Reading All Night

The Beautiful Dead - Belinda Bauer

Started off super good but the ending felt rushed and lack-luster . Thought it was going to have more interactions of the main character with the killer since that was what was advertised on the tin, but sadly no. Glad got it out of the library and didn't buy because seriously  was underwhelmed for the last 100 pages or so.

SPOILER ALERT!

Some Secrets just can't stay buried

You: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes

Have now read  You twice now  and have to say it is just as good and fun the second time around as it was the first.Have only read Hidden Bodies once so far but will be honest though and say  I am glad she changed to the third person point of view in the sequel.  I was both a fan and not a fan of the second person perspective in You.Though maybe she changed it because well the "You" is now dead  in the sequel so can't really use that "You" again now can she? Now don't get me wrong when done correctly, especially in You, is jarring and just makes you feel slightly weird reading it . Think the jarring nature of it was what made reading You so much fun. Thing is the jarring nature of it also takes you out of the story at times. That and well second person usually for me only works really well in choose your own adventure sort of novels . It works in those sort of novels because the YOU they are referring to there is actually you. Descriptions of the you in them is none existent because  well the point is  that the reader is supposed to be so lost in the story they actual feel they are along for the adventure and the second the writer adds any descriptions the more people that will not match that description and thus not be able to see the themselves in the story any longer. The thing that makes You different is that the You Joe describes is not you the reader but a character in the story and you are more or less sort of living in her body for the story I guess is the best way to put it. I think You works and is way creepier , least to me, when he does mention the character he is stalking by name. Course get why he does because well she is a character in the story so unless the you was actual the reader be strange if not mentioning her name but again the effect is way better when the character's name is not mentioned.


Then came to the sequel , which if anything I think is even better than the first one.I am a bit sad she changed the title from love to Hidden Bodies since I think Love is a far better title and just  feel would have been better if all the books in this series had one word titles. Just like the first  novel, the sequel makes you root for Joe even though he is a horrible person who does some really horrible things.Will mention if books have to have likeable characters that you can relate to in order for you to like them will say to stay far away from You and Hidden Bodies. I personally like unlikeable characters and have no issues liking characters even if certain things about their personalities or things they do are really messed up. Just found myself  tons of times while reading it found myself not wanting him to get caught even though by now he should clearly be in prison or if not on death row.

 

Will admit I took my ratings down a bit for both mostly for the fact I thought he fell into the just too damn lucky camp . Now I realize there are tons of real life serial killers who get away with horrible things , go uncaught even though when they are caught everyone is just confused how they were not caught earlier since when caught it seemed so obvious it was them or how could anyone believe the lies and shit they feed to them.  Realize too there are real life causes where strange luck or whatever you want to call it factors in and people go uncaught far longer then they should(Cops miss clues because they are human, witness don't want to come forward, etc).  Even with that in mind though I still thing there were a few cases especially in Hidden bodies where just he surpassed luck in my opinion. The most notable example is when he admits everything to Love, his now new obsession and love interest. Now we as the reader don't know if he actually told her everything thing that happened as it happened. We sort of have to take his word for it that he did.I for one think he told her his version of events , leaving out details and such. Then again he is also our eyes so who is to say we know all of the truth either.  Now Love is again not a completely likeable character and even if she was say one of the many women that fall in love with serial killers , who I think if faced with someone like that for real and not just in a fantasy would head for the hills since the fantasy of being in love and helping a killer is not as scary as the reality, I just don't think she would be able to process that as fast as she did and even go so far as being totally down to just go help him gather evidence that he left behind Not saying that she wouldn't help at some point since there are tons of examples of serial killer couples or least lovers that help out a spouse that kills I  just  still think she would have a bit more time to fully process all she told her and have more a reaction to what he had than she did. Now after saying that even if was sort of forced to further the plot still happy she did just so he stayed free for longer in the novel.

Can sadly also  see the way she helped him working in real life since so many people even now would be like Peach's parents and rather bury a gay child in secret(After Joe kills Peach on a beach and throws her body out to sea her parents now in this one believe it was not suicide . It is shown in the first book that most likely Peach is a lesbian in love with her best friend . In this book her parents have a feeling it was not suicide and  decide to reopen the case but when love burst in acting like her lesbian lover they tell the cops to close the case again to hide the fact that their daughter was a lesbian and avoid family scandal.) than admit to the public that their child was gay and start some sort of a family scandal, which as someone who lgbt myself I find fucked up to all hell but just like in real life it is still a sad reality for so many families. So again Joe is not the only messed up character since the people he kills, encounters , etc include a Psychologist who cheats on his wife with patients , well least the main character of You, Peach , a lesbian who comes on to her best when she is more or a bit passed out , Love's brother who is more or less a walking flesh suit pumped full every drug he can get his hands on, and course Love who has her own issues.Will say too if you dislike semigraphic sex scenes in your mystery/suspense novels would avoid these books as well.  I think though if you can get over the unlikable characters, if that is usually not your thing, the books are full with enough twists and turns to keep you reading.

For that fact alone would recommend them since they are probably some of the fastest reads. You keep wanting to flip the pages want to find out if Joe will get caught or what other messed up crap is going to happen. Then with much frustration, there is one hell of a cliff hanger for Hidden Bodies, which makes me want a third book like now even though have seen the author saying several times will be awhile til ten.Will admit was surprised when Joe walks out of the restaurant with the place surrounded by the cops  and Love is gone that she was not part of a set up to catch him. Was sure one of the cops got to her, fed her lies to give to Joe and that she lead him on til they could strike. Even Joe was certain of this for a bit. Now maybe she still is and it will be brought to light in the next  book of the series.Am still also on the fence whether her being pregnant is true on not so guess will have to see about that too. Think though it seems like so far she is not involved in helping him get caught and again it was just one of those terrible mistakes that got people questioning and digging too much. Course with the way Joe is able to pretty much talk himself out of anything and not sure he will face any jail time as of yet. Besides that is no fun for the killer , least to me, to get caught too early and have a feeling this is going to be more than a three book series. Had the same feeling when reading the first few Dexter books along with the Showtime show of the same name, a book series I would highly recommend if you at all enjoyed these books since those have very similar vibe to those .

So in short if you like high paced, readable books in which characters and most importantly a narrator are very very unlikeable , don't mind quite a bit of in semidetail sexual content in your mysteries , and books that have enough twists and turns to keep you guessing   would highly recommend both of these books. 

(show spoiler)

 

Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 343 pages.

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer - Lish McBride

I accidentally read the summary for the second book in the serious and now I have a bad feeling about the character I like so far in this. 

Boy Erased: A Memoir - Garrard Conley

Given the subject matter, I knew this was going to piss me off in certain ways but have gotten so frustrated about at least five or so times and I am only 15% into the freaking book!

2018 Reading goals

This are just general goals based on reading of last year. Will probably add or change this as the year goes on .

1. Read 200 books (setting sights high since it is the beginning of the year ).

2. Read more books I actual own. Have gotten to the habit of borrowing library books and reading those instead of books I own.

3. Write reviews for most of the books I read.

4. Read more actual general fiction and less manga and graphic novels since 50 percent of what I read last year was manga/graphic novels.

5. Take part in least one reading challenge a month.

6.Read at least some classics I have been meaning to read but have always put off.

SPOILER ALERT!

The Price of Salt (or Carol) The Book Vs Carol The movie

The Price of Salt - Patricia Highsmith

Know I have not posted much in about two years time but this is sort of a sore subject for me. I try to not to dismiss book to movie translations. I can forgive most things that get lost in translation. I understand that that movies have to cut, change, and twist things for time. Most good movies based on books handle this by taking out the filler but keeping the main themes of the book so that someone who has no intention or has not read the book can still enjoy the film without filling lost but also pleasing the fans that love or least enjoyed the book by recreating and including their favorite moments on the big screen.

Given that I would like to start off saying that I do not think Carol is a bad book to movie adaption. In fact I would say I enjoyed the film but I will say the cliche answer of the book was way better. I do admit that I have said the reverse with certain books vs movies. So it all really depends. With this one ,though, the winner is clearly the book. In fact I put off watching the film til I was finished with the book since I was enjoying the book so much and did not want the ending spoiled for me. 

 

 


In the short of it, rating wise the book got a solid 4.5 or 5 no question whereas the movie (given that I read the book first ) gets more of a 3. Will say both frustrated me but the important thing here is that both frustrated me in different ways . The book frustrated me in the way that the characters were overly human and made dumb mistakes where you sit there yelling at them for being so damn stupid . The movie on the other hand made me frustrated with the changes . So while the book got points for making me frustrated because it made the characters feel more real and thus more invested in the story, my frustrated in the film sadly made me enjoy the film less . I was not a big fan of how the movie started. I am usually ok with films starting at the end and working their way back through the story . Here though I just didn't think it worked. The important aspect of the book is that first meeting . That first bit of contact that sparks everything. In the movie , work back to that after being thrown in at the end and just to me at least it was beyond jarring and not in a good way.


Another reason the film made me frustrated  is that it commits the sin of changing things not to save time but just for the hell of it. What do I mean by this ? Well, in the book Therese is an aspiring set designer whereas in the film she is an aspiring photographer. Now to me this change just feels pointless. It is basically exchanging one thing for the other for no real reason other than again for the hell of it. I don't see how it saves time going that route . In fact , it creates a problem . In the book there is a scene where Therese after I would say the falling out with Carol is at a party where the actress  for the play she is designing the set for is. The whole scene is a reversal of her meeting Carol. Here the actress is smitten with her in near the same way she was smitten with Carol that first time seeing her. Now given that they change her to being a photographer instead it now makes no sense to have that actress but they still needed the scene so what do they do? Well take on a random friend of a friend at a party and there you go.  I do agree that they could have taken scenes out and still had her be a set designer . So I am just confused why they felt the change was needed to begin with.

Another sin the movie commits is forgetting or rushing main plot details. One of the big ones being rushing the plot point with the private detective that is following them. In the book , it is revealed slowly. Therese sees the same man twice, which is odd but just assumes she is seeing things  but no is revealed that she is right and this man has been following them for awhile. How does the movie handle it? Like thing mentioned before tact him on , have the whole confrontation over an done in one scene and that is that. Now again I can get cutting things for time but holy hell a main point in the book is that because this man is following  and being paid to record them a massive wedge being Carol and Therese is made to the point that Therese spends a good deal of time alone when Carol finally or is basically forced back to New York. Now again could have trimmed that down . Would not be hard to do ..but nope more or less the film cuts out all of the time Therese is alone and basically has here return home what seems like days ..instead of a month after Carol does. Cutting all of that time out also cuts out the point that in that time Therese grew and changed. She grew more into herself. She grew into someone who was more confident in herself .

The movie also does the thing that drives me nuts in both books and movies. There is the trope of character A being an innocent virgin to contrast the person they are in love with who is a more experienced lover. I can get this trope to a point but it still annoys me. Person A can have past lovers and still be deeply in love with the person the author wants them to be with or the person they are meant to be with. The movie writes it off that Richard and  Therese have maybe fooled around but have yet to have sex. Now the book heavily implies they have had sex and at one point would have again if Richard had come up to her flat. She even makes a comment to Carol that what they had done together is better than sleeping with men .  Therese's sexual awaking does not lose it's meaning just because she has slept with Richard . Now I am not saying she had to sleep with Richard in order to know for sure that she was lesbian or least more attracted to other women . What I am saying is that she can have had sex before and still had just as powerful of an experience with Carol. Not being a virgin does not undo the full impact of that experience.

Then there is the ending of both. I know some people probably disliked or even hated the ending for the book. Alot of people like endings that are nicely tied up and leave nothing to the imagination. That is more than understandable. I am like that with certain books. Given the time the book is supposed to take place and everything that has lead up to that moment think how the book ends fits well and still remains happy and hopeful.  In fact it was the ending of the book that took it from a 4 to a 5 for me. More or less the movie ending is the same but given what they left out of the movie the impact of it does not hit you near as hard.

What they left out is the main failing of the movie. Again if they were just cutting filler bits for time I would have probably enjoyed the movie way more than I did . As it stands though it feels like a jumble of details stuck to together . While I liked the movie version of the characters they are stripped of their full character development and come across flat compared to their book counterparts. I would suggest still watching the movie because it is still an enjoyable watch but still more highly suggest reading the book. 

(show spoiler)

 

SPOILER ALERT!

This happens to all my favorite characters

Frog Music - Emma Donoghue

I both love and hate how the book is written. Given the time jumps in this book  slowly find out about a character whose fate is already written. I love that because get to know them slowly in contrast to present events. Hate that because the more I read about that character the more I like them and then have to go ...oh right have to deal with the present events that can not be unwritten.

2015 Reading Review

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December Wrap up

Girl meets boy - Ali Smith The Girl in 6E - A. R. Torre Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood - Joshua Williamson Nailbiter Vol. 3: Blood In the Water - Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson Nailbiter Vol. 2: Bloody Hands - Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson Sweet Tooth, Vol. 3: Animal Armies - Jeff Lemire Sweet Tooth, Vol. 4: Endangered Species - Jeff Lemire Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened - Allie Brosh The Adventures of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed - Patrick Rothfuss, Nate  Taylor

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November Wrap-up

The Discworld Graphic Novels: The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic: 25th Anniversary Edition: "The Colour of Magic", "The Light Fantastic" by Terry Pratchett (2-Jun-2008) Hardcover - Terry Pratchett Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods - Jeff Lemire Pregnant Butch: Nine Long Months Spent in Drag by Summers, A. K. (2014) Paperback - A. K. Summers SuperMutant Magic Academy - Jillian Tamaki Lumberjanes Vol. 1  - Brooke Allen, Grace Ellis,  Noelle Stevenson

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October Wrap-Up

Chew Volume 10: Blood Puddin' - John Layman, Rob Guillory Two Boys Kissing - David Levithan Lady Killer - Jamie S. Rich, Joëlle Jones By Jonathan Luna Alex + Ada Volume 1 - Jonathan Luna Alex + Ada Volume 2 - Sarah Vaughn, Jonathan Luna, Jonathan Luna Drama (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) - Raina Telgemeier Rat Queens, Vol. 1: Sass & Sorcery - Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch Rat Queens Vol. 2: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N'Rygoth - Kurtis J. Wiebe Black Butler, Vol. 1 - Yana Toboso, Tomo Kimura

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September Wrap-up

You: A Novel - Caroline Kepnes The Boys on the Rock - John Fox Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights - Ann Bausum This Book is Gay - James Dawson Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood - Marjane Satrapi, Blake Ferris, Mattias Ripa The Faust Act - Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie The Wicked + The Divine Vol. 2: Fandemonium - Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword - Barry Deutsch Attack on Titan, Volume 1 - Hajime Isayama Venus in Fur - David Ives

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August Wrap up

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out - Susan Kuklin Boyfriends with Girlfriends - Alex Sanchez My Drunk Kitchen: A Guide to Eating, Drinking, and Going with Your Gut - Hannah Hart Romeo and Juliet: The War - Stan Lee, Max Work, Skan Srisuwan, Terry Dougas, William Shakespeare Fun Home - Alison Bechdel Are You My Mother? - Alison Bechdel This Day in June - Gayle E Pitman What Did You Eat Yesterday? Volume 1[WHAT DID YOU EAT YESTERDAY V01][Paperback] - FumiYoshinaga October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard - Lesléa Newman Donovan's Big Day - Lesléa Newman, Mike Dutton

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July Wrap up

Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz Openly Straight - Bill Konigsberg Some Assembly Required: The Not-So-Secret Life of a Transgender Teen - Arin Andrews The Composer Is Dead - Lemony Snicket, Carson Ellis, Nathaniel Stookey Chew: The Omnivore Edition, Vol. 1 - John Layman, Rob Guillory Chew: The Omnivore Edition, Vol. 2 - John Layman, Rob Guillory Chew: The Omnivore Edition, Vol. 3 - John Layman, Rob Guillory CHEW OMNIVORE EDITION VOL 4 (Chew the Omnivore Edition) - John Layman, Rob Guillory Through the Woods - Emily Carroll

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June Wrap-up

Sex Criminals, Volume 1 - Chip Zdarsky, Matt Fraction Sex Criminals Volume 2: Two Worlds, One Cop - Chip Zdarsky, Matt Fraction Wandering Son, Vol. 5 - Matt Thorn, Shimura Takako By Shimura Takako Wandering Son: Volume Six (Vol. 6) (Wandering Son) (1st Edition) - Shimura Takako Wandering Son( Volume Seven)[WANDERING SON][Hardcover] - ShimuraTakako Y: The Last Man, Vol. 1: Unmanned - Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr., Brian K. Vaughan The Birthday Party & The Room - Harold Pinter I Am J - Cris Beam Parrotfish - Ellen Wittlinger Y: The Last Man, Vol. 2: Cycles - Brian K. Vaughan, Pia Guerra, José Marzán Jr.

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I'm just going to leave this here.

 

*happy dances away throwing rainbow confetti*

Reblogged from Jessica (HDB)

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