Monday, December 27, 2010
My friend Kate posted a survey on her blog about the books she read in 2010. The survey was originally created by Perpetual Page Turner. So here are my answers to the survey and here is the link if you'd like to do it too.
1. Best book of 2010? I don't know if it is only because I just finished it and so therefore it is weighing on my mind stronger then the other books I read this year but I really really loved One Day by David Nicholls.
2. Worst book of 2010? I would say the worst book I read in 2010 was with out a doubt Witch and Wizard by James Patterson. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all bad. But whatever promise the book had was completely wiped away by the ending.
3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010? I was going to say Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict but now looking over my list of the books I read in 2010, I'm actually going to go with Go! Mutants by Larry Doyle. It's not that I didn't like this book, because I did. But I really wanted to LOVE this book, and that just didn't happen.
4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010? I really wasn't expecting much out of Dan Brown's Lost Symbol. I haven't read any of his other books because I just didn't think they were the type of books I would like. To be honest I think I was afraid that they would just go way over my head. But I read the Lost Symbol for my book club and I really enjoyed it.
5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010? Well, if you are asking what book did I actually recommend to people in 2010 it would have to be Relentless by Dean Kootnz, but I read that one a couple of years ago. Now, if you are asking me out of the books I read in 2010 what I would recommend, that would again be One Day by David Nicholls
6. Best series you discovered in 2010? The only series of books that I actually read multiple entries for in 2010 were the Southern Vampire Mysteries and the Hunger Games. So between the two I would have to go with Hunger Games.
7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010? John Green, although so far I've only read Abundance of Katherines, I really enjoy his vlogs and I am excited to read the rest of his books soon.
8. Most hilarious read of 2010? Scott Pilgrim by Bryan lee O'Malley. I only read the first one but that book is just dripping with excess sarcasm!
9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010? The Lost Symbol was pretty unputdownable, mainly because each chapter would be like 3 pages long, if that, so I would be saying to myself "I'm just going to read one more chapter..."
10. Book you most anticipated in 2010? Probably Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins. I had read Hunger Games when it first came out so each year I was looking forward to the next installment.
11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010? I'm going to go with Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, I liked my cover with it's devilish angel.
12. Most memorable character in 2010? I really can't think of anyone character that I liked or remembered more then the others. But if I had to choose I would say Flavia de Luce from The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley. She was just this little kid but she was so smart and so clever and written in such witty and believable way. I really liked her.
13. Most beautifully written book in 2010? I can honestly say that I don't think I've read a book this year that I would say was written "beautifully", but if I had to pick one I would say, yet again, One Day by David Nicholls. I was underlining lines in that book like crazy but also just the whole set up and how he wove the two points of view together was incredible.
14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010? Without You By Anthony Rapp. I'm really can't begin to say how much this book meant to me but without a doubt it had the most impact on me this year. I did blog about it though so if you want to read my original thoughts about it click here
15. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read? I'm really sorry but I just don't have an answer for this one. I keep looking at my list of all the books I read this year (and I only read like 26 so it's not that long of a list) but not one book stands out as a book I always wanted to read and only just got around to this year. Also, not one stands out as a book I can't believe I only just found out about because for every book on my list I can totally see why I didn't discover them until this year so it makes sense to me.
Posted by Bittner at 12:37 PM
Friday, December 24, 2010
I want to begin my blog this week by saying Merry Christmas to all my followers!
I am sitting here in my apartment next to my beautiful Christmas tree, with my stockings hung by my bookshelves, drinking my warm East African coffee (it is a (RED) product featured at Starbucks that my big sister Stephanie got me for my birthday! Thanks sis!!!) out of my snowflake coffee mug (gift from Ame, Thanks Ame!!!) and watching the Christmas episode of Glee!
One of the other things I have done this week to prepare for Christmas was I reading Maeve Binchy’s collection of short stories all centered around the holiday titled This Year Will Be Different.
As I have said before (and will say again many many times) I love Maeve Binchy. So I was really excited to read this book for Christmas. And Even more excited when my younger sis, Lindsey got it for me, thanks sis!!!
Each story was on average around 10 pages long, and reading this book helped remind me what a great art being able to tell a good short story is. I mean when you think about it, being able to bring your audience into a world were they immediately feel invested in the characters and want to see them through their struggles in only a few paragraphs is really really difficult!
I was a little disappointed in the first few stories because they were just… blah. They weren’t emotional or sentimental or warm fuzzy feeling at all. Then right around the fourth story titled “The Hard Core” they started to get better.
But in typical Binchy fashion, she had me crying more then once.
One of the stories titled “Season of Fuss” was about a woman who always stressed out at Christmas to the point where it drives her kids (all of whom are grown and out of the house) crazy. But as the story unfolds you learn that at the age of 60 this woman has been a widow for 12 years and stressing out over all the little details at Christmas is what helps distract her from her grief.
A good friend of mine lost her husband in October, he had been sick for a while and fought his disease with strength that others will spend their entire lives praying for. I feel for my friend immensely and reading this story made me think of her. I was crying (rather noisily) at my office while reading the parts where the woman remembered her husband.
That is Binchy’s thing though you know!?! All her stories are just these simple tales about peoples every day lives and the reality of them can be as heartbreaking as they can be uplifting.
Another story was titled “Typical Irish Christmas” which made me tear up a bit, pretty much for the same reason as described above, but it also left me with this unshakable urge to move to Ireland more then anything else I have ever read. I don’t really know why because it isn’t about what you would think it is going to be about. But I can’t explain it, while reading it I was overcome with this urge to get to the airport and on a plain as soon as possible! First I’ll need to get some money saved up, but once I do, I am out of here.
I wonder if Bono would have a room he could let me rent out?
The other story that I really liked in this collection was one called “The Christmas Baramundi” which is about a girl and guy who meet at a fish market in Sydney on Christmas day when they ask for the same baramundi. They go for coffee and agree to meet for lunch three days later. The girl goes home to her friends and spends her three days filled with these fantasy about who this guy is. Because for some reason neither of them actually asked the other if they were married or had families or whatever. I could relate to the girl because I often project my own fantasies and impressions onto the guys I meet and develop crushes on.
Over all I would say that the Binchy’s collection of short stories started out blah, got better through the middle, and then ended with blah again. But I’m still glad I read it and will continue to read more Binchy through out the year. In fact I already have 4 books of hers on my To Be Read In 2011 list so you will for sure be hearing more about her work in the future from me.
By the way, Glee’s Christmas episode just ended, and again I’m crying! I really do cry way to easily.
Posted by Bittner at 8:37 PM
Saturday, December 18, 2010
I think Annette was the one I saw that posted about the books she was most excited to read in 2011!
If I remember correctly I think she had some cute little graphics and buttons or something when she posted it...
But alas I am at work yet again and don't have the time and access the add those to mine...
maybe when a certain friend of mine gets back from her mother's house this weekend she can get me hooked up....
So anyway here are the...
TOP FIVE BOOKS FOR 2011
1. Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
I was excited when I knew it was a John Green book but even more so when I realized the co-author also co-authored the book Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.
2. Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy.
I am hoping to get caught up on a lot of my Maeve Binchy reading this year but the new one coming out in March? April? no March? features one of my favorite of all her characters so I am really excited for this one!
3. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz and the series of books that follows.
I listened to the audio version of this book about two years ago and loved it!!! But the ending scared me, in terms of what it meant for the future of Odd, so much so that I couldn't yet bare to continue reading the books. But 2011 is going to be the year Odd and I get reacquainted!
4. It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
I first heard about this story when I was seeing stuff from behind the scenes of the movie. I don't really know why I am looking forward to this one so much. But I just think it looks like a story I can relate to and it looks like it will add some humor along the way
and last but not least...
5. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
I first read the summery of this book at my friends house and I did think it sounded really interesting. So I was genuienly excited when she chose it for our book club's selection for January. She keeps making comments about how even with all the other reading I have planned in December, I better still read hers. But I swear, I truly am really looking forward to this book as well!
I mean, Andrea look... it made my list of TOP FIVE for the entire year!!!
Posted by Bittner at 2:24 PM
Friday, December 17, 2010
So, this one goes out to all my customers...
Do you people seriously think that I just sit behind my counter and make all this s*#t up as I go along? DO YOU?
Because guess what I DON'T!!! In fact, I don't make any of this stuff up, any of it! I have absolutely no deciding factor when it comes to my companies decisions for how they want to run their business!
I know it can seem a little bit confusing because it your eyes I have all the power, because I am the one who takes all your money. But guess what, it is all an illusion. I HAVE NO POWER AT ALL!!! (So sobbing out your life story to me is not going to get you anywhere!)
So please, for the love of God and all that is holy and decent in this world QUIT YOUR BITCHING!!!
To the young man, we will call Devin, who was just in here, YES if you want to cash your pay check it will be 3%! It has always been 3%, it will probably always be 3%, and if you ever go to any other financial institution other than like freaking Walmart or your actual bank they will tell you the same exact thing! So don't come in here with your...
"Are you f-ing kidding me! That can't be f-ing right! Are you f-ing serious?"
YES I AM! Because like I said I don't make this s*#t up! Go get a freaking bank account if you don't like it and get the hell out of my store!
And you! Yes, you little miss cranky pants whom we will call Betty! Yeah that is right, I AM TALKING TO YOU!
NO, I did not just randomly decide to change the price of my money orders when I saw you pull up! In fact they have been the same price for a year and a half. So don't you come in here with your...
"Oh my God that is so expensive! Why are your money orders so expensive! I can get one for 2 sickles down at the 5 and Dime! I just can't believe they are they expensive!"
Lady, it is a freaking money order that because Western Union charges so much to allow us to sell them, my company hardly makes any money off of it in the first place. So hey you want to go down to the local 5 and dime, give me two seconds and I will draw you a freaking map! And then you can get the hell out of my store!
And to all of you out there that come in here and expect me to hold your hands through every single transaction and then get mad at me when you don't get your way....
I DON'T CARE!!! I am so far beyond the point of caring!!!
And do you want to know why, because it is your finances that we are dealing with here people!!! It is not my responsibility to keep track of how many loans you have had out and what your other payment options could possibly be. They are your finances people! And when you first step in to my store and get a loan through myself or my other employee I know that we give you all the information you could possibly need, and then some, so that you can conduct your business with us in a responsible manner. If you can't hold up your end of the deal...
THAT IS NOT MY FAULT YOU DUMBA#%!!!
But believe me when I say that I am not judging you for needing to have a pay day loan, that is not where all this is coming from. Because I have had to use a pay day loan company before and I have had my own fair share of debt in the past and the present. But I know what I am getting myself into and I don't go whining with my life story to some girl (who is just trying to do her job) when things don't go my way!!!
To all of you that actually read this entry...
Thank you for hanging in there through out all the venting! You are awesome! I promise it will never happen again. Well, at least not about my work :o)
Posted by Bittner at 4:40 PM
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
By: Laurie Viera Rigler
In all honesty this was no true abduction. It really only took me two months to read it because of my book club selection, the fact that NaNo was going on, and not to mention how boring the book ultimately was.
Now I should start off by informing all you book lovers out there that I am NOT a fan of Jane Austen’s books. I’m sorry, I’m just not. I’ve tried. I’ve read a few, but I’m just not a fan.
Having said that, I should say that I LOVE Jane Austen’s movies! Emma - adorable! Sense and Sensibility - LOVE IT!
Joe Wright’s Pride and Prejudice - I am pretty sure that after my friend Ame showed me this version, I went out, bought it, and then watched it ever day for like a month!
But her books - I’m just not feeling it!
I know what you are probably asking yourself right now;
If you are not a “Jane Austen addict” then why did you read a book about a “Jane Austen addict“?
Well, for one very simple reason.
The main character was named Courtney!
I know that sounds crazy but, my name is Courtney and you just don’t find too many Courtney’s out in literature so when I saw that the MC of the book was a fellow Courtney I couldn’t help myself! Plus, it helped that my local Hastings had the book in a pile for only $3!!!
Incidentally, I have since looked around online to see if I could find other works of literature that have a character named Courtney and this is what I found;
A sci-fi series called Bobby Pendragon and a high school series called Montgomery Lake High - The Right Person; have one of the love interests in their books named Courtney.
Another series called Evernight has a nemesis named Courtney.
There is a girl named Stargirl in the Justice Society of America whose real name is Courtney Whitmore.
The one I'm really excited about is a series of comic books called Courtney Crumrin!
I’m definitely going to order some of those just for fun!
Anyway, back to Confessions…
A problem that I have encountered before (and will probably encounter again) is that I have a really hard time enjoying a book if I don’t like the MC. Sometimes I can think that make stupid decisions and I just want to slap them around but overall I HAVE to like them on some level or it is just not going to work out.
The whole story starts out with Courtney breaking up with her then fiancé, Frank, and she goes home to comfort herself with wine, ice cream, and her favorite Jane Austen novel. That is when the “transformation” is supposed to happen. Through out the novel you are supposed to feel for her in the fact that she is grieving the loss of her relationship. But Rigler paints Frank as this egotistical, flirtatious, patronizing, asshole! And there is literally a scene where Courtney admits that she only like him because of how good is ass looked!!! I just couldn’t help but feel like she was shallow and her feelings for Frank were superficial. I couldn’t empathize with her AT ALL!
But the thing that really bothered me about Courtney was how shocked she seemed to be towards things through out the whole book!
I mean she is supposed to be this huge Jane Austen fan, right!?! She reads the books over and over again, has all the BBC movies, and even is signed up for all the conventions. But for some reason when she goes back in time she is continually shocked at the proper code of conduct between the men and women of that time.
Don’t get me wrong, I can understand her being a little off balance with it all in the beginning. I mean she’s traveled back in time by like 200 years so I can see where that would throw someone off. But she is supposed to be stuck in this time period for over a month and yet by the end of the book she is still shocked that she can’t go off with a guy un-chaperoned!!! The book is only 288 pages long and by page 268 she is still shocked to realize that in that time they didn’t have sex before marriage.
The last thing that I will say bothered me about the book was the epilogue because it is told through the perspective of the real Jane Mansfield.
Let me go back and explain. The concept of the book is that when Courtney travels back in time, it is kind of a weird Freaky Friday over the span of centuries type situation.. Courtney awakes with Jane Mansfield’s body and voice and family and life. We don’t meet Jane throughout the story. We are not allowed any scenes where we see what is going on with Jane’s mind. We assume that Jane’s mind is in Courtney’s body but we don’t know for sure. And when Courtney is in Jane’s life, she looks everywhere for letters or journals written by the real Jane but she can’t find anything.
But for some reason, Rigler chose to write the epilogue from Jane’s perspective instead of Courtney’s. Jane is not really a character in the book. So why, after reading the whole book, would I care about what happens to her years down the line from where our story concludes?
I mean, seriously, it would be like if the epilogue of Harry Potter was told through the perspective of Professor Grubbly-Plank!
Okay maybe that isn’t the best comparison because crazy HP fans will read ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that has to do with that world, but it is late so it was the best I could come up with.
On the bright side, I will say that I appreciated the friendship between Courtney (as Jane) and Mary Edgeworth.
Also, Rigler provided a lot of information about that time period. There are scenes where Courtney (as Jane) get’s her period, she tries to understand why wearing makeup is considered taboo, and she learns why people really went to bathe in the waters of Bath.
Rigler gives you the information without allowing it to feel that she is bashing you over the head with everything she has ever learned about that time. And in fact, those bits were probably the most interesting of the entire story.
In the end, all I can really say is that Confessions of a Jane Austen addict… well… I didn’t hate it… I didn’t love it… I wouldn’t recommend it… but, I have read worse!
OH WAIT HOLD ON!!!!!!!!!! Don’t go anywhere yet!!!
Let me share with you two fun facts I learned about the name Courtney while doing my research!
1. The name Courtney was given to LESS THAN 150 babies in 2005 AND 2006!
And 2. The name Courtney ranked 54th on the list of names used most in New Zealand in 2003!
Posted by Bittner at 12:21 AM
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
We are now on our third week of NaNo and I am doing the number 1 thing you should NOT do during week 3. I am taking a break. I know I know, I am a total traitor for putting my novel on hold. And I know that a lot of you who read my blog will be completely shocked that I would make such a daring move. But alas, it must be done.
I have been so focused on NaNo this year that I haven't been reading the book for my book club! I had never intended to become so consumed by NaNo. I really thought that this year since I had so much planned ahead of time that all things considered I would have a better...balance.
Well, that didn't happen.
But I love being a part of my book club! And even though NaNo means a lot to me (and it does) so does my book club. So ultimately I chose to put the novel aside and give Dracula (our November selection) a fighting chance.
Now, don't panic just yet. My book club meets on Saturday, November 20th. So even if I can't start writing for NaNo again until the 21st that still gives me TEN days to work on it. Also, out of those 10 days, I have 6 days off! I am currently a little over 20,000 words (not good, I know) so that would mean I would just have to write 5000 words on those days off. Or just write 3000 words on my 6 days off, leaving 500 words on each of the days I am working.
Okay, I don't really know how I am going to make it happen. But I know that I can. I mean in the pep talk Chris Batey sent out this week he wrote about how the best part of NaNo is racing the clock to the last second. Just reaching your goal with barely any time to spare! What is life without a little adventure right? Without a little risk and daring?
And who knows, I'm off tomorrow, and I'll be spending all day reading, maybe, just maybe I'll finish Dracula early!
So I'll be back, on Monday with my review on Dracula. And I will keep you all posted on my progress with NaNo during those final days.
Have a great rest of the week!
To all the Harry Potter fans out there...JUST BREATH ALREADY! Friday will be here before you know it!
Posted by Bittner at 1:12 PM
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Thank you so much for following me and for all your comments!
I am so grateful for all of you and I hope that I don’t let you down. I will try to make my blogs as entertaining and honest as possible. You have kind of caught me at an odd time however. You see I am participating in NaNoWriMo this year and therefore the majority of my time is spent on working on my novel.
Unfortunately because of how consuming NaNo can be I haven’t really had a lot of time to spend on reading. I’m going to be hard pressed to finish my book club book before our meet up on the 20th, so all additional reading is just simply not happening.
However, I can tell you that as much as I am enjoying NaNo this year, I can not wait to get back to my books in December! Right now I only have two books ready and waiting, one I am still debating on and one that I am hoping someone will get me for my birthday.
But in the mean time I still wanted to drop in and let you guys know how everything with NaNo is going.
We have just entered week two and so far I have earned 3 additional badges since my last post.
I have awarded myself the Eureka badge (for finally figuring out all the major aspects of my actual plot), the NaNoWriMo socializing badge (for attending our first meet up and participating in the word-war challenge during our second meet up), and the Procrastination badge (for watching movies and cleaning my apartment yesterday all in the effort to avoid working on my novel).
I am currently at 12,648 words. However, if I had been able to successfully ignore my inner editor when they told me to delete part of my story I would now be closer to 14,000 and therefore not be so far behind. As it is, I am actually 4,024 words behind schedule.
Not good! Not good at all!
But, because of the amazing encouragement I have received from my friends Andrea and Kate, I am here by ready to promise that I will not delete another
I promise not to delete another WORD and
I give myself full permission to suck.
Unfortunately, even though I have made this promise to myself for NaNo, I couldn’t stop my inner editor from deleting everything I just wrote for my next blog entry.
I was going to write this whole post about the first sentences of novels and how important or unimportant they are. I googled stuff online and I went to Hastings yesterday and looked at a lot of books. But in the end it wasn’t that interesting.
So my inner editor and I came to the agreement that instead of leaving you with a very uninteresting blog post, it was better to just leave you with a promise to make next weeks entry spectacular!
Have an excellent week!!!!!!!
P.S. As I told my friend Andrea the other day, I believe my inner editor to take on the form of giant tick.
Because he sucks out all my creative juices and
I really REALLY hate ticks!
Posted by Bittner at 8:00 PM
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
First of all I just got back from seeing Inception…again.
I went and saw it on Saturday with my friend Andrea and officially had my mind blown! Then when I was having dinner with my parents on Sunday I begged my mom to go see it with me tonight. She didn’t like it as much as I did but that’s okay, I still love her.
I am completely obsessed with this movie. Not only are the visuals amazing and Joseph Gordon Levitt is all gorgeous and manly!
But mostly it is the ending that has me entirely consumed. I need to know what happens!
I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it (to those people I say, What are you crazy!?! Stop reading my blog right now and go see it! I said NOW!)
But basically the ending is very much open to interpretation.
After the first time I saw the movie I was pretty certain it ended one way. So I went and saw it again, hoping to convince myself that I was right, but now I think I was wrong and it ends a completely different way!
And of course the only way to know for sure would be to go see it again. Hmmm, I wonder if there is anyone else out there who wants to go see it with me again? Good thing I waited til it was at the dollar theater to go see it or I would be broke right now!
Second, today was the first day that I started writing for NaNoWriMo!
I had to work yesterday so I purposefully held off starting until this morning. My goal was 5000 words, because I did order the NaNoWriMo badges (the badges I ordered are actually stickers, because they were cheaper) and you get one for writing 5k in a day. And even though I overslept and was an hour late to start my writing, and then at one point my friend Ame called and I talked to her for an hour and then after I got off the phone it took me almost another hour to get back my train of thought, even with all those distractions I still reached my 5k by 5:30pm.
I am so excited and I really think NaNo is going to be awesome this year!
But that is not the best part of my day!
That doesn’t even come close to being the best part of my day!
Because the absolute most amazingly wonderful part of my day was this, right now!
Getting on to my blog and seeing that I have so many new followers, AND that people who don’t even know me are leaving comments on my blogs! My heart is swelling like you have no idea!!!
So, I just wanted to take a minute to say
Thank you guys so much for adding me to the blogs that you follow!
And I want to give a big shout out to…
Kai Charles (at http://fictionstateofmind.blogspot.com/) and Annette (at http://annettesbookspot.blogspot.com/) who were officially the first two people to comment on my blog that don’t actually know me! Thank you guys!!!!!!!!
But most of all I want to give a really big shout out to my amazing friend Kate aka Midnight Book Girl! Who is so awesome that she did one of her giveaways to just to help me grow my blog. Kate really is incredible in that way, always so generous and supportive. All she really wants in life is for the people she loves to be happy and she consistently goes above and beyond to do all the little things she can to offer people encouragement. I am really truly blest to have her as a friend!
So now the only question is; How on earth am I going to be able to pay her back?
I have to do something to return all the love and inspiration she has shown me!
So, if anybody has any good ideas please leave them in the comments! Keep in mind that Kate lives in Virginia and I am here in Oklahoma so anything done will unfortunately not be done in person.
Also Thank you again to everybody who is now following! Thank you for all your comments! I promise that tomorrow I will get on and check out all of your blogs and return the favor by following them as well!
To those doing NaNo, good luck with all the writing!
Other than that, have a great rest of the week!
Posted by Bittner at 11:35 PM
Sunday, October 31, 2010
You know I’ve never been much of a Halloween fan. I mean it is a fine holiday I suppose but it has never been one of my favorites. However, over the past few years I have found many multiple reasons to look forward to October 31st.
First of all, if you have the time and money it can be quite enjoyable to dress up in funny little costumes. This year I went as a crime fighter like in Kick Ass. I have a red wig and a mask and a cape. I wore my costume to work on Friday and I realized I never fully appreciated the joys of wearing a cape. I felt like a little 8 year old boy walking around in cowboy boots or their own favorite super hero costume. If you come around my apartment on some lazy Sunday afternoon and find me walking around in my cape, I’m just saying…well…I warned you.
Second of all, my mother and I always have a movie date to watch Rocky Horror Picture Show. A fine tradition if I do say so myself. Usually we also order a midnight pizza. But since I’ll be starting a diet here in the next few weeks, my dad has agreed to make my favorite for dinner, cheese ravioli, roasted tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella. So a pizza wont be necessary.
Third of all, this year marks my fourth anniversary of becoming Catholic. Funny story, four years ago I was at Borders purchasing my dvd of Rocky Horror in order to go home and watch it with my mother and while there I also bought Catholicism for Dummies. And so it began.
Last but not least, it marks the kick off for NANOWRIMO!!!!!!!!!!!! Could I be more excited? Uh, I doubt it! (for more info see the previous post)
So to all those Halloween lovers out there, I’m slowing but surely coming over to your side. To all those indifferent about the matters of Halloween, trust me, it’s not so bad.
Last night I finished one of the three books I was trying to finish before NaNoWriMo started. Unfortunately the other two will probably be put on the back burner until December. But anyway, here is my review for…
Witch and Wizard by James Patterson with Gabrielle Charbonnet
First of all let me confess that I didn’t technically “read” Witch and Wizard. I listened to it on audio. Now, W&W is a story told from two perspectives and one of those perspectives happened to be read by none other than my sweet Elijah Wood! So I downloaded it from audio books and then I finished it last night.
Basically the story is told from the perspective of a boy, Whit Allgood, and his sister Wisty Allgood. As it turns out they are in fact a witch and wizard although they had never known it.
I really enjoyed the sibling relationship in the book. I thought it was funny and honest. I understand that in times of danger and high stress siblings can get on better then they would normally, but sometimes in books the authors can take this relationship to the extreme and make them too saintly. But with Whit and Wisty, they bickered and bantered back and forth, and they still had their loving moments but it was more believable.
However, the characters were supposed to be, I believe 17 and 16. So the authors included a lot of slang in their speech, and I am just not a fan of that. For some reason when adults put those words into teenagers in their books it never comes across as genuine to me.
I did not enjoy the parental relationship in the story. Which is kind of surprising seeing on how the parents leave the story in the beginning of the book and don’t show back up until the end. But that entire relationship was, well…in a word, cheesy.
As for the plot of the book. Of course Whit and Wisty find out about their powers right as a new world government takes over and condemns all those with magical powers as evil and criminal. Whit and Wisty are then ripped away from their parents, forced to go on the run and mayhem ensues from there.
The story had a good balance between the humor and action adventure scenes and I found myself really enjoying the book.
That is until the end.
I hated the end so much that I am now going to talk about it. So if you think there may be a chance that you’ll read W&W in the future and don’t want to have the ending ruined for yourself, I understand.
Therefore DO NOT read any further.
I’m going to be brief because this blog is already pretty long. And really I only hated one thing about the book.
However that one thing I really hated, I really REALLY hated it.
The story begins with the Allgood family about to be hanged for their crimes of having magical powers. And then Wisty backs up and starts to tell you the story of how they got to that point. Only she never finishes. The book ends with them still on the run and separated from their parents. I was listening to this book on audio and I could see there was only like 10 minutes left and I kept thinking that was strange because they were still on the run and yet I knew that they had to be reunited with their parents, captured, and then brought to the location of the hanging. But no according to James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet a book doesn’t have to come full circle in order for it to end. You can just end it.
What kind of f%*ked up s#~t is that!?!
Most of my friends that know my preference for books, know that I’m not a fan of series. I have read a few and can find myself sucked in. But I am very reluctant to allow this. For the most part when I finish a book, I like to close that cover and know that the story is completed. Maybe the characters can go on with their lives and dreams and what not but for the most part any problems that occurred with in that story are resolved in some manner. I don’t really mind stories being left open for sequels but the over problem for this stage in the characters journey needs to be settled.
But for two authors to come together, introduce a certain obstacle and then not resolve it in any way shape or form, it is just infuriating! I can understand if not every tiny little obstacle gets resolved but a pretty big one like the entire family being hanged to death, yeah I’m going to need some form of an ending for that.
All I am saying is that if you are not going to complete the circle, don’t start out your entire novel with it!
And in all honesty the book wasn’t good enough to really make me want to run out and buy an entire series. I mean it was a fun and all but it wasn’t enough to keep me hooked through several books. That is all I’m saying.
Have a good Halloween everybody!
Posted by Bittner at 11:22 AM