the almost moon

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here. 


I’m starting to think that Alice Sebold isn’t the author for me. I was hooked by the beautiful cover and I needed to read this because I owned it and am on a book buying ban until I finish all my owned books. But this book flopped for me very hard and it sucks. I wanted to like it, I really did. Her writing is beautiful, don’t get me wrong. It reads like one long poem. But her plots make no sense half the time and I’m usually either lost or bored. Which is never a good thing.

This book is about matricide….I think. It had topics such as mental illness and divorce. I’m going to be honest and say that for the most of the book, I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. The plot literally bounced from past to present in the span of a paragraph. One paragraph would be about the present and then the next time I know, we are in the past. It was confusing and incredibly frustrating at times. I think it tried to fit too much into a small amount of time and that’s one of the reasons why this book failed for me.

I didn’t like learning about Helen’s family sooooo slloooowwwllly. For being just shy of 300 pages, it felt like a 600 page book. Maybe I should say that because I have read some incredible 600 page books that read like they were 200 pages. There were be times where absolutely nothing happened and then there would be times were twenty different things happened and I had to go back and re-read parts of the book.

I couldn’t keep the characters straight because they had no personality, which didn’t help me in trying to figure out what the plot actually was about. Helen was terrible both in personality and as a narrator. I couldn’t really trust anything she said, which sucked because the entire book was from her POV. I had no idea and still don’t about whether or not she hated her mom or what their relationship actual was.

Clair was made to look like this weak willed individual with a heart of ice. I obviously didn’t care for her. Because Helen never really knew what was wrong with her, we didn’t either. Don’t get me wrong, that works for some books. But because this book was very character driven, I felt this really didn’t help things. I don’t know if I was supposed to hate Clair, feel sorry for her or both. The rest of the characters were so flat and dull that they aren’t even worth mentioning. Not to mention the fact that I can’t remember any of their names.

I think I am done with Alice Sebold. She has one more book that I haven’t read, which is a memoir. But honestly, I’m going to pass. She obviously needs to work on writing better and building better plots. You can write beautifully but still have a plot, like Roshani Chokshi. (If you are reading this, Roshani, I’m sorry to put you in this negative review because you are awesome and your books are incredible!) But if you just have beautiful words and no plot, the book falls flat. Like this one did.

 

xxlacy

orange is the new black book review//part 2

to read my review of the book, click here


As promised, this will be the second part of my rage against the prison system. If there is one thing you guys need to know about me, it’s I become extremely passionate about certain subjects. Some of those subjects include vaccinations (see my Keep You Safe review) and basic psychology courses for everyone to list just a couple of the ones that I am really concerned about right now.

I think I can now add prisoner welfare to that list.

I know what you guys are thinking. Oh, prisoners broke the law. Why do they need welfare? Well, let me tell you a little secret. I have a grandfather in prison. I won’t say what he did but he won’t be getting out for another 10 or 15 years. So you could say that OITNB (Orange is the New Black) kind of hit home for me.  Why wouldn’t my grandfather, who yes indeed broke the law, not be allowed to have some sort of rights. Isn’t he human just like everybody else?

Piper mentioned in the book that she had to take a class when her release date was coming up. This class did not mention how prisoners are supposed to get jobs, get mental health services, aide in getting their children back, etc. All that the prisoners know was that it was expected of them to get a job.

How are women supposed to get jobs if they have a record? Do they even know where to go to get help to find jobs? Well, I decided to look up some stats about women in prison in order to add more rage to my already builded up rage and to add credibility to my said rage.

Now, I’m going to be honest with you guys. I don’t know much about the prison besides what Piper mentioned in her book and what I have gleaned from MSNBC’s Lock Up and all the news stories I follow on my personal twitter. But what I do know is the the United States has the most amount of prisons then a lot of the other countries. In fact, our prisons are full to bursting.

So I found this site called The Sentencing Project, to see if there was information about being in prison that could back that claim up because I can’t remember where I had originally heard it from. They work for a fair and effective U.S criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policing and other things like that. I shall link them so you guys can take a look at their site. What I found was really surprising.

Women incarceration has been on the rise by over 700% from the years of 1980 to 2014. That is quite a bit if you ask me. That was just one of the many stats I saw on one spreadsheet. There were so much more and it was all the more shocking. I’d list them all, but then we’d be here all day.

I would think that it would make sense to make some sort of system to prepare those that have a shorter sentence so they won’t be tempted to go back to their old ways and get locked up again.

I think I will end this rant here. To be honest, I have no idea why I even began to write this thing. All I know is that I was so upset by the prison system and reading this book that I had to express my feelings about it. If you guys have stuck with me on this post so far, then thank you. I know it’s totally deviates from what I normally do. But I get so passionate about things and I just have to express them.

My last post will about the TV show where I talk about the differences from the movie and the book (there is a lot). I have yet to see all the episodes (I’m only about 3 or 4 away) but I don’t think that will hinder my ability to review the TV show and compare it with the book.

 

xxlacy

 

orange is the new black book review//part 1

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here


This book taught me a lot! I mean A LOT. And I promise that I will get into this, I will. But it will come in parts. Because this book really made me think. I thought about just how horrible our penal system in America is. I thought about how someone can make a simple mistake and land in prison with a ridiculous sentence. I mean I’m still thinking about this book. Granted, I only finished it about two hours ago (when I wrote this post) but still. update: it’s now Monday and I’m still thinking about this book. It won’t leave me.

This part will talk specifically about the book and what I thought about it. The next part will talk more about my thoughts on what Piper brought up about being in prison. The third part will talk about the TV show and my thoughts about it. I’ll spread it out over the course of the week, sprinkling other posts in as well so you guys don’t get overburdened with all this.

So my thoughts about this book. Well, my eyes are opened. That is for sure. This memoir was insightful. See me using that word again. I can’t help it. Because that is what I feel about this book. I love a book that changes my views on important things such as the prison system. It’s something that nobody really likes to talk about. Often times, nobody thinks about the person in prison. All they see is the crime. People often forget that there is a person behind the crime. (unless we are dealing with serial killers. I feel that is a whole different ball park)

Piper was so damn honest and it was refreshing. I feel sometimes, with memoirs, the authors skirt around issues or don’t express how they really truly feel. Piper threw that notion out the window and expressed her thoughts very clearly. She used swear words and everything. I love reading a book with swear words. I curse like a sailor and I long for MCs that do the same. Maybe, I shouldn’t read so much YA….

For the first half of the book or so, I did find Piper a bit pretentious, however. She thought that what she did was just a simple mistake. No harm no foul. But then she got to prison and slowly began to realize what being into drugs did to people. She then realized that even though she played a small part, miniscule even, she still contributed. From then on, her attitude changed and she become a lot more apologetic.

I felt her anger at the system. I felt angry at the system as well and I’ve never been to prison. She was one of the lucky ones. She had things set for her outside of prison. There were many women she lived with that weren’t that lucky. I felt her empathy for those ladies. She knew she was lucky but it was nice that she was still so worried about them. Piper knew that the system failed a lot of these ladies and there wasn’t anything she could do about it.

I have to say, though. This book is basically NOTHING like the TV show. I will discuss that more in my post about the show. I know that this probably is a spoiler but I feel like I have to warn you guys. I went into this book thinking I was going to get a wild tale, like the show. I didn’t get that and the disappointment nearly stopped me from finishing the book. Once I dropped the notion that this was indeed just a memoir, I enjoyed the book a whole lot more.

If I can have one negative complaint, it’s that the book is a bit dense in places. Piper uses this book as a platform for inmate rights. She often quoted facts about women that are incarcerated and many of them are startling. But it got to be a bit much. There would be paragraphs of just massive text. My eyes had a hard time focusing on it so I often had to skim a few parts. These longs paragraphs are where Piper gets philosophical after prison and her life before. I often skimmed through those as well.

Overall, I really can’t complain about this book. It was a great book and it gives you a lot to think about. Which I think every book, like this, should do. If it a book like this didn’t affect you in some way, then that book didn’t do it’s job. I really highly suggest this book. I think that everybody should read it and have it in their own library.

 

xxlacy

see me

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here


And just like that, Nicholas Sparks reels me back in. I was almost done with him after the failed book, Two by Two and with the beginning of this book. I was starting to think that I had outgrown Sparks and his romances.

That all changed very quickly.

Maria was a great character! At first, she was irritating. She seemed so weak to me and I really just don’t like weak MCs, especially weak females. I was starting to get mad because she just let people walk all over her like at her job or with her family. I didn’t like her thought process most of the time. It was just too much worry, not enough do. Then, she meets Collin and explains more about herself to him. And then I realized just how strong she actually was. Her weakness was just an anxiety to be the best person she could be. She didn’t want to disappoint her parents, who were immigrants and gave so much for her and her sister. I get that and it made me like her immensely more after that.

Collin was one of the most interesting male MCs I’ve ever read. He had a very troubled past and turned his life around after one too many times of getting in trouble. He since then adapted an honesty policy. He is ALWAYS honest, no matter what. It was refreshing. He simply told Maria and everybody else exactly how it was. No matter if it hurt someone’s feelings or not. I enjoyed his POV the most because of how logical he was and the reason I mentioned above.

If it’s one thing that Nicholas Sparks can do, it’s write secondary characters well. Each and every secondary character was fleshed out very well. We didn’t get their entire past, not that I would expect it because they are secondary characters after all but each had their own personality and were easy to remember. I loved that! It really brought the book to life.

Overall, this book has restored my faith in Nicholas Sparks. I will now eagerly hunt out more books by him in the hopes that they will live up to what this book was. If anything, Nicholas Sparks has gotten better has he has gotten older. His books now seem to have more girth to them. More substance. He’s almost writing like Jodi Picoult and I’m perfectly okay with that.

 

xxlacy

the girl with the dragon tattoo movie review

to read a blurb about this movie on IMDB, click here

to read my review about the book with the same title, click here

this movie is currently available on Netflix.

TW: a pretty graphic rape scene. it is mentioned in the book but it’s quite vivid in the movie. not as bad as The Last House on the Left but pretty close. 


I finally watched this movie! I was feeling watching a movie the other night, which almost never happens, and I decided why not watch this one? I remembered my promise to watch and review the movies and I didn’t want to let any of my readers down so I did and I have no regrets because it was super amazing! It takes a lot for me to gush about movies so you can be assured that it’s a very good movie!

I watched the Swedish version because, well the book is Swedish (translated to English) and I felt that watching the American version just wouldn’t feel right. Also, I don’t think the American one was available on Netflix. Plus I’ve heard that it isn’t very good. Perhaps, if it comes on Netflix or Hulu, I’ll watch it and do a comparison post.

Anyway, on to the actually review because I’m getting side tracked.

I am seriously blown away as I mentioned repeatedly. This movie literally copied the book almost to a tee. There were a few inconsistencies but nothing super major and it certainly didn’t detract from the story in anyway. The inconsistencies weren’t important to the story. They were more of just side things that happen when Mikael and Lisbeth weren’t together.

The actors that were chosen for Mikael (Michael Nyquist) and Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) were spot on. Nyquist has so many funny facial expressions when dealing with Rapace that it just brought the whole thing together. It’s not mentioned in the book, the facial expressions, but it really added to the movie. Lisbeth was played to a tee. I’ve been told that Rapace is actually a pretty famous Swedish actress, so that really helps. Rapace really captured the awkwardness and socially stunted Lisbeth so well, it was like the part was made for her. I am still thinking about this movie and I watched it a couple nights ago. That’s how good it is.

I will certainly be continuing with the rest of the trilogy, perhaps this weekend. I have a bunch of TV shows to catch up on so it might have to wait until next Tuesday. Regardless, I am anxious to see how well the portray the rest of the books and will be sure to watch them as soon as I can. If it’s anything like this anything like this movie, I’m going to be in for a treat. And I can’t wait!

 

 

xxlacy

the girl with the dragon tattoo

to read a blurb of this book on Goodreads, click here. 

trigger warnings: rape and incest

 

This book has been in TBR pile for years before I even joined Goodreads. I had seen bits and pieces of the Swedish movie and had seen a trailer for the American version of it. I had friends that told me that this book was pretty good and I think even my dad recommended it to me at one point. Needless to say, this book was a constant in my life.

I regret wasting so many years. But at the same time, I don’t think young me could have handled what this book had to offer.

This is about Mikael and Lisbeth. Mikael is a financial journalist who has just been convicted of libel for printing a false story about a big financial mogul. Lisbeth works as a freelancer for Milton Security, gathering information about different people for a variety of clients. Mikael is tasked to find out what happened to Henrik Vanger’s brother’s granddaughter and to do this, he enlists the help of Lisbeth. What Mikael and Lisbeth find is so much worse than they could have imagined.

Lisbeth’s POV was my favorite. She was very interesting and I couldn’t help but feel nothing but pity for this poor thing. Life had dealt her a pretty crap hand. The way her mind works is incredible, though. Everything she does, she measures out all the possible consequences and determines the best course of action. It has to be exhausting living life like that but that is what is best for her. I could easily see myself as friends with her.  I hope that in the next book, we get more of a backstory with her. We only got a taste but I’m dying for more

Mikael’s POV was decent. I was incredibly intrigued with the task he was assigned to do. Mikael had some flaws for me, which nearly prevented me from fulling love this book, even though I shelved it under favorites on Goodreads. I’m a weird creature. Some of the choices he makes were dumb and he lived life like he was constantly in fear, which got old especially after having Lisbeth’s POV. He complained of things that he could easily change but chooses not too. But he has enough good qualities about him that I still want to read the next book.

The plot itself is very slow burn up until about the last 20%. But I think with this particular book, slow burn works well. It’s a mystery surrounded in mystery. We learn everything from Mikael and Lisbeth so we are left to only speculate what is going to happen. There were several times where I thought I had figured it all out but Stieg Larsson said NOPE and completely turned the tables on me. I thin mysteries are slowly becoming a very preferred genre with me.

To address the trigger warning I mentioned above: there are two different rape scenes. Each are very graphic so please read at your own risk. The incest is mentioned in passing several times towards the end but it’s not as descriptive. Still, please read at your own risk.

 

note: I haven’t seen the movie like I mentioned above but I will plan on watching it very soon. As soon as I do, you can sure bet that there will be a review about it. There is a strong chance that I will watch the Swedish version even though I don’t speak a lick of it. That version of the movie is more likely to follow the book because Hollywood can’t read. I’m looking at you, director of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. 

 

xxlacy

inferno

to read a blurb about this book on Goodreads, click here

 

Be still my heart.

It hurts. My god, does it hurt.

I have to wait until October to get my next da Vinci code fix and I’m sad about that. This series has consumed by life…and I love it.

We start the book with Robert Langdon in the hospital. He has no recollection of the past few days, which isn’t good considering there is someone trying to kill him and others that are trying to capture him. What was so different about this book was that we were at the mercy of Robert’s memory. Normally his memory is incredible but because he had amnesia, we didn’t know what was happening along with him. It was frustrating but in a good way. It made the book more mysterious.

This book talked a lot about the Divine Comedy. As you may or may not know, Divine Comedy was written by Dante. It talks about his trip into Hell and how he got out. The protagonist, Bertrand Zobrist was a huge Dante fan as is Robert. But where Robert and Zobrist differ is that Zobrist believed in the Transhumanism approach.

Transhumanism basically is the concept of using science to speed up the evolution process. Whether you believe in evolution or not, you cannot deny that there are facts that prove it exists. Humans have developed for over a millennia with different ways to survive. What Transhumanist want to do is create superhumans. They will have the vaccines already inside of them to prevent deadly diseases and they would basically live forever.

Sounds cool right?

Well, that isn’t possible…yet. Because the world is approaching max capacity. We, as a population, are outgrowing our Earth. Zobrist came up with a modern Black Plague to help with this population crisis. It’s up to Robert and his mysterious doctor Sienna Brooks to help stop it.

This book seriously had me at the edge of my seat almost the entire time I read it. There were times I had to literally put the book down and just stare at a wall in amazement because goddamn, can Dan Brown write.

I hope that this review is somewhat coherent. It’s always so hard for me to write about books that have consumed me. I want everybody to love them just as I do. Which I do that this review will help you all to find out how incredible this series is.

 

note: I’ve never seen the movie for this book. However, I think I will because this book was so incredible and I want to see how they took this masterpiece and put it on the big screen. As soon as I watch it, I will review it on here. 

 

xxlacy