Category Archives: General

All kinds of everything really!

Should I finish this book?…..

I’m reading ‘We need to talk about Kevin‘ by Lionel Shriver. I might only be about a third of the way through but so far my thoughts are;

She needs to talk about Kevin and stop whining to me about it (she being the main character Eva) and also….NOTHING IS HAPPENING!!!!

Seriously it’s not enjoyable but I’m willing to persevere if it will be worth it. Any comments from people who have read this would be much appreciated! 🙂

 

 

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‘The Fault in our Stars’ by John Green

The fault in our stars book coverI had added this to my wish list after it being recommended to me by fellow blogger Taylor Jordan (you should check out her page if you haven’t already!). Two weeks ago I finally made the long trek to the bookshop and set out on fulfilling my book-blogging destiny 🙂 The book took me a total of 4 nights to read. At 313 pages it’s the type of book that I would have easily read in one go if I was on holidays. The opening paragraph really sets the tone for the writing style and gives us our first introduction to the main character ‘Hazel’;

‘Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death’

Hazel Grace Lancaster is battling terminal lung cancer. She lives with her parents who devote pretty much all of their time and energy to her and she has no other siblings. Worried about her reclusive state, Hazel’s mother encourages her to get out of the house and ‘live life’. She starts attending a weekly Support Group where she meets the other main character of the book, Augustus Waters.

Being honest (as I always try to be), as soon as Augustus came into the storyline I started to lose interest rapidly. It seemed the book was heading down the dreaded path of mindless, teenage, romance drivel.

A tall, handsome stranger who just appears at the group meeting and is instantly besotted with Hazel: his character  justHazel Lancaster and Augustus Waters didn’t fit in with the blunt and rather harsh depiction of life that Hazel had been narrating up to this point. The book was in danger of crossing over to ‘twilight’ territory. Thankfully I read on and decided to give this Augustus guy a chance. If you happen to hit the same little roadblock I assure you to read on, after a couple of pages I was completely won over by the way the 2 characters began to react and bounce off each. A few chapters in I was completely hooked and cannot say much more about the storyline itself without giving too much away.

One of the best things about this book was its clever use of humor and how it managed to diffuse the heaviness of the subject of cancer. It also made it easy for me to warm to the characters, in particular Hazel as you can’t help but admire her outlook on the situation;

‘…the diagnosis came three months after I got my first period. Like: Congratulations! You’re a woman. Now die.’

Both characters are highly intelligent and witty and share a love of literature. The author uses these qualities to allow himself to write in a poetic and almost exaggerated style which otherwise might have come off as a bit pretentious. He also uses this characteristic to weave some really nice poetry into the story. My favorite was his use of ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock‘ by T.S.Eliot:

The love song of J.Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot (1915)

'The love song of J.Alfred Prufrock' by T.S. Eliot (1915)


Another really interesting feature of ‘The fault in our stars‘ was that it contained another book within it. Hazel’s favorite book is ‘An Imperial Affliction’ by Peter Van Houten. She has reread it countless times and much of the storyline is about her getting in touch with the author in order to try find out what happens to the characters after the book abruptly ends in the middle of a sentence. There are numerous referrals to quotes from this book which is in fact fictional and does not exist in real life. So really you can say that John Green has written 2 books in one! (and both are very good).

The title of the book comes from Shakespeare’sJulius Caesar‘;

Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings. (1.2.135)

Peter Van Houten (the author of Hazel’s favorite book) writes that never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he claimed that human’s are responsible for their mistakes and that the stars play no part in our destiny. Van Houten disputes this saying that there is ‘no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars’, hence the title of the book.

Realizing that this book review is wayyyy too long already I will summarize by saying overall it is an extremely enjoyable book and I would certainly recommend it. While it is suitable for most readers, mid to late teenagers (in particular females) would enjoy it the most I think. The author is a pretty interesting guy in his own right and I was pleased to discover he is an avid user of social media. He has over 1.1 million followers on twitter (@realjohngreen) and even has his own youtube channel which is definitely worth a look!

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It’s me Blog…Roisin

Poor dusty, neglected blog…here’s a funny picture to cheer you up 🙂 Currently writing up my review of John Green’s ‘The Fault in our stars’ so will post tomorrow!

Funny meme

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Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

A short review for a short book!Seagull

At 87 pages (small pages at that) it took me about 2 hours to read this. It tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull who only cares about flying; the higher and faster the better. His refusal to act like the other seagulls and spend his day scrounging around for scraps causes him to be cast out of the group. Hurt but determined to follow his passion, he keeps flying.

The whole book is full of metaphors for the usual trials we all face in life; not fitting in because you are different, finding the strength to follow your dreams, not accepting failure, forgiving people who have wronged you etc etc. It’s an inspirational little read but I must admit I thought it was a bit strange. The writing style is almost biblical, at some points I felt like I was reading a religious story. I also thought I was a bit too old for it (how depressing I’m only 23!) and I would have enjoyed it much more if I had first read it as a child.

Seagull Image

The photographs in the book are taken by Russel Munson and I thought they added a lot to it.

Personally I wouldn’t have much respect or admiration for seagulls, I generally associate them with squawking, pooping and ruining peaceful sunbathing experiences! Still I’m sure children wouldn’t have these preconceptions in their way so it’s not hard to see why it has become such a well loved children’s classic.

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Twenty years. Two people…One godawful book!

One Day by David Nicholls

THE No.1 BEST SELLER!

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE!

One Day by David Nicholls book cover With claims to success like these you can’t blame me for thinking this book was surely worth a read…so where do I begin?

Dexter and Emma are the main characters, aka Dex and Em (ugh!). They meet on graduation night of college and over the next 20 years stay in touch as “friends”. The first thing that really annoyed me was that it’s so clear from the very beginning that they are not “friends”. Dexter is a self-obsessed moron who completely uses Emma to bitch about his problems to whenever he gets bored and Emma, who is madly in love with him comes running at his beckoning call. Not only is the storyline trying to convince us that their relationship is something it so obviously isn’t but the characters are totally unlovable and quite frankly really really irritating!

When they eventually got together (shocking!!), the will to live had been so completely drained out of me that I hardly batted an eyelid. Who cares? It’s not romantic that after a failed marriage and whoring around for 20 years Dexter finally decides that the most convenient option is to just settle for Emma and that Emma is so weak a person that she is actually happy about it. It was a complete struggle and a test of endurance to finish it and the first thing I did was go online to see if fellow book lovers shared my feelings; apparently not. While the general consensus is that the book is fantastic, and I completely respect that,  I personally think it’s not good when a book makes you wish it was a living thing so you can get some sort of retribution.

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I’d like to thank my friends and family and of course…Google

Google Image

Google short story image

It’s one of those days where I have about 20 tabs open at once and about half of them are Google, so I don’t doubt that the search engine performs about 2.5 billion searches everyday. Seriously though, I don’t know what I would do without it! I came across this image which I thought was too good not to share. Been super busy doing college stuff lately (googling) but pressures off for the moment so new posts to come!

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The edge of love or the edge of sanity???

I’m not sure where I first came across Dylan Thomas and in all honesty I wouldn’t be crazy about a lot of his stuff but this poem is just perfect to me. The very end of it is one of the prettiest images I have ever had painted for me by a poet. I would be very interested to hear what your opinions are on it, apparently a lot of people don’t like it very much?

There was a recent enough movie about the life of Dylan Thomas starring Keira Knightley,Sienna Miller, Cillian Murphy and Matthew Rhys called ‘The edge of love’ which is a must-watch for any of the poet’s fans. The only major problem I had with the movie was Keira’s and Sienna’s attempts at Irish and Welsh accents, they really shouldn’t have bothered! Also the cast were ridiculously good looking compared to their real-life characters (see below)!

Authentic photoMatthew Rhys and Sienna Miller in 'The edge of love'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love In the Asylum

A stranger has come

To share my room in the house not right in the head,

A girl mad as birds

 

Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume.

Strait in the mazed bed

She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds

 

Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room,

At large as the dead,

Or rides the imagined oceans of the male wards.

 

She has come possessed

Who admits the delusive light through the bouncing wall,

Possessed by the skies

 

She sleeps in the narrow trough yet she walks the dust

Yet raves at her will

On the madhouse boards worn thin by my walking tears.

 

And taken by light in her arms at long and dear last

I may without fail

Suffer the first vision that set fire to the stars.

 

By Dylan Thomas

 

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