It's been such a difficult time this year when it comes to reading. So many things have gotten in the way of what I had planned but that's okay. I'm still reading and I'm reading good books on top of that! The Perks of Being a Wallflower is no exception! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though it was a difficult one to read. There are some heavy themes throughout the book, which I will get to in a bit, that really destroys the reader. However difficult it was, I really do think that this book is important to read.
The story follows "Charlie" and his experiences as he enters high school. We don't know if that's his true name, we don't know who anyone in the story really is. We are just there to listen and experience his life with him. And as simple as this story is, the themes themselves are not. There's drug abuse, child abuse, rape, homophobia, and violence. If these themes are not something you're comfortable reading, then you might want to skip this one. Otherwise, I do think it's worth reading.
The writing is very basic and compliments Charlie as a character. His way of thinking is simple, blunt, to the point. He also starts off with his thoughts very scattered and as the book progresses and he sorts out his thoughts, the writing, too, becomes smooth. I actually really like how Chbosky used that as a writing device. It was fantastic to read and I loved reading from Charlie's perspective. He's sweet but flawed and even when he became upset and his thoughts became scattered, he was still a delight to read from.
The side characters were interesting as well. Patrick, a friend of Charlie's, is such a wonderful person. He's funny, sweet, charming, and one of my favorite people in the book. Sam, another friend of Charlie's, looks out for him and cares for him whilst working hard on trying to change her life for the better. I actually really like how the characters are all going through their own thing and are trying to make something of themselves. It was realistic and painful.
I really like this book. It's raw, painful, joyful. and beautiful. I do recommend you give this book a shot if you're interested in learning what these characters go through. It's quite a read.
Fear: Trump in the White House
Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 2nd edition (September 11, 2018)
Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton
I’m pretty sure this was the first time I ever picked up a new book anticipating a depressing reading experience.
That’s because, like many Americans, I watched the election results of Nov. 9, 2016 with amazement and horror. I saw my country go insane. In the months and years since Trump’s inauguration, I’ve seen a narcissist, often paranoid president looking at the world through Trump-colored glasses. Policy wise, it’s been clear he has protectionist, populist, and nationalist views. It’s been clear he operates on the fly, often responding emotionally to any perceived threats or attacks. He’ll lie at the drop of a hat.
And all of this has been publicly chronicled on a daily basis since the presidential campaign. So Bob Woodward’s controversial new book doesn’t offer many surprises, other than the minutiae of who said what to whom and when. For me, I occasionally felt a glimmer of hope when I realized Trump has had some clear-headed advisors who’ve butted heads with more right-wing ideologues, although usually for relatively brief periods.
The greatest surprise for me was reading claims that some of these more clear-minded advisors found all manner of tricks to keep Trump from signing potentially dangerous documents, notably curtailing long alliances with countries like South Korea. True, as others have noted, this means unelected members of Trump’s inner circle have subverted the will of our elected president. I admit, I’m glad they did. I realize this places me inside a serious moral conundrum, but I’m too far away from any offices of power for my thoughts to matter.
Woodward’s uncited sources provide great specificity to all the conversations and actions the interviewees shared with Woodward, although not every issue of the Trump presidency was covered. There’s no discussion, for example, of the president’s ban on Muslim travelers to the U.S. But, without question, the most controversial aspect to the book is the lack of attribution to the “anonymous sources.” As Woodward has been assuring us in interviews the past few weeks, all his notes, memos, diaries, and tapes will ultimately be open to public scrutiny when he donates them all to a library archive.
Till then, I think Bob Woodward has built up enough of a record that give him serious credibility and trust. Also, the book is a straight-forward bare-bones narrative of information with little obvious editorial postulating, although it’s clear who he thinks are the heroes and who are the villains.
My one hope is that Trump supporters will take the time to read this and not respond like the Morgan County Library in West Virginia which has refused to shelf the book. On what grounds? No one is saying.
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Sept. 18, 2018 at BookPleasures.com:
This is another book I read with a group of book buddies. I recommend reading all books with a buddy. It makes the experience so entertaining!
This book is about The House by the Cemetery, if you were wondering. The house is actually abandoned and rumored to be extremely haunted. An entrepreneur with more money than brains, apparently, decides it will be the perfect location to create a Halloween spook house. Yep, nothing could go wrong with that idea, right?
“This place is rotting, stinking and creepy. It should be left alone to trot into the earth and disappear.”
The story follows a group of makeup artists/designers and a carpenter named Mike as they prepare the house for opening night. Mike spends long hours all alone making the decrepit old house safe for thrill-goers. One day a young, attractive lady named Katie and her not so attractive friend (we know this because it’s mentioned every time she makes an appearance) start lurking around the house. Katie decides she and her friend want to help assist Mike with his work. He’s a sucker for any female attention and agrees to let them pal around and “assist” even though I think OSHA might’ve had some issues with that scenario. But OSHA will be the least of this guy’s worries once strange and terrible things begin happening in and around the house . . .
That’s the setup and as you can probably imagine nothing goes to plan. There are secret rooms, bones in the freaking walls, relationship dramas, kinky sexy times on a bed of nails, and something sinister at play behind the scenes. Everything culminates in a spectacular bloodbath that will thrill any gorehound. I LOVED the B-movie-ish bits of this book and the horror film references but I didn’t really love some of the extraneous character scenes. There were a bit too many exchanges that felt like padding and only served to make me dislike a few of the characters rather than feel any sort of compassion for them. But I read an ARC provided by Flame Tree Press so maybe your copy will be different? I also thought Mike was a complete fool. His blindness to reality was something to behold. He was both amusing and annoying in his sex-blindness. I wish there had been less of Mike and more time spent on the character building of a few of the other side-characters.
I’d give this story a 3 ½. It was a decently creepy, atmospheric story until probably the last third when it took a predictable turn for the bloody. I liked the bloody, don’t get me wrong, but I could see where it was heading and my need to read began to wane. I know I’ve probably read too many books and seen too many movies like this for my own good but it is what it is.
I think THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY is a decent choice for the Halloween spooky season if you’re in the mood for some creepy thrills, some foolish characters and a sea of blood.
I'm using this one for my slasher stories square in Halloween Bingo 2018.
09/09/18- "Southern Gothic"
09/11/18- "Terrifying Women"
09/13/18- "A Grimm Tale"
09/15/18- "Modern Masters of Horror"
09/17/18- "Creepy Carnivals"
Squares I've Read on My Card that are not called yet:
SUPERNATURAL: The Mouth of the Dark
MURDER MOST FOUL: Big Little Lies
SLASHER STORIES - The House by the Cemetery
Dave wasn’t looking for Nicholas…much less love. Everyone knows he’s a one-woman man and when Denny decides that he’s not the right man for her, Dave resigns himself to being her friend and living a life alone running his tour guide business.
Dave’s not gay so the last thing he expects is to develop feelings for the son of a British Earl who’s hired him to help find an elusive blue butterfly located somewhere in the Australian Outback and it’s as the two men go on this journey together in search of Nicholas’s elusive butterfly that Dave begins to develop feelings for the unusual Brit feelings that inevitably go beyond friendship and ultimately beyond a vacation fling for both men.
I loved how fluidly both parts of this story melted together. The romance and the journey to find the butterflies. Two different parts of the same story that worked together beautifully, each side working to enhance the other part.
I also loved the setting for this story…Australia. It’s one of those places that while I’ll probably never get to go there, it’s always captivated me so reading stories set in Australia is my way of visiting a place that I’d love to visit but may never get a chance to.
It’s been a long time…maybe ever, since I’ve found a story that felt as genuine and organic in its progression as this one. I never found myself questioning that Dave, who was for all intents and purposes straight was feeling an attraction for another man or anyone for that matter given that until Nicholas he’d only ever loved one other person.
‘The Butterfly Hunter’ is a story that while as beautiful and timid as the insect that it’s named for is also the kind of story that eases into your mind and soul with such a gentle touch and captures the readers attention and left me wanting more, which I will get, hopefully soon…or at least as soon as time allows.
I’m pretty eclectic when it comes to my book choices and while I love a good murder mystery or what I lovingly call a ‘blow sh*t-up’ book, fantasy, urban fantasy, romance, paranormal, I’ll even do shifter books, seriously you’ll find a little of just about everything on my bookshelves including books like this…books that are soft and gentle, books that sooth my soul and bring out the romantic in me…they may even garner a few tears from me and while this one didn’t quite get the tears flowing there was definitely a point at which I felt my heart being tugged on as I held my breath and waited for what would happen next. ‘The Butterfly Hunter’ isn’t a fast moving action packed adventure or a hard-hitting mystery, it’s not even a gut wrenching romance…nope this one’s a sweet, gentle story not about finding what your looking for but about realizing what you need and letting it into your life.
For anyone who’s looking to read a book that’s sweet, romantic, has zero to no angst, gives you a peek at someplace you’ve never been all while telling a story that will warm your heart and leave you smiling.
A copy of ‘The Butterfly Hunter’ was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.