Small Prince Art

Updates Thursdays

Makeup Post: Homestuck: Equius Zahhak

Reference PicEyes closedEyes open both eyes
Your name is EQUIUS ZAHHAK.

You love being STRONG.

Since Equius is my favorite of the characters I’m doing for this series, I decided to go something very dramatic for this look. I like the way the black fades into the blue, and the angularness of how this turned out.

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Announcement

This probably wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but I need to put this blog on an official hiatus.  I’ve had many medical problems in the past year that made posting difficult, and I need time to get some projects straight and done and prepare for the Fall semester.

The hiatus probably won’t be that long, I’m going to Dragoncon over Labor Day weekend and I’m hoping to start posting again not long after that.   I will most likely try to keep the posts to once a week, on Thursdays, until I feel like I have a decent enough backlog to start posting more often.  My end goal is to be able to post things every day Monday through Friday.

Also, I’ve decided to expand what will be on the blog. Yes, reviewing is great and I love doing it, but I also want to start posting my own art on this blog!  I’m also planning on changing some other aspects of the blog, such as the layout and possibly the name.

If you want to know what I’m doing until I start posting again, you can follow me on my personal blog: http://raritysparklepants.tumblr.com/ or my new art blog, which would kind of a preview of things to come, : smallprinceart.tumblr.com

 

Thank you!

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The Infernal Devices Book 3: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Image     The Infernal Devices Book 3: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

 

Clockwork Princess is the third book in The Infernal Devices trilogy, along with Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince. It is the second trilogy set in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter universe, along with The Mortal Instruments series.

The Mortal Instruments was originally a trilogy consisting of City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass. However, it was later expanded into a sextet, with City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire, which came out a few weeks ago (and since I finally saved up enough money to buy it, the review for it will hopefully come out next week).

There are also two more upcoming spin off trilogies: The Dark Artifices, consisting of Lady Midnight (which comes out Fall 2015), The Prince of Shadows, and The Queen of Air and Darkness, and, The Last Hours trilogy, consisting of Chain of Thorns, Chain of Gold, and Chain of Iron, which will come out sometime in the next few years.

When I was looking around the website, I found something called The Secret Treasons, which looks like it might be another book or trilogy, but I didn’t find any other information about it other than the name.

There are also three companion books: one of which is a companion guide to the Shadowhunter world: The Shadowhunter Codex, which came out in 2013. There is also Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Guide, which contains essays written by several other prominent YA authors, including Holly Black (one of the writers of the Spiderwick Chronicles and the author the Modern Tales of Faerie series, which has been featured on this blog), Rachel Caine (author of The Morgansville Vampires series), and Kami Garcia (author of the Beautiful Creatures series).

Also, there is a series of short stories written by Cassandra Clare and some of her writer friends available on eBook called The Bane Chronicles. This series stars one of the most popular character in the series, Magnus Bane. A printed collection of the stories will hit be available this November, and will be featured on this blog.

Finally, Clare and her friend she has co-written before, Holly Black, known best for The Spiderwick Chronicles, are working on another set of books, The Magisterium Series, the first of which comes out September 9th, 2014. I haven’t decided if I’m going to review it yet, but I am at least going to take a look at it.

 

Sometimes I forget how much content this series has and will have in the future until I have to write that page and a half long essay on all the different books that are out and will come out. I do this thing sometimes where I just find and author and decide to just read everything that person has written (for example: Darren Shan and his those two massive series from him I read last year).   As you can see, Cassandra Clare has become one of these authors.

 

Anyway, Clockwork Princess starts off two months after the end of Clockwork Prince, which is also two months after Jem Carstairs, a terminally ill Shadowhunter, proposed to Tessa Gray, a young warlock with the amazing power to shape shift into whoever she wants. It is also two months since Jem’s best friend Will Herondale, also professed his love for Tessa, two months since the warlock Magnus Bane helped him discover that the curse that was placed upon him when he was twelve turned out to be fake, and two months after his younger sister, Cecily, traveled to London to convince her brother to return home to Wales.

In the two months that have passed, Tessa has begun to prepare for her wedding, Will has reluctantly begun his sister’s training ,and Gideon Lightwood, who came to live at the London Institute after having enough of his father’s demonic antics, is trying to figure out exactly what he did wrong that made Sophie, a maid with the Sight, suddenly reject all of his advances.

Unfortunately, their momentarily quiet existence is disturbed when Gabriel Lightwood, Gideon’s younger brother runs to the Institute when his father inexplicably turns into a demon. When the Shadowhunters of the Institute go to fight the monster, they find clues about the whereabouts of Mortmain, a mundane with a grudge on the Shadowhunters for murdering his adoptive warlock parents.

With the new information in hand, the group tries to go after Mortmain, but are hit with resistance as the Consul, leader of Shadowhunter Council, has had enough of Charlotte Branwell, leader of the London Institute, and her independence and reluctance to blindly follow everything he says. Seemingly on their own, Tessa and her friends must try and defeat Mortmain before he uses his clockwork abominations to destroy Shadowhunter life as we know it.

 

Oh my goodness, this was quite a book. I love The Infernal Devices series, I really do. This was such an enjoyable book, I had just so much fun reading it! That’s what really reading should be about: enjoyment.

More specifically, the storyline of Charlotte Branwell and her fight to keep the London Institute. At every turn her word is rejected by the Consul and other Shadowhunters because she was a woman, and her fight to keep this Institute open for the orphaned teens who live there is impressive to say the least. Charlotte shows that she is a compassionate and stern woman, and her story is one of the best parts of the series.

Also, normally the love triangles make me cringe, but the Jem-Tessa-Will storyline was actually fairly well done. Both boys were very respectful of the other and Tessa’s decisions, and I think that helped me stay interested. It was clear that Jem and Will clearly had a brotherly love for each other, their relationship was not going to suffer because they both fell in love with the same girl, even one as unique as Tessa Gray.

 

As I said earlier, I really love this series, and Clockwork Princess was a good end to a good series. Granted, the end does feel like it just… keeps… going, but other than that it was a solid read.

 

Rating: 8 out 10.

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The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

City of Lost Souls   The Mortal Instruments: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

 

City of Lost Souls is the fifth book in the six book Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The sextet is actually comprised of two trilogies, the first consisting of City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass; and the second trilogy comprising of City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire, which comes out May 26th

There is also a spin off trilogy called The Infernal Devices, consisting of The Clockwork Angel, The Clockwork Prince, and The Clockwork Princess, which came out last year. There are also two more upcoming spin off trilogies: The Dark Artifices, consisting of Lady Midnight (which comes out in 2015), The Prince of Shadows, and The Queen of Air and Darkness, and, finally, The Last Hours series, which will come out sometime in the future.

There are also three companion books: one of which is a companion guide to the Shadowhunter world: The Shadowhunter Codex, which came out in 2013. There is also Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Guide, which contains essays written by several other prominent YA authors, including Holly Black (one of the writers of the The Spiderwick Chronicles and the author the Modern Tales of Faerie series, which has been featured on this blog), Rachel Caine (author of The Morgansville Vampires series), and Kami Garcia (author of the Beautiful Creatures series).

Finally, there is a series of short stories available on ebook called The Bane Chronicles. This series stars one of the most popular character in the series, Magnus Bane. A printed collection of the stories will hit be available this November.

 

City of Fallen Angels ended with the return of Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern (or Sebastian), Clary’s actual brother and Valentine’s actual son. Because City of Glass told us that Jace and Clary weren’t related. Thank God.

So Lilith, Adam’s first wife and Mother of All Demons, decided that since Clary used her angel wish granted to her to bring Jace back to life, she could use demon magic shenanigans to bring Sebastian back to life, which involved possessing Jace and some good, old-fashioned blood drinking.

Simon Lewis, Clary’s best friend, was able to stop Lilith by using the Mark of Cain, so they thought they had won this round. However, City of Fallen Angels ended with Jace completing the resurrection spell on Sebastian, and City of Lost Souls begins with the search for the two of them.

Unfortunately, it has become clear to Clary and friends that making sure Jace is alive is no longer a priority to the Clave. So, Clary, along with Simon, Jace’s adopted brother and sister, Alec and Isabelle, Alec’s warlock boyfriend, and their werewolf friends, Jordan and Maia, decide that they are going to take matters into their own hands and try and rescue Jace themselves.

And thus, shenanigans ensue.

 

I really think that this is my favorite book in the series so far. I really like shenanigans in a book, and so far, this book has had the most shenanigans. Werewolf shenanigans, demon shenanigans, vampire shenanigans, it was great. It was definitely the most fun book out of the series so far.

That being said, there were moments that were very tense, particularly the scenes between Clary, Jace, and Sebastian. That storyline, for the most part was vaguely uncomfortable, which I can’t fully explain because of spoilers, just be warned that there is definitely a negative vibe in that particular storyline.

Also there are some serious relationship driven elements in this book that are leading up to what has been promised to be an explosive finale to the series. Frankly, I am excited for City of Heavenly Fire. This is one of my favorite series, and there is always some excitement when a series is going to end (for good this time, Clare originally intended for City of Glass to be the final book in the series).

 

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Image    The Mortal Instruments: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

 

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in the six book Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The sextet is actually comprised of two trilogies, the first consisting of City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass; and the second trilogy comprising of City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire, which comes out this May.

There is also a spin off trilogy called The Infernal Devices, consisting of The Clockwork Angel, The Clockwork Prince, and The Clockwork Princess, which came out last year. There are also two more upcoming spin off trilogies: The Dark Artifices, consisting of Lady Midnight (which comes out in 2015), The Prince of Shadows, and The Queen of Air and Darkness, and, finally, The Last Hours series.

There are also three companion books: one of which is a companion guide to the Shadowhunter world: The Shadowhunter Codex, which came out in 2013. There is also Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Guide, which contains essays written by several other prominent YA authors, including Holly Black (one of the writers of the The Spiderwick Chronicles and the author the Modern Tales of Faerie series, which has been featured on this blog), Rachel Caine (author of The Morgansville Vampires series), and Kami Garcia (author of the Beautiful Creatures series).

Finally, there is a series of short stories available on ebook called The Bane Chronicles. This series stars one of the most popular character in the series, Magnus Bane. A printed collection of the stories will hit be available this November.

 

Originally, The Mortal Instruments was going to only be the first three books, and City of Fallen Angels was going to be a standalone book about Simon Lewis, a vampire with the power to walk in daylight and the best friend of the main protagonist, Clary Fray. Eventually, Clare realized that there was a another story to be had, and extended the series.

 

In this book, Simon Lewis is doing his best to live his life normally, despite being a walking corpse that feeds on the blood of the living. He told his friends, he’s keeping it from his mom, and for the most part, everything seems ok.

However, between the fact that he’s a Daylighter (a vampire who can walk around in the sunlight) and that he has the Mark of Cain written on his forehead, there are powers in the world that want him on their side. Including, Camille Belacourt, a very old and powerful vampire that wants Simon on her side so she can take back her clan.

Meanwhile, Jace has started acting really weird. Granted, he’s a kind of odd guy already, but he’s acting weirder than normal, and Clary is getting really concerned. He’s been avoiding her, having nightmares, and just generally acting nervous and skittish, all things that are very uncharacteristic of him.

On top of that, there have been murders of Shadowhunters, and instances of infants being injected with demon blood. For the most part, it’s a pretty bad time to be part of the Shadowhunter world.

 

I really like the direction the series is going now. A few minor characters, some of which are only mentioned in the first series, have come to the forefront in a really good way. You can really tell that Clare has gotten better and more developed in her writing, though some of the scenes between Clary and Jace can get very flowery. Clare’s strong point is developing characters, which shows up pretty well in this book. I really recommend it, and I think you might be able to pick up here if you haven’t read the first three books, though I do recommend reading them first, if nothing else than to catch up on the world building.

 

Rating: 8 out of 10.

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The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Image  The Mortal Instruments: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes is the second book in the six book Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The sextet is actually comprised of two trilogies, the first consisting of City of Bones, City of Ashes, and City of Glass; and the second trilogy comprising of City of Fallen Angels, City of Lost Souls, and City of Heavenly Fire, which comes out this May.

There is also a spin off trilogy called The Infernal Devices, consisting of The Clockwork Angel, The Clockwork Prince, and The Clockwork Princess, which came out earlier this year. There are also two more upcoming spin off trilogies: The Dark Artifices, consisting of Lady Midnight (which comes out in 2015), The Prince of Shadows, and The Queen of Air and Darkness, and, finally, The Last Hours series.

There are also three companion books: one of which is a companion guide to the Shadowhunter world: The Shadowhunter Codex, which came out in 2013. There is also Shadowhunters and Downworlders: A Mortal Instruments Guide, which contains essays written by several other prominent YA authors, including Holly Black (one of the writers of the The Spiderwick Chronicles and the author the Modern Tales of Faerie series, which has been featured on this blog), Rachel Caine (author of The Morgansville Vampires series), and Kami Garcia (author of the Beautiful Creatures series).

Finally, there is a series of short stories available on ebook called The Bane Chronicles. This series stars one of the most popular character in the series, Magnus Bane. A printed collection of the stories will hit be available this November.

 

City of Bones ended with one of the weirdest plot twists I have ever read in YA fiction. If you haven’t read City of Bones (and I feel like you shouldn’t read a review of City of Ashes if you haven’t) please stop now because we are entering spoiler city.

At the end of the last book we learned that Jace and Clary, (the two main characters of the first book, and who seemed like the main romantic couple) are brother and sister. This was one of those I-need-to-put-the-book-down-and-walk-around-for-a-while-twists. Apparently, it actually turned a lot of people off the series, and it’s one of the reasons I consider The Mortal Instruments a guilty pleasure instead of a book I just really like.

But I digress: apparently Valentine Morgenstern, the big bad of the series, is assembling the three Mortal Instruments (title drop!), which are weapons he can use against the Shadowhunters (the demon hunter society Jace and friends are a part of). So far, he has the Mortal Cup, which allows him to have some control over demons.

This book begins with the mysterious killings of some Downworlder (non-human) children. Unfortunately, the blame gets pointed on Jace, as a higher up has decided that Jace is Valentine’s secret spy sent to bring down the Clave. So now, not only do our heroes need to figure out what Valentine is up to, they need to prove that Jace isn’t a spy for his crazy father.

 

I think the best part of book is the blink and you miss it moments between Alec Lightwood, a Shadowhunter struggling with his sexuality, and Magnus Bane, the Warlock who originally erased Clary’s memories in an attempt to shield her from the outside world. Their relationship was pretty much in the background, and was only mentioned a few times, but it’s a really interesting side plot that was refreshing to get back to after long periods of talking about the whole incest thing. It was also the main reason I kept reading the series back when it was new to me.

City of Ashes brought a bunch of new interesting elements and characters to the story, such Maia, a kind werewolf girl, and the idea that the parents of the main characters were part of this scary rebellion group that approved of the genocide of many people. The scenes between the adults and the teenagers are really interesting, as you can tell that their time with Valentine seriously affected their lives, and they clearly have regrets for what they did in the past. Which is probably for the best since otherwise our main characters would have been raised by the fantasy version of Neo-Nazis.

That being said, the incest thing can be uncomfortable at times. Most of the time, really. When I was reading it, there were times when I was just going to roll with it, and times when it just kind of weirded me out and I had to put the book down. Please keep in mind that if you decide to read this book, it is a major part of the story.

 

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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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.

eeeeehhhhhh

OH GAWD

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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100 Banned Books Series: Naked Lunch, by William S. Burrows

naked-lunch100 Banned Books Series: Naked Lunch, by William S. Burrows

 

What’s it about?

Naked Lunch consists of a bunch of vignettes that center around drug use and homosexuality, most of them very graphic. Burrows himself was bisexual and an avid drug addict, so it seems that the vignettes are based loosely on his life and the effects of his drug use. It’s interesting to note that many of the women in the book were shown to be quite violent. Also, in many of the vignettes, the drugs were shown to be literally destroying the user: either by a monster called a Mugwump, or with just the character using the drug melting away after the use.

There was also a vignette about the treatment of homosexuals at the time, in which a closeted character named Carl was literally interrogated by a government official about some of his relationships in the past.  In fact, the homosexual sex scenes were mostly shown in a fairly positive light (and if not, it was used to show how damaging the drugs can be and how they can make you do things that is considered wrong), whereas the heterosexual sex scenes (and women in general) were very violent.

 

Why is it controversial?

Like I said, it’s all graphic depictions of drug use and homosexuality. And considering this book was first published in 1959, the general public didn’t care for it too much.  However, my research indicates that Burrows knew the book wouldn’t be received well, but didn’t care either. He just wrote what he wrote.

 

My thoughts?

Well, to be frank, this wasn’t a pleasant read. In fact, it was actually pretty uncomfortable. The thing is, I swear I could feel Burrows  losing his mind to drugs. There is one other author I can compare him to: Sylvia Plath, who also wrote the insanities going on in her head, with the exception that hers came from depression while Burrows came from drug use.  And like reading Sylvia Plath, this book made me feel like I was exploring the mind of someone who was not all there and needed serious help.

Because of that, I can’t say I enjoyed this book. However, I can say I am glad that I read it, for it is a powerful work of fiction that is definitely worth reading.  The language was exquisite, and I was interested in what was going on. Because of that, I recommend it, but with caution. Because it’s really frickin’ weird.

 

Rating: Eh, I don’t know. Find out for yourself.

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