Sunday, November 29, 2009

Poison Ink--Christopher Golden

Poison Ink by Christopher Golden had a great concept to start: A group of girls plan to get a tattoo to bond them in friendship, but all goes wrong; hence the title. It intrigued me. I liked the idea of something that we do to ourselves warping us into people we aren't, and for a while, I really liked the story... until the end.

What started out as a fascinating look into the definition of friendship ended in a twisted gore-fest. Now, please don't get me wrong. I have no problem with gore or twisted stories in books. Usually that makes for a more interesting story. This even had a little bit of magic in it, which, though I don't look for it, if it shows up doesn't scare me off or anything. But this went from a story that could have taught a lesson on the true meaning of friendship and what it means to stand by your friends to, well, like I said before and for lack of another description, a gore-fest.

Maybe my problem is that I believe that every book, no matter what the subject, should have some redeeming value in a lesson it teaches. This can come through things that the characters do or don't do and the consequences that come from those decisions or actions. Books should make us think twice about ourselves as people, as friends, as daughters/sons, as mothers/fathers as girlfriends/boyfriends and wives/husbands. If a book in some way doesn't make you question your motives or actions, then in my option it doesn't do it's job.

That's not to say, of course, that a book can't be written for entertainment purposes only. Many are, but still those books can still have something more to give than a basic story. Take a few examples: Green Eggs and Ham-- Lesson: Try something new; you may like it. Circue du Freak 1-- Lesson: Don't steal, don't judge people by the way they look, things may not be what they seem on the surface. Wake--Lesson: Our dreams can often hide our deepest fears or our greatest desires. Do you see where I'm going with this?

No matter what the story, there is always something lying "Between the lines." :) In my own opinion, Poison Ink falls short of this necessary goal.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I know that Wringer is a middle level book, so it's a bit young to keep my full interest, but I have to admit it was really good when it comes to dealing with peer pressure.

I thought the character was realistic in the way he was swept into the group of boys who are bullies. It's either bully or be bullied. He finds that out the hard way. What I found more interesting is the fact that in the end, he was able to stand up to his friends and for himself.

How often do we know what is right, only to hold back our thoughts from others? How often do we know what is right and just plain refuse because of the repercussions that will arise against us? I think about all the times I could have spoken out in different situations, either to stand up for myself or someone else or even just to have done the right thing, but instead I took the coward's way out.

It's taken me thirty years to learn, and I still find myself, again and again, trying to take the easy way out. It's human nature to do as little damage to self as possible. But I've learned over the years that what we see as the easy way out, never is. It always causes more problems in the long run.

So, girls, take advice from someone who knows from personal experience: It is much better to stand up now. Stand up for what you believe in. Stand up for someone else in trouble. Stand up for what you know is right. Do the right thing no matter how hard it may seem at the moment. You'll become stronger women because of it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Lovely Bones

Well, I've decided to use this blog not only to discuss the books you are reading as a group but to also give thoughts on anything I've been reading.

I finally got my hands on The Lovely Bones, which had been recommended to me by a few different people. It was supposedly controversial because of some mature and shocking content. That information didn't bother me one bit. However, I hated the book.

It started off o.k.. Really got into the mystery and murder of one said character, and the conflict surrounded the murder investigation. But by the end, the conflict had changed. No longer was it about finding out who done it and punishing the bad guy (BTW, I do not think that the bad guy always has to be punished to make a good story.)but instead changed directions to follow how the family was coping with the death.

I don't even mind having a sub conflict, but the first was left entirely in the dust until the last chapter where the resolution was a total cop-out. (This is hard to write without giving away vital information.)I was not impressed by this story. It was not a quick read as I had anticipated, nor did the story really move. It almost seemed like there was too much going on, too much of a focus on too many characters.

Maybe I was most disappointed because I stayed up half the night reading and was not satisfied at all with the outcome. I feel like I wasted time and energy.

I'm not disappointed by many books, but this one didn't do it for me. My apologies to the author.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I'm finding it difficult to post my thoughts because I read it nearly a month ago, so my assignment for you girls is this: Post your initial thoughts. This can be anything while you're reading or even after the book is done. If you write after you've finished, please put a disclaimer saying that there may be spoilers. That way anyone who hasn't finished the book can skip over your comment.

Maybe if I read your thoughts, it will spurn some of my own.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wake questions

Hello again all,
I thought I'd start out with a question to get the juices flowing about Wake, by Lisa Mc Mann.
The question is this:
If you were sucked into someone's dream, whose would it be and what do you think you'd see?