“You kiss by the book.”

Not even a day into this and already the response is amazing! I’m quite excited about this project now (not that I wasn’t before). Thanks, guys. As for the book suggestions, I’ll get right on it… Until then, here’s a current list of what I’m reading now:

Twinkie, Deconstructed by Steve Ettlinger
This is a lovely insight into all those unpronounceable ingredients found on all the labels of processed foods in the supermarket. After all, haven’t we all asked ourselves exactly what kind of tree does Red Dye #40 grow on?

Well, only three chapters into the book, I’ve already discovered that many of the necessary ingredients come from oil. As in black gold, from Iraq, Oil. Worse yet, are all the chemicals that are added to and taken from the oil to get those odd 12-syllable-long words for things that fall inevitably into the “less than 2%” category. Whats worse? All those natural things that most people can pronounce and do consider safe to consume (as opposed to crude oil and chlorine) are explosive. Example: Flour dust. Glucose.
I think that speaks for itself. More discoveries to come.

Prep  by Curtis Sittenfeld
This has been put on hold since July, and I have yet to pick it back up yet, but it is a rather interesting read. Its about a new girl at a Prep Academy (and not the Barbie Cliques, as I was lead to believe) and although I will most likely have to re-read the whole thing, I haven’t been terribly disappointed by the plot yet (to the best of my recollection).

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
 So far its a lovely read about a granddaughter who grew up hearing her grandmother tell the tale of Briar Rose as if she lived it herself. Not long after her grandmother passes away, a simple wooden box with a rose etched in the top is discovered, and inside, various documents that leave a trail – but to what, its not yet known.
Full of curiosity, the reader gets to follow along while the narrator blindly finds her way into an amusing fairytale, all while trying to ignore the inkling that maybe it wasn’t just a bedtime story.

If There Be Thorns by V.C. Andrews
This is Book 3 of the Dollanganger Series, the first of which is the widely popular Flowers in the Attic. Lets start with the first one…

Flowers in the Attic is about a family. Two parents, 4 children; oldest brother, middle sister and a set of boy-girl twins. The father dies, leaving mommy dearest with no means of financial support so the family must go crawling back to mommy’s rich parents. The only problem is that Grandma and Grandpa didn’t approve of the marriage in the first place (for good reason)… so in order for Mommy to get written back into dear (dying) father’s will, thus winning his inheritance, Mother must pretend that such a “sinner’s marriage” bore no fruit. Mommy Dearest agrees to let Grandma lock her precious babies in the attic, never to see daylight until Grandpa dies. . .and so begins the tale. Three years and five months later, the children have accepted that their mother has become self-important and ignorant of their needs. They have survived both physical and mental abuse, neglect, incest, and three of them manage to escape (note how many children there were to start with). So ends the first book. Thrilling, graphic and disturbing.
The second book, Petals on the Wind, picks up right where Attic left off, but covers many more years. Cathy(the older sister) is the focus of this equally enthralling sequel. All three children harbor resentment toward the mother who found it easy to pretend they didn’t exist, and it manifests itself differently in each of the three siblings. As much as surviving such a terror has brought the them together, it also begins to isolate each one. Cathy begins to make plans to seek the ultimate revenge against her mother and grandmother, and it plays out beautifully. The climax is a confrontation between herself and the mother, and even more family secrets get spilled. Cathy goes from being admirable and strong in Attic to disturbed and obsessed in this novel. Christopher, the eldest brother, goes toward a hauntingly downward slope as well, but this novel brings more attention to how the actions of parents eventually manifest themselves within their children. This is a slow read to start with, but it picks up nicely to a complicated web of more sex, deceit and consequences of a past that cannot be outrun. Should I mention that Cathy inevitably has two children from two different men? Such a well spun web…

…Which bring us to the third book, If There Be Thorns. The narration switches from Cathy down to her sons. Interesting things continue to occur between Cathy and her brother Christoper, and both fail to see that they have helplessly fallen into the same troubled footsteps of their own parents. Around this time, Cathy is said to have started writing Attic. Its obvious her younger son has inherited the psychological problems of both herself and her mother. Not as many plot twists, but its reminiscent of Attic in the sense that the reader gets to see how adolescents have to deal with the knowledge that parents are not perfect, and not all secrets are innocent. More lies, more truths, more ghosts of the past.

Okay, onto something a bit brighter…

You might have noticed a list on the sidebar titled Blogroll. These are links. Mildly self-explanitory… basically, these are things I always want you readers to have at hand, instead of having to search through my (soon to be) many blogs for a silly link. My favorite of which is LibraryThing.com! The one featured under Blogroll is a direct link to my own personal LibraryThing, so you can see a rough list of all the books I can remember reading off the top of my head. I welcome you to create your own LibraryThing. Make lists of what you want to read, have read or never want to read again… the sky is the limit! See something on my list that you want to discuss? Tell me! Writing an interactive blog for readers who don’t respond is the technological equivalent of talking to a wall. And please don’t think that its a complete list of EVERYTHING I’ve read during High School. It isn’t. It doesn’t even come close. (I read 53 books during Freshman year alone, but SHH! don’t tell.)

Which brings me to another point (wow this blog is getting long… I apologize); I want to get as many people involved in this as possible. I want this to be a school-wide thing (oh, but to dream!). I don’t want this to be JUST about books… I’ll settle for book-related. Now I shall tempt you with the whispering dreams of entries to come:

*I’d love to cover a list of movies Based on the Book(BOBs). How long do you think we can make it without the aid of Google?
* Altered Books. Most librarians consider this a form of sacrilege. You take a book and make it into a piece of art. You tear it, cut it, burn it, paste things in, paint, write and draw all over it. Its really quite fun and turns out wonderfully.
*MUSIC! I hate to read in silence. Its distracting. Maybe its just me. If you do too, what do you listen to when you read? What about that genre/band/song makes it pleasant to hear while wrapped up in a nice story? (This will be the structure for me to create a playlist to put on here.) If you don’t like to hear music when you read, why not?
*The Halloween Entry. Yes, I’m already planning it. It will be spectacular.
*A My Favorites section is being developed! But first, I have to figure out what my top 3 (maybe 5?) are. That won’t be too hard, right?
* And I’m considering adding a link to a list of Books I Want to Read…Eventually and it’ll give you all the opportunity to add books or suggest books already on there to push them to the front of the line. (remember guys, this site is controlled mostly by you, and for you. I’m just the messenger.)

And, lastly, before I head out of here and go do something really productive (like working on my Halloween Costume), I’ll be nice and list what’s in line to be read and reviewed.

The Know-It-All, The Alchemist, Maximum Ride, The Secret, possibly Magyk (already read it) and its companion Flyte, and anything else the public suggests. Until then, my sweets,

Novel Dame

Published in: on October 11, 2007 at 9:49 am  Leave a Comment  

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