BOOKS REVIEW: PRENTISS, PROUST, ROWLING, AND SITTENFELD

I just finished reading four wildly different books from four of my favorite genres: what I like to call “realistic fiction,” classics, fantasy, and chick lit. I thought it would be fun to dump them all in one blog post and see what happened. Let’s start with my “realistic fiction” book:

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Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss: One of my best friend’s best friends was kind enough to donate this book to me to read, knowing that I like art and whatnot. This is a book primarily about the art world in the 1980s, which was quite an interesting time (think: drugs, experimentation, an “anything goes” attitude, gritty, grimy, gratified subways and an art market on the rise). It is mostly a portrait of the city at that time — sometimes literally, when Prentiss takes a few pages to describe ears, eyes, mouth, or arms to paint a current situation. The characters are almost secondary to the city itself. They are compelling, but pretty stereotypical: the fiery artist, the gifted art critic, the good girl gone bad from middle America. I only disliked one thing: in the end, all of the characters were interconnected in some way which is a little bit too fate-ish for me. Overall, I sped through this book on my commute and thoroughly enjoyed it

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Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust: Unnnnnnnghhhhhh!!! This is one of those books that EVERY person should read before they die. But so many don’t, because it is seen as a very long, daunting book that only Literature professors at Harvard University read. I am here to say: NONE OF THIS IS TRUE!!!! (although it is long). This was easily the most lovely, gorgeous, fantastic, and relatable book that I have ever read. For a long time, I always wished that I could capture every single thought that I had (see what I did there), and Proust has done just that — he manages to capture those little flashes of introspection that most people forget (or don’t even have in the first place?) I truly identify with the Narrator, since I was always such a weirdly self-aware child, and I am disgustingly sentimental. I finished this book, and thought, “well, someone gets me.” Can’t wait to finish the next six books in this series (will probably be on my death bed when I finish the last one).

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by some assholes, not JK Rowling: This book/play is the worst thing that ever happened. Don’t read it. I’m sure that play performance is all very well and good, but as a book this TOTALLY SUCKS. It is just…not Harry Potter. Not even worth putting a picture of the cover.

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Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld: I ADORED Prep by Curtiss Sittenfeld, and was so, so excited to get my hands on this book. I was very let down. It is a “modern re-telling of Pride & Prejudice,” but the entire thing just feels like prototype. It is actually laughable — the characters all end up on a reality TV show called Eligible, two of the sisters are really into Crossfit…the “modern” part feels painfully forced, just like all of the pop culture references in the Gilmore Girls revival. I’m sorry, Curtis Sittenfeld…this book sucked. In other news, Prep is supposed to be turned into a TV show soon so I can look forward to that and not dwell too much on this piece o’ crap.

C.C.B.B

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