Archive for the Category »Books «
Do you remember when Bret Easton Ellis was a ground-breaking new author who wrote novels that shook you to the core, that angered you and made you feel like you were reading something new and unique? I know that’s how I felt when I read American Psycho – it was a horrible look into a killer mind, one that stayed with me for a long time after I finished reading the book.
I’ve read two books by Ellis recently, Imperial Bedrooms and Lunar Park. They both have the same problem in that there’s nothing really new in them. Lunar Park at least has the meta enjoyment of Ellis being haunted by his own creations, but Imperial Bedrooms is merely a ‘where are they now’ of the Less Than Zero cast. And you know what, I don’t care. It’s boring, all of it.
The whole book can be summed up as blah blah people suck blah blah Hollywood is heartless blah blah sex blah blah violence blah blah paranoia blah blah betrayals and so on. It’s a huge pile of nothing, that was not challenging or even remotely interesting.
There was one thing gained from reading Imperial Bedrooms however: I now know better than to bother with another novel by Bret Easton Ellis. If there was any doubt before they are now blown completely away – Ellis is irrelevant. He has nothing new to say, and he’s not even saying the old stuff in a new way that makes it feel remotely fresh.
I can’t in good conscience give this book a good review. It’s well written and the storyline is compelling, but as I am someone who has a past with self harm and am still recovering, I found this book to be very triggering. I wouldn’t at all describe it as glorifying self harm, but it’s central to the character’s frame of mind and the way it’s described is too close to home.
It was tough to read. It describes the physical effect of self harm in a way that is so accurate that it shocked me. I have never read any description of self harm that reflects the reality of what it’s about emotionally ever before, and I wasn’t ready for that.
I don’t mean to say it’s not a good book. In a way, it was too good. It triggered emotions in me that I wasn’t prepared to be challenged with. Anyone who have struggled with self harm issues should be careful with this book, or at least be aware.
This fully coloured how I read the book, so I’m not really able to review it objectively as it will always be “that book that was self harm triggering” to me personally. If that has no effect on you, go for it, it’s a pretty good book.
Not his best, this book took a good long while to pick up. I did eventually get sucked in but it took far too long. I do also find it a bit lazy to write a fictional account of yourself and the characters you’ve created, and it made me wish he would write an actual autobiography as I’m sure that would be a very interesting read. This one was fine enough but it’s not going to leave a lasting impression, I don’t think.
Let’s address the obvious first: Battle Royale. The idea of teenagers fighting each other on a television show that’s run by the government isn’t particularly original. I had Battle Royale in the back of my head the entire time I read this book, and some parts of the games felt predictable and didn’t offer many surprises to me.
That said, I was fully immersed in the book from start to finish. The characters are interesting, the world is well built and the moral dilemmas the lead characters face are realistic and well written. And how often do you get post-apocalyptic young adult novels? I love this kind of novel in general, and having this sort of story from the point of view of a very strong, young woman who you can’t help rooting for, as she struggles with survival and her desire to rebel against it all, and her desire to win. I can’t wait to see how she progresses in the next two books.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Okay, look. It’s very silly. It’s teenagers becoming vampyres. Oh yes, with a ‘y’. And yet, it’s like a high school book, because the house of night is a school for kids going through the change to become vampyres. Or die, whichever.
The lead character has mary sue written all over her (she’s the bestest and most talented wampyre to be (aka fledling) in the history of ever! she has a million talents and the most popular guy in school instantly loves her!) and I admit it – it is utterly moronic. But it’s fun! And the lead character isn’t a Bella, as in her life doesn’t revolve around some dude, and she can stand up for herself just fine.
Good, simple fun. I like it.