Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland by Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus.
This book was the account of the horrible kidnappings from the two more well-known victims; Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus.
This book truly touched me – as I’m sure it has touched everyone whose ever read it. However, I definitely identify with Michelle Knight’s book more – and not just because I read her book first – but because her story was much, much more tragic. And though Michelle and Gina were chained together for years and years – Michelle was in this book as like another inanimate detail. It made her story that much harder. And then Amanda and Gina have done so much together and are very, very close friends which drives the wedge in deeper because they didn’t like each other in the house. But if they can become BFF’S outside the house – why can’t the three of them band together in friendship?
The OBVIOUS dismissal of Michelle Knight by Amanda and Gina is a definite black mark in their story for me. I don’t know if they completely ignored her or whatever to respect the book she had put out on her own – but none of their stories match up. Why is it that Michelle remembers Castro abusing her most and in front of them while they don’t recall that? When Michelle had her last miscarriage and when Castro made her sick off of mustard and Gina helped her through it – Gina never talks about that. Gina said she became a cutter and then a rubber band snapper – but Michelle never talked about that in her book. There were many other examples of things that Gina talked about or Michelle talked about that they BOTH should have went through together. They were chained together for a LONG time – why do they not mention the things they went through together while chained? They didn’t even recall the van situation the same way as Michelle did! Outside of some tiny dialogue inconsistencies, the only thing all three of them seem to recall accurately is their rescue! Doesn’t the wedge between the three of them means ultimately Castro finally won their obedience?
I’m also extremely upset with the cold and unfeeling 911 operator who answered the phone when Amanda got free; Ariel ‘ s COMPLETELY UNOBSERVANT neighbors; and the FBI who couldn’t see the OBVIOUS connections between Ariel Castro and Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus!!!
I’m not saying it’s not a good book or a book that truly touches you in ways you can’t imagine. And I’m not saying Amanda or Gina are bad or unfeeling. I’m SOOOO sad about what they went through in that house and I’m SOOOO glad their now safe and sound and free and happy and with their families. But the complete dismissal of Michelle Knight in this book (and in their lives now) is completely disheartening. I wish they all could be friends. As Michelle had no family or friends to come home to, I believe Michelle needs them.
Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a life reclaimed by Michelle Knight
This was an autobiographical account of the life and capture of one of the Cleveland, Ohio captives: Michelle Knight. Like Michelle Kinight, Amanda Berry and Gina Dejesus were each kidnapped just a few blocks from where I live and held prisoner in a house on a street not far from my house; not far from their own houses. Ariel Castro knew and followed each girl; went to their vigils and sat and supported the families knowing he had their children all along.
I can’t believe inexplicably horrible Michelle Knights’ life was BEFORE she was captured. She was homesless with her family, raised in EXTREME poverty, raped repeatedly for 2 years by a family member, homelessness brought on by running away, drug dealer, pregnant teen, dropout, child taken away due to violent home. Her life was millions of broken spirals before she was kidnapped. She had incredible strength and patience and resolve and courage to survive her ENTIRE past. And not only survive it, but to actually remember it; talk about it; write about it; and then forgive it to move on.
I hope she, Gina, and Amanda eventually become inseparable because they all endured such HORRIBLE acts of violence and violation for so long. I particularly hope Michelle and Gina can once reclaim the special friendship they had in that house. I also hope that Michelle can connect the family members she wants to connect with – without having to connect with family members that cause her pain. I hope her son will know who she is and will wish to meet her and form a relationship with her someday. I also hope she achieves her entrepreneurial dreams of a restaurant, and her personal dreams of true love and children.
I got to meet her at a book signing, and she’s an AWESOME person. Very tiny, but full of energy and passion and purpose. I hope she finds everything she’s ever been looking for in life.
Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult
“Handle With Care is about a girl named Willow who has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), and her mom Charlotte files a Wrongful Birth lawsuit against her OBGYN – who happened to be her best friend.
I LOVE Jodi Picoult – but I hated this book. I hated that everyone made Charlotte feel SOOO terrible for wanting to abort her child. Like once a woman gets pregnant she has to just have the child and give up everything else she ever wanted – just because she’s a female and thats what females do. Maybe all females aren’t skilled or strong enough to take care of someone with so many special needs. Maybe it was HER body and HER choice and HER feelings and people, loved ones, and the Church shouldn’t have had a say in what she really wanted to do. I felt so bad so Charlotte. No woman should ever have a baby out of duty. The one thing she did that I didn’t like was make her best friend her OBGYN. That’s just a COMPLETE no-no.
I hated ALL the characters in this book (besides Charlotte). They were just retarded. They did retarded things, made retarded decisions, and EVERYBODY COMPLETELY demonized Charlotte – I mean, my God – was she REALLY so hard to understand??? I skipped ahead to see if Charlotte and damn wish-washy Sean stayed together and if they found out about that brat Amelia and if Charlotte won the lawsuit – only to find out it was all for nothing!!! Did Willow REALLY need to kill herself (cause I’m sorry, she committed suicide – she KNEW she shouldn’t have been out there by herself)??? I SWEAR that was just done for dramatic effect. It was just retarded. Another retarded character making a retarded decision!!!! UGH!!! This book was retarded. I’m taking a LOOOONG break from Jodi’s books because this was just too much.”
Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult
“Perfect Match is about a District Attorney named Nina whose son Nathaniel is molested by a priest.
I LOVE Jodi Picoult’s books. She never ceases to surprise me with her subject matters, plot twists, and romances. However, I HATED this book because of the heroine, Nina.
Nina was evil. She was self-centered, selfish, self-righteous, arrogant, and stubborn. She was a District Attorney – but yet she was dumb enough to murder a priest in cold blood; on TV; in a crowded courtroom! All in the name of her abused son. She was a basketcase – and she got away with murder of an innocent priest. She should’ve got 20 years for that. I wish everything horrible for her in her fictional life, cause I SERIOUSLY HATED that character.
I loved the love triangle between Nina’s husband Caleb, her best friend Patrick, and Nina. However, Nina’s crazy ass didn’t deserve either of those two men. I felt SOOO bad for Patrick. He worshipped the ground she walked on – and she just used his feelings to get some sex since since she and Caleb separated. She was a fucking manipulative bitch man! She had those two lovesick saps eating out the palm of her hand!
I felt bad for Nathaniel, but I didn’t understand the reasonings behind his misbehaviors towards the end of the book. I don’t know why he was never told what his mom did – maybe then he would’ve stopped eating out the palm of her hand as well. The effects of the molestation on Nathaniel’s psyche was extremely homophobic – so I wasn’t happy that he didn’t get the proper therapy he needed to repair that one-track minded thinking he was headed towards before the book ended.
Good subject matter, good romance, BAD characters, BAD plot twist.”
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
“House Rules is about an 18 year old guy named Jacob with high-functioning Asperger’s; that’s accused of murdering his private tutor Jessica.
There were a few characters in this book that I really didn’t like. It’s not that I didn’t like Jacob; its just that the fact that 99.9% of the time the guy had no emotion when things happened to him or happened to people he should have loved – like Jessica and his mom and his brother. And his obsession with Forensic Science?? I didn’t understand that. Since he took the world COMPLETELY literal and EVERY situation was COMPLETELY black and white, how on earth was he able to actually KNOW what he was saying when he talked? Even simple things Jacob didn’t get. The guy asked him point blank if he knew what it meant to waive his rights, and Jacob starts waving his right hand. Yeah, I TOTALLY didn’t buy that he was as smart as he seemed. He just memorized REALLY fast – but he didn’t KNOW anything.
I didn’t like that people saw Jacob’s Asperger’s as an automatic guilty verdict. He was crazy and weird and homicidal because he had Asperger’s?? Even the Judge and the Baliffs and the jail were COMPLETELY unaccomodating. On one hand, I can understand. You wouldn’t do these special things for any other suspected criminal. On the other hand, Asperger’s is a REAL diagnosis. Respect it; deal with it privately; and give the guy proper accomodations so he can have fair treatment like everybody else. What was SOOOO hard to understand about that?? I mean, is ‘The Justice System’ (and I use that term loosely) so indignate that they’d make a Parapalegic convict walk in the courtroom??
Jacob’s brother Theo was unbearably annoying. I wanted to symphathize with him, but his actions just didn’t make sense and he spent THE WHOLE BOOK whining. He would be a reason to never have children. I can’t believe Jacob sacrificied his freedom just to protect that boy.
What was up with the mini love triangle between Jacob’s mom; Emma, his lawyer; Oliver, and the Detective; Rich? Why wasn’t THAT developed more?
It should have been revealed what happened to Jacob and Theo. Was Jacob put in jail forever? Was his brother? Was Jacob committed? Did Jessica’s parents EVER find out what REALLY happened to her?? All in all, the book was just okay.”
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
“Change of Heart is about a woman named June and daughter Claire, waiting to receive the heart of a death row inmate, Shay Bourne – who was convicted of killing June’s 2nd husband Kurt and Claire’s older sister Elizabeth.
June endured more than any person should ever have to bear. Her first husband dies in a car accident; then the police officer who rescues her and her daughter Elizabeth becomes her second husband; then a month before her 2nd child is born, June’s second husband and Elizabeth are killed. THEN, the newborn daughter develops a heart condition and now DESPERATELY needs a transplant – or she’ll die too. I’m not sure how anyone can endure all that pain everyday. Plus, Claire was an annoying character. Then she decided to just give up – and I wanted to hurt that child! On one hand, what she said was right; why would she accept the heart of the man who killed her father and sister? But on the other hand; Really? Really?? Your just going to turn down the heart that may make it possible for you to have a new life with what’s left of your family?? To build new memories with your mom than let her be alone with all the memories of the men and children she’s lost?? I was sooo glad that June put her foot down in the end. I think I would’ve burned this book if June had let Claire refuse the heart and died.
Shay Bourne was a good guy – through and through. I was rooting for him; and he took his consequences without much of a fight – except the fight to die on his own terms. I wasn’t surprised about the first part of his secret in the end, but I was surprised how things went down between him and Elizabeth. I hate to say it, but I was kind of hoping Elizabeth’s death would’ve been on Kurt – and not Shay. After all, Shay loved that little girl – and tried to save her – not hurt her more. When Shay spoke about June and Elizabeth, it made me think that he’d had a thing for June. He was hell bent on giving her a new chance at a family after he died. Part of it was obviously guilt over killing Elizabeth and Kurt, but I believe part of it was romantic feelings that he never got to express towards June. Since he couldn’t be part of her family in life, he wanted her to have a family – courtesy of him – after his death. I think that’s why towards the end when he and Maggie were talking about Kurt’s sins, and Maggie was trying to get his permission to tell June the truth so his sentence could be overturned completely he said; ‘Then she’ll think of me’ and smiled.
I liked the friendship Shay had with Lucius – they needed each other in a way. I don’t like that that friendship ended the way that it did. I would’ve liked Lucius to be with Shay till the end. It was pretty refreshing to see a gay character in one of Jodi’s novels though 🙂
I’m split on his spritual advisor Michael. His character was ok. However, the friendship between him and Shay was a good thing. It brought Michael peace in the end, and perhaps a family with Shay’s sister Grace (I’m a HUGE fan of happy endings). I didn’t understand the end though – so Shay was the one that took that picture?? How was that possible?? Or did Shay find the picture and once he realized who Father Michael was, he saved it for him? Was Shay really a Messiah or not??
Shay’s lawyer Maggie was a character that reminded me of myself. Her relationship with her mother mirrors the one I have with my mother, and her weight plus living situation is identical to mine. It was a sweet happy ending between her and Dr. Christian – but highly realistic. Like some sexy doctor could ever be interested in a woman who wasn’t beautiful! And how did this said doctor manage to become the Attending Physician in the end without all the red tape?? All to impress Maggie? Really?? That was some great sex for him to be willing to do that for her!
I’ve never read The Green Mile (I didn’t even know it was a book before the movie came out all those years ago! And I never knew it was one of Stephen King’s creations!), but the beginning of this book read like The Green Mile. At first I thought this was the book – but wouldn’t this book be named The Green Mile if that were the case? The Green Mile came out YEARS ago – so I had no clue how it ended – or what the heck it was about. All I remember is the death row inmate guy performing all these miracles; the same things Shay Bourne was doing in this book. Whether this was a knock-off or not – I don’t care. It kept me on my feet and engaged the entire ride.”
Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer
“Between the Lines is about a fairytale prince named Oliver – who wants out his story – because he’s fallen in love with a 14 year old reader named Delilah.
Very cute book. Jodi Picoult’s stuff is pretty deep and dark – so this was a welcome reprieve. I swallowed this book in like, 2 days. Although, it CAN be creepy if you think too deep about it; a character in a book who wants to be real?? Who falls in love with you?? That’s like Jacob Black from Twilight trying to get my attention because he’s done with the whole Saga and just wants to live a normal life with me outside the book! How hilarious!!! I do like that the girl finally got her prince in the end. Fairtytales always come true only in books unfortunately :’-(
My favorite quote from the book is on page 148. “No one ever asks a kid for her opinion, but it seems to me that growing up means you stop hoping for the best, and start expecting the worst. So how do you tell an adult that maybe everything wrong in the world stems from the fact that she’s stopped believing the impossible can happen?” I LOVE this quote because its so true of myself. Way before I became an adult I learned this lesson. Always expect the worst because the impossible never happens. If it did, EVERY girl on earth would have her own Happily-Ever-After with the person of their dreams right this second – not ONLY having the person of their dreams IN their dreams. At least Delilah got her ending; too bad her mom doesn’t.”
Second Glance by Jodi Picoult
“Second Glance is about the effects of a haunting on a small town.
This book had an EXTREMELY slow start. Most of the characters were confusing; and I didn’t understand the motivations for their anger. I couldn’t figure out who I was supposed to care for – until the story primarily focused on Ross, his sister and nephew (Shelby and Ethan), and Lia.
Ross lost his fiance Aimee in a car crash. Since then, he’s tried to kill himself many times – but somehow always miraculously survives. He becomes a Paranormal Investigator to find his lost love; and after years of searching, he gives up on ever seeing ghosts, and decides to stay with his sister and nephew for a while. The town they stay in is collapsing at the seems; the Native Americans are protesting against strip mall developers, and a ghost is wreaking havoc. Ross is summoned to exorcise the ghost; and not only does he FINALLY see a ghost, he falls in love with her and can’t exorcise her.
Lia reminded me of Emily; the 17 year old in Jodi Picoult’s book The Pact. They both had similar reasons for killing themselves. Lia’s death was unfortunately inevitable; even if she hadn’t killed herself, she would have died from complications of childbirth within a few days. I felt really bad for her.
LOVED the cop and Shelby falling in love. Very awesome 😉 I didn’t like Ethan and Lucy. I understood them, but they were still just annoying and disobedient and bothersome characters. Maybe because I hate kids that they bothered me so much? Anyways…
Alot of stuff happened in this book for NO reason. Did Gray Wolf SERIOUSLY need to kill himself?? Did Lucy REALLY need to see ghosts (like the world needs ANOTHER ‘Sixth Sense’ story)?? Did Ethan need REALLY need to have that rare disease – just for dramatic effect?? Did Spencer Pike REALLY need to die without knowing that he didn’t succeed in killing Lily?? I just thank God Ruby didn’t die. I would’ve been PISSED!
As always, the ending was pretty awesome. Didn’t see that coming. Made the book worthwhile after all. It brought the title of the book full circle; once he learned who Meredith really was. Maybe Lia developed feelings for Ross and wanted him to be a part of her after all 😉 Finally Ross can have some piece; with the one he was really meant for. ”
The Pact by Jodi Picoult
“The Pact is about a 17 year old girl named Emily Gold who kills herself. Now her boyfriend Chris Harte is on trial for her murder.
Emily seemingly had the kind of love story with Chris that every warm blooded female wants. Their parents were all BEST friends – inseparable really. Chris was born 3 months before Emily; and when she was born – they put Chris in the bassinet with her. It seemed like it was meant to be for them.
They lived next door to each other, and the two families were ALWAYS together. Emily and Chris became twins; when he hurt, she cried and vice versa. But as I read on and learned of Emily’s struggles, this almost came off as an arranged marriage. Even Emily got that impression when she asked her mom if they’d let her go out late or talk on the phone late or do ANYTHING with some guy who wasn’t Chris – and her mom replied ‘Probably not.’ Being intertwined with someone since your birth, it would be an almost incestrous thing to become lovers – and thats what happened. Emily LOVED Chris. More than anything in the whole world. She couldn’t see herself with any other guy but him – she couldn’t imagine her life without him. But Chris was also the boy she wrestled with; the boy she teased; the boy she exchanged dares with – he was her brother. It was impossible to separate the boy she grew up with and the love of her life. She couldn’t have sex with him without getting sick and crying uncontrollably. They broke up because she wouldn’t tell Chris why she couldn’t sleep with him – and she STILL couldn’t live without him – though on some level, she NEEDED to live without him to figure out if SHE really wanted this love that she truly felt was incestrous. Add to that, some childhood sexual abuse, and Emily finding out she was having Chris’ baby; and all Emily wanted to do was die.
I had to put the book down for a few days at nearly the end – because I didn’t want a life in prison fate for Chris. That happened in Nineteen Minutes and I couldn’t stomach it happening to Chris Harte in this book. What would you do if you were SO connected to someone – but all they wanted to do was die? Chris tried over and over and over to stop her. But in the end; she was resolved. She wouldn’t tell him why she wanted to die and he couldn’t understand how the girl he’d been made for had become a stranger to him. Ultimately; though Chris and Emily seemed to be one whole person from their births; they were two seperate people. She wasn’t strong enough to handle her own life. Plus their families were just TOO close for them to both comfortably be in love. If Emily had left Chris, she would’ve killed herself; Chris; both sets of parents; everyone.
When you see someone you literally can’t live without in such pain from living, could you help them kill themselves? Does that then make you a murderer? That was a hard question to answer. Yes, Chris could’ve left Emily alone to kill herself. He could’ve thrown the gun far far away and told someone his girlfriend/best friend/sister was suicidal and he couldn’t stop her – but what would that have changed since she was truly intent on ending her life? It would’ve made things worse for her, especially since she didn’t want anyone to know and stop her. Who has the courage to tell people that they can’t handle their own lives so watch over them and get them endless uselesd therapy so they don’t kill themselves?? Chris didn’t want to betray her trust – but he also didn’t want her to kill herself when he wasn’t around. That would have killed him too.
The Prosecutor made a good point; that alot of murders would go unsolved if everyone claimed they shot someone because that person wanted to die. But the Defense attorney made a good point too: is it really murder if someone wanted to die – but couldn’t do it themselves? Jodi’s books are always left unfinished, but this one had an ending that I could sort of live with. Although part of me kind of wanted Chris to kill himself too since he didn’t have anything to live for anymore. His whole life was Emily. He was holding her hand when she came in the world – and held her when she took herself from this world. Every moment, every thought, every everything was Emily for him. He did anything and everything for her – including helping her die. It seemed only right that once her life ended, his should have as well. Poor Chris Harte. May he finally find peace with what Emily did to herself. And hopefully in this fictional world Jodi Picoult created, when Chris does die, he’s reunited with his other half.”
NINETEEN MINUTES BY JODI PICOULT
“Nineteen Minutes is about the lives of a small town changed forever after a school shooting.
I was surprised by the maturity of the relationship between Josie Cormier and Mat. They went through hurdles like any other adult relationship – it didn’t really feel like a high school romance. Although, at some points I was reminded that they were teenagers. I was sad at the end; I didn’t want that to be Josie’s fate , and though I didn’t particularly like Mat, she loved him so it was sad that she not only lost him – but lost her freedom due to his death. I feel like that shouldn’t have happened to her since it was an accident. Peter was the one who actually killed him.
Peter Houghton’s whole life was just tragic. There really was no other ending for him. I never blamed him for what he did. I remember when Columbine happened – a few of us cheered. People just don’t understand how homicidal a person can become if you treat them like shit and harm them every day; all day; all of their lives.
The love story between Josie’s mom Alex Cormier – the Judge and the Detective Patrick was nice. I wanted Alex to have a good life – especially since she lost so much throughout this book. I never knew Judges were actually human; its was cool reading how their elected and how people treat them differently – even without their robe on. I can see that why Alex loved and hated getting that position.
What really angered me about this whole thing was that nobody changed. No laws were passed about bullying; nothing was added in the school rules about bullying; the jocks stayed jocks; the popular girls stayed popular – NOTHING changed. People just villianized Peter ands went back to their merry little lives. Because of the endings for mostly everyone I didn’t like this book – but the messages brought forth were powerful. Do you really know anyone? How far is too far to push someone? Everything isn’t black and white and sometimes there is such a thing as an accident. Is it really fair to punish someone for an accident?”
PICTURE PERFECT BY JODI PICOULT
“Again, I was pleasantly surprised how Jodi Picoult’s fiction had a intense love story involved. This story is about Cassie Barrett; a woman who woke up in a cemetery with Amnesia. She finds out she’s an Anthropologist that married a famous movie star 3 years earlier. Then as time goes on, she realizes the reason she left; her movie star husband was physically abusive – and she needed to protect her unborn child from him.
I was swept away by the intense feelings Alex Rivers had for Cassie. I was rooting for them – even though he abused her. The author raised some great points about domestic violence; can people really change if the love is strong enough or is the abuser doomed to forever broken and alone? I didn’t care for the Will character either – since I felt like the love between Alex and Cassie was more passionate and genuine. But in a domestic violence situation, no matter how deeply you love them, and no matter how much you’d do for them – including enduring beatings and dying to help them get through their own pain – you have to let them go.”
THE STORYTELLER BY JODI PICOULT
“Very heart-wrenching tale about Sage Singer, a former Jewish woman (now Athiest) who feels extremely guilty over the death of the mother. Thus she isolates herself from the world (except the married funeral director she’s having an affair with) – until she comes across two men who will change her outlook on life and herself forever.
It was very intense; I can tell that the research the author must have gone through to get the authenticity just right must have been excruciating. It was a well-written tale, although I’m split on the ending. I’m not sure I approved of the heroine’s actions – but I understood why she did what she did. I also like that a love story was involved. I’d heard of this author, but I wasn’t expecting to find love story subplots in her work. That was a nice surprise that also kept me reading.”
TWILIGHT BY STEPHANIE MEYER
“Twilight is the story of 17 year old Isabella Swan who moves to Forks, Washington to live with her father – the town Sheriff – from Phoenix, Arizona after her mother got remarried. There, she meets and falls in love with Edward Cullen; a boy whose seemingly an 17 year old adopted son of the good Doctor Cullen and his wife. He’s actually a vampire living with a coven who drinks animal blood instead of human blood.”
“I didn’t like Edward Cullen. He treated Bella in a hot and cold way for almost half the book! It just didn’t seem like he loved her as much as she loved him. But it was still an exhilarating read. I liked learning more about the world of vampires in Stephanie Meyer’s eyes, and I liked the stories and personalities of the many secondary characters in Edward’s and Bella’s lives. It was utterly ordinary – which ironically made the story more interesting because how can a ordinary story with a ordinary girl with an ordinary life suddenly become something more? The hottest, most unattainable guy in school suddenly can’t stay away from you? What girl didn’t dream of that once or twice when they were in high school???”
“The movie was awesome! I didn’t like that it was changed from the book, and it had a blue-ish/gray picture throughout to me. The Cullens weren’t even pale like traditional vampires! But the budding teenage love scenes and the action scenes were cool.”
NEW MOON BY STEPHANIE MEYER
“New Moon is about the vampire Edward Cullen leaving Isabella Swan – to keep her safe from their enemies and himself – so she can have a chance at a normal human life. Bella is DEVASTATED, but finds comfort and love with a new suitor; Jacob Black, the 16 year old Indian son of her father’s best friend. He also has a secret; he shape shifts into a werewolf.”
“Bella is EXTREMELY annoying in this second installment of The Twilight Saga. She keeps going back and forth between her love for Edward/sadness over his leaving her and her growing love for Jacob. Its not that I didn’t identify with her sadness over Edward leaving – because the book described her pain flawlessly, and captured it perfectly – but I just couldn’t understand why she couldn’t be happy and grateful that she had someone better in Jacob. I mean, their fathers were best friends, they’ve been in each others lives since they were kids, they were both human (sort of) balancing supernatural aspects in their lives, and she was generally physically attracted to the guy! !!!TEAM JACOB + BELLA FOREVER!!!”
“The movie was EXACTLY the same as the book.”
ECLIPSE BY STEPHANIE MEYER
“Eclipse is not only about the battle to destroy the Cullen coven and Isabella by an army of newborn vampires, but also the battle between Vampire Edward Cullen and Werewolf Jacob Black for Bella’s heart.”
“This was my FAVORITE book in The Twilight Saga. The insults Edward and Jacob threw at each other were SOOOO funny!!! And I ALMOST switched to Team Edward when he left a note for Bella saying something like ‘Take care of my heart, I’ve left it for you.’ But, I think this third installment really showed how stupid and one track minded Bella was because Jacob pulled out ALL the stops on her to be with him instead – and she kept refusing! Even when she FINALLY realized how much she really loved him – she still gave him up for Edward.”
“The movie almost completely captures Bella’s indecision about choosing Edward or Jacob – but it cut out key scenes of her anguish for scenes focusing more on the temporary newborn vampire Bree Tanner’s experience in Seattle. But, it was still very epic. The battle for Bella’s heart was hella intense by the time the climax of this movie came about.”
BREAKING DAWN BY STEPHANIE MEYER
“Breaking Dawn is about the marriage of Isabella Swan to vampire Edward Cullen; the birth of their half human half vampire daughter Renesme, and finally, Bella’s death/transformation into a vampire.”
“This was the most INTENSE book of The Twilight Saga. Bella finally marries her vampire Edward and Jacob is left behind scrambling to figure out where he still fits in her life. Which turns out – Jacob’s heart is meant for Bella and Edward’s half human/half vampire daughter Renesme. It reads like a totally different kind of book once Bella is finally transformed into a vampire. Its like, in Twilight, Bella was balancing her primary human life with vampire life. In New Moon, she was balancing her primary human life with wolf life. In Eclipse, she was balancing her primary human life with vampire and wolf lives. In the first half of Breaking Dawn, she was bidding farewell to her primary human life while integrating into a vampire life and balancing wolf life. In the second half of Breaking Dawn, she balances a primary vampire life with wolf and human life. Breaking Dawn really takes the readers on a whole new and exciting reality for Bella’s fans. The girl who becomes a wife, has her virginity taken, has a baby, dies, becomes reborn as a vampire, and saves her entire family and friends with her super power! She really is the heroine of the entire saga. What surprised me was that a forth of the first half of the book was told from Jacob’s perspective – not Bella’s (as it had been since Twilight). Then, his imprinting on Renesme. It made sense; because at first I wasn’t going to read Breaking Dawn because Bella made her choice – and it wasn’t Jacob. So why did I need to read more?? But my curiosity about what Stephanie Meyer had in store next for these characters after Eclipse intrigued me. And Stephanie must have read my mind – because in the beginning pages of Breaking Dawn, Bella remarks on how she didn’t want Jacob to think that she had just danced off into the sunset with Edward and forgot about him – which is what I thought Breaking Dawn would be about actually. When I read that Bella thought that, I felt like Stephanie was speaking directly to Jacob fans through the character Bella’s thoughts. I wanted to read about what was in store for Jacob and the wolves now that Bella had officially chosen Edward. Him imprinting on Renesme was weird – but it worked out for him. Now he had a comfortable way of still being in Bella’s life. I loved how Stephanie Meyer brought together everyone; the vampires and wolves were finally friends. The humans we were exposed to from Twilight were still valued and included in the harmony. Renee is ignorantly happy in Florida; Charlie gets Sue and Bella now has 2 wolf step-siblings (who are also part of Jacob’s pack); all Bella’s high school buds are blissfully ignorant in college – its all good. Even one of the new cast of vampires gets a happy ending (i.e. Kate and Garrett). And, the Volturi are defeated. I actually wanted a battle though – I almost threw the book down when nobody fought in the end!!! What a let down!!! But, Stephanie brought almost every character to a happy ending – well, all except Leah and Irina. Life will forever suck for them (Irina more so cause she dies!). Turns out, Breaking Dawn wasn’t just a book for Bella + Edward fans – but a book for vampire fans, and the human character fans, and Jacob fans, and wolf fans as well.”
“The movie of Breaking Dawn part 1 was beautiful. Just beautiful. It captured Bella’s emotions throughout her experiences PERFECTLY. Just as the book did. I was so sad for Jacob throughout this. He matured so much – yet he was still holding on desperately to love he felt for the girl who chose someone else – his enemy – over him. I loved the things they added (a fight with the wolves) and how emotional this saga really was. I also really liked how accurate the gory parts of this movie were. Her drinking the blood (EWWWW!!!!), and even though some of the delivery of Renesme parts were taken out of the movie version, it was still pretty disgusting, and gory, and heartstoppingly scary.”
“The Breaking Dawn part 2 movie felt like a completely different kind of movie – just like the second half of the book read differently than all the other books. It captured all the emotions, drama, and evolution of characters – plus gave justice to all the other characters that were introduced as well. And the twist the director Bill Condon added brought more fans to the series and kept the current fans on the edge of our seats!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I was SSSOOO glad they did that cause that pissed me off in the book that they didn’t do it!!! I only wish they could’ve done more with Bella’s shield – and the movie wasn’t so rushed. It felt too fast-paced and vital parts were missing that could’ve made it an even more perfect ending for the saga. But, it was still an epic cinematic end regardless.”
“Personally, the mantra for the ENTIRE Twilight saga should’ve been, ‘The Twilight Saga; It all begins…with a choice.’ ”
THE SHORT SECOND LIFE OF BREE TANNER BY STEPHANIE MEYER
“The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner is a companion book to Eclipse; chronicling the experiences of a newborn vampire named Bree Tanner.”
“I liked this book, and I didn’t expect to. Bree wasn’t a main character – but her story gave vital Twilight Saga world information – like what Newborn vampires were supposed to be like. All hunger for human blood and anger and intensity and confusion. Believing their Gods and such. The book also confirms what Edward suspected: that the Volturi let Victoria continue to make her Newborn army to destroy Bella and the Cullen clan. In the foreword, Stephanie Meyer wrote that she liked the Bree Tanner character a lot, I heard she played with finding a way to add her in the saga, but Stephanie ultimately decided to put Bree’s story as a companion story to the saga.
It was cute adding a budding love story between Bree and Diego, plus showing the evolution of guardianship to camaraderie between Bree and ‘Freaky Fred’. It was entertaining when Bree and Diego were discovering that their skin glittered in the Sun instead of burning in the Sun – like they thought it would. And it was an interesting power ‘Freaky Fred’ had; and though Bree was off-put by it herself, she was still smart enough and strong enough to withstand his gift enough to be protected by it. This book kinda foreshawdowed Bella’s newborn experience; that though she’d be confused and thirsty for human blood and glitter in the Sun and run/jump super fast, she’d also be able to still human emotions like loyalty and love. It also brought a technical-detailed magnifying glass to Jasper’s newborn armies/Maria story in Eclipse. But almost all this newborn army died – violent deaths at the hands of the Cullens (sans Edward + Bella) and the wolves (sans Seth) – including Diego at the hands of Riley (and probably Victoria too) and Bree at the hands of Felix and Jane of the Volturi.
Stephanie Meyer could have given us fans the info from this book within the Twilight Saga – without including this spin off book. Its still good though; I really do like it 🙂 Its always good to have lots of companion book perspectives. I just think Stephanie could’ve given Bree a future with Diego and ‘Freaky Fred’ instead of killing Bree and Diego off then letting ‘Freaky Fred’ escape to the north. Who knows? The three of them could’ve been a new replacement nomad trio – just like James, Laurent, and Victoria – they just would’ve stayed out of trouble from then on since Riley and Victoria were killed 😉 It was a sad ending in a saga full of happy endings 😦 ”
MIDNIGHT SUN BY STEPHANIE MEYER
“Midnight Sun is Twilight told through the vampire Edward Cullen’s perspective.”
“Now, I’m not a Team Edward fan, but Midnight Sun totally gave me a new perspective on Edward’s personality. He’s a lot like Bella. He’s beautiful; but believes he’s an ugly soulless monster. Who could love or want him – he’s unlovable! Bella is beautiful; but believes she’s an ugly non-special wing in the wind. Who could ever love her – she’s CLUMSY and boring! They fit together and complimented each other (although he was super creepy with that obsessive stalker stuff!). They were both seriously depressed their whole lives. It kind of almost read like the second half of Breaking Dawn to me because all the characters are primarily vampire – just like there.
I liked hearing the thoughts of the other people in Bella’s life; Charlie, Angela, Ben, Jessica, Mike – plus the vampires Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, Emmett, Carlisle, and surprisingly Edward himself. It was like almost having books of their lives as they intertwined with Bella and Edward as well. It gave me new insights into their characters and their roles in Edward’s and Bella’s lives – not just in this book. Their thoughts could carry through and translate to more development in their characters throughout the series.
Edward also learned things about himself as the book progressed; like how human he was becoming just by falling in love with one. He experiences all kinds of human emotions, like hate and rage and jealousy and love, and learns not to rely so much on his vampire abilities to interact with us or interpret us. Plus he stopped being so depressed. This was also an unexpected development in his personality that I liked.
It introduced us fans to characters behind the characters, like Peter and Charlotte, Maria, Tanya, and our first introduction to The Volturi (instead of finding out about them in New Moon first). Very surprisingly awesome read. I’m sad Stephanie Meyer won’t finish it. I still think Bella belonged with Jacob though 😉 !!!TEAM JACOB + BELLA FOREVER!!!”
*Sidenote: Just between you and me, I think Stephanie released Midnight Sun right when she wanted to. She never intended to write anything more then what she did! If she did – she’d have finished it and published it by now – cause she’s just as in love with Edward as her fans are! She’s just building up anticipation for a book she never intended to finish – milking her fan base. It doesn’t even make sense: someone leaked her unfinished copy on the net?? Please. Quick common sense quiz: Who has access to an author’s unfinished copy of a manuscript? THE AUTHOR! DUH!!! Publicity stunt. Plain and simple. But that’s my two-cents on the situation 😉 ”
TURNED OUT BY ANGEL M. HUNTER
“Turned Out is about Champagne and Zyair; a couple who experiments with a threesome and now Champagne questions whether she’s still straight, bisexual, or really lesbian.”
“ I love this book but; being Bisexual myself, I was hoping in the end that if Champagne didn’t leave Zyair for a female lover that she would at least come out as bisexual and keep her man AND a female lover! The book hinted that she does that latter, but it doesn’t outright say that. I also didn’t care for Zyair’s personality. He came off as desperate and controlling – pathetic really. He was non-supportive of her professional dreams and struggles with her sexuality; I can see why Champagne was wrestling with just leaving the guy.”
MY WOMAN, HIS WIFE BY ANNA J
“My Woman, His Wife was about married couple James and Jasmine; James convinces Jasmine to have a threesome with a stripper named Monica. Monica falls in love with Jasmine; and plots to take her away from him.”
“O MY GOD!!! THIS BOOK IS SERIOUSLY CRAZY!!! That girl Monica was crazy as hell – I’ve never read anything like that before!!! She has sex with both Jasmine and James – to take Jasmine away from James?? Really?? I couldn’t understand how that was supposed to work! Monica was just straight up unstable – I didn’t care for her character at all. The struggle Jasmine had with leaving James for Monica was real – cause James was cheating on her; didn’t care about her; and he was controlling. Monica on the other hand was no better for Jasmine; she was manipulative; desperate; horny; indecisive; destructive – Jasmine was better off without either of them! This book painted an unrealistically exaggerated consequence of couples who open their beds to third parties. Its honestly not like this – like, at all.”
THE AFTERMATH BY ANNA J
“The Aftermath is about what happens in the lives of James, Jasmine, and Monica after My Woman, His Wife ended.”
“I’m split on this book. This book almost seemed like a prequel instead of sequel to “My Woman, His Wife.” It made me like Monica more because I identified with her character and why she was the way she was. I actually felt bad that she never got Jasmine, but at least they kept getting together.
I was also glad that Monica moved away from there with her sister. She went through too much pain. She deserved a fresh start. I was sad she gave up her baby, but it wasn’t conceived in love. She didn’t even want the baby!
However, this book didn’t have enough lesbian sex for me. It was too much straight sex. And the plot became more and more confusing and too many loose ends were occurring. What happened with Sheila? What happened with that tape Monica had? What did Jasmine think about the tape? Were those twins really James’ children? Did Jasmine ever find out about the strippers? How did that guy REALLY die? Does Monica ever find happiness with a deserving Queen? Monica had a brother?!?
The book was interesting read…I’m still undecided if it was good or bad.”
EXTRA MARRITAL AFFAIRS BY RELENTLESS AARON
“Extra Marrital Affairs is about Adena; a woman who seduces well to do Mason Fickle; marries him; then they engage in constant threesomes with random females till one of them; Loween, ends up dead in their bed after a particularly intense threesome.”
“Although the very few lesbian sex scenes were hot, this book was a waist of money. Adena was bossy, and butch, and ghetto as hell! And the worst part was, she pulled some hot rich man being that way and screwed his brains out the first night they met. The lesbian sex was great, her slutiness was NOT cute. Plus the book had a stupid plot. What a waist.”
BRAZEN BY SUSAN JOHNSON
“Brazen is about the passionate relationship between Countess Angela De Grae and American playboy Kit Braddock.”
“VERY hot read! I like the intense scenes between Angela and Kit but in the end, it really didn’t seem likely that Kit would change his playboy ways. He’d always be special to Angela, and he was good for sex, but he didn’t qualify as being good enough to completely be publicly part of her world. Plus she had some major flaws herself; she was rich; SPOILED; and controlling – which ultimately lead to all the fights and many breakups they had. You just can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I let my sister borrow it years ago and I haven’t seen it since so I can’t remember the ending.”
FINE THINGS BY DANIELLE STEEL
“Fine Things is about Bernard Fine; an owner of a clothing store who falls in love with Liz and her beautiful little 5 year old daughter Jane. After Liz’s death from cancer, Bernie must now rescue Jane from her birth father who kidnaps her not too long afterwards.”
“I cried when I read this book. It was so touching – so raw; it was a little different than anything I’ve ever read up until that point. Plus, when I first read it, a close family friend had died so it helped me through some tough times.”
**SEE ALL THE OTHER BOOKS I’VE READ AND REVIEWED ON GOODREADS AT http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/14487283-kim-thebwordpoet