31 March 2012

REVIEW: Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Publisher: Egmont Press
06 Feb 2012
452 Pages

I have two weeks. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

That's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine - and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmf├╝hrer von Linden interrogating me again.

He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I'm going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France - an Allied Invasion of Two.

We are a sensational team.

R E V I E W :
At first I was a little hesitant to read this book because history tends to bore me, therefore I usually steer clear of any historical books. But I am so glad I gave this book a try.

It was bloody brilliant. Although fiction, the story felt so real. As if I was reading the diary of an old war vetern. I clung to every word Elizabeth Wein spewed out through the voices of Maggie and... we'll call her Verity, two very different yet complementary and extraordinary women that met in the midst of World War II. Their story of friendship and an account of what they went through as young women serving their country is an adventure you would not want to miss.

Some of the characters, not just the main protagonists, were some of the most well developed and complex ones I've ever had the fortune to read about. None of them were what they seemed. Wein just sucked me into this (very plausible) world, whether it was hundreds of miles in the sky or a grimy torture chamber in the Hotel of Butchers in Nazi-occupied France.

My favorite part was the whole first half of the book which was told in the point of view of Verity who was also, in most parts, telling it in the point of view of Maggie (confusing, right?). It only told half the story but it was so good that I was a bit disappointed it didn't end right there. But after reading the second half, I had the urge to read the book from the beginning all over again.
And I actually read the afterword. And I never read the afterword.

I really want to describe this book in finer detail but it's really an adventure you should take for yourself. So buckle your seat belts and get ready for take off.

05 March 2012

REVIEW: Life As I Blow It: Tales Of Love, Life & Sex . . . Not Necessarily In That Order by Sarah Colonna

Publisher: Villard07 January 2012
256 Pages
Genre: Memoir

In this wickedly funny and irreverent memoir, Chelsea Lately writer and comedian Sarah Colonna opens up about love, life, and pursuing her dreams . . . and then screwing it all up.

Sarah believes we all struggle to grow up. Sometimes we want to have fun, not take things too seriously, and have that fourth margarita. Other times we would like to get married, stay in, order Chinese food, and have a responsible, secure life.

From her formative years in small-town Arkansas to a later career of dates, drinks, and questionable day jobs, Colonna attempts to reconcile her responsible side with her fun-loving side. Sometimes this pans out, and sometimes she finds herself in Mexico handing out her phone number to anyone who calls her pretty. She moves to Los Angeles to pursue acting, but for years is forced to hone her bartending skills; she wants a serious boyfriend, but won’t give up nights at the bar with her friends. She tries to behave like an adult, but can’t seem to stop acting like a frat boy. In the end, she discovers that there doesn’t have to be just one or the other. And if there’s one thing Colonna has learned from her many missteps, it’s that hindsight is always 100 proof.

R E V I E W:
An honest and mostly humorous account littered with interesting people and entertaining anecdotes of a comically-inclined, and now somewhat famous, woman who, like many of us everyday folk, is wondering what she really wants in life. Sarah Colonna shares her life story (phsycoanalyzing a lot of her choices) and the mistakes she made (and repeated) regarding sex, love, and well... life. She's led an interesting life so far but it was also really relatable to anyone who is or was struggling to achieve their dreams or trying to find their place in the world.

This book is really the first of this genre that I have ever read so my rating may be off. But I can say that I had enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I have read about three memoirs before, though. Like Night by Elie Wiesel (for a class long ago so I automatically hated it) and Memoirs of a Geisha by that girl/guy (liked it but never finished it) and Tuesdays with Morrie by that other guy I didn't like so much (can barely remember it but I think I liked it) but to me, they're a different genre of memoir than this one.