Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Review of #4 Lie with me by Cara Summers

Name of book: Lie with me

Author Name: Cara Summers

ISBN: 978-0-373-79417-1

Publisher: Harlequin Blaze

Part of Series: Sequel to Tall, Dark...And Dangerously Hot Trilogy by Cara Summers, prequel to Come Toy with me By Cara Summers

Type of book: Adult, Contemporary, romance novel

Year it was published: 2008

Summary:

Corfu's exotic beaches are a matchless place to meet true love...or at least to have a fabulous fling! And that's exactly what Philly Angelis needs. After all, she's a survivor of unrequited love...and an embarrasingly rejected sexual proposition. Fleeing to Greece to soak in its sexy magic-as well as to find a hot guy to take her mind off her longtime crush, Roman Oliver-seems the perfect antidote. Roman can't believe what's he's doing. Philly is his best friend's little sister-definitely hands off! So why is he following her to Corfu? And why is he taking her outrageously delicious sexual proposition seriously? Maybe because Phily's all woman now-a woman who knows exactly what she wants. And, God help him, Roman's going to give it to her...

Characters:

Philly is an interesting character and she tries to change or to forget to her crush Roman, but she doesn't succeed. I feel that she changes in beginning and seems to stay this way throughout the rest of the book. Roman's transformation and thought processes are far more visible than Philly's. When he starts hanging out with Philly, he begins to change and stops thinking of her as a brother's friend.

Theme:

I think the theme is for Philly to go after what she wants instead of being shoved in the back so to speak. Philly has always been shy when it comes to Oliver, but in this book, instead of waiting for Roman to pursue her, she pursues him. I also think that powerful scenes as relate to life and death bring people very close to one another.

Plot:

Again, just like Tell Me Your Secrets, this is a switching back and fourth first person and third person, which will be jarring for some people. (First person is the female character, Philly in this case, and third person is Roman.) The plot was interesting, how one event leads to more events within the book, and there are some surprises within. I think because it was mainly a summer read so to speak, it's difficult to find what I like and don't like with this book. Even though events are highly improbable and some defy logic, for one reason or another they didn't feel like intruders, but in fact they felt natural.

Author Information:

Was Cara Summers born with the dream of becoming a published romance novelist? No. But now that she is, she still feels her dreams has come true. She loves writing for the Blaze line because it allows her to create strong, determined women and seriously sexy men who will risk everything to achieve their dreams. Cara has written more than thirty-five books for Harlequin Books, and when she isn't working on new stories, she teachers in the Writing Program at Syracuse University and at a community college near her home.

Opinion:

It's peculiar that this book has an improbable plot, a lot of suspension of belief, the whole first person and third person point, yet I'm giving this book four stars. Perhaps I'm somewhat used to Cara Summers' writing style as well as plot twists and I'm beginning to see the charm of the books. I really enjoyed Philly's character and about her unpredictability. I also love the cover this book has. I think that in this case I enjoyed the read. It wasn't deep or anything like that, but was, well, mindless. I hadn't read the Tall, Dark and Dangerously Hot Trilogy, and this book got me curious about it. I actually enjoyed the whole psychic cat thing in the book, and of how Roman Oliver tries to fight his temptation towards Philly.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review of Romance in the Forest by Ann Radcliffe

Name of book: Romance of the Forest

Author Name: Ann Radcliffe

ISBN: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/

Publisher: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/

Type of book: Young adult to Adult, historical, gothic

Year it was published: 1791

Summary:

Set in a Roman Catholic Europe of violent passions and extreme oppression, the novel follows the fate of its heroine Adeline, who is mysteriously placed under the protection of a family fleeing Paris for debt. They take refuge in a ruined abbey in south-eastern France, where sinister relics of the past - a skeleton, a manuscript, and a rusty dagger - are discovered in concealed rooms. Adeline finds herself at the mercy of the abbey's proprietor, a libidinous Marquis whose attentions finally force her to contemplate escape to distant regions. Rich in allusions to aesthetic theory and to travel literature, The Romance of the Forest is also concerned with current philosophical debate and examines systems of thought central to the intellectual life of late eighteenth-century Europe. (From goodreads.com)

Characters:

The characters are caricatures and are flat. Evil characters are completely evil with no rhyme or reason, while good characters are good. (Only exception is La Motte who changes from bad to good.) Theodore, unlike hero from Mysteries of Udolpho, does help with rescuing the woman, and Adeline, unlike Emily from Mysteries of Udolpho, seems to be in complete excess of emotion. Adeline isn't easy to relate to and she seems to give too much power to the people around her. She is gutsy when it comes to escaping La Motte and not marrying Marquise de Montalt, I believe.

Theme:

I'm not sure of the theme of this novel. Really, I do have a difficult time figuring out the ultimate message that the novel was written.

Plot:

The beginning of the novel becomes interesting, with La Motte and his wife leaving the city, and him being captured and told to take the girl with him and never return, which is how we meet Adeline. She gives some pieces of information to Madame la Motte about her predicament and denounces the father that put her in a convent. Some things, and some family secrets are hard to suspend, even if its a Gothic piece of literature. Its not explained at all about the mysterious cave that La Motte uses, or why he disappears and where he goes. Sometimes the author jumps from place to place, and from point of view to point of view. (That is one chapter is Adeline's, and midway through the book we are transported to Clara and her father.)


Author Information:

Ann's fiction is characterized by seemingly supernatural events being explained through reason. Throughout her work traditional morals are asserted, women’s rights are advocated for, and reason prevails.

Ann published 6 novels in all. These are (listed alphabetically) The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, Gaston de Blondeville, The Italian, The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Romance of the Forest and A Sicilian Romance. She also published a book of poetry, but her talent for prose far exceeded her poetic ability.

Radcliffe is considered to be the founder of Gothic literature. While there were others that preceded her, Radcliffe was the one that legitimized Gothic literature. Sir Walter Scott called her the 'founder of a class or school‘ (Facer). Radcliffe's novel, The Mysteries of Udolpho, was parodied by Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey. Radcliffe did not like where Gothic literature was headed, and her final novel, The Italian, was written in response to Matthew Gregory Lewis's The Monk. It is assumed that this frustration is what caused Radcliffe to cease writing.

Ann Radcliffe had a profound influence on many later authors, including the Marquis de Sade (1740-1814), Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) and Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832). Scott also interspersed his work with poems, as did Radcliffe. Indeed, "Scott himself said that her prose was poetry and her poetry was prose. She was, indeed, a prose poet, in both the best and the worst senses of the phrase. The romantic landscape, the background, is the best thing in all her books; the characters are two dimensional, the plots far fetched and improbably, with 'elaboration of means and futility of result.'" (From wikipedia.)

Opinion:

Before reading this book, I read The Mysteries of Udolpho which caused me to set my bar too high for this book. Although I liked the male hero in there, Theodore, I wasn't a big fan of the heroine. Maybe its because the book is short, but the potential of Mysteries of Udolpho is lost in this twenty-six chapter story. The plot itself is interesting, and there are a few unexpected revelations, but the characters and the language, including poetry are not interesting unfortunately. I've also noticed a certain anti-French dislike in this book. (Adeline falls in love with English words and works such as Shakespeare and Milton...) but it ignores the French works such as King Arthur stories and myths. (I know its because the author is British and doesn't seem to be interested in French classics, or else has a low regard for French things.) However, there are some glimmers of what will ultimately be Mysteries of Udolpho, (one can even see the characters of Clara and her father La Luc becoming Emily and St. Aubert in Mysteries of Udolpho.)

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review of Prey by Lurlene McDaniel

Name of book: Prey

Author Name: Lurlene McDaniel

ISBN: 978-0-385-73453-0

Publisher: Delacourte Press

Type of book: Adult, contemporary

Year it was published: 2008

Summary:

Ryan Piccoli is a good-looking high school freshman-smart, a class cutup, but also a loner. His father travels; his mother is out of his life. He spends his free time with friends, including his gal pal Honey, hanging out at school and getting by. Then new teacher Lori Settles walks into his history class. She's beautiful, the talk of the school, considered hot and sexy, and she takes a special interest in Ryan. One day after school, Lori Settles surprises Ryan with a request, and he's flattered and eager to help. He's attracted to her, but she's his teacher and more than twice his age. As Ryan and Lori grow closer, Ryan's friends see changes in him. He's secretive. He keeps more and more to himself. Honey can tell something is wrong. Even his busy father senses changes. Ryan is torn between the excitement of his secret relationship with Lori and the relative quiet of his former life. When Lori begins to make demands, Ryan feels overwhelmed. But the thought of not having her is almost unbearable. And as events spiral out of control, Ryan and Lori must deal with the consequences of hte choices they have made, choices that change the course of both their lives forever.

Characters:

To be honest the characters sounded a little too alike, and I really wished that there would have been more thoughts of Stiletto Settles in the book. I feel that Honey served no purpose in the book beyond the obvious onlooker, and even in 2008, with teenagers already knowing about sex and whatnot, its hard to believe that she is traumatized by certain emails, unless she's religious, but I didn't see that in the text at all. Ryan, to be honest, isn't a very in-depth character, and his anger at the end of the book sounds as if the doctors and whatnot have hit a little too close to home. Instead of Honey and Ryan, there should have been more Lori, and more about her background beyond the few words that Lurlene McDaniel revealed at the very end. Why he chose to have an affair with a woman more than half his age still remains a mystery.

Theme:

Although the relationship between Ryan and Lori is best described as squeamish, the portrayal of it is interesting to say the least. Just like in a normal relationship at first its roses and fireworks, then comes the hard part where different things are starting to interfere with it such as people, community, laws, etc. and during that time Lori exhibits emotions and the fact that she is beginning to cling on to Ryan, which seems like a normal grownup response. In truth though, how are the relationships between teenagers and adults different? That is what is common in a teenage relationship that isn't there in an adult one? That is one question the author doesn't address. The ending is an interesting one, and I won't say much about it because I don't want to spoil it.

Plot:

I kind of wish that the author would have added more depth to the characters and perhaps more thoroughly explored the characters. I also feel that the seduction happened a little too quickly, and I would have liked to see more character buildup. But in truth it happened quickly with little build up. I also would have liked there to be what happened during the separation time and as mentioned again, I would have liked to see and understand more of Lori's thoughts.

Author Information:

Lurlene McDaniel began writing inspirational novels about teenagers facing life-altering situations when her son was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. "I saw firsthand how chronic illness affects every aspect of a person's life," she has said. "I want kids to know that while people don't get to choose what life gives to them, they do get to choose how they respond." Lurlene McDaniel's novels are hard hitting and realistic, but also leave readers with inspiration and hope. Her books have received acclaim from readers, teachers, parents, and reviewers. Her novels Don't Die, My Love; I'll be Seeing You; and 'Till Death DO us Part have all been national bestsellers. Lurlene McDaniel lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. (From inside flap)

Opinion:

I was first introduced to Lurlene McDaniel as a teenager at a middle school. To this day I had no idea why or how I picked up one of her books and got introduced to teens and cancer. (The first book I read by her involved a teenager, Lacy, I think, who went through anorexia or something like that.) As such, when I found out about this novel, I became curious about it. I wanted to read it for several years, but it wasn't until now that I got my hands on it and read it. For me it was a quick read. (I finished reading it in one day!) but just because I finished reading it in one day, it doesn't mean that the story is good or a masterpiece. (There are books like that though.) I don't think she did a good job with this book, although I admit it was intriguing and interesting, and a tad bit creepy. To me though, the first person narrative voices sounded a little too similar to one another, I also wonder about the purpose of Honey in the book, and why only three characters and not more. (Would have been cool if she could have added Ryan's father as another voice.)

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Planned Books

Books I'm reading:
The Foreign Student-Susan Choi 63/325 
The Moonstone-Wilkie Collins 127/434
A Tale of two cities- Charles Dickens 187/376
Crime and Punishment-Fyodor Dostoevsky 61/522
The Secret Life of Bees-Sue Monk Kidd 165/302
Just Surrender...-Kathleen O'Reilly 46/218
When my name was Keoko-Linda Sue Park 28/192
The Romance of the Forest-Ann Radcliffe 193/???
The Tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu 158/1090
Coyote Dream-Jessica Davis Stein 112/364
Tailspin-Cara Summers 54/216
'Till Morning Comes-Han Suyin 176/620
D'Artagnan Romances-Alexandre Dumas
4. Louise De La Valliere 576/671
The Story of the Stone-Xueqin Cao
2. The Crab-Flower Club 173/582
The Russian Saga-Kate Furnivall
2. The Russian Concubine 111/517

Books that are waiting for reviews:
Prey-Lurlene McDaniel
Lie with me-Cara Summers

Future Books:
By Invitation Only: Anthology- Lori Wilde, Wendy Etherington, Jillian Burns

Are you there God? Its me Margaret-Judy Blume
Caddie Woodlawn- Carol Ryrie Brink
My Antonia-Willa Cather
O Pioneers!- Willa Cather
Great Expectations-Charles Dickens
The Idiot-Fyodor Dostoevsky
Camille-Alexandre Dumas fils
Cowboys are my weakness-Pam Houston
The Monk- Matthew Lewis
A Sicilian romance-Ann Radcliffe
The Italian-Ann Radcliffe
The castle of Otranto- Horace Walpole
Tree of Souls- Howard Schwartz
The Story of the Stone-Xueqin Cao
3. The Warning Voice
4. The Debt of Tears
5. The Dreamer Wakes
D'Artagnan Romances-Alexandre Dumas
4. Louise De la Valliere Unpublished information
5. The Man in the iron mask
The Russian Saga-Kate Furnivall
3. The Girl from Junchow
Sarah, Plain and Tall Quintet-Patricia Machlachlan
1. Sarah, Plain and Tall
2. Skylark
3. Caleb's Story
4. More Perfect than the Moon
5. Grandfather's Dance
The Elven Nations Trilogy-Douglas Niles, Paul Thompson, Tonya Carter
2. The Kinslayer Wars
3. The Qualinesti
Little House Series-Laura Ingalls Wilder
1. Little house in the big woods
2. Little house on the prairie
3. Farmer boy
4. On the banks of plum creek
5. By the shores of silver lake
6. The long winter
7. Little town on the prairie
8. These happy golden years
9. The first four years

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Review of Chenxi and the Foreigner by Sally Rippin

Name of book: Chenxi and the Foreigner

Author Name: Sally Rippin

ISBN: 978-1-55451-172-3

Publisher: Annick Press ltd

Type of book: Young adult-Adult, 1980s, contemporary/ historical, interracial, white female/asian male relationship

Year it was published: 2009

Summary:

When Anna travels to Shanghai to study traditional Chinese painting, she's determined to immerse herself in the local culture- unlike her businessman father, who sticks to a community of Westerners. As an innocent new arrival, Anna spends time with Chenxi, the good-looking and aloof classmate who is her student guide, and is soon forced to recognize that it's much harder to escape being a wai guo ren- a foreigner- than she expected. WHen she unwittingly draws the attention of officials to Chenxi and his radical artist friends, she must face the terrible price of her actions. A deeply felt love story filled with raw emotion, cultural collisions, and memorable characters, Chenxi and the Foreigner offers an unrestrained look at hte limits on freedom in the repressive atmosphere of 1980s China.

Characters:

There are three main characters basically: that of Anna, Chenxi and Laurent. Anna doesn't strike me as selfish as some other readers and reviewers describe her. She strikes me as a bumbling tourist instead, and someone who seems to be stuck in sort of a baby mode. She doesn't have a backbone so to speak and doesn't seem to realize that China has different rules. She is also an artist. She also seems to think that she knows everything best, which in the end affect Laurent and Chenxi. I could best describe Laurent as experienced and he either seems to have romantic feelings towards Anna or else wants to look after her as a friend. He also deals with selling of hashish. Chenxi's character is the most mysterious and least known. He lives with a mother, somehow learned English well enough to be Anna's guide, and its not known if he loves Anna. He is also a true artist and doesn't desire to go to America. It would have been nice if in the end one knew of his fate.

Theme:

I think the main conflict of the book is of Anna and Chenxi trying to change somehow, or have some stability amidst the turbulent times. There is also main conflict of Anna trying to grow up and trying to follow the rules she no longer understands.

Plot:

I did enjoy reading about Anna's travel to Shanghai, and how she spent her time there. As mentioned before, this book could use few more pages to flesh out Anna's feelings and turmoil at the end, because the ending seemed a little too sudden and she literally skips from point A to point B with nothing in between. If possible, I also would have liked to learn more about Chenxi and his feelings towards Anna, if he saw her as simply a foreigner, or maybe a little more than a foreigner.

Author Information:

Sally Rippin was born in Darwin, Australia, but spent much of her childhood in Southeast Asia. At nineteen she moved to China for three years to study traditional Chinese painting in Shanghai and Hangzhou. Now she lives in Melbourne, where she writes, illustrates, and teaches writing for children at RMIT University. She has had over twenty books published for children of all ages, many of them award-winning. For more information, visit sallyrippin.com (From the book.)

Opinion:

I found this book last week and really did enjoy it. I could easily relate to Anna's character in someways, such as thinking I'm doing the right thing or whatnot and then finding out I somehow wasn't aware that culturally I'm not supposed to do this. (Which is embarrassing.) The character of Chenxi is very intriguing and one wonders whether or not he has deep feelings for Anna or if he is simply going with the flow so to speak. I would have liked to see him fighting his inner demons, and not just from Anna's perspective. I also would have liked to know why Anna doesn't like Laurent, why she finds him repulsive. (If it was mentioned why, then I might have missed it.) The ending of the book felt very rushed and a five year epilogue or whatnot would have helped. While Anna does seem to develop backbone and realize what she wants to do, few more pages would have helped flesh this out.

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review of #1 Firstborn by Paul B Thompson and Tonya R Carter

Name of book: Firstborn

Author Name: Paul B Thompsons, Tonya R Carter

ISBN: 1-56076-051-6

Part of a Series: The Elven Nations Trilogy: The Kinslayer Wars next, The Qualinesti afterwards

Publisher: TSR INC

Type of book: Young adult-Adult, fantasy-historical

Year it was published: 1991

Summary:

Silvanos, the august founder of the united elven nation known as Silvanesti, is dead and buried in a crystal tomb. The leadership of the clans and households has fallen to his son, Sithel, who is himself father of twin sons. The princes Sithas and Kith-Kanan represent emerging factions among these elves: Kith-Kanan is the leader of the Wildrunners, a group of elves that stirs tension by forging contacts and trade with the humans of Ergoth; Sithas closely allies himself with the court in the elven capital. The rivalry between kin climaxes with their father's mysterious death. When Kith-Kanan is vaguely implicated, Sithas, the firstborn twin, is enthroned.

Characters:

The characters seem to be drawn a little too second dimensionally. That is, nothing beyond the obvious is revealed about them. If the authors were trying to re-create an elven version of Caramon and Raistlin, they seem to have failed. While the story and the book are a bit interesting, especially the culture of the Silvanesti, the rest of the characters also seem to be a bit flat, and I also think there is no suspense in it, until the last few chapters of the book.

Theme:
I'm honestly not sure what lessons could be learned from reading the book. While there were problems of political nature and something that could be applied to real life, such as the treatment of the immigrants and worries about "polluting" the blood stream, there is no resolution the mentioned problems.

Plot:

This is written from third point of view omniscient of sorts, focusing on the shifting points of view from Kith-Kanan to Sithas, sometimes briefly going to other characters. Despite the chapters, I still feel that I don't understand either of the characters well. What I know is that Sithas follows by the rules and is nationalistic, while Kith-Kanan is an adventurer and breaks the 'purity' rules. In beginning the two cared for one another, but I guess on Kith-Kanan's end, as soon as Sithas marries the girl Kith-Kanan loves, the feelings kind of dim.

Author Information:

Paul B THompson: Paul B. Thompson (born 1958) is a freelance writer and novelist. He has published twenty books to date, many of which are novels set in the Dragonlance fictional universe. A number of these novels are co-authored with Tonya C. Cook.(From amazon.)

Tonya R Carter: N/A

Opinion:

This is the second time I've tried reading this book. Second time around, and in my mid-twenties, this is much more enjoyable. What I've enjoyed about reading it is that it rotated between Sithas' and Kith-Kanan's point of view. I also saw somewhat both of the twins grow up. What I didn't like is that neither of their motivations are clearly explained, nor of their feelings for one another. By the way, the summary is from the last few chapters and is not the entire book.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Reading History Part VI: Memoirs of a Cinderella err Geisha

 Part VI: Memoirs of a Cinderella err Geisha

Last week I watched a movie titled Memoirs of a Geisha which is, yes, based on Arthur Golden's book. I have read the book perhaps in 2005 or 2004, possibly around the time the movie came out, being curious about the Japanese culture. I sort of liked the book, at least the beginning of it, but then it quickly became robotic and droned on and on.  (Warning: Spoilers alert.)

It is a typical Cinderella-esque story of a poor young girl from the fishing village. She gets sold and through one man, the Chairman, she becomes THE ULTIMATE AND POWERFUL GEISHA! (Banzai!) In the end she ends up in America and that's all I understood.

First of all, as far as I know, no such thing as a Japanese with blue eyes exists. (As far as I know, even if an Asian gets married to a blond haired blue eyed Caucasian, the child will most likely end up with black or dark brown hair and dark eyes...)

Second of all, I disliked that I never got to find out about the sister.  This is a book, not real life. If you're going to introduce the plots, please update the readers. (One of my pet peeves...) When I read books, I want to know everything.

I think with everything else, such as Geisha training or the petty fights between Sayuri and another Geisha before her and then Sayuri's Geisha life after her losing virginity to Dr. Crab, including the WWII, is, well, boring to be honest. The author didn't capture the girl's voice accurately, and there is also a sick factor at the idea of the Chairman sleeping with a girl who is possibly twenty or thirty years his junior. (At least for me.) And the fact that she likes him and continues to want to be with him?! Not realistic for female of any age or race or religion. Unfortunately because I read awhile back, I remember very little of the novel so I'm sorry that I can't be more specific.

The movie was horrible. First of all no English subs, second of all the whole talking in English and Japanese. (Either remove Japanese Language completely or completely remove English language, but don't have both!) The actors, although talented, felt forced into their roles and were more worried about speaking English rather than emoting correctly. A lot of stuff got cut from the novel, (such as surviving through WWII, or Nobu's bigger role in the novel,) and they should have ended at a restaurant or something where Sayuri told the story completely to the male character.

Book Review of Forever...By Judy Blume

Name of book: Forever...

Author Name: Judy Blume

ISBN: 0-671-69530-4

Publisher: Pocket Books

Type of book: Young adult-Adult, contemporary/historical

Year it was published: 1975

Summary:

The story of Katherine's and Michael's love is a joyous one, filled with all the wonder of "the first time". THey meet on New Years Eve and become completely involved with each toher. It's an idyllic affair-until they're separated that summer...Forever...Katherine "faces an ancient dilemna: How can you love one person and still be attracted to another?...A convincing account of first love." The NY Times Book Review

Characters:

This is written as a first person narrative, and its from Katherine's point of view. Katherine is basically a seventeen-year-old who falls in love with Michael. Unfortunately, despite the first person narrative voice, I could understand very little of Katherine and Michael. While reading this as well, I honestly didn't buy Katherine's willingness to be intimate with Michael. Throughout the whole time I think she was fearful and didn't want to do it. I also was curious about how Katherine would most likely be in 2011 so to speak. (The book was published in 1975...) and with whom she ultimately ended up with. Michael, well, he's a semi-normal teenage guy. (Semi normal as in normal with desiring intimacy, but not normal as in wanting to actually stick with one girl for the rest of his life.) At seventeen I had a first boyfriend, (not lover) and although I wanted to be with him for forever, he obviously didn't. Maybe its my own experience in life, (cynicism at twenty-five,) but somehow I have high doubts that a guy would want to be with a girl for the rest of his life at seventeen years old. Most likely, wouldn't they want to "sow their oats" first before finding a wife? For her time, I would surmise that Katherine would be a very challenging character to swallow. Also another thing is that Katherine's parents, or her mom rather, are very supportive of her, so why doesn't she turn to them out of curiosity? Why not ask them for advice? If for example they would have forbidden her to be with Michael or whatnot I'd get it, but they didn't, so I don't get it?

Theme:

What are some themes for this book? Nothing lasts forever? Don't have high expectations? Life doesn't turn out the way you plan it? (Reminds me of a Yiddish saying my mom told me; Erh der shtract der Gott laght. (Humans make plans while G-d laughs). It's also kind of a relief that Katherine's first time with Michael wasn't good. From personal experience as well, to achieve the romance novel sex, one needs practice and time. When one is a teenager then it doesn't last forever, but what if you're an adult?

Plot:

The plot is pretty detailed and straight-forward, but unfortunately despite the detail, there is something missing within the characters. Its hard to explain.

Author Information:

Judy Blume is one of America's most popular authors. More than sxity million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into sixteen languages. She receives one thousand letters a month from readers of all ages, who share their feelings and concerns with her. (From inside flap)

Opinion:

I didn't understand Katherine's reasons for wanting to become intimate with Michael. She strikes me as one of the women in Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu. (To summarize, Genji basically had sex with these women, but it seems that all of them have tried to resist Genji's advances, and when it was time for sex, they froze and were frightened. In other words, the women in Tale of Genji had very little pleasure to enjoy...) And the whole romance with Theo happened a little too fast for my tastes. If there were more chapters devoted to that attraction, or if perhaps Katherine might have mentioned or at least suggested for Michael to do something such as she initiated kissing or whatnot, then I would buy the story. An interesting read overall, and I'm glad to find something that somewhat matched mine experience. It also would have helped if Judy Blume added an epilogue or something of the kind for Katherine. Does Katherine find her ultimate love? And how she might have developed and evolved throughout the whole time.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Planned Books

Books I'm reading:
'Till Morning Comes-Han Suyin 141/620
The Romance of the Forest-Ann Radcliffe 89/???
The Secret Life of Bees-Sue Monk Kidd 102/302
The Moonstone-Wilkie Collins 115/434
Coyote Dream-Jessica Davis Stein 92/364
The Tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu 150/1090
A tale of two cities- Charles Dickens 73/367
Tailspin-Cara Summers 43/216
Just Surrender-Kathleen O'Reilly 35/218
Lie with me-Cara Summers 42/211
The Foreign Student-Susan Choi 33/325
Crime and Punishment-Fyodor Dostoevsky- 50/522
The Elven Nations Trilogy- Paul Thompson, Douglas Niles, Tonya Carter
1. Firstborn 216/305
D'Artagnan Romances-Alexandre Dumas
4. Louise De La Valliere 488/671
The Story of the Stone-Xueqin Cao
2. The Crab-Flower Club 155/582
The Russian Saga-Kate Furnivall
2. The Russian Concubine 67/517

Future Books:
The Idiot-Fyodor Dostoevsky
Great Expectations-Charles Dickens
The castle of Otranto-Horace Walpole
The Monk- Matthew Lewis
A Sicilian romance-Ann Radcliffe
The Italian-Ann Radcliffe
The red and the black- Stendhal
The Russian Saga-Kate Furnivall
3. The Girl from Junchow
The Story of the Stone-Xueqin Cao
3. The Warning Voice
4. The Debt of Tears
5. The Dreamer Wakes
D'Artagnan Romances-Alexandre Dumas
4. Louise De la Valliere Unpublished information
5. The Man in the iron mask
The Elven Nations Trilogy-Douglas Niles, Paul Thompson, Tonya Carter
2. The Kinslayer Wars
3. The Qualinesti

Friday, July 8, 2011

Instances of Anti-Judaism in Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment

(Signet Classic Version)
Part I.
Chapter 2. Page 24
"Without saying a word, the young man hastened to depart. By now, the inner door was wide open and from the threshold peered several curious onlookers. Brazen, laughing faces pushed their way in, cigarettes or pipes dangling from their mouths, skull caps on their heads. Some were in the bathrobes, some quite unbuttoned, scantily and immodestly dressed and in disarray; some still held playing cards in their hands. They laughed with particular amusement when Marmeladov, pulled by the hair, shouted out that he enjoyed it. Some of them even came into the room." (24)

Raskol'nikov walks Marmeladov home, and at home the wife starts beating Marmeladov up.

Part I
Chapter 6. Page 62
"'She's quite a girl,' he said. 'Rich as a Jew, she's always got money around...she could lend out five thousand just like that, yet she wouldn't turn down a pawn worth a ruble. A lot of our guys have been to her. Only she's a terrible skin-flint...'" (62)

..."From her queerness. No, I'll tell you what. I could kill that damned old woman and make off with her money, I assure you, without the faintest conscience-prick," the student added with warmth. The officer laughed again while Raskolnikov shuddered. How strange it was!

"Listen, I want to ask you a serious question," the student said hotly. "I was joking of course, but look here; on one side we have a stupid, senseless, worthless, spiteful, ailing, horrid old woman, not simply useless but doing actual mischief, who has not an idea what she is living for herself, and who will die in a day or two in any case. You understand? You understand?"

"Yes, yes, I understand," answered the officer, watching his excited companion attentively.

"Well, listen then. On the other side, fresh young lives thrown away for want of help and by thousands, on every side! A hundred thousand good deeds could be done and helped, on that old woman's money which will be buried in a monastery! Hundreds, thousands perhaps, might be set on the right path; dozens of families saved from destitution, from ruin, from vice, from the Lock hospitals--and all with her money. Kill her, take her money and with the help of it devote oneself to the service of humanity and the good of all. What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds? For one life thousands would be saved from corruption and decay. One death, and a hundred lives in exchange--it's simple arithmetic! Besides, what value has the life of that sickly, stupid, ill-natured old woman in the balance of existence! No more than the life of a louse, of a black-beetle, less in fact because the old woman is doing harm. She is wearing out the lives of others; the other day she bit Lizaveta's finger out of spite; it almost had to be amputated."

"Of course she does not deserve to live," remarked the officer, "but there it is, it's nature." (online-literature.com) In a way pages 63-64


The conversation Raskol'nikov overhears between a student and his companion.

Part II
Chapter 1. Page 195
"'...When he came to see us today, though, we all understood this man was not our kind. Not because of the fresh-from-the-barbershop smell he carried in with him, not because he was in such a hurry to show off his brains, but because it's clear that he's a creep and a charlatan, a clown and a Jew. You think he's clever? No, he's a fool. A fool! Well, is he a mate for you? Oh, my God! You see, ladies...'" (195)

Drunken Razumikhin telling Raskol'nikov's mother and sister his impression of Luzhin, Dunia's fiancé.

Part V
Chapter 1. Page 344
"'I made another mistake not giving them any money,' he thought, returning sadly to Lebedziatnikov's room. 'And why teh hell was I such a damned Jew? There wasn't even any point to it! I thought I'd keep them in short supply awhile and then rescue them, so they'd think I was providential-and now look at them!...'"

 Luzhin berating himself for the disaster that happened with Dunia and Pulcheria, Raskol'nikov's sister and mother.

Part VI
Chapter 4. Page 458
'"Damn it all! THe masses drink too much; our educated youth burns itself idly out building fantasies, castles in the air, crippling itself with theories: from somewhere or other the Jews have swooped down on us, stashing all money away: and everything else heads for debauchery.'"

Svidrigailov talking to Raskol'nikov in the bar.

Chapter 6. Pages 486-487
"A small man was leaning his shoulder up against hte big locked gates. Wrapped in a gray army coat, he was wearing a brass 'Achilles Helmet' on his head. His sleepy glance touched coldly on the approaching Svidrigailov, and he had that expression of long suffering querulousness that had been stamped without exception on all Jewish faces. For some time Svidrigailov and Achilles looked at each other in silence. Finally it struck Achilles as improper that a man who wasn't drunk should be standing there, three steps away, without saying a word.

"Still without stirring or changing his position, he asked: 'Nu, vat you vont-ah?'

'Nothing friend. How are you?' said Svidrigailov.

'Diss is no place.'

'My friend, I am leaving for abroad.'

'Abroad?'

'America...'

'America?'

"Svidrigailov drew the revolver and cocked it. Achilles raised his eyebrows.

'Nu, vot! Diss for jokes is no place!'

'Why not?'

 'Because...Vy, because diss is no place.'

'It's all one, my friend. It's a fine place. If anybody asks you, tell them I went-well, tell them I went to America.'

"He placed the revolver at his right temple.

'Nu, here you can't! Diss is no place!' Achilles shook himself awake, and teh pupils of his eyes distended and grew wider and wider.

"Svidrigailov pulled the trigger."

The suicide scene of Svidrigailov and the only witness who saw him.

Book Review of #2 The Return of the Evil Twin by Francine Pascal

Name of book: The return of the evil twin

Author Name: Francine Pascal

ISBN: 0-553-57002-1

Publisher: Bantam

Type of book: Young adult, contemporary

Year it was published: 1995

Summary:

Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield have no idea that their world is about to be turned upside down-again. Last christmas, Margo-a girl who looked, talked and dressed exactly like Jessica and Elizabeth-arrived in Sweet Valley to take what she considered her rightful place in the Wakefield home. On a dark winter's night, Margo fell to a violent death, and the Wakefields thought their nightmare was over. But they didn't know about Nora, Margo's own twin sister. Nora, separated from Margo at birth, is outraged when she discovers that the sister she'd never known is dead...and that California's picture-perfect twins are to blame. Now Nora wants revenge-and she's capable of evil beyond anything Margo could have ever dreamed

Characters:

The characters were unrealistic and boring. Ironically Nora was boring, although the book promises her to be exciting. Margo killed lots of people to reach her goal, and the book says Nora is more evil than Margo. Nora simply kills one person and not so many, so how does this make her evil? The twins were their same old unlearned tabula rosa.

Theme:

Erm...let me think. Theme, theme, hmm...well besides the usual survival of the sister bond there's nothing else in there to mention.

Plot:

As mentioned, suspension of belief is really required in this book, and unfortunately this was a pretty boring book. (The twin look alike having a twin...how original...) I do wish that there was more bonding between Margo and Nora, and that Nora would have been smart instead of being a bumbling idiot. Supposedly Sweet Valley series is coming back to life. Here's hoping that there will be more Nora and Margo in the future.

Author Information:

Francine Pascal (born May 13, 1938) is an author best known for creating the Sweet Valley series of young adult novels. Sweet Valley High was the backbone of the collection, and was made into a popular television series.[2] [3] There were also several spin-offs, including The Unicorn Club and Sweet Valley University. Although most of these books were published in the 1980s and 1990s, they have remained popular such that several titles have been re-released in recent years. (From Wiki.)

Opinion:

I have to be honest: this is the most unbelievable, hackneyed book I have read! Suspending logic is just, well, unbelievable. (Margo kidnapping Jessica and then bringing her to school instead of killing her like she wanted?! Everything being resolved by twin intuition?! And of course, let's not forget the famous constant sixteen years old!) Strangely enough there was no suspense in this book, but only boredom. Nora, Margo's twin sister cannot hold the candle to her twin, and both are simply unbelievable.

1 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review of #1 The Evil Twin by Francine Pascal

Name of book: The Evil Twin

Author Name: Francine Pascal

ISBN: 0-553-29857-7

Publisher: Bantam

Type of book: Young adult, contemporary

Year it was published: 1993

Summary:

Margo's monstrous plan is complete. She came to Sweet Valley to find a new life, and discovered identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield and their "perfect" family. If only Margo can get rid of one of them, she can take her rightful place in the Wakefield home. Now the moment Margo has been waiting for has arrived. The twins aren't speaking to each other. Sweet Valley is in chaos. Mr. and Mrs. Wakefield are out of town. Margo has just enough time to do what she needs to do. Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are in mortal danger.

Characters:

One dimensional characters, although I have to admit that Margo is very creepy. The twins, as I have mentioned previously, don't learn from their mistakes and I constantly rolled my eyes at the things that were happening to them.

Theme:

I would guess the main theme is someone trying to take over your life by killing you and being you. Can your family and friends tell you from the look-alike or not? (The millionth time of the twin intuition and all that is not a good theme I think because the twins seem to learn very little from the lessons.)

Plot:

Even though it seems to be the ending of the miniseries (have not read previous books) this book has good suspense and interest going through it. There is enough information to use and I doubt that reading previous novels is, well, extremely necessary. The ideas of dreams to foretell the future is interesting.

Author Information:

Francine Pascal (born May 13, 1938) is an author best known for creating the Sweet Valley series of young adult novels. Sweet Valley High was the backbone of the collection, and was made into a popular television series.[2] [3] There were also several spin-offs, including The Unicorn Club and Sweet Valley University. Although most of these books were published in the 1980s and 1990s, they have remained popular such that several titles have been re-released in recent years. (From Wiki)

Opinion:

I think this is another book that I liked, well sort of anyways. I felt kind of bad for Margo although the whole blonde thing with the things really made me roll my eyes. One thing that bothered me is when a certain character is pushed off and they frame another guy and not Margo, how did Margo run away before the twins and Todd caught her? Post script, I know that this was written by a ghost writer but for the sake of simplifying, lets say Francine Pascal wrote it.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review of The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio


Name of Book: The Decameron

Author Name: Giovanni Boccaccio

ISBN: 0-14-044-269-3

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Type of book: Adult, historical, anthology, classic

Year it was published: 1350s? (Penguin Edition 1972)

Summary:

The Decameron, here presented entire and unexpurgated in a new translation, remains one of the supreme monuments of world literature. The Black Death of 1348 lends a macabre setting to the hundred stories which are supposed to be recounted, during ten days, by a party of wealthy young patricians taking refuge in a villa outside Florence. With equal felicity they range over comedy and tragedy, morality and bawdy; and the skill with which Boccaccio matches the style and mood of his prose narrative to the tales and their tellers is as astonishing as the variety of a collections which has often been imitated but never bettered.

Stories:
I have many favorite tales from the book I fell in love with and enjoyed. My favorite one in particular was "devil in hell" (Day 3, story 10) story. I also loved first day stories, second and third day stories as well. I think for me it went downhill perhaps after third or fourth or fifth day, I forget. I stopped laughing because the stories seemed same old same old. The ten narrators, besides Filostrato and Dioneo are difficult to distinguish from one another and as mentioned in some reviews, I do wish he would give us more information about them than just the stories.

Theme:

Figuring out the theme is different because its not a single novel but its an anthology so to speak. Most of the themes deal with love, and (un)requited love between the forbidden couple.

Plot:

This is very tell and show type of stories, but despite the ten narrators the stories are interesting and varied with different characters. There are a few that get repeated, but I feel that its not necessary to know all the characters in it. The first half of the book is laugh out loud funny as well as shocking. Unfortunately the latter half is not very good and same old tales get old. (He must have at least 80 if not more married woman falling in love with unmarried man and vice versa. Why be married at all if that's the main couple?)

Author Information:

From book: "Giovanni Boccaccio was born in 1313, either in Florence or Cetaldo. His father, a prosperous merchant banker with the Compagnia dei Bardi, entertained notions of his son following in his footsteps, and between the years 1325-8 sent his son to Naples to learn the trade; he himself moved there in 1327 when he was appointed general manager of the Neapolitan branch. When he realized that Boccaccio had no vocation for banking he arranged for him to study canon law. This was equally unsuccessful and father a few years Boccaccio gave up his legal studies and devoted his time to literature. At this period Naples, under the Angevin king, Robert of Anjou, was one of the major intellectual and cultural centres of Italy. TO judge from references in his Latin Epistles, Boccaccio considered this the happiest period of his life. For political and economical reasons he was forced to return to Florence in 1341. His experiences during the Black Death (1347-9) are recorded in the introduction to the Decameron, and when he met Petrarch in 1350 he had probably begun work on it. He had already gained a reputation as a man of letters in Florence, and the government sent him on several minor missions. In 1354 and 1365 he was sent to the Papal Court at Avignon, and in 1367 to Rome in order to congratulate Urban V on the rturn of the papacy from the Babylonian Captivity. He revisited Naples twice in 1355 and 1362: but each time he came away saddened, unable to recapture his lost youth. He moved to Certaldo and spent the last thirteen years of his life there, dying in 1375, about nine months after Petrach. Boccaccio wrote several other works, including Elegia di madonna Fiammetta, described as 'the first modern psycholoical novel.'"

Opinion:

I really had a difficult time deciding on the rating of this book. On one hand I loved the first half of the stories for as promised they were shocking, unbelievable and something you wouldn't think of associating with the "god fearing clean Medieval works". But after a while, well everything gets same old same old doesn't it? Unfortunately in teh latter half, the stories became boring and I chuckled a few times, while in the first half I laughed non-stop, always eager to move to another story. I first heard of the book many years ago, and read some funny stories in Norton World Anthology for homework. When I heard the premise of the book, I immediately thought it was Edgar Allan Poe's work. (Forgot name of story, something about Crimson Death invading and killing everyone...) the book however, despite the dark time, was written well lightly. This also struck me as sort of a parody. (In literature back then, there was a constant man falling in love with the married woman.) In his stories, the women fell in love with the men back (for the most part,) yet they gave themselves pleasure from it. These stories are shocking but at the same most of them will really cause you to think and perhaps have a change of beliefs.

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Book Review of Feather in the Wind by Madeline Baker

Name of book: Feather in the Wind

Author Name: Madeline Baker

ISBN: 0-8439-4197-9

Publisher: Leisure

Type of book: Adult, contemporary/historical, interracial white female/native american male, romance novel

Year it was published: 1997

Summary:

Black Wind-He gazed out over a land as vast and empty as teh sky, praying for the strength to guide his people, and he saw her face. She came to him in a vision, a woman as mysterious as the new moon over the prairie, as tender as springtime in the Paha Sapa. And he knew his life was changed forever.
Susannah-She saw his face in a faded picture, and his eyes, restless as the wind, seemed to call to her. It was said he'd been hanged nearly a century before for kidnapping a white woman, yet his story seemed unfinished. To the writer in her he was an inspiration, but to the lonely woman within he was a dream come true who would lure her across the years to fulfill a love beyond time.

Characters:
If I would have read this book years and years back, I would have enjoyed the book a lot for its characters, but since I'm 25 and not 16, well, my tastes have changed and so forth. The characters seemed kind of one dimensional and despite the constant excitement they are boring. I didn't like Black Wind's character, and looks-wise, I'm not a fan of bulging muscles the size of footballs or anything like that, but instead prefer guys that have slightly muscled and or slender build. Susannah, in comparison with Black Wind, seems to be kind of a weak character, (and its not only because he kidnaps her all the time...) and unfortunately I was not touched or moved by their love (in this year in particular)

Theme:
I think the main problem was the struggle between the desire to return to familiar and experience the unfamiliar, even wanting to stay in it. The question that was asked was, can humans live among the unfamiliar and even carve out happiness for themselves?

Plot:
While the history and Native American side was particularly intriguing, it sometimes does tend to fall into the point of view switch, even without warnings. This does have the particular elements of introduction and whatnot, and its good that the author did contrast, that is one white good couple and one white bad person and so on.

Author Information:
At the moment none available.

Opinion:
I first bought this book in 1997, and I read it frequently, enjoying the story for one reason or another. However, I read it recently and much to mine surprise did not enjoy the story at all. Perhaps its at the way Black Wind treats Susannah or perhaps it seems a touch bit too fluffy? I am not sure why. I think the reason I liked this book in the past is because it my first interracial romance novel, and the fact that the female character is dark haired and dark eyed. Maybe its me but I honestly cannot see any supposed racism in there. (Perhaps someone can point it out to me?)

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Reading History Part V: Rachel DeWoskin's Repeat After Me: Why I didn't like it

Part V: Rachel DeWoskin's Repeat After Me: Why I didn't like it

When I first heard of the book, I was ecstatic and happy: Wow, a Jewish female character who ends up with a Chinese guy in a book! (I also have interest in dating Asian men.) I thought for sure I'd love this book to pieces and all that. What has never crossed my mind is that I'd end up hating this book. I read the book last year, and I've done something in this book that I've never done in any other book: I skipped sections dealing with the present day in the book. I remember a lot what irritated, but since this will be filled with spoilers, and because I can't think of anything positive to do with it, I decided to put it in this section.

Normally I had very positive experiences reading Asian male and white female love/romance novels. (Han Suyin, Susan Choi, Jade Lee, Marguerite Duras, Takashi Matsuoka?, Kate Furnivall) But this is the first time I didn't have a good experience with that type of novel. So, what are some things that bugged me about it? The jumping time-line, female protagonist acting selfish and her alien personality, and the fact that she celebrates christmas! In my view, the whole book was a mess. (I also found irritating that as someone who has no desire for a daughter, she and other friends of her actually all had daughters! How about a mix-up or something like that?)  I feel guilty for not liking the novel.

In every chapter the author does these two or three things as I remember: she starts it out in 1990s? writes a page and a half and then space later she jumps to present day of 2000? and discusses about what it's like in China. (Would have been easier if she placed years when she did time jumps...) The present day is simply her ruminations and thoughts and unfortunately deal very little with Da Ge. Or sometimes she completely focuses the chapters on the present day in China, of her trying to move on with life by dating a Chinese guy, or else she focuses on the past with no time jump. (I skipped the modern day ruminations of China.)

The relationship between the female protagonist and Da Ge is way too rushed and I had a hard time believing it that he could fall in love with her so quickly! (In my view she could have added more dimensions or more moments of romance and cut down on modern stories!) I also had an extremely difficult time understanding why she was liked. I have to give props to Ms. DeWoskin for creating a compelling Chinese male character. (I've never dated or had a Chinese boyfriend so I cannot say whether or not she writes him accurately... but he is the only thing that I loved about the book. In my view also he was literally begging for a voice in the story...beyond the essays.)

I did wish I could have liked the female protagonist but alas I did not. She is extremely neurotic (saying something about counting fives or speaking in five sentences,) organized and at one point was in a mental hospital where she met Da Ge. (I'm not sure if the author mentioned why Da Ge was also in the mental hospital...) I also found it distasteful that as a Jew she celebrates christmas! And I found it odd that for someone who is a teacher she does little to no research about her husband's culture! (Fine, in 1990s there was no internet, no blogs or anything where personal experiences could be shared, but still, she could have found a way to find out about the Chinese culture before her husband's suicide!) All I remember is feeling anger and frustration while reading the book. Surely she and her husband could have communicated somehow and built a relationship together?

One small part that irritated me the most is daughters. Should I have children, I don't want to have daughters to be honest. Growing up I never got a positive impression of being a girl, and being a realist, well not a good combination. I can already picture spending thousands of dollars on pointless makeup (I don't wear any kind of makeup,) clothes, the grooming, and then if that's not bad enough, there will be teenage years where the girl will desire things I know I can't provide at all. (Growing up, I've never had long-term positive friendships with women besides my mother and possibly sister. Heck I even made up a name for the type of friendships I have had: Semester-Friends.)  It seems that in this book, every single woman has had daughters. (Which is what I meant by mix it up.)

While writing this review, oddly enough, it kind of made me feel appreciative that during this time there are various blogs and sites that talk about Asian man and white woman combo, even books, and at times movies.  I really do wish I had liked this book but alas I didn't.

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 2011

The Foreign Student-Susan Choi
SR: July 8th, 2011
FR: N/A
The Moonstone-Wilkie Collins
SR: December 7th, 2010
FR: N/A
A Tale of Two Cities-Charles Dickens
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
Crime and Punishment-Fyodor Dostoevsky
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
The Secret Life of the bees-Sue Monk Kidd
SR: June 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
Just Surrender...-Kathleen O'Reilly
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
The Romance of the Forest- Ann Radcliffe
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: July 28th 2011
The Tale of Genji-Murasaki Shikibu
SR: May 17th, 2011
FR: N/A
Lie with me-Cara Summers
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: July 24th, 2011
Prey-Lurlene McDaniel
SR: July 14th, 2011
FR: July 14th, 2011
Tailspin-Cara Summers
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
Coyote Dreams-Jessica Davis Stein
SR: June 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
'Till Morning Comes-Han Suyin
SR: June 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
Forever-Judy Blume
SR: Monday July 11th, 2011
FR: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Chenxi and the Foreigner-Sally Rippin
SR: July 14th, 2011
FR: July 18th, 2011
When my name was Keoko-Linda Sue Park
SR: July 18th, 2011
FR: N/A


The Story of the Stone-Xueqin Cao
2. The Crab-Flower Club
SR: May 17th, 2011
FR: N/A
D'Artagnan Romances-Alexandre Dumas
4. Louise De la Valliere
SR: September 27th, 2010
FR: July 31st, 2011
Lydia Saga-Kate Furnivall
2. The Russian Concubine
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: N/A
Sweet Valley High-Francine Pascal
1. The Evil Twin
SR: July 1st, 2011
FR: July 4th, 2011
2. The Return of the Evil Twin
SR: July 4th, 2011
FR: July 7th, 2011
The Eleven Nations Trilogy- Paul B Thompson, Tonya R. Carter, Niles Douglas
1. Firstborn
SR: December 16th, 2010
FR: July 14th, 2011
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