Review: Goblin Market and Other Poems – Christina Rossetti


Goblin Market and Other Poems – Christina Rossetti

Goblin Market and Other Poems

Title: Goblin Market and Other Poems

Author: Christina Rossetti

Release Date: March 5, 2012 – originally: 1862

Publisher: Dover Publications

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 68

Source: Foundations of the English Major Class

Features 32 works — among them “The Convent Threshold,” “Up-hill,” “Cousin Kate,” “Winter: My Secret,” “Maude Clare,” and celebrated title poem.

3 out of 5 stars


This wasn’t what I was expecting. The title poem suggests mischief and magical creatures, and yes the goblins were that but I thought there would be more.

I think the first poem was the only one with a fantasy element which was very disappointing to me. I LOVE fantasy obviously if you’ve seen a lot of the books I read, so when you go in expecting that and get only tragic poems about death and despair it throws you for a loop a little bit.

That being said, the poems were beautiful. I will say that. There’s a reason Christina Rossetti is known for “Goblin Market” because the poem was beautifully written. But I found myself getting lost in the poems! Let me explain a little more.

These are short poems; most of them were only a few stanzas, but the wording was almost too flowery for me to understand. I think this is a time period situation because a lot of the other literature I’ve read from around this time is very similar in the sense that the descriptions are very in depth and the word choice is a little over my head at times. I kept getting lost in the little poems! I would try and focus and pay attention to them, but I think most of the deeper meanings went over my head. This could also be because I read it late at night, but that’s on me.

I think there are worse things to have to read for a class, so I’m happy with this as a required reading. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to anyone not interested in literature and poetry because it is hard to understand sometimes.

Review: Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley


Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Frankenstein

Title: Frankenstein

Author: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Release Date: October 21, 1994 – originally: 1818

Publisher: Dover Publications

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 166

Source: Foundations of the English Major Class

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.

4 out of 5 stars


I read this for my Foundations of the English Major class and I was pleasantly surprised, but I still didn’t love it.

The synopsis of this book explains everything so I’m not going to go into detail, but I liked the framing of this story. It started off with letters from a captain of a ship to his sister and Frankenstein’s story is told by him in his letters. I’m not going to lie, I was kind of shocked when I found out how the letters connected with the story.

I don’t know if this was just me being clueless, but I thought the creature/monster was named Frankenstein. Nope. The man who creates the monster is Frankenstein and the monster doesn’t get named. This is apparently a big deal, should probably learn a little more about why that is before I write my essay over this book… ha.

This book took me forever to read. I read it when it was assigned, but it just went so slowly. There were so many words on each page in the edition I have and omg it was dragging on and on and on. I listened to an audiobook I found on YouTube while reading through it.

I annotated this and there’s honestly nothing better than flipping through an annotated book. #englishmajorlife It’s so cool seeing what you thought was important while going through it. Love it.

Yeah, I don’t want to talk a ton about this because I do have to write a paper on it (ugh why tho). I would recommend this, but only if you’re going to be talking about it in a class. It’s hella boring if you aren’t.

Review: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking – Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Title: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Author: Susan Cain

Release Date: January 24, 2012

Publisher: Crown

Format: eBook

Page Number: 370

Source: Public Library

The book that started the Quiet Revolution

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts—Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak—that we owe many of the great contributions to society. 

In Quiet, Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal throughout the twentieth century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts—from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves.

3 out of 5 stars


This book was recommended to me by my ballet teacher during a conference talking about how I was doing in class. She told me that she thought that she and I were very similar in many ways, and this book was interesting to her because she is an introvert herself. I am introverted and love reading *obviously* so when I got this recommendation I immediately went and checked it out off of Overdrive from my library.

I really liked a lot of this book, but there was too much science for me. I LOVED the parts about the social aspects of being introverted and why people are the way they are, but the way the science topics were discussed was very dry and boring to me! I understand that this is a nonfiction book and there is supposed to be a lot of factual information, but it was just SO SLOW.

I wish this was mostly social aspects instead of scientific ones. I appreciated that it was there, but with all my readings for class this was just a little too dense for me during some parts.

There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.

This was one of my favorite quotes from this book. Love it. Love that it feels true!

I learned throughout reading this and do recommend it. I think this is great for people who are introverted, but it doesn’t really teach you that much if you already know that you’re introverted. I think this would be an important book for an extroverted boyfriend, husband, or partner to read in order to understand their significant other better.

I think sometimes extroverts don’t understand that introverts DO need time to recharge after spending a ton of time with people. That we do want to stay in on Friday nights and just have a cozy reading night!

Spend your free time the way you like, not the way you think you’re supposed to.

Again, I agree with this quote, too!

This is the first non-fiction book I’ve read in quite some time, so maybe it’s just me not getting into it quickly, or the fact that I couldn’t read for long periods of time because of schoolwork… All in all I think this was an interesting read!

Review: The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3) – Ted Naifeh


The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3) – Ted Naifeh

The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Title: The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Author: Ted Naifeh

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 134

Source: Public Library

Courtney Crumrin returns in a series of newly remastered, full-color hardcover editions! To her new classmates, Courtney is merely the grim, quiet girl in the back row. But when a group of students accidentally turns a young boy into a goblin, Courtney must lead the children into Goblin Town to find a cure. Unfortunately, misfortune seems to follow the group straight to the Twilight Kingdom – misfortune and a misguided lawkeeper who has it out for Courtney!

4 out of 5 stars


Courtney gets some new friends from her school filled with witches and magic and takes a trip to Goblin Town to try and change a classmate back into a human. The newly-founded friend group has to venture far into the forest in order to save the boy who has gotten turned into a goblin. They eventually find themselves in Twilight Kingdom where they end up in trouble with the law and have to fight there way back to their town.

This one was just as good as the first one! There was action and an actual plot. Yay for plot-driven stories.

I am really starting to enjoy Courtney more as a character. She’s spunky and sassy and a little mean, but I think she’s a solid character to have a series about. I’m so excited that she finally has a group of friends because now I don’t think she’s going to be so sad. She’s been so sad and lonely, so it’s nice to see her be a little happier.

My favorite part of this book was right at the end when her uncle offered for her to travel with him this summer. Aww cute.

Yay the horrible parents are back. Not yay in the sense that I like them in the story, but yay in the sense that they haven’t just randomly disappeared. In the last book they just were randomly gone, so I think it makes sense that they were back in the story this time.

I didn’t like her friend Malcom from the beginning, I don’t really think he had anything important to do with the storyline so idk why he was even there. I’m sure that he’ll come up somehow in the rest of the series, but he just seemed like a very stagnant character.

I really appreciate the art style because it’s so unique and the color scheme is so pretty. I love when the colors are more neutral but still fall into the darker side of cool colors. Theres a lot of green, purple, and blue so it feels very… cold and mysterious maybe? I’m not really sure but I think it complements the storyline nicely.

I’m sad because my library only has the first four volumes of this series so I don’t know how I’m going to read 5, 6, and 7 :( #tragic. I’ll have to find them somewhere because I think I’m really going to want to finish this series!

Series:

The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Review: The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2) – Ted Naifeh


The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2) – Ted Naifeh

The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

Title: The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

Author: Ted Naifeh

Release Date: September 11, 2012

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 133

Source: Public Library

Fan-favorite and critical darling Courtney Crumrin is back in a series of newly remastered, full-color hardcover editions! When the night things of Courtney’s community start causing trouble, it’s up to the girl to find out why. The town’s powerful coven of mystics thinks it knows who to blame, but Uncle Aloysius doesn’t believe their simple explanation. His misgivings start Courtney down a twisted path that leads to the true mastermind behind all the horror! But does Courtney stand a chance against a being that powerful and manipulative?

3 out of 5 stars


Book two of this dark fantasy graphic novel series.

The Coven of Mysics follows Courtney Crumrin and her adventures with her Uncle Aloysius. This installment of the series shows Courtney being turned into a cute kitten, capturing an evil monster, and helping her Uncle through some scary events. The creature called Skarrow has been caught and is being hunted for cursing a local witch, but is he responsible? Why are the townspeople after him?

Although I didn’t like her parents in the first book I think it’s a little unrealistic that they’re not even in this book now. You can’t just have side characters completely disappear without any explanation. Her parents were the whole reason she even moved in with her Uncle in the first place, so I think their disappearance should have been explained a little bit.

I enjoyed this one less than the first because less happened in this book. There wasn’t as much plot or adventure in this one as compared to the first.

I still think it’s very strange that she isn’t drawn with a nose. I just want to know why if there is a reason. lol why does everyone else have a nose, but the main character doesn’t? hmm.

The whole story followed Courtney trying to help this creature called a Skarrow. He has been wrongly accused of cursing the most beautiful witch in the town, but he didn’t do it. Courtney is trying to help him and prove to the town that he’s innocent, but then the woman who was cursed doesn’t turn out to be on her side even though she loved the Skarrow. Triggered. How is that okay? You can’t just leave a helpless creature to get attacked and die just because you’re not willing to speak up.

I have a question. Why are there so many witches and warlocks in this town, and how do the non-magical people not know about them. If there are so many there has to be a specific reason. Is it because of the Coven that’s in the town? Even though I didn’t like this one as much as the first I am still looking forward to reading the next ones!

Series:

The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Review: The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1) – Ted Naifeh


The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1) – Ted Naifeh

The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

Title: The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

Author: Ted Naifeh

Release Date: April 24, 2012

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 137

Source: Public Library

Fan-favorite and critical darling Courtney Crumrin is back in a series of newly remastered, full-color hardcover editions! Courtney’s parents have dragged her out to a high-to-do suburb to live with her creepy Great Uncle Aloysius in his spooky old house. She’s not only the new kid in school, but also discovers strange things lurking under her bed!

4 out of 5 stars


I went to my public library to do some studying for class and of course couldn’t leave without perusing the shelves… I wanted something fast and fun, so I chose this graphic novel. I thought the art style would be super cute and it looked a little creepy, so I decided to go for it, and I was not disappointed!

This graphic novel follows a girl named Courtney Crumrin moves into her great-uncle’s house with her parents in order to take care of him. Her parents are obsessed with the idea of moving up in society and being part of the popular crowd, so she starts to connect with her “creepy” uncle Aloysius instead of fostering a relationship with her parents. She now lives in the only creepy house in the whole neighborhood of rich mansions, so when she gets to school it’s hard for her to make friends. She finds out that her uncle has books about things she didn’t even know were real. Faeries, magic witches?! Who is her uncle?

This was just as cute as I had hoped it would be with just enough creepiness slipped in. I found this to be just what I needed because it was fast and easy to read. I have always been a fan of things that are a little creepy and spooky, so this was perfect for me. I loved the art style of this graphic novel because it focused on the cool colors. There were lots of purples and blues which made it seem quite eerie.

One thing that I don’t quite understand is the fact that Courtney doesn’t have a nose… Literally every other person in the book has a nose drawn on them, but Courtney has nothing. She’s a little Voldemort-esque…

Her parents annoy me to no end because they don’t seem to care about her. What is the point of even having a kid if you’re just going to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist? Ugh. Come on, having money is NOT that important in your life.

One of my favorite scenes was when Courtney went to see her uncle after she was having nightmares and couldn’t fall asleep. It was the first time that you saw an emotion from him and I thought it was really cute because he walked her back to her room. Aww. That’s so cute.

One thing that made me laugh was the fact that kids would randomly get eaten by things that were just chilling in the forest, but nothing gets said about them again. Like okay, this kid was just eaten by a monster, but no worries they’re probably fine…. Right.

I’m not really sure how old Courtney is supposed to be, but I would guess late middle school or early high school. She goes on a date, so I would assume she would be about 8th grade, maybe? I’m not sure, but I think any age would enjoy reading this graphic novel. I can’t wait to read the next three novels in this series because I already picked them up from my library :)

I THINK I’M GETTING OUT OF MY READING SLUMP YAYAYYAYAYAYY!

Series:

The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Review: Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler


Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up

Title: Why We Broke Up

Author: Daniel Handler

Release Date: December 4, 200827, 2011

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 354

Source: Library

I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

2 out of 5 stars


Let me preface this review by saying that this was not really what I was expecting.

This story follows Min Green who is writing a letter describing the reasons that she broke up with her boyfriend Ed Slaterton. She gives him trinkets back that remind her of him or things that he gave to her with explanations of why the thing reminded her of him.

The concept for this book was very cool, but I think it was executed poorly.

I love that there were pictures/illustrations throughout this book. It was partly the main reason that I picked it up, but I honestly didn’t like much more than that. Sad but true.

I didn’t enjoy the characters, and I thought the fact that Min was so obsessed with Ed was hella annoying. I also don’t really get why Min liked him so much. He was so rude and was just so immature about some things.

Al, Min’s best friend, was there the whole time! Why not choose him? He was so obviously in love with her. Ugh. Come on.

The formatting of this book really annoyed me. There were SO MANY RUN-ON SENTENCES. I am not here for that. Come on, I do not need a full page paragraph that consists of three sentences. *might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the gist* The hardcover version also has the shiny magazine pages which are annoying to read, and as petty as that sounds, it did inhibit my reading experience with it.

I got quite annoyed with how much name dropping there was in this. Min loved movies and wanted to be a director. Great, good for you, but I don’t know all these silent films and indie actors and movies. I don’t want to see the names in quotations and italics because I just feel like I’m missing out.

The fact that Ed said ‘gay’ in rude terms made me angsty, also. Min calls him out, but he doesn’t even try and fix it at all. That should have been the first indicator that he didn’t really love her, but she was just blinded by wanting the idea of him.

There wasn’t really a plot to this, either. I get that it’s a letter to her ex, but why isn’t there a real story? It makes me so sad that she was so controlled in this relationship, but she didn’t realize it at the time.

All in all I was thoroughly disappointed with this book. Fun fact, though. Daniel Handler is Lemony Snicket from The Series of Unfortunate Events. Crazy stuff.