Archive for : December, 2015

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Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham – A Review

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This book covers heavy topics, so readers should be aware. The topics range from attempted sexual abuse at the hands of a teacher to rape. The book is written in a seemingly unrelated mish mash of paragraphs. However, once you read far enough the paragraphs begin to make sense and form a more cohesive story.

The book was not as well received as Dunham’s Girls, but some readers were interested in the content. Others found the topics tedious and not worth the effort to publish, including a chapter that simply lists foods.

Dunham is sharing snippets of her life in this work, and at 28 she has not quite learned enough to make her memoirs something that can truly impart important knowledge to the reader. Despite her experiences and successes on television and in film, this work really does not provide much new insight into what makes Dunham tick or help the reader to better understand life thanks to her perspective. Most readers felt let down by reading this, as they gained nothing from the time spent and the pages turned.

The book gives the impression Dunham feels superior to her readers and is attempting to show the reader how superior she really is, rather than sharing her life and imparting knowledge to those who pick up her book. This backfires in that it not only irritates the reader but shows just how far from superior Dunham actually is.

The book does contain elements of humor, some of which readers enjoyed and thought made it worth their time to read the book. Others were not impressed and did not feel it was a worthwhile allocation of time to finish the entire book.

The level of honesty in the book is admirable, as Dunham does not hold back. For some, the reasoning is that she may have been better off withholding some information. Still, the fact she is willing to be honest and share all aspects of her life in this work is something that readers can understand the importance of and admire her for. Her writing style is strong and entertaining, which is another positive despite the lack of content in the book. Readers were at odds over the book’s worth, but they still recognize the individual behind the book has found success early in life and may have potential in the future to share her life story again and in such a way as to benefit the reader.

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Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer – A Review

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Annihilation is book one in a trilogy that follows four women on an expedition into unknown territory, called Area X. The four women are experts in their fields, covering biology, psychology, anthropology and surveying. They stumble upon a tower that is not marked on their map and enter the tower to discover strange writing and a staircase that leads downward into the unknown. This book is the first of three and covers the experiences of these women as they are influenced by Area X, with things changing for them the longer they remain in that area.

This is the type of work that messes with your mind, which is the writing style that Vandermeer is known for. The work does not move forward smoothly with clear progression. Instead, it is about confusion and mental twisting, especially from the psychologist. It does make for a heavy read, for those who work to complete it to the final page. Fans found the work to be intriguing since it does not include much dialogue and indeed, the characters do not even have names. The concept is unique and the story is carried well despite relying heavily on prose and on the layout of Area X, since there is minimal character development for characters that never even receive names. This relies on the setting to carry the story, and luckily that is accomplished.

The next two stories will have different narrators and therefore change the perspective on everything greatly. For some, it is hoped the action picks up a bit now that there is a base for the story in the description of the area and the mystery surrounding the failed expeditions previous to the one the story is focused on and the various unexplained discoveries like the writing within the tower and the staircase and what lies beneath the tower.