Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Review: Diary of a Young Girl - the story of Anne Frank

Being homeschooled you sometimes miss a few things that would have been required. Like Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl from her 25 months of confinement in Holland while hiding from the Gestapo. This was required reading in middle school it seems, but my mom had me read The Hiding Place instead, which was traumatic enough. I also read all of David Wilkerson's books (author of Cross and the Switchblade) which deal with drug addiction and lost souls on the street. So, I was by no means lacking in a formal literary education. Yet I still raised a couple of eyebrows at work when a few coworkers heard that I hadn't read Anne Frank's diary. Since I wouldn't lose anything by reading it I decided to give it a go. Biographies aren't usually my thing but you can work your way through almost anything if you persevere, which is what I did.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Movie Review: J. Edgar - A Look at the 1930s

First off, I know little or nothing about the life of J. Edgar Hoover, important reformer of the F.B.I. So I have no idea if there are any inconsistencies in the film about the man. Regardless, though, I do know a little bit about the 1920s and 1930s and some of the major events. Like the tracking down of notorious criminals like Baby Face Nelson and the infmaous John Dillinger, Public Enemy #1 himself. I also knew that the Charles Lindberg baby had been kidnapped and killed. So, really, the stories within the story of J. Edgar fascinated me more than the man himself.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Breakfast Club - A Blast to the 80s

I’m not usually one for R rated movies. I consider them restricted for a reason and so very rarely will I venture past the PG13 rating unless a movie has been edited. But sometimes, only sometimes, I reconsider my stance in order to try something new. I don’t even remember what got me on the topic of Emilio Estevez in the first place. I only know that a coworker and I started discussing the Sheen family for some reason and she mentioned that I needed to see The Breakfast Club. I know, the Sheens are crazy but what Hollywood family isn’t nuts? I read the synopsis and the premise interested me. After 5 seasons of 21 Jumpstreet I proudly declare that 80s culture fascinates me.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games

This isn't something I've ever really covered in any previous blog post so I might as well cover it now. I've heard many arguments for and against the series of books and now the new film. I won't rehash them now because there would be no point. I only know what I personally like and what I do like is The Hunger Games. I saw the movie yesterday with an entire group of teenagers from the library where I work and I went again today with my sister and our closest friend. All three of us are in agreement. The film puts many franchises to shame, Twilight included. Most of the time books are so much better than their movie counterparts but in regards The Hunger Games the two are nearly equal.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Reading "Twilight" (Part 1)

I don't know what possessed me to try, but I'm determined to read Stephanie Meyer's series in its entirety. Twilight was on my reading list about 4 years ago and I did read it and enjoy it, but then I tried again a year later with the intention of reading all the books but quickly gave up. It just didn't interest me like it had the first time. Of course, that was also the time when all of the Twihards were coming out of the woodwork and terrifying me with their obsession. We won't mention that I'm just as obsessed about certain things myself. *cough, Sherlock, cough*

But I realized I needed to give the series another chance. I'm hoping to, I don't know, understand the appeal. I'm halfway through chapter 10 and here's what I've realized so far:

  • Writing Style
    • The book isn't as dreadful as I remembered which only strengthens my idea that I hated it before because it was such a huge success and the Twihards gave me the willies.
    • In fact, Twilight is very entertaining and an easy read which I've proven in that I only started it yesterday and I'm already over 200 pages in.
    •  Entertaining yes, but her grammar is still rudimentary at best.
    • If she had just toned down the "godlike" imagery of Edward a little bit it would have done wonders for the overall quality of the novel.
    • She uses far too many adjectives like "blackly" or "angrily" to describe Edward's reactions.
      • "His brow creased angrily for a moment, then smoothed  . . ." and "he chuckled blackly."
        • Take those adjectives away and the sentence is tighter and lets the reader decide on their own what Edward is feeling. Few readers like to have emotion dictated to them.
        • Oh well, her writing isn't perfect. Big surprise, but it's still a fun read.
  • Edward
    • The films have never and will never do him justice. I'd forgotten just how attractive book Edward is to the female psyche.
    • He thinks of Bella's safety before his own in a way we rarely see today.
    • He's courteous and gentle, funny and romantic.
    • In a word, there is NO WAY that I can connect book!Edward with film!Edward. It's like film!Edward is a mere shadow of the Edward Stephanie Meyer created.
  •  Bella
    • Where do I start?
    • I find it very hard to like Bella, for three reasons.
      • 1: She lies to her father about going to Seattle alone when she'll actually be spending the day with Edward. Edward thinks she should tell Charlie, Bella refuses. Not good since parents are put in our lives as a guiding light for a reason.
      • 2: Bella thinks, and I quote, "If I had to, I suppose I could purposefully put myself in danger to keep him close." Say what?!
      •  She's not good enough for Edward. Bella approaches the relationship from a selfish perspective while Edward, throughout their relationship, only tries to think of what's best for her. Hence the "she's not good enough for him" statement.
    • Sorry, I know some of this probably sacrilege, but I can't help it. Bella's entire behavior is one of neediness. I can forgive some of this because she's only 17, but then so is Edward so why is he more mature? After all, living for 100 years at the age of 17 doesn't mean any hormonal issues just float away.
    • So, Bella is highly imperfect and drives me crazy. Sometimes I sympathize with her and other days, like with that quote about putting herself in danger, I can see how she became so miserable in New Moon that she risked her life in order to see visions of Edward.
  • Conclusion up to Chapter 10 of Twilight
    • The film version of Twilight is dreadful.
    • Romance is at the heart of this novel. A desire to find true love, to be cherished by a man and pursued by him with honorable intentions. It's a beautiful dream and as a woman who sometimes feels like she's permanently single, I get the appeal of Edward. Note: married women who worship Edward creep me out so much I can't even describe the revulsion.
    • Let's just say that Edward's side of the romance is from an adult perspective and Bella's side is from the teenage angst perspective. Meyer's somehow managed to combine the two, which is why I respect Edward's love and have very little sympathy with Bella's.
    • Oh, and I am really liking Twilight, just in case you couldn't tell by my little critique. We'll see what happens throughout the rest of the book.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Piers Morgan & Kirk Cameron

It's happened again. Another Christian being forced into an opinion on homosexuality and then named an ignorant bigot. Only this time that Christian is Kirk Cameron and the brute is Piers Morgan and I'm having a really hard time dealing with it. Piers is brutal in his opinions of people and always has been. He's hard to watch on America's Got Talent! because of that very problem. He rarely has anything nice to say about anyone. But I honestly didn't think he would stoop this low.