Sep 24, 2017

Review: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath


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Title: The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Publisher: Harper Perennial 
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Paperback Edition, 244 Pages
Published January 1963



Summary: Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche, The Bell Jar is an extraordinary accomplishment and a haunting American classic.

 

I know exactly what you're all going to say, so you may as well save your breath: It's embarrassing that I waited too long to read this book. And I totally agree. The Bell Jar is arguably one of the most widely-recognized books among people in our generation today, and while I knew that the book existed, I didn't know much of what it was about and I hadn't read it. The only thing I associated with The Bell Jar when I heard about it previously was the fact that it was apparently really sad. That was it.

Yeah. I'm pretty embarrassed, and I know I should be.

So when this book was assigned as part of the requirement for my YA Writing Course at school, I was eager for the chance to finally be reading one of the books that is always talked about but I haven't yet had a chance to start, and I didn't have even the slightest clue what to expect.

However, once I started reading the book, I really got into it. While I didn't like Esther as a character that much (mainly because of how rude and mean she could be towards everyone around her), I found it interesting to be taken into her mind and to see her struggle with mental illness and just wanting a sense of freedom when all it felt like was that there was a bell jar descending over her and closing her out from the world every single day.

Esther's struggles were very troubling, and there were points in the book where I found myself cringing (mainly because I'm so squeamish when it comes to blood and razors and such), and times where I was gasping with either surprise or sometimes even laughter after something outlandish that Esther said. Upon finishing the book, I can definitely understand why people think it's an extremely sad read, and I have to agree. However, I don't regret reading the book, because I feel that The Bell Jar has such pivotal sadness as an effective tool for making us aware of our own emotions and even the struggles that the author herself was going through before she tragically ended her life.

Overall, I enjoyed The Bell Jar much more than I thought I was going to. Although it was definitely a really sad book that tugged at the heartstrings, it did an excellent job of showing one woman's up-and-down struggle with mental illness and yearning for freedom and peace, especially in an era where her gender was unfortunately crucial in holding her back from that, in addition to everything else that was going on in her life. This book really opened my eyes, and I'm really grateful that I was given the opportunity to read it.





Sep 23, 2017

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Train To The Edge Of The Moon by Asper Blurry


Train to the Edge of the Moon
Asper Blurry
Publication date: October 28th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Punk is no ordinary millennial who takes the life as it is. She has a nasty habit of getting in troubles, she shows the middle finger to prejudice and stupidity, she fights against her broken identity and darkness of her soul. She goes against the stream with her heavy, tight shoes, but she still tries to be a better person. Punk’s adventurous journey to become someone who matters starts in a Place Without a Name, continues in Italy and London. Her train is full of sad reflections, laughs, modern tales about our young lives, relationships and occasional heartbreaks.
“Train to the Edge of the Moon” is about all shades of the young people reality – struggles with career, romances, feeling lost in the corporate machinery, feeling misunderstood and rejected by society. It’s funny, it makes you laugh and in the next moment it gets sad and dark and you want to crawl in the corner and cry a little. It also raises controversial issues such as addictions, depression, and abuse. Those who have been beaten down, trampled over and nearly robbed of everything that makes them who they are, those who refuse to adapt and be another brick in the wall in the modern mayhem will find here hope and strength to fight for their happiness and peace of soul.
Imagine “Girl, interrupted” partying up with the older “Catcher in the Rye” and immerse your curiosity in Punk’s wild adventures.
EXCERPT:
Gloomy room
immersed in a scent
of modern cowards
Filled with
shapeless creatures
sitting in silence
because they have
nothing to say
Fake plastic faces
with a grimace
of disappointment
painted on them
Are we stuck on hold
expecting our turn
in a waiting room
of so-called
lost generation?

London 2015
Weak raindrops were pouring down her leather jacket. It was raining every day lately, and she missed the warmth of Italian sun. Yet Punk couldn’t leave London just like that. It wasn’t just some place for her. She considered London to be a he. A breathing creature with his virtues, weaknesses and vices. His violent dynamism was intoxicating. It would bring her joyful moments of light mixed with deep secrets of a black soul. At first, his huge size and activity caused her dizziness and it took her a while to adjust.
Punk was waiting for them in front of the Oxford Circus tube. Her long, brown hair was tangled by the strong wind. These days it wouldn’t allow her to breathe consciously. A frozen glimmer of the sun appeared on the gray sky, buried behind the dark clouds. But no one bothered to spot it happening above the vivid city life. Punk was like a single shadow that ran within the turmoil of passing strangers on Oxford Street. Quick and invisible like a current of the wild river.
Sometimes the wave of London’s beauty would throw her into unknown dangerous waters, sinking her with anxiety and astonishment. The city is very demanding. He doesn’t want you. He wants all of you; pushing you inside his unique core of riot. And if you’re not strong or confident enough he will spit you out like a piece of used shred. He will devour all your vigor, leaving you with naked ass hid in the bushes.
Punk resembled London in many ways. But she couldn’t stay alive like he did. She could feel life only through glass. It made her hungry and eager to try and live it all. Mostly in homelessness and detachment.
Yet when she saw her two lovers emerging from the stream of dim sunlight a delicate glow covered her pale cheeks. It looked like a smile. She was less scared now after all they’d been through, but she still couldn’t get used to feeling this way.
Someone said she was beautiful and untouchable. So where did all this ugliness come from? Was it her illusion? Was it their notion? Was it even real?


Author Bio:
Asper Blurry is a writer, poet, thinker, seeker, traveler and much more. She often finds herself in places of different dimensions and cruel whispers, far from the dreamland. But that's the price she pays for her creations and she keeps writing because of this artistic force inside her heart and mind.
Her voice is genuine, blunt and raw, sometimes poetic and mysterious. She writes freely about our ordinary life and the reality of modern, young people. She's not afraid of addressing controversial issues such as addictions, depression and intolerance. She's convinced that if her writing touches your soul or makes you feel something, all those nights spent in the darkness on the other side will be worth it.

GIVEAWAY!

We'd like to once again thank the lovely team over at Xpresso for allowing us to be a part of this book tour! This book seems super interesting and we can't wait to add it to our TBR. What're your thoughts? Comment down below and let us know!



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Sep 20, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking The Spine where we highlight some of the upcoming books we can't wait to read!

Jessica's Waiting on:

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Title: The Poet X
Author: Elizabeth Acevedo
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Publication Date: March 6th, 2018


Summary: A young girl in Harlem discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world. Debut novel of renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo. Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Okay, for starters, the summary alone makes it clear that this is going to be one of the most kickass books of 2018. Poet Sarah Kay mentioned it on her Twitter a few weeks ago, and that's what caused me to look up the book on Goodreads and decide that it was definitely something I wanted to read. I can't wait to have this book in my hands and read it, because not only does this seem like a book about creativity and finding yourself and standing up against expectations, but this book also seems to be speaking to the power of words, which, as a reader and writer, I think is totally awesome. I'm really looking forward to 2018 so I'll get a chance to read this book!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave your links so I can stop back!