Deep and Dark and Filled with Unknown (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – A Book Review)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
Author: Jules Verne
Published: 1870

On Goodreads

 

20,000 Leagues

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Their ship sunk, Professor Aronnax, his servant Conseil, and Canadian harpooner Ned Land are captured by the terrifying yet enigmatic Captain Nemo and held captive on his submarine, the Nautilus. During the harrowing journey across seas and oceans, the professor witnesses and partakes in many dangerous missions. Large creatures never before seen. Shipwrecks with stranded people. Gold littering the sandy shores. Lost cities. Cold icebergs that threaten to crush them. The struggle for survival.

The group must play along with Captain Nemo if they have any hope of getting free of this prison.

 

First things first, I didn’t realize that this story was more scary than it was adventure. This was nothing like Journey to the Center of the Earth. The tone is so much graver in this book, since the character are a part of this journey against their will. Each new adventure that the Nautilus happened upon had a great build-up! Really got that feeling of uneasiness, like the music from JAWS right before the big ass shark bites the ass of a boat. I loved that feeling. It was eye-widening and sometimes

TLUTS

Following from Aronnax’s POV, each character was very well distinguished. The characters were all cramped together, but had their own independence from each other. Ned Land was going crazy in this submarine and wanted to escape even though that seemed like that opposite of what you think he’d want. Conseil’s greatest pleasure was helping his master, but he had his own opinions and thoughts along with doing his service to Aronnax. Aronnax is utterly mystified and swept up in all of this. He never expected that the creature taking down ships was this submarine.

The antagonist, Captain Nemo, was nothing like I originally thought. He was so intelligent and persuasive. So much so that sometimes I forgot that he was holding this group hostage, though he made them feel like they were a part of his crew. His lack of concern for the dangers

TLUTS

The scenery was amazeballs. So vivid and beautiful. The imagery is so powerful and moving. Verne has a way with words! It’s menacing, yet not. The ocean is a vast space filled with all kinds of wonders, but Verne doesn’t leave out there are a lot of dangers there as well. The balance is incredible.

 

This book was great. The was so much depth, both dark and bright with life and heavy feelings in regard to this journey. It worked my nerves a little here and there. I’m not going to say it’s my ultimate favorite though. It felt dragged out in some spots. And speaking of spots, if they would’ve gotten stuck in the Bermuda Triangle for a spell that would’ve been interesting, too. Do I recommend giving this a read? YES! Though, if you have a fear of the ocean then this may make a great horror story. LOL.

Read on precious bookworms!

 

Quotables:

“It is the end of the end!” (Ned Land, p. 59)

“A coral tomb makes a quiet grave; and I trust that I and my comrades will find no other.” (Captain Nemo, 85)

“We may brave human laws, but we cannot resist natural ones.” (Captain Nemo, p. 200)

 

more to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Long Way Down by The Goo Goo Dolls.

 

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There’s a Hole at the Bottom of a Volcano at the Center of the Earth…You Know the Song (Journey to the Centre of the Earth – A Book Review)

Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Author: Jules Verne
Published: 1864

on Goodreads

JTCE

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

6/25

 

What is darkness to you is light to me.

Go on a journey to the center of the earth where the crystals formed are beyond beauty’s imagination and the creatures there were thought to be extinct thousands of years ago. Professor Liedenbroek, his nephew, Axel, and their guide and hunter, Hans journey down a dormant volcano tube and find adventure, danger and wondrous things that you could only believe it you saw it for yourself.

 

This book marks 6 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. I was glad to put this one on the list. I’ve been meaning to read more books that change my point of view.

 

At the beginning of science fiction there was Jules Verne. And this is sheer science fiction, down to the very measurements. Reading this book gave me a look at how the genre truly began. It wasn’t’ about flying spaceships and mega-aliens and mutating.

Journey

It was about true science and the magical places it could take me. And while reading this, I felt like all of this was possible.

The imagery and specifics were on point! There wasn’t an unanswered moment. Every part of this journey was so well-informed. Well-informed is the only word I can think of because this is mostly fact-based. Nothing matters but the intense adventure. It was all incredibly vivid and truly a wonder.

Journey

So many dangers! If it’s not the scary creatures that are pretty cool to see because they don’t exist on the surface, then it’s the possibility of starving to death. There’s no harrowing adventure without the life-threatening parts, right? It makes for a great story.

And this was a great story. I enjoyed it immensely. It’s nothing like the movie. NOTHING. There’s not a single woman on this trip, though Axel tried. And the book really put me on edge here and there.

But both of them are pretty great. I will say this; the writing isn’t your typical. There’s a lot of facts. It’s basically how book the is written and it’s why I struggled a little. I alos looked up a lot of the terms Verne used so that I could better understand the characters. It’s straight up a journey. There’s no romance or drama mixed into it. So, you’ll be there for the adventure and nothing else. And you know what? We all deserve a little adventure.

 

Quotables:

“I spent the whole night in one nightmare; in the heart of a volcano, and from the deepest depths of the earth I saw myself tossed up amongst the interplanetary spaces under the form of an eruptive rock.” (Liedenbroek to Axel, p. 63)

“The farther I go the more confidence I feel…” (Liedenbroek,, p. 74)

“Will there be an end? Is the atmospheric condition, having once reached this density, to become final?” (Axel, p. 142)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Monsoon by Tokio Hotel.

 

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Just Think Happy Thoughts (Peter Pan – A Book Review)

Hello my loves! I hope your holidays are going well. Honestly, I’ve underestimated how busy it was going to be. I want to apologize for how spaced out my postings have gotten. I’m still getting it done, but with two jobs, it’s been a little rough. I love you all, I’m still here, just a little delayed. Bear with me.

Peter Pan
Author: J.M. Barrie
Published: 1911

Peter Pan

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

All children grow up, except one…

It’s a starry night when Peter Pan and Tinker Bell come to the Darling household. Wendy Darling wakes from her slumber to see Peter at the end of her bed, struggling to reattach his shadow. After helping him, he wants whisk her and her brothers, John and Michael, away to Neverland to meet his Lost Boys for adventures and so Wendy can tell great stories. All it takes is a little fairy dust along with happy thoughts and they lift the Darling children off into the sky.

Though, Captain Hook and his pirate crew are awaiting Peter’s return to Neverland so that he can seek his revenge for the hand that was lost to the great Croc.

Pirates, Indians and mermaids galore.  And…never growing up. A place that dwells in our own imaginations, filled with magic and wonder holds as much danger as it does adventure and Peter Pan, the Lost Boys as well as the Darlings kids will have to pull together to make it through.

Peter Pan

This is a book I believe all children should read. Based on the original play and well-known from its Disney movie, it’s filled with magic and the whims of children, and that’s something I enjoyed revisiting. Neverland was the place I always wanted to runaway to. The adventure that Barrie captures is utterly splendid, painted in such vivid color.

I don’t know about any of you who have read the book and/or seen the movie(s), but I’ve always wanted to be a Lost Boy. ALWAYS! To be able to live so wildly without rules (and shoes because shoes are freaking terrible), and to be so free? And to never grow up? Not to mention, battling pirates, swimming with mermaids. It’s a dream. Plus, I would look really adorable in a raccoon suit or maybe a flying squirrel suit.

Tell me, after growing up, if you could, would you go back and be a Lost Boy?

Peter Pan

Moving out of my fantasy, there are significant differences between the films and the novel itself. I know there’s a Disney version, and a live action film (2003), and then there’s Hook with Robin Williams, and the Peter Pan of Once Upon A Time who turned out to be quite the villain. I won’t go too much in to detail. Each did a unique rendition, but stayed true to the nature of what Peter Pan represents. Youth, freedom, and mischief. For those of you who haven’t watched them, I won’t ruin it for you, but definitely give each of them a watch, especially if you’ve read the book. I know my favorite is a toss-up between Hook and the live action Peter Pan(2003). I was boycrazy about him! *facepalms myself* Now days I’m a little crazy about Hook of Once Upon a Time.

Peter Pan

And while this book was intriguing at showing the ways in which children are rebellious rascals who do not want parents, I saw that their craving for a mother and father figure was still present. Peter acted as father while Wendy was mother. Both roles are what the children originally escaped from; it’s why they came to Neverland. They didn’t want to grow up to be like their parents. Yet, they looked for the guidance only parents can give from these two children, though not really since they mostly just sought a person to follow and learn silly stories from.

This tale is so fun and easy to get lost in. It doesn’t matter how old you are when you read this. It’ll still make you feel like a kid. I honestly don’t have a single bone to nitpick at with this book.

What do you think?

As I began writing this review I got to thinking. What would you want to see if you went to Neverland? Mermaids? Pirates? The Redskins? Or maybe the Fairies?

Tell me in the comments! Personally, I’d really like to see the mermaids.

Quotables:

“Second star to the right, and straight on till morning.” (Peter Pan, p. 45)

“It is only the gay and innocent and heartless who can remember the way.” (Wendy, p. 201)

More to come soon…

-K.

P.S. Song today? Afterlife by Ingrid Michaleson.

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It’s Alive!! Now Beat It With a Stick. (Frankenstein – A Book Review)

Frankenstein
Author: Mary Shelley
Published: 1818

F-D-JH

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

 

Victor Frankenstein is a man of great intelligence and seeks the greatest mysteries in life as a scientist: eternal life. He goes one step further; he seeks out a way to bring life from death. When he succeeds, he isn’t excited about the revolutionary accomplishment, but utterly horrified. Under terrific duress, he tries to escape his disfigured and horrifying creature, only for more horrors to follow him wherever he goes, resulting in ultimate dread, loss and insanity.

The Gothic horror tale of Frankenstein is the first in my three story mass market.

 

Warning: There is a chance that this review is spoiler-y, though with the novel being well in-depth, maybe not that spoiler-y.

Having seen many different renditions and portrayals of the great Victor Frankenstein and his creature, I was glad to finally get to read the book. I was surprised by many things. One being that the great Dr. Frankenstein wasn’t a maniac as portrayed…

Frankenstein - imgur

NOPE.

 

It’s rather the opposite. Key word is misery. And death. There was a lot of death in this fantastic horror. And yes, there were many similarities by the great Gene Wilder and others, but still. NOPE.

I really enjoyed how this story was told. The POV was from Victor Frankenstein, but not in a present tense. You begin with letters from a man, Walton, to his sister while he’s on a ship voyage and then stumble upon Victor Frankenstein who then relays his tale to the man. You’re reminded that he’s telling you this with speckles from him such as, “Let me regain my breath” and “Let make sure I recount this correctly”. I loved that the most, I think.

Something that pickled me, and yes, I said pickled, was Igor. Igor, always known in films to be Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant in his experiment actually doesn’t exist. Henry Clerval is the closest character to compare to the disfigured and seemingly dumb character, though he isn’t those things in the book. My mom even tossed in her thoughts when I discussed it, saying, “I guess the movie producers/creators thought the great doctor was inept and gave him an assistant.”. LOL.

Frankenstein

NOPE.

The strongest element that really pulled me in was the themes. While this is an element carried in most books, it’s not one that usually captures my attention like fireworks. Fireworks were had here with the themes. As you know, I discuss what draws me the most to the books I’ve reviewed here. In some cases it’s the characters or the setting because of how detailed it is and how beautiful of a visual it can be. Other times it’s how the book made me feel and how I related to these emotions. It’s all the usual. Frankenstein was special.

One of the themes that stuck out was in how people treated the creature. I refuse to call him a monster, because he didn’t truly become a monster until forced, and even still, he is just struggling to survive and figure out the world, like all of us. Though, I believe we call it adulting these days. So if he is a monster then aren’t we all?

More so, he was deemed a monster mostly because of what he looked like, adding (to this theme of being a monster) that he was judged based on what he looks like-something people everywhere has dealt with before at one time. After all, there’s one of those golden rules: Thou shalt not judge a book by thy cover.

And that leads me to the second theme. For those who have read this tale, you know that Victor Frankenstein’s creature comes to find the doctor after his creation/birth. He tells him the tale of his journey and how he came to learn how to talk and live off the land which shows, in my opinion, an off-handed, coming of age theme. The creature is full-grown when brought out of death and to life, but he goes through the motions of figuring out who and what he is all by himself with nobody to guide him, except those he watches from afar.

A longing for love and acceptance followed this one because the creature’s yearning that came from his tale of self-exploration and abandonment. In one way or another, finding a partner in life, one of equality and that shares in your living of it, is one of our greatest goals. It could go from having a best friend to a pet to having a soulmate in life. To see the creature express this need was fascinating and intriguing. It’s all he wanted. I was ultimately sad when it was refused.

Frankenstein

While the book did have its repetitive moments, the pacing was quick, yet steady without hiccups. More so, I was consumed by the places Victor Frankenstein traveled to and how his creature sought to be like other people and be accepted by them. The novel is truly tragic for both parties. For those who enjoy horror, take a moment to read this classic. You won’t get scared out of your pants. That’s not what this kind of horror is. It’s that you are understanding another person’s horror.

 

Quotables:

“It was a strong effort of the spirit  of good, but it was ineffectual. Destiny was too potent, and her immutable laws had decreed my utter and terrible destruction.” (Victor, 39)

“Do not despair. To be friendless is indeed to be unfortunate, but the hearts of men, when unprejudiced by any obvious self-interest, are full of brotherly love and charity. Rely, therefore, on your hopes; and if these friends are good and amiable, do not despair.” (De Lacey to creature, p. 133)

“You are my creator, but I am your master; obey!” (creature to Victor, p. 167)

“…For while I destroyed his hopes, I did not satisfy my own desires. They were forever ardent and craving; still I desired love and fellowship, and I was still spurned. Was there no injustice in this? Am I thought to be the only criminal, when all humankind sinned against me?…” (Creature, p. 221)

 

On a separate note, I received something UBER awesome today and just had to share how grateful I am. I am a very big fan of Rachel Caine’s work (Morganville Vampires) and have been meaning to get my hands on The Great Library series. Well, today I received a mysterious package and the first three novels of the series were inside.

excitedBeing Becky is pretty damn accurate.

They have been added to my immediate queue line aka the back of my couch so I imagine I will be getting to them in the Spring. I’m very excited and grateful to whoever sent them and look forward to talking about them with you all, my hapless bookworms!

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers.

 

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XOXO,Holly (Breakfast at Tiffany’s – A Book Review)

Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Author: Truman Capote
Published: 1958

Breakfast at Tiffany's

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Autumn of 1943, during World War II. The setting is an apartment building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the newest tenant moves in to pursue his career as a writer. His life is changed when he meets Holly Golightly, a young girl who’s turned socialite. With all of her stories and the famous people she knows, like a model and a mobster, her life appears to never be dull. Full of life, naivety and the illusions of love, this bittersweet novella will charm even you.

Breakfast at Tifaany's

Truman Capote’s most well-known novella of which you can connect Audrey Hepburn to is a wonderful classic of a young woman with no true direction who believes that nothing bad can ever happen to her. I first read this during my freshman year in college and discovered it a few weeks ago in a stray box, all dusty and longing to have its pages turned.

The seemingly endless possibilities that Holly had in the novella really brings out the dreamer in me while realizing how she appears to have such a fantastic life is unsavory. She doesn’t take up the workforce to earn her way, but uses her wits to get other people to pay her way and help her keep her cushy lifestyle. There is a lot of disregard for the possible consequences of this, showing just how wild Holly and how she values people.

One of the parts that have always reached out to me is Holly’s dislike for cages. It comes up more than once throughout the story. Looking beyond the cage, it’s the idea or reminder of being stuck in one, whether literally or metaphorically, that I believe makes Holly dislike them. It seems simple enough to dissect, but then you have to discover what is caging her in, which you can figure out for yourself when you read the novella. (I can’t spoil it for you, but I can give you a thought.) I can honestly relate to that. For me, and I’m sure a lot of people, the small hometown is my cage. While I would love to travel, I also want to find a home of my own, a home that doesn’t feel like a toxic vortex that’ll never let me go. It’s a strong element to think on. What’s your cage?

Breakfast at Tiffany's

It’s a beautiful and buoyant piece. Capote’s writing is wistful and direct. While it seems like I’ve given away too much, trust me when I say I haven’t, but if I’m making you think about it, then give it a read. It’s worth it.

 

Quotables:

“You’ve got to be sensitive to appreciate her: a streak of the poet. But I’ll tell you the truth. You can beat your brains out for her, and she’ll hand you horseshit on a platter.” (O.J. Berman, p. 31)

“Never fall in love with a with thing, Mr. Bell” (Holly to Joe Bell, p. 74)

 

More to come soon…

P.S. Song today? NOT Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something. Nope! It’s Beautiful by Ben Rector. Love you, bookworms.

Down in the Mud (Lord of Misrule – A Book Review)

The Lord of Misrule
Author: Jaimy Gordon
Published: 2010

Lord of Misrule

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull boltFull bolt

 

Welcome to the world of horse racing. This isn’t about the Kentucky Derby or any of popular races that we know about. No, this is a story at the bottom of horse racing at the track of Indian Mound Downs in West Virginia. Experience life on the racetrack for various characters from a veterinarian to a dangerous trainer that threatens the well-being of several people, to a girl that keeps up folks’ hopes and works as a hotwalker (person that cools down the horse after a workout or a race) and anything else that involves working with the horses. This will give you a personal, inside look at the gritty, and even a dark side, of horse racing. Trying to cheat the system, get the upper hand, and survive in this world where horses whose best running days are long lost are put up on the track.

This book became an instant classic for me. I don’t put classics in subcategories. Classics come from all over time. But anyway, a classic, yes. While the story took place in our modern time, the depth and detail really sunk in and I admired the way the book moved from one character’s POV to another. Each character had a different view of Indian Mound Downs and those that inhabited it, and that pulled me in even more because each character had opinions and even various ways of recognizing other characters, making them very independent of each and made the imagery extremely vivid for me.

The detail in Jaimy’s words envelop the senses, allowing you to feel like you are really there. You can feel the hot, humid air that stings your nose with horse manuer and sweat and see as these horses are pushed beyond their limits. She makes the senses tingle and capturing this sport from such an intense and unlikely angle that horse racing isn’t as glamorous as we believe it to be is what truly sparked my interest. It can make and break a person and horse over and over again. That and this was a gift from my professor, (by the way, thank you).

Before my brother and I were born, my mom worked on a racetrack. While the work was grueling, she loved it and wouldn’t have given it up for the world. I believe that if we hadn’t been born that’s where she’d still be today. That doesn’t make me upset. I’m thrilled by the thought because she had been so passionate about something. What does that have to do with this book? Well, this book gave me a glimpse at what it was like for her to work on a track, aside from the dark intentions of some characters. From the stories she’s told me, I imagine my mom to be much like Maggie from the book—in the aspect of working with horses that is.

This book was a challenge for me. There were no quotation marks to direct conversation between characters so I had to train my brain on reading the text without them. In my opinion people should find a book that challenges them every once in a while, give them a different and/or new angle to at life from. It’s part of the reason it took me so long to get this review up. This book was quite enjoyable and really kept me involved. I recommend it to anyone looking for a challenge.

 

Quotables:

“You can drink yourself to hell, Duecey said, and I know you will. I ain’t taking this horse.” (Duecey to Kidstuff, p. 68)

“I tell you a secret, horse racing is not no science. Some of em tries to make it a science, with the drugs and the chemicals and that, ma’fact it’s more like a religion. It’s a clouded thing. You can’t see through it. It come down to a person’s beliefs.” (Medicine Ed to Maggie, p. 83)