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Book Reviews

A Head Full of Ghosts – Paul Tremblay Book Review

Other jackasses have tried to argue that it’s John Barrett, not Marjorie Barrett, who becomes The Possession ’s true tragic figure, and that the show is really about his descent into madness, his being possessed by the ugliness of hatred and zealotry. His daughter’s illness, his family’s dysfunction, his unemployed status, and his beloved Catholic church abandoning him post-exorcism, are the aforementioned catalysts to his own psychotic break (see the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice and their breakdown of the four types of men who kill their families), and blah, blah, blah. Fuck that bullshit.

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Book Reviews

The Pretty Ones – Ania Ahlborn Book Review

I don’t think I’ve read such a lovely and creepy story about a woman and her brother since The Visitors – Catherine Burns.

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Book Reviews

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane Book Review

I’ve seen the DiCaprio movie ages ago and when I saw the book that inspired the movie during my charity shop runs, I decided to give it a go.

While I vaguely remembered the plot, I thought the book had a good premise and interesting characters, enough to keep me entertained for a few hours.

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Unfortunately, these is one of those rare occasions where the movie was actually better than the book and I could not wait to put it down and start another read.

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Book Reviews

Twisted – Andrew E. Kaufman Book Review

What a thrill this book has been! I started reading and I couldn’t put it down. It was like a book on anti-gravity. All jokes aside, this book is a hell of a roller-coaster. What is worse than losing your mind? Is knowing it’s happened before to one member of your family and knowing it’s now happening to you and now you are the one who presents a danger to others.

The plains of human suffering are slippery slopes. Every traveller is so frail and unsteady, vulnerable to even the slightest threat of doubt or uncertainty. The goal here is to change his emotional climate. To normalise the feelings he has about his past trauma so that he’s able to talk about them.

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Book Reviews

Symptoms of being human * by Jeff Garvin

Ever wanted to read a novel about a genderfluid teen suffering from dysphoria?

“The world isn’t binary. Everything isn’t black or white, yes or no. Sometimes it’s not a switch, it’s a dial. And it’s not even a dial you can get your hands on; it turns without your permission or approval” -Riley”

This book is filled with tons of information about the daily struggles of being genderfluid. The issues with being androgynous in a society where you have to be a boy or a girl. Riley is sometimes a feminine boy or a very tomboyish girl. He/she is a sympathetic character and the bullying Riley endures will surely speak to readers.

Riley explains over and over what gender fluidity means, how it makes them feel every day, what it was like being a child in a gendered toy store. It’s so repetitive that I started skipping through the chapters looking for some sort of a plot – a story..  Perhaps it would have made a better short story, rather than a full-length novel. Perhaps it will work for readers who have never heard of gender fluidity and are prepared to read lots of information. For those already open-minded and somewhat informed – it’s a little boring.

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Book Reviews

Shooting Stars 01 Cinnamon – V. C. Andrews Book Review

For Cinnamon, dreaming of imaginary worlds and characters is her only escape from her mother’s breakdowns. Her grandmother’s overbearing control. Her family’s turmoil. But Cinnamon is discovering something special about herself, a gift from deep within that sets her apart: a talent for the theater that would finally give her a chance…to truly escape.

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Book Reviews

Little Girl Gone by Alexandra Burt Book Review

I had a busy weekend!  I devoured Leave Me Novel by Gayle Forman * Book Review and then I decided to pick the book next to it to see how it goes. The subjects were so similar that I had trouble writing my reviews as I kept on mixing them up. One deals with a mother leaving her children in order to escape and find herself, the other with another mother going through a severe case of post-partum depression whose girl goes missing and she is the prime suspect in a case of possible murder.

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Book Reviews

Leave Me Novel by Gayle Forman * Book Review

So this was how it was. People entered your life. Some would stay. Some would not. Some would drift but would return to you

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I started picking up some books from my ever-expanding bookshelf and I had the pleasure of hitting one of my favourite authors: Gayle Forman – who wrote If I Stay (Gayle Forman)

Meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.

Afterwards, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: She packs a bag and leaves. But, as is so often the case, once we get to where we’re going, we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is finally able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from those she loves and from herself.

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Book Reviews

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

After having read some really bad books recently, I decided to pick up a classic. Ken Kesey. The book which inspired so many movies and my favourite play in Cluj-Napoca (sorry Shakespeare).

“But like always when I try to place my thoughts in the past and hide there, the fear close at hand seeps in through the memory.” 

Having re-read it, I noticed loads and loads of racist terms (especially about the three black attendants) and some misogynistic undertones which escaped me on my first read (about 10 years ago). I must say I still like it. It’s a product of its time and if it means it has to be racist, so be it.

“Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”

50f66698d703f38e4347241ca50dec13“Cuckoo’s Nest” tells the same story as the most popular novels of the last century,” it focuses on the modern paradox of trying to be human in the well-oiled machine of a capitalist democracy, where you must be either a savior or a slave. There is also a third option:

“You can create and live in a new system…not rebelling against or carving into your culture, but creating a vision of your own and working to make that option real.” (Chuck Palahniuk)

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Book Reviews Stephen King

The End of the Whole Mess * Stephen King

The Story

In a little town there were two brothers. One was bright, one was a genius. Howard and Bobby got along like the house on fire and the older brother could feel only awe and amazement when looking at the stuff his little brother invented.

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When he was small he came up with an airplane design that had the wings backwards saying that’s how all airplanes should be as that’s how hawks take off after catching their prey. He blanked out the TV channels and put in his own show featuring the effects of beans on their father and other jokes.

As he grows older, he grows quieter – much like the younger sister in the Secret life of Bees. He realizes that the world is a scary place, filled with bad people and starts feeling the need to change it.
Much like Crake he has a solution for human violence.
While doing sociological research in Texas, Bobby used crime statistics to create a sort of topographic map which displayed a geographical pattern of violent crime. Examining the map, Robert noted diminishing levels of crime centered on the town of La Plata. When he arrives to investigate, he finds that this town has never had any violent crime. Bobby is ultimately able to determine that the cause of the non-aggression is the presence of a chemical unique to the town’s water supply, a phenomenon that is mentioned in (but had nothing to do with the causations of) King’s earlier novel It. Even minimal exposure to the chemical will calm down an angry person or animal, and Bobby has been able to isolate the chemical and reduce it to concentrated form.

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Several months later it is discovered that, to the Fornoys’ horror, there was another constant about La Plata that was not studied until after the substance was released. It does eliminate aggression, and increases calm, but it does the job too well. It builds up, out of control, in a subject’s system, ultimately giving them symptoms resembling dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and eventually resulting in death. Howard’s journal entries after this point begin to include increasing amounts of grammar, spelling, and other mistakes, eventually devolving into incoherence as Howard succumbs to the effects of the chemical. It is implied the human race will also eventually die out as adults start to forget how to care for newborn children.

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Connections

the-end-of-the-whole-mess.jpgThe premise of the story was also part of the plot of the 2005 film, Serenity. The colonists of the planet Miranda released a chemical into the atmosphere that suppressed all aggression, causing the population to become placid to the point of not performing any tasks at all and peacefully dying where they were. An additional twist came in that the chemical affected a portion of the population in the complete opposite way, driving them mad, and creating the Reavers.