Monday, March 26, 2012

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Obviously, as a reader, you know how this book ends, so the story is really why they broke up. Minerva (goes by Min) has a box of mementos from her relationship with Ed (honestly, what girl doesn't collect things like that, or maybe it's only during their first relationship, like me). The whole story is her going through each item in the box, starting with the beer caps from the first time they talked and he asked her for her number, to the rose petals lining the bottom of the box, obtained from the florist during the break up. It is a compelling story and will make everyone remember their first love and the pain they felt during that time of betrayal/loss. I thought this book was very interesting, and also sad, and kind of odd that it is told from the POV of Min while the author is a male, but whatev.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson

Robots. Apocalypse. Robopocalypse. The book is told in a unique way, with each chapter prefaced and suffixed (?) with Cormac's account of the "New War," where a Rob named Archos became active and directed all robots to attack humans, or at least told them that humans and Robs couldn't coexist (and other Robs believed him). At first, the book is very confusing, starting with seven different accounts pre-New War, and each part (there are five parts to the book) having less and less accounts, directly corresponding with the storytellers who have died due to the New War. Eventually, some humans meet up with some Robs who are "free" aka not under Archos' rule and are willing to help humans defeat Archos. At first when I was about 100 pages into this book, I was so scared. People say Stephen King is horror (and I have read my fair share of SK)? Pfft! Not compared to the dreaded thought of cars and robots and computers and cell phones and everything technological developing its own free will and deciding to use it against humans! Man it had me up at night thinking of these things and what would humans really do if something like this actually happened. never know...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Room by Emma Donoghue

Room is told from the point of view of five-year-old Jack. The story is very Jaycee Dugard-inspired. Jack's mother (forever referred to as "Ma," her proper name is never revealed) is lured to help a man (known as "Old Nick") find his "missing dog," or so Old Nick tells her, when she is 19. She is then kidnapped and held in an 11' x 11' soundproofed garden shed which is called Room. Old Nick holds her and rapes her, leading her to bear a child who is stillborn, and then she has Jack a year later. She tries very hard to make Room an environment for a growing boy, but when Jack turns 5, she tells him hard truths, like what happens "in TV" is actually real (instead of letting him know the truth and not understand why he couldn't partake in it). With this knowledge, she comes up with a plan to save both of them and that requires Jack to be "sick" and then "die" from the sickness, leaving Old Nick no choice but to remove his "body" from Room. While en route to a burial spot, Jack escapes from the rug and is rescued, and helps lead the police back to Room to save Ma. The rest of the story is about Jack adjusting to life Outside of Room and dealing with all it has to offer (such like what happens when one "pets" bees). It was a very good story, I can see why it's been so popular. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

If you are looking for a book to curl up in the bathtub with and have your razor and Death Cab for Cutie handy, this is the book to do the job!!! It is set during the Dust Bowl and is about Tom Joad who just got out of prison. He returns home to his family in Oklahoma and finds that they are leaving to go to California to get some jobs that they've seen in handbills. He goes with them and along with the way, some family members die. They eventually make it to California where they find that they are not wanted (and are called "Okies," similar to the N-word for African-Americans) and that jobs are sparse. What jobs they can find pay "starvation wages," so essentially everything they make in a day goes directly to buy food and not much else. More bad things happen, and then more bad things, and then the book ends. If you are looking for something uplifting, do NOT read this book. Grab yourself a box of tissues instead.