WARNING - SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW
It is hard to come to a book when you have been told it is the most boring book in the series, hard to get through, and said by many to be their least liked book to read. Those are the usual descriptions I read or hear when fans discuss the fourth installment of A Song of Ice and Fire titled A Feast for Crows. I felt a bit overwhelmed when I first started reading. It wasn’t just the negativity that surrounds this book that weighed me down but the very idea that I knew I would be reading a great deal from the character perspectives that were new and unfamiliar and others that I outright disliked before they became a POV character. And I think my concerns are valid and have something to do with why many view this book poorly. But I think there is another factor at play that ultimately decides how fans would interpret this book and that is the book’s predecessor, A Storm of Swords.
Pixar has always been a huge part of my life. I grew up with the movies and can appreciate them as artistic films as an adult. When I was in high school, I became very fascinated with entertainment and the connections with Christian spirituality. Being a teenager and still very inexperienced in many aspects of life, I didn’t quite have the vocabulary to state what I felt and saw, but I continued to have an interest and learned a lot since then. I now know I’m not the only one who sees these connections. There are books and books discussing entertainment’s connection with faith as well as psychology, philosophy, history, etc. I have read quite a few of these books and want to write one of my own someday. The Wisdom of Pixar by Robert Velarde is one these awesome books and it does a great job of analyzing these films and forming connections that the viewer may not have noticed before.
There are many classic novels that are referenced in college courses and podcast discussions and lectures and I always find I am adding new books to my “to-read” list. Treasure Island is one of these books. My initial reason to pick up the book was to do a character study of the ambiguous Long John Silver but being pressed for time, I found a free audiobook on iTunes and started listening at work. I always feel like I am cheating on books when I listen instead of reading, but I excused myself this time. As I began listening to the book at work, a sense of excitement took hold of me. I felt like a young reader again and wanted to drink up every ounce of Stevenson’s words. After listening to the first two chapters of the audiobook, I stopped listening and checked the actual book out of the library later that week. The narration was fantastic but the language was even better and I couldn’t help but wish, as I listened, that I was reading the words on a printed page.
I did not know the meaning of this book’s title when I bought it. To be truthful, the reason I even came across it was because of an image on Tumblr (below). Someone had taken a photo of a page from this book and I happened to glance over the text when I suddenly saw two familiar names: Elsa and Anne(a). My mind quickly went to Disney’s newest movie, Frozen. I went to Google and this book popped up so, naturally, I bought it. The title means hello sadness in French. It is such a simple idea yet carries a lot of weight. It is as if the novelist is greeting sadness as an old friend. The brilliance of this is only scratching the surface. Let me take things to another level for a moment and tell you that this book was written by a 17 year old and published when she was 18! I can’t begin to say how awesome that statistic is! When I was 17 I was writing my own novel yet I hardly had the maturity nor the experience to write a great novel. Francoise Sagan, however, makes the art seem effortless.
I love seeing all the projects online that encourage learning, conversation, and helping one another. A few weeks ago, a Kickstarter launched that I believe will top all things awesome and that Kickstarter is…Reading Rainbow! You remember that show, right? It’s the one with LeVar Burton as the host. It has a theme song that will remain stuck in your head for weeks. It was shown to you probably in elementary school and if you were like me, you loved the concept but may have gotten bored once or twice. Yep, Reading Rainbow is back and prepared to take on the modern age of technology.
When Stephen Chbosky, the author of the Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Emma Watson raved about this stunning new book called Love Letters to the Dead, I knew I just had to buy the book and read it for myself. The title seemed interesting - a good combination of darkness and poetic style - while the cover art looked simply flawless. Reviews were posted on my twitter feed for weeks saying the book was stunning and has already been signed to be made into a movie. It was also said to have the same style of Perks (no wonder Chbosky loved it), which is one of my favorite books. In a nutshell, I really expected this to be another book I could soon add to my favorite book shelf. But did it live up to the hype? Let’s find out. Warning, spoilers ahead!