Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reading Assignment Twenty (!!!)

Okay, wow. Twenty posts. That seems like a lot to me. Huh, anyways...

I'm still adoring Rattled! by Christine Coppa. Chrissy just moved out of her apartment in NYC. I remember when I moved. I was in third grade, and all we did was move from one street to another, but it was still scary. As a kid, you feel like your whole life is being uprooted. The first night I slept at my new house was so different. The sounds outside were louder. I could not see the headlights from cars now that my room was in the back of the house. My bed was in a different spot. The room was darker. It smelled off. Change is funny like that. It comes upon us in the most unexpected ways. One day you're living your life, and the next, everything is different. You move, you get pregnant, someone dies. Some days the change is something you accept. Some days you can't bear to think about it. Some days it's like it's not there at all. One day I was home, the next, I was sleeping in a stranger's house. Or maybe I was a stranger in my own house. Chrissy has a stranger in her body. Babies are these little people who we don't know, and yet her's is occupying her body for nine months. Life is so weird. I know that not a very eloquent way of putting it, but it's the truth. I'm calling a spade a spade: Life is weird and big and strange. Those are my not-so-eloquently-put-thoughts.


Reading Assignment Nineteen

Dear Yoda,
Hey, sorry about that last post. My book was full of anxiety, and I guess I was too. (I suddenly feel like a method actor. Ha!) I have calmed down a bit since my last post, and several things have happened. I have:

  1. Read farther in my book!
  2. Relaxed.
  3. Eaten something. It's amazing how some sugar can make me zen!
  4. Read some more.
I'm back to being myself, and so is Christine. She's a little more confident, and I am more confident in her. Christine is taking control of her life and her pregnancy. I almost feel a little proud! It's amazing how an author can make his or her readers empathize with the character. Like, when I read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, I completely agreed that Mr. Darcy was proud. I agreed when her opinion slowly began to change; I started to root for the guy. And by the time she was in love with him, I kinda was too! And then, when I read it again, I totally empathized with Mr. Darcy. He did so many things for her, and she had no idea! And then, he tells her how he feels, and the woman scorns him! She says that he's the last person she'd ever want to marry! Humph! I felt so awful for him; he loves this woman, and she's shoving him away. When I read The Reader, Peter was so wounded. Hanna abuses him over and over, and he can't explain to himself what is off. If I can do anything as a writer, if I can aspire to do one glorious thing, it would not be writing great description. I wouldn't want to write a thrilling mystery. I want to write real characters, ones that are so present that they're practically tangible. I want to write real people.
Hope you're enjoying the blog. If you have any great book ideas for me, please suggest them!! May the Force be with you.

Jedi Knight

Reading Assignment Eighteen

Now we're at the breaking point: Christine's boyfriend, A, left. He left her and he left the baby. For a memoir, this is starting to read more like a suspense novel. I can't believe it! I can't believe he left her! She's pregnant!! With your baby! Ahh! Not okay! You can't leave a pregnant woman! Grr. I was really upset about that. I've met a lot of pregnant women in my day, but none of them have been jilted that way. I read that and I was totally speechless. Well, I was speechless with the gaping hole for a mouth way. In my head, however, I kept asking questions: What will Christine do now? Will A come back? Will he have to pay child support? Can she support a child on her own? Will she have an abortion? Ahh, what's gonna happen? I seriously thought every single one of those thoughts. Each one scared me more than the last one. I don't know how she's gonna do it. Christine is pregnant, single, and basically broke. That is not a good combination. I'm a little hyped up right now, Yoda. I'm really feeling for this woman. And she's not just some character in a book where I can say," At least it's just some fake character in a book." Christine is real. Her situation is real. There's no shying away from reality here. She's going to have to face those fears that she has- and fast. Babies only take nine months to cook; she's three months pregnant.

Reading Assignment Seventeen


Rattled! is rattling! It's so good! I'm loving it from page to page. At this point, Christine is still very newly pregnant. And still very scared. But the thing is: she's embracing it. Christine is terrified, but she automatically loves her little baby. It made me think of and fears that I have embraced. And I could only think of one. When I was 13, my dad got remarried. Four months later he took us to Mellow Mushroom without my stepmom. That was kinda weird. So he takes us to Mellow Mushroom, and we sit down. And he says to my brother and me, "Well, I have good news and I have great news. The good news is that we are going to expand our house. The great news is that your stepmom is going to have a baby. Which is why we're expanding the house." Yowza! What a load! Well, that was a lot of information, so I had to excuse myself. I went into the bathroom. And I kinda melted down. Not because I was upset, but because I was so overwhelmed. The thought of another person invading my life was so heavy. But truthfully, what's so scary about a baby? Babies are cute and cuddly and soft. I love babies. And in that instant, the fear kinda vanished. I felt calm. I was going to be a big sister. I was going to be a big sister? I'm going to be a big sister!!! Shock turned to fear, and fear turned to giddiness, and the giddiness turned into joy. I'm hoping that's what happens for Coppa. I hope that the anxiey she feels melts away and she can enjoy her baby and her pregnancy.

Reading Assignment Sixteen

I'm several pages into Rattled! and I'm loving it!!! Christine Coppa is so real. Her fear and doubt leaps out from the page. I feel just as bewildered as she does. Every thought that Coppa thinks is going through my mind as well. I feel for her; I want things to work out for her. And when she goes to get that first ultrasound, I'm in the room with her. I'm anxiously biting my nails- on a side note, when I read that part, I really did anxiously bite my nails- and hoping for the best. And I don't even know what the best actually is.
Suddenly, the bomb drops: she's pregnant. Christine is with child. Wow. Her whole life has changed. She's having a baby. A real, live, kicking, crying, screaming, cooing baby.
When I read that she was pregnant, I kinda felt shocked. I couldn't believe that she was having a baby. A real baby. The weight of that is so overwhelming. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be unexpectedly pregnant. And have a baby, without planning it. I mean, I knew that she got pregnant, but when I actually read it, it shocked me all over again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reading Assignment Fifteen

Dear Yoda,

While I can appreciate Austen's style and technique, I have lost all hope with Emma. I know, it's a wonderful book; I'm sure that is true. However, it took me a full two months to read Pride and Prejudice. I loved every moment, but it was a tough read. I read and reread passages. I simply do not have the time to do that with Emma. Emma deserves better. I promise to come back one day, but I need a break; I cannot deal with the heavy language at the time. Please forgive me. I will commit to another classic book, but right now, I have to move on.
My next read will be a memoir. Because Emma was a ficticious work, my next book has to be non-fiction. And this non-fiction work is a book called Rattled! The story of this book is rather interesting, and it all starts in the airport. Yoda, I have a confession to make: I am terrified of flying in a plane. The thought makes me shake, and I get very jumpy- not a good thing while going through security. The only thing that can calm my nerves is a magazine. Everytime I fly, I always buy a magazine, and the last time I flew, I picked up a Glamour magazine. Now, in the process of the flight, I read the magazine cover to cover. Not a word escaped my eyes. In the edition I read, there was a particularly interesting article about a single mother. Her story was beautifully written, so when I got off the plane, I went on the magazine's website. It turned out she had a blog, and a book coming out. On this whim, I bought her book. I've been anxious to read it, so I'm very excited to be starting Rattled! by Christine Coppa. It's a story about her unexpected pregnancy, and the choice she makes in keeping her baby. I'll keep you posted on what happens. May the Force be with you.

Jedi Knight

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Reading Assignment Fourteen


Last time I discussed relatable characters. But unrelatable characters are equally important. I have not found a character yet in Emma that I cannot relate to... but what if I had? What would have made them unrelatable? I think that characters you cannot believe are the unrelatable ones. Every character thinks that they are the protagonist, not the supporting one. That means that the "best friend" doesn't only live within the limits of the category of "best friend." No one is the bridesmaid and never the bride. They are always the bride. Also, I find characters whose personality doesn't suit their actions to be unbelieveable. If someone is really shy, and then they do something wild and crazy, I am going to think that they are completely bogus. Or that they have multiple personalities, which will make me just plain annoyed. I did not sign up for multiple personalities, I signed up for real people in a fake universe.
Unrelatable characters are the witches from fairy tales who want to slay their daughters. Although Emma sort of reads like an old fairy tale, none of the characters are like this. Each one has their own voice and personality. The things that come out of their mouths are sensible. I am looking forward to seeing where these people take me.

Reading Assignment Thirteen

I cannot believe this is post number thirteen! Wow! It would be really cool if I were writing this on Friday the thirteenth... I am not. Oh well. Anyways, I have gotten a little farther into Emma and, I'm not going to lie, it is starting to grow on me. Maybe its the language, or maybe the anticipation of a good love story (I am a sucker for a good love story), but I have become more anxious to do my reading every night. Emma's self importance has become endearing. And it has made me think of what makes a character likable. I think that a likable character needs to be, above ALL other things, relatable. If I cannot relate to a character, just, no. It will not happen. The whole point of a book is to connect to the reader. The reader cannot connect unless the characters are relatable.
Emma is relatble because of her compassion. She gives herself to whatever she does, and she does it wholeheartedly.She is full of compassion, but also full of passion. I can relate to that. I can relate to the passion she puts into things, and it makes me like her more. It makes me more willing to overlook her faults, like the constant need to fix a problem or match someone up. Also, I am finding Mr. Knightley particularly grounding. He seems to bring Emma back down to earth on a regular basis. Interesting...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reading Assignment Twelve


I'm a little farther into Emma... it's still just okay (sorry!). I'm still suspending judgement, but Emma is losing me fast. It's just not as interesting as I'd hoped. I'm just not hooked. And I'm trying to diagnose my lack of interest. It made me think of reasons that a book would make me drag my feet. It could be:

  1. The characters aren't worth investing my emotions
  2. I don't have any idea what's happening?!??!?!
  3. Nothing has happened.
  4. Nothing will happen.
  5. Someone else suggested it and I'm only reading it because they wanted me to.
Out of those five reasons, I think that number three applies: nothing has happened. Well, nothing that has caused any tension has happened. In the course of what I have read, there has been a wedding, a dinner, and two people meeting and becoming friends. Of all this, there is no mounting suspense. I'm not subconsciously wondering, "What will happen next?" Emma is, well, boring right now. However, I'm not giving up. When I read Austen the first time, she trained me to wait for the "big moment." I know that little things will start to add up, and that something will happen when I least expect it. Now it is a waiting game of finding those pieces that push the story forward.
I really do think that this Mr. Knightley will play a big role with Emma. I also think that Harriet Smith is going to have a significant role in the plot of this story. I'm just full of predictions. They make the reading more interesting.

Reading Assignment Eleven


Sooo... I finally got into Emma by Jane Austen. I'm so excited! I had the same sort of hesitation before Pride and Prejudice- "Why read this? It's gonna take so long, will it be worth it? It's gonna take longer, do you really wanna deal with that?" Well, I bit the bullet, and cracked my book open. So far, it's okay. I'm not going to lie, it's not rocking my world. But, Pride and Prejudice didn't either, at least not in the beginning. At the same time, Pride and Prejudice was also a book that kept me up till three in the morning, dying to find out the fate of those fateful lovers. So, I'm reserving my judgement for a little while. We'll see how it goes.
On a different note, one of my predictions is correct! Huzzah! It is true that ***SPOILER ALERT***(highlight to read) Emma's mother died when she was younger.It is a very integral part of the story, and I think it really shapes the character of Emma Woodhouse. Emma has so far come off as a proper young woman, but possibly one who thinks she's way more important than she actually is. But, because she's so kind and loving, her friends and family overlook this small weakness.
I've decided to make another prediction:

Emma will end up with Mr. Knightley.
He's a family friend, and it goes along with my previous prediction. See here.
So, my charming readers... if you're out there.. Other than my mysterious teacher (Hi Mysterious Teacher!).. I'm going to push forward with Emma and keep you updated on both the truth of my predictions and my general feeling toward Emma Woodhouse and her- well, what happens to her.