For readers around the globe. :)

Friday, January 27, 2017

Th1rteen R3asons Why

I've avoided this book for so long. 
In the 10 years since it was released, I neglected to read it or even glance in the direction of this book.
Recently, I went home to see my family and my sister handed me a copy and said "Read this. Now."
I am so glad she pushed me to finally read Thirteen Reasons Why. 
Jay Asher's debut novel is told through cassette tapes. Specifically, cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, a girl who committed suicide a few weeks earlier. Clay never thought he would hear her voice again. But he definitely didn't want to hear it as she worked her way through the 13 Reasons Why she killed herself. He didn't want to believe he could have had a part in her death. 
What did he do to Hannah?
How could she do this to them?
How do all the stories fit together?
How? How? How?
Hannah tells us. She tells everyone in the tapes exactly what they did to land a spot on her tapes. She wants them to feel the way she felt. She wants them to understand why she's gone. She wants to understand herself and the only way to do that is to explain from the very beginning....
Starting with Justin Foley.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The You I've Never Known

I hate that Ellen Hopkins broke from her one word titles. 
The You I've Never Know does not fit this novel as much as the original title: Chameleon.
I hate that she broke from writing strictly in verse to instead include both verse and prose.
 I also hate that Maya's Journal at the end. I found it completely pointless.
As you all know, anything Ellen Hopkins is my favorite.
This book was not near as dark as some of her others but still had a dangerous twist. 
We read from the POV of Ariel and Maya. 
Ariel is struggling to understand who she is. Her entire life consisted running from town to town with her father. She never got to make friends, a social life, or indulge in regular teenage activities. But for some reason, her dad actually begins settling down, which allows Ariel a chance to satisfy her curiosity. 
Maya loves her best friend Tati, loves her so much that she was willing to hustle some alcohol from a couple of Fort Hood soldiers. But when she becomes pregnant at 16, she has a few decisions to make. Keep or kill? Move with mom or marry Jason? Keeping her baby was the best decision she had ever made, but marrying Jason was one of the worst. He took her baby. He took her whole world. He went AWOL just to get away and was willing to hurt those he "loved". 
But knowing Ellen Hopkins, what could be the twist?
How do Ariel and Maya cross paths?
I can't ruin it for you guys, just pick up the book.

Looking for more books by Ellen Hopkins?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Man Who Loved Books Too Much

Bibliophiles have a strong attraction to books.
They look, touch, smell, and collect books as a hobby.
But most of them don't steal books to feed their bibliomania.
Yet, John Gilkey did exactly that.
The Man Who Loved Books Too Much: The True Story of a Thief, a Detective, and a World of Literary Passion tells John Gilkey's story. Allison Hoover Bartlett leads us on an epic journey of the pros and cons to collecting books, why people collect, and how they perceive themselves in the world of literature. Most collectors are middle aged, white men who want to own the most prestigious library that stands in their own home. Many other rare book buyers are merely trying to make a profit. Allison let us journey with her to the book fairs, rare book stores, and even Goodwill to find the answers she was looking for. 
John Gilkey was not your average rare book collector. The majority of his books were stolen or paid for with stolen credit cards. He began by writing bad checks for books that were far out of his price range. Which led to stealing credit card numbers and using a ploy to purchase books over the phone. His entire life was based around theft. 
But why send someone to prison for stealing books? 
This question was one that Gilkey often struggled with because he believed he obtained all his books in a reasonable manner.
Throughout this book, Allison, Gilkey, and a variety of rare book sellers and collectors alike shared their input as to what books do for them. Each person has different events that led them to books. But they all had one thing in common, a disdain for Gilkey. 
This book brought me so much joy. 
I never thought about books being art.
I never thought about collecting.
And I definitely never thought about stealing a book.
But this book has opened my eyes to an entire new world of literary passion.
If you are a fellow book lover, definitely pick up a copy of this book!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

So, many high schools across the country are required to read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, so I decided to read it as well. 
I get it, diversity is not something we accept with open arms. 
However, I hated this book so much.
The basis of this book was that an Indian boy named Junior who has spent the first 13 years of his life living on the reservation with his family. He attended school, played basketball, and had friends on the rez. But he hated it. He wanted to go to Reardan, the white kid school. When he began attending Reardan, he felt like an outsider; the only Indian kid in an entirely white school. He thought they were looking down on him, picking on him, and excluding him. But that wasn't the case, they were just unfamiliar with someone like Junior attending their school. Yada, yada, yada... they finally accept him as one of their own when he starts shining on the basketball court. He begins standing up for himself and for his beliefs and sticks to the decisions he made. 
That's basically the gist of the book. 
Sherman Alexie just gets bored sometimes and starts killing of random characters???

All in all, I would not recommend this book to anyone. 
I apologize to anyone who is required to read this book for school.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer

So as many of you know, I'm a Justice Science student and an avid True Crime reader.
I enjoy reading about people like Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez, Dennis Rader, Jeffery Dahmer... But Ted Bundy pissed me off more than any of them. 
In Conversations with a Killer (The Death Row Interviews) Bundy had the opportunity to talk through a hypothetical person who may be committing crimes similar to the ones Bundy is associated with, which Bundy claims he had no part of A N Y of the kidnappings, rapes, or murders of the 13 women. The entirety of this book is the recorded interviews of Bundy describing this hypothetical person, and he does not let you forget that he is not talking about himself, he is talking in hypotheticals. 
You may be thinking, "Why would this make you so angry, Jessica?" 
Well, it's because young Ted Bundy was a Justice Science and Psychology student, just like myself. 
The entire time he's describing this hypothetical person, he's using basic textbook psychology terms and using the actually definitions to fit this person. HOWEVER no person would fit those terms absolutely perfectly. Bundy knew what he was doing, he knew what he was describing, and he was purposefully describing terms that would not have fit his M.O. and was leaving out the ones that would! He created a person who was so similar to himself that he did not realize we still knew who and what he was talking about. 
So yes, Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer (The Death Row Interviews) was something that I longed to read for many years and now that I have, I wish I hadn't. 
Read at your own risk.

Looking for other books on Ted Bundy?
The Stranger Beside Me
The Phantom Prince