Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mini Reviews (Because I'm drowning in books!) Part I

Last time I checked, there were seven books that I needed to review, and as much as I would just like to not write anything, I thought it would be unfair to all those books (especially as I loved most of them).  However, Blogger gave me such a hard time that I gave up, and when I got back to this post, I already have nine books to talk about.  Nine.  I read way too fast these past few weeks but I was totally in a slump about what to write about books.  It's sad.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 266 pages
Bought from Powerbooks 

This extraordinary work chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, successful - but slowly going under, and maybe for the last time. Step by careful step, Sylvia Plath takes us with Esther through a painful month in New York as a contest-winning junior editor on a magazine, her increasingly strained relationships with her mother and the boy she dated in college, and eventually, devastatingly, into the madness itself.

Review:  I really loved The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.  It's like old school chick lit, but with more sensitive, more serious themes.  Esther was such a lively presence, even during the times when she was at her lowest.  The story just got to me and there were times when I had to pause because it got too emotional.  The voice just messes with your brain that you are led to believe everything, even the parts where it's obviously wrong but you get convinced otherwise.  Way to go Sylvia for your awesome story.  Too bad she's gone now. I would have loved to write her a letter.


Forget You by Jennifer Echols
MTV Books, 292 pages
Received via Random Acts of Kindness from Ashley @ BookAHolics Anonymous 

There’s a lot Zoey would like to forget. Like how her father has knocked up his twenty-four- year old girlfriend. Like Zoey’s fear that the whole town will find out about her mom’s nervous breakdown. Like darkly handsome bad boy Doug taunting her at school. Feeling like her life is about to become a complete mess, Zoey fights back the only way she knows how, using her famous attention to detail to make sure she’s the perfect daughter, the perfect student, and the perfect girlfriend to ultra-popular football player Brandon. But then Zoey is in a car crash, and the next day there’s one thing she can’t remember at all—the entire night before. Did she go parking with Brandon, like she planned? And if so, why does it seem like Brandon is avoiding her? And why is Doug—of all people— suddenly acting as if something significant happened between the two of them? Zoey dimly remembers Doug pulling her from the wreck, but he keeps referring to what happened that night as if it was more, and it terrifies Zoey to admit how much is a blank to her. Controlled, meticulous Zoey is quickly losing her grip on the all-important details of her life—a life that seems strangely empty of Brandon, and strangely full of Doug.

Review:  There were some parts of the synopsis for Forget You by Jennifer Echols that was a bit misleading, but I still loved the overall story.  Some parts were a bit muddled, and sometimes I did not like Zoey all that much but the fact that I felt strongly about/against her just means that the writing style was very effective and made the novel really alive and realistic.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Penguin Classics, 453 pages
From The Boyfriend, bought from National Bookstore 

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead, subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman's passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

Review:  Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre was awesome!  It was funny, it was emotional, and most of all, it was powerful!  (OK enough of the exclamation points) I loved the dialogue, which was filled with humor and Jane's sarcastic wit.  She was snarky, smart, and had a lot of guts that had she been born in the present times she would have Girl Power written all over her.  The other characters were remarkable as well for contributing to a genuine feel to the novel.  The writing was a bit confusing at first, especially when Jane was describing what another person was telling her, but once you were able to wade through that, you're good.  I loved this book!

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
Scholastic Press, 288 pages
Bought from Powerbooks 

June and Wes do not "meet cute." They do not fall in love at first sight. They do not swoon with scorching desire. They do not believe that they are instant soul mates destined to be together forever.

This is not that kind of love story.

Instead, they just hang around in each other's orbits...until eventually they collide. And even after that happens, they're still not sure where it will go. Especially when June starts to pity-date one of Wes's friends, and Wes makes some choices that he immediately regrets.

Review:  I've been looking for a copy of The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman for so long that I was so overjoyed when I found one and bought it right away - regardless how much it cost (it was pretty expensive).  Fortunately, I was spared from regretting the purchase.  The story contained within this book was worth every penny I paid for it; even though this is mainly a very light read, it had a lot of great moments and I loved that the romantic angle was uniquely executed.  The characters were the type you would want to be friends with had they been real, and the writing itself was simple enough that you can really focus on the story itself and not worry about other details. 

It should be noted that after I read this one, my Mom went ahead and devoured this book, and she was all mesmerized by the cover.


Thought I'm done?  I'm just getting started.  Four books down, five AND MORE to go.  Watch out for the next mini review :D


  1. MTV Books?! I didn't know that that was a publishing company! Love the mini reviews, nice and concise! Sometimes those are harder to do!

  2. Jane Eyre! Ughh I'm DYING to see the new movie for it! I love that book ^-^

    I read Going Too Far a while ago and really enjoyed it. I'm thinking about reading the rest of Echols books.

    Nice mini reviews Nina! ^-^

  3. I just met an author named Stephanie Kuehnert who published "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" through Mtv Books. It was the first I'd heard of that publisher, too.

    I just read "Jane" by April Lindner, a modern retelling of Jane Eyre. I really liked it and now I need to read the original.

  4. Ooh, so glad you liked The Big Crunch! I've been wanting to read another Pete Hautman book ever since I read Blank Confession. I think I'll check out The Big Crunch. Thanks!

  5. @Smalls: That's funny because now that I've read The Big Crunch, I'm wanting to read Blank Confession :D

  6. Wow, I've never seen that cover for Jane Eyre before! It's wow.

  7. I loved The Bell Jar! :)
    I notice it's been a while since you posted, and I really wish you'll break this hiatus sometime soon. God bless, fellow bookworm! :D


I just have to tell you, ARGH feeds on awesomeness, so if you can, drop him some awesome here, and I promise to give some awesome back :D

Right now, because of my really busy schedule, I'm cutting back on receiving awards. So until further notice, me and ARGH would not be accepting awards. But thank you for thinking of us, we really appreciate it!