Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: Black Butterfly by Robert M. Drake

Title: Black Butterfly by Robert M. Drake
Publisher: Vintage Wild
Release Date: April 2nd, 2015
Genres: Poetry
Medium: Paperback, Bought

After following Robert M. Drake on Instagram for months and enjoying his poetry every day, as I had quickly become a big fan, I finally had the opportunity to purchase one of his poetry collections. And boy, am I glad I did.

Initially, this had been on my wish list for the holidays, but after going Christmas shopping, I couldn't contain myself. (And what else should I have expected? Letting me run wild in a bookstore with cash has never been a good idea.) So I purchased the novel and began reading immediately. I can honestly say this is one of those books where it is easy to fly right through because it so enjoyable, but at the same time, you find yourself holding back because you are not ready to give up the emotional capacity of the words yet. I made myself take my time, as to enjoy each poem separately, and I enjoyed it even more. 

Robert M. Drake is a force to be reckoned with, and once you read some of his work, you will realize the same. His poems are original, dramatic, emotional, and above all, realistic. Each of his poems make you feel something or remind you of a certain moment, place or person. They're honest and raw, and I know there was several that I found great ties too. 

Overall, I can sit her all day and rave about how Robert M. Drake writes with a profound point of view on the world and how all of his work is a tour de force, but I won't. Instead, I plea that you go and see his work for yourself, and I promise you will not be disappointed. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Review: Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly

Title: Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 27th, 2010
Genres: Romance, Drama
Medium: Paperback, bought

Let me start off by saying I never DNF books. But with this novel, absolutely had to. I made it 136 / 340 pages in, and even at that, I couldn't finish it. It was 136 pages too many. I honestly can say I haven't attempted to read a novel this boring in a long time.

The plot was acceptable. I was imagining a quirky little summer romance novel, but instead, I got one of the most lengthy, dragging on novels ever. The story was slow and uneventful, & a little unrealistic. Everything seems so fake and forced. The characters are extremely two-dimensional and flat, and have absolutely no character development whatsoever. This reminds me of a soap opera, a terrible eventless soap opera. There's no real emotion or driving force, which makes the whole story nearly impossible to connect with.

The wedding was also very bland. Once again, I have found another number where the author seems to write with all this education, but at the same time, it's unnecessary. It seemed forced and rehearsed as well, a little too theatrical and over dramatic and fleshed out and too descriptive. It lacked depth and emotion and I felt as if I was reading a catalog. The writing improves my overall opinion of the story by a small margin, but not nearly enough to save it from DNF.

Overall, this is one of the in extremely seldom times I will DNF a novel (like, count on one hand seldom.) It felt like trudging through quicksand. The story had a lot of promise, but quickly ruins that within the first 4 pages. Wish this premise have been taken in a completely opposite direction.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Review: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Title: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Publisher: Grove Press
Release Date: August 31st, 2006
Genres: Romance, Drama, Historical
Medium: Paperback/audio book, bought

Cold Mountain is a literary masterpiece that truly deserves greater recognition. I have to admit, I actually watched the movie before reading the book, which is not something I usually do. But, after reading the wonderful novel, I will definitely have to rewatch the movie now.

The plot was amazing. There are so many unexpected twists, it's definitely hard to put down. The highly diverse characters make it so interesting and addicting. They're personalities and dialogue are so original, and you fall in love with their characters from the very beginning. And the romance between Inman and Ada... *swoon*

The writing was phenomenal. It was descriptive and imaginatioimaginative, and always painted a perfect picture in your mind. There was a lot of drama and even some humor, which made for an interesting balance. It amazed me how perfectly true to history this novel was. It was like stepping into a time machine.

Overall, though the novel is quite wordy and a bit slow at times in the beginning, it's definitely worth the read and I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

Title: Paper Towns by John Green
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: September 22nd, 2009
Genres: Drama, Romance, Coming-of-age
Medium: Paperback, Gifted

It is common knowledge that I love and admire John Green and his work, and that I aspire to be as much of an impactful author as he is. This is my 5th John Green novel, and I must say that it ranks pretty high in his works, let alone in the list of books I have ever read. It truly is great. As an lover of travel, this novel was very absorbing and addicting.

The plot was fantastic. I can honestly say O have never read another novel like this before. It is completely and utterly unique, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Every one of the characters were original and they all interacted beautifully within the woven plot. I loved the emotional rawness of the entire novel and how real it all was. The characters' connections with one another were very interesting to experience, and some of the supporting characters conflicts with the main character were very addicting. I could go on and on about how amazing the entirety of the plot was, how I love the underlying theme of traveling, young love, and life's subtleties, but I won't. I just recommend you read it and experience it yourself.

John Green, by popular agreement, is one of the best authors to ever bestow his work upon us. He ranks up there with legends like Hemingway, Twain, et cetera. He simply writes on a level of such intelligence, eloquence, and understanding, that is impossible to not feel emotional tied to the characters and stories he creates. The only problem I had with this bit of writing, was John Green's inappropriate use of the word "retarded" or the negative use of the word "autistic." As a sibling of a child with a disability, I completely resent the word "retarded" in any use. It is a dated word that hurts people. I understand that people on the other side of the situation with argue that he is just mimicking the teenagers in today's society that his novels will most likely appeal to. However, I disagree. I have read hundreds of novels that are written for young adults in the point of view of young adults that completely appeal to teenagers without using inappropriate words such of these just to appeal to that audience. I can also personally attest that not all teenagers these days succumb to such negativity, because a greater awareness and acceptance of handicapped people is today's state of society. More teenagers are educated in these situations now, and I feel as if using these negative words in mass-produced pieces of entertainment are simply steps backward in the wrong direction. Many people will say that everything he writes is pure gold, and I can't agree with that, as I haven't loved everything, but I can say that he definitely puts his heart and soul into everything he writes.

Overall, this was a fantastic novel of the emotional and dramatic that is teenage life and love, and clearly depicts young love and friendship in it's rawest, most comedic form. I recommend this novel to most everyone, just like I recommend John Green to anyone.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Review: A Second Chance by Angela Biera

Title: A Second Chance by Angela Biera
Publisher: Self
Release Date: September 30th, 2015
Genres: Drama, Romance
Medium: EBook

Angela Biera never disappoints and this is stunningly true with her new novel A Second Chance. Every time I read one of her novels, I think, "wow. This is amazing. Nothing will ever top this." Then her next novel comes out and I'm blown away again, as it becomes my new favorite novel. Her stories are fresh and exciting, packed with tear-jerking drama, heart-pounding action and steamy romance. Her writing is polished and crisp, descriptive, and some of the best out there. I can honestly say her work deserves so much more attention.

These characters are some of my favorites I have ever experienced. Their point of views are so interesting and unique, and very complex and deep. Their personalities are one-of-a-kind and definitely correlate with people you would want to meet in real life. And the relationships they forge within their stories... Completely addicting. Whether it's friendships or romances, they're perfectly imperfect and believeable, making them very hard to stop reading.

Overall, this novel is unbelievable. The plot is a pleasant rollercoaster of emotions, the writing is spot-on, and the characters and their story is impossible to put down. I can honestly recommend this novel to everyone in the hopes that Angela Biera gets the attention she deserves!