Monday, December 28

Dear John

I just finished Dear John, a Nicholas Sparks classic that I started reading today and could not put down. Sparks, a notorious romantic storyteller, creates a love story that is truly spectacular, realistic, and heartbreaking. The narrator, John Tyree, enlists in the army after graduating high school, not knowing what else to do with his life. Raised by his dad, a quiet and shy coin collector, John begins his training as a rebel who resents his life and father. After being stationed in Germany, John comes home on his first leave as a grown man, and his life is turned upside down when he meets her: Savannah Lynn Curtis. She is a college student who is volunteering for Habitat for Humanity when she meets John. Their whirlwind romance over his two week leave creates an unbreakable bond between them, and they both vow to keep in touch after their tragic goodbye. Savannah vows to wait for the man of her dreams and John knows in his heart that this is the woman he is meant to be with. Two years pass by, as John and Savannah exchange letters and the occasional phone call, waiting for him to finish his duty to his country.

September 11th changes everything. Now, the U.S. is going to war with Iraq and needs as much support from the army as possible. All around him, John's friends are re-enlisting. As much as he wants to fight for his country, he knows that the love between him and Savannah is slowly fading with his absence. John has to choose between love and his country. And Savannah will have to decide to wait for him or move on. This heart-wrenching love story shows the intensity and unpredictability of true love, and how it comes at the most unexpected time.

What I loved about this book was that it was not completely sappy, with unrealistic fantasies of a two people falling in love and living happily ever after. Life changes, people change, and love fades. But when love does come to you, you must cherish it with all of your heart, because in an instant, it may be gone. Also, I have a new found appreciation for the men and women overseas and their families. I cannot imagine the hardships that they are going through and how difficult it must be. I have been thinking about the soldiers more and more because of this book, and also because I have a friend who's brother and father are overseas. So here is a shout out to all of those affected by this tragic war, and I hope that your loved ones come home safely <3

As with The Lovely Bones, I was inspired to read this by the trailer for the movie that is coming out this year. I hope that the movie will be as good as the book. Watch here!

My only complaint about this book was that the trailer portrayed so many letters that were sent between the two lovers and I assumed that there would be more letters in the book. There were a few, but I would have appreciated more to give us more of Savannah's point of view, which was lacking. But it is a good read, so go for it!

Wednesday, December 16

Goodbye finals :]

My finals are completed! I am just so excited! And all of my work is done. I can't believe that I did it all. I started going back to school two weeks ago. And I finished all of the work that I missed, five whole weeks of work. I really didn't know that I could do it. I am just so relieved. I am pretty confident that I did good on mostly everything too. I got an A on my American Lit final, which I was really worried about, so that is just amazing. I can't wait to get my grades. So I am all done! CELEBRATE!

It is so weird to have free time now. I really don't know what to do with myself. Read? YES YES YES! Haha. I am in the middle of Harry Potter right now actually, but I am going to read Dear John very soon. I have probably read all seven of the Harry Potter books at least ten times. They are the books that I read when I am sick or really stressed. They help calm me down because I know exactly what to expect since I have read them so much. So once I am done with Harry Potter, I will read something new.

But while we are on the subject, I believe that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is one of the best books ever written. The storyline is unbelieveable and every tiny detail from the preceding novels comes together in this final chapter. I was truly upset when the books were over. And if you are one of those people who only watches the movies, you are definitely missing out. I would say that the movies capture about a third of the true magic of Harry Potter. So read them :] Even though they look huge, I promise you will not be able to put them down.

And can I just say that I just saw the trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and it is already a disappointment. No Mr. Lovegood as I can tell. I just love it when they delete characters. I am really curious how they are going to make everything make sense in this movie when they have not included the characters or plot details that are needed in order for the last book to make sense. Ron randomlly has another brother? Mudungus? Dobby who hasn't been seen since the second movie will just appear? Ahh obviously it makes me very upset.

So anyways, read Harry Potter. It is a perfect feat to complete while you are on your winter break. Dear John review coming soon.

Wednesday, December 9

Snow day and Sebold

Snow is falling down from the heavens and my backyard looks like a Christmas card. I am usually not a big fan of snow; I hate being cold. But, today, the snow is just magical. My fascination may have to do with the fact that classes were cancelled today, putting me in a pretty good mood. Nevertheless, the first snow of the season is here!

The cold weather always makes me want to stay in my pajamas, cuddle up with a fleece blanket and a new book, and drink a cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately, today will be filled with Monet, Plath, power point, and poster board, as I am attempting to complete my classes. So, I will not be reading anything recreational today. But, I did finish The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. This novel was startling, unimaginable, and moving. It shocks the reader at the beginning when they are introduced to Susie Salmon, who is in heaven. This spirited fourteen year old was killed by her neighbor, and we listen as she tells her story and looks down on the ones she was forced to leave behind. This is a tale of truth and family, grief and love. The story
weaves in and out of the past and present, heaven and earth, providing details about Susie's unique and personal heaven and the lives of the people who loved her. Her family struggles with moving on, while seeking revenge on the unknown killer. This is a powerful story about the worst possible circumstance that a family could face and how they move on, but never forget.

I really enjoyed this book. I was a bit unsatisfied with the ending, but I will not spoil it for you :] I picked it up because I had seen the preview for the movie, which is coming out on January 15th, 2010.

But I highly recommend that you read the book before you watch the movie. Because the book is always better :]

Wednesday, December 2

Modernist paintings transformed into poetic masterpieces

So for my Modern Art class, I have to do a presentation next week for my final. We get to pick any topic that relates to the Modernist artists that we talked about in class. So, I discovered that Sylvia Plath based some of her poetry on the great paintings of her time. She was inspired by the artistic genius of Rousseau, Kirchner, Magritte, Klee, and Van Gogh. I just thought that I would post one of her poems here, since that is the only reading that I have been doing as of this week. My school work is completely overwhelming, and I look forward to the end of this semester when I can finally read what I want to read. Back to work :]

But enjoy. Sylvia Plath may have been crazy, but she was a poetic genius that rocked the literary world. Appreciate her.

"Stars Over the Dordogne"
Stars are dropping thick as stones into the twiggy
Picket of trees whose silhouette is darker
Than the dark of the sky because it is quite starless.
The woods are a well. The stars drop silently.
They seem large, yet they drop, and no gap is visible
Nor do they send up fires where they fall
Or any signal of distress or anxiousness.
They are eaten immediately by the pines.

Where I am at home, only the sparsest stars
Arrive at twilight, and then after some effort.
And they are wan, dulled by much travelling.
The smaller and more timid never arrive at all
But stay, sitting far out, in their own dust.
They are orphans. I cannot see them. They are lost.
But tonight they have discovered this river with no trouble.
They are scrubbed and self-assured as the great planets.

The Big Dipper is my only familiar.
I miss Orion and Cassiopeia's Chair. Maybe they are
Hanging shyly under the studded horizon
Like a child's too-simple mathematical problem,
Infinite number seems to be the issue up there.
Or else they are present and their disguise so bright
I am overlooking them by looking too hard.
Perhaps it is the season that is not right.

And what if the sky here is no different,
And it is my eyes that have been sharpening themselves?
Such a luxury of stars would embarrass me.
The few I am used to are plain and durable;
I think they would not wish for this dressy backcloth
Or much company, or the mildness of the south.
They are too puritan and solitary for that-
When one of them falls it leaves a space,

A sense of absense in its old shining place.
And where I lie now, back to my own dark star,
I see those constellations in my head,
Unwarmed by the sweet air of this peach orchard.
There is too much ease here; these stars treat me too well.
On this hill, with its view of lit castles, each swung bell
Is accounting for its cow. I shut my eyes
And drink the small night chill like news of home.

-Sylvia Plath

and the painting is "Starry Night" by Vincent van Gogh