I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea. and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.
I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,
Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.
time spent in that before bed reading slot:
5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago 2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.
How are common themes handled?
5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power 4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates 1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.
Where would you keep it post-reading?
5-Next to my bed. 4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.
5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry. 3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.
Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):
5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy
It is at first simplistic in direction, almost with a redundancy that recalls Ishmael, but there is only a fleeting moment when this crossed my mind.
First things first... i have heard and read that this is YA. It may sound presumptuous but this book is so easily applicable to an adult audience that I would almost certainly recommend it to adult friends before ever considering a YA rec.
I submitted and read it far to quickly. You MUST, i urge you to, savor it slowly. The plot can be easily described. It is about cancer. it is about relinquishing yourself to the horrors of life. Not those arbitrary anxieties like a job interview or a first date. This is real, palpable, rawness at its core. these are the horrors that bring both children and adults to their knees, utterly unable to cope.
but it's so much grander than that. Complexities abound if you really pay attention. if you are keenly aware of double meanings.. layers on top of layers.
It's about resiliency. Being a strong and powerful person. calling upon your inner super hero. Letting him/her guide you through these difficult times as you arrive, not at a place of surrender, but at a place of acceptance. In this way its about wellness, living in the moment, and learning, evolving, and once again, accepting.
It settles in slow, almost too slow, then escalates even slower until you put down the book/kindle and mid-sentence say 'wow" (i did this at least 20 times; most likely more)....there were multiple times that I had to put the book down, remove myself from the room i was reading it, close the door—as if keeping the monster locked inside—, and find solace within myself. We all have monsters at our backs. We all have self-denial.
I literally felt it follow me around, like a dark shadow, throughout my day... tugging sometimes gently, but often harshly at my shirt collar. beckoning me, not to just finish the book, but to also, in turn stop punishing myself for the things I can not control. A quote from the book outlines this concept; "Your mind will believe comforting lies while also knowing the painful truths that make those lies necessary. And your mind will punish you for believing both."
It essentially gestured me inward, to reflect introspectively. Withdrawn and contemplating I, along with the main character, slowly started to turn these impossibilities—these things i felt were uncontrollable—on their backs, exposing their underbellies for vulnerabilities; which in fact were my own vulnerabilities. I moved forward with the character, almost frightfully so, and slowly relinquished control of the impossibilities ... the things I too could not hold tightly too..fingers flailing I began to accept this reality... and finally let go....
perhaps not fully, but i feel my superman, my monster in disguise, will stay with me too until the end. Until i too let them fall over the edge. Because the monster is right, "if you speak the truth" admit you are scared, worried, grieving for self or others.... broken... cornered... "you will be able to face whatever comes".