Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Genre: southern fiction
FTC Disclosure: bought used from Amazon.com
Published: 1987
Pages: 416
Content: PG-13 for violence, language, and adult themes
While I enjoyed the movie better, the book is still a beautiful tale of women finding out who they are.

I fell in love with the town of Whistle Stop. It's the kind of town you just wish you'd been apart of.

We follow Evelyn in the present time as she meets Ninny Threadgoode who begins to tell her about Idgie and Ruth and their times in Whistle Stop. Evelyn, throughout the story, makes her own journey like Idgie and Ruth to find herself by taking her own life into her hands, to make her own fate instead of others deciding for her.

The novel jumps around a lot from the POV of different people in Whistle Stop through newspaper articles as well as third person narrative as well as Ninny's narrative. Sometimes it got a bit confusing since there were so many characters to follow.

There are also plenty of themes running through the book: lesbianism, sexism and women's rights, racism, etc. I didn't agree with everything Flagg had to say, but I enjoyed the journey of listening to it anyway.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Android Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Ben H. Winters

I received an advance review copy for Android Karenina from the lovely people at Quirk Classics. As part of the blogger review explosion of Android Karenina Quirk Classics is offering a few prizes along the way today.
Readers have a chance to win over one of twenty-five Quirk Prize Packs. Each Prize Pack, with a retail value of nearly $100, will include:

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith

How to Survive a Horror Movie by Seth Grahame-Smith

Dracula's Heir: An Interactive Mystery by Sam Stall

Extreme Encounters by Greg Emmanuel

How to Tell if Your Boyfriend is The Antichrist by Patricia Carlin

An Android Karenina Poster

And more!

So check out the links and mention my blog and I hope you win some good stuff!

Genre: classic mash-up, steampunk, sci-fi, Russian lit.
FTC Disclosure: Received ARC from Quirk Classics
Published: 2010
Pages: 538
Content: PG, for some robot and alien violence

Maybe it takes a lover of Tolstoy to really enjoy this work, I'm not sure since I've never read Tolstoy before. I had a really hard time getting into the characters. They never spoke to me.

Many times the events happened slowly and the next we have a paragraph describing a few years. I especially had a hard time with Anna Karenina. She's very complex, I'll give you that, but she was pretty messed up. She's willing to leave her son behind to run off with her lover and in the meantime she says she doesn't really love that son. She has a daughter with her lover and ends up trying to love that daughter. Just weird.

The steampunk version was fun. I enjoyed reading all the nuances of a groznium-filled world and robots. I also enjoyed how Winters ties in the title character Android Karenina with the character Anna. It's an interesting twist, for sure.

But overall, the book was just OK for me. I had a hard time following all the characters and all the events. Just because something is a classic doesn't necessarily mean I'll enjoy it. And Tolstoy may be one of those writers I won't be able to get into. Oh well. It looks like other authors who appreciate Tolstoy say they enjoy it and think Winters did a superb job of splicing this mash-up together.

But I think it opens up the classics to more people and I think that's important as well.

Rating: 3/5

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Changeless by Gail Carriger

Genre: mystery, steampunk
FTC Disclosure: bought from Book Depository.com
Published: 2010
Pages: 374
Content: PG

Since I loved the first in this series I was really looking forward to the second. I must admit I was a bit disappointed. I felt that it took a bit too long to get into the good parts of the story. And the ending...well, I didn't like it that much...it was really, really maddening!!! You just want to grab a few of the characters through the pages and give them a good throttle!

But overall, I enjoy Alexia very much. Gail Carriger does a wonderful job with her. She gives a nice modern flair from the pages of Jan Austen. Alexia is as snobby as they come yet still very loyal and open. Her relationship with Lord Maccon is always a hoot. She makes it seem like she's not sure if she really loves her husband, but you know she does. It's hilarious! The supporting characters are always a hoot to read as well. And you throw in more steampunk goodness and it's still a very enjoyable story.

It ends in a major heart-wrenching cliffhanger! And I can't wait until the next one! Thank goodness it comes out soon.

Rating: 3.75/5