4/2/15

Books and their disturbing truths.

Sorry about March’s mini-reviews being two days late. Life and school has been causing quite a havoc lately. And it probably won’t settle down anytime soon. But I’m not going to let that stop me from posting. So without further ado, here are the March reviews.

Invisible Man

by Ralph Ellison

First published in 1952 and immediately hailed as a masterpiece, Invisible Man is one of those rare novels that have changed the shape of American literature. For not only does Ralph Ellison's nightmare journey across the racial divide tell unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators, it gives us an entirely new model of what a novel can be.
As he journeys from the Deep South to the streets and basements of Harlem, from a horrifying "battle royal" where black men are reduced to fighting animals, to a Communist rally where they are elevated to the status of trophies, Ralph Ellison's nameless protagonist ushers readers into a parallel universe that throws our own into harsh and even hilarious relief. Suspenseful and sardonic, narrated in a voice that takes in the symphonic range of the American language, black and white, Invisible Man is one of the most audacious and dazzling novels of our century.

My thoughts: I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.
A five hundred eighty-one page book read in three or so days, for an in-class English essay. Mix in other homework, and you get a very burned out girl. However, it was worth it because it gave me a few new insights about racism. I’ve learned that racism differs a bit between the South and the North of the U.S. In the South, blacks are treated like animals, as seen in the Battle Royal chapter. While in the North, the blacks are used as tools to mainly make the whites look good. And then when there’s trouble, the whites aren’t there. Instead, they just let the blacks suffer on their own.
This book also taught me a bit of the lack of community, that’s found in the African American literature. And that made me see how easy it is for blacks to turn their backs on someone within their community. Because that person did some horrible crime, or “abandoned” the community to go work with the whites, but mainly it’s because that person is inferior to the rest of the community.
Overall, it was a pretty good read, with a few disgusting bits here and there. So, if you could stand violence, sexual, and racist scenes, then I would recommend that you read this book. If you can’t, that’s fine, as well.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Boundless

by Cynthia Hand
The past few years have held more surprises than part-angel Clara Gardner could ever have anticipated. Yet from the dizzying highs of first love, to the agonizing low of losing someone close to her, the one thing she can no longer deny is that she was never meant to live a normal life.
Since discovering the special role she plays among the other angel-bloods, Clara has been determined to protect Tucker Avery from the evil that follows her . . . even if it means breaking both their hearts. Leaving town seems like the best option, so she’s headed back to California - and so is Christian Prescott, the irresistible boy from the vision that started her on this journey in the first place.
As Clara makes her way in a world that is frighteningly new, she discovers that the fallen angel who attacked her is watching her every move. And he’s not the only one. . . . With the battle against the Black Wings looming, Clara knows she must finally fulfill her destiny. But it won’t come without sacrifices and betrayal.
In the riveting finale of the Unearthly series, Clara must decide her fate once and for all.

My thoughts: My home is you.
To be honest, the only reason why I kept on reading the Unearthly books was because of Clara’s and Tucker’s relationship. They made me smile because their love was as bright as Clara’s glory. And it honestly hurt my heart, when one of the ending scenes happened (hint it involves a lake and the other side). I also found this book a bit funny, because conveniently Tucker always shows up at his barn when Clara pops up. Though of course, it would have been more dramatic if one of Tucker’s other family members found Clara.
In fact, this book needed a bit more drama, because despite everything, it’s still going pretty well for Clara.
Oh, lucky you the other evil angel bloods haven’t found you, the other Stanford students aren’t at all suspicious of your Glory, you’re a pretty good fighter, etc. (A small collection of my thoughts as I was reading the book).
Overall, the book was a nice read because of Tucker’s and Clara’s love, (mainly) best friend relationship between Christian and Clara, and the interesting take on Hell and Heaven. However, this book was also a bit slow for me.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Beloved

by Toni Morrison

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby.
Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. Her new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.
Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement by Nobel Prize laureate Toni Morrison.

My thoughts: Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another.
Before I even read the very first page of this book, I got chills. And it all started when my English teacher was talking about what this book was about, racism and the dehumanization of blacks. But what really chilled me, was the fact that Sixty Million and more people died during the Middle Passage. Innocent people, who were forced from their homes so they could be treated like objects in the new world.
As I continued to read the book, the chills only seemed to get stronger. Because of the terrible things the whites did to the blacks. And the creepiness of Beloved herself. She is definitely a character to not be messed with, because of her supernatural powers.
Overall, this book helped me see how sometimes physically dying would be better than dying spiritually, how in the south the blacks are treated like animals, and that it’s not healthy to repress the past or to dwell in it.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Twice Lost

by Sarah Porter
Mermaids have been sinking ships and drowning humans for centuries, and now the government is determined to put an end to the mermaid problem—by slaughtering all of them. Luce, a mermaid with exceptionally threatening abilities, becomes their number-one target, hunted as she flees down the coast toward San Francisco. There she finds hundreds of mermaids living in exile under the docks of the bay. These are the Twice Lost: once-human girls lost first when a trauma turned them into mermaids, and lost a second time when they broke mermaid law and were rejected by their tribes. Luce is stunned when they elect her as their leader. But she won’t be their queen. She’ll be their general. And they will become the Twice Lost Army—because this is war.

My thoughts: But a man's walking-around body can be a ghost a whole lot easier than his spirit can.
I found myself thinking about how we as humans just have this natural tendency to harm those who are slightly different from us. Whether it’s because of the color of our skin, our sexuality, our race, or what kind of species we are in this case. And, I couldn’t help but wonder why?
For this novel, the reason why humans are killing mermaids is because the mermaids were sinking ships, which caused the deaths of many. However, the mermaids were sinking ships, in revenge of what has happened to them, when they were once human. That’s right, the mermaids in this book were once humans, human girls in fact. But due to some traumatic event that no one should ever go through, they turn into mermaids. And like sirens, they sing people to their deaths.
Now, the mermaids are trying to change and not kill people with their voices. However, that’s a teensy bit hard when you’re in war, but they somehow managed it.
The Twice Lost also has a Disney’s Little Mermaid subplot going on here. However, the guy isn’t a prince, and he’s actually in love with the mermaid who saved him. And the mermaid herself doesn’t lose her voice nor does she go to a sea witch (human doctors) to turn back into a human. In fact, there’s quite a twist at the end that actually surprised me.
Overall, I like how this book focuses on a variety of relationships, such as romantic, platonic, familial, straight, and lesbian (though not as much as I would like). This book also shows what grief can do to a person. And it also breaks a common ending that’s found in most YA books, in which the main character and the love interest are together and more or less happy because everything is okay now.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


And now the weather:
Is There Anybody Out There by DANakaDAN ft Clara C
~ Stacy N.

2 comments:

  1. Hmm, that first book looks like something I might have to check out. The others look pretty OK too....I especially loved the detailed reviews you gave =)

    - Autumn
    http://autumnreadsandwritesallday.blogspot.com/

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