No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai

no longer human

Author: Osamu Dazi

Genre: Japanese Literature

Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads Synopsis: Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human, this leading postwar Japanese writer’s second novel, tells the poignant and fascinating story of a young man who is caught between the breakup of the traditions of a northern Japanese aristocratic family and the impact of Western ideas. In consequence, he feels himself “disqualified from being human” (a literal translation of the Japanese title).

Donald Keene, who translated this and Dazai’s first novel, The Setting Sun, has said of the author’s work: “His world … suggests Chekhov or possibly postwar France, … but there is a Japanese sensibility in the choice and presentation of the material. A Dazai novel is at once immediately intelligible in Western terms and quite unlike any Western book.” His writing is in some ways reminiscent of Rimbaud, while he himself has often been called a forerunner of Yukio Mishima.

overall feelings copy

*I’m not going to deeply analyze No Longer Human, this will be a simple review*

I have a lot of mixed feelings about No Longer Human, it’s been on my bookshelf for several years and the author was recommended to me by a friend. I bought the book and forgot about it. I was unhauling a couple books before I started my April TBR list, and found No Longer Human. I decided to read it.

How can I describe my reading experience? It was not a fun ride. I’m not going to lie, but the book was very dark. It took me a while to finish it because it had mature themes. Depression is not something a person would want to experience. You feel alienated by the world, you feel as if society has gone against you. It’s a troubling state to be in. I’ve been there, and I don’t want to go back. So when I read this book, the feelings that main character experienced really hit home.

No Longer Human is told in three parts. It starts off with Yozo’s childhood. Yozo is the youngest child coming from a wealthy family, and as a young child he realizes that he has to put on a persona in order to please his family. He claims to be a clown in order to be accepted.

As long as I can make them laugh, it doesn’t matter how, I’ll be alright. If I succeed in that, the human beings probably won’t mind it too much if I remain outside their lives. The one thing I must avoid is becoming offensive in their eyes: I shall be nothing, the wind, the sky.

He realizes that at a young age, he is not fit for society. Yozo has no connections with family and has a lack of friends. Everyone around he seems to believe in his facade. He keeps up the clown persona for several years. Yozo is in fact terrified of humans, and constantly is on guard of his feelings. Yozo is an outcast.

As the years go by, Yozo is regarded as intelligent and good looking. From an outsider’s perspective, Yozo would have a promising future. That is not the case. Yozo suffers from a downward spiral. He used to attend school, but lost all motivation for it. His father used to give him allowance money to maintain lifestyle. Yozo is quite wealthy until he meets his “best friend” Hiroki, a city dweller who eventually teaches him the pleasures of life, such as drinking alcohol and sleeping women. Day in and day out, Yozo lives his luxurious lifestyle of drinking and sleeping with women until his father stops his allowance. Yozo is forced to live independently, but Yozo can’t manage to survive on his own.

Yozo has never experienced happiness. He can’t relate with others. Women are always drawn to Yozo because they view him as sensitive, troubled, down on his luck because of his misfortunes and he is also a bit of a bad boy. He uses women to his advantage as a means to survive. He stated that he has only loved one woman, but yet has a difficult time recalling the time he spent with her. Yozo has attempted suicide and has failed. On other hand, the woman he loved was successful in committing suicide by drowning. He wrecks his life, and no one seems to help him. Yozo is an unreliable narrator. There are some instances within this book where it seems that Yozo is finally going to turn his life around, but he sabotages in the end.

Now, I read the english translation of this work. The synopsis has stated that this book deals with the Western influence in Japan, but I saw none of that. This story was more semi-autobiographical than anything else. After finishing the book, I looked up the author’s biography and what happened in his life is very tragic. Osamu Dazai has tried to commit suicide several times throughout his life. After No Longer Human was published, he finally succeeded in committing suicide. As I’ve mentioned before, this book is dark and there were moments when it was sad, but I did not cry. I would recommend reading this book if you are a fan of the manga called Oyasumi Punpun. I wouldn’t recommend reading No Longer Human to a younger audience. There is also an anime, live action, and a manga based on No Longer Human. After reading No Longer Human, I read the manga by Usamaru Furuya (Lychee Light Club) and the manga is only three volumes, so check it out.

Quotes:

  • “Now I have neither happiness nor unhappiness.Everything passes.

    That is the one and only thing that I have thought resembled a truth in the society of human beings where I have dwelled up to now as in a burning hell.

    Everything passes”

  • “People talk of “social outcasts.” The words apparently denote the miserable losers of the world, the vicious ones, but I feel as though I have been a “social outcast” from the moment I was born. If ever I meet someone society has designated as an outcast, I invariably feel affection for him, an emotion which carries me away in melting tenderness.”
  • “I thought, “I want to die. I want to die more than ever before. There’s no chance now of a recovery. No matter what sort of thing I do, no matter what I do, it’s sure to be a failure, just a final coating applied to my shame. That dream of going on bicycles to see a waterfall framed in summer leaves—it was not for the likes of me. All that can happen now is that one foul, humiliating sin will be piled on another, and my sufferings will become only the more acute. I want to die. I must die. Living itself is the source of sin.”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto: Book Review

“As I grow older, much older, I will experience many things, and I will hit rock bottom again and again. Again and again I will suffer; again and again I will get back on my feet. I will not be defeated. I won’t let my spirit be destroyed.”

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ Goodreads Synopsis: Two stories, “Kitchen” and “Moonlight Shadow,” told through the eyes of a pair of contemporary young Japanese women, deal with the themes of mothers, love, transsexuality, kitchens, and tragedy.

Commentary: I feel like the translation of the novel didn’t make this story as enjoyable as I thought it would be. The first story, Kitchen, is about a young girl Mikage who loses her grandmother and she gets adopted by the Tanabe family. She becomes friends with her adoptive family and moves out by the time she gets over her depression. Mikage overcomes her sadness and finds a joy in cooking. She later gets a job as a cook and feels happier with her life, but depression enters her life again when Eriko. It’s a bittersweet story, but sadly I couldn’t connect to the characters. I wish I understood Japanese just so I can read it in its original form, maybe it would change my mind about this book. I found the second story, Moonlight Shadow, to be more enjoyable. Satsuki jogs every day to forget about her grief. She meets a woman with strange powers that allows her to see her dead boyfriend one last time Both stories are sad, but I found the second one to be a bit sadder than the first one. Sadly, I don’t think I would remember this story and will forget about it too.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

The Wrath And The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: Book Review

When she wound her fingers in his hair to draw her body against his, he stilled for breath, and she knew, as he knew, that they were lost. Lost forever. In this kiss. This kiss that would change everything.

☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆ Goodreads Synopsis: Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Commentary: I’ve been in a reading slump for quite a while, I’ve been mostly playing on my 3DS since my pharmacy externship ended. I tried reading books to get rid of my slump, but most of the books I’ve read were amazing. I started reading The Wrath And The Dawn because I saw a read along on Tumblr and was excited to join it. Guess who doesn’t have a slump anymore?! This book was amazing! I was hooked from start to finish. I was not disappointed by it at all. The main character, Shahrzad is badass, sassy, cunning, and intelligent. Because of her storytelling skills, she has been the only bride that has not been executed. She was determined to find out the truth, no matter what. I loved how she had a conflicted heart when she starting falling for Khalid since he had killed her best friend. Overall, I loved the romance aspect of this book, it was well written. I loved the dynamic in her relationship with Khalid. He kept calling her ‘his queen’ and didn’t treat her like an object. I ship her Khalid, so badly. Forget Tariq. There were many cute moments in the book, my favorite one had to be when they went out to the town as regular citizens. Shazi and Khalid are perfect for each other. Khalid is very likable and he’s such a nice guy. He’s not the monster that everyone makes him out to be. You can’t always judge a book by its cover especially when it comes to Khalid. It broke my heart when Shazi discovered the letters to the parents of his dead brides. Tariq is a bit foolish. He doesn’t have Shazi’s best interest in mind, while Khalid does.  Tariq thinks he really knows Shazi and thinks that she is suffering from Stockholm syndrome since she protects Khalid. I just thought that was hilarious how he thought had to justify Shazi’s change of heart. Pobrecito. I’m so glad that Shazi wasn’t too conflicted about both boys, you know she loves Khalid more than Tariq. By the time I got to the end, I was a bit mad that Shazi left with Tariq. I’m Team Khalid all the way. (๑•̀ㅂ•́)و

The secondary characters were just as great as the protagonists. I’m really hoping that Jalal and Despina get together for the second book. I just really loved how Jalal and Despina both shipped Khalid and Shazi together. They were supportive and really great friends to the main characters. Hoping they get more developed in the next book.

‘m hoping that in the second book, The Rose And The Dagger, is more magical than this one. I really don’t like Shazi’s father. I feel that he is becoming greedy with his magical powers and I don’t trust him at all. I feel that he will cause more harm towards the protagonists. Also, I hope that Shazi’s powers get fully explained! Lastly, The Rose And The Dagger is already on my to be read list on Goodreads. Kudos for the author for including a preview for the next book and for including a glossary. (۶•̀ᴗ•́)۶

I had lots of fun reading this book. I really recommend this book. It’s diverse, magical, and it’s a fairy tale adaptation.

Quotes:

“You are not weak. You are not indecisive. You are strong. Fierce. Capable beyond measure.”

“Tonight is a night to turn heads. Make them remember you. Make sure they never forget. You are the Calipha of Khorasan, and you have the ear of a king.” Despina put her hand on Shahrzad’s shoulder and grinned at their shared reflection. “More important, you have his heart.” She bent forward and lowered her voice. “And most important, you are a fearsome thing to behold in your own right.”

“Some things exist in our lives for but a brief moment. And we must let them go on to light another sky.”

“I know love is fragile. And loving someone like you is near impossible. Like holding something shattered through a raging sandstorm. If you want her to love you, shelter her from that storm…And make certain that storm isn’t you.”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ✧*。٩(ˊᗜˋ*)و✧*。 ☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆.。.:*・°☆

Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen: Book Review

“Because you can’t go around breaking curses willy-nilly. It doesn’t work like that Curses are strict There are rules to follow and conditions to meet. That’s the beauty of them. And why they cannot be broken.” – Alan

Goodreads Synopsis: Sarah has always been on the move. Her mother hates the cold, so every few months her parents pack their bags and drag her off after the sun. She’s grown up lonely and longing for magic. She doesn’t know that it’s magic her parents are running from.

When Sarah’s mother walks out on their family, all the strange old magic they have tried to hide from comes rising into their mundane world. Her father begins to change into something wild and beastly, but before his transformation is complete, he takes Sarah to her grandparents—people she has never met, didn’t even know were still alive.

Deep in the forest, in a crumbling ruin of a castle, Sarah begins to untangle the layers of curses affecting her family bloodlines, until she discovers that the curse has carried over to her, too. The day she falls in love for the first time, Sarah will transform into a beast . . . unless she can figure out a way to break the curse forever.

Commentary: Reading fairy tale adaptations are my favorites. I picked this book up because the plot was very interesting since the girl is the beast and she’s trying to remove her curse. I thought it was going to be a young adult novel, and a bit more romantic. This novel is really bittersweet. First of all, the curse is a bit confusing for me. The males in her family become beasts while the females become birds, and Sarah becomes a beast. I thought she would have became a bird like her grandmother and mother, not a beast. Not that I have a problem with Sarah being a beast, but one would assume she would become a bird. Yes, it’s true that the protagonist develops feelings for Alan, a beastkeeper, but romance does not play a huge role in reversing the curse. I loved how true love’s kiss would break the curse. Sarah had to discover how to change back by discovering her family’s secret. I felt really sorry for Sarah, her family sucked. Her mother left her, her father left her, and her grandparents love her. I didn’t feel any emotional connection towards any of her family members. They were really selfish. Now, the curse was placed on her family because of bitterness and jealousy. Sarah was the only sane member of her family. Her grandmothers were reluctant to share any information on the curse. The curse could have been lifted if her witch grandmothers would have talked instead of being angry with each other. Sarah is the only character to mature, and I liked her journey to become human. I also liked how Alan and Sarah chose to become friends. This story is not your typical happily ever after and it was far more different than I imagined. It’s a fast read, but not as entertaining as I thought it would be. Would I recommend it? Yes, I fell in love with the author’s writing style and though the ending was bittersweet, it felt a bit more realistic than a happy ending.

Quotes:

“You can’t make someone fall in love with you…and that is where the storytellers write their own sugary versions of the truth. A pack of lies until they reach ‘The End.’ But no story ever comes to an end, at least not one so neat. There are vioices silenced, characters erased at the storyteller’s whim.”

“People fall out of love slower than they fall in, to be sure, but there’s the story no one wants to tell. It’s dull. Boring. The good ones don’t always win. Nothing lasts forever.”

“It was love that cursed, and love that saved.”

“The people who should have loved her hadn’t; her enemies wore smiles, and her family, snarls.”

“You told me yourself that curses always go in circles. I am choosing to step out of the circle. Maybe I can’t break it, but I can refuse to be a part of it, to step away from revenge and jealousy…I can do what you couldn’t. I can forgive.”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)

Illusionarium by Heather Dixon: Book Review

Goodreads Synopsis: What if the world holds more dangers—and more wonders—than we have ever known? And what if there is more than one world? From Heather Dixon, author of the acclaimed Entwined, comes a brilliantly conceived adventure that sweeps us from the inner workings of our souls to the far reaches of our imaginations.

Jonathan is perfectly ordinary. But then—as every good adventure begins—the king swoops into port, and Jonathan and his father are enlisted to find the cure to a deadly plague. Jonathan discovers that he’s a prodigy at working with a new chemical called fantillium, which creates shared hallucinations—or illusions. And just like that, Jonathan is knocked off his path. Through richly developed parallel worlds, vivid action, a healthy dose of humor, and gorgeous writing, Heather Dixon spins a story that calls to mind The Night Circus and Pixar movies, but is wholly its own.

Commentary: I won Illusionarium at the Epic Reads tent. They were giving out ARCs of many books. I fell in love with the cover in contrast to the other book I won. I haven’t read an arc since last year, so I was beyond excited. This is my honest opinion, for anyone interested in this book. This book did not remind me of The Night Circus at all, I felt that this story was better than that. Jonathan Gouden, the protagonist, was one of my favorite characters. Though some of his actions were quite idiotic, he won my heart. I loved his comments (there are footnotes on certain pages). He was determined to get to find the cure, no matter the cost. The beginning was a bit confusing, but as I kept reading, the story made more sense. There wasn’t much romance as I thought there was going to be. I feel the cover is a bit misleading, I felt that romance was going to be a big part of the story, which it isn’t. As beautiful as the cover is, I hope it gets a new one. This story focused more on Jonathan and the journey he had to take to make things right. I did feel some parts were rushed in the book. One moment Jonathan couldn’t illusion and next moment, he becomes almost like a master when illusioning. Captain Lockwood was an amazing character. I really shipped him and Anna (parallel version of Jonathan’s sister: Hannah). When he was first introduced, I was a bit annoyed at his attitude, but I grew to love the daring warrior. I liked the villain from the story. I liked how it was revealed that she wasn’t who you thought she would be. I don’t want to spoil much, but I loved this book.The actions scenes did move a bit too quick, but I enjoyed reading it. I loved the bromance between Jonathan and Lockwood, their friendship was the best. The ending ended on a happy note. This book was such a quick read for me, and it was refreshing. I do feel this book is geared more toward a younger audience. It felt more middlegrade to me than young adult. I do recommend this book.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Release Date: 05/19/15

The 52nd by Dela: Book Review

I was a Watcher. We watched dead creatures abduct humans so they could be sacrificed in the Underworld by their God, no questions asked. – Lucas

Goodreads Synopsis: Not one of the sacrifices chosen over the long history had survived–until now.

On the tip of the Yucatan peninsula, the immortal Castillo family gathers in Tulum. Weary and haunted, they receive the names of fifty-two human sacrifices chosen once every fifty-two years for the Underworld, a tradition thought to have disappeared with the fall of the Aztec and Mayan empires.

Driving home one night, college freshman Zara Moss swerves to avoid hitting a ghastly figure in the road. Lucas Castillo witnesses the car crash, but when it comes time to supervise her abduction from the wreckage, he intervenes. Something is different about Zara: Lucas has been having dreams of her arrival for five hundred years.

As Lucas and Zara come together to put an end to the bloody sacrifices, they discover that the ancient tradition isn’t so easily broken. The gods are angry, and they have until the Winter Solstice to drag Zara to the Underworld.

Commentary: I was beyond excited when I read the synopsis, it was unique, it had Hispanic protagonists and dealt the Aztecs and Mayans! The cover is absolutely gorgeous! The story is told in two perspectives, Lucas (Mulac) and Zara. Like I mentioned before, I was excited to read it, until I actually started reading it. I wasn’t a fan of Luca’s perspective, I found him to a be a tad too possessive over Zara. He reminded me of Edward Cullen. He’s immortal and about 500ish years old, and he has been waiting for Zara since the prophecy has been told. He and his family are watchers. Every 52 years, sacrifices are chosen, but once he meets Zara, he cannot let her die. Lucas vows to protect her despite going against the Gods. Honestly, I wanted to skip his parts, and move on, but I didn’t…ughs. On the other hand, Zara’s perspective was better than Lucas, but not by a lot.  I did feel that the book was dragged out a bit too much. I didn’t like the relationship between both protagonists either. Zara would get too angry at him and he would smirk a lot. Also, I didn’t like how Lucas kept calling Zara weak, and instead of Zara telling him otherwise, she also kept saying that she was weak herself. Luckily there was no love triangle in this book. I looked forward mostly to the actions scenes, but they were a tad too boring. I kept wanting to drop this book. I really thought it had an interesting concept, but it was too descriptive for me. Another problem that I had is that there will be more books in this series…it would have been better as a stand alone book rather than a series to be honest. I thought she was going to become an immortal like Lucas, but that didn’t happen. The ending was a disappointing. It ends with a kiss on a New Years party. In addition, the book really felt dragged out longer than it should have. Will I read the next book in the series when it comes out? No. Do I recommend this book? Not really.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (2.5)

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav: Book Review

Time Travelers

In all our wrongs

I want to write to him,

in a time where

I can find him.

Before the tears

that tore us.

When our history was

before us.

Goodreads Synopsis: Lang Leav is a poet and internationally exhibiting artist. Awarded a coveted Churchill Fellowship, her work expresses the intricacies of love and loss.

Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair- from the initial butterflies to the soaring heights- through to the devastating plunge. Lang Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over the world.

Commentary: I picked up this beauty because of the beautiful book cover. I haven’t read a poetry book in such a long time. I was really excited until I started reading. I kept seeing her poetry all over tumblr, another reason that  convinced me to read her book. After finishing the book, I had no idea what I had just read. Seriously. The poetry was terrible for the most part, only a few pieces were good. I was very disappointed with the book. Lang Leav tried to rhyme a lot, and most of the poems felt childish. I felt that I could write better poetry and that’s saying a lot. I read this book in less than thirty minutes. Some of the poems felt very incomplete as well. Do I find her poetry memorable? No. Would I pick up this book again? Doubt it. If I had read this poetry book as a young teenager, maybe I would have given this book a higher score. Lastly, I can’t believe how this book has high ratings on Goodreads.

Examples One

A Dangerous Recipe

To love him

is something

I hold highly suspicious.

Like having something,

so very delicious –

then being told,

to do the dishes

Example Two

An Impossible Task

To try

or untry

to forget you not,

may be related

somewhat –

To typing,

then trying

to untie,

a complicated knot.

Example Three

Mornings with You

I slowly wake

as day is dawning

to fingerprints

and lips imploring.

The sheets against my skin,

he says,

like wrapping paper

on Christmas morning.

Final Rating: 💔

The Silver Kiss by Annette Curtis Klause: Book Review

At the heart of night

Watch for the lone boy

Waiting in the pale moon’s light

Eyes forever changing ice to cloud

Stars

Upon jaded jeans

Upon silver hair

Black leather shines

Half wild

Bewildered by time

Chained to the night

As he stalks

He might hear a sound

Shift into a moonbeam

And be gone.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Zoe is wary when, in the dead of night, the beautiful yet frightening Simon comes to her house.  Simon seems to understand the pain of loneliness and death and Zoe’s brooding thoughts of her dying mother.
Simon is one of the undead, a vampire, seeking revenge for the gruesome death of his mother three hundred years before.  Does Simon dare ask Zoe to help free him from this lifeless chase and its insufferable loneliness?

Commentary: When I was in high school, I thought this book was excellent, but I made the wrong choice by rereading it again. When I first read it, I loved Simon and hated how Zoe didn’t persuade Simon to stay with her. I wanted them to be together, and I was disappointed when I reached the end. Since rereading The Silver Kiss, I don’t like the author’s style of writing. I kept falling asleep and I felt that there was more description than dialogue. Zoe and Simon fell in love too quickly. I was not impressed by their relationship at all. Simon was practically stalking her before they started talking. The kiss scene did not impress me; I felt that it was too rushed. One moment the main protagonists are strangers, and the next moment they are lovers. I kept rolling my eyes whenever the protagonists longed for each other. I did like the antagonist, Christopher; he was Simon’s older brother. Simon has spent centuries trying to kill Christopher, but has failed several times. Zoe agrees to help him trap Christopher (the book started getting exciting at this part). Sadly, the fight between Simon and Christopher was not as epic as I was expecting. As I mentioned before, I hated the ending when I was younger, but now I ended up loving the ending. I loved how Simon saw no purpose to continue living once Christopher was gone. I loved how he ended up dying, which was staying up to see the sunrise with Zoe. Another scene that I loved was when Zoe’s mother told her to take care of herself and her father once she dies. I liked how Zoe accepted her mother and Simon’s fate. Is this book memorable? Not at all, it’s a fast read, but it is not entertaining as I thought it would be. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I felt that Twilight was better than the Silver Kiss. At least, she wasn’t begging Simon to become a vampire.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Duff by Kody Keplinger: Book Review

Wesley Rush doesn’t chase girls, but I’m chasing you.

Goodreads Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Commentary: This book was a guilty pleasure. I really thought this was going to be a stereotypical book, but it wasn’t. Bianca is such a relatable character, and it is quite refreshing to know that she is snarky, moody, and sassy. Bianca had her faults, and she wasn’t afraid of being herself. She had a lot of chemistry with Wesley, since their first meeting. I was not expecting her to kiss Wesley, nor have sex with him. I was not bothered by the sex, and I loved how it was not described in an explicit way. In a way I did relate to Bianca though I did not distract myself like she did. Bianca needed a way to distract herself from her problems. Now, the problems that Bianca faced were really sad. Her family was breaking apart and she did not know what to do. She tried to keep the balance in her family, but it was too much for her. I did find it sad how she tried to keep her father’s drinking problems to herself. She was breaking apart and Wesley was the only form of stimulation that could take her away from her conflict. Secondly, I just found it so hilarious how she kept denying that she had no feelings for Wesley. She tried telling everyone how much she despised him, when in fact she was starting to develop feelings for him. As much as I loved Bianca, I just have to say that she was a terrible friend. Her friends, especially Casey, were constantly worrying about her, but she found it easier to hid and avoid reality without telling them. Casey was constantly reaching out towards Bianca, and she did have her reasons to be angry at her. Luckily, their friendship was saved once Bianca confessed to her what was really happening. I really liked the overall message that everyone is a duff, and I was glad that the name was embraced by the end of the book.  In addition, I liked how Bianca was a regular average girl instead of being gorgeous like her friends. When Bianca finally got with Toby, how both of them used each other in order to move on from their ex partners. I knew that Toby wasn’t over his ex-girlfriend, and I was glad that he and Bianca ended their short relationship in happy terms cause I did like Toby. I also liked how there wasn’t really a love triangle. Lastly, Wesley was a lovable jerk that was changed his ways because of Bianca. I loved how they didn’t have to impress each other just to be happy. I enjoyed their love-hate relationship and the letter that Wesley wrote to her was very sweet and authentic. I was so happy I picked up this book. It was funny, and the characters were relatable. I am excited to watch the movie adaptation. I heard that the book and the movie are nothing alike, but nonetheless, I heard really good reviews! I hope to see it soon and maybe I’ll do a review.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4.5)

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Book Review

“John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no REASON to suffer, and that satisfies him.”

I am not an English major, I mostly read for fun, and this review won’t be an in depth analysis of the story.

Goodreads Synopsis: “The Yellow Wallpaper” is written as the secret journal of a woman who, failing to relish the joys of marriage and motherhood, is sentenced to a country rest cure. Though she longs to write, her husband and doctor forbid it, prescribing instead complete passivity. In the involuntary confinement of her bedroom, the hero creates a reality of her own beyond the hypnotic pattern of the faded yellow wallpaper–a pattern that has come to symbolize her own imprisonment. Narrated with superb psychological and dramatic precision, “The Yellow Wallpaper” stands out not only for the imaginative authenticity with which it depicts one woman’s descent into insanity, but also for the power of its testimony to the importance of freedom and self-empowerment for women.

Commentary: First of all, I want to say that I had no idea that I read a feminist short story. I thought it was story about a woman’s descent into madness, but there is more to this story that you would think. The evidence that indicated this story was a feminist text was how the woman’s husband discouraged from writing. I know that around that time period women had very little rights compared to men. The unnamed protagonist was not taken seriously by her husband.  Her husband called her silly goose and thought she was perfectly healthy. The protagonist was depressed, and her illness became as the story goes on. The husband played a huge part in the deterioration of his wife’s mental health. He was constantly telling her what was best for her and dismissed her cries for help. He was not a supportive husband to her when she needed him, and he treated her like a child. The husband was dominant in the relationship, while the protagonist hardly had any control over her life. The wife had no freedom at all, she was stuck in a room all day long, and she lacked any physical activity. She was like a trapped animal in a cage. The ending of the story is wonderful. I felt that the wallpaper was part of her because it is once she destroys the wallpaper that she truly feels free from her oppressor. I love how the husband faints when he finally comes into the room. The story is easy to read, I was surprised that I didn’t need a dictionary to look up words.  Overall, it is a creepy story and I really don’t recommend reading it at 1:47 in the early morning.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.5)