Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Top Ten Favorite Classic Books

I never read classic novels for fun. They were always assignments in school and I treated them as much. The time I spent on them was not particularly enthralling, however after some time I've come to be fond of the few classics I've read. So much so that I wish I was more well-read. Now that I've graduated from high school I actually want to do the reading. Especially as a writer--reading a classic novel as a writer is like working on a long lost excavation as a history major. Priceless. 

1. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley This book was written in the 19th century, inspired after three authors sat around a campfire and told scary stories. But that's not the most interesting part about the origins of this novel--Mary Shelley was nineteen when she wrote it. Nineteen. That's one year older than me. Frankenstein is the foundation for modern science fiction and raises many challenging moral debates, like are souls real? And what really makes a monster? It's nothing like that black and white movie you watched when you were younger.
Read if you like: Science Fiction, pretty language, the grotesque, Thrillers, plot twists

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë This is the most recent classic I've read. I also just marathoned the YouTube adaptation. So it's pretty safe to say this is the most prominent classic influence on my life right now. Jane Eyre is a hopeful girl with a sad life, throughout which she faces many obstacles, such as: My Cousins Suck, Oh No--My Best Friend is Dead, I've Got the Hots for My Boss, and What IS That Laughing Sound???? It's a brilliant, heartbreaking, stereotype busting, inspiring read that I think everyone should give a chance. 
Read if you like: Romance, Mystery, Coming of Age stories, girl power, plot twists

3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë I've read this book twice now, which is more than I've read any other classic novel. It's my go to book when someone asks me about my favorite classic. I've never read another book where I hated the characters so much and yet still wanted them to end up with a happy ending. Really, they're just unfortunate people who make a lot of mistakes. Anyway, each time I read this I'm struck by how agonizingly good the character development (or should I say detriment) is. And it actually does sort of end with a somewhat happy ending, so there's that. 
Read if you like: Forbidden Romance, Mystery, Antiheroes, pretty language

Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Title: Days of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, Book 2
Pages: 513
Published: November 6, 2012
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.

This is not that world.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This is a hard book for me to rate. Once upon a time, I could remember everything about every single book I read. I never had to reread anything--it could be years before I pick up a sequel, and immediately I'd remember exactly what happened in the first. In current times that is not the case, though. I don't know what the reason is, if the book didn't explain things enough or if I'm just going senile in my old age of 18, but I had a very difficult time remembering enough about The Daughter of Smoke and Bone to enjoy much of Days of Blood and Starlight.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights the upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. 

Title: Fiendish
By: Brenna Yovanoff
Publication Date: August 14, 2014

Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.

Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why. 

When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.

Okay, so I'll admit: the most intriguing aspect of this book is the cover. It's one of the most gorgeous books I've ever seen. (I have a thing for trees and Victorian houses.) The story sounds like it will match  (if not surpass) the standards of its cover. I've read Yovanoff's work before, so I'm definitely expecting another strange and beautiful ride that speaks to me on a spiritual level.