Saturday, February 27, 2016

Review: The Color Purple By Alice Walker

4.5 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

Just like the movie, I love it!

     The Color Purple provides us with the life story of Celie, who is a 14 year old girl at the beginning of the book. It begins with Celie telling her life through letter form, writing to God, also later giving us insight on her sister Nettie's life as well. The book opens up and explains how she has been raped, abused, and impregnated by her own father twice by the age of 14. After each child is born, without a word her father takes her babies away from her and never brings them back. Then soon after the separation from her kids her father marries her off to a man that goes by Mr; whom originally had eyes for her sister, but after some coaching by her father he settled with her. She soon finds out he is not any better than her father and just wanted her to be more of a slave/maid than a wife. Later, her sister runs away from home and comes stay with her but is forced to leave after turning down Mr. advances, after that he promises to keep her from her sister, the only one who ever loved her.

After being separated from her sister, Celie manages to survive by just living one day at a time. Just waiting for a letter from her sister, but they never come. She continues her lifeless life doing all the work around the house such as cooking, cleaning, the manual labor, taking care of all the kids that are from Mr. first wife, even taking care of Mr. himself. However, in the midst of all of this someone comes into her life that seems to awaken her, Shug Avery, her husbands mistress. Who shows her encouragement and that she is special and unique in her own way. Celie continues writting letters throughout her life all the way up into womanhood, introducing many more people that she crosses path with in her life. All in the back of her mind, she only hopes that someday she can be free and be reunited with her sister.

     The Color Purple movie starring the great Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, is definitely my favorite movie of all time, not only for entertainment reasons, but sentimental reasons. I have watched it so many times since I was young I know the script almost line by line. Not all movies have an impact on me as The Color Purple and I believe everyone should watch the movie at least one time to see for themselves how great it is. Even though I've loved the movie most of my life, I had never read the book until recently after taking the opportunity to read it for Black History Month, and I'm so glad I did!

I really enjoyed the book. I was blown away at the accuracy and how true the movie is to the book. I mean all the famous lines in the movie was not just made up by Hollywood for entertainment but taken straight from the book. The plot is pretty spot on in comparison to the movie as well. There was some small thins that was in the book that wasn't in the movie but for the most part they were identical!

The language written throughout the book is told by the way Celie speaks, which emphasizes on her lack of education. Which was different for someone who is so use to reading almost perfect writing and correct spelling, but it worked and I found it easy to read. The book is very fast paced and was easy to get through, and as a slow reader if I say it's fast, it's fast paced. The reason I docked off a half a star is because although I enjoyed the book, it didn't give me the feeling the movie does, which I'm not sure why. It could possibly be because I have watched the movie so much that knowing the plot already didn't give me the full emotional effectiveness that the movie does. Nonetheless, it was a great book and maybe next time, and there will be a next time, I read it I will give it 5 stars. I also own several other of Alice Walker's books so it'll be interesting to see how her other books are compared to her success with The Color Purple. I highly recommend this book to everyone~

P.S. I would love to hear all comments. Whether about my review, the movie, or your thoughts on the book!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review: Interview with the Vampire: Claudia's Story

4 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Beautiful, just beautiful!

This is a graphic novel adaptation of Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire" retold in Claudia's perspective. The story takes place when a young orphan girl, Claudia, is turned immortal by a vampire named Lestat. Now having been turned she is forced to live her new life with her rich vampire fathers, Lestat and Louis. The story continues telling us about her new life as a vampire and the struggles that she faces, such as finding out that she will never physically grow no matter how old she gets.

Ashley Marie Witter gives a beautiful monochromatic retelling to Anne's original book Interview with the Vampire. Throughout the graphics we are offered a antique monotone of sepia filter with the occasional filter of deep crimson color for the blood.

I've been wanting to read this since I stumbled across samples of the graphics on the internet years ago, but at the time the book was new and pretty expensive considering the fact that I don't read graphic novels often, ever actually. But this specific one always caught my eyes so I recently had the chance to pick it up for about half the price it was a few years ago. I recently read Interview with the Vampire, which I loved, so I thought I might give the graphic novel a chance to get a better understanding through Claudia's perspective, while it's still fresh on the brain. I must say the graphic novel was pretty accurate in comparison to the original novel, most of the time it was word for word of the important key parts from the original book, with the added voice and thoughts of Claudia. When it wasn't word for word or new material added I could tell it immediately because some of the things added wasn't words Anne herself would use but it wasn't a big deal to where I disliked it. I thought it was beautiful, but is it packed with new details? No.. In fact, my opinion is it doesn't really add anything new that you couldn't live without. I think it's no substitute for the original and should be read after the original novel or else you would miss out on important details. Maybe since I'm not much of a graphic novel lover, but my opinion is that it is basically a one time read and the rest is just to admire the beauty of it or to complete your Anne Rice collection. :)
I think if you're a fan of Anne Rice and graphic novels this is just the right book for you!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Review: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

4.5 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

Wow! LOVED IT! The Vampire Chronicles is amazing so far.

     The Vampire Lestat begins with Lestat being resurrected into the twentieth century after being "underground" for over 50+ years. He rises after being awakened by the noises of new technology of car radios, phonographs, and television machines. As all vampires who go underground and cease to drink for long periods of times, he is very weak when coming back to the world, but a specific noise propels him to rise up.. The sound of music... Rock music! Lestat is transfixed by the new music of today's era and slowly begins rising. First only feeding on the blood of the animals that live beneath the earth that he could reach, until he is strong enough to go out and feed on humans and find the sound that pulls him out of the underground.
After he was strong enough he had to get use to the new life around him, the sounds, the smells, the new vehicles was all new to him. Then after adjusting he was ready to go search for the sound that he heard below the earth that intrigued him so much. He finds out that it was coming from a small group of young musicians who practiced music in their house up the block from his home. After hearing them again he decides that he wants to join the group and become a rock star. So he goes to their house one day, introduces himself and shows them his talents, amazed by what they saw they decided to let him join the band. Lestat then uses his charm and money to help bring the band now known as The Vampire Lestat to stardom. But before this they mention to him that he has the same name as a fictional vampire from the book Interview with the Vampire. After reading the book he is then filled with many emotions and decides that he is going to write a book explaining his side of the story.

The book Lestat writes goes into the history of Lestat's life growing up in the 1700s and how he became what he is today. It explains the journey and troubles that he has faced throughout his 200 years of living. During which he introduces us to many new characters.

At first before starting this I was hesitant for two reasons. 1.) After reading Interview with the Vampire I didn't like Lestat much. 2.) When I read the first few pages about a rock star vampire I was thinking... "Really, where are you going with this Anne don't let me down." But I kept reading and wasn't disappointed! This gave me so much information on Lestat that it change my opinion of him, some. Also there was many new characters introduced and some brought back. I loved learning about the history of everything and learning about the characters lives. Also one thing I mentioned in my review for Interview with the Vampire was that some of the words Anne used in book #1 was a little difficulty for me to read because I wasn't familiar with the vocabulary used and I sometimes had to take breaks, well in The Vampire Lestat I found it less dictionary needing than before. There was still the lovely metaphors, beautiful writing, and exquisite vocabulary in it, just this book was easier for me to read.

The creativity that Anne comes up with is just, amazing. I believe she is truly one of the greatest authors and should be cherished for her great talent. After only reading two of her books I think she's become one of my favorite authors, she writes so beautifully and descriptive it brings the stories alive. One thing that I love about Anne is the struggles and experiences that she gives her characters. I, we, all go through similar things as her characters do and at this time in my life I have and am going through things that she touches on. The loss of love ones, finding out where you belong in the world, learning to cope with the fact that fate can't be changed. All these things she touched on thus touching a special place in my heart, bringing out many different emotions. Not all authors can do that. People think of vampires and they think of the bad but if you read any Anne Rice books then you will know that there is more to them than just sucking blood and killing people, they have feelings and emotions like everyone else and have struggles, they just have to learn to cope with them for an eternity.

I will definitely be continuing The Vampire Chronicles, Anne hasn't disappointed me yet so hopefully the others in the series will be just as good or maybe even better. Definitely recommend to all!

Friday, February 5, 2016

$1.75 Library Book Haul

Library book haul #1
Brian Jacques edition

  Today's blog is something new that I hope to start doing on a weekly basis, whether it's a library book haul or just a thrift store book haul I would love to start showing the great deals I find, and I hope you enjoy!

1-2 times a week I like to go to my local library to either check in/out a book, to print something off (do people still own printers ;), or just to see what they have for sell. I have bought a few great books from my library but to be honest they don't usually have too many that I don't already own or they do and they're usually genres I'm not interested in. All of the books range from .25 cents - $2. Which isn't too bad because they are almost always in perfect condition! This week when I went I wasn't really expecting to find anything but I did, I was surprised to find 13 books of Brian Jacques' Redwall series for sell. 2 was double copies with different covers and 1 identical copy which I decided to get anyways because why not I mean come on, .25 cents each! That is what they was marked as until I got to the checkout and the Librarian guy sold them to me for a total of $1.75 which is about .13 cents each book, so thank you Mr.Librarian man! The ones I got are listed below:

1. Redwall x2 (different covers)
2. Mossflower x2 (different covers)
3. Mattimeo x1
4. Mariel of Redwall x1
6. Martin the Warrior x2 (identicals)
7. The Bellmaker x1
8. Outcast of Redwall x1
9. Pearls of Lutra x1
10. The Long Patrol x1
11. Marlfox x1

The set didn't have book #5 Salamandastron but for the price I paid I just can't complain. I have heard much praise for this series and actually owned the second book Mossflower for sometime now which was bought from another local thrift store awhile back. So of course I had to get them all and add to my collection of ever so growing books. Getting good deals is something I love to do and if I can support my local library by buying books then why not! I hope to bring you another book haul soon~

P.S. The Geode featured in the photo was bought for $2 at a yard-sale last fall :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Review: Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

4 stars ★ ★ ★ ★


Interview with the Vampire is about a vampire named Louis who is telling his life story to a young man he met in a bar for him to record. It all began when Louis brother dies and he goes into a depression, driven almost mad like. Then one night he meets death in the face, Lestat, a vampire who assaults him and drains his blood to the point where he almost dies then leaves him. Lestat later returns after watching Louis from a distance and decides he wants to turn him, giving him the gift (or so he thought) of immortality, in exchange for his home and plantation.. So after being turned into a vampire Louis realizes that immortality isn't all that it's choked up to be and finds himself more a slave to Lestat than a friend.

Although I have never read this book, or any other Anne Rice books, The movie version has been a favorite of mine for years. So after following Anne on Facebook for a few years I found myself becoming a fan of her as a person, just by the joyous and loving personality that she has. Finally, I decided to read Interview with the Vampire, hoping and crossing my fingers that it would live up to the movie expectations and since I became a fan of her I especially didn't want to be let down, which I wasn't thank the book Gods!

When I read the reviews, though I decide whether or not I ultimately want to read a book I still enjoy reading reviews, a lot of the reviews complained about the writing style, the plot, or the characters.. I don't know what they're talking about, I enjoyed all of the above!

First off, I loved the writing style of Anne's in this book. The writing was so, beautiful and almost poetic. I enjoyed all the lovely metaphors as well. This book was so descriptive that you feel as if you yourself are experiencing the walks through New Orleans or that you know the characters themselves as if you knew them in real life. As the characters go, Rice is amazing at making her characters come to life! All her characters are so well developed. As I've said before since I have watched the movie (though it's been a good few years since last I've watched) I basically knew the plot of the story, or so I thought. Reading the book definitely brought the story more to life, and made the experience all the more enjoyable, at certain parts I found myself almost crying brought by Anne's writing and emotion that it gave off.

The only little problem I had with the book (which I wouldn't say is so much a problem) is that there were some words I wasn't familiar with and often thought I may need a dictionary, ha, not the authors fault. Since I didn't know them it kind of slowed my reading down and at times I found myself stopping for breaks more frequent then usual. I think next time I'm going to use Google and dissect the book to widen my vocabulary ;) Overall it was a great book and I definitely would recommend it to anyone and will be continuing on with the series in the future, along with other Anne Rice books! 4-4 1/2 stars (undecided for the time being)

P.s I will be watching the movie Interview with the Vampire tonight!