Here comes the first quick reviews on Chocolatenwaffles’Blog! I was on the fence about it for a while because one of the books is an ARC and I feel they deserve a full review, but my mind and feelings just wouldn’t delve too much into it and I decided to go with the flow. The second book is an assigned reading. You read this right, I never thought I would review a classic required by the university. It’s nothing much but it was nice to throw some thoughts here as I often complain about those reads.
Quick review number 1 : Meet the guy at the origin of the question of what you’d bring to a desert island….
Date of first publication: 1719
Publisher (of this edition): Norton Critical Edition
Number of pages: 436
Rating: Almost 3 🌟
So if you are among the few lucky ones who have never heard of Robinson Crusoe, here is the deal: a guy born in a good family decides it is too easy to just exploit what life has in store for him and decides to travel. He soon discovers it’s better not to disturb the Universe and after a few “minor” mishaps, a storm wrecks his boat and he finds himself alone on a desert island. This is what you will hear from anyone. Now I have a few niggles with this rather simplistic synopsis, I’ll come back to it in a few…
I never thought I would review the book and this will probably be too short to be called a review, but I just had to leave a proof that I actually finished this classic somewhere and where better than a book blog?
I did not hate Robinson Crusoe, hence the almost three stars. Oh, it could have benefited from a good editor and my God, I will never care for boats and pirates, but it was not as bad as planned. My faith in classic literature is renewed.
One thing, though. When people talk about Robinson, they keep saying he had nothing with him. NOTHING AT ALL. I remember talking about the book and being said over and over that the guy should have been a genius MacGyver to make everything from scratch. (If you did not understand this reference, you are too young for this blog, haha!) THIS IS A LIE. Without the wreckage of the ship and what he got from it, the guy would never have lasted, and for me, this is cheating!
I was not expecting the religious part, silly me. It is usual for a man in despair to turn to God. I will admit to have found it weird for such an early novel but I liked that the question was asked and reflected upon. There was bit too much of unnecessary travels and risks but without it, there would not have been a story. Learning how to create a house and get food was nice until he started killing goats and cats. It quickly became repetitive and the writing itself was one of a mere diary written by anyone. I still don’t understand all the fuss about it being Literature with a big L and maybe the lessons I am working on will enlighten me about the century and situation of the world at the time, which in return will help me understand what made Crusoe a big deal, but it was not worse than Lolita and for this I am grateful. It still took me 8 days to finish it. Well, I can count myself lucky, he got stuck 27… something years, I already forgot, shoot.
Quick review number 2: Relive your painful teenage years…
Date of publication: April 14th 2016
Number of pages:400
Almost too terrified to grip the phone, Biddy Weir calls a daytime television show.
The subject is bullying, and Biddy has a story to tell.
Abandoned by her mother as a baby, Biddy lives in her own little world, happy to pass her time watching the birds – until Alison Fleming joins her school.
Popular and beautiful, but with a dangerous, malevolent streak, Alison quickly secures the admiration of her fellow students. All except one. And Alison doesn’t take kindly to people who don’t fit her mould . . .
A story of abuse and survival, of falling down and of starting again, and of one woman’s battle to learn to love herself for who she is, The Lonely Life of Biddy Weiris Lesley Allen’s startlingly honest debut novel, perfect for fans of Rowan Coleman and Julie Cohen.
This book probably deserves a full review but sometimes you just don’t find all the words, sometimes the story doesn’t find your emotions just as much as you had hoped.
I liked the book. Biddy is a character that resonates with all of us who have suffered from bullying. I was the weirdo, too. While Biddy found solace in her very own way, I was cast aside because I liked books better than talking about boys or God knows what they were talking about. I was never invited anywhere. I wore different clothes, even if my mom was doing her best for me to have all the trendy stuff. I lacked confidence and I held my head low. Just like Biddy. I took comfort in something that has been a part of me ever since: books for me, I’ll let you discover her thing.
It was sometimes painful to go back to those days as the writing perfectly captured the feeling of ostracism and the nastiness kids are capable of. Boy did they were mean. What saddens me is that they are even meaner now.
The reason it took me so long to come up with something to say is that Biddy’s situation is taken to the extreme. I am not talking about the bullying, there is no limits to what children can do to one another. My problem laid with her family situation, living with her father, not learning about anything from life because they were somehow stuck in their own claustrophobic bubble. I had a hard time relating to her because of this. You don’t have to go that far to be the weird one. Sometimes the littlest detail sets you apart from the others and it is all it takes to make you the weirdo. So I felt having Biddy stuck in such an extreme situation, as an “explanation” for not fitting in, was somehow belittling other experiences.
You cannot really enjoy this kind of books, you go through them wondering why you, why her, why them. You feel all the emotions and you hope for the best.
The ending was good enough, the circle was full and hope won in the end. I think it is important to remind people being weirdos is okay is that is what you think you are, that we shouldn’t spite on differences, that we shouldn’t let others decide what and who we are and maybe we’ll see that happens someday. Until then, I’m a weirdo and I am proud of it. It took me years but I finally can say it, you’ll have to read to discover what happens to Biddy 😊
That’s it for now! I hope you enjoyed those quickies and let’s pray we don’t have them too often, I like my usual review format too much!
ps: Yes, I am aware of the other meaning of a quickie… But I am too innocent to let it censor me.