Friday, April 20, 2018

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath | Mini Review

395040Title: The Bell Jar
Author: Sylvia Plath
Release Date: August 2, 2015 (originally published January 1963)
Publisher: HarperCollins

The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under-- maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther's breakdown with such intensity that Esther's insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommending reading, and more.

I read this book for my English class last fall at my college. I actually enjoyed it too! I was glad that I did, because I have a lot of troubles getting into classic novels, yet I instantly got invested in Esther's life.

Even though I did read the print version of this book, I have heard excellent things about the audiobook, which makes me want to listen to the audio at some point.

This book touched on some dark stuff, yet I thought it did so in an interesting way. There were also splots of feminism throughout the story, which I liked. I also liked how all of Esther's thoughts were pretty uncensored and very free-flowing. Plus, it was just so beautifully written. It's definitely a classic that I look forward to rereading in the future. 


Monday, April 16, 2018

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia | Mini Review

77092Title: Dreaming in Cuban
Author: Cristina Garcia
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: February 10, 1993

Here is the dreamy and bittersweet story of a family divided by politics and geography by the Cuban revolution. It is the family story of Celia del Pino, and her husband, daughter and grandchildren, from the mid-1930s to 1980. Celia's story mirrors the magical realism of Cuba itself, a country of beauty and poverty, idealism and corruption. DREAMING IN CUBAN presents a unique vision and a haunting lamentation for a past that might have been. 
This was another book that I had to read for my English class last fall. I found it to be interesting, yet at times it was rather boring and I found it hard to keep interested in what I was reading. However, I think the most interesting aspect of the novel was that it was magical realism, which I hadn't read before. It was nice to get a peak into a genre that I wasn't very familiar with before, and it's opened my eyes to a bunch of new books that I definitely wouldn't have picked up otherwise.

Another great thing about this book was the multiple point of views from everyone in the family. It tells the story through a few generations, which was really interesting. I felt like I was really invested in the family and all that they were about.

If you're looking for a quick, magical realism novel about Cuba and families, then I'd suggest giving this one a read.


Friday, April 13, 2018

The Awakening by Kate Chopin | Mini Review

916134Title: The Awakening
Author: Kate Chopin
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Release Date: December 29, 1999 (first published 1899)

This revision of a widely adopted critical edition presents the 1969 Seyersted text of Kate Chopin's novel along with critical essays that introduce students to The Awakening from the perspectives of feminism, gender (new essay), new historical, deconstructionist, and reader response criticism. An additional new essay demonstrates how various approaches can be combined. The text and essays are complemented by introductions to The Awakening and to the criticism, a glossary of critical terms, and (for the first time) contextual documents. 

I had to read this book for my English class, and I honestly didn't enjoy it that much. For some reason, classic novels are really hit or miss for me, and this one was definitely a miss. I found the book to be written very beautifully, so I did appreciate Chopin's writing style, though the plot itself was kind of boring and hard for me to get interested in. I honestly found myself most interested in the book at the very end, and then it was over.

Despite that, I did appreciate how much feminism was in this novel, especially with Edna trying to decide what she wants to do with her life with the society that she was in, as well as the time period. I found her to be a fascinating character.

I think this book is worth reading at least once, but it wasn't one that I will ever reread.