The Last Song

I read the book The Last Song by Nicholas Spark in a pretty short period of time. The language was easy to follow and the conversations were straight forward. This book was picked as the first book we talked about in my Book Club: A Page Turns. Knowing what I do about the formula used by Nicholas Sparks that has brought him such widespread success, I knew what to expect before I turned page 1.
Luckily, he kept true to that formula – that is what readers like afterall – he included romance; he included drama; and he included heartbreak. When I read the back book cover and realized what other novel of his this book was being compared to, I made a prediction. I predicted what was going to happen and by the end of the book I was right.
Even though I guessed how the book was going to end, I loved reading it. I loved being in this summer – I loved the way the chapters would allow me to get inside of someone else’s head. I got to hear what Ronnie, Will, Steve, and Marcus were thinking. I got to be frustrated and gasp when needed.
This book is a tear-jerker. Curse you Nicholas Sparks for being able to pull on my heart strings. By the end of the book I felt like I was emotionally drained. I cried as I read, and I got butterflies when things started changing.
I have become overly critical of books now as I am trying to edit my own down from the monstrous word count it’s currently at. I discovered it took quite a while for the two lova’s to get together, and even though it wasn’t the main focus of the book (at least I don’t think it really was) it was to me. That was why I bought the book – to read about the love these two experienced.
Overall, a great book. Written for a younger group (I think), but still very readable. Will I read it again? I doubt it. I do want to see the movie though  🙂
xoxo
Nat

The Time Traveler’s Wife

A new rule I am determined to follow…
…Always…
…I mean NEVER…
watch the movie before you read the book (if you plan on reading the book).
the-time-travelers-wife
This book is a first for Audrey Niffenegger, and a very good read. Right away you are thrown into two different characters perspectives and the way she distinguishes them for you is easy to follow. You are given dates and ages of Henry and Clare. You can also tell who is talking most of the time by the way Ms. Niffenegger writes.
 
The only thing I did not like about this novel is that when there was not a lot of conversation going on, I felt like the words were rushed and almost run-onish. This could have been me as well as most of the time I just wanted to turn the next page and find out more about the relationship that had defied the cosmos as seen with Clare and Henry. The novel discusses a lot of interesting topics such as love, fertility, as well as various trials and tribulations that accompany most romances. You see that through out all of the mess that Henry has to go through, he was put on Earth to exist for Clare.
 
I felt a plethora of emotions as I read this book. I am very happy to say that I cried. I got happy. I got depressed. When I finally read the last few chapters I was bawling. I had knots in my stomach. I knew what to expect from the beginning because I cheated and watched the movie, however, reading it made it worse. The feelings of overwhelming sadness were amplified as I completed each line on the page to read the end of the book.
 
Speaking of the movie, I loved it. It ripped a huge hole through my heart, but I still loved it. Enough to watch it again and again. When a movie and/or book evoke emotions as strong as this novel did for me, something magical has happened.
 
There are very minor changes from the book to the movie. The screenplay was very tightly adapted to the novel with a few minor cutbacks and details changed to make what the audience wants. I liked the ending of the novel better than the movie. It seemed to go more with Henry and who he was compared to how the movie ended and what happened to him. So much detail was missed – events that as an avid book reader – I wish they had included.
 
Overall both movie and book are amazing. If you don’t own it  – get it. Be prepared to be in tears by the end. If you are going through a lot of drama of your own with your love life, you could take a note from Clare and Henry and see their issues. Obviously this is just a book and not real life – if it were I would so time travel back to my youth and give myself an ear full – but I think all books teach us something.
This one taught me love knows no time.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

I bought this book on the recommendation of a co-worker in my school’s English department. She knows of my novel (even though I haven’t asked her to read it – yet), so in general conversation one morning, she spoke of this novel.

Immediately intrigued, I had to know more. She went on to discuss how this unknown author had taken the Jane Austen classic and adapted it to include zombies. Many of the people I surveyed, refused to read this book because it was trash in their mind’s eye. Their beloved Jane Austen had been defamed and made a mockery by such an adaptation.

Ironically, I had purchased another copy of Pride and Prejudice not even three months prior to finding out about this book. I wanted to re-read it as it had been SO LONG since I read it and I was hoping for a good classic story. I question whether or not I should have read the original before reading this version. Many of the plot points were foggy in my mind as I read this version, but I can honestly say, the story line is basically the same.

This book went rather quickly for me, but I will admit, I did a lot of skimming. I didn’t read every paragraph word for word. I have a stack of books I want to get through, and this novel just did not hold my attention as I had hoped it would. I found myself searching for more scenes where zombies were involved or learning of the mysterious plague that had taken over much of England. I loved the drawings that were in the novel, as they gave my mind a break to confirm that what I had visualized was what was being described.

With all the novels I have read recently, being told in the first person perspective (mine as well), it was hard for me to stay focused as the novel changed from inside of Elizabeth’s mind to others. Maybe it was just me, but I find I prefer the 1st person narrative as I know who’s head I’m in at all times. It limits what you find out, but it makes you see through one perspective and one only (unless we trade people as was done in Breaking Dawn – YUCK! I hated that part of the story!).

Even though this story was slow for me, I loved the way the author intertwined the zombies into various scenes. If there was a scene he could add violence to, it was done, yet done in a manner that showed you the times had changed the people that had been fighting the zombies. I love how he made Charlotte an integral role in understanding more about zombies and the ferocity in Elizabeth as she handles Lady Catherine towards the end.

Not a terrible book, but not a great one either. For only 300+ pages, it seemed to drag in many places. If you are in the skimming mood, go for it. Maybe after all my other books are read and I re-read the original, I might pick this book up again. I’ll wear it as I wear my Pride and Prejudice and Zombies t-shirt I bought at Hot Topic!

Not a lecture. Just a thought.
xoxo
Nat

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