Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Book Review: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Book: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Genre: Classic Literature
Published: 1847
How I Got the Book: Bought, for a class

Synopsis (from "Wuthering Heights", Emily Bronte's only novel, is one of the pinnacles of 19th-century English literature. It's the story of Heathcliff, an orphan who falls in love with a girl above his class, loses her, and devotes the rest of his life to wreaking revenge on her family.

My Thoughts: I am a convert. I am a believer of the books awesome power of this book. The characterization of every character is beyond imagination. The writing is thick and dramatic and the atmosphere and tone come alive. I couldn;t believe how truly dark this story was. It is so against the drain of almost everything I else I read from the time period. Roaming around the English countryside at night? Selfish unforgiving soul sucking romance? Oh yeah. It is so NOT romantic, that there's a level of comedy to anyone who described it as such. And the book knows it. It's narrated by someone who think Cathy and Heathcliff are completely insane. And they are! It is so full of violence and complex emotions, it took two readings back to back for me to absorb the full scope of the novel. The only thing I did not care for is the 'newer' generation/offspring...I feel it dampens Heathcliff and Cathy's story too much. But no matter, this book is revolting and such a train wreck...I couldn't look away. I'm not swooning over them but I am in awe of the level of story telling Bronte conjured up. Loved it in all its madness.

Characters: Unlikeable, unrelatable, unpleasent, psychotic, yet oh so familiar and expertly written.

Cover Art: I really like it. The colors are great, it's a nice scene of the moors which is basically a main character.

Overall: ★★★★★

Monday, August 2, 2010

Book Review: The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti

Book: The Purity Myth by Jessica Valenti
Genre: Non-Fiction, Women Studies
Published: 2009
How I Got the Book: Library, for a class

Synopsis (from
In The Purity Myth Jessica Valenti argues that the country’s intense focus on chastity is damaging to young women. Through in-depth cultural and social analysis, Valenti reveals that powerful messaging on both extremes — ranging from abstinence curriculum to “Girls Gone Wild” infomercials — place a young woman’s worth entirely on her sexuality. Morals are therefore linked purely to sexual behavior, rather than values like honesty, kindness, and altruism. Valenti sheds light on the value — and hypocrisy — around the notion that girls remain virgin until they’re married by putting into context the historical question of purity, modern abstinence-only education, pornography, and public punishments for those who dare to have sex. The Purity Myth presents a revolutionary argument that girls and women are overly valued for their sexuality, as well as solutions for a future without a damaging emphasis on virginity.

My Thoughts: I loved Valenti's tone and voice throughout this book. From the first chapter I found myself nodding along in agreement and crinkling my nose in repulsion of some of the stories she presents. I believe in this crusade, whole heartily. Purity rings are disturbing to me, always have been, and this book gave my thoughts clear words as to why. I no longer believe in virginity and I don't think I really did before reading this book either. There are a lot of misconceptions about her message but Valenti CLEARLY states before even beginning the book : "“Culture, religion, and social beliefs influence the role that . . . sexuality play in women’s lives-sometimes very positively. So, to be clear, when I argue for an end to the idea of virginity, it’s because I believe sexual intimacy should be honored and respected, but that it shouldn’t be revered at the expense of a woman’s well being, or seen as such an integral part of female identity that we end up defining ourselves by our sexuality” (22). It is completely recommended to read this book, essential even. The knowledge and ideas found in this book are eye opening and empowering.

Characters: Not applicable.

Cover Art: I don't know officially but I wonder if its a play on the popular Twilight covers and being ironic with the whole 'deflowering' cultural stratification

Overall: ★★★★★

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl

Book: Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl
Genre: Young Adult
Published: December 2009
How I Got the Book: Library

Synopsis (from
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haun ...more Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

My Thoughts: Snoozefest. Boring. Way way way too long and drawn out. This book took me literally two months to read. About half-way through the book I just gave up on caring about any character or anything going on plot wise. It honestly could have been 250 pages less and still achieved the same effect. I picked up the book because of the great reviews and I thought a southern Gothic novel would be very compelling. Ugh. I was wrong. The synonpsis makes it sound decent, but it really isn't. The 'exciting' parts at the end of the book are thrown together and so predictable I was rolling my eyes. Pretty much everything that one can guess or assume would happen in this book...did. Very noob. I will not be picking up the sequel or the rest of the series because I negatively care about what happens. Skip it.

Characters: Uncompelling. Lackluster. Cliche. I struggle to remember anything worthwhile about any of them. Oh wait, I remember the cousin of Lena was one of more cartoon-ish and stereotypical charcters I had read in a long time.

Cover Art: Awesome!!! Great font and pretty purple, the whole thing is very eye cathcing and great

Overall: ★★ (one extra star for the cover)