Posted in Book Reviews

Donna’s Quickies: Robinson Gets Bullied (mini reviews)

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.

donnas-quickies

Quick review number 1 : Meet the guy at the origin of the question of what you’d bring to a desert island….

robinson-crusoe

Date of first publication: 1719
Publisher (of this edition): Norton Critical Edition
Format: Paperback
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…

the lonely life

Date of publication: April 14th 2016
Publisher: Twenty7
Format: eARC
Number of pages:400
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

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.

33 thoughts on “Donna’s Quickies: Robinson Gets Bullied (mini reviews)

  1. Oh my! I love the new feature, Donna.. ‘Donna’s Quickies’ is the most brilliant name for it! Fabulous πŸ™‚
    I think I read Crusoe ages and ages ago… can’t remember much of it πŸ™‚

    And… I watched MacGyver ‘religiously’ with my father and I had a major crush on R D Anderson! πŸ˜€

    Like

    1. Haha, thank you! I wasn’t sure at first about the name but I love it too much!
      I’m pretty sure I will have forgotten all about Crusoe in a few weeks… I’m trying to hold on to it until the exams! Haha you had a crush on RDA too? Gosh, that show ❀ πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Cool idea for a post and a nice way for shorter reviews, quality name! Come have a quickie with Donna!πŸ˜‚

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with shorter reviews and there’s no reason not to do it for an ARC if you can’t think of enough to make a full length review. I recently started my 200 Words or Less feature and the one thing I realised is that while you can’t go into detail you can still say quite a lot with a shorter word count.

    Cool post.πŸ˜€

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    1. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I know, quality quickies with Donna… It had to be done!
      I saw your feature and you are so right, sometimes you can’t produce a full length review for a hundred reasons so trying to capture the book’s essence in a short thing is the best option. Thanks a lot, Marshie πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m never going to read Crusoe. I already wasn’t planning on reading it but the mention of religiuous references just confirmed I probably won’t find it very likeable. The other novel you read could be a good read though, one where I could find a connection with the main character. The situation might be a bit extreme but still sounds like it’s worth the read.

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    1. I was not expecting them and was a bit taken aback by it and the moral lessons, even though I kept reminding myself of the century it was written in. Biddy Weir was a strong read with a message, a difficult to one that deserves to be talk about more often πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think Robinson Crusoe gets high marks for Literature because it is considered to be the first English novel written in a realistic form.
    though,
    I am reminded of a song from childhood:

    Thousands of years ago or maybe more,
    out on an island on a barren shore.
    Robinson Crusoe landed one fine day,
    no rent to pay, and no wife to obey.
    His good pal Friday was his only friend.
    They never borrowed or lend.
    They built a little hut,
    lived there till Friday but,
    Saturday night it was shut.
    bump, bump, bump.
    So where did Robinson Crusoe go,
    with Friday on Saturday night?
    Every Saturday night, they’d be starting to roam,
    and on Sunday morning they’d come staggering home,
    on this island of wild men and cannibal livin’,
    because where there are wild men,
    there must be wild women.
    Oh, where did robinson crusoe go,
    with Friday on Saturday night?

    Happy Reading!
    ~Icky. πŸ™‚

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  5. haha I don’t think anyone understands why Robinson Crusoe is literature with a big L- even my professors hated it- the only reason they could give is that it’s the first novel in English… so that’s an achievement I guess. Also it was sold as if it was a true story at the time, cos actual sailors were selling similar stories at the time (except theirs were true). Annnd that’s the extent I can talk about that book- I dnf’d it. I’m certainly curious about the lonely life of Biddy Weir

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    1. Yeah, but the reason is too weak to keep including this to syllabus, seriously, uni is so good at throwing you into reading slumps!!!!
      Biddy Weir was good, it won’t stay with me because I couldn’t connect to her as much as I thought, but any story about bullying which captures the loneliness and pain it brings deserves to be read.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this!!!! ❀ Yay for new features. And Crusoe.. hmmmm yeah. You were nicer than I might have been haha. These are seriously better than most full reviews I read. So were these inspired by the required reading at all πŸ˜‰ It's okay.. you can tell me.

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    1. So happy!! ❀ I was a bit shy about the quickies :p
      Crusoe was… resourceful but boring!
      I think I was inspired to have quickies, that's why words flew so fast on the page and I was less harsh on myself with those than the usual reviews!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hahahah “the other meaning of quickie”. After all, if we caught the reference for MacGyver, we’re probably old enough to catch that other meaning too! πŸ˜€ Glad to hear your experience with Robinson wasn’t so bad. Let’s hope your Uni will have you reading a classic that will honestly blow your mind away. πŸ˜› And, hell yeh to being a weirdo! πŸ˜€ Better to feel safe and happy in your skin than fake it all your life for the sake of pleasing others! Great mini reviews!

    – Lashaan

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    1. Hahahaha, we old people, we have all the fun :p
      I’m actually probably giving up on this degree so no more bad classics!!! *happy dance* I mean, I’m glad Robinson wasn’t thrown out the window like Lolita was before it, but I need my kind of meat to keep enjoying reading! Thanks so much! Weirdos are the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve not read Robinson Crusoe, though I’ve always wanted to. I seem to be a bit intimidated by classics, though. It probably wouldn’t be my first choice of classic to read, but I’ll get to it eventually, I’m sure. Even though I’m a bit more nervous about it since seeing your review. (PS: which classic would you recommend me start with out of all of them? Pride and Prejudice or something?)

    Like

    1. Classics are definitely intimidating! First, I’m always leery of the writing and language, they love complicated metaphors and weird words I can’t even pronounce!! I wouldn’t have read Robinson without it being an assigned read because I was never interested and unless you like pirates and are fascinated by a guy spending 20 pages explaining how he made his house with what he found, you’ll get bored at some point:)
      My favorite classics are Jane Eyre, and Rebecca, you can’t go wrong with them! I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice xD

      Liked by 1 person

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