Book Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am torn between the opinion that The Time Traveler’s Wife was a very powerful love story you should read and thinking it was overly romanticized – this kind of love doesn’t exist! The story is an interesting take on time traveling and what it might look like if your ability to time travel was due to an abnormal set of genes. These time-travel genes would exert themselves in your behavior and make you disappear, usually at a time that is most inconvenient. Furthermore, you travel into either the past or the future and land buck-naked with no possessions on your body. Why was your disappearing behavior triggered? It could be do to stress and anxiety at the present moment, or for no reason at all.

At the beginning, I was immediately perplexed by the logistics of how Henry’s time traveling can happen. I kept reading and kept reading, hoping that Niffenegger would provide an explanation on the how. For example, I kept questioning “Is there a parallel timeline?”, or “Why aren’t events causal across the past, present and future?”, and “How can he keep his job as a librarian?”, as well as “Why is young Clare so accepting of Henry as a 40 year old man?” After a quarter of a way through, as a reader, you begin to accept the fact that you won’t get your answers to all these questions and you’ll just have to accept the world as it comes.

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Book Review: Ready Player One

This one was very easy to get into, and by goodness, it’s being turned into a movie as we type! Front the beginning, I was sucked into this gloom, gray, dirty, dusty world, and as a new world, it was captivating! I mean, there is no more meaning to life than the one we’ve created in the virtual world, isn’t it? Ernest Cline’s new world was one I could easily imagine – the feeling is similar for me while reading The Giver or Hunger Games. It was a dreary one, and Cline gave this dystopia a new take with nostagic video games.

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Mind you, I never played video games longer than 30 minutes. I’ve never owned a console until I turned eleven (I think), and that was only a Game Boy Advanced. Computer or other TV games, I never got into them and didn’t bother trying to ask my parents to buy it for me. I also didn’t have anyone to play with.

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May 1944 – Little House

It’s not the transmitter. Etienne is wrong. It was not the radio the German was interested in. It was something else, something he thought only she might know about. And he heard what he wanted to hear. She answered his one question after all.

Just a dumb model of this town.

-Page 426 of All the Light We Cannot See

Book Review: The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl book cover

The Other Boleyn Girl book cover

I love this kind of historical fiction; it’s been mixed with drama, suspense, and romance. However true this book is to historical events, I don’t know. As a reader, just take the “facts” with a grain of salt. This is categorized as fiction, after all. I read some reviews on Goodreads, and seeing folks rage about historical inaccuracies in their reviews just blows my mind.

The Other Boleyn Girl is a story about two sisters who captures King Henry’s heart, at least long enough to become his mistresses and bear his children. One of them succeeds to overthrowing the Queen, Catherine of Aragon, and later sits on the throne herself. The story is told from the point of view of the youngest Boleyn, Mary. She is brought to court at a very young age and we follow her growth as she comes of age and realizes the tight lines she has to walk to stay afloat at court. Choosing Mary as the narrator is an interesting choice Gregory makes. Perhaps because she is the only character that has the most development and change of hear that that is what makes this book so intriguing. We know that Mary is naive and when we begin seeing her defy her family, this is when we truly feel invested in her well-being and survival. While Anne is a great character to read about, you never truly side with her. Anne is the evil and conniving older sister. She’s willing to put everything on the line to become Queen. And in the end, what of it? I pitied her and anxiously waited to read about her demise.

Add in their elder brother, George, and the Boleyns were inseparable and nearly unstoppable. George was charismatic and handsome, perfect as a court entertainer. Towards the middle of the book, it became clear that there were some sexual tension going on between George and Anne. They were not outright lovers, but their intimacy was far too much to be on the level of brother and sister. Interestingly enough, Gregory based this part of her story on a theory by Retha Warnicke that there was a homosexual ring within the court. For the times that we’re talking about, this sure makes for a very juicy historical drama. Whether the theory is true or not, it is still possible that that happened, and brought Anne down to the chopping block.

I thought Gregory was a great story teller and brought these historical figures to life in this book. My only problem with it was that I thought the pace was a tad inconsistent, and that made some parts of the book drag on a little too slowly. The last quarter of the book was great pacing, though. If I come across her other books of the Tudors, I’d likely read it.

Book Review: Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Dark Places Book Cover

Dark Places Book Cover

Dark Places is a mystery thriller on the classic case of who-dun-it. The story begins in the perspective of Libby Day, the sole survivor of the Kinnakee farm murders – the night her mother and two older sisters were killed in their own home. The murderer? The brother, Ben Day. Ben was believed to be into Satanic cults and Satanic worship, and it was easy to target him as the main suspect. Ben had no alibi for that night, and little Libby was the primary witness who said she saw him kill the Days. Even though the testimony came from a 7 year old, this was strong enough to place Ben in prison for life. As the story progresses in the present day, Libby, now 31 years old, and us readers begin to find out that that night was not as simple as Ben Day killing his entire family simply because. Libby finally faces her fear of that night (her Dark Place) and investigates the mystery behind her family’s death.

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