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review 2017-10-20 16:51
Love and Physics
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle

I reread this for the Classics for Beginners group read via the Audible audiobook narrated by Hope Davis. The audio format was a good idea. I was able to do other things and still experience the story again as an adult. While it definitely feels of the time period it was written, it didn't feel that dated to me. I will divide my comments into sections because that seems like a good approach for this book.

Characters

The characterization is in my opinion the focus of this novel. The main characters include Meg Murry, her younger brother Charles Wallace, Calvin O'Keefe, a slightly older boy that goes to Meg's school, and the mysterious Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which. Secondary characters include Meg's mother and father and brothers, and the various beings that they encounter on their journey.

Meg's characterization is complicated. At times she is unlikable because she tends to be moody and somewhat whiny. This is understandable, so a great degree, considering how her father disappeared and she misses him, and also her awkwardness as a person. Meg is brilliant when it comes to mathematics, but her social abilities are lacking.

Calvin is a character that balances Meg in very good ways. Calvin is a young man of words and communication. His ability to get along with everyone is crucial on their journey. He is able to understand people and talk to them on their level. And he's a very humane person. He takes the time to understand that brilliant people often don't bother with.

Charles Wallace is a special young boy. His intelligence is off the charts, frankly eerie. This never explained. However, his unique persona is at the crux of this novel. The great evil that they encounter happily tries to explain his specialness for its own purpose.

Mrs. Whatsit, Who and Which are strange ladies that Charles Wallace and Meg become acquainted with, and help them on their journey to find their father. They seem like eccentric women but they are so much more. The relationship that Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin develops with them is one of loving support.

Meg's mother Katherine was not in this book very much. I wish we had seen her viewpoint more, but that wasn't the goal of the author. Meg's father Alexander plays a bigger role, but he is more ancillary compared to the three kids. He is their motivation and he's the catalyst for the story. The two twins Sandy and Dennys are used more as a contrast to Meg and Charles Wallace, because they are the relentlessly normal offspring in the family.

The evil beings in this novel are nebulous, not really explained, but definitely threatening. I think there are some very philosophical aspects that go alone with the concept of evil in this story that will attempt to delve into shortly.

There's another character that I can't get into without spoiling this review, so I will just say that Meg encounters a being who becomes a bit of an analogue for her mother and father. She connects to this being and gets a necessary sense of acceptance and caring that she hasn't experienced for some time due to the situation of her father being gone, her mother also being a scientist and having three other brothers with which she has to share attention.

Plot/Storyline:

This is a science fiction novel with a healthy dose of philosophy and a debatable aspect of religion/spirituality. That last part would depend on a person's viewpoint on the subject. Meg and Charles Wallace are essentially on a journey to find their father, and Calvin comes along for the ride. They travel to other worlds using the concept of tessering. This is something that Meg's mother and father stumbled across, but the Mrs. W know a lot more about doing right. Because this book is written for a younger audience (late tweens to teens), the danger that the kids encounter is there but it's not illustrated in detail. Nevertheless, you get the idea how dire the situation is for the kids.

Themes/Philosophy:

"A Wrinkle in Time" is a novel about family, sacrifice, relationships, and the concepts of good versus evil. I will attempt to explain what I got out of the novel, probably imperfectly.

Being intelligent is a valued commodity. I think that L'Engle seems to want to say that being smart in and of itself brings along with it some challenges and doesn't protect a person from its consequences of solve all the problems that they might have to deal with in their lives. I believe this is well-illustrated through the struggles of Meg, Charles Wallace, and her mom and dad. Dad might be brilliant, but his brilliance alone cannot save Charles Wallace. Meg might be a math genius, but it doesn't make her excel in school or get along better with others. On the other hand, Calvin is a well-balanced person who is intelligent in his way, but also has emotional intelligence and is gifted with needed communication skills.

Meg shows how we must conquer our fears and do what needs doing in spite of them. Sometimes we go into situations knowing we are out of our depth, but this is inevitable. We have to just be present and do what needs doing, and if we're blessed that's enough. Meg also illustrates how we can strike out in our pain at others because of our suffering. With maturity comes the understanding that we all have struggles, and hurting others because we're in pain never achieves what we desire. She learns to temper her fears and frustrations and to focus on the goals and objective. I think that's a very good lesson for people of all ages.

Charles Wallace shows the cost of arrogance. He thought that because he was crazy intelligent and very unique, that would be all he needed to conquer the enemy, but it only got him into a worse situation. Arrogance can definitely write checks that we can't cash.

The concepts of spirituality are present in this novel. Many times, characters quote Bible verses. The true nature of some of the character makes me think of celestial and demonic beings. The theme of self-sacrifice, agape love, and sacrificial love is at the heart of Christian ethos. I don't think anyone could deny that these definitely point to the Christian faith of the author L'Engle. However, she doesn't force a telescopic view of the world through Christian theology on the reader. She cites and includes some philosophic concepts that more orthodox-thinking Christians would have a hard time with. She doesn't put Christians on a higher level in society than non-Christians who have also made important contributions. Also, science is a big part of this novel. On a personal level, I didn't find a believe in scientific concepts incongruous with spiritual belief, but this is not the case with fundamentalist Christian believers. For that reason, they would not like this book. Also, narrow thinking Christians won't like the idea that the Mrs. seem like kindly old witches.

Some Shortcomings of This Novel:

I would still give this five stars because I still love this book and it's also from nostalgia of when I read it many years ago. Meg's temper tantrums could be problematic. Also, there is a scene where Charles Wallace is very violent towards his sister that might be upsetting to some readers. The conclusion is a bit too abrupt for my tastes, quite honestly. I've found that to be the case with many books I've read lately. I said earlier in this book that it doesn't feel that dated. I'm sort of wrong in the sense that the concepts of family are very traditional. Meg feels like she can't go on without having her father's presence (as though he is a lodestar for his family). That in itself is not a bad thing, but modern readers who didn't grow up with this sort of family probably wouldn't connect to this. Also, when they go to Camazotz, it feels like "Leave it to Beaver" on steroids. Very traditional, 1950s sort of view of life. There is no allusion whatsoever to multiculturalism or the concept that all families don't look the same. I did like how L'Engle makes a point that this sort of societal design is sterile and kills any kind of ingenuity or joy of living.

Is This Science Fiction?:

That's a question that will inevitably come up for a reader. I think it definitely is science fiction. Google defines science fiction as: "fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets." Under this definition, it would be difficult to argue against this being a science fiction novel. A huge aspect of this novel is the concept of physics and using it to navigate through 'wrinkles' in time. Also, the book involves traveling to other planets and exploring what life on those planets would be like. Also how advanced science technologies would change life as we know it. The thing that might trip up some readers is the equally strong aspect of philosophy to this story. I don't think these two things are mutually exclusive. In fact, they can go hand in hand. Good versus evil is at the root of most good fiction. And this is played out endlessly in everyday life. Sometimes, it's subtle. Many of us can argue that we don't meet truly evil people, but when you do encounter evil, you always know it deep in your gut. If you haven't read this book, you should decide for yourself and let me know what you think of it as a science fiction book.

I would recommend this book to readers who haven't had a chance to explore this book. I liked the audiobook version. Hope Davis is a good narrator, and she acquits herself well in styling each character. Many years after my first reading, it's still one of my favorites.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-17 23:02
Book review : YOU Caroline Kepnes
You: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes

September 29- October 11

        When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card. There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting. As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder. This book was all kinds of fucked up but I really enjoyed it . 

Review :This book is about Joe who becomes obsessed with a girl who came into the bookstore he works at he ends up stalking her and ends up taking the guy she's fucking hostage and eventually kills him . Beck and Joe are both terrible people Beck is very fake and her friend peach is totally obsessed with her . Joe and Beck end up dating and what I think is more creepy about this book it's not saying Beck it says YOU . Joe realizes peach is in his way and tries to kill her also and eventually does . Beck pulls away from Joe and Joe ends up seeing someone else but he's still obsessed with Beck but they end up getting back together but she finds out about everything all the creepy stuff of her's he was storing and he keeps her hostage in the bookstore in the basement and he ends up killing her this book was so fucked up .

       

Quotes : The problem with books is that they end. They seduce you. They spread their legs to you and pull you inside. And you go deep and leave your possessions and your ties to the world at the door and you like it inside and you don't want for your possessions or your ties and then, the book evaporates.”

 

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text 2017-10-16 13:59
Reading progress update: I've read 33%.
Out of Nowhere (Middle of Somewhere Book 2) - Roan Parrish

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review 2017-10-02 17:55
THE DRAGONS OF NOVA BY: ELISE KOVA
The Dragons of Nova (Loom Saga) - Elise Kova

 

    I have to say I really enjoyed this sequel to The Alchemists of Loom! It had everything I look for in a sequel, compelling character development and riveting plot progression. I liked the Alchemists of Loom, but I LOVED The Dragons of Nova. 

 

 

I am so happy we got a better view of Nova in this one, and all the juicy dragonian politics that come along with it. I found Arianna's time there so engrossing, being completely surrounded by the dragons she despises, even (if rather reluctantly) working with them to bring down the biggest, baddest one of them all. Seeing Cvareh in his natural habitat was also a treat. I think that he was so out of his element in the first book that often he seemed to be floundering, but in Nova we got to see this other side to him, one where he is well respected and a real pillar of strength to his people. 

 

 

As much as I liked Nova, I was also glad to continue Florence's journey with the rebels, and even more so her personal journey. It was nice to see her stepping out of Ari's shadow and really coming into her own. Florence had learned a lot of invaluable things from Ari, but watching her discover the world around her for herself and deciding on her own what is important to her and what to fight for. 

 

That ending was EXPLOSIVE, and I am dying to know what is going to happen next. I honestly can't wait to get my hands on the next book! 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-09-30 05:47
Book review : Siege and storm Leigh bardugo
Siege and Storm - Leigh Bardugo

May 5- September 28

Darkness never dies. 

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Siege and Storm is the second book in The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Book one, Shadow and Bone, is a New York Times bestseller, and book 3, Ruin and Rising, is an Amazon Best Book of the Year and a USA Today bestseller. This title has Common Core connections, and this deluxe paperback edition features bonus materials like an interview with Leigh Bardugo, a bonus short story, "The Tailor," and more. 

Review : I enjoyed the second book a lot Mal and Alina are on the run from the darkling but he finds them and are taken to a ship where we meet some interesting characters Toyla and Tamar and Stumhold who is one of my favorite characters of this series . Alina gets the second amplifier Stumhold helps Alina and Mal escape the darkling . Alina puts on the second amplifer Stumhold takes Alina and Mal to the palace and it turns out he's a prince who was using a disguise he's prince Nickoli and then Alina punches him . Alina is putting together a team to distroy the darkling and keep ravka safe . Alina keeps seeing the darkling and thinks she's loosing her mind . But the darkling is back and a lot of people die but she agrees to go with him and she tries to kill him but she almost dies but she doesn't I love this series and writing is very magical .
Quotes :
Watch yourself, Nikolai,” Mal said softly. “Princes bleed just like other men.”
Nikolai plucked an invisible piece of dust from his sleeve. “Yes,” he said. “They just do it in better clothes.”

The less you say, the more weight your words will carry.”

“Of course not," said Sturmhond. "Anything worth doing always starts as a bad idea.”

I took a breath. “Your highness—”
“Nikolai,” he corrected. “But I’ve also been known to answer to ‘sweetheart’ or ‘handsome.

“I have loved you all my life, Mal," I whispered through my tears. "There is no end to our story.”

And there's no way I'm leaving you alone with Prince Perfect."
"So you don't trust me to resist his charms?"
"I don't even trust myself. I've never seen anyone work a crowd the way he does. I'm pretty sure the rocks and trees are getting ready to swear fealty to him.”

“You heard Prince Perfect," Mal said, and joined us at the table. Nikolai grinned. "I've had a lot of nicknames, but that one is easily the most accurate.

Mal snickered.
"What's so funny?"
"I just pictured the Darkling being cornered by a sweaty duchess trying to have her way with him.”

“Promise not to kick me again, and I'll promise not to kiss you again," he said.
"I only kicked you because you kissed me!

“Scars made good reminders.”

You just punched a prince, Alina. I guess we can add one more act of treason to our list.”
I shook out my sore hand. My knuckles smarted. “First of all, are we so sure he really is a prince? And second, you’re just jealous.”
“Of course I’m jealous. I thought I was going to get to punch him. That isn’t the point.

So what did Jes say?' I asked again, when my brain felt a bit less scrambled.
'He said I should take good care of you.'
'That's all?'
Mal cleared his throat. 'And . . . he said he would pray to the God of Work to heal your affliction.'
'My what?'
'I many have told him that you have a goiter.'
I stumbled. 'I beg your pardon?'
'Well, I had to explain why you were always clinging to that scarf.'
I dropped my hand. I'd been doing it again without even realizing.
'So you told him I had a goiter?' I whispered incredulously.
'I had to say something. And it makes you quite a tragic figure. Pretty girl, giant growth, you know.'
I punched him hard in the arm.
'Ow! Hey, in some countries, goiters are considered very fashionable.'
'Do they like eunuchs, too? Because I can arrange that.'
'So bloodthirsty!'
'My goiter makes me cranky

 

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