Monday, September 19, 2011

Review: "Heart of Evil": by Heather Graham

Title: Heart of Evil

Author: Heather Graham

Published: Mira Books

Year: 2011

Summary:

Emerging from the bayou like an apparition, Donegal Plantation is known for its unsurpassed dining, captivating atmosphere, haunting legends…and now a corpse swinging from the marble angel that marks its cemetery’s most majestic vault. A corpse discovered in nearly the same situation as that of Marshall Donegal, the patriarch killed in a skirmish just before the Civil War. Desperate for help traditional criminologists could never provide, plantation heiress Ashley Donegal turns to an elite team of paranormal investigators who blend hard forensics with rare – often inexplicable – intuition. Among them is Jake Mallory, a gifted New Orleans musician with talent that stretches beyond the realm of the physical, and a few dark ghosts of his own. The evil the team unveils has the power to shake the plantation to its very core. Jake and Ashley are forced to risk everything to unravel secrets that will not stay buried – even in death…. 

Review:  

Heart of Evil by Heather Graham is a history filled ghost story. When after a Civil War reenactment on Ashley's homestead, a Louisiana plantation, a man turns up missing and Ashley and the FBI Crewe of Hunters and the entire household go on a hunt to discover the mystery plaguing the entire place.

A old flame is lit alive again as Ashley works along side her ex and childhood friend, Jake. This book is loaded with Civil War history, mystery, and a bit of a love story. 

I had a couple problems with the storytelling. You are introduced to too many characters at once and you keep getting them confused, especially since none of them are that memorable. Their dialog is flat and the characters really are indistinguishable. It took nearly the entire novel to get a hang of the characters. By the end you could sort of decipher one from the other, but it should have been better told off the bat. The dialog wasn't exactly realistic either. After a certain character would speak, I would try to imagine a real person saying that quote and the complete mix of words would never be uttered out of a real person's mouth. That's why I think the dialog is unrealistic. 
Other than that, the mystery telling of the story was great and the setting was explained so well you felt like you were there, enjoying the scenary of the Louisiana plantation getting bit by mosquitoes and fear a run in with a gator. It kept you in scene and in suspense the entire time.

After reading the author's bio on the back cover of the book, I was shocked to find out that she has written over 100 novels. That's incredible! I would like to get my hands on another one of her novels to give it a go to see if she writes all her novels so unmemorable or if this is the only one. But no hard feelings, she's from my neck of the woods, where I was raised in South Florida, so no hard feelings. It's all good.
 

To check out the other 100s of novels Heather Graham has written check out her website at: http://theoriginalheathergraham.com/

Happy Reading!

Review: "Moon Called" by Patricia Briggs

Title: "Moon Called"
Author: Patricia Briggs
Year: 2006

Summary:

Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.


She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.


But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself...and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.

Review: 


Anyone who has explored my blog knows I love fantasy novels. Werewolves, Vampires, and witches, oh my! I love it! This book has got it all. Moon Called is the first book in a series by Patricia Briggs. I love reading books of a series. They really take you along for a ride with the lives of the characters better than a stand-alone novel. I really enjoyed it and can't wait to start reading the next book in the series.

"Mercedes the VW mechanic" (LOL) is a "walker" (she can shape-shift into a coyote in an instant). She gets in involved in the business of the alpha next door neighbor and his pack of werewolves. She gets caught up in some sticky situations in her rescue mission but manages like the tough stubborn girl she is. It's refreshing to see a new type of heroine. Not your typical beauty. She's a mechanic with lots of tattoos and can definitely hang with the guys.

In the romantic department the book was kind of lacking. There was such potential to turn it up a notch, but it never really did. Another thing I that threw me off was during some good action scenes where you usually get caught up in the action and flip the pages faster and faster to find out what happens next, Mercy starts rationalizing and explaning things to herself during some of the heavy action scenes. It throws your mood off completely. At times, the novel was a little confusing to where I had to read some parts over and over again to understand who was speaking and what was actually said.

All in all, I did enjoy the book. It's got a good storyline and great characters. They all have very distinctive personalities and lots of different accents and looks which make it interesting. On last note, I'm looking forward to picking up the next book, Blood Bound, in the series, so that should tell you that the positive points outweigh the negatives.

Happy Reading,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Angel Eyes", Poetry by Nette

"Angel Eyes"

Angel eyes so beautiful
So blue and crystal clear,
As azure as the sky
and as the oceans may appear.

Every morning I see your face
It makes me want to smile,
I see the stare in your eyes
That lasts for miles and miles.

There's nothing that you can't do
with a smile so sweet,
with a mind so peppery
but you do it so discreet.

You keep your eyes busy
nothing leads you astray,
When I want to hold you close
You always run away.

I feel your sense of autonomy
It runs oh so deep,
Just like a river
It follows its own lead.

You'll go off and leave me here
A mother wanting more,
You'll go and do great things
That I know is sure.

You'll bring joy everywhere you go
To know you is a prize,
Each time someone looks
Into your Angel Eyes.

*For Natalia, the silliest, most independent, gorgeous girl around.



"Starstruck" by Cyn Balog

I was reading "Starstruck" by Cyn Balog during a pretty fierce thunderstorm. I'm talking 40 mph winds and tons of rain. My AC went out too, so I had to endure the storm with the windows open. Lucky me! The reason I mention this is because there was a terrible suspenseful storm in the book and it scared the bejesus out of me while reading it during my own crazy storm. There was no terrential flooding like in the novel, but I feared at any second a tree would be whipped by the wind, snap, and land in my living room. Paranoid? Maybe.

 Anyways, "Starstruck" is essentially a love story. Usually when I read a love story, the heroine is some gorgeous, thin girl. The heroine in "Startstruck" is a normal girl with weight issues. It was good to see the big girls get noticed every once in a while. It is an unconventional love story, but mostly it comes down to this: the two people in the relationship get so hung up on appearances, they lose themselves. In totally different ways, but it's all the same in the end.

The greatest thing about this young adult novel is the confident boost it gives you. Especially for teenage girls that are ever self-conscious (I know, because not too long ago, I was one), you learn that to just be yourself is the greatest thing in the world. You don't have to be like everyone else to be accepted or to be you. Just believe in yourself and know that you are beautiful and unique and that is the most wonderful thing in the world. There is only one you. Believe in yourself.

If you want find out more about "Starstruck" or the other novels by Cyn Balog; "Fairy Tale" and Sleepless", visit her website at cynbalog.com

Happy Reading,

A Review of "Dracula" by Bran Stoker

Okay, so, I have to admit, I love Vampire books. It's a bloody obsession (pun intended). I always wanted to read "Dracula", but never did. The version I read was "Dracula" by Bram Stoker with an introduction by Leonard Wolf and an afterword by Jeffrey Meyers.

What brought me finally to pick up the book was in the "House of Night Series" by P.C. and Kristen Cast, they mention it and used quite a bit of content from it. So  it peeked my curiosity as to the actual story of "Dracula". 

Recent vampire novels have been making vampires look like the 'good guys', so it was a whole new aspect to me to read "Dracula" that makes vampires the total bad asses they are supposed to be. "Dracula" is evil, seductive, and scary.

I love the setting of Transylvania and the insane asylum. Absolutely fabulous. It was exciting how it starts with Jonathan Harker in Dracula's castle in Transylvania, then moves to England and its crazy mishaps, and then to an all out trek across Europe chasing the one and only "Dracula". It's great.

Happy Reading,

"A Great and Terrible Beauty"

"A Great and Terrible Beauty" by Libba Bray was great and refreshing. I love historical fiction novels and a bit of the supernatural. The novel takes place in England around the late 1800s at an all girls boarding school. It's a bit of a ghost story, but not scary. The main character, Gemma Doyle and her friends discover a secret group that travels the realms of the supernatural. It's a mystery too, where they try to figure out a murder mystery of two former students from years passed. I love reading historical fiction novels because you get a taste of what life was like. I was intrigued by the life at the boarding school of mostly forgotten girls. It's very interesting and different in that there aren't many novels I've read of the supernatural that take place in that time period. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Happy Reading,

Friday, August 26, 2011

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - Review

I've always loved me some historical fiction. I've heard of the title Anna Karenina way back when, but never read it. I was browsing through titles on the web and decided 'what the hell, why not?'. I've heard of Leo Tolstoy before because of his epic novel "War and Peace" and decided that it would be great as well.

It was way too verbose for my tastes. The version I read was over 800 pages and small print. Yikes! Tolstoy describes every single minute detail of nearly every leading characters lives over the course of two years(I probably know more about farming and Russian politics than I ever even wanted to know). It's exhausting. I started reading it and would get bored and have to lay it aside until I was bored of not reading and pick it up just because it was something to do instead of housework (who wants to do that?). 

The story takes place in Russia. I haven't read many novels that take place in Russia. I believe the only one I've read is one of the Vampire Academy novels which takes place briefly in Russia and Siberia. Any how, I was excited to learn what life was like in Russia during the mid-1800s. Historical fiction novels always give you glimpse in time to the specific time and place. Daily routines, activities, political campaigns, societal views, and fashion are some of the few glimpses in time you will get when reading Anna Karenina. Growing up in the information age, it's hard to imagine how anyone lived back then, but also so fascinating at the same time. This book covers characters in high society and peasant class and their interactions. 

It's the double drama of Anna's life and Levin's life . They are not completely different stories, all the characters know each other. So you see the same characters in each of the main characters lives. I have to say my favorite character was Oblonsky (oh yeah, all male characters are referred to by their last names and they are super Russian - get ready for pronunciation troubles), his character has so much personality. He had me smiling and laughing with his comments. 

I'm not going to spoil anything for you, but I thought it was intriguing how the two heroines: Anna and Kitty started as polar opposites (one was happy and one was miserable) and at the end they flip-flopped (one ended up happy and the other miserable). A moral lesson was attached to their outcomes as well. One made good moral choices and ended up happy and the other immoral (according to society at the time) choices and ended up miserable. 

Between infidelity, drug use, madness, attempted suicide, and successful suicide; it was enough to keep me coming back for more. The issue on divorce and divorce practices at that time was nearly incomprehensible to me since I've live in an age where couples are getting divorced everyday. In the book you'll find such crazy divorce practices and child visitation is nonexistent when one party is in the wrong. It also address the age old question of science vs. religion. 
Overall, it was interesting but long and draining due to the extensive details associated with every single action or thought.

Happy Reading,



Friday, July 22, 2011

"Love in the Time of Cholera" = Torture

I picked up "Love in the Time of Cholera" to read because it was a title that stuck in my head of one I've heard before. When I first started reading for enjoyment a year ago, I started reading books I've heard of but never read or pick one of the classics (which I've never read as well). The title of this book, that I believed was a classic, is what drew me to it. I started reading it, hoping that it was a great story.
It was excruciating! I don't know if it was from the translation from Spanish to English that caused the characters to be named with full names each time their names were mentioned. It was too wordy for me. The pages barely had any paragraph breaks and there were black letters sprawling from one edge of the page to the other. It was exhausting. 

The book spans a time span of about  80 years. It lost my interest 3/4 of the way through and I was not able to find it. It was torture and I found myself putting the book down to clean the house. That's saying a lot for me. I hate cleaning. 

The original version in Spanish written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez may have been a little more "readable", but the English version was torture. I hate to write negative reviews on books I've read. But to be honest, I believe this story is a waste of your time. Pick something else to read.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Waiting and Typing"

Well, I just recently finished reading the last of the books I have in stock at home. I recently purchased a few more and put a bunch on hold from the library. I think they are going to be truly pissed when they see how many I've requested for them to hold for me.

While I'm waiting for my new stock to come in, I've been writing. For about a week, I've been uninspired. It's not exactly writer's block, but lack of  inspiration. This morning a bright new idea for the next scene of my novel struck me. Since this morning, I've been hitting the keys. I've been typing for hours and just can't stop. I think I typed constantly from 9-5 today. A full day's work. Well, except for the occasional break to fill sippy cups, feed children, take out toys, clean house, and put on another episode of Dora.

I'm currently working on two projects at the moment. Both are fiction and both are of the romance genre. One is geared more towards young adults and the other is for everyone. I've got a lot of ideas and have been putting them to work over the last few hours.

Over a week ago, I kind of wrote myself into a corner and have been thinking desperately to come up with a solution. Many sleepless nights have contributed to this past week's of lack of inspiration and now it's over. Finally.

I've recently spoke to my Aunt, who happens to be a self-published children's author. She has given me some insight of what to expect and how to try my hand at being published. She's now taken a break from writing, but my children love her books and they have earned their recognition at book signings. Her books are titled Hamster Cheeks and Parrot Pizza Pie  written by Cathy Delittle.

I hope I can take her advise and to also use the love and support of my friends and family to fuel me to a complete one piece of work. Things are rolling. I've set a personal deadline for myself on at least one piece by the end of the summer. The deadline is for the writing, not the editing. That will take a little longer. For now, since I'm waiting...I'll be typing.

"The Sweetest Thing" by Jill Shalvis: Review

"The Sweetest Thing (A Lucky Harbor Novel)" by Jill Shalvis is hot, hot, hot. Shalvis' play with words when it comes to sexual tension and love scenes is extraordinary. The entire book is loaded with them. I was surprised to see it throughout the entire book. I thought maybe it might get overplayed...but, nope! It stays hot and heavy until the end. If that's your sort of thing, give "The Sweetest Thing" a try.

Here's a description of what you'll find:

"Tara has a thousand good reasons not to return to the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington. Yet with her life doing a major crash-and-burn, anywhere away from her unfulfilled dreams and sexy ex-husband will do. As Tara helps her two sisters get their newly renovated inn up and running, she finally has a chance to get things under control and come up with a new plan for her life."

"But a certain tanned, green-eyed sailor has his own ideas, such as keeping Tara hot, bothered . . . and in his bed. And when her ex wants Tara back, three is a crowd she can't control-especially when her deepest secret reappears out of the blue. Now Tara must confront her past and discover what she really wants. If she's lucky, she might just find that everything her heart desires is right here in Lucky Harbor."

Lucky Harbor is a fictional location, but the characters seem so real and I love the different personalities of the sisters. I love the antagonism and the heat between the characters. You'll find you love it too. I definitely recommend it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

"Cliff Hanger"

Okay, so I've never actually started reading a series of books that aren't all completely relased. I guess I hate waiting to get the next installment to the series, so I choose to read complete series that have all been released.

That was all true until I started reading Richelle Mead's novels. There are 3 and soon to be 4 series that she has written.

*Vampire Academy Series
*Dark Swan Series
*Georgina Kincaid Series (Succubus)

and soon to be released

*Bloodline Series ( a pin-off of Vampire Academy)

They are all urban fantasy adult/young adult novels. A genre that I never really related to until lately. I'm addicted to them. I find myself putting off housework and guiltily ignoring my children to a small extent just to finish a paragraph, chapter, book.

But in series that I've read in the past, all the books in those series were released already. When I read "Vampire Academy" in the past few months, that was the case. Since then, I've started the Georgina Kincaid (Succubus) Series and the Dark Swan Series. Both of those series haven't had all their books released yet and now I'm anxiously waiting for the final books in these series to be realeased. For more information about these series, go to http://richellemead.com/books/books.htm

Also, I can't contain myself about how excited I am about the new series, "Bloodlines". It's a spin-off series to Vampire Academy, with the same characters I've grown to love. It comes out August 23, 2011.

Released August 23

So now I have to experience the true cliff hanger in waiting for all the releases on the three series that I haven't finished/started. I can't wait to dive in. In the Georgina Kincaid (Succubus) Series, I still haven't started "Succubus Shadows" (the fourth book in a five book series). I've ordered it and am waiting on the shipment to come in, you can read an excerpt from the book here.

Happy Reading,

Nette

Monday, June 13, 2011

Kristan Higgins: My New Fever

Just this week, I finished reading my first Kristan Higgins fiction novel, "My One and Only". I loved it. It's characters were believable and the plot was well written. The story comes full circle, which I love...no loose ends!

Even though, after you figure out the relationships of the characters in the story, you quickly figure out what's going to happen in the end. The title kind of gives it away...but it's still fun seeing what the characters go through to get to that obvious ending.

I really enjoyed reading this novel. I finished it in a day. That speaks wonders about the book right there. I'm a particularly slow reader and for me to finish it in a day, means it kept me hooked. It was a great story and I loved reading it, so I'm giving Kristan Higgins another shot...

I'm picking up another one of her novels, "Just One of the Boys" today. I consider myself to a certain extent 'one of the boys', since I love sports, drink beer, and can smart mouth anyone into silence...so I can't wait to see  what this novel brings to the table.

Probably my favorite character is the dog, Coco. It's a cute little Jack Russell/ Chihuahua. I know it's silly, but the dog was very lovable and was there throughout the whole story. She had a cute personality all her own.

Kristan Higgins loves hearing from her readers and here's her website if you want to tell her what you think: www.kristanhiggins.com

Vampire Academy: Finished all 6 in a week

It's hard to believe that a little over a year ago, I would never have touched a book. Let alone read 6 novels in a week. Vampire Academy, even though it's in the young adult section at the library, got me hooked. It drew me in and I was turning pages deep into the night.
It was hard to put the books down, when it was bedtime. The only thing that made me stash it aside was physical exhaustion. The mixture of action, romance, drama, and the original supernatural tales within all 6 novels, kept me going and going.
There are 6 novels in all. By the time I got to the fourth one, my librarian said, "you go through these fast, huh?". "Yes, I do. They are addicting," I told her.
I would even look on my county's website and see which branch's held a copy of the next book and drive up to 20 miles, just to score the next book. I normally would just put a hold on a book and have it delivered to my local branch, but sometimes it can take a few days. With this series, there was no waiting....I had to see what happened. Every page was an adventure. I almost had to buy one, since they weren't available by the fifth one, but I got lucky the next morning when one was returned to my local library branch. Even though, I wouldn't have minded buying one. I believe the authors deserve that much from the reader, especially with a good riveting series like "Vampire Academy", but I'm dirt poor and it's just not feasible at this time.
I love those novels and hope that there are a couple follow up pieces. There were a few ends left loose at the end of "Last Sacrifice" (the finale of the series). So, I'm hoping there will be.
I can't get enough of Rose, Dimitri, Lissa, and probably my favorite character, Adrian.
The author hinted on her acknowledgment page, that she will be writing more moroi and dhampir tales. I don't know if they will include the same characters, but I hope they do.
I think I'll be excited either way. If you love a good love story mixed with some action and drama and love a good vampire book, this series is for you.
I just found out recently that there is going to be a Vampire Academy movie....So freaking excited! I can't wait to find out who is playing who. It should be interesting...
I would love to hear if anyone else loved the novel like I did or hated it to no end, so feel free to leave comments as you like!
To check out more info on the Vampire Academy books go to: www.vampireacademybooks.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead...LOVED IT!

So after reading all the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer, I was left with a hunger for the supernatural vampire world. The book Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead satisfied that hunger. It's the first book in a series. I can't wait to start the next one.

At first, I didn't think I would like it. Plus, I thought it would be like reading Twilight all over again, which I wouldn't mind, but I wanted something fresh and new. Though it was similiar to the Twilight series in a way. It was also so VERY different. I love the world Richelle Mead created and the characters feel so real and dynamic.

The next book in the series is Frostbite. I just reserved it from the library and can't wait to sink my teeth in...pun intended. So far the book has turned out to be everything I would want in a novel: Love, action, adventure, drama, and characters that seem so real even though they are fantastical.

The other books in the series that I know of including ones I've already mentioned are:
#1: Vampire Academy
#2: Frostbite
#3: Shadow-Kissed
#4: Blood Promise

It's a New York Times Bestseller Series and I guarantee if you love the mythical world of vampires, you will love this series. Give it a go!

If you want more information on the books, you can go to: www.vampireacademybooks.com

or the author's site: www.richellemead.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

In Progress

I'm been writing a lot lately. I've even sparked an idea for a new piece of work and started hammering away at it this past week. So far...so good. I'm not looking forward to editing, but it should be an adventure to better my craft.

So I read the partial draft of Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer. You can read it online at her website at:

http://stepheniemeyer.com/

After reading the 200 somewhat pages, I was left with a yearning for some more good vampire reads. I just picked up Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (it's the first in a series) from the library and I'm hoping it won't disappoint. It's a New York Times bestseller, so here goes nothing...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Love, Oh! Love" - Poem by Nette

Love, Oh! Love
Will bring you to your knees
Love, Oh! Love
Will strip you of your dignity.

Love, Oh! Love
Will keep you up at night
Love, Oh! Love
Will make you such a sight.

Love will bring you
Life and laughter
Love will leave you
crying after.

Love makes you feel new
Love makes you feel blue
Love makes your heart true
then tears your heart in two.

Love will make you feel alive
Love will stand by your side
Love will shatter you in a moment
And you may never know it.

Love makes you feel so weak
Love makes you cry in your sleep
Love makes you dream the sweetest dreams
Mostly nightmares though it seems.

Love causes selflessness
Love causes breathlessness
Love makes you feel as if you can conquer all
Love kicks you when you fall.

Love is the ultimate stranger
You feel u are in such danger
Your heart takes the bait
And later your heart begins to ache.

You can feel it in your soul
All the love you have for thee
But love, Oh! love
Is such a tragedy.

-This is a poem dedicated to the time my husband and I went through a long military deployment a world apart from each other. The strong love I felt for him was tearing me apart at the same time.

"Can't Stop Loving Love Stories" - Review of "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger

I usually like reading books that have movies made from them. I never watch the movie first. I always read the book and then view the movie. After reading the book I borrow from the library I usually then borrow the movie from the library or video store or kiosk and I'm usually disappointed in the movie. Besides my disappointment, I love putting faces to the names. With books you have to use your imagination and the descriptions from the author in order to create the look of each character and setting of each scene. After creating my idea of what the characters look like, I like to view the movies made from these books and see what the casting director(s) have come up with.

This fiction novel is so different from others that I have read. It's a love story and I can't stop loving love stories. At first the novel is extremely confusing. The dates jump around continuously. You think gees, I'm never going to keep up with the constant switching of dates, times, and ages of the characters, but the novel comes full circle and closes every end of every unknown scenario it presents. I enjoyed the novel because it was so different. There was so much love and then at the same time so much despair. I found myself crying of joy, love, loss, and sorrow.

Niffenegger draws a beautiful picture of the characters and really brings them to life. She brings to life "Time Traveling" which she says is a disease in which Henry the main male character suffers from. She makes the disease sort of scientific which lends to its authenticity throughout the entire book. You believe that it can be a real disease. When you or I think of time traveling the first thing you may think of is a time machine or Doc Brown and the Delorean from "Back to the Future", but it's nothing like that and the novel gives you a whole new prospective on time traveling. Its ups and its downs.

It's a beautiful story and I could read it over and over again. I am dying to see the movie and see what they've done with it. Which scenes and or characters have they omitted due to time constraints? What differences will there be in the characters' appearances? What will the settings look like in the motion picture medium? I'll leave my take on the movie when I finish viewing it. Please feel free to comment and leave any feedback you have about any of these novels or movies mentioned.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Memoirs of a Geisha" - Fiction or Not? That is the Question...

I loved the book. It was a love story and I love love stories. The thing that struck me most is not the romantic side of it because there wasn't much romance at all. It was the how closely it brushed with reality. It's based during the depression and WWII. The descriptions that the author used is amazing. The characters trials and tribulations seem so real and so disturbing at times.

The life of a geisha during that period is glamorous, yet tragic. It's very glamorous in the way they are dressed and look, but the things they are forced to do and that are part of their job is mind boggling to me. In my reviews of the books I read, I will never give away the story or the ending of a book. It's just a brief review of what I thought and how it impacted me.

What struck me most is how female-centric the geisha world is. Almost all heads of geisha life from owners of the oyika and owners of the teahouses are all female. Even the females in the book dominate the men in their forms of manipulation. It's hard to believe for me, a westerner, that in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s that females were in so much control of a certain empire. In America at that time women were still very subordinate to men. Not to say that the idea of a geisha isn't subordinate to men, because it is, but the deciding factors in the entire book was by a female. The men have the money but the females make the decisions. In America around that time women were still viewed in who they marry. In geisha Japan, it seemed that the women were independent not needing marriage to define them.

The reason I titled my review as "Fiction or Not? That is the Question..." is because the book is written by Arthur Golden but at the beginning of the book it explains how a translator named Jacob has translated the entire story from the main character herself, Nitta Sayuri. I thought the only reason it was considered fiction was because the main character while telling her story had changed the names of some of the characters to conceal their identity. In the Translator's Note at the beginning of the book, it even says how she (Nitta Sayuri) wanted to wait to publish the book. She wanted to wait until most of the people she refers to in the book to be deceased. She also requested that she be deceased before it was published as well.

Because this "Translator's Note" seemed so real in the way it was written, I believed throughout the entire time I was reading the novel that Nitta Sayuri was a real person. Not until I reached the page after the final page of the text, was I surpirsed to see in the acknowledgement section that the character Nitta Sayuri and her life were completely fictional. I was shocked because the way the book was set up I truly believed that she and her life were the real deal.

Besides that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone. I can't wait to see the movie to put faces to the names in the book. I usually hate when movies are made from books because they never really encompass the great work of literature that the book was, but I still would like to view it. I'll leave a review on the movie as soon as I view it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

"Memoirs of a Geisha" - First Impressions

I haven't seen the movie and I've just started the book. I've always been interested in the life and mysteries of the geisha. I always wanted to know more about them but never took the time to investigate. This book has given me the platform to do so. I started reading it a couple days ago. It usually takes me a while to read a book because I have 2 children and a husband and home to take care of, so I don't have much free time. When I do get free time, I grab my book.

My first impression of "Memoirs of a Geisha" is that is a compelling and intriguing story. I was drawn in immediately into the story. The main character is a real person and she is telling her experiences of becoming and being a geisha. It is considered fiction, but it is very much based on a real life story and events.

When I was 5 years old, I was a geisha for Halloween (I'll have to find that picture and post it). Ever since then, I've been captivated by anything geisha. Though through the years the only things I've known about geisha is the way they look; their hair, make-up, and kimono. I've also known that they perform dances and tea ceremony and entertain men, but other than that I have no clue. This book has so far given me the opportunity to dig into a world which is foreign to me.  The imagery is intense and descriptions are massive throughout the book. You are able to visual the setting and characters very well.

The book title is "Memoirs of a Geisha" and the authors name is Arthur Golden.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Review of "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway

I finished reading the book. I have to say it was okay. I wasn't compelled by the book and it wasn't a book that held my interest for very long. I love a book that will keep you turning pages long into the night, but this one didn't.

I am a huge history buff. I love learning about decades and centuries before my time. This book did captured the post WWI 1920s decade well. I love learning about how things used to be. However, that was it. There was I believe a weak story line and nothing interesting at all. The end of the novel was just as weak. I did learn a lot about bull fighting, but other than that I have not much to say. 

I understand that Ernest Hemingway is an award winning fiction writer, but as far as "The Sun Also Rises", I was not impressed.

I'm always looking for a great book to read, so if anyone can interest me in one, please by all means, let me know. 

I enjoy romance and love stories the most and prefer them when there's action involved. Please help me in choosing some literature that would interest me and I'm open to hearing about what you thought of "The Sun Also Rises".

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Not Much of a Reader"

All my life, I've never been much of a reader. I used to do poorly on the reading comprehension section of standardized tests. I would even get the cliff notes to any book before even trying to attempt to read it.Over summer break in school, we used to be assigned a reading list. I would pick the books that had movies produced and do my book report on the story through the movie of the book. I tried everything in order not to read. Just recently within the past year, I've discovered literature. I always knew it was there, but never saw the positive points of reading. I've been exploring the classics and trying to educate myself in all I've been missing. I've also just realized that I enjoy writing. I've always had a knack for it. On essay tests, I would make up things and ace the test. It was always amazing to me that I could write total b.s. and come out a winner. Due to my small case of insecurity, I've been avoiding showing my work to anyone and I figured blogging would get me over that hump and show me to embrace my love of writing. Little hints of support from my friends and family members have helped me get going on this.

So over the past year, I've been diving into literature first hand mostly looking toward the classics and working my way out. Recently, I've read romance, action, science fiction, etc. Currently, I'm reading a book by Ernest Hemingway, "The Sun Also Rises". I'm almost through with the book and will post my comments of what I think about went I'm through. To be frank, I don't see the big deal about Ernest Hemingway as of yet, but I'm going to be open-minded. He is one of the greatest writers of our time.