Friday, May 30, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY: ON MODERN ANOREXIA By: Kelsey Osgood

Book: How to Disappear Completely: On Mondern Anorexia
Author: Kelsey Osgood
Publisher: Overlook Hardcover, 2014
Pages: 272
Rating: ****/5 stars
Goodreads

Synopsis:

Kelsey Osgood sets out to write a book explaining her struggle with anorexia as well as outlining some of the struggles of the friends she met along the way who were also dealing with the disease. Unlike some novels and memoirs based on eating disorders which deters the reader who struggles with Anorexia from recovery, How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia, Osgood writes a novel that shows just how hard iti is to recover.

Review:

This was the first book I have read on eating disorders besides stories from Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. I really thought the author set out on the right path but in parts of the novel that were possibly damaging to a reader who struggles with eating disorders.

Answerly Book club on YouTube reviewed this book and one of my comments was featured on a video and it basically was saying how we often think that psychological disorders are often seen as biological but Osgood showed how a disorder can be enhanced socially as well. The author often talked about how she felt special having an eating disorder and how without having it, what would make her special? While I am in no way implying that eating disorders are also not caused biologically, I do think it is interesting what social factors can be at play.

The anecdotes of Kelsey Osgood being extremely sick but thinking that she wasn't sick enough because she didn't have a feeding tube, she wasn't being admitted right away, she was an outpatient etc...were extremely sad to read. To know the depths of the authors sickness and how she was constantly fighting between recovery and wanting to get sicker was truly heartbreaking.

I really valued reading this novel. I majored in psychology and took 2 abnormal psychology courses and we did not go over eating disorders at all. I did however note that the author discussed how in the DSM V they are no longer classifying Eating Disorder- Not Otherwise Specified as a disorder which I think  can be dangerous. I think that people often have disordered eating and need to get medical help for it but may not be considered because they do not meet specific requirements of anorexia nervose, bulimia, or overeating disorder.

One quote that particularly struck a cord with me was this one here:


“Girl, Interrupted. Kaysen writes that the real persistence of suicidal ideation is that suicide, once you have opened your mind to the possibility,

becomes a potential solution to any and all problems.


With that quote to end it, I will leave it to you to leave a comment down below on whether or not you have read How to Disappear Completely: On Modern Anorexia by Kelsey Osgood. If you haven't, have you read any other novels on the topic of eating disorders?

Despite this being a totally depressing book, I really valued reading it and I learned quite a lot. 

DFTBA,
Tara

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: THE WISHING SPELL (THE LAND OF STORIES #1) BY CHRIS COLFER

Book: The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1)  
Author: Chris Colfer
Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers, 2012
Rating: ****/5 Stars
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Alex and Conner are twins (Alex is a girl and Conner is a boy) who have encountered some rough times. Their father recently passed away and their mother is struggling to make ends meet. When Alex and Conner's grandma comes to visit for their birthday, she leaves with her a book of stories that both Alex and Conner had remembered reading all their life. One night, Alex was reading The Land of Stories when she realized she could drop things into the book and they would disappear. Conner figured out what Alex was up to while at school the next and when they got home and started tinkering again with the book, they found themselves being pulled inside. While inside the story land they found themselves in, they found their favourite fairy tales were real and the characters were right before their eyes. While all this was too good to be true they still wanted to get home and went after the items that were needed to make The Wishing Spell which they were told would send them home. This adventurous story is filled with so any twists and turns and is a great middle-grade read.
Review: 

A friend of mine lent me this book and when I first began reading it, I was not enthralled. I had a hard time getting into the story (which is why it is only 4 out of five stars) but once Alex and Conner were in the The Land of Stories, I was hooked. I loved reading the tales of the fairy tale characters that we all know and love from Colfer's perspective. Goldlilock's backstory was particularly interesting and so was Sleeping Beauty's.

Chris Colfer's writing is superb, it is not overly complicated like some fantasy books are and it is not too simple like some middle-grade books are. His writing flows so nicely and his ideas are absolutely creative. I thought the ending of the book was really neat and I was impressed with Colfer's creativity.

I think as a child, I would have loved reading this book. A world in which my beloved characters were real and one could interact with them was truly interesting. This book has a Once Upon a Time  (the TV show) feel to it but that is what I love about it, I love that show.

Froggy's character was my favourite, he reminded me of Mr. Tumnus in a way. Froggy is the first character introduced to Alex and Conner when they enter The Land of Stories and he remains a character throughout the book and I especially love his ending.

Overall, I give The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1) by Chris Colfer a 4/5 stars only because it took me a bit to get interested in the story but once I was, I LOVED it.

Have you read  The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories #1) by Chris Colfer? If so, did you like the book as much as I did or not so much?

Happy reading,
Tara

Monday, May 19, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: BLOOD PROMISE (VAMPIRE ACADEMY #4) By: Richelle Mead

Book: Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Penguin Razorbill, 2009
Goodreads
Rating: ****/5 Stars

Synopsis:

Rose is a dhampir (a guardian for mortal vampires, Moroi) who is dropping out of school to go after Dimitri, Rose's romantic interest who was recently turned into a vampire. Her job is to go to Russia, find him, and kill him.

Review:

I loved Blood Promise. Richelle Mead created a complex character out of Rose. Not only is she her usual badass, snarky self in this book but she also shows her weakness, her love for Dimitri. From the beginning of this book, the reader is drawn to the different characters that we are introduced to and a whole knew setting.

Sydney's character as an alchemist was very interesting and I am excited to read Bloodlines after. I also liked Abe's character and I knew something was up with him from when Sydney described him. I loved finding out who he was at the end (saw it coming!).

The twists and turns in this book were so interesting. I loved when it would get steamy and then would hate when Rose was so weak she needed to be carried down the stairs. I kept screaming in my head THIS ISN'T YOU! The escape scene in the mansion was so wicked and you finally felt like the real Rose was back.

Overall, I give Blood Promise 4 out of 5 stars. There was some blood whore talk I didn't like but I really loved how complex Rose's character is. I also have really come around to liking Adrian.

What were your thoughts on Blood Promise? H\ave you read Bloodlines by Richelle Mead, did you like it?

Happy Reading,

Tara