jules (perfectfigure) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

on dead wench lessons in the dream world

Rating guide:

**** +1, would read again
*** it was certainly better than staring at the wall for hours on end
** well, at least i'm not dumber for having read this
* this shit made me briefly consider that twilight may not be so bad after all

On to the reviews!

On Writing by Stephen King *****
The first half of this book is a mini-autobiography. If you're not into that kind of thing, you can easily skip ahead to the writing advice where King dispenses such wisdom as, "The road to hell is paved with adverbs." He ain't wrong.

Wench: A Novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez ***
I heard about this book on a blog called something like "White Readers Meet Black Authors." The blog talked it up, and the premise was interesting -- fiction about the lives of Black women forced to be mistresses to their slave owners. The book wasn't great, though. The writing style was just the way I like it: to the point, no distracting purpley prose, but something went wrong with the plot. I felt no connection to the characters and, at the end, couldn't exactly say what the book was about.

Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen **
I'm embarrassed that I bothered. Nothing about this book made sense. The writing was horrifyingly bad. The plot was trite, boring, and unlikely. Gruen doesn't know enough about horses to be writing a horse book.

Dead City by Joe McKinney *
I only read half of this book; it was that bad. (It was also so bad I thought I should be rewarded for the half I read, so I included it in my count even though it was only 150-or-so pages.) I guess I'm spoiled from books like "World War Z" and "Cell," but I could not believe how bad this zombie book was.

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco Stork *****
I LOVED this book. It's about Marcelo, a 17-year-old wigh high-functioning Asperger's Syndrome. The summer before his senior year at his special education school, Marcelo's father decides that Marcelo needs to learn to interact and function within the "real world," so he makes Marcelo take a summer job. The book is narrated by Marcelo in the first person, so we are with him the entire way as he learns about friendship, deceit, douchebag misogynists, and girls. Since I'm not on the autistic spectrum, I do wonder how someone with Asperger's would feel about this book. To me, it felt very "true" -- I felt like I had a good idea of the way Marcelo's mind worked by the end, and I'm curious if people who actually have AS feel the same. I'd like the book a lot less if I find out it's a completely unrealistic portrayal of an AS teenager.

What Dreams May Come by Robert Richard Matheson **
I saw the movie a loooong time ago and really liked it, but the book was shit. It was basically a lot of New Age mumbo-jumbo about the "afterlife" that (despite this being a fictional book) Matheson tries to pass off as fact. The bibliography at the end really sealed the LOL deal. I was really interested in some of Matheson's other books -- specifically "I Am Legend" -- but I'm not sure I should waste my time now.

So far in 2010:
20/50 books
7041 pages

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