I just finished this book by Nancy Horan, and it was quite an adventure. It's historical fiction about Frank Lloyd Wright's love affair. There's a twist! The story follows the woman involved, Mamah Borthwick, not Frank himself. It was a new experience for me, because I usually read books meant for younger audiences and this one was a big-girl book. It's not that I don't have the capacity to read "adult" books, it's just I find that Young Adult books have more interesting and fast-paced plots and characters. This book was delicious to devour though.
This category doesn't really apply to novels, but I have something to say about it for this book in particular. I don't know much about Frank Lloyd Wright's architecture, but Horan really dived into the emotions and passion behind the man and his work. I really felt the houses and buildings through their eyes and hearts. It was an interesting experience. This is Horan's debut novel, and I can't wait to see what she puts out next.
Very, very interesting. I enjoyed every minute of it. It really gave me a new perspective about extra-marital love affairs. I had never really thought too deeply into the topic, but this book made me question what I really did think and see all up and down the grayscale of right and wrong. Nancy Horan was brilliant at showing the gray in-betweens and complications of cheating. There were wrongs and rights on all sides. The plot was always moving, always making you feel something, and there are definitely some fantastic and gut-wrenching surprises along the way.
Originally, I saw the book and thought, "Oh, how interesting. Frank Lloyd Wright had a love affair?" But it turned out to be more about Mamah than Frank, and I was really happy with that. From what I have read and heard, I don't think I would like to be inside Frank's head. It definitely would not be as fulfilling a story if it was flipped. I really felt like I knew Mamah. They were deeply human, and every character had their endearing and lovable side, but also the dark and not-so-nice side.
It was really interesting to dive into that time period, where women's rights were a hot topic and divorce was still taboo. If they could only see today, where the majority of marriages end in divorce and being single is perfectly acceptable. I also loved reading about all the different places they visited and lived.
I picked this book up on a whim because it was on sale and it looked interesting. I love those moments where the universe repays you for trusting it. Great read, manageable length, delicious paper (at least in the paperback version), well-deserving of your time.
Sidenote: My friend looked at me funny when I said "delicious paper". Let me explain. (No there is too much. Let me sum up. Name that movie and you win a smile from me!) The experience of reading a book is greatly affected by the quality, feel, and smell of the paper. Nothing can beat a good book smell and feel.
I am still working out the kinks in my book reviewing style, but regardless, I hope I have inspired at least a few people to go out and read this book. Well worth it. 5 stars. It may be on its way to my Favorite Books list.
The Looking Glass Wars.
God, I loved this book by Frank Beddor. I mean the book itself was normal, but the idea was top-notch. It's a new take on Alice and Wonderland (I LOVE THIS KIND OF STORY) where Alice (or in this case, Alyss) is very much a real girl and Wonderland is her home.
The basic plot is that on Alyss's seventh birthday something happens and she has to escape with her body guard, Hatter Madigan, and ends up in the human world all alone. She tells her heartbreaking story to Charles Dodgson, and he turns it into Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Eventually Hatter Madigan finds this book and understands that it is about the real Alyss Harte. I won't give any more away, but it is so deep and fascinating and it brings new life to the childhood classic.
The characters are so amazing! We get to see new and surprising versions of all the crazy old characters we knew as kids. For example, the Cheshire Cat is an assassin with nine lives who works for the evil "Queen" Redd, the White Rabbit is Alyss's tutor, Bibwit Harte, and there are a group of rainbow-colored caterpillars who share a hookah and tell the future.
Frank Beddor did a brilliant job of incorporating things we recognize from the old story into the world, while adding his own spunk and dark side to it.
My heart is beating faster as I recall all the different elements and pieces that fit into this puzzle of a book. Such a great read, especially for any fan of the original Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Definitely 5 stars. I just discovered that the next two installments have already come out, so I will surely be hitting the book stores ASAP. Can't wait!
Looking For Alaska.
This was an interesting book by John Green. It was sitting on my shelf for a while and one day I just picked it at random and starting reading. Not my favorite book of all time, but definitely enjoyable.
It's about this kid who decides to go to boarding school so he can have some adventures. He falls in with the cool crowd and ends up doing some scandalous things. Halfway through the book, something happens that drastically changes their lives. It was interesting to see how they all coped differently with the tragedy.
Our hero was an average Joe, nothing too special there, but he did have a cool hobby. He was obsessed with learning and memorizing famous people's last words. It was a hobby I hadn't seen before, and it was fun to hear some of the last lines and see how the character interpreted them. The other characters were quirky and appealing. It was enjoyable to get a slice of their lives and go on adventures with them.
I do not think I would like to live at this boarding school. Impossibly hot summers, and a month or two of freezing rain. Broken showers, fried food in the cafeteria. Definitely not my cup o' tea.
A good read. If you happen upon it, I would recommend reading it, but it's not a run to the bookstore and get it right now type of book. Maybe 3 stars?
Let me know what you think about my reviews! I am having lots of fun writing them!