SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN READING THE EARLIER DEXTER BOOKS.

“Dexter is Delicious” is the fifth book in the Dexter series and I could not put it down. I know that in my past reviews of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter novels I have mentioned what a great author he is, but it is worth stating again. Jeff Lindsay’s writing is remarkable. I kind of think that the series gets better the further into it you get. “Dexter is Delicious” was very exciting and difficult to put down. The only down side is now there is one book left in the series and I don’t know if Lindsay is planning on writing another.

“Dexter is Delicious” picks up a few months after the last book left off. At the conclusion of “Dexter by Design” Rita informed Dexter that she was going to have a baby. “Dexter is Delicious” picks up at the hospital right after Rita gives birth to a healthy baby girl, Lily Anne. Having a child of his own has changed Dexter, he is overwhelmed by all of these new feelings and wonders if Lily Anne was what he needed all along to become human. Excited about his daughter, Dexter plans on turning over a new leaf and is convinced that Cody and Astor will join him as he walks into the light and leaves his world of darkness behind forever. In the midst of all this excitement in Dexter’s world, a new group is terrorizing Miami. This group fancies themselves vampires and within their circle of blood drinkers there is an even more disturbing group of cannibals. Debs once again is depending on Dexter to help her solve the mystery and save a girl whom is next on the menu.

Again in this book, Lindsay uses alliterations frequently. I really like that he does this because it makes it a game for me to find them almost. The way that Lindsay uses language to his advantage is awe-inspiring. I really enjoy the fact that the books are filled with dry humor. There were several points throughout the novel that I wanted to include quotes from, but I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll stick to just a few. This is one example of Lindsay’s writing that I really enjoyed, “Every little girl who has ever lived has grown up wanting to be an actress or dancer or some kind of performer—all of them except Deborah. All she ever wanted out of life, even at the tender age of five, was a badge and a gun. And through hard work, dogged intelligence, and really painful arm punches, she had achieved her goal—only to find that in order to keep it, she now had to be an actress. The word “irony” is terribly overused, but still, the situation seemed to call for a bit of wry amusement at the very least” (Lindsay, Jeff. “Dexter is Delicious” pg. 126). And one more quick quote, “Something tickled at my nose and I rubbed it; my hand came away with blood on it and for a very long and frozen second I stared at it, unable to think or move or see anything except that awful red smear of precious Dexter fluid. But happily for me, my brain came back online and I wiped my hand on my pants leg and put it out of my mind. Clearly, it had happened when I dived for cover and bumped my nose. No big deal. We all have blood in us. The trick is to keep it inside” (Lindsay, Jeff. “Dexter is Delicious” pg. 308). I think those are two great examples of how Lindsay inserts humor into his novels; quite entertaining from where I am standing.

Would I recommend “Dexter is Delicious”? Without a doubt. I know that I have said it a lot, but Lindsay is a great writer and I believe most people would enjoy his style and technique. The only hesitation that I would give is if you don’t particularly care to read about serial killers, then the Dexter series may not be for you. I am really enjoying it myself.

 

Becky’s Fifty-Sixth Book Review: “Dexter is Delicious” by Jeff Lindsay

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Becky’s Fifty-Fifth Book Review: “Dexter by Design” by Jeff Lindsay

SPOILER ALERT: DO NOT READ IF YOU’RE NOT UP TO DATE ON THE DEXTER TV SERIES AND ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING IT

“Dexter by Design” is the fourth book in the Dexter series. I’m a little late on writing this review, but what are you going to do?

First of all, I want to again touch on how talented Jeff Lindsay is. His writing technique is rather exceptional. Lindsay has a very unique voice which he uses to allow the readers to know the mind of a serial killer. I am a fan of all sorts of writing styles, but I am especially fond of books where the main character is speaking to the reader. I like how well you get to know the character because of this. Most people would not empathize with a serial killer, but Lindsay creates such a likeable character, you can’t help but cheer for him.

“Dexter by Design” begins with Dexter and Rita on their honeymoon in Paris. Here they encounter a very distinctive art exhibit that awakens Dexter’s Dark Passenger and amuses it. Once they return home Dexter is thrust back into work where Miami is once again encountering some crude crime. Someone is taking bodies and arranging them in very strange fashions. Solving this case becomes more complex because Deb is very awkward about knowing what Dexter is (something she found out at the end of the first book). Even though Deb wants Dexter’s help, she can’t but help lashing out at him, especially when he tries to explain to her his reasoning and Harry’s code. At the same time, Dexter is still trying to keep Cody and Astor out of trouble even though their own darkness is crying for blood. Rita becomes more concerned that her children aren’t ‘normal’ and Dexter is working very hard to make sure that she doesn’t know what her children really are.

For those of you who watch the television series, at the end of last season (season six) Deb walks in just as Dexter stabs his latest victim. I though it was interesting seeing how the show rearranged how things happen in the book series vs. the television series. Now at the beginning of Season 7, Deb is trying to cope with Dexter’s darkness and at the same time control it. This is different from how she reacts in the books (sort of—she still does kind of freak out). I did just start the next book in the Dexter series and found another event that the television series chose to change. You’ll just have to wait for my next review to find out what.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think that Lindsay is an extremely talented author and most would enjoy his book. Even if you don’t enjoy the show, the books may appeal to you. There is sort of more gore in the books, but since you don’t technically see it, rather than imagine it this doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Perhaps I’m alone on that. Either way, Lindsay is a very talented author and I cannot wait to get my hands on his other novels. Sadly, there are only six books in the series at the moment. I’m not sure if there will be more or not.

Becky’s Fifty-Fourth Book Review: “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn

Yesterday I finally finished reading “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. Thank God it is over. I have to say, I did not enjoy reading this awful story about a couple that gets married and ends up hating each other. Maybe it is because I am happy in my own relationship. Either way, I would much rather read about a serial killer (Dexter) than about a horrible relationship.
“Gone Girl” is told from two characters’ perspectives-Amy and Nick. The premise of the story is that on Amy and Nick’s fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing. There are signs of a struggle in the house. Nick has no idea what has happened. As the story progresses, the reader discovers more about Nick and Amy’s relationship and (in my case) end up hating both characters.  

I am rather curious as to why this book became such a hit. I know that it is being made into a movie and this book actually led to me purchasing Gillian Flynn’s other novels. I decided to read them in the order published and I’m really glad that I did. Her first two novels were a great read. They were dark and twisty, but unique and interesting. This novel just left me feeling rather sick.

I do need to give Gillian Flynn props for technique. She is a very talented writer. I think that her understanding of the relationship between a husband and a wife, even an unhappy couple is very in-depth and the extreme details that she is able to give her characters shows how dedicated that she is.

I would not recommend this book to most people. I think that it is more disturbing than anything else and most people that I know wouldn’t enjoy it. That being said, I would read another novel by Gillian Flynn because I think she is very talented. I just didn’t like the taste this novel left in my mouth.

Becky’s Fifty-Third Book Review: “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory

I’m actually a little late in writing this review; I finished this book a few days ago but have been sick and not up to writing or doing anything besides sleeping really. I very much enjoyed reading “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory. When I picked it up, I had no idea what the story was about. I have concluded that often time’s books give away too much on the back cover, so I’ve stopped reading them and just let the whole book be a surprise. It wasn’t until I was almost completely done with the book that I realized the book was a historical fiction based off of Henry VIII.

In a way, I’m kind of glad that I didn’t know that was who the story was about because it left me guessing the whole time. The story is narrated by Mary Boleyn and tells the tale of her and her sister competing for the love of a king, Henry VIII. In the story, Mary catches the king’s eye not long after she is married. Her family is all too willing to separate her from her husband and provide the king with what he wants most—a male heir. In some ways it was astonishing how far this family would go to advance their own interests. At the same time, I know that life was very different back in the day and in order to advance your family, you had to play every card that you could. Women were used as pawns, being married off for wealth and titles and expected to bear sons.

The competition between Mary and Anne was rather frustrating for me to watch unfold. Anne showed her true colors many times throughout the novel. She was interested in advancing herself and could care less about those around her. Mary did her duty as a daughter and a niece, but at the same time wanted to just be with a man who loved her. I think that the author chose Mary to narrate the story because she is more innocent than Anne. Mary has many more traits that would be looked upon for a female lead to have. Anne is all perseverance and using whatever tools at her disposal to get what she wants. Mary has a simpler desire—to love and be loved in return. Anne does many horrible things in the book, one thing that she does to Mary specifically is so terrible that I had to put the book down and walk away from it I was so mad at her. I don’t want to say what it is in case you plan on reading this book, but you will know it when you see it.

One thing that Philippa Gregory did in this novel is she started the book and ended the book in the same way. It had a very nice way of rounding things out. Mary’s continued nativity is present in the very first scene of the book as well as the very last one. It was a nice touch.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, it was a great read. Philippa Gregory tells the story beautifully. I think that more women would appreciate the novel than men, partly because it is told from a women’s perspective and partly because I don’t know many men who would appreciate historical fiction about two women competing for the love of a king.

Banned Books Week…who knew?

Happy Banned Books Week! I didn’t even realize there was a week celebrating banned books. I read this in an article on a website I enjoy ‘moneytalksnews.com’. This was the list part of the article written by  . I am actually reading one of these books at the moment, the first on the list. 🙂

1. “1984,” George Orwell

•1981: Challenged in Jackson County, Fla., because it was “pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter.”

 

2. “A Clockwork Orange,” Anthony Burgess

•1973: A bookseller in Orem, Utah, was arrested for selling it. Charges were later dropped, but the store was forced to close and relocate to another city.

•1976: Removed from high schools in Aurora, Colo., because of “objectionable” language.

•1977: Removed from high schools in Westport, Mass., because of “objectionable” language.

•1982: Removed from two high school libraries in Anniston, Ala., but later reinstated on a restricted basis.

 

3. “A Farewell to Arms,” Ernest Hemingway

•1929: It first ran in the June issue of Scribner’s Magazine, which was banned in Boston.

•1929: Banned in Italy because of its “painfully accurate account of the Italian retreat from Caporetto, Italy,” during World War I.

•1933: Burned by the Nazis.

•1974: Challenged at Dallas (Texas) IndependentSchool District high school libraries.

•1980: Challenged at the Vernon-Verona-Sherill (N.Y.) School District as a “sex novel.”

 

4. “An American Tragedy,” Theodore Dreiser

•1927: Banned in Boston.

•1933: Burned by the Nazis because it “deals with low love affairs.”

 

5. “Animal Farm,” George Orwell

•1977: Suppressed from being displayed at the Moscow (Russia) International Book Fair.

•1982: A survey of censorship challenges in schools, conducted in DeKalb County, Ga., revealed that the novel had been objected to because of its political theories.

•1987: Banned from four middle schools and three high schools in Bay County, Fla. After 44 parents filed a suit against the district claiming that its instructional aids policy denies constitutional rights, the Bay County School Board reinstated the book.

•2002: Banned from schools in the United   Arab Emirates by the Ministry of Education because it contains material that contradicts Islamic and Arab values, and “indecent images” like pigs and alcoholic drinks.

 

6. “Catch-22,” Joseph Heller

•1972: Banned in Strongsville, Ohio, but the school board’s action was overturned by a U.S. district court in 1976.

•1974: Challenged at Dallas (Texas) IndependentSchool District high school libraries.

•1979: Challenged in Snoqualmie, Wash., because of references to women as “whores.”

 

7. “Gone With the Wind,” Margaret Mitchell

• 1978: Banned from Anaheim (Calif.) Union High School District English classrooms.

• 1984: Challenged in the Waukegan (Ill.) School District because it uses the word “nigger.”

 

8. “Lady Chatterly’s Lover,” D.H. Lawrence

•1929: Banned by U.S. Customs.

•1932: Banned in Ireland and Poland.

•1959: Banned in Australia, India, and Japan.

•1960-1962: Banned in Canada.

•1987: Distribution was stopped in China because the book would “corrupt the minds of young people and is also against the Chinese tradition.”

 

9. “Lolita,” Vladimir Nabokov

•1955-1959: Banned in England.

•1956-1959: Banned in France.

•1959: Banned in Argentina.

•1960: Banned in New Zealand.

•1982: The South African Directorate of Publications removed it from their banned list, eight years after refusing a request for permission to market the novel.

•2006: Challenged at the Marion-Levy Public Library System in Central Florida. The MarionCounty commissioners voted to have the county attorney review the novel, which addresses themes of pedophilia and incest, to determine if it meets the state law’s definition of “unsuitable for minors.”

 

10. “Sons and Lovers,” D.H. Lawrence

• 1961: An Oklahoma City group called Mothers United for Decency exhibited it, along with other books deemed objectionable, in a trailer the group dubbed the “smutmobile.”

 

11. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” Mark Twain

•1957: Removed from an approved textbook list for elementary and junior high schools by the New York City Board of Education.

•1963: Removed from curriculum, and replaced with a more politically correct version, in Philadelphia.

•1976: Removed as required reading, but retained as elective reading, by NewTrierHigh School in Winnetka, Ill.

 

12. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Mark Twain

•1867: Excluded from the children’s room in Brooklyn’s public library and the Denver Public Library because it set a bad example for kids.

•1937: Banned in Brazil as part of a campaign against “subversive” and “communist” literature.

 

13. “The Awakening,” Kate Chopin

•1899: When first published, this novel disturbed critics and the public so much that it was banished for decades afterward.

 

14. “The Call of the Wild,” Jack London

•1929: Banned in Italy and Yugoslavia.

•1933: Burned by the Nazis.

 

15. “The Grapes of Wrath,” John Steinbeck

•1939: Banned in Kansas City, Mo., and Kern County, Calif., the scene of the novel. Burned by the East St. Louis (Ill.) Public Library. Barred from the Buffalo (N.Y.) Public Library because of “vulgar words.”

•1953: Banned in Ireland.

•1973: Eleven Turkish book publishers stood trial before an Istanbul martial law tribunal on charges of publishing, possessing, and selling books in violation of an order of the Istanbul martial law command. They faced up to six months of imprisonment “for spreading propaganda unfavorable to the state.”

•1980: Banned in Kanawha (Iowa) High School classes. Challenged in the Vernon-Verona-Sherill (N.Y.) School District.

•1981: Challenged as required reading for Richford (Vt.) High School English students because of its language and portrayal of a former minister who recounts how he took advantage of a young woman.

•1982: Banned in Morris, Manitoba, Canada. Removed from two high school libraries in Anniston, Ala., but later reinstated on a restrictive basis.

•1986: Challenged at the CummingsHigh School in Burlington, N.C., because it’s “full of filth” and “takes the Lord’s name in vain and has all kinds of profanity in it.” Challenged at the MooreCounty school system in Carthage, N.C., because it contains the phrase “God damn.”

•1991: Challenged in the Greenville, S.C., schools because it uses the names of God and Jesus in a “vain and profane manner along with inappropriate sexual references.”

•1993: Challenged in Union City (Tenn.) High School classes.

 

16. “The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald

•1987: Challenged at BaptistCollege in Charleston, S.C., because of “language and sexual references.”

 

17. “The Jungle,” Upton Sinclair

•1929: Banned from public libraries in Yugoslavia.

•1933: Burned by the Nazis because of Sinclair’s socialist views.

•1956: Banned in East Germany as harmful to communism.

•1985: Banned in South Korea.

 

18. “The Lord of the Rings,” J.R.R. Tolkien

•2001: Burned outside ChristCommunityChurch in Alamagordo, N.M., because it’s satanic.

 

19. “The Sun Also Rises,” Ernest Hemingway

•1930: Banned in Boston.

•1933: Burned by the Nazis.

•1953: Banned in Ireland.

•1960: Banned in Riverside and San Jose, Calif.

 

20. “Ulysses,” James Joyce

•1918: Burned in the U.S.

•1922: Burned in Ireland and Canada.

•1923: Burned in England.

•1929: Banned in England.