Men With Power

The other night I was watching an interview where a prominent individual was being kindly humiliated.  I stared in amazement as he laughed, not feeling the slightest shame, and I almost felt that he was thinking of the interviewer, haha you’re the fool!  Which in part could very well be true, because all those who lack true power are fools.  All they can do is scream, while those in power calmly execute their commands, smiling the entire time.  Who would you trust?  Screamers or smilers?

*cough*screamersfirstlastandalways*coughs*

Ooh! I think I need some honey…

My Sister’s Keeper

I couldn’t find the Grapes of Wrath, most likely because I didn’t look hard enough.  Good news though!   I saw My Sister’s Keeper, read the back cover’s description and , this should be nice.  I read the reviews for this book after I read the book, because I’m cool like that.  Apparently, people either love it or hate it.  However, I did happen to stumble upon some crazy, negative reviews about To Kill a Mockingbird so I’ll hold my opinion that reviews are nutsy!  Just keepin’ it real, yo…

The plot was surrounding a girl with cancer and a younger sister who is her genetic match and thus is of help to her big sister in any medical circumstance.  Little sister, Anna, is growing up, and is reaching a point where she doesn’t want to help anymore.  She doesn’t want big sister to die, she just wants to be able to live her own life.  Realistically speaking, if you’ve helped all your life, how would you stop now as you’re reaching a stage where you’re more cognitively aware of the consequences of your deeds?  It’s one thing if you shriek as a child and refuse to give in, which is pretty hard when you’re fighting adults.  But can you live with your conscience if you say no and your only sister and only friend dies as a result?  Better for you to die, or just suffer some complications, than the one you love.  Mushy, but you know it’s true.

That said, as I was reading the book, I was thinking that if  I were the cancer patient, I don’t think I’d want my sister to go through that.  As it is the girl suffers so much, and if I were her, I’d be thinking ok maybe the fight is over…  Granted I am pretty darn weak, so what the hey…

The parents are what makes the book interesting.  The father, a firefighter, tries to hold it together, and seems likeable enough in the beginning.   When things get tough at home for Anna, he appears to be on her side and takes her to the station to stay so that she can clear her mind and think more rationally.  The mother is over-zealous to see her daughter make it, and sacrifices the well-being of her two other children in the process.  I would presume the rational is they have their health, and health is everything, so what more do they need?  Fair enough, point well-taken.  Often what’s forgotten is just because somebody is in tact physically, that doesn’t mean they’re completely okay emotionally and mentally.

SpoilerSOdon’tREAD: What’s irks me is the fact that Anna is not coincidentally a donor match for her sister.  Her parents had her genetically engineered.  She was created to be her sister’s keeper, and the notion of creating a child and then taking away their free will is so disturbing.  As far as the story goes, they didn’t realize it would go so far, it was intended to be just a quicky thing at birth.  It still doesn’t sit well with me.  I guess this is mainly because, as a child growing up, the one thing my parents made a big deal off was that you can’t take anything from a child.  Imagine if that something is part of their health and well-being.   Eeeesh!  I don’t really think Anna is disturbed though, because it is her sister and after so many years, this is life as normal.

The Tenth Cirle

Apparently, I’ve somewhat turned into my childhood self again.  I love reading again.  All is good in the world again.  All I need now is chocolate chip cookies with milk, and my life will be complete.  Or something like that.  I’ll settle for croissants though, because I’m humble.

I read The Tenth Circle, and Picoult regained what hope I lost in female authors thanks to Ferraris and Doudera.  None-the-less, I’m thrilled to find a new author to like, because as much I wistfully stare at great classics like The Grapes of Wrath and Uncle Tom’s Cabin.  All the books I should have read in high school, I just couldn’t seem to get around to it.  Up until I was 14, I would check out a ton of books, and line them up in my bookshelf and pretend I owned a mini library.  I even had imaginary patrons, because well…my siblings couldn’t be bothered to check out the Baby Sitters Little Sister series or whatever I was into at the time. :(  I did actually read the books, until I hit 14, and started checking out books that were just too deep (i.e. boring) for me.  They would sit lonely on my bookshelf and I hoped I would gain some motivation just by looking at them.  I never did.  I’m not even”fun” enough to get into the Lord of the Rings, Hairy (as my brother purposely pronounces it) Potter, or  Twilight mania. That really leaves me out of the loop.

Perhaps I should give The Grapes of Wrath a second chance.  The Pearl was a good book after all.

ReadATyourOwnRISKbecauseItContainsHINTS! When I read that there was an act of violence in the jacket, that changes the lives of the parents and daughter, my mind automatically thought murder. Like duh, what other acts of violence are there? Huh, huh? Nevermind…   The novel deals with pressures girls face amongst their peers, and what they’re willing to do for a stupid guy, as well the conflicts the parents go through during the crisis and oh so much deceit.  Trixie Stone wants a boy and only that boy; the problem is he doesn’t want her.  All he wants is a friend…with benefits.  *puke*  He thinks she’s willing to go for that when she loosens up at a party, leaving her to go home and cry to her father that she was raped.  The boy’s confused, the girl never said no.  Sometimes, actions say no when the tongue can’t.  But maybe guys are just that clueless.  While I think the guy is a jerk, I do feel sorry for him.  He didn’t see this coming, and genuinely thought she wanted what he did to her and that she was like any other girl at school who was okay with themselves being objectified.

It’s good to know that despite such a reality, America is not a scary place for teen girls to live, as opposed to unnamed countries which are clearly mens-only territories.  It’s good that [some] American parents aren’t authoritative [and let their children make the irresponsible choices that destroy their lives].  I should not have to say the following, but I feel the need anyway: I love America, and I’m a patriotic citizen.  I know some parents  in other countries destroy their children’s lives, and anybody [besides my sister] who lands up should figure out that I don’t defend stupid parents wherever they’re from.

Not so mysterious

The other night I got through reading A House To Die For.  It was very Mary Higgins Clark-ish. That is good on Mary Higgin Clark, but not even good enough.  I read maybe 3 of Clark’s books before I realized they all pretty much go along the same theme.  Rich man living his life when a murder takes place; did the rich man do it?  Enter beautiful woman, a journalist, agent of some sort, whatever.  She learns about the murder, and takes it upon herself to dig deeper, maybe due to natural human curiosity.  In the process, she falls in love with him, and by the end it is determined he is indeed innocent.  The books do serve one key purpose: it makes me jumpy and paranoid.

This book went pretty much down the same road.  A doctor is killed in a real estate property that he is interested in buying, later the housekeeper is knocked out unconscious on the same property, and the property owner is shoved off the cliff but survives.  I wouldn’t want that estate, no matter how gorgeous the surrounding scenery is.  As soon as the author pinpointed her suspicions on one man, it was blatantly obvious that it wasn’t him who did the crime and that she was just trying to create a surprise.  Apparently the property owner shared a negative history with the doctor, and is made the suspect of murder, yet again it appeared obvious that it wasn’t her.  Since the police chief wasn’t interested in fact finding and doing his job, the real estate agent decides she’ll meddle in the affair.  Surprise, surprise: in the process she falls in love with a investigative journalist who she meets up with out of nowhere and agrees to work with her.  The actual murderer was a surprise, so at least the author did something right.

I didn’t like the style it was written in either.  From the fact that the characters are using cell phones and are on the internet, I figure that it’s set in the ’90s or early 2000s.  Yet, the manner in which they communicate is like from they’re another era, and the technology just doesn’t fit.  The love plot was thankfully not so bad, they didn’t even kiss! But for heaven’s sake, I get it: the dude journalist makes her blush!  The author only mentioned that maybe 10 times.  At least he’s allegedly a gentleman.  :?

To be honest, I only finished the book to find out who the murderer was and because I didn’t want to feel lame not reaching the end of yet another book.

Lanigan’s a freak and Saudis are as well

The Partner ended up being a pretty awesome book, meaning I really have crossed in the dark side.   The lead character, Patrick Lanigan, has potential to be a nice person. Everybody around him is screwed up, and he just has an eye-for-an-eye attitude (which would make Gandhi very disappointed).  And why not, when you can walk away stealing ninety million, invest it, get arrested, return the money and then still walk away with some money in the end.  I almost love the disappointing manner John Grisham ends the book.  It makes you desperate to follow the character just a little longer, until there’s some sort happier ending.  Like hello!  You took us this far, couldn’t you have just made one measly chapter and made me a bit happier?!  Not too much happier, just a bit.  *sniff*  Oh well.  The scary part is that I moved on and was not even thinking about the book by the time I went to sleep and had a dream.  I don’t quite remember the dream, but I do know it involved a happier ending.  That’s where I realize I most probably should not be reading John Grisham books.

I decided to go for something more light-hearted, and read City of Veils.   I’m not heartless, the plot itself wasn’t a laughing matter.  A young Saudi girl found dead and mutilated on the beach.  The forensic specialist is a woman, Katya al-Something (yes, I forgot), working alongside male investigators and brings another man to help on the job who is conservative.  An American woman is also living in Jeddah, because apparently her husband wanted to work there and then fell in love with the (male-dominating) culture.  The wife arrives in Jeddah, her husband disappears right after, and there is a woman is dead.  Freaky.

What can be more amusing than a book about Saudi’s written in the perspective of a white woman? I’m not racist against white women, but she is clearly trying to exaggerate her point when she repeatedly says Saudi Arabia is no place for a woman and conservative Muslims are intolerant towards their women.  But it could have been worse.  There is nothing more comical than reading about an American woman who cannot get accustomed to the abaya and keeps tripping over herself.   What exactly is so hard about wearing an abaya?  It’s like any other coat, just not fitted and lighter in weight, so I’m guessing the tripping is because the hem is too long.  I guess some people haven’t figured out that they can have the hem adjusted.  I’d assume maybe they’re stuck in the 7th century, but I think people knew about sewing even back then –but I could be wrong, after all they didn’t have Pfaffs and Singers back then.  I also find it pretty stupid for an intelligent Arab girl to want to keep her niqaab up around men who aren’t her mahram, and then find it awkward when he looks away and is reserved.  It’s like they want specific men to objectify them, but not all?  I wouldn’t be surprised if that is a reality, it is Jeddah after all.  For the guys part, he’s full of contradictions as well, but I’ll take it as a redeeming factor that he has inner reflections of guilt.  At least this novel ended happily-ever-after. Sure, it was easy to predict and she could have given it a twist, but I’ll take it as is.  Not like I have a choice.

PS: I was just kidding, I don’t really believe Saudi’s are freaks.  Just some.  Not all.

The book that got it all started

It was a cold, dark night in December of last year (um, 2010) and my brother and sister decided they wanted to go to the bookstore.  I wasn’t particularly interested in tagging along, but I had nothing better to do (i.e. took awoke to sleep, Haram salaah was finished, and not interested in TV), so why not?  I entered the store, and John Grisham’s newest book caught my eye.  It always does, mainly to point at it and fake excitement to my father or sister.  But this time, my sister just kept on walking, because y’know she actually had a purpose behind the trip.  Snob.  I ended up picking it, reading the jacket, and then swallowing my pride.   The book actually sounds interesting I whisper to myself in somewhat horror, acknowledging that something in my brain has just changed over the last ten years.

I don’t read John Grisham books.  I never understood the fascination my father and sister had with his books.  I never got why they started reading it, and could not put it down.  It was like there was glue on the book, and the glue only wore off when they reached the last page.  I tried reading his books and couldn’t get beyond the first couple pages without yawning.  I almost felt sorry for them, they must be boring people.   Apparently, I was just too young to read his books and was not quiet ready to appreciate the depth he has to offer.  Or I’ve become boring.*rolls eyes*

I accept my fate, and take the book upstairs, find a seat eventually, and start reading.  47 suspenseful pages later my sister rudely interrupts saying that we have to go.  Like why?!?  Can’t we just stay the night in the bookstore?  Bookstores should be open 24/7 (I mean, c’mon, what if somebody wakes up at 2am and needs a need book to read?  Oh, I guess those types have the Kindle… Snobs.) Anyways,  I have no clue whether the dude is goin to be executed or not, and I have to know.  *sigh*

To make myself feel better, the next time I went to the library, I ended up checking out The Last Juror.  It’s really nice when you read a book you make guesses along the way only get to the end and find out all your guesses were wrong.  Somehow I also ended up reading The Appeal, which I had actually bought a year ago for 50 pennies at a book sale since my sister sincerely believed she would never vote again due to it.  But she’s a true American.  She did vote.  Good for her.  I was supposed to read The Partner too, but apparently I can handle murder (not personally, after all I am still a peaceful Muzlim), I can handle verbal interrogation (again, not personally), but a few pages is too much for physical torture.  So, um, two weeks and I still have to brave it out.  Tonight is the night, because I will feel utterly ashamed to return the book without finishing it.  It is an awesome book though.  And I really can’t believe I just said that.  I have crossed into the dark side.  *sigh*

At least I finally read a book for the heck of it and not because I had to!  *proud*