Book Reviews: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Book 1 of 5)

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I have a feeling I’m going to get a lot of heat for this, but here I go. My fiance stumbled upon the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy one day while we were cruising Books-a-Million and decided to get it. He is a big fan of the film. I was also intrigued by it because book one is on my 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list. This version of the book (the Ultimate) is all 5 of Douglas Adams’s novels in one, so it saves time and money. So, I resolved to read the large book when he was done. However, not long after he bought it, Amazon was selling it for a mere $3.99. I took the bait.

I will not be giving a Goodreads star rating this time here on WordPress. I would prefer to review each novel individually and then give a star rating of the novel on its own, Since, I have the Ultimate as the book listed on Goodreads, it would take a long time to actually read the whole book and write a REALLY long review. By reading and reviewing each novel individually, it will be less confusing.

This book just did not do it for me. I’ll pause while I wait for people to stop throwing things at me. My fiance loves it, and I can honestly see why. The random type of humor that this book follows would be right up his alley. However, I am an avid lover of science fiction and I really feel that the science fiction aspect of this novel takes a back seat to the humor. I also feel that the plot really takes a back seat to the humor as well.

I will be finishing all 5 books because I have to finish what I started. But I will not be reading the sixth book by a different author. Unless, by the end of it, I really start enjoying the series. I will say this though. I feel like I have a connection with Marvin the Paranoid Android. I would give the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 2/5 stars.

A little 90s pop culture tidbit for you, Radiohead loved this series so much that they named a song “Paranoid Android,” The music video scarred me for life as a kid, but I love the song. The cartoon is of Swedish creation and is called Robin. I have all of the shorts on my iPod.

A Review of Elizabeth Myles’s Fear and Laundry

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I’m taking a break from my “1001 books to read before you die” list in order to read a bit more of what I call “comfort” reading. Comfort reading, in my own definition, is lighter books that allow me a chance to escape from every day stresses. Since this is my last night of winter break and I take a big exam that will decide my fate in 6 days, any spare time has been dedicated to any comforts I can get.

I first read Fear and Laundry back in 2012 and I loved it. Mostly because I grew up during the 90s and I like to believe that I’m still there. My wardrobe consists of lots of grungy baby doll dresses and band shirts. Anyway, I still enjoyed it, but I lowered it down to 3 stars after giving it a second read.

I liked the fact that it was a fast read, but the chapters were a little too short for me at times. The version I read was the upgraded version. But the version I read in 2012 didn’t seem as choppy. However, my memory could be fuzzy.

The resolution to the Clyde chaos seemed too light and unrealistic. I found it hard to believe with Clyde acting the way he did that he would go back and thank anyone. The fate of Lynch’s was very believable, even though I was sad to see it.

I loved Veronica’s character development and I really related to her. Her relationship with Jake built gradually and it was very realistic. I loved the scene where she falls asleep with him while watching horror movies. That is a fantasy of mine.

All in all, very imaginative, cool, and a great comfort book. Can’t wait to see what Fear and Laundry 2 has in store.

I gave this book 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

A Book Review: The Virgin Suicides

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I think the best word I could ever use to describe this novel is haunting. This book was captivating from the very first page and held me down to the last paragraph. It left me speechless and clamoring for more. Unfortunately, the whole novel is built around an enigma and if you want more…well, you’re not going to get it.

The Virgin Suicides is told to the reader by the neighborhood boys, who are pretty much obsessed with the Libson sisters. The Libson girls; Therese, Mary, Bonnie, Cecilia, and Lux are kept under very strict circumstances by their mother. No boys allowed in the house and they can’t even hang out with female friends outside of school. Thirteen year old Cecilia slits her wrists in the bathtub one day during the summer. She is revived and when her doctor remarks that she hasn’t seen how bad the world can get yet, she replies with “Obviously doctor, you’ve never been a thirteen year old girl.”

Cecilia eventually manages to take her life and this opens the Libson family to an extreme form of grieving that ultimately tears everything apart. Apart from the mystery of the sisters, I think this novel really focuses on the neighborhood boys and the sordid way in which they grow up through their obsession and the sisters’ actions.

Beautifully written by Jeffery Eugenides, the passages cut me so deep at times that I honestly cried. Part of me things that these girls never had a chance but at times their salvation seemed so eminent that I was extremely frustrated. Those poor boys will forever be haunted by the Libson girls. Forever stuck in adolescence, yet desiring what they ultimately never had and never knew. But the most heartbreaking thing may be just how close they really got by playing records through a phone.

To add to my experience I will be viewing the 1999 film soon.

I gave this book 5/5 stars on Goodreads.