ARC Review: Girl in Snow | Where’d the Story Go?

Title: Girl in Snow

Author: Danya Kukafka

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: August 1, 2017

Rating: 3 Stars

 

 

I received an ARC copy of Girl in Snow in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks goes to NetGalley as well as Simon & Schuster for this advanced copy which has recently been published on August 1, 2017.

“Nostalgia is my favorite emotion. It’s like, you think you know how to deal with the passage of time, but nostalgia will prove you wrong. You’ll press your fact into an old sweat shirt, or you’ll look at a familiar shade of paint on a front door, and you’ll be reminded of all the time that got away from you.”

Dear fellow Babblers,

Girl in Snow is Danya Kukafka’s first novel which was recently released just four days ago, on August 1st. Despite it being now in book stores, I somehow fell behind on my review schedule and have foregone posting the review, despite my having received the ARC over a month ago. Although I had a hard time putting this novel down and finished it in less than two days, I’m not exactly one hundred percent how I feel about it; whether it was a page turner because it was so unpredictable or simply because I was irritated that narration would abruptly change to a different character and tell a seemingly different story altogether. The premise itself, a thriller about a girl who is mysteriously found dead one morning one morning has potential in term of narration, but the way in which the novel was written stylistically leaves me a bit disheartened and, to be blunt, disappointed.  Continue reading “ARC Review: Girl in Snow | Where’d the Story Go?”

The Versatile Blogger Award

Dear fellow Babblers,

Howdie hoe day! It’s Thursday, Friday Eve, but who cares huh? Having been off of school for a little over a month now, every day seems to peacefully blur into yet another sunny, peaceful day in rowdy and smog-infested Cal-i-forn-i-a. Being free of a number of obligations, I have lots more time to blog and read – maybe even I can finally catch up on my endless TBR… LOL PSYCHE – that thang don’t stop stackin’, no thanks to all the groovy recommendations and reviews y’all don’t stop posting!I’m technically supposed to be studying for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), which is one of the most annoying and brutal tortures that the American system could ever dare to slam on us, innocent, twenty-something-year-olds. However, as demonstrated, I have an attention as expansive as our fellow blue fishy, Dory and studying just ain’t my specialty.

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So, all graduate school ambitions seem to have temporarily (hopefully) gone out the window and I’m here, again, spending the afternoon with my lovelies (you, dear babbler)… Continue reading “The Versatile Blogger Award”

The Black Cat Blue Sea Award

The Black Cat Blue Sea AwardDear fellow Babblers,

I’ve been nominated by one of my newest book buddies, Noriko at Diary of a Bookfiend for The Black Cat Blue Sea Award. Please visit her blog for some of the best reviews of published novels as well as upcoming releases. Dearest Noriko, if you’re reading this rambling (I sure hope you are) just know that your blog has become of of my greatest inspiration! No joke kiddos – like, for those of you wanting to take part in the hype circulating one of the newest YA novels, When Dimple Met Rishi, you’re just gonna have to check out what she’s gotta say about it here.
Now for the award… Continue reading “The Black Cat Blue Sea Award”

ARC Review: As You Wish | I Wish No More

as you wish

Title: As You Wish

Author: Chelsea Sedoti

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Expected Publication Date: January 02, 2018

Rating: 2.5 Stars

 

 

 

I received an ARC copy of As You Wish in exchange for a brutally honest review. Many thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for this advanced copy that is expected to be released January 02, 2018.

Dear fellow Babblers,

I got approved just last week for 16 ARCs and I decided to begin with As You Wish for no other reason than, um, hello!!! A book about wishes and their risks? Who doesn’t want to read about wishes? After reading this book I’m now that victim. That being said, I’m totally stoked to present to you As You Wish, a brutally honest review for a brutally unsatisfying narrative…  Continue reading “ARC Review: As You Wish | I Wish No More”

Review: The Goldfinch | How to review a quasi Proustian novel

Title: The Goldfinch

Author: Donna Tartt

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Publication Date: September 23, 2013

Rating: 5 Stars

Dear fellow Babblers,

If you were able to sit through till the end of my last post recounting my breakdown and solution to my meaningless life as an upcoming literature graduate you would have discerned my promise to provide a review for one of Donna Tartt’s works. At the time I was confident in such an aspiration. Like most, I started my Tartt fever with The Secret History. Ok, so when I read an exceptionally like seriously GENIUS novel, I set up this sort of expectations and that leads into a disturbed territory of snobbish reluctance to read anything else from the same author out of fear that their other works will not compare. Yet, here I am precisely 771 pages from the beginning of The Goldfinch… Come on, we all know that sense of achievement and deceitful pleasure attached to completing a HUGE like seriously HUGE book… And there I was promising you guys a review of the work a few days ago…

How do you review a story about a 13 year New Yorker named Tho Decker who loses his mom, a beautiful woman in white trench coat who detests heals and made extra money as a part-time model in a museum explosion during an unplanned trip to admire some ancient Dutch masterpieces? How do you make sense of this boy’s infatuation with a small, yet intricately designed painting by a painter comparable to the beloved Rembrandt dating all the way back to 1654? How do you recreate Tartt’s long, Proustian discourses on the eighteenth century classical art world? How can you, in a few sentences (well, doesn’t a « review » imply the notion of the ability to retell a story briefly?), master the same claustrophobic, stuffy and foreign air of Theo’s stay with his corrupt father and drugged out girlfriend Xandra? How to characterize Theo’s friendship with Boris in a way as not to give away the virtue and intelligence masked behind the drugs, alcohol, and lawbreaking habits Boris imposes into Theo’s life? How can a review of The Goldfinch bring Theo to the home of the kindhearted friend of Welty, Hobie? How to give commentary of a novel which spans more or less 10 years of a young boy’s life and the infatuation of a young boy which exposes him to a world of drugs, theft and even murder (even if it was self-defense, it was STILL murder guys. For those of you who haven’t yet read The Goldfinch and have no idea what I’m talking about…Sorry but the murderer and the « murderee » remains a mystery until you reach page 678) ?

Before typing up this post I clicked through multiple reviews for Donna Tartt’s masterpiece and found close to nothing hopeful. Sure, there are you reviews and « who else has read The Goldfinch »-type of posts (REVIEW: The Goldfinch, The Goldfinch), the usual « best quotes » posts (3 Quotes: Donna Tartt). But I seriously like SERIOUSLY could not find any real perceptive or critical reviews that added a new dimension to the 800 pages I just read. I don’t mean to ask for a high school analysis of themes and motifs here guys so please don’t refer me to The Goldfinch: By Donna Tartt — Review. I call for you, you AND even YOU summer readers to pick up from you growing pile of library books “To go return” and rethink how the story made you feel. A review is supposed to tell how we feel when reading a particular work. Books weren’t meant to be read, finished, and left behind for the next…. I mean, isn’t that why we love reading book reviews so much? To hear a new voice and reinterpret stories from another’s imagination? Aren’t reviews like supposed to offer something new not just « OMG I love this book », « Why couldn’t Theo marry Pippa in the end > », « What’s up with Lucius Reeve anyway? ». Lets just go ahead and skip to the last few pages of the book which, in my opinion can be pulled from the story altogether and exist all on its own as a metaphysical commentary on beauty (something we already catch a glimpse of during the narrator, Richard’s heart-pounding lecture during Greek class in The Secret History).

If Tartt can stir our perceptions about this catastrophic life we are leading, which ultimately amounts to nothing, why cannot the book reviewer do the same to his or her readers? I don’t see authors writing books just to say I like this and that, I think so and so is the best out there. If that were the case, why read? We mind as well just tune into CNN and listen to the politicians battling over right and wrong in social welfare. What I’m trying to get at guys is the notion that as book reviewers we review books because we love books… thats a given… but how about for once we add something new… how did The Goldfinch affect you (if you are one of my fellow readers) as a reader/reviewer/whoever you may be?

Donna Tartt has told us « […] life is catastrophe. The basic fact of existence – of walking around trying to feed ourselves and find friends and whatever else we do- is catastrophe » (767). Apart from the long nights, early and dark mornings I spent lost in this underground universe Tartt creates, this passage at the very end is what really sent my mind twirling and sent shivers up my spine. These words that are so nihilistic, yet so utterly true. If we are readers. If we are writers. If we are book reviewers… Should we not all be engaged in perceptive imaginative discourse on what we read, perceive, observe? Tartt shows us the tangled nature involved in the art of writing, reading and perception. I think this idea works also for us who review books. Rather than stating that we love/hate/wish this character died/wish he fell in love with her types of reviews lets express what we feel, why we feel, what we take away from what we read. Maybe, just maybe the uncertainty, questions, feelings that we extract from Tartt’s work have a greater meaning and fulfill some greater purpose in our lives, as does the infatuation of the Goldfinch for Theo…

Yours Truly,

Delphine-2

Questions? Comments? Recommendations? Lets get in touch! Comment below!

(Photo credits go to Google).