Monday, March 28, 2011

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants
Sara Gruen

Yet again, a movie has spoiled a book for me. Yes, I realize that the movie isn't out yet, but I saw the trailer and Robert Pattinson is going to be Jacob so all is lost. All is lost. I started reading the book sometime back in 2009 and I got halfway through it then for some reason or another I stopped reading it and now that the movie is coming out, I had to finish it. I honestly loved it before I stopped reading it. I thought it was creative and exciting, I loved Jacob and I loved Marlena. Then I realized that Edward Cullen would be playing this awesome character and Reese Witherspoon would be playing Marlena (which I don't mind too much it's just weird to me for some reason, I want her to be June Cash or Elle Woods forever).

Then the whole romance thing started. It was cheesy and stupid and I felt like an idiot for reading that last part of the book. Everything was messed up from the second I saw the trailer, but this just was the cherry on top of the pie. If I had the book with me right now, I would give you the quote that Jacob said that brought everything down 100%. Let's not be a cheesy romantic, sir. Thanks.

LA Candy: Sugar and Spice

Sugar and Spice: An LA Candy Novel
Lauren Conrad

I wrote this in 7th grade.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pride & Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen

I feel like I need to give a disclaimer about my view of this book before I really get into it. I need to read a book before I see the movie. I NEED TO. I guess my imagination can't separate movie from book and then the only thing that I see is the movie. Granted, I liked the Pride and Prejudice movie (2005, the only one I've seen), I hate Kira Knightly with a fiery passion. This hatred leaves me with a sour taste for Elizabeth when I realize that I'm supposed to love her with the same passion. The only time I was like "Yeahhh Lizzy" was when Catherine came to talk to her about her supposed engagement to Darcy and she was just like a little spitfire. I was smiling the whole time. Okay, so after my inability to make book and movie like oil and water, I don't think I liked the book. *gasps from readers* I think, honestly, that I would have liked the book much better if I had never seen the movie because I felt like I didn't have to pay attention because I could go in and out of consciousness and come back a few paragraphs later and pick up where the movie left off.

I realize that this isn't true for everyone and I realize that this is a very well written book, but I'm sorry, fellow readers, that I couldn't love it. I liked it, yes, but loved it, no. I'm going to venture into reading some more of her novels that I have haven't seen the movies of so I can have a better view of Austen's plot creations.


Vladimir Nabokov

If you've ever read a more poetic book, I'd like to meet you. This book was so beautifully written I wanted to cry. His use of words, and I'm not even aware of this kind of thing, was so thoughtful, so brilliant. I guess that maybe other authors write like this, but he adds a touch of raw beauty to a point where you don't even notice that he's a full grown man doing the deed with a minor. Clearly those are only trivial details. I could be the only one who is in awe of this mans words, I doubt it, but it's possible.

The plot wasn't too original, but nothing ever is. Maybe it was just me, but I felt absolutely no anger towards Humbert Humbert while he was basically raping young Dolores Haze. I hated Lolita. Are you supposed to like her? For some reason I don't blame HH for his actions, when he is fully responsible. But then, this isn't a trial, it's a novel. You're supposed to like the protagonist. We have to have their backs, yes?

I thought Dolly's mother was a bit much. And her death seemed a little insignificant, even though it probably was extremely important to the plot line. The way she died was just wrong. It should have seemed contrived, and now that I finished the book and a week and a half later, I realize that it probably was. Humbert Humbert (which isn't his real name. I know...right?) is a strange fellow but I felt like *spoiler* marrying Lolita's mother was a little much. She just had a lot of drama, Charlotte Haze, I mean. I shouldn't have written all of this because I guess that part of the plot was sort of necessary. He could have just kidnapped little Lolita though.

The end was a shock. The whole thing was a shock to someone who read the first 65% of the book and then stopped and picked it up 3 years later. I have to say that I'm glad I did this though because there were so many parts of the book and little details that I missed the first time through and I liked the book when I started reading it all those years ago, but I wasn't in awe of it, of his writing style and technique. Now I am that I had the chance to reread it and get a better understanding of the plot. When I wasn't so focused on what was happening I was able to bathe in the words. That's really what it felt like, honestly. So relaxing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thanks, Salinger.

For a while I have been trying to determine why I have such a feirce love of Holden Caulfield, and I think that I've finally figured it out. Holden is mine. Now, I realize that there are millions and millions of other pre-teens, teenagers, young adults, fully-grown adults and assassins who all feel that they can claim Holden is theirs, that he is their best friend. I know this, but I've never met any of them. I, myself, find this to be an extremely strange phenomenon since apparently Holden fans are around every corner. I guess none of them are near my corners. So, to get to the point, the reason I hold Catcher in the Rye on such a pedestal is because not one ounce of my love for this book has been influenced by anyone else.

I am one of those extremely unoriginal people who are extremely predicable and don't like to think for themselves. Heck, the only reason I read and probably loved A Clockwork Orange was because of the first boy that ever noticed me. He loved it, I loved it. Lame, I know. This is the same reason I liked Dinosaurs. I liked the color purple in 4th grade because everyone else did.I wanted to put my hair in those ridiculous braids because Alanis did. I liked Doreets on my own though, if that makes me any more original.

I don't like to think when I read. In fact, I think that analyzing literary works is obnoxious. If I were to write a novel, I'd just want people to read it for readings sake. Not to make any sort of suggestions about it. It is what it is. Sure, I like to interpret books the way I want to, who doesn't. I think that's why authors write. Not so we can sit her and discuss their merit. I read to read. I read to learn something about someone who doesn't exist. To meet someone who won't judge you, but who you can love just the same. I just like to pretend that my life has the same amount of meaning as these characters that I am reading and the fact that the author thought that their character was important enough to write an entire novel about them, well, that's enough for me. This guy is important. He's important to so many people. He's oddly important to me. In fact, when I tell people that my favorite book is Catcher and people tell me that they "hated" the book, I take it personally. How could you say that about the man I want to marry. The boy I want my children to be like. This book has a point, you don't have to understand it, but Holden is everything. So please, if you've read it and you know me, don't tell me that you hated it.

All the time I pray that I will find someone who will love Holden the way that I love him. I swear if I have a son his name will be Holden James. Holden for obvious reasons and James for James Castle, the boy who jumped out the window (no need to explain that one either). If I ever was to get a tattoo, it would be a quote from Holden. I think you can tire of the things he says, but you'll always love them. I'm not even sure how many times I've read this book, but like I said before, at this point in my life I am terrified to reread it in fear that Holden won't be everything I remember, since he is basically everything to me.

I know that Salinger wrote other books, I've read them all and enjoyed every minute of them, perhaps too much. But while I was trying to figure out why I love Holden so much, I came across the idea of maybe I just love this generation, the whole Caulfield family, the whole Glass family. The idea of the upper-class Manhattanites in a time which I will forever immortalize as the only time worth living in. There is something so incredibly romantic about this time period (I guess post WWII through the early 1960's) that will never be imitated. It's all I want though. I would give anything to step into a time machine and walk around New York, go in the Lavender Room, know someone named Phoebe. I think that maybe I just romanticize the entire Salinger oeuvre. Holden still seems the perfect boy. The perfect brother, the perfect friend, the perfect soul mate. I'm not sure if I love him slightly because (here comes the hypocrite in me) of The Good Girl with Jenifer Aniston and Jake Gyllenhaal. Jake's character renames himself Holden and from that day forward, I pictured Holden as Jake Gyllenhaal and I thought that the only person who could ever play Holden in a movie is Jake. I don't think I'd want to watch a movie of Catcher in the Rye if ever it was allowed.
I'm going to stop there and maybe write some more next time. This is just how I feel after reading a book of essay's about Salinger's writings.