Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Scarlet Letter

Before I give a review I have to say thank you to all my followers. It doesn't matter if it's seven and it doesn't matter if I only have a few comments. Just knowing that you guys are even the slightest bit interested in my blog is motivation enough for me. So thank you all! Also, I haven't updated in a while what with all the summer work that I have for school and so on and so forth. Luckily, my AP English teacher did give us three amazing books to read. I fell in love with each and every one and found them blog worthy. SO here is the first book; The Scarlet Letter.

"But this had been a sin of passion, not of principle, nor even purpose."
Let me start off by saying that this can be a difficult read. So if you haven't read it but want to then you're warned. But if you love the old English writing style then you'll love this book. I even cried towards the end and hopefully one of you, if you have read it, will comment saying that you cried as well so as to not make me feel like a sap for being the only one :]
My Review
If you are a brave soul then go ahead and read the introduction to the book. It's Hawthorne speaking and detailing how he came about the story of the Scarlet Letter. I had no choice but to read it even though I was dying to get to the first chapter. It's not a bad introduction, I'm just not a very patient reader sometimes.
This story takes place in seventeenth century Boston at a prison gate where the magistrates and guards are standing by as a woman steps out. She's holding a baby in her arms and a beautifully embroidered scarlet A is on her chest. She walks high and mighty not caring about what other people think or say about her. She's a young and pretty woman known as Hester Prynne. Despite her looks and her attitude she's a sinner in the eyes of the seventeenth century colonists. And she has committed one of the most sinful crimes; "A"dultery.
She's forced to go up on a platform for the whole marketplace to gather around and gossip and point at her for hours. Adding onto this, she must never take the Scarlet A off, and she is being forced to reveal her lovers name. Which she haughtily refuses to do.
Now you may be wondering why, but before that there's a little background information on Hester that's needed. Before she came to Boston she used to live in Amsterdam with her very elderly husband. It wasn't a marriage of love even though he was a kind man. He sent Hester to Boston before him and promised to follow but months passed and he never arrived and was taken as dead by Hester.
And so Hester, a beautiful young woman, undoubtedly fell in love and had an affair. With whom? none other than the young Minister, Arthur Dimmesdale! Can you imagine what would happen if the people found out that their high held, god-like, minister had an affair? Heaven forbid! And so Hester denied and denied the council of men the pleasure of knowing the name of her lover.
So she stood on the platform looking out onto the crowd. Then to her shock and mortification she saw her mistakenly dead husband in the crowd!
When she returned to her cell he visited her and asked to know the father's child. Hester refused and he vowed to find him. He also swore Hester to secrecy about who he was, saying that they were not husband and wife and he would not go by the same name he became Roger Chillingworth. Hester agreed and he left.
Life went on after that encounter. Hester and her baby girl, Pearl, were shunned from society and so they moved to an abandoned cottage on the outskirts of the town.
Hester, Arthur, and Roger go through many events and the story leads to a very dramatic conclusion.
This book was such an emotional read for me. It really shows the religious ordeals and regulations that went on during the seventeenth century. It shows the courage and weakness of the heart and brought forth controversial views on the morality of people. An amazing book from cover to cover.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Captive Heart

The Captive Heart by Beatrice Small is book 3 in the Border Chronicles... which I didn't know until I finished reading the book (-_-) Since I don't have the other books to review them as one i'll just go seperately and hopefully i'll have the rest of the series soon.

My Review:
Beautiful. This book had so much to offer right off the bat. It's a historical romance that is written to perfection. I think it also shows the power and valor of a woman willing to stand up for herself and her family.
The year is 1461 and the War of the Roses (actual war in England at that time) was begining. Alix Givet (the main character) is the daughter of Queen Margarets physician: Alexander Givet. The Queen, her dilusional husband, and her son need to flee England, leaving behind Alix and her terminally ill father.
Then as if life couldn't get anymore difficult for her, she gets married to a very cruel man who abuses her and treats her no better than a dog (did I mention that he has a mistress and EVERYONE knows about it?). Then one day her husband, Hayle Watteson, brings her knews that his mistress is going to have his child. He says this proudly and his father is enraged, but does nothing.
Then greater tragedy struck when both the baby and Hayles mistress died during labor. Hayle was devistated and commited suicide. His father went dilusional and in a very very very bad twist he decided that he would marry Alix and have children (mind you, that Sir Udolf Watteson is crazy, as I pointed out, and probably as old as her father.) Alix says that the church will never allow the marriage, but Sir Udolf goes along with the plan.
Then, while hes away hunting she makes her escape. She managed to get far but was caught in a snow storm and so hid herslef to keep warm. She passed out and some farmers found her and took her to (drum roll).... The Laird of Dunglais's home. Inhibitted by the tall, dark, and sexy Laird, Malcolm Scott, and his sweet little daughter Fiona Scott.
From here on out the Laird andAlix start discovering their passion for one another, but Alix is restrained because of the rape and abuse that she had suffered. So Malcolm decides to take the gentle approach and soon Alix sees that Hayle and Malcolm are not the same. Her opinion on men changes and the story goes on.
Now, i'm sure you're thinking about Udolf and what about the marriage? Well i'm not going to spoil it for you. This book is packed with information, whirlwind romance, family love, and the corruption that was inside the men who made up the laws in England.
Just to tell you, there are so many secrets about Malcolms past along in the book. You don't want to miss it.

- Laura :)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Night World Series

The picture above is the cover of the Ultimate Fan guide. The regular series is four books but these are the first three. Any lover of young adult fiction is STRONGLY urged (by me) to read this series. I promise yo that you won't be disapointed in the least bit. If you like vampires, vampire hunters, witches, shapeshiftes (and i'm not just talking about warewolves), a strange kingdom, end ofthe world, and believe in soulmates then this series is a huge must read. Every book has three stories about different people and they all tie together. L.J. Smith writes such compelling stories that they become addicting and once you pick up the first book you just HAVE to read the rest. I personally just finished reading the third book and I can't wait to read the last book. It's so bittersweet because even though I want to find out the ending I just can't picture it ending.

The girls in the picture are Poppy( right) Iliana (middle) and Rashel (left) and each is on the cover of one ofthe three books andare in one of the three stories in the books. There's so much magic going on ad as you read the story of the Night World unfolds and you have to know ALL of its secrets, no mattr how dark.

I'm not going to tell anymore about the books because this is really a series to read for yourself and hopefully you'll be hooked on her writing (like I am) and buy her other series such as Vampire Diaries (ring a bell?), The Secret Circle series, The Forbidden Game series (highly recommended), and other books.

Honestly L.J. Smith is one of my role models for writting, she writes with so much fevor that will capture you until the very end.

- P.S. You can go to hersite to check out contests and new releases

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Reviw of Kindred

"A shatering work of art with much to say about love, hate, slavery, and racial dilemmas, then and now." -Los Angeles Herald Examiner
Originally I had to read this book because my teacher assigned it to our class and all I can say is that it was amazing. I fail to see why some people thought that it was slow. There is NOTHING slow about it! From the beginning it pulls you into the story and there is a perfect balance of dialogue and description. Nothing is ever boring in this story.

This story is about a modern day african american woman named Dana. She and, eventually, her husband Kevin, a white American, are transported to time to the Anatebellum South. The story begins with Dana at the hospital waking up groggy and unsure of where she is. She looks to her side and sees that her arm is missing and she starts to remember everything that happens. Her husband Kevin is there with her and they start talking. From there on it goes to chapter one. The details of them moving into a new house start to show up and then one day Dana gets dizzy and has a sick motion and faints. When she wakes up she's on the forest floor. She wakes up not knowing where she is. She walks and sees a little boy drowing in a lake. She jumps in and saves him. She gives him CPR while a concerned and frantic mother thinks that she's hurting the child and tries to beat her. The boy wakes up and the mother smuthers him. Then a man comes running towards them and points a gun to Dana's head but before he gets a chance to shoot she gets the same sensation and faints. When she wakes up she's in her home again and Kevin is speechless. She then learns that she has been gone only a few seconds although it was clear to her that she was gone for more than a few minutes.

Then throughout the story Dana starts learning about her ancestors and that she's ment to protect a white slave holders son, Rufus, who is going to father a daughter who will become Dana's ancestor. Throughout this all she becomes a slave herself and faces the trials that her ancestors faced. She goes through brutal trials that exploit the racial problems in the old south.

This book was, as I mentioned before, amazing. Riveting. Other synonyms for the word great. Octavia E. Butler did an amazing job with this book. It had such a humane feel to it that you start to believe that a person really can get transported to the past. That's how good it is. It opens your eyes and makes you see that everyone, even the cruelest of people, can be human. It also shows how even people are racist even though they are the same color. I felt the emotions in this book. I felt the anger, the relief, the sadness, and the desperation. Beautiful work of literature.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Rewiew of Heartsick

This is the kind of love that kills.

The First thing that I must say about this novel is that it is amazing! It's really like watching a movie in your head. The sequence of the story is unique and made so that we see little parts of the story revealed bit by bit so you CAN'T put down the book because you need to get to the next chapter to see what happened. Well, detective Archie Sheridan has been leading the Beauty Killer Task Force for 10 years. They're whole goal is to find the man, or woman, who has been killing young girls. But, then Archie gest kidnapped by the same killer that he's looking for. It turns out to be the beautiful Gretchen Lowell. She actually snuk her way into the force as a kind therapist in order to help them cope with anything traumatic. So she kidnaps Archie and drugs him so many times it's a miracle that he didn't die of an overdose, but the only reason that this doesn't happen is because Gretchen knows exactly how much of what to give him. From there the story goes to the present where Archie is in his apartment. This is where it gets a bit confusing so let me explain, the story goes in the sequence that as Archie lives his daily life the other story of his kidnapping and his ten day torture is revealed.

Archie wakes up in his apartment and it's a mess. The lights are out, no dishes have been cleaned, no trash has been taken out, and Archie? He's as much as mess as his apartment. Then he gets a call from his former partner calls him and tells him that there is a new serial killer and that they need him to lead a new task force. Of course, Archie refuses at first, but his oh so suave partner tells him exactly what he needs to hear and Archie is in. Now what no one knows except Archies Partner is that Archie is addicted to pain killers. This happened because of everything that Gretchen did to him. I can't even tell you how many meds that guy got into his system. So back at the force his partner tells him that the newspaper wants to cover the story. So he chose a journalist to profile Archie. Her name is Susan Ward, she's wild and has pink hair. Yeah, I was shocked too.

Well at this point the story of the torture that Gretchen put Archie through is revealed. She took him god knows where, to a house, and down to the basement. There she stripped him naked and tied him on a surgical bed and put a white sheet covering him from the waist down... I have to give points for descretion. She gagged him and fed him pain meds and she even made him drink a cleaning product. If you're not feeling sorry for Archie at this point then maybe this will get him your pity. She drove huge oversized nails into his chest with a hammer and made a heart with them. She put him under no anastezia whatsoever. And if you STILL don't feel bad for him, she also surgically removed his spleen and sent it in an envelope to his partner. This all went to the point where Archie actually started asking Gretchen for pain killers, which she gave him. He even wanted to die. In fact he almost did due to an infection on the wound from the surgery. But here is where the story takes a turn. As he was on the brink of death, Gretchen brought him back to life, called 911, and turned herself in. Why? That's up to you to decide.

I'm not going to say any more of this story because those of you who have not read it should. All that I have said is just the beginning, the story gets really enthralling from here on. I have to say that this book was so good that I HAD to finish it the first day. The characters are so well portrayed. There's no mistaking identity, each have their personality and the feel that they have is so real. It makes you think that the next time that you watch the news and a report about a serial killer comes out you are just going to see Archie at the scene. This book was obviously a New York Times best seller because of the mind bogling events and the eye popping description. If you don't squirm even once at the torture scenes then you're not into the book. Chelsea Cain is definately an amazing author. You have to give her praise for this story, no doubt about it.

By the way, There is a sequel to this book and it's called SWEETHEART. If you're a fan of Archie and Gretchen then definately buy it. I know I will and when I do you can definately expect a review from me.