Becky’s Eighteenth Book Review: “Dancing on Broken Glass” by Ka Hancock

I stayed up late to finish reading “Dancing on Broken Glass” by Ka Hancock. This book was an excellent read. This book tells the story of a couple whose love is unconventional but amazingly strong. Lucy is one of the main characters, and she has a family history of breast cancer. After losing her mother to it as well as most women in her family Lucy is unfortunate enough to be diagnosed. She fights the battle and wins. Mickey is the other main character. He is Lucy’s loving husband who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Together Lucy and Mickey face endless challenges between her history and his disorder and Ka Hancock tells an amazing story about their love. Because of her history of breast cancer and his disorder Mickey and Lucy agree that children are not in the books for them. Then a miracle happened. Despite having had her tubes tied, Lucy ends up pregnant and the two of them come up against a whole new set of challenges.

“Dancing on Broken Glass” is Ka Hancock’s debut as a fiction writer and I hope that she has more works on the way. This book made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me angry and I also felt like I was really able to connect with the characters. When a person has bipolar disorder they are either type A or type B. Mickey is type A where he bounces back and forth between mania and depression. He is a very eccentric character and there were points when I was glad that I am nothing like him. I do happen to have bipolar disorder although I am type B so it is much easier for me to keep my disorder under control. In a way it was nice reading about how much worse I could be.

Lucy has amazing patience when it comes to dealing with some of the messes that Mickey gets himself into and part of this stems from her having a very supportive family. Lucy has two sisters in the book and was raised in a loving community where many of her neighbors stepped in and helped parent the girls once their mother had died from breast cancer. (Very early in the book we find out that their father was shot while working as a cop). The relationships in this book are very moving and something that I hope to find in my life. Happily, I have two very healthy parents who have always been there for me and when I was reading about how close Lucy is with so many different people who turned into surrogate mothers I was reminded of how special my relationship is with my family and especially my parents.

Would I recommend this book? ABSOLUTELY!! The book is filled with emotion and it really was a great read. I was just sorry when it was over.

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Becky’s Third Movie Review: “The Sitter”

Adam and I just finished watching “The Sitter”. Quite an entertaining movie. It gets to be quite ridiculous with all of the stuff that Noah goes through in his effort to get to his girlfriend. For whatever reason, Noah takes the three children that he is supposed to be babysitting with him on this crazy journey. The acting was well done. I have always been a fan of Jonah Hill–I think he is absolutely hilarious. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the kids in the movie took on their roles.

Overall, I thought the movie was well worth watching. I would recommend it to most people, although there is a fair amount of vulgar humor to the movie. So obviously the movie is not a great one for young kids to watch. Quite entertaining.

I would recommend this movie. Four out of five stars.

Becky’s Seventeeth Book Review: “Mirror Mirror” by Gregory Maguire

I finished reading “Mirror Mirror” a little while ago. I have to admit, it was a struggle to get through it. I have been hesitant to read more of Gregory Maguire’s work because I always find myself forcing the read. I kind of feel like Maguire tries too hard with his work? He has unique ideas, this is true…but between the poetry and prose mixed in with his own version of a fairy tale I just end up getting bored.

“Mirror Mirror” is Maguire’s version of Snow White. I think that the way that he handled the dwarfs in this book was very interesting…instead of being these happy little men the dwarfs kind of came into being because of their interaction with Bianca (Snow White). Maguire did keep in the idea of the “evil stepmother” bribing a hunter to carve out Snow White’s heart and bring it back in a box. This was done a little differently, the woman who tries to kill Bianca is not actually her stepmother…but she does behave like one in certain ways. Jealousy is the central theme in this story and is crafted well. I do have to give Maguire credit for the unique twist that he brings to his version of fairy tales.

Would I recommend this book? No, probably not. I felt like I spent far too much time on it myself. I prefer to read books that are written at a quicker pace. This book drags out.

Becky’s Second Movie Review: “Tristan & Isolde”

I have wanted to watch “Tristan & Isolde” for awhile now and finally watched it for the first time today. I gotta say, it wasn’t all that I was hoping for.

“Tristan & Isolde” is a movie about forbidden love. An Englishman played by James Franco falls in love with an Irishwoman played by Sophia Myles. The scenery was gorgeous and I thought that both Franco and Myles did a very good job. The movie begins with a fierce battle and the first thirty minutes or so are very entertaining. Then the movie slows down. Altogether the movie is 125 minutes and it felt longer.

Would I recommend it? It is hard to say. I don’t think that most guys would like the movie. There was a bit of violence, but the length of the movie is difficult to deal with. It goes too slow.

I wouldn’t recommend this movie to most people. I’d give it two out of five stars.

Becky’s Sixteenth Book Review: “TIME: Disasters That Shook the World”

Yesterday Adam and I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a few quick things, milk, bread, etc. When we were at the counter checking out, this caught my eye. I’m calling it a book, but it is no novel. In this 106 page collection, history’s greatest man-made catastrophes are explored and remembered.

April 14, 2012 will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of The Titanic. I have always been fascinated with the tragedy that was Titanic. It is a horrifying tale and there are just so many examples of negligent behavior that infuriates me. The biggest flaw is what most people know about–lifeboats, or lack there of. The Titanic was not properly equipped in several areas and not having enough lifeboats for half the people aboard the ship is the biggest negligence of all. Reading this article I found out that there were several more actions that helped make this such a tragic tale. Probably the most upsetting of all was learning that when the Titanic sent out distress signals after she hit the iceberg that the closest ship was the Californian (only ten miles ahead of Titanic) and they ignored the pleas for help. The ship that responded to Titanic was fifty-eight miles away. The Carpathia arrived a few hours after Titanic sank. The idea that there was a ship only ten miles away that just ignored a distress signal…it just leaves me flabbergasted. Because theoretically, the Californian could have reached the Titanic before she sank and many more lives could have been saved. Instead 1,517 people died.

  I strongly recommend “TIME: Disasters That Shook the World”. There are some amazing tragedies that have occurred and it is important to look upon the past and remember. Some of the events that are discussed in this book include: “The Last Flight of The Hindenburg”, “The Great Chicago Fire”, “Hurricane Katrina”, “Farewell to the Challenger”, and “Apollo 1” along with many others. Some of the horrible events that I read about I had not heard of before and it was quite an eye opener. Truly, a great read.

Becky’s Fifteenth Book Review: “Dearly Devoted Dexter” by Jeff Lindsay

“Dearly Devoted Dexter” is the second book in Jeff Lindsay’s series and is every bit as good as the first book. I was pleased to find that the book continued with the same artistic writing that Lindsay displayed in the previous Dexter book, again using alliterations throughout the novel and his trademark dark humor. I found this book to be a little more brutal than the first, and I liked that it was different from the series. In this book there is a killer on the loose who is torturing his victims excessively before they die. He actually leaves his victims alive in most situations, although they are worse off for it. Lindsay gets very gruesome in this novel and I’m sure that because the plot in this book is so graphic, that is the reason that it was not chosen to be adapted to television.

  When it comes to book series being turned into movies I am of the general opinion that the movies should do their own thing rather than try to be a visual display of the book. I like the way that the Sookie Stackhouse novels are separate from the HBO series True Blood. Although the basic plot comes from the books, True Blood adapts into it’s own show and they do so very well. I hope that the rest of the Dexter book series shows that the Dexter TV series did it’s own thing.

I would recommend this book to most people, it is quite entertaining and although it might be a bit gruesome—it is still a very enjoyable read.

Becky’s Fourteenth Book Review: “Darkly Dreaming Dexter” by Jeff Lindsay (compared to Season One of Dexter)

It is a rare thing for me to watch something before reading the book. Part of the reason that I watched Dexter before I read the books is that I didn’t know that the books existed! Silly me. Now that I know, I am going back and forth between reading the Dexter series and watching it on TV.

What was really fun about reading the book and watching the show is seeing how the producers took the show and made it their own while still giving plenty of credit to Jeff Lindsay’s original idea. There were some really subtle messages in the show that were directly reflecting Jeff Lindsay’s writing. For example, there are multiple times in the book when Lindsay uses alliterations. He does it throughout the book and I really liked how he used the same literary tool but make it unique every time. Here is a quick quote:

“And the Need was very strong now, very careful cold coiled creeping crackly cocked and ready, very strong, very much ready now–and still it waited and watched, and it made me wait and watch” (Lindsay, Jeff. “Darkly Dreaming Dexter”. Vintage Crime/ Black Lizard Vintage Books: New York, pg 1).

I really like the writing styles that Jeff Lindsay uses. His writing is very accessible and yet intelligent. There are some differences between the book and the show, most of them subtle though. Names have been changed…some situations turn out slightly different. The big things are the same though. The characters that Lindsay creates are displayed almost perfectly in the show.

I would strongly recommend both the book and the TV series to anyone. There’s a dark comedic feel to them both which is refreshing. I know that the idea of a serial killer being refreshing may be a bit much for some people, but I think it helps that the audience sympathizes with Dexter and almost gives him a pass because he kills only ‘bad guys’. Dexter channels the darkness inside him to protect the innocent by taking out the trash.