Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hothouse Flower

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Exotic Plants

I was on Goodreads awhile ago and saw an advertisement for this book then I read the synopsis on that site and decided I should give it a whirl. So I bought it the next time I went to Barnes and Noble and figured I would read it after I finished The Passage. We all know how well that one turned out so I got to start this one sooner than I thought.

Now this is a good book. It has romance, humor, wisdom, drama, a little action, and great characters. The main character is a young New Yorker and a newly divorced woman trying to recreate her life. Right away, in Chapter One, we see her sarcastic wit which is endearing and had me hooked. The whole book is written from her perspective so we get a lot of her witty comments that add a nice flavor to the book.

This may be a stretch but I actually found myself comparing Berwin's book to The Alchemist. While others may not agree with me I definitely see a connection. Both books have little gems of wisdom throughout.

One thing I thoroughly enjoyed was the myths of the nine plants and how Armand teaches Lila, the main character, how to think of plants in a different way. They treat plants as if they are human and have personalities. It is quite a beautiful thing and changed my perspective on the world a little bit.

I would recommend this book to anyone! I give it 4.5 of 5 exotic plants. I only docked it because the ending was sort of a letdown but that might just be my personal opinion. Read it and see what you think!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Give Me a Break!

So I was all stoked about this job. Had an interview that I thought went pretty good. They said to give them two weeks and then they'd let me know.

I just got an email. The two weeks was up today. They sent me an email turning me down.

Love the feeling of rejection. Feels awesome.

I'm leaving. I'm going to run off to NYC or San Diego. Get a clean slate. Live my life instead of letting life live me.


Sorry for the downer of a post. I needed to vent a little.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Passage

Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Glowsticks

So. Here I am again wondering why the hell I give in to hype about books. This monster of a book by Justin Cronin has had some major buzz about it and I think it definitely had potential. Stephen King apparently saw something in it that I sure did not. I loved The Road by Cormac McCarthy and this book has been compared to that for some reason. Personally, I don't see the similarity.

Let's back up. The synopsis given for the book tells about an FBI agent who has to protect a young girl during an apocalyptic event. That's a watered down version of it. (SPOILER ALERT!) Not only do two of the main characters die in the first 1/3 of the book but Cronin also tries to pull in a whole new batch of characters and basically a new storyline. Really, I think the first part of the book plays as a really long, drawn out prologue to the rest of the book. The pacing is off. Cronin tries to be clever by putting in newspaper articles read by the main character but it just goes on forever. During that point of the story I was just thinking "Come on already." Here's a newsflash for ya: If you write a 700 page book you damn well better keep the pacing going really nicely all throughout."

Cronin's writing is actually quite beautiful. I have no qualms with the writing. Well, I sorta do. I think his writing is great but I don't think this story is the right sort of story for his style of writing. He waxes philosophical in a thriller and it gets annoying. He brings in God in strange ways that don't seem to go with the rest of the story that is more action paced. People have been calling this book a melding of genres as if that's a good thing. Really, with Cronin's talent he should be writing something that calls for more depth and literary prose. So, we are stuck with a really good writer trying to let off some of his literary steam in a book that only needs gasoline.

I abandoned the reading of this book. Just when I thought it was getting good I was disappointed. Cronin brings in new characters which, I didn't care a whole lot for the first characters (Wolgast is a dork), were a little better than the first ones. There seemed to be a lot more going on with them as it is 100 years in the future after the apocalyptic event, focusing on a society that lives in a fortress of light and fights off vampire-like creatures. Here's where it gets weird. Cronin seems to be jumping from one time to another. One minute he's going off on how Theo died, the next page Theo is talking to his brother Peter. WTF? Maybe I'm just dim-witted and need it to be spelled out a little. I do know this: readers need some sort of marker to tell them "Hey, we're jumping back in time a little bit."

Oh and another thing. In the first part of the story it's supposed to take place in a near future where state boundaries are actually guarded and you have to have your papers with you everywhere you go. This was never really said. I actually only figured that out after reading some reviews of the book.

I'm going to just stop wasting more time on this book by reviewing it. I found out it's first in a trilogy and I just cringe to think of that. I give it 1 1/2 out of 5 Glowsticks (that's what they call the vampires because they glow...).

Monday, July 19, 2010

San Diego 2010

I have returned from a trip to San Diego! It was pretty much amazing and I really don't want to be back in reality right now.

The itinerary went as follows:
Drive 8+ hours to Las Vegas.
Check in to Marriott hotel.Dinner at La Cantina in the Tuscany Hotel.Walk forever and a day on the strip.
Back to hotel.Sleep it off.

Thursday:Drive 4 hours to San Diego.
Dinner at Popeye's.Find the beach. Scope out good spots.
Watch the sunset over the ocean.
Go back to hotel.
Hit the jacuzzi.
Stop at the Mormon Battalion Center in Old Town San Diego.
Hit the beach for 4 hours.Walk around the shops.
Eat fish tacos.Shop a little more.
Back to the hotel.
Dinner and more sight seeing.

Drive back to Las Vegas.
Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe.
Meet Big Deb. The bestest waitress ever.Go to Fremont Street of amazingness.
Dance with a random girl.
Have a good time.
The long drive back to Idaho.
Stop in St. George to see the Hadleys and the Youngs.
Stop in SLC to surprise Brittany Gerard for her birthday.
Try to stay awake on the late night drive from SLC to Rigby.

Now it's back to reality.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Next Von Trapps

I went to Winger's tonight with my sister, her husband, and my fun little nephews. In the background was the usual music but it seemed like many of the choices were from the 90s. At one point, Kate and I were bopping a little to the music in a synchronized manner and not even on purpose.

Kate: We should have been in the Von Trapp family!

Me: Yeah. Minus the Nazis.

Just a random little view into my world. You probably had to be there for this to be funny.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

The above image taken by my good friend, Matthew Mellor.

I celebrated Independence Day by going on a date! We drove up to Rigby and had a Bambino. If you don't know what a Bambino is then you are missing out. It is pretty much life-altering just by partaking of this delicious morsel. Now, we went up to Rigby just so we could also go to Riot Zone, the local miniature golf and family fun center. By the time we got there, however, they were closing early for the fireworks show in Idaho Falls.

It had been 10 years since I had seen the Idaho Falls fireworks, and I thought it would be a fun date which it turned out to be a great idea. We trudged through the crowds, found a parking spot, then walked along the river until it got dark and the show started. It was spectacular and a lot cooler than I remember it being. My friend, Tianna, says that fireworks "tickle the cockles of [her] heart" and I can see why. You could feel the rumble of the popping explosions in your chest along with a swelling of emotion and love for our country.

I drove my date home and we actually escaped the crowds pretty quickly. That is until I left her house and there were several other people taking the same back road I was going to take.

All in all it was a great time. I love this time of year where we can reflect on our freedoms and the people that made it, and continue to make, it possible for us to live the way we do. However, it seems that the word "freedom" has become skewed to mean something more akin to "entitlement." I'm not a fan of people who feel that they are owed something because we live here. Part of the beauty of our American heritage is that we work hard for what we get. You cannot just sit by and let the government take control of everything. By feeling entitled to certain privileges we are, in fact, losing those freedoms. As government gets more power, we lose our voice and that is not what our founding fathers wanted.

So, on this 4th of July, think of your freedoms and decide now to fight for what you have and not let them be taken away. Make this a year of a change in perspective. I love this country and do not want to see it put it in a hand-basket and sent off to Hell.