Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014

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We are moving to a new place and yet I feel like doing this again. I’ll try at least. So no reading during November. And even more, no blogging. Unless it is to rant about how I will not be able to reach 50K words on time. It’s still fun to try. :)

I guess will lower my reading goal also to 30… yea.

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Book review: All the lights we cannot see

18170778 Warning: This is a long review for a book I loved.

The book begins with the story of Marie-Laure and Werner. Marie Laure is a French girl who is 6 at the beginning of the story and Werner a German boy with hair of snow of 8 and his sister Jutta. The story evolves in time frames and scenes. Eventually war begins and everything changes for these two characters. During the process of the story we find a mythical element. A diamond capable of providing eternal life at the cost of the love ones around you. Marie-Laure flees to the country side with her father to live with her uncle who owns a big radio. Werner is a genius boy who can fix any kind of radios and eventually is sent on the front lines to hunt down through mathematics broadcasters. At the end of the book the stories do collide, though in a much different fashion than expected. Like all war stories filled with pain and heartbreaks and the hope for another day. I smiled as the end approached. I cried when it wasn't what I wanted. I resigned when it I accepted this is how war is. Making me wish it does not ever happen again.

“So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?”
Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

I was hooked from the first line of the book. I started reading and it was not even melodic, but just so smooth. Almost like a soft brush painting images in my head through the words of Doerr at the rhythm of a melancholic classic piano pieces People might criticize the over-Americanized vocabulary, but it was exactly this which made the imagery so vivid in my head. Short sentences, easy vocabulary and yet beautifully composed. Almost as if he polished every single sentence to perfection to match the previous one.

The characters take you by the heart and the soul and even the mind. Well developed. Fully dimensional with their struggles to find their place in a chaotic time. Marie-Laure, a blind French girl who is both brave and smart, loves to read and wants to know everything about the world. Werner who also has a thirst of knowledge, a kind heart, a sister who is both his consciousness and best friend and who's fault is simply the need to survive. He was not painted as a hero, but as who he truly was. And this I applaud.

I was expecting the plot to be slightly different. Two hearts finding each other and communicating through the radio despite the oppressions. What I got was a heartwarming story of survival and courage. The two characters grow up in the middle of the WWII, loosing everything dear to them and yet holding on to that past to keep them alive, with the hope that it will all be over and they will go back to the safety of their past. The plot is then intensified with the diamond of eternal life. Hunted down by a man who is destined to die and yet will do anything it takes not to. This puts Marie-Laure in danger.

As I said, different from what I expected. But I loved it. I loved the writing, the strong short sentences. The narration. The stories inside the stories. But one thing stuck in my head, whatever happened to happy endings? Authors begin to write tragic real endings, which is depressing me when I read. Taking me days to get back up and forget those poor poor characters. These kind of endings are now becoming a sort of cliché. I need some sort of Project Rosie again to clear the emotional mess this book has left me.

My favorite part of the book was the scene where Etienne is broadcasting the numbers, followed by a classical piece and forgetting the microphone was on, he dances with Marie-Laure. Her laughter crossing oceans like the ghost of a once happy human existence. It brought me chills as this image was conjured in my head, the most beautiful and eerie thing. In the middle of a war, imagining fishermen listening to the laughter of a girl through the radio.

 

Short Version:

A wonderfully written book on what connect us and the magic of a world evolving in connectivity which gets us through the darkest times. Beautiful characters, amazing descriptions which play live in your head and touch your heart. Read it.

 

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Friday, August 01, 2014

Book Review: After The End by Amy Plum

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After the End

Amy Plum (2014) Rating: 3/5

She’s searching for answers to her past. They’re hunting her to save their future.

World War III has left the world ravaged by nuclear radiation. A lucky few escaped to the Alaskan wilderness. They've survived for the last thirty years by living off the land, being one with nature, and hiding from whoever else might still be out there.  At least, this is what Juneau has been told her entire life.

I've been wanting to read this book since it came out but I am the type who randomly choose what, when and where to read a book. I was keeping myself away from YA for a while. But now I began reading a couple to give my brain a rest.

After the End is about Juneau (named after The capital of Alaska). There is a mystery surrounding her clan after it disappears. She begins her journey with the help of the Yara (aka: Gaia) and discover she's been lied about WWIII and the world in general. As the reasons shine light you follow her journey along with Miles (who she is convinced will take her far -come on... Can you leave it at his name's meaning?) in order to rescue her lying clan.

I have to say I was not blown away by the novel as much as I imagined (not expected) with the theme. But it was certainly entertaining at some point. Very fast phased. A bit of magical realism here and there. As well as a strong leader heroine (as much as I hate the cliché lately). Miles was nothing to me... Just an annoying tool for the story.

Will I read he next book? I probably try to start it. But if Miles's character don't evolve I will feel the story a bit more stale that I already did.