In lieu of the Halloween spirit, I don my costume of the year as an evil cat. And as it is the most haunted day of the year, I now unleash all my dark cynicism into this post. I have brewed the most “catty” collection of book reviews ever to grace my blog, and if people hate me for it, I’ll just blame the Halloween spirit that so possessed me. MUAHAHAHAHA!
Happy haunting my pretties!
I HATE THIS BOOK WITH A PASSION. Which is unusual because I never completely pan something as long as it’s well-written, and this IS well-written. But unfortunately, one particular scene that featured young children being encouraged to “play” and have sex totally turned me off. I mean, children having sex? Children having sex? CHILDREN HAVING–?! UUUGH. I literally can’t even.
People say that dystopian authors are allowed to make shit realities up as they go along since they’re only trying to demonstrate a point, but I say HOGWASH! I think that good dystopian novels should present potential realities that are actually relevant to the present state of society. For example, authority, sexualization, pride, vanity, and dependence on technology were all vices that I did appreciate being addressed, because they’re very real pitfalls to us today.
But a future where adults actively encourage children to have sex with one another? As rotten as our society is, I just can’t imagine this particular scenario ever coming to reality in the near future. So because it’s neither relevant nor purposeful, AND it’s utterly distasteful, I hate this book with a passion.
Now what’s this book about? Well, it’s about….umm…errrr….huh. Let me get back to you once I read it for the third time, but don’t expect me to do a much better job explaining because THERE ISN’T GOING TO BE A THIRD EFFING TIME! I ended up brain-dead the last time I read this book.
What I do remember is some bizarre stream of consciousness section, a suicide off a bridge, a depressing family, and a church. I think there was a woman in that story. A man too. A horse. But even now, I’m not sure. I do love the title of this book (whatever it means), but I hated the book while reading it, and I hate it now–it makes you feel unnecessarily stupid in its wandering and depressing academic style. Seriously, this book goes so far into its experimentation that it’s officially reached a level of hubris I can’t swallow.
Now the production of this TV series was very well-executed, although I think the level of porno was rather ridiculous at times. But the books are another story.
It wasn’t as though they were horribly written or unimaginative. But why, WHY the hell is every protagonist snuffed out in these books? I thought the aim of any good writer was to establish suspense through a balance of subtlety and drama, but George Martin creates all his drama through pure shock factor, and I find that rather cheap. I mean, what’s his moral here–that the good die young, and the bad guys triumph? Nihilism aside, that’s a pretty pointless takeaway in my opinion. I’m ultimately left with no continuity, no storyline, no relatability, and of course no sense of purpose or goal in reading these books.
Now one death did move me, and that’s Ned Stark’s. His death kicks off the series perfectly by revealing everybody’s standing and their motivations, so there was a legitimate reason in killing him off. But every random and gruesome death afterwards? It only made me pissed off at the flippancy of this author. He’s only mimicking what he believes is a good drama, when in reality he’s just doing a bad parody of a cheaply edited reality T.V. show. Sorry not sorry.
The Giver is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s wonderfully crafted in its simplicity and emotion, and the unassuming way Lois Lowry tells her story made me and my mom cry while reading it. (Hey, hear that, G.R.R Martin? You don’t need fancy made-up worlds for complexity. You don’t need fancy convoluted plots for suspense. You don’t need fancy deaths in order to move or shock someone. You don’t need–oh I’m ranting again? clear throat embarrassedly Where was I?)
So yeah, the books following The Giver were great, especially Messenger, but this last installment is a huge disappointment to say the least. It ultimately came down to the fact that the finale was too dependent upon the previous books to establish its impetus, almost as though Lois Lowry didn’t have a clear purpose in mind while writing this book other than rushing to fill in the finale spot for this series, which unfortunately resulted in a book that was long-winded, lost, redundant, and VERY proportionally off. I mean, the new and exciting scenes lasted only what, a third of the book, and the rest was a hazy reminiscing of The Giver. Furthermore, the switching of perspective from Claire to her son Gabriel didn’t make sense either since there was such little backstory for Gabriel for us to truly understand his motivations. I was left wondering why Gabriel was the true hero in the end, instead of Jonas who seemed to have contributed so much more.
Lois Lowry is a gifted storyteller, but she badly needed a major editing job. Or rather, she needed to edit herself. Actually, she just needed to redo the entire book.
I’m sure everyone can relate to that feeling of righteous fury when your high school teacher forces a book on you, and you have to accept it mutinously. A quick show of hands–did anything resort to Sparknotes for this book? Because I sure as hell did.
If I remember correctly, this book is about the effects of the Depression on a family. This was a very real struggle back then, so I respect Steinbeck’s intention in writing this book. But I have the same complaint as I did about Son–WAY too much exposition relative to the action. And a book that drags on and on rather mundanely sure as hell ain’t winning brownie points from me.
Now if Steinbeck was attempting to recreate that drudging and stagnant reality that the characters were experiencing, he did nail it academically. But as a fun and compelling read? I would never recommend this, and I find it ridiculous that high schools actually require it as part of their curriculum. Sure, I can respect that people like this book, but overall I just don’t think is a book with sticking power in people’s minds.
This is my absolute least favorite book of the Harry Potter series. Now I don’t think this book is bad per se, but this is the turning point in the series where it goes from it being all Mary Poppins and a spoonful of sugar to “I’m-gonna-kill-you” Game of Thrones.
I mean, J.K. Rowling’s style completely changed from amiable and concise, to angsty and convoluted. And the characters became overly opinionated and sensitive about practically everything! WHAT a tragedy. I mean, Harry used to be so easygoing and chill before, but in this book and afterwards, he turned into some sort of soul-sucking dementor to all his friends and peers. Ironically, the redeeming part of this book was the Sirius’ death, as horrible as that sounds–but the execution of his demise and the mourning that followed afterwards just showed how well J.K. Rowling had developed his character. In that respects, I liked the book for making me feel those emotions. But everything else? Meh.
But the rest of the book was a bit of a downer at times. It’s not as concisely written like the other books in the series, and the characters constantly acted like they were on their periods or something. And apparently J.K. Rowling admitted in an interview that she wrote this book while she herself was at a very cynical and depressed time in her life, so she vented all her cynicism into her characters as well. And I’m very sorry to say it shows.
So what are YOUR literary rants?
I nearly added Twilight to this list, but I just didn’t think people needed any more help in hating this series as they do already. And I would’ve added James Patterson to this list because he produces like ten books a year by “co-authoring” all of them (which is bull-dung) but I haven’t read his any books. Can’t rant about something I haven’t read.
Also, I didn’t add The Hunger Games because I personally think they’re great. I read them way before the hype started, so I’m a true believer in that series. Haters gonna hate.