Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Giveaway of Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Novel Minded is holding it's first ever giveaway!


The awesome publishers at Feiwel & Friends sent me an extra ARC by accident, so I've decided to give it away to one lucky reader! There are lots of ways to enter. Let's go over the rules, shall we?
  • You must be 13 or over to enter
  • You must live in the U.S. or have an address in the U.S. for shipping. (Sorry, but I'm the one paying for shipping)
  • The winner will have 48 hours to respond before drawing another winner.
  • Entries will be accepted from Dec.1st through Dec. 17th.
  • Following is not mandatory, but will get you extra entries and is immensely appreciated.
  • You do not need to leave your full name for entry, an alias or first name and initial is fine.
  • Only Rafflecopter entries will be counted. Do not leave entry information in the comments section.
  • All entries and information are deleted after the winner has been contacted, and will not be used for evil.
Cinder Giveaway

(If viewing from home page, go this post's page by clicking title to view Rafflecopter)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Beastly by Alex Flinn

Title: Beastly
Author: Alex Flinn site
Voice Actor: Chris Patton
Format: Audiobook, 6 parts
Published: 6/30/2010 (Originally published 10/01/2007)
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Source: eMedia Library

I am a beast. A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog, but a horrible new creature who walks upright – a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster. 

You think I’m talking fairy tales? No way. The place is New York City. The time is now. It’s no deformity, no disease. And I’ll stay this way forever – ruined – unless I can break the spell. 

Yes, the spell, the one the witch in my English class cast on me. Why did she turn me into a beast who hides by day and prowls by night? I’ll tell you. I’ll tell you how I used to be Kyle Kingsbury, the guy you wished you were, with money, perfect looks, and a perfect life. And then, I’ll tell you how I became perfectly beastly.
Characters:
I wasn’t really impressed with Arian. There just wasn’t anything I could connect to. And he was too much of a martyr. Most of the book is just him saying “I’ll never get anyone/her to love me. It’s hopeless, I’m doomed, oh, woe is me, ect.”

Lindy is suffering from some serious PCD, Perfect Character Disorder. She isn’t described as breathtakingly beautiful, but she’s basically a saint. She loves to read the classics (of course), lives in a bad neighborhood, and has a heart of gold, and is willingly imprisoned to keep her father out of jail. Other than having crooked teeth and a little low self esteem, she’s perfect. Now it’s arguable that this is a fairy tale that isn’t a fairy tale, but it’s just too over the top for belief.

The character that really saved this book from being put down (or rather, turned off as it’s an audiobook) was Kendra, a time traveling, curse put-uponing, witty, witch. We see some but not nearly enough of her throughout the story. The author must think so too as she’s writing a spin-off series telling Kendra’s story.

Plot:
As far as fairy tale retellings go, this isn’t the worst. But it isn’t the best either. I wasn’t bored, but the retelling wasn’t new enough for me to actually wonder what happens. There aren’t a whole lot of surprises. It’s just like the Disney classic if it were set in New York, minus the singing and talking silverware.

Writing Style:
It’s pretty much your normal first person POV, except for a few parts written as transcript from an instant messaging chat room.

Overall:
In the end, this book wasn’t for me. Though I was curious, I read it mostly because I have an ARC of Bewitching, the first in a new spin off series about Kendra. Though it might seem so from the review, it wasn’t all that bad. I was entertained for the duration of the book. I just wasn’t wowed. I’m giving it 3 stars.  


Monday, November 28, 2011

Review: A Plague Year by Edward Bloor

Title: A Plague Year
Author: Edward Bloor site
Format: Hardcover, 305 pages
Published: 9/13/2011
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Book Divas

A Plague Year is meant to be a modern day retelling of Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, comparing meth’s destructive tendencies on a community to those of an infectious plague. Soon after September 11th, methamphetamine begins to take over the small mining town of Blackwater, PA. Turning others whom have taken the drug into “meth zombies” in it’s wake. Tom, writer of the journal, experiences the effects of meth first hand as his friends and neighbors become afflicted with the “meth plague”. The Blackwater morgues are fuller than ever. Will Blackwater survive? Or will the zombies take over?!

Characters:
There wasn’t anything wrong with Tom, he had some likable qualities, but I was bored with him too by the end. And I didn’t like that from the beginning, his goal is to get good grades so he can get a scholarship to “get the hell out of Dodge”, but at the end he basically gives up.

Plot:
This book isn’t really memorable in my mind. And even though there are instances of action throughout the book, it left me feeling bored. One of the biggest reasons I didn’t like the book was the constant repetition of “Don’t do drugs or you’ll turn into a zombie”. I’m all about being drug free, but this got really old, really fast. It would have been more interesting if the meth epidemic took people by surprise, but it almost seems as if everyone else knew it was going to happen. Tom himself is told by multiple adults about meth before he ever sees anyone affected. I had the same problem with A Plague Year that I did with The Bell Jar, the character really didn’t have a big goal. It’s mostly just reflections of what’s happening in Tom’s town.

Writing Style:
Unlike the title suggests A Plague Year doesn’t actually span over a year’s time. Beginning in September 2001, we read a few, about three, of Tom’s journal entries from each month until 2002.

Overall:
A Plague Year just doesn’t stick out as a book I’d reread. I’m giving it 2.5 stars for being tiresome.



Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (#7)

In My Mailbox is a bookish meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.
Follow the provided link to find out more information.


Some of you may have noticed I didn't get an IMM post out last week. I ended up being really busy and wasn't even at home to post. Therefore, there will be double the books, and double the fun for this week!




I had the opportunity to go to a joint author book signing to meet M.T. Anderson and Chris Van Allsburg. I love M.T. Anderson's books, especially my favorite Feed. I also got two of his other great YA novels signed, Thirsty and The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: The Pox PartyAnd I was equally excited to meet Chris Van Allsburg who's written the extremely popular The Polar Express, and my personal favorite Two Bad Ants

I was also very luck to meet David Levithan, Jeff Hirsch, and 8 other YA authors at another book signing. I got Will Grayson, Will Grayson and The Eleventh Plague signed, both awesome books for those looking for recommendations. 

Last week I checked out copies of Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, Unison Spark by Andy Marino, Human.4 by Mike A. Lancaster, Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King, And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky, and Pearl by Jo Knowles.

And this week I checked out Vesper by Jeff Sampson, Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake, This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel, Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien, and The Pledge by Kimberly Derting.

As you can see, I have a lot of reading ahead of me. Be sure to leave a comment with your IMM post, or just your thoughts on these reads. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

2012 Stand Alone Reading Challenge

Red Button

I'm participating in the 2012 Standalone Reading Challenge hosted by Icey Books and I Like These Books. I'm joining lots of other bloggers and challenging myself to read at least 15 standalone YA novels. Perhaps like many of you, it gets tiring having so many YA novels out there being part of a series or trilogy. Let's help spread the word about some great standalones coming soon! Here's a list featuring some standalones' coming out in 2012. Some I'll probably read for the challenge! Each title will take you to the book's Goodreads page.
  1. Above by Leah Bobet (released  April 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books)
  2. Struck by Jennifer Bosworth (released May 8th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  3. Trafficked by Kim Purcell (released February 16th 2012 by Viking Juvenile)
  4. When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellison (released February 28th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  5. The Other Life by Susan Winnacker (released February 1st 2012 by Usborne)
  6. Partials by Dan Wells (released February 28th 2012 by HarperCollins)
  7. Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick (released January 28th 2012 by Lerner Publishing Group)
  8. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (released January 10th 2012 by Dutton Juvenile)
  9. Purity by Jackson Pearce (released April 24th 2012 by Little, Brown)
  10. Double by Jenny Valentine (released February 27th 2012 by Hyperion Books)
  11. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter (released October 2012 by Harlequin Teen)
  12. Altered by Jennifer Rush (released unknown, 2012 by Little, Brown)
  13. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga (released unknown, 2012 by Little, Brown)
  14. Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz (released April 17th 2012 by Simon Pulse)
  15. After the Snow by S.D. Crockett (released March 27th 2012 by Feiwel & Friends)
I hope that some of you out there will join in the fun, and participate as well. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dusty Reads (#2)

Dusty Reads is a meme hosted by Giselle @ Xpresso Reads
A "dusty read" is a book that you've had sitting on your shelf for a long time, but you haven't read yet.

This week's "dusty read" is...


Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

"In this first adult novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the unforgettable Crank trilogy, three female friends face midlife crises in a no holds-barred exploration of sex, marriage, and the fragility of life.
Ellen Hopkins has made her mark as the wildly popular author of several novels for young adults—every one of them a New York Timesbestseller, and every one a hard-hitting exploration of tough-to-tackle topics. Now, in Triangles, Hopkins brings her storytelling mastery and fearlessness to take on the challenges of adult dramas."
I'd won this one as an ARC from a Goodreads giveaways, and I obviously didn't look closely at the description. I just thought it was another Ellen Hopkins YA in verse. I would still like to read it, but I'm a little wary because of all this talk of "no holds barred sex". I hope that isn't all it's about, but it'll most likely be awhile until I read this one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

Title: Dirty Little Secrets
Author: C.J. Omololu site
Format: Hardcover, 210 pages
Published: 2/2/2010
Publisher: Walker & Company, Bloomsbury
Source: Library

“Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable—and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right. With details that are as fascinating as they are disturbing, C. J. Omololu weaves an hour-by-hour account of Lucy’s desperate attempt at normalcy. Her fear and isolation are palpable as readers are pulled down a path from which there is no return, and the impact of hoarding on one teen’s life will have readers completely hooked.” 

How it starts:
Things are finally coming together for Lucy. She get invited to a party by the guy of her dreams, and things are going great with her best friend. She comes home one day to find that her mother has finally died in her hoard. She is about to dial 911 when she stops. She thinks if she calls 911, after the paramedics and police, news crews will show up and everyone will know the secret she’s been trying to hide her entire life. If her secret gets out, she’ll lose her friend and her crush. She decides to clean up the whole house before calling for help.   

Characters:
Lucy not only had really low self esteem, but also, it seemed, a low opinion of her friends. The whole story revolves around the idea that whoever finds out about her mother’s hoarding will automatically get out of her life. That she’ll spontaneously be alone. I can understand her behavior to an extent, but it borderlines on ridiculous.

Plot:
The plot for this book was very weird. I guess I understand why Lucy felt compelled to keep her home life a secret. So much so that she’s willing to postpone calling emergency services about her dead mother. But I still think the whole idea is a little too crazy. Especially what happens at the end. *SPOILER ALERT* (highlight to view) She burns her own house down to cover up the evidence of her mother’s hoarding! Is it really okay to resort to arson?* From the last chapter, it seemed like the message was “Keep your secrets bottled up inside at all costs”. Not the best moral for the story in my opinion. I did like the “After” chapter added to the author’s website, I just wish it would have been printed in the book.

Writing Style:
Dirty Little Secrets is, for the most part, written as an hour by hour account of Lucy’s day. I seemed like there was either too much or too little going on in the span of an hour.

Overall:
I didn’t really care for this one. I had hoped I'd like it since I love watching Hoarders, but I was left disappointed. The whole plot was a little too odd to really be believable. I’m giving it 2.5/5 stars. 


Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (#6)


In My Mailbox is a bookish meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren
Follow the link to find out more about this meme.

I had another AMAZING week this week! Lots of exciting editions to my personal library (a.k.a. my book hoard)


I won copies of both Amplified by Tara Kelly (Thanks Kristen!) and an autographed copy w/ swag of Intrinsical by Lani Woodland (Thanks Danielle!). 


Speaking of autographed copies, guess which lucky went to an Ally Condie book signing for her new book Crossed? If you guess me, your right! I can't wait to read this one! (Thanks are due to Anderson's Bookshop and, of course, Ms. Condie herself)


I also got a copies of A Plague Year by Edward Bloor and My Beating Teenage Heart by C.K. Kelly Martin. They also came with some really cool Book Divas bookmarks! (Gotta give kudos to Leah and Melyssa @ Book Divas!)


I got an eGalley of Pure by Julianna Baggot. I'm really excited for this dystopian. (Thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing)


And last, but definitely not least, I got a box of ARCs from my new favorite person ever Jill. I met Jill when I went to the Shatter Me pre-pub tour at a local indie bookstore. When I told her I was just starting blogging, she was kind enough to offer to give me a box of ARCs when I was next in town. There were all kinds of goodies inside, including Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe, Everneath by Brodi Ashton, Bewitching by Alex Flinn, Invisible Sun by David Macinnis Gill, Faery Tales & Nightmares by Melissa Marr, and so many more. (A HUMONGOUS thanks to Jill!)

I had a very exciting week! What was in your mailbox this week? Leave a link so I can visit your post! Happy Reading!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Every You, Every Me by David Levithan & Jonathan Farmer

Title: Every You, Every Me
Author: David Levithan (site) & Jonathan Farmer 
Format: Hardcover, 245 pages
Published: 9/13/2011
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: Library

“In this high school-set psychological tale, a tormented teen named Evan starts to discover a series of unnerving photographs—some of which feature him. Someone is stalking him . . . messing with him . . . threatening him. Worse, ever since his best friend Ariel has been gone, he's been unable to sleep, spending night after night torturing himself for his role in her absence. And as crazy as it sounds, Evan's starting to believe it's Ariel that's behind all of this, punishing him. But the more Evan starts to unravel the mystery, the more his paranoia and insomnia amplify, and the more he starts to unravel himself.”

How it starts:
As Evan heads home from school, on his usual route through the woods, what does he find on the ground but an envelope. It couldn’t have been there long, it was raining and the envelope isn’t even wet. Upon opening it, Evan finds a small black and white photograph (picture printed in book) of exactly where he is standing. How strange.

On his way to school early the next day, he finds another envelope with another black and white in it (also printed in the book. Notice a theme?).  Except this time, it’s a picture of him. As time goes on, Evan and his friend Jack get more pictures, even some of their friend Ariel who is gone. Who is taking the pictures? Who saw them that day?

Plot:
This book is part contemporary, part psychological thriller. There’s not only the mystery of who took the pictures and is stalking Evan and Jake, but we also see Evan dealing with grief and depression. He is a very saddened human being. He is completely wracked with grief and some self loathing, just trying to hold it together. There is no doubt that this is a very emotional book that may even move you to tears.

The thriller part obviously has to with finding out who took the pictures and is stalking Evan and Jack. I wasn’t ever “bored” exactly, but in the beginning it’s hard to understand what’s going on because there isn’t any elaboration on the past, or really who the characters are. That was my only real problem with the book. I think that is how it’s supposed to be though. Toward the end, you really get all the pieces to the puzzle. I still would have preferred the book be easier to understand from the get go.

Writing Style:
Every You, Every Me has a different writing style than I’ve seen in any of Levithan’s work before. The writing is more raw and rough, in a way, as if coming straight from the characters thoughts.

The process of writing this novel was also unique. As explained at the back of the book, Farmer would take a picture and give it to Levithan. And then Levithan would write a chapter of the book for each photo. The photographer didn’t read the first draft until the whole story was finished.

This really gave a sense of authenticity in the writing. It really felt like Evan had no inclination as to whom the photos were coming from or why. There weren’t any obvious clues as to who the culprit is. As the reader, I was left as stumped as the characters. I wish other books weren’t so obvious with little “clues”.

I really especially love this quote from the book, also featured on the back cover. “You know one me. Just like I know one you. But you can’t know every me. And I can’t know every you.” It is beautifully written, and it rings so true. That everyone kind of shows a different person to everyone else. Almost like wearing a mask. Basically, I may think I know “Bob” but I might see a different Bob than the one I know through someone else’s eyes.


Overall:
I really liked this book. It was kind of hard to understand for the first 80 pages or so, but it was well worth sticking with. The fictional story paired with photographs created a really unique reading experience. I’m giving Every You, Every Me 4 of 5 stars! It was a truly great read.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Review: If I Tell by Janet Gurtler

Title: If I Tell
Author: Janet Gurtler site
Format: Paperback, 244 pages
Release Date: 10/01/2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Library


“Jasmine Evans knows one thing for sure... people make mistakes. After all, she is one. Jaz is the result of a one night stand between a black football player and a blonde princess. Having a young mother who didn't raise her, a father who wants nothing to do with her and living in a small-minded town where she's never fit in hasn't been easy. But she's been surviving. Until she sees her mom's new boyfriend making out with her own best friend. When do you forgive people for being human or give up on them forever?”


How it starts:
Jasmine has a big secret. She saw her mother’s younger boyfriend, Simon, kissing her best friend Lacey at a party. She plans to do the right thing and tell her mom. But Jasmine’s mother has some news for her first. She’s pregnant, with Simon’s baby. How can Jasmine tell her mother now?

Characters:
Jasmine, protagonist, was okay. There are some ways to relate to her character, and she isn’t unlikable. There just wasn’t anything imparticular about her the made me really want to root for her, something that made her stand out from the crowd. I did like that the author wasn’t afraid to have Jasmine have some flaws. Not of the 2-D variety, but of her personality. She is a bit of a hypocrite. And I like that this is later acknowledged in the story.

Jackson, love interest, was a funny character and had a lighter quality to him compared to Jasmine. The only problem I had with him, was that he was suffering from PCD, Perfect Character Disorder. He’s a little too “always understanding” and “fun loving” for an ex-drug addict. Not that an ex-addict can’t be that way just that no human being is that perfect. He’s a real “cutesy” character.

Plot:
I had no trouble getting interested in the story. There’s a big attention getter right from the get go. The only issue seems to be in the quantity craziness in Jasmine’s life. There is a lot of drama going on in If I Tell. There’s the stress of keeping a big secret, best friend betrayal, being biracial in a small town, losing friends/pushing people away, depression, learning to trust, and dealing with parent abandonment issues. The recurring theme that ties it all together seems to be “learning to forgive”. It’s not a bad message, maybe a little cliché, but still a good message. This book is well written, but it’s a little hard to believe that all of these things would happen to one person at the same time. Jasmine’s life kind of reminded me of a soap opera. Like there was too much going on in one book.

Overall:
I liked this one okay. I definitely liked it better that The Bell Jar, the last book I read. I’m going to give this one 3.5 stars. I don’t think this will be one of my favorites, but wasn’t half bad.


2011 Reading Challenge

Yesterday I finally finished my Goodreads 2011 reading challenge! That's right! I have officially read 101 books. (Not counting the books I re-read this year.) And here's the proof.



In celebration, I'm going to list all the wonderful (and the not-so wonderful) books that got me there! And HUGE thanks to my local library. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to read (probably) 95% of these. Always support your library!




How is everyone else doing on their reading challenge? Please let me know in the comments section!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (#5)

Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's Top Ten is...
Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone (or Firsts)



1) Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
This one is about incest. It's probably outside of most peoples comfort zones. To this day, I'm not sure if I liked it or not. 








2) Give a Boy a Gun by Todd Strasser
I read this book when I was twelve. It was the first I'd ever heard of school shootings like Columbine. It also made me a big Todd Strasser fan. I would recommend that everyone read this book.


3) Wings by Aprilynne Pike
This one was out of my comfort zone because it was described as a "kissing book" by the author. I read it because I'd met the author at a book signing, and she was very funny. I thought that would transfer to her writing. Unfortunately, the book ended up being not only a meet-cute but involved a love triangle, two of my least favorite things. It was not meant to be.


4) Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
I had been hesitant to read this one, pretty much because it has vampires in it. I hadn't read any vampire stories since the "Twilight Enlightenment". I ended up really liking this one. The Morganville Vampires made vampires scary, not sparkly, again. 


5) Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters
The first LGBTQ book I'd ever read. I was thirteen when I read it.  Until I read this book, I didn't understand what "gay" was. This book lead me to understanding my own sexuality. Helped me realize that not only wasn't there anything wrong with being gay, but that there wasn't anything wrong with me. It is a very important book to me.


6) Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
This book was definitely out of my comfort zone. I usually try to stay away from anything out right chick lit-y, or that has a TV show on ABC Family. I ended up pleasantly surprised. Except for all the fashion talk, cheating, and sleeping with way too old men, I like this series. (And the show.)


7) Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction by David Sheff
This was the first autobiography, or book about drug use I'd ever read. It is still one of my favorite books. 


8) Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
The first faerie book I'd ever read. The first in the series isn't my favorite, but I do give this series a thumbs up.


9) Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon
The first self-published novel I've read. It ended up pretty good. 


10) The Sisters Club by Megan McDonald
This was the first YA book I'd ever read. I think I read it when I was ten. I'd wondered unknowingly into the teen section and picked it up because it had a sock monkey on the cover. I wasn't the best book ever, but it was okay. A little too chick lit-y. 


What was in your Top Ten this week? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments section.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In My Mailbox (#5)

In My Mailbox is a bookish meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren
Follow the link to find out more about this meme.


I had another great book week this week! I received ARCs of both The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff, and Wayward Saints by Suzzy Roche. Thanks Shelf Awareness!






And I won and received autographed copies of The Babysitter Murders, and The Opposite of Music both by Janet Ruth Young. Big thanks to Donna @ Bites, and Ms. Young for holding the giveaway! 

What was in your mailbox this week? Make sure you leave a link to your IMM post, so I can check it out.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Review: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Title: The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Format: Paperback, 244 pages
Published: 10/1/2006 (originally published 1/14/1963)
Publisher: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Source: Library

“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.
-Goodreads

I’ll start off by saying that I really didn’t care for this one. I picked up The Bell Jar for a book club I’m in. Had it not been for the book club, I probably wouldn’t have finished it. And I don’t plan on reading anymore Sylvia Plath in the near future. If this is one of your favorites, and you would be offended by rival opinions I would suggest skipping this review. All right, I warned you.

Characters:
One of the reasons I disliked this book so much was there weren’t any characters I found relatable, or even vaguely likable.
Esther for example, came across as rude, ungrateful, self-obsorbed, and manipulative. The way she thinks gives off a feeling of superiority. As though Esther is the smartest one in a roomful of idiots, because she’s the only one who views others so cynically. And she is very negative and manipulative toward men. To her they are just toys meant for sex and not much more. I will say that toward the end of the book, as Esther get better mentally, she becomes much easier to swallow. I totally despised her for the first half of the book, but came to like Esther a bit more during the second half.

Plot:
The story line was very hard to follow. From the beginning of The Bell Jar, readers are thrown into a world that makes little sense. All kinds of things are talked about that readers don’t find out about until much later in the book. Buddy Willard for example, is mentioned through-out the book but it takes forever to find out who he is in Esther’s life. It’s as if you would have to read the book twice to fully understand what the heck’s going on. Throughout the book, the story flits between past and present without any indication of doing so. It’s like Esther’s eating breakfast, and then, all of the sudden, she’s talking about trying to seduce some guy. This makes it so hard to understand the story.

Writing style:
Although Plath makes some profound observations in her writing, they are overshadowed by the immense amount of nonsense that seems to be added just to fill up space. It’s arguable that this was for poetry’s sake, but most of it just seemed unnecessary and made the story even more confusing

Overall:
The Bell Jar is definitely not one of my favorites.  I didn’t find I cared for any of the characters or the writing style. I can understand why it got such notoriety when it was published. It would have been very controversial at the time. But in the twenty-first century, and this book doesn’t make the cut. I’m giving it 2 stars. You know what they say, "It doesn't have to be good to be a classic".