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review 2016-08-31 04:17
In The Skin Of A Monster - Simply Brilliant
In the Skin of a Monster - Kathryn D. Barker

I first picked this book up because it was about a mass shooting. This is not a subject I know a lot about expect that it seems to happen quite a bit in America, so I find it an interesting topic, horrible but interesting. In the Skin of a Monster had an extra element - the shooter was one half of an identical twin, and her sister is still alive. Now that alone intrigued me, this poor girl, having to deal with all the emotions and fall out from the shooting, while looking like the shooter? I'm pretty sure it couldn't get worse.

Well what can I say, this book was nothing like I expected. For one it has a paranormal element which was totally left field. When the paranormal element made an appearance I admit to being rather disappointed, I thought there was enough interesting things going on already without the need to make something supernatural, plus I had my heart set on realistic fiction. Well let me say I'm so glad this was different! Barker did a superb job of creating the world, characters with a perfect blend of complicated emotions, horror and anticipation. I devoured this book, and couldn't make myself put it down once I got started! Watching Alice (MC) struggle to carry all the guilt and shame that should have never been her to begin with, her twisted belief she deserved all her sisters punishment, and seeing how everything unfolded was just incredible. These brave, responsible kids made this book, I loved every moment. If I could rate above 5 stars I would! I kind of wished it never ended.

IMO I can see how some people may be disappointed with this ending, personally I thought it was rather brilliant, if a little sad. Much more realistic than the usual cliched endings, even if for once I was cheering for things to be different.

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text 2015-04-10 21:26
Identical by Ellen Hopkins
Identical - Ellen Hopkins

in this book two twin sisters named kaeleigh and raeanne are identical down to the dimple. there dad is a district court judge and their mom is a politician. Kaeleigh is the misplaced focus of daddys love. the twins are keeping a secret from eachother that should not be kept but im not sure what yet i just started this book but its really good so far.

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review 2015-03-08 16:22
Identical - Scott Turow

A slow start, with confusing sections that developed into a great plot, but was spoiled a tad by trying too hard. This afternoon I will have to attend PA plot addicts anonymous.

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review 2014-07-06 21:15
57/100: Identical by Ellen Hopkins
Identical - Ellen Hopkins

There were moments when I was convinced I'd give this book two stars. Near the end, I was tempted to give it four. My emotions and reactions to it fluctuated quite a bit, so I settled on three.

I've been curious about Hopkins for a while but haven't ever committed to reading her because I'm not all that into gritty, "drug" stories, which seems to be a staple of her repertoire. Even though this one is focused on sexual abuse/incest, drugs do make an appearance. And sex, including S&M stuff. And the sweet male best-friend-hoping-to-be-more. And family secrets, and alcoholism, and eating disorders, oh, and a suicide attempt. Basically, Hopkins attempted to squeeze so much teen "problem novel" fare into this book that I honestly wondered how she could have any subject matter left over for her other books.

It is gritty. And while I hate to say it, I can't help feeling it was ... trashy. I know thousands of teens must deal with the reality of incest and abuse, but something about this felt so over-the-top that it seemed sensationalized rather than true-to-life and sensitive to real survivors. Still, I didn't see the ending coming, and that was what almost tempted me to give it four stars. It's worth reading if you like grit or are curious about Ellen Hopkins. But I can't say I'd enthusiastically recommend it to anyone, teen or adult.

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review 2014-04-17 13:11
Nowhere near as funny as Monty Python
Classic Comedies (Signet classics) Lysistrata, The comedy of Errors, The Inspector General, The Misanthrope,Candida - Aristophanes,Plautus,Moliere,Gogol,Feydeau,Shaw,Henri Bergson,Barbara Freedman

This is basically a collection of plays that fall into the category of comedies and are bookended by an introduction and four essays on the nature of comedy as an art form. One reviewer on Goodreads has described this book has a collection is pretty ordinary plays bookended by two classics, though I personally feel that Charney's selection is not all that bad (and while I believe that there are better comedies than Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors, it does fit into the theme of the mistaken identity which a number of other plays – though to all of them – use).

The problem that I had with this book is that there is a saying (which I most likely made up) that goes along the line of: the best way to kill a joke is to write an essay – and that is what I feel that this book effectively does, or at least with the brief introductions to the plays. However, while comedy exists to be enjoyed and to bright up what, at times, can be a rather miserable life, there are certain types of comedy that are designed to be discussed and analysed (such as satire). However, the main type of comedy that this book explores is farce, a style of comedy that I really do not believe opens itself up to intellectual stimulation. It would be sort of like writing a PhD on this show:

 

http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120921230335/gameshows/images/e/e2/America%27s_Funniest_Home_Videos_Logo_1990_b.jpg

 

 

In fact, after reading some of the essays (and comments) on the plays in this book, I now understand why, when this guy:

 

http://www.billandtedsexcellentadventure.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Sigmund-Freud.jpg

 

 

said to a couple of girls at the San Dimas shopping mall in this movie:

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bc/Bill_%26_Ted.jpg

 

'I think you are suffering from a mild case of hysteria' the girls looked at him and called him a geek, and was then scolded by Billy the Kid and Socrates. It is a clear indication that comedy, in many of its forms, really cannot be analysed (and it is interesting that Charney includes an essay by Freud in this book).

However, there is one interesting essay at the back and that is the essay on the concept of the comic hero. I have never really considered the idea of the comic hero before, however I believe that he is a perfectly legitimate style of character. The comic hero extends the concept of the clown and the fool: a type of character who can pretty much get away with murder. We see this in King Lear where the fool is able to say things to the king that would result in the execution of many others. That is partly because nobody ever takes the clown seriously, and because they do not take the clown seriously, the clown has the ability to be brutally honest. The comic hero, however, is a step back from that, and they have suggested that a classic example of that type of hero is Charlie Chaplin (though I have not seen any of his movies, but since they are on You-Tube, I do plan of watching them at some stage). Another style would be Jackie Chan (who models himself after Charlie Chaplin) – that is the character that simply cannot die and has no fear, even though they may be hanging from a clock handle hundreds of stories above the ground. However, the other aspect of this type of character is that they have what can be considered fool's luck. Not only can they not die, they seem to not only be able to survive whatever life throws at them, but can do so with a smile on their face. In a way it makes me want to watch some Chaplin to see this in action.

 

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/912683724
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