Twilight

I first read the series back when I was 17, and although the first book was re-read sometime in 2011, I scarcely remember much. So, as yesterday was a gloomy, rainy day, with nothing to do, I gravitated towards it. This is such a well known book and I find everyone has so many mixed opinions, some love it some absolutely hate it. Where do I stand? Well…..I still love it. 

Perhaps I see more know than before, but I will always think about it with fondness. It was one of the first young adult novels that I came across, borrowed from a friend, as my library was not particularly well stocked on that genre, it represented for me a serious escape at that time.

The novel was published first in 2005, and it tells the story of Isabella Swan, her journey as she falls in love with a vampire. Their relationship is explored throughout the 4 books, and it contains a lot of angst, romantic moments, love triangles and some mildly disastrous consequences . 

Now, after going through the first book I have realised that there are some significant differences in my perception of it now as an adult, then when I was 17.

I fell for the insta love back then but it bothered me now. I still cannot decide if Bella fell for him because she was genuinely fascinated with him, or she was afraid and misplaces the feeling go love with some weird obsessive, middle hormonal love. Their encounters are extremely scarce, and while I get that he is “breathtakingly beautiful”, she does not really know him well enough to utter the word “love” so quickly. Maybe my notion of ‘love’ changed throughout the years.

Many also say Bella lacks personality or character; I tend to disagree. It is strongly hinted that she had to mature fast due to her mother behaving like a teenager, undecided and unreliable. Bella was awkward, not very talkative with others, and some low self-esteem, who does not think has much to say. I actually relate to her. Her focus was on taking care of others (namely Charlie, as well as her mother) and nothing else.

I will always enjoy this series as I have very fond memories attached to it, and I am really looking forward to Midnight Sun.

If you happen to have any recommendations let me know 🙂

Pride and Prejudice and zombies- Seth Grahame Smith

I first saw the book in Waterstones three years ago, and as soon as I laid my eyes on it I decided that it must be complete crap, poor Jane Austen would indeed “roll in her grave”. But, 

Opinions do change, and when they made a movie which was released this year in February 2016 I finally decided to pick it up and see for myself the exact changes that Seth Grahame-Smith brought to it. 

The story keeps the main characters as well as the overall idea of romance, the importance of marriage and so on, however, the author does bring something of his own. It is set in a darker period, after a mysterious plague a zombie menace has fallen and families are sending their children to Japan to learn the “deadly arts”. Of course, Mr. Bennett decides China is better, so he has his daughters trained in some Chinese martial art with master Liu.

There is violence, blood, sword fights, rotting, disgusting corpses and a heroine who likes to cut heads. As I said, a kind of new parallel universe. 

I don’t read parodies, I have never had, it was a first, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the freestyle of writing. It was funny to read :

“Elizabeth lifted her skirt, disregarding modesty, and delivered a swift kick to the creature’s head.”

“One of her kicks found its mark and Darcy was sent into mantelpiece with such force as to shatter its edge”

It is hard to imagine Jane Austen writing something like that about her characters, to behave with such impropriety, to challenge Mr. Darcy and try to beat him up.

It is not a book that has literary ideas (apart from what the author took from the original story) but it is rather a fun laughable read. It will make you be disgusted with some of the rather colorful descriptions of chopping certain body parts, and it will make you cheer with the warriors that the new Bennetts girls are.

 

Death in Venice- Thomas Mann

I initially started this book a while back, almost like a few months ago on my kindle, read a chapter and then forgot about it as I became distracted by other reads. Stumbled upon it yesterday and decided to pick it up again and give it a go.

It tells the story of a writer named Achenbach who seems to be suffering from “the writer’s block”, and he takes a trip to Venice to find a new source of inspiration. Checks in the hotel, and while having breakfast, he sees this young man, Tadiziu, and is instantly attracted to him.

He is described as this incredible being, with ivory skin, amazing eyes, slim but not skinny that reminds Achenbach of the statuesque beauty of the Greek gods.

The book focuses mostly on those feelings and the main character’s journey to writing again. The desire to impress, his visits to the barber, (he changes his hair color in an attempt to appear younger) how he dresses and how he walks are highlighted.

Never acts on his feelings though,  but its more like gratitude for finding a muse, a source that makes him want to live and experience life again. Achenbach becomes a stalker, wants to see Tadiziu all the time follows him around Venice, and develops a possessive, protective attitude towards him.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I found the language to be absolutely beautiful and descriptive. The imagery was great, loads of comparisons drawn from Greek mythology, and Venice…. well I felt like I was there and could smell the water.

It was very easy for me to get into it, not too long or too short and as such it was a quick read. Definitely will read more from this author.