Tuesday, September 25, 2012

New Moon

I have started down the path, and I need to finish. I'm half way through this saga. I just finished New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, or as I like to now call it, "Bella whines like a four year old because she can't get what she wants and doesn't believe there is a life to live with out a guy."

The book starts off, right off the bat with Bella freaking out because she is turning 18...still a teenager, but because she is now technically one year older then Edward in age description, it's the end of the world, she is going to have wrinkles and grey hair now. She pesters Edward and annoys me with her constant begging to be changed to a vampire. They've only been together over summer, it's now September at the start of the book. She just wants to be immortal and be with Edward forever!!11!

Edward's sister plans a lavish birthday party for Bella with the rest of the vampire brood. And of course, because Bella is a charming, klutz (please note sarcasm) she gets a massive paper-cut, and Jasper, Edward's brother is ready for dinner. So to protect Bella, Edward throws her into a table full of crystal dinner ware. Because that is how a normal boyfriend would protect his already bleeding girlfriend. And more blood ensues. Talking of people's souls happens, Edward pouts, knowing he isn't healthy for Bella. So, like a healthy relationship that these two are in, they don't talk about any of their problems, Edward distances himself from Bella, manipulating her into thinking he doesn't care about her. He leads her to a quiet spot in the woods and dumps her, leaving her to collapse into a pit of depression where her world crumbles and we shuffle through a few pages with months written on them to show us how useless Bella is without a guy. How her world isn't anything unless she is with a guy. She looses all of her friends, because they know that life goes on when a relationship ends.

So, like any normal teenager, Bella decides to become a daredevil and risk her life to hear Edward's voice in high risk situations. First, she approaches a bar with skeevy guys out front, scaring her friend, then she finds motorcycles, that her father hates, so she hide the fact from him and takes them to her long forgotten friend Jacob. He is the only one who seems normal to this point. He agrees however to hide all of this from Bella's dad and they work on the bikes, taking the money that was Bella's college fund, because being a daredevil is far more important, so she can hear her lost love's voice. So, with many injuries and trips to the ER, Bella stops with the motorcycles when Jacob becomes sick, then cuts off contact with out explanation.

Now it is time for the red flags of Jacob:
1. Anger issue
2. Manipulation...not to the point of Edward however.
3. Lying
4. Controling

Yet again we have a guy that is telling her, he isn't good for her, so she throws herself full force in trying to persuade him, that no, he is wrong, she can only survive with a guy. She doesn't want to go back into the hole of despair when Edward left. She feels not quite normal yet, but close to it with Jacob, because he is second best and now he is dumping her too.

Like with Edward, she is able to figure out that Jacob is a werewolf. She also finds out from another vampire (who wanted to kill her) that Victoria (a second vampire) wants to kill her too. The werewolves come to her aid to protect her. They kill the first one, Laurent, then keeps tabs, while trying to kill Victoria.

Bella is board, since Jacob is on patrol, so she decided she needs a rush so she can hear Edward again. So she decided to jump off a cliff. This girl should have been put on a antidepressant a long time ago. She gets her wish. She hears him, but nearly drawns.

Alice shows up out of the blue. She is surprised that Bella is alive. They get word that Edward thinks Bella is dead, he is going to commit suicide...thank you drama queen! Good grief, nobody can function with out a better half here.

So Alice and Bella, at the last second rush to Italy where Edward has gone and save him. Bella promises the "royal vampire clan" that she will become a vampire too, so they won't kill her, which means she is thrilled, since she can finally get what she wants.

They head back home. Bella is fearful again with her low self esteem issues about how Edward meant what he said about how she wasn't good enough for him and what not.She finally realizes that he really can lover her (gag me with a spoon), but he doesn't plan to ever change her, then when she dies, he will kill himself. Such wonderful role models here.

Bella forces her way to the Cullen houses, they almost all agree for her to be a vampire. Edward his mad, and Bella is begging whoever is there to change her ASAP. The girl has no brain. So she agrees after a time to after graduation. She would love Edward to change her, but is ok if his dad would do it. So, Edward said he would if Bella would marry him.

She thinks he is joking of course, because, hey even though you want to be with someone forever, she has commitment issues. Really, what is the though process here? I don't get it!!

Most people didn't like this book because Edward leaves. I didn't like it because it is full of screwed up people! As you can see, there is a lot of nit-picking. Girls think that this kind of behavior is good, it isn't!! Girls need to learn to hold out for better. I need to stop now or this will be a novel. Not to read!!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Twilight

Alright my literary friends, please don't kill me over this selection. I've been sick for a little while and needed a non-thinking book. So, I just finished reading Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

The non-thinking part backfired however. I will confess, I got adsorbed into the hype of Twilight when it first came out...not the book, but the movie. After I saw the movie with friends, I went and read the saga in a week. The writing was far from great, but it did jump start me back into reading years ago, so I will give it that.

Now that I have immersed myself into books with wonderful writing and superb plots, Twilight really can't compare. When reading this book, I did more thinking then I usually do, mainly nitpicking the writing and the annoying plot. There is so much to this story that bugs me now. There are so many wonderful, strong, smart and classy female characters out there, and it is safe to say, Bella Swan is not one of them.

We open up to a story of a sixteen year old girl, leaving her home city to go live with her dad so her mom can go be married to a young guy. Bella is a girl who sees herself as an adult and her mom is the child. She believes she is in charge. She has to take care of her mom, but she is giving that over to her mom's new husband. Bella says her mom is her best friend. Strike one for the book. Kids and parents shouldn't be best friends. They are no equals.

Bella leaves and is all angst-y about her travels to a place she hates. She is the poor, quiet suffering teenager, who know one understands. An average looking girl, who is pale, and a klutz. After a while of the whoa is me, Bella makes friends and is all of sudden shifted from the outsider to the hot new girl that all guys fawn over. Ok....She then notices a loner guy who is the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. She is intrigued and has found her reason to stay in this small town!

We're introduced to Edward. We are constantly reminded of his hot factor since it is always compared to Bella's inferiority complex and low self esteem issues. Strike 2 for the book. More angst from Bella in why no way a guy like Edward would ever like her. Edward shows his anger to her, and instead of turning from him, she is drawn even more to him. He is already displaying an anger management issue, red flag!

As the story progresses, Bella starts to become more enthralled with Edward, to the point that she alone in this whole town figures out he is a vampire...a whole town can't think of this, only she can? Edward confirms is. more red flags of Edwards temperament come up. manipulation and also stalker! Yes, this is the first book I ever read where stalking is ok...no, it isn't people! It is a major red flag.

Let us tally up red flag now:
1. Anger Issues
2. Manipulation
3. Stalker
4. Jealousy

There are not enduring traits for a boyfriend, but yet, Bella keeps plugging away after it. She does her best to keep it too. She starts lying to her dad about who is with and where she is going. If my daughter acted like this, I would be furious, yet, there is no parenting in this book. Bella's dad just lets her do what ever.

In the end, Bella is on the run with her new vampire friends from another group of vampires. She flees from her house after saying hurtful things to her dad and all she cares about is the safety of vampires who are nearly indestructible. She can die in a moments notice, yet she doesn't care. Bella's thoughts are not healthy.

That doesn't even begin to cover the writing style. Oh, my. The descriptions used. You can only stand so much statue and godlike as reference for a character before you start skipping parts of paragraphs.

All in all, if you want a book that you don't want to think about and you don't care about writing styles...to read. But really it's a not to read! Bella is a horrible role model.


Friday, September 14, 2012

The Heretic Queen

I finished The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran in a day. What can I say, where you're sick, there just isn't much else to do. I've read this book several other times, it is very enjoyable and hard to put down.

The name of the book really doesn't fit with the book, or I should say the main character, Nefertari. This is a historical fiction book, so to make the gaps in the Egyptian throne to work, Nefertari, is the niece of the queen Nefertiti. The spare princess would have been a better title, but it works since Nefertari is living under the shadow of her heretic (to Ancient Egyptians) aunt and family. Nefertari is struggling to survive in a court full of intrigue, greed, murder and betrayal, as others try to advance and push their own agendas and Nefertari out of the way.

All Nefertari wants to do is marry her best friend, Rameses, the future Pharaoh of Egypt and be his Chief Wife. However, to do either, she has to play a game more strategic then chess. Nefertari has to change from the wild princess that she was, into an educated helpmate to the ruler of Egypt.

To read!

Peter and the Starcatchers

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson, is the book I finished yesterday. I was originally drawn to the book by a snip-it of the Broadway show of the same name I saw a little while back on the Tony Awards... The scenes I saw were funny, sarcastic, and I liked it.

Sadly, the play doesn't seem to be anything like the book which is a bummer.

The impression I got from this book is that it was a Young Adult book, that just didn't measure up, so it was published as a kids book. Reading this book, there were things described in the story that were not appropriate for a kid to read. The instances that stand out to me is, the descriptiveness of what an adult would know as a make out/sex scene, but to a child is the sound of odd noises adults are making in a party for two. The the descriptive detail of people being stabbed or having appendages chopped off is also not that necessary for a children's book.

I'm getting ahead of myself... Peter and the Starcatchers is another telling of the take of Peter Pan. This story doesn't having you flying through space, second star on the right, and Tinkerbell doesn't make an appearance till the end. This story takes place for 3/4 of the book out on a boat in the middle of the ocean. It's an unending trip and it seems like an unending book. The story dragged. The dilapidated state of the people and the ships can only be described go so far.

Peter is an orphan that is put on the ship with several of his friends from the orphanage and they have no idea where they are going or why. There is a little girl but on this dilapidated ship, while her dad goes on the more luxurious ship. We learn that the girl, Molly, and her dad are part of an order of people, the Starcatchers, and they watch after this stuff that falls from the sky, stardust. It is a powerful magic and if it falls into the wrong hands, bad things can happen. Molly finds out that a trunk that contains the starstuff is on her boat, instead of her dads and she spends her time trying to protect it as best she can for a girl of 12/13. Throw in pirates, a savage tribe on a deserted island, a huge croc and mermaids, and you have new take on Peter Pan.

I had to fight my way through this book to finish it. It was a depressing, dark, read. Inappropriate for the age it was written for. Not to read!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Last Temple

I finished The Last Temple by Hank Henegraaff and Sigmund Brouwer pretty quickly. I went out to buy it as soon as I finished The Last Sacrifice.

This was a very good book. It doesn't end with the death of Nero. This book takes you all the way to the fall of the Temple of Jerusalem. I haven't read much during this time of history before now. This was a brutal time for anyone, Jews and Christians mostly.

The Last Temple came out sometime this year. It's been a few years in between books and I'm glad I found this series after they were all out. I was sucked into this story of Vitas and his family, friends, and enemies.

There is a lot of time covered in this book, three years. There is also a few shocks in the beginning of the book that left me scratching my head. I couldn't believe that the authors did that! I thought there could have been more with that plot then to wipe it out of the book, I stuck with it, and it all came together in the end.

The fall of Jerusalem to Rome was a bloody and brutal event. The historical evidence of it all is very depressing and chilling with what all Jesus had predicted would happen. People still didn't believe even though they heard what Jesus said and saw it come to pass. The way that the authors presented Revelation as well was interesting. Seeing it as how people might have seen it if Revelation was written before 70 A.D.

This was a very gripping series. It's not written with fluff. There is some humor, but it is also a bit dark and grisly. It's a to read!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Last Sacrifice


The Last Sacrifice by Hank Hanegraaff and Sigmund Brouwer is the second book in The Last Disciple series.

It picks up right where The Last Disciple left off. Vitas is on a boat, put on it by people he doesn't know. He has no idea where is going, and why he was being saved from being fed to the lions in front of Nero. On the Boat, he finds that the disciple John has been put on the same boat with him. The same people who wanted to save Vitas also wanted to save John.

This book didn't seem to cover as much time as The Last Disciple, but there is a lot of information that you take in. The story was just as strong as the first. The interpretation that the authors have about the book of Revelation is very interesting. I can see how it could apply to this time. The chaos that reined during Nero, could definitely make is seem like the Great Tribulation had started.

There is a lot of descriptions again in the story and it gives a very clear picture while you're reading. I also like the writing style of these authors. In the Christian genre, it is typically a very mellow writing, not in The Last Disciple series. Hanegraaff and Brouwer do not gloss over the cruelty that Rome was known for, it isn't disgusting or overly graphic, but they don't balk at writing about it. This was a time of debauchery and all other sinfulness. They capture it well. It makes the story more enjoyable to me. To read!