New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

new-moonThe problem with series is you have to read them all to find out the end so even though I was so-so on Twilight, I just had to read New Moon. And, you know, I liked New Moon more than Twilight.

Maybe it was because I could understand Bella more? After all, what teenage girl wouldn’t spiral into depression if her boyfriend broke up with her with no explanation and then tried to erase his entire existence from her life? Or maybe it was because Jacob was a nice change from Edward? I can see why so many readers changed colors and switched from Team Edward to Team Jacob.

“It’s just that, I know how you’re unhappy a lot. And, maybe it doesn’t help anything, but I wanted you to know that I’m always here. I won’t ever let you down – I promise that you can always count on me. Wow, that does sound corny. But you know that, right? That I would never, ever hurt you?” (pg. 218)

Or maybe it was because I finally understood how much Bella truly loved Edward, and vice versa? His protection at the beginning of the book, her depression, etc., made me a little less cynical of their relationship. The blank pages to represent months passed in zombie-depression was a great idea.

Still, I don’t really like the characters. The characters just aren’t fleshed out completely, except for Jacob and the werewolves. I felt like I learned more about who they are than I ever did about the vampires in Twilight. But the writing improves, the plot thickens, and I’m frustrated I have to wait until Christmas to find out what happens next in Eclipse.

Others’ Thoughts:

Book Mentioned:

  • Meyer, Stephanie. New Moon. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2006. Print. 563 pgs. ISBN: 0316160199. Source: Purchased.
Book Cover © Little, Brown and Company. Retrieved: November 30, 2008.

Head Over Heels by Ryan Nerz

Fiction — print. Sterling, 2003. 223 pgs. Purchased.

Francesca Castarelli has to choose. Dreamy and athletic Jeremy is the most popular boy in her school and the center of her social scene. Luke Barton isn’t part of her scene at all – he’s her SAT tutor and impudent smart-ass. Will Francesca risk everything for the guy who drivers her crazy – in every way?

In order to appease my mom, I read Head Over Heels, an SAT vocabulary novel that is supposed to be “the painless way to learn SAT vocabulary”.

Head Over Heels is probably my favorite SAT vocabulary book because of the plot. It’s a pretty good teen romance book that other teen girls can relate to. After awhile, it’s second nature to look down for the words. Or, you can try to guess what the word is using context clues and quiz yourself. Enjoyable read, even if you don’t get anything out of it vocab-wise.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

wuthering-heightsWhen I first picked up Brontë’s novel, my English teacher warned me that frame tale — the literary style of a story within a story — is the most complicated style there is. I shrugged my shoulders and turned the page. After all, I’ve done it before.

But, man, Wuthering Heights is difficult with a capital DIFFICULT. And I’m still not quite sure I understand because, as painful as this is to admit, I didn’t know the housekeeper was narrating until I looked it up on SparkNotes. I tried to get into this novel, which is considered a classic, but by the time I reached the halfway point I was frustrated beyond belief. In fact, I had to put the book down and try something else. Yet I persevered, hoping the second half would redeem this “classic.” No such luck.

I have to ask, why is this considered a love story? Seriously? Am I missing something? Because all I saw were two characters who were self-absorbed and malicious, who deserved to be together if only to stop them from ruining other people’s lives.

And this book is told in the most boring way ever, all from the point of view of one servant woman. She just drones on and on and on. Honestly, I think I would have liked the characters more if it wasn’t told from her point of view. Maybe a different narrator would have shown them in a better light, especially if it was told from Heathcliff’s or Catherine’s point of view. In addition, every character in Wuthering Heights is so unsympathetic that I just really didn’t care what happened to any of them, and I couldn’t bear the lead up to one more episode of people being awful to each other.  I expected a lot from Wuthering Heights, especially after it was referenced in Twilight, but I was sorely disappointed.

Others’ Thoughts:

Book Mentioned:

  • Brontë, Emily. Wuthering Heights. New York, NY: Kaplan, 2006. Originally published 1847. Print. 669 pgs. ISBN: 978-1419542268. Source: Purchased.
Purchase Wuthering Heights: A Kaplan SAT Score-Raising Classic from Amazon by clicking on the linked title to your left and I’ll receive a small portion of the price you pay. All proceeds are used to purchase more books.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

twilightI tried to resist the hype. I really did, specially after I heard at the movie premier girls were trying to make their throats bleed as though they had been bitten by a vampire. Presumably Edward, himself. But my friend Melissa all but forced me to buy Twilight. Then, yesterday, I saw the movie with my mom while my brother and uncle went to see “Transporter 3.” The movie and, therefore, the story was actually quite good so I decided to give the actual book a shot.

Twilight, the book, was just icing on the cake as far the story goes. I liked how Meyer incorporated some parts of vampire myths while still redeeming {some} vampires as a whole. The Cullen family dynamics where a lot better in the novel than the movie, especially Alice’s role. Edward wasn’t nearly as creepy as he appeared in the movie version.

“He looks at you like…like you’re something to eat.” (pg. 221)

However, one of my biggest complaints is Bella. I liked movie Bella better than book Bella because book Bella got annoying with all her whining and begging him not to leave her. And Bella appeared less infatuated, less you-are-my-world in the movie than she did in the novel. In the beginning, she appears very mature, even as her relationship with Edward begins to form. People are surprised at how young I actually am, same as Bella. But Bella, like I sometimes, begins to act her age. Fine. Okay. But she did appear to fall in love within a week and soon after decided that she would give up an entire lifetime just to be with her first boyfriend.

I’m trying not to be a cynic about her and Edward’s relationship but they’re she’s seventeen. I’m seventeen. I think I have room to judge, especially considering I have seventeen year old friends who fall in and out of love at the drop of a hat. It’s a little too intense to be believable.

“I hate to burst your bubble, but you’re really not as scary as you think you are. I don’t find you scary at all, actually,” I lied casually.” (pg. 345_

It’s fine that Bella has flaws. I like characters that have flaws. But Edward doesn’t, despite being a vampire. Just another reason why their relationship is so unbalanced.

Still the story works and, at times, it can be absolutely mesmerizing. If it wasn’t Thanksgiving, I probably would have been standing outside the bookstore waiting to buy New Moon. However, I think the story works better as a movie than as a novel because Meyer’s writing leaves little to be desired. A little variation in the sentences would be nice. I furiously hope that these teen girls who have been “bitten by Edward Cullen” find a novel with a little better writing structure to obsess over next.

My inner feminist screams at me for liking this book but the story is all too addicting to avoid. I just hope that with New Moon, the writing has a little more variation and Bella acts less like a crazed stalker.

Others’ Thoughts:

Book Mentioned:

  • Meyer, Stephenie. Twilight. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2005. Print. 498 pgs. ISBN: 0316015849. Source: Purchased.
Book Cover © Little, Brown and Company. Retrieved: November 27, 2008.

More Pride, More Prejudice

more-ppI like reading Pride & Prejudice sequels! Sometimes even the bad ones just because they remind me of how much I love Austen’s original. I’ve always had this challenge in the back of my mind, but now I’m making it official.

I’m going to try and read every single Pride & Prejudice squeal and variation published. Obviously, the list is going to keep growing, but these are the ones I’ve heard of. Feel free to give me suggestions in the comments!

  1. Affinity and Affection (Susan Adriani)
  2. And This Our Life (C. Allyn Pierson)
  3. The Arts of Captivation (Jan Austen)
  4. An Assembly Such as This (Pamela Aidan)
  5. Assumed Engagement (Kara Louise)
  6. By a Lady (Amanda Elyot)
  7. By Force of Instinct (Abigail Reynolds)
  8. The Confessions of Fitzwilliam Darcy (Mary Street)
  9. Consequence (Elizabeth Newark)
  10. Conviction (Skylar Hamilton Burris)
  11. Darcy & Elizabeth (Linda Berdoll)
  12. The Darcy Connection (Elizabeth Aston)
  13. Darcy’s Dreams (Regina Jeffers)
  14. Darcy’s Passions (Regina Jeffers)
  15. Darcy’s Story (Janet Aylmer)
  16. Darcy’s Temptation (Regina Jeffers)
  17. Darcy’s Voyage (Kara Louise)
  18. The Darcys (Phyllis Furley)
  19. The Darcys and the Bingleys (Marsha Altman)
  20. The Darcys Give a Ball (Elizabeth Newark)
  21. The Darcys at Year’s End (Sharon Lathan)
  22. Death Comes to Pemberley (P.D. James)
  23. Derbyshire (Marie Högström)
  24. Duty and Desire (Pamela Aidan)
  25. The Diary of Henry Fitzwilliam Darcy (Marjorie Fasman)
  26. Duty and Desire (Pamela Aidan)
  27. Excessively Diverted (Juliette Shapiro)
  28. The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy (Elizabeth Aston)
  29. Honour and Humility (Genevieve Wimer)
  30. Impulse & Initiative (Abigail Reynolds)
  31. Jane Bites Back (Michael Thomas Ford)
  32. The Ladies of Longbourn (Rebecca Ann Collins)
  33. Lady Catherine’s Necklace (Joan Aiken)
  34. The Last Man in the World (Abigail Reynolds)
  35. Letters from Pemberley (Jane Dawkins)
  36. The Man Who Loved Jane Austen (Sally Smith O’Rourke)
  37. Me and Mr. Darcy (Alexandra Potter)
  38. Miss de Bourgh’s Adventure (Joan Ellen Delman)
  39. Mistress of Pemberley (Isobel Scott Moffat)
  40. More Letters from Pemberley (Jane Dawkins)
  41. Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Sharon Lathan)
  42. Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart (Beth Pattillo)
  43. Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride (Helen Halstead)
  44. Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife (Linda Berdoll)
  45. Mr. Darcy, Vampyre (Amanda Grange)
  46. Mr. Darcy’s Daughter (Rebecca Ann Collins)
  47. Mr. Darcy’s Daughters (Elizabeth Aston)
  48. Mr. Darcy’s Daughters (Elizabeth Aston)
  49. Mr. Darcy’s Decision (Juliette Shapiro)
  50. Mr. Darcy’s Diary (Amanda Grange)
  51. Mr. Darcy’s Diary (Maya Slater)
  52. Mr. Darcy’s Dream (Elizabeth Aston)
  53. Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister (C. Allyn Pierson)*
  54. Mrs. Darcy’s Dilemma (Diana Birchall)
  55. Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Other Stories (Anne Fafoutakis)
  56. Netherfield Park Revisited (Rebecca Ann Collins)
  57. Old Friends and New Fancies (Sybil G. Brinton)
  58. Pemberley (Emma Tennant)
  59. Pemberley by the Sea (Abigail Reynolds)
  60. The Pemberley Chronicles (Rebecca Ann Collins)
  61. Pemberley Manor (Kathryn Nelson)
  62. Pemberley Remembered (Mary Lydon Simonsen)
  63. Pemberley Shades (Dorothy Bonivia-Hunt)
  64. The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy (Mary Lydon Simonsen)
  65. Pleasures of Youth (Jan Austen)
  66. The Plight of the Darcy Brothers (Marsha Altman)
  67. Presumption (Julia Barett}
  68. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Seth Grahame-Smith)
  69. Searching for Pemberley (Mary Lydon Simonsen)
  70. A Single Man, Good Fortune (Jan Austen)
  71. The Second Mrs. Darcy (Elizabeth Aston)
  72. Teverton Hall (Jane Gillespie)
  73. These Three Remain (Pamela Aidan)
  74. Trust and Triumph (Norma Gatje-Smoth)
  75. An Unequal Marriage (Emma Tennant)
  76. Vanity and Vexation (Kate Fenton)
  77. Virtue and Vanity (Ted Bader)
  78. The Women of Pemberley (Rebecca Collins)