The Opposite of Loneliness- A Book Reivew

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and StoriesThe Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was hauntingly beautiful and strange to read.

Mariana Keegan was a literary student at Yale with a keen sense of life at a very young age. Mariana died in a car accident and this book shows what an awful loss it was for the whole world.

The Opposite of Loneliness is a collection of Mariana’s fiction and non-fiction stories. It is a touching tribute to a beautiful writer.

I found the stories to be engaging and terrific. I especially loved the fiction ones. You could tell that Mariana used a lot of her real life interactions to create these lovable characters in such a short period of time. I would have loved to read a full book of these characters that she created.

The non-fiction ones were a bit harder for me to connect with, but there were real and honest and very touching.

I also think that the family and friends that created this book did an outstanding job of creating this theme for a book from writings of a creative young girl who never meant to create such a theme. Its so interesting that her writings can all tie into this greater understanding of human nature and what its like to be lonely and also what its like to be the opposite of lonely.

I commend this family and friends for creating this art, because I cannot imagine how hard it must have been to create such a personal experience for everyone to read.

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel review- it was like all the characters were just supporting characters, supporting this mind blowing story which was the real main character.

This book was mind expanding and frustrating all at the same time. The thought process of creating this before and after world was amazing, while the characters and their progress were a bit slow. Overall a great book but I found it hard to connect because of the characters.

I just tried to type a synopsis of this book and erased it three times in a row….

So I decided to take an excerpt directly from the book description (cheating I know but the book is just too complex to explain)

“Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all.”

You can read the whole synopsis by clicking on the quote.

This book was intense and vivid. It depicted this terrifying world where everything was gone and we were all reduced to savages. It took everything we are used to and ruined it, changed it, and made us look like selfish pigs in a digital world where everything is handed to us on a silver platter. This book made me seriously look at the way I live my life, the things I take for granted every day. It was terrifying to think about how easily this pandemic could happen, how easily it did happen in this book. One character was haunted by the last cell phone conversation he had; not to his wife, but to his boss about a meeting the next day and an email that he would “shoot over” to the client. How simple that action seemed to be and how it was the last thing he was thinking about in the old world.

So, it seems like I loved the book right? I did. The plot and the intensity of the situation that the characters were in made this a delightful read. The problem, for me, was the characters. I think it depends on the type of reader you are. I find that I connect best with the book when I can connect with the characters and this book didn’t give you that. The story was outstanding and the characters were not meant to steal the show. They were there so that you had that emotional connection to the story. But that was a problem for me, I wanted to feel the horror that they were experiencing.

I wanted to feel more for the characters and I just couldn’t. It didn’t ruin the book for me though, because the story was so good that it stood up on its own, it was like all the characters were just supporting characters, supporting this mind blowing story which was the real main character.

I would love to hear what you thought about the book!! How did you like the ending? Did you feel the same for the characters?

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler- A fitting title for a charming book

If I could have given a half star review, this would be a 3.5 rating

This book stumped me. It’s not a bad book; in fact I rather enjoyed the storyline and the quirky characters. The title is fitting, yet at the end I felt like I was left holding the spool but there was still some blue thread on it. Maybe that is how Anne Tyler wanted it though, it leaves you to decide what you think will be the ending. It leaves it up to you to picture how the story unfolds after we turn the last page.

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Pure Genius on Paper- All the Light we Cannot See- Anthony Doerr

“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever.”

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Outstanding. This book was a mesmerizingly beautiful experience with eloquent characters and a hauntingly beautiful premise. Antony Doerr created an outstanding story that depicted World War II in a whole new light. Using children as his characters created a new layer of the story that made this book stand out.

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I re-read books. Do you?

I re-read books.

I know that some people just do, and some don’t. I re-read books for the 2nd, 5th, 10th, cough 20th (Harry Potter) time and love them just the same. I love that tingling feeling you get when you are anticipating something and even though I know what that something is, I still get all excited just the same. Sometimes I think it is better the 2nd or 20th time. I can anticipate what’s coming and even though I kind of know the story, you don’t remember everything and each time I can find a new and different part that I didn’t remember from the last time. That’s why books are so outstanding. I really love reading stories at a different point in your life. Re-reading books that you read in high school or even before is really quite amazing. You find new insight into the characters and find new lessons that the author was trying to impart on the reader. It’s all about context and finding that new context in an old book is really awesome for me. It also goes the other way, I have been following a thread on Goodreads about “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madame Engle and have been trying to defend a book that I thoroughly enjoyed as a kid and as an adult. Each time I read it, I found that I connected with different characters and took away a new idea or concept.

Right now I am re-reading Divergent however it is the most inappropriate time to be re-reading a book. I have 3 library books out and a Kindle FULL of those amazing cozy mysteries (free from Book Bub) and a to-read list on Goodreads that is a mile long! But I am. I got to the point where Tris jumps off the train and I was so excited inside and I almost literally squealed with joy when she first meets Four!! I know what happens at the end, and even throughout the whole book but reading it again makes it just as suspenseful. It’s almost easier to absorb the surrounding stories when you don’t have to focus on the direct plot. That opens up a whole can of worms about finding hidden meanings in books and how sometimes when I finish a book, I want to flip it over and start again because the ending changes everything and I feel like I need to read it again just to enjoy the new insight I gained from the ending!

Re-reading a book is like meeting an old friend again and I LOVE it!! I am notorious for re-reading Harry Potter. I literally had to rebuy The Sorcerer’s Stone because the cover fell off. The moral of this short post is to see if I am alone in this re-reading world or if I just need to get some friends and stop reading old books 🙂 Does anyone else find that re-reading a book gives it a new light and creates a whole new experience for you? If so, what is your favorite book or author to re-read? I have re-read a ton of books but a few of my favorite are Sarah Dessen, Dan Brown, The Giver, Harry Potter (of course), and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Do you ever feel guilty for re-reading a book when you know there are so many outstanding ones out there?!

Thanks for reading!! 🙂

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My rambling thoughts on Dog Crazy by Meg Donohue

Who can even resist a book with three adorable lab puppies looking out at you? Well, my daughter certainly couldn’t (she is only 2 after all) so I picked up this book at the last minute at the library and I am very glad that I did. A really sweet, wonderful read!!! (click on the book to go to Amazon to buy it today!)

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Long Paw of the Law by Laurie Anne Marie, an outstanding new author!

“Long Paw of the Law” is a really great first book in a series and I look forward to the rest. Laurie Anne Marie did a great job of creating this twisting and turning story with a quirky plot line and out of the mold characters.
Amazon The Long arm of the Law Continue reading

Its your lucky day!! Three for the price of…….

Did I trick ya with my title?! Did you think you were going to be getting three Rolexes for the price of one? Or three trips for the price of one? Or three rolls of toilet paper for the price of one? Well then……

It’s your lucky day! You get three book reviews for the price of nothing!! I have been a reading machine lately and have been trying to keep up on my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads since I read the reviews of others so much, I decided that I should share my opinions as well. I read three books in three days and I combined my reviews into one post for you! Two are in a series written by G.K. Parks; The Warhol Incident and Mimicry of Banshees. The third was a Meg Cabot book called The Boy Next Door. Below is a picture of the cover of all three! Let me know what you think of the books as well as of my review of them. I was not thorough because although these books were good, they were fun easy reads and I didn’t want to delve too deep 🙂

PS All the pictures are links to Amazon so you can buy these wonderful books too! Make sure you let me know if you are going to get them!

The Warhol Incident by G.K. Parksparks, GK Warhol

This book was great. I got it free from Amazon and it turned into a really great read! The characters were engaging and the plot line was enticing. The book is about an ex-federal agent Alexis Parker and her life now that she isn’t an agent. She gets mixed up in a sadistic murderers plan when she is enlisted to escort a painting from France. Her love interest, who also happens to be the CEO of the company she is consulting on securities with is also ever present. The book is long; I will say that but every page has a new twist with an engaging plotline. There are awesome scenes filled with terror and suspense and I was literally trembling at the thought of Alex’s fate. It helps that there is this forbidden romance that courses through the book and adds to the suspense of the book. G.K. Parks does a great job of making the characters likeable and not going over the top with the plot lines. There is a lot going on in the book but I find when a book has too many lines running all at the same time that I lose interest quickly. That was not the case with this book. Parks writes the suspense scenes wonderfully, with just the right amount of detail that you can picture the horrific scenes perfectly. For a free book on Amazon, I have to say this one rates on my top twenty! I would definitely recommend and of course, since it’s a series I have already bought the second book and can’t wait to crack it open!!

Mimicry of Banshees by G.K. Parkerparks, GK Mimicry

I was less intrigued with this book than with the other book I read by this author. It was along the same lines as The Warhol Incident which was #2 in the series; this book still painted a good picture and had me caught up in all of Alex’s drama. It was just lacking that umph that I needed.

Martin, Alex’s boss/complicated romance, is found on his yacht with a murdered model. Alex works to help find the killer while keeping Martin out of trouble. She fights going back to work in the public sector law enforcement but somehow keeps getting dragged in. Will she find the killer before they turn back to Martin as the lead suspect? Will they somehow make this makeshift relationship work?

The last question was all that I ended up caring about. I found that the girl that was murdered was not a real character in the book, which made it hard for me to want revenge on her killer. I found the middle parts of the book to be boring and in fact skipped over them. There was little need for most of the conversations, nothing important to the story line happened during those pages which made me lose a bit of interest. The author did a good job of keeping the same characters in the novels, which helped the storyline because you didn’t really have to get to know them again. He also continued the battle that Alex was having with herself over staying a cop or not which was a nice line to think about, however got dull during this book. There was some potential in the undercover stint that Alex has to do but it ended up kind of falling flat.

I still was pulling for the romance between Martin and Alex and liked the suspense that G.K. Parks built in regards to their relationship, it gave me that nice fluttery feeling when they saw each other and that frustrated feeling when they were off again. However when the book got boring in the middle so did Alex and Martin’s relationship.

Perhaps I was too pumped up for this book, or had read 4 books in 48 hours (IK, I don’t know what got into me) but I wished more for this book after the last one hooked me so well. I read the other comments that people wrote and perhaps it was just my personal preference after so much love for the Warhol Incident. I hope that my comments do not dissuade any of you from trying this book because the author did a great job on the other ones; this one just wasn’t so much for me!

The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot cabot, meg

This book was good. It wasn’t really great but it kept me up until almost 11 o’clock last night finishing it so it had to be pretty good right! The book is about a girl, Mel whose next door neighbor gets attacked and how she meets this boy, Max/John who ends up being perfect for her but he has a secret that he is hiding from Mel. Meg Cabot does a great job of building up the story without any real dialogue while the events are happening. Sorry, let me explain- As you can read from the previous comments, it’s entirely written in email format. Everything that happens is told to another person via an email which is hilarious and irksome at the same time. while nice to read differently for a change, and it’s cute and funny that you get the picture from all these different eyes, it also made me less vested in the characters. I found that the ranting and raving from the other points of view were not really what I wanted to read and just skipped them. I was interested in the romance and what was going to happen and found that it was hard to really “care” what the other characters thought or did. There were other plot lines that cursed through the book, new love, a new marriage, a pesky boss, and nosy co-workers but I didn’t really care too much about them. Maybe it was because there was no explaining them, so there was no real way for me to picture them? I am not sure. But I don’t want to bash the book, because as I said, it still kept me up reading until the very end! It was fun to try a new book with a different writing style and while I am not sad that I read it, I am not thrilled that I read it either.

Thanks for reading!!

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