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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthrone

The-Scarlet-Letter  The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne


The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a book often read in schools. My high school decided that this book was not necessary to the curriculum of every student, so until now I have not been forced to read this particular book. Books like 1894 and The Great Gatsby were read instead. I am honestly happy that The Scarlet Letter was not required reading in my high school.


The book is about this woman, Hester, who had an affair. After the discovering of her pregnancy while her husband was away, she was imprisoned like all threats to society. A while after she has her baby, she is paraded through the town square with a big A sewn onto her clothes. This is specifically done so everyone will know she is an adulteress.  All the people yell at her, but she still refuses to give up the name of her baby daddy. THEN, then she sees her husband (not the baby daddy obviously) and tells no one because he told her not too. Spoilers, the minister is the father of the child. This causes the minister to have internal guilt, which is amplified by the ridicule of his baby mama. The husband in all this finds out about the whole minister sleeping with his wife thing, and decides to punish the minister while pretending to be a physician. In the end, Hester and her daughter Pearl live together away from the town that ridiculed her.


The whole point of adultery in this story made a lot of the more religious people mad when this book came out in 1850. They thought not enough remorse was shown, and that adultery should not be talked about. I feel as if they are missing the point. The people who object to this book often have obviously not read the book, or they are the people the book is warning against. When someone tries to ban a book for being “pornographic and obscene” when it has no pornographic or obscene content, you need to find a better hobby then picking fights with school systems. Most of the more recent challenges to this book have been dismissed because they are, well, dumb.


This particular book is not my favorite writing style, so I had problems forcing myself to read it. It is written in an old English style, but the story is there and understandable. The content is better than some books *cough* Twilight *cough*. I would say maybe you should read it once in your life, but if you have not read it, you can just get the gist from Easy A.


4/10 because of writing style

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The Demonata: Demon Thief by Darren Shan

Demon ThiefThe Demonata: Demon Thief by Darren Shan

Demon Thief is the second book in the ten-book long book series by Darren Shan, who is most famous for writing the Cirque du Freak series. It also has the same amount of fun gore, clever twists, and random yelling.

Interestingly enough, this books does not pick up where Lord Loss leaves off, instead it seems that this series is taking a non-linear approach. This time, the book is narrated by Kernel Fleck, a sad, lonely boy who has the mysterious power of seeing magical lights that he can touch and rearrange at will. However, a couple of characters from Lord Loss make an appearance: a teenage Dervish Grady and the demon Lord Loss himself. One of Lord Loss’s hellish servants also plays a big part in the story, but saying who gives away the book’s twist.


The book begins with Kernel Fleck telling us about his general life, particularly about his power over the magical lights he sees at any given time. Unfortunately, when he was very young, he made the mistake of making this odd talent known, which didn’t make him very popular with the other kids. Ever since then, Kernel has lived a sad and lonely existence, where he is not so much bullied as he is ignored by pretty much everyone in his life, other than his parents.

Needless to say, our protagonist is pretty depressed.  The only thing that really gives him solace is the moments he spends in his room, casually playing with the lights. One day, he decides to find out what happens when he puts a cluster of the lights in a certain way, and accidently opens the door to another dimension where Lord Loss almost comes into his room.



But Lord Loss decides not to completely come to this dimension, but Kernel decides to follow him back to his.

Surprisingly, he comes back a few days later, completely fine, clutching his infant brother Art to his chest.

Something doesn't seem right here...

Something doesn’t seem right here…

Yeah, this is where things get a little weird (as if they hadn’t already).  See, Kernel’s parents are happy to see him, but they act weird around Art and they escape to the countryside one night soon after their return. Not suspicious at all, right?

Well, Kernal himself is suspicious about the sudden move, but he doesn’t really mind because he is considerably happier in the small village they moved to, Paskinston, than he ever was before.  He also becomes closer and more protective of his little brother than ever before.

But not everything is sunshine and rainbows, because one day during school time, a crazy old witch opens a portal that lets loose a demon onto the students, including Kernel and Art. The demon grabs Art and runs back to its dimension.

Kernel follows, intent to save his brother. There, he meets Beranabus and his Disciples, a group of people who find and kill demons, and finds out more about his powers and the world of magic and demons.


I’m not going to lie, I liked this one a lot more than I did Lord Loss. I think it’s because I honestly liked Kernel as a character and protagonist more than I liked Grubbs, Kernel seemed a bit more heroic and less selfish than Grubbs did. That doesn’t make Grubbs a bad character, it just means that I like my protagonist more traditional than other people do.

I also really like the direction that this story is going, as I am a big fan of well-done non-linear story-telling. The Disciples were barely mentioned in Lord Loss, and much  of Demon Thief was spent establishing the “organization” (because they seem like a hoard of cats lead by an extremely grumpy old cat who doesn’t actually want to lead and is kind of a douchenozzle), and its relationship with its leader, Beranabus.

Yeah, I don’t think we are supposed to actually like Beranabus, and I don’t. Well, maybe it’s better to say that I don’t like his actions. “Oh yeah, Kernel I’ll totally help you in your quest to find your brother, only after you help me find this magical artifact that’s where Only-God-Freaking-Knows and I don’t even actually know where it looks like. It’ll probably take about a thousand years or so, deal?”

That being said, there were moments when I really thought that, despite what he said to the contrary, he really does care for his Disciples. He outright saves a few of the them in the book. That being said, he did pull some crap on them, like forcing a young woman with the power to see glimpses of the future, named Nadia Moore, to help him find the Ka-Gash thingy, despite the fact that she was absolutely miserable and hated Beranabus with every fiber of her being.

Speaking of, we are introduced to the Ka-Gash, a magically weapon that can apparently destroy the demons once and for all. It’s a major part of this book, in that a good portion of it is Beranabus and company trying to find the thing, and I’m pretty sure this will come up at some point later in the series.

Finally, I’d like to say that this book has one of the best twist endings I’ve read in a mystery novel in a good while. Seriously, I did not see this one coming. At all. And I especially didn’t expect the Ka-Gash to materialize the way it did, and I feel like it was a clever and different way to insert the Ka-Gash into the story.


All in all, I really liked this book a whole lot. I do recommend it, and if you want, it can be read out of order from Lord Loss. That being said, I recommend reading them in order, as I’m sure that Shan meant for them to be read that way for a reason. Demon Thief is a fun read with loads of twists and turns that I’m sure will keep any reader on their feet. Be warned though, it’s a total gorefest.


Rating: 8 out of 10.

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100 Banned Books Series: Forever by Judy Blume

forever... by Judy BlumeForever by Judy Blume

(The author of this post is not Emily. I’m her friend, Paige the Writer, currently helping with her 100 Banned Books project. Hello!)


Forever by Judy Blume – author of the Fudge series, Deenie, and Then Again, Maybe I Won’t – is the story of eighteen-year-old Katherine’s first love and her first sexual experience. To be honest, it’s the reason Forever was banned, since parents don’t like their innocent children reading about sex. There’s also mention of teenage pregnancy, birth control, and suicide.


Now, I’m an avid reader of romance so I really know what I like when it comes to romantic stories. I also know that Forever was written in 1975 and being eighteen in 1975 was probably a very different thing than being eighteen now in 2013. Even so, the things that happened in this story made me roll my eyes so much that I’m surprised they didn’t pop out of my head.

The story was decent; I’m not going to lie. In fact, I finished the book in a little more than an hour and a half as I did find myself invested in Katherine’s trials with Michael – the boyfriend. I really did hope it worked out for the best for them. But there were times when I wanted to punch them both in the face.

Kay, now there might be some SPOILERS, you have been warned.

The book starts as any romantically themed book starts. Boy meets girl and they like each other and they go on a few dates. They fool around some, as teenagers in love do occasionally and Katherine decides that she wants to go all the way with Michael – and Ralph, as he affectionately named his penis. (Insert awwww here)

They don’t seem to have any real problems until the end, as the story is about them having sex. Like seriously, that’s the entire theme of the book. I think this is one of the reasons that I kept eye rolling. Katherine would over react to anyone who acted as if she and Michael were not meant to be – as they were destined to last FOREVER. They use this phrase a lot more often than they should.

you have got to be kidding me

                                                       I swear, it’s like they’re in middle school.


While this is going on, Katherine’s bestie is having problems in a story line that, honestly, I found to be much more compelling. Erica has decided that she wants to have sex before college and she’s kind of, sort of, not really edging into a relationship with Michael’s friend Artie. There’s more going on there, development wise, than with Katherine and Michael.


This is not a book that you’re going to walk away from with some deep meaning of life. This is something that you walk away from going, ‘alright, that was not a bad way to waste two hours of my life’. It’s a good lazy day read, if you can deal with two eighteen year olds acting a bit like they’re thirteen.


Rating: 4.5/10

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