin crawl

Understanding is vile

When you offer me happiness

You offer too much

My ideal is a long-lasting longing

For someone whom I cannot quite touch

(p.125)

Within these pages, Carrie Fisher has answered a question that feels like it’s more to herself than it is the to the world. How does she separate from Princess Leia? Does it bother her that that’s how people will see her forever? Speaking for myself, I know she’s much more than a princess, though that’s how I came to know her at first. Hell, one time she was a nun (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), but that’s besides the point. She answered the grand questions with humorous humility, in knowing that she is this princess and that without her, her life would never be what it was. And she’d never change a thing. No regrets. For that, I’m glad.

 

Overall

This is a book that really captured me. Definitely one I had to keep both hands on (metaphorically) in order to keep up with it. It was special to get such a close glimpse at something so special for Carrie Fisher. From how the story of Star Wars unfolded to her time spent alone in the dark with Harrison to the conventions that she attended, she divulged more than I expected and her take on this entire adventure with met with nothing but love and light. I loved it. It’s made the loss of such a strong and beautiful and interesting figure that much heavier.

 

Quotables:

“Kidding yourself doesn’t require that you have a sense of humor. But a sense of humor comes in handy for almost everything else.” (p. 12)

“I’m no liar. I need you to trust that or stop reading. Recollections might differ with regard to the smaller details, but I don’t think my perceptions are distorted.” (p. 51)

 

More to come soon…

  -K.

 

P.S. Song today? Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper.

 

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