Posted in Book Reviews

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Whoever thought skirts were for women clearly hasn’t seen a hot Scottish man rock a kilt…

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Now that I have your attention.. hehe.

Before I actually get into this book I wanted to mention quickly a little bit of a frustration I had when I picked up this book.

I found out after I had bought Outlander it is part of a series. Don’t get me wrong, I love stories that continue on to more adventures and explore further into their worlds. I am also sure it is a great way to hook a reader into buying more of an authors writing if they wrote so well and got the reader so invested into the characters they spend another ten or twenty dollars just to get the second book. But I am finding it a little aggravating lately that every book I pick up has at least two or more to follow.

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There are so many INCREDIBLE classic novels that have had such an amazing impacting story that didn’t need to be dragged on volume after volume. So why are writers in modern literature needing a five set series to be an accomplished writer? Thoughts?

But aside from the empty wallet issue I am having needing to spend all of my money on a complete set of works…

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Outlander is about a couple who are on their anniversary when the leading character Claire gets transported back in time. Separated from her husband and having not the faintest idea of how to get back, Claire finds herself kidnapped, married and conflicted about whether the past she now lives in is reality. How can she abandon the people who have taken her in? What has become of the future her husband and her still have ahead of them? Will she ever get home?

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The writing is great. Descriptive but not lacking good dialogue as well as you can tell the author has extensive knowledge on the history and lifestyles of the time period. My only complaint was that the book was too long.

Six hundred and twenty seven pages isn’t necessarily insane. I’ve read longer, like the Game of Thrones series for example that reach above one thousand pages. There is something though about the subject matter that makes it alright in that world versus Diana’s.

When you have over ten main characters and varying plot lines, you undoubtedly have a lot more information to provide and situations and conflicts that need to be described. Each character has their own little story going on and combining those all into one book isn’t going to be a short three hundred page novel.

Something about the book having an overall romance vibe bothered me as it dragged on and on. Halfway through the book I was struggling just to discipline myself enough to read through to the end. I enjoy love stories, but I don’t need extensive knowledge on the couples honey moon phase for fifty plus pages. Even at the beginning I found myself uninterested in where the story was going, but it pulled through.

There are various points where something does happen that really twists the plot and intrigues you to continue reading. As Claire’s reality becomes more and more tangled through out the book you start to wonder if there will ever be resolution. The great way Diana throws her character into deeper and deeper trenches does capture you and I did find myself  wanting to know what more she had planned for Claire’s adventure.

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I don’t think I will be reading the rest of the series. I used to make myself for the respect of the author and story, but I’ve now reached this point with a shelf full of to-be-read-books that I think I can allow myself to deny the indulgence of the remaining books in the series.

Of course in our advanced world there is a movie for the book, or a series I believe. I think the series is something I would be very interested in watching. If the directors stayed true to the dramatic happenings and beautiful love story the idea and concept of the story itself would be very entertaining to relive through a television series. I feel like the dismissal of some of the more unimportant areas of the book would make it the perfect amount of intensity and story building. Hopefully I get the chance to watch that, but if you have seen it please let me know if it’s worth investing my time.

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I am sad to say this is my first book review leaning to the more negative side. It might just be my fast paced millennial brain that is too impatient to read through a story like this, but I usually find myself very intrigued and willing to involve myself in longer books. I am not quite sure what January’s review will be on, but I will be sure to mix it up. Maybe an old classic? The Picture of Dorian Gray? I suppose you will have to stay tuned to find out.

In the mean time if you do chose to give Outlander a go, I wish you the best on your adventure and I hope you find fascination in the history and magic of Scotland. Diana will not fail in taking you back in time, and I warn you she will most likely have you dying to fall in love with a rough red haired Scott in a kilt.

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Posted in Poetry

The Danger of Tempting the Moon


How sweet a smile

And how simply unnerving

Her frosted silver eyes

Tell me her hearts still yearning

 

There once was a girl

With sea crystal eyes

And nutty brown waves

Of thick chestnut hair

 

Who sang to the moonlight

Such wonderful things

To tempt it to tell

What tomorrow will bring

 

The moon loved to see

Her smile dance with the stars

So she told her all she knew

What lived on Neptune and Mars

 

She told her of the past

But the girl wanted more

What was ahead in the future?

What was there to live for?

 

The next day was good

So the moon told her true

You’ll fall in love darling

The pleasure of only a few

 

The sunrise came then

The girl waved goodbye

By dusk that evening

Her heart had soared to the sky

 

She spoke to the moon

Told her all about Sam

She said he was beautiful

And the best kind of man

 

The moon felt her happiness

Fed off of her light

So when the girl asked again

She said well alright

 

The next day will bring

Something new to discover

A treasure quite marvelous

A gift more rare than all others

 

The girl couldn’t sleep

So she stayed up all night

She laughed with the moon

Whispered secrets in moonlight

 

At dawn the next day

Sam went with the girl

To a place very special

A place on top of the world

 

The mountains all sang

As the man bent to one knee

And asked her to be his

For all of eternity

 

The girl ran to the moon

Sleepless but not weary

And spoke for many hours

Of all her plans with her dearie

 

The moon listened patiently

But all the while knowing

That smile would soon fade

The light in her eyes would stop glowing

 

The girl stopped then breathless

Looked up at the moon

And asked what was wrong

Was it all happening too soon?

 

The moon too heartbroken

Left in a hurry

And didn’t come back

The poor girl so worried

 

She called to the moon

Begged her please to come back

The moon sad and somber

Rose up into the black

 

Slowly she told her

On a walk late at night

That all was not well

There was something not right

 

The girl smiled confused

Said it couldn’t be true

That all was quite well

What was her bad news?

 

The moon spoke slowly

And chose her words wisely

She said that her Sam

Was sickly and dying

 

The poor girl so hurt

Shook her head and cried out

How cruel of you moon

What is this all about?

 

You thread my heart with silk

Lacey daydreams and words

That made me so happy

Things I should never have heard

 

Only to tell me now

That after such wondrous things

It’s all only to end?

That is the best tomorrow brings?

 

The girl turned and ran

The moon tried to follow

But the sun had to rise

Taking the sky in a swallow

 

Not a week later

The poor Sam was gone

The girl was left broken

No soul left to her song

 

It was months before even

The moon saw her smile

But even then so

It didn’t quite fit profile

 

She sometimes did speak

And then moon only listened

As she cried to her softly

Her cheeks tearfully glistened

 

The only source of comfort

The moon could then gather

Was the shine of the stars

In each tear drop that splattered

Posted in Book Reviews

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

Oh, to be a young hot diva rising in the city of dreams…

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I suppose first I owe an apology. I had meant to have this review posted at the end of November, but for some reason I was convinced there was thirty one days in the month hence my tardiness.

But aside from my lack of competence and commitment to my blog I would love to share with you this amazing November read written by the incredible woman Jacqueline Susann.

I think a huge part of the appeal in this story was that it starts out with a young woman who moves to New York City in September to begin an independent life. September fifth marks the day I did the very same, and for the first thirty or so pages I had never found a story so relatable to my own. I was enthralled with the character Anne because it was like reading an extension of myself.

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When you move out on your own for the first time the excitement of possibility is enough to build any place into what you imagine it to be. It’s a beginning to your own creation, having the freedom of becoming whatever you are ready to pursue becoming. An artist, ambitious lawyer, or even climbing social light, where else could be a more perfect place to persue these things then the endless possibilities of New York?

In a way alike my last book review I appreciated the rawness of the story. The characters were so human. They made honest decisions, became very unique individuals, and continued to grow through out the story.

Another very fascinating aspect of the story was reading the very similar New York dream happening in a different time period. The novel travels through time from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. It was very enthralling seeing the goals of men and woman around the time period post war. Stability was the dream. Things such as marrying to a wealthy man steady  on his feet and finding a gorgeous woman to manage the house were paradise.

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The common denominator the really connects these women (aside from their rising glamorous lives) is that they all encounter dependency on what they refer to as “dolls.” Little pills that aid them to getting the life they desire, whether it be more beauty rest or a thinner waist, the pills find their way into each of their lives for better and for worse.

Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls, 1967.

It’s hard writing book reviews because I would love to discuss further and deeper about all the trials and successes the three women go through, but my goal is to tempt you into the story not spoil it for you.

The love life of these women is probably still the most honest and comparable to today then anything else I have read. The ending is not sugar coated, yet it’s not overly painful and heart tearing either. Though I do admit I sat in quite a subdued state of shock for a while after I finished the last page.

All in all this book really awakened the inner diva inside me. As I was reading it I felt ready to fall in love, become heart broken, and wear my pain in the sparkliest of diamonds around my neck. Jacqueline Susann (the author) did a fantastic job of connecting the reader to the characters so that even if you aren’t in a big glamorous city you felt as if you just moved there too and were facing the harsh beautiful realities in the life of a star.

If you have the time, and are looking for a book to pop open now and again while you are commuting to and form work I definitely recommend you give “Valley of the Dolls” a go. It will motive that inner tigress inside you as well as entertain and excite you if you need a little break from that nine to five job.

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I also encourage you to look up a little more about the author Jacqueline. I won’t go too deeply into her background, but a lot of her writing seams to stem from a very personal place in her heart and history of her past. When a writer is so willingly ready to open up to their readers you know the story will be gripping.

I hope you have enjoyed this review and are tempted to look a little closer to find a copy of this wonderful novel. My december read will be Outlander by Diana Gabaldon so look forward to upcoming material! I also posted my first short story and am really getting some inspiration to write a few more so stay tuned…

A lot is happening with lots of great changes in life! I promise to stay dedicated to my blog and post material monthly. The year is flying by so quickly I can hardly believe it is almost the beginning of a new year.

Stay glamorous my friends! Keep aspiring to your dreams, falling in love, and above all get lost in the amazing world of books.

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