Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

I actually had a book review planned for this Friday, but I changed my mind because June and July are two crazy months for me, so I opted again for a book tag which suits this time of the year. Plus, I’m always happy to talk about the current state of my TBR pile.

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag was created by two booktubers (Chami and Ety) and it comprises of fourteen questions, mostly regarding the books you read in the first half of the year. I read twenty-six books until now including the dnf-ed ones, so I think that I have enough material to answer properly to each and every question.

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2017.

This year I wanted to read all the first instalments in the series I own because I plan to continue only the series or trilogies I’ve found unique and enjoyable to explore further on. For the best book I’ve read until now I choose The Essential Book Blog by Ken J. Howe, Saul Tanpepper, Michael Guerini and Cheryl L. Seaton, which is an easy yet informative guide for each new book blogger or newbie author and it teaches you anything from how to build your own blog, what your review should include, how to get traffic on your blog, how to get books and even how to earn money through your blog. Personally, I can’t wait to review this blogging guide and reread some of the sections in order to apply them to my blog.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017.

 

At the beginning of this year, I promised myself that I will not be as generous as I used to be with the 5-star ratings and by far, there are just three books that had the wow factor I was looking for. The first 5-star sequel I rated in 2017 is Escape from Sudan, the 9th book in Mike WellsLust, Money & Murder series because I was on pins and needles while reading this book. It really was a roller-coaster of emotions for me and Elaine’s (almost impossible) mission through such a war-torn and dangerous country made my adrenaline levels increase.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

I’m not very interested in new releases for now because I have a lot of unread books sitting and collecting dust on my shelves and many eBooks on my Kindle too; so I prefer to stick to those.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

I read Mike Wells’ blurb for Panacea, the 11th book in the Lust, Money & Murder series, which is set in Ukraine and the book, is going to be released in September. This is the only sequel I’m excited to devour.

5.  Biggest disappointment.

 

Well, I have a few disappointments and dislikes reflected on my ratings and on my dnf-ed shelf, but the biggest one came from an author I haven’t read before. I’m sorry for the repetition, but I was extremely disappointed by Isabel Allende’s Zorro. How can a book about California’s famous bandit be so boring with so many info-dumps, lifeless characters and no hook? I loved the fact that Diego is mixed-race, but besides that, his friendship with Bernardo and how his father met his mother, I didn’t find anything of interest in the chapters I read.

6. Biggest surprise.

 

The biggest surprise was The Rocker Who Holds Me by Terri Anne Browning, a book which didn’t deal only with the dissolute lives of rock stars, but also with abuse, heartache and lack of communication. I really love it and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys rock star romances.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

My new favourite author is K K Allen who wrote Enchanted, the first instalment in The Summer Solstice. Besides her beautiful and visual writing, I enjoyed spending my time with her well-built characters, the plot was extremely interesting and the elemental magic blew my mind along with its complexity. The ancient wisdom passed on to Katrina is a combination of Greek myths and Wiccan beliefs. For those of you who are wondering, the review is coming soon.

8. Newest fictional crush.

Nik from The Rocker Who Holds Me might be a potential fictional crush because he is talented, caring and a very hot guy, but he makes Emmie suffer a lot. On the other hand, she is afraid to talk about her feelings for him.

9. Newest favourite character.

I’m currently reading The Lady of the Pier trilogy written by Effrosyni Moschoudi and though I root for both protagonists of the two alternating stories, Sofia Aspioti is very dear to my heart, not just because she is Greek, but she is also a book nerd, a hardworking student, an animal lover and she also writes poetry. She is shy and very cautious because she is aware that everything she does might reach her strict father’s ears, an overprotective parent who forbids her to stay out late or to do anything silly. Despite the restrictions that suffocate her life, Sofia longs for freedom and adventure especially after meeting Danny, an outgoing and non-conformist British tourist whose laid back attitude makes Sofia fall for him.

10. Book that made you cry.

Though I’ve shed a tear occasionally when I read about Sofia’s kind and loving grandparents from Corfu who reminded me of my own, none of the books I’ve picked up in the first half of the year made me cry hysterically for a certain character or situation.

11. Book that made you happy.

 

It’s hard to say that one of my recent reads made me feel happy, but You & Me Forever is a collection of romantic YA and NA stories written by eight authors including Megan Linski and Pamita Rao, a book that made me feel good most of the time because the short stories range from sweet to dark and they are easy to read especially while you are travelling. I highly recommend it for the summer.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

I adore the new covers for The Lady of the Pier trilogy; they are so gorgeous and suit the novels perfectly with that beautiful and mysterious woman standing on the pier.

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

Besides the books mentioned above, I want to continue reading the two remaining novels from the Try a Chapter Book Tag and afterwards to flip through or even reread some classics I’ve read a few years ago, but I haven’t reviewed yet.

 14. Favourite Book Community Member

For now, I’ll give a shoutout to my best friend and awesome reviewer, Elena from eLitere.ro who has great tastes in books and movies. Check out her website and show her some love!

If you enjoyed this book tag, give it a try and leave your answers below in a comment or through a link to your blog or YouTube channel. Have an awesome weekend! See you next time!

Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Book 1 of Oz

 

Title: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Author: L. Frank Baum

Genre: Children’s Books, Fairy Tal, Adventure

First Published in 1900

Year of Publication of This Edition: 2012

Public Domain Books

Series: Oz

Rating: 5/5 stars

“You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.” (p. 102)

I recently found myself in the mood to read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum, a childhood favourite I’ve read in Romanian and partially in English. As most of you already know, it is a fairy tale about a poor little girl named Dorothy, who lives in Kansas with her aunt and uncle. Her dull life changes when a cyclone makes their house rise up into the air and drops it into the magical Land of Oz.

There, Dorothy and her little dog Toto encounter the inhabitants of this place: the Munchkins, the Witches and other outlandish beings, but also the three friends who accompany them on the way to the Emerald City, where the Great Wizard of Oz lives. The strange creatures that Dorothy befriends are the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. I think that it is redundant to tell you more about this story because it is a beloved children’s classic and that says already a lot about it.

Dorothy’s adventures in the Land of Oz made me feel like a child again and I’m glad I read it once more. Though I love the movie as well, I think that the book is more complex than it because there are more adventures and characters in the book than in the 1939 film. Even though the dialogue is a bit repetitive sometimes and Dorothy’s three talking friends are less developed than the characters from the fantasy novels of our times, I enjoyed this classic fairy tale.

Recenzie: Oedip la Colona de Sofocle

Titlu: Oedip la Colona

Titlu original: Οἰδίπους ἐπὶ Κολωνῷ

Autor: Sofocle

Traducător: Francis Storr

Gen: Tragedie

Anul apariției acestei ediții: 2012

Harvard University Press

Operă inclusă în volumul  Oedipus Trilogy

Rating: 5/5 stele

Deși intenția mea este să recenzez cele trei tragedii ale lui Sofocle despre Oedip și fiica sa Antigona în ordinea desfășurării intrigii, tragicul grec le-a scris în cu totul altă ordine: Antigona, Oedip rege și Oedip la Colona. Despre această ultimă piesă, din așa-zisa trilogie despre regele decăzut al Tebei aș spune că are mai degrabă rolul de a lega celelalte două tragedii între ele, decât de a fi o creație de sine stătătoare.

În Oedip la Colona (Οἰδίπους ἐπὶ Κολωνῷ) îl întâlnim pe bătrânul teban, orb și pribeag, condus de fiica sa, Antigona. Ambii duc o viață mizeră, sunt îmbrăcați în zdrențe și merg oriunde îi îndrumă pașii. Oedip este acum umil, resemnat și le cere zeităților să aibă milă de el și să îi scurteze chinul. El ajunge în apropierea Atenei, la Colona, locul sfânt al Eumenidelor, unde fostul rege își va dormi somnul de veci, așa cum i-a proorocit Oracolul. Deși bătrânii Colonei vor să îl alunge pe Oedip, temându-se de nenorocirile pe care le poate aduce cetății, Tezeu, regele Atenei, acceptă să îi ofere adăpost bătrânului și fetelor sale și îi va împlini ultima dorință.

Ismena, fiica cea mică a lui Oedip își informează tatăl că unchiul Creon domnește în Teba, iar frații ei, Polinice și Eteocle, au devenit rivali în lupta pentru putere. Dacă în prima piesă Oedip s-a blestemat singur, fără să știe că el era ucigașul Regelui Laios, aici el îi blestemă pe cei doi fii ai săi pentru că nu le-a păsat de soarta tatălui lor, ei fiind mai interesați de tronul cetății, luptă care va fi ilustrată în tragedia lui Eschil, Cei șapte contra Tebei. Polinice, fiul cel mare al lui Oedip, exilat și el (dar de către Eteocle), vine să ceară binecuvântarea tatălui său înainte de luptă, însă bătrânul refuză vehement și îi prezice că niciunul dintre frați nu va domni peste Teba și că fiecare va sfârși tragic.

Însă înainte de venirea lui Polinice apare Creon. Acesta își dorește să îl readucă pe Oedip la Teba, cu scopul de a-l înmormânta la hotar pentru a evita alte nenorociri, dar bătrânul refuză să meargă. Creon, care oricum îl ura pe Oedip pentru toate necazurile pricinuite familiei sale, se înfurie și le răpește pe Antigona și pe Ismena, însă Tezeu le salvează pe fete din mâinile soldaților lui Creon. Sfârșitul lui Oedip este la granița cu supranaturalul, o moarte mai ușoară decât m-aș fi așteptat, prevestită de tunete și fulgere, ceea ce mă face să cred că bătrânul a suferit destul în timpul exilului, iar zeii s-au înduplecat la auzul rugăminților lui.

Îmi pare că tragedia Oedip la Colona nu este la fel de intensă precum celelalte două creații dramatice ale lui Sofocle, deoarece nu are prea multă acțiune în comparație cu Oedip Rege, Oedip moare destul de onorabil, iar blestemul și profeția sa au aici doar rol declarativ, efectele lor declanșându-se mai târziu.

Social Media Book Tag

Social Media becomes more and more part of our everyday life whether we like it or not. Nowadays, it’s really hard to picture our lives without it or the Internet as a whole. A while, my friend Elena from eLitere.ro posted her answers for the Social Media Book Tag which combines two things I enjoy: social networks and books, which were made to go hand in hand in my world. Without further ado, here are my answers for this fun little book tag.

Twitter – Your favourite shortest book

Well, that’s a bit tricky because my favourite books are not so short, but I’m going to say La țigănci by Mircea Eliade, which is translated into English as With The Gypsy Girls. It’s a paranormal novella that has elements of magic realism and it’s basically the story of a poor piano teacher named Gavrilescu who lives a plain and unfulfilled artistic life, but deep inside he longs for adventure and he is drawn to a mysterious house where strange things happen and times flows differently. This is one of my favourite works of Romanian literature and I would recommend it to any bookworm out there because Eliade was a great writer.

Facebook – A book everybody pressured you into reading

Of all the recommendations I get from my family, friends and acquaintances, the book one of my mum’s friends insists that I should read is Isabel Allende’s The House of The Spirits. I would gladly read it if it weren’t for two reasons: I’m not very fond of family sagas in general and the second reason is that I read Zorro which is written by the same author and I didn’t like it because the story drags a lot and it was a painful read.

Tumblr – A book you read before it was cool

To be honest, I’m quite the opposite. I watch many booktubers, so I know what’s cool or trendy, but I prefer to go my own way and read a book because I’m interested in it, not because everyone else reads it. There are a few popular books I would like to try, but they aren’t on my top priority list for now. I own enough books to keep me entertained for the following years and I’ve signed up to some author newsletters to be noticed about their newest releases.

MySpace – A book you don’t remember whether you liked or not

I don’t think such a thing ever happened to me. I might forget the name of the characters or parts of the plot, but I usually remember if I read a book or not, even if I hated it.

Instagram – A book that was so beautiful you had to instagram it

I don’t have an Instagram account, but I like to look at other readers’ bookstagrams. For me, every book is beautiful in its own way, so I don’t have an answer for this one. However, I’m going to take photos of the books I own for my book reviews and other tags.

Youtube – A book you wish would be turned into a movie

I would like to see Lust, Money & Murder by Mike Wells turned into a blockbuster or into a TV/Netflix series because it’s an action-packed espionage thriller full of suspense, twists, criminals and a badass female Secret Service agent. What else can you ask for? Even the series has a resounding title begs to be printed on a movie poster or to appear in a movie trailer.

Goodreads – A book you recommend to everyone

Hmm. there are a few novels I love to death, but I’ll switch to poetry now and recommend The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks because his poems are spiritual, they make you question everything you did in life and you become aware that less is more. I know that this isn’t a book for everybody out there, but Rumi is my favourite poet of all time and it will be very difficult for anyone else to take his place.

Skype – A book with characters that you wish you could talk to instead of just reading about

Now this one is actually easy because I would like to meet any character from Effrosyni Moschoudi’s novels The Necklace of Goddess Athena and The Lady of the Pier which is actually a trilogy I’m currently reading.  I would like to meet and hang out with Phevos, Ksenia, Daphne or Manos because I’m obsessed with myths and Greek culture and civilisation. Plus, they are kind and hardworking youngsters from whom I have a lot to learn.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, like or share it with your friends and if you want to play along, feel free to leave a comment with your answers or if you already have an article or a video response, please leave the link to your blog or video below. I would be more than happy to take a look.

Recenzie: Oedip Rege de Sofocle

Titlu: Oedip Rege

Titlu original: Οἰδίπους Τύραννος

Autor: Sofocle

Traducător: Francis Storr

Gen: Tragedie

Anul apariției acestei ediții: 2012

Harvard University Press

Operă inclusă în volumul  Oedipus Trilogy

Rating: 5/5 stele

Aristotel, în Poetica, dă drept model compozițional cunoscuta tragedie a lui Sofocle pentru răsturnările de situație și recunoașterile reușite, pentru felul în care Oedip se mulează pe tipologia personajului tragic ale cărui acțiuni și erori determină decăderea sa, destrămarea familiei și trezesc catharsis-ul în spectatori. Oedip rege a fost o tragedie apreciată de învățații vremii, iar ecourile ei se pot observa și în literatură, teatru, film, știință și cultura pop de astăzi.

Oedip rege (Οἰδίπους Τύραννος) este cea mai cunoscută tragedie scrisă de Sofocle și a fost jucată pentru prima data în jurul anului 429 Î.Hr. Tragedia se deschide in medias res (în mijlocul lucrurilor), cronologia întâmplărilor fiind cu totul alta. Ne este prezentată cetatea Tebei răpusă de o molimă îngrozitoare, care simbolizează pedeapsa aspră a zeilor, deoarece unul dintre cetățenii Tebei a comis o mare nelegiure cu mulți ani în urmă (l-a omorât pe Regele Laios), faptă care trebuie răzbunată, iar orașul va fi salvat numai după depistarea și înlăturarea vinovatului. Oedip, înțeleptul rege al Tebei de la acea vreme, dorește să afle adevărul, pentru a-și cruța cetățenii de atâta suferință și moarte. El va duce o amplă investigație, însă ceea ce va afla va schimba atât cursul vieții sale, cât și al familiei. Personaje precum profetul orb Tiresias, mesagerul și păstorul lui Laios, vin în fața monarhului pentru a întregi povestea vieții lui Oedip și vor scoate la iveală secrete de familie care vor decide soarta regelui.

Astfel, cu mulți ani în urmă, lui Laios, regele Tebei, i s-a prevestit că fiul pe care i-l va naște Regina Iocasta își va omorî tatăl și se va căsători cu mama sa. Oripilat de această profeție, monarhul va cere unui servitor să lege gleznele copilului (de aici venindu-i numele) și să îl abandoneze pe Muntele Cithaeron, unde va muri, iar vorbele oracolului nu se vor mai adeveri. Însă pruncul a fost găsit de către un cioban și a fost încredințat Regelui Corintului, Polybos, care l-a adoptat și l-a crescut ca pe propriul fiu.

Mai târziu, tânărul Oedip va consulta Oracolul din Delphi și va auzi aceeași profeție cunoscută și de Laios. Crezând că Polybus era tatăl său biologic, Oedip părăsește cetatea, iar în drumul său intră într-o încăierare și îl omoară pe Laios. Ajuns în Teba, el răspunde ghicitorii Sfinxului și este răsplătit cu tronul fostului rege și cu mâna reginei văduve, Iocasta, propria-i mamă, care îi va dărui patru copii. Este interesant faptul că, deși cetatea Tebei suferă la începutul piesei din cauza lui Oedip, nu zeii sunt cei care îi pedepsesc pe el și pe Iocasta, ci fiecare dintre soți săvârșește câte un gest radical, fie pentru a plăti prețul ignoranței, fie pentru a scăpa de rușinea incestului. Deși Laios, Iocasta și Oedip încearcă să păcălească destinul născocind modalități de a-l evita sau mințindu-se că au anulat profeția, în cele din urmă sunt prinși în plasa propriilor erori, care îi împing spre nenorocire.

Ovidiu Drîmba afirmă în Istoria teatrului universal că Sofocle, spre deosebire de Eschil,  diminuează efectul destinului asupra personajului, creând  un nou tip de legătură între om și elementul fatidic, „relație în care atenția este concentrată asupra personalității umane, a responsabilității morale, a voinței sale de acțiune – atribute ce vor culmina în Oedip rege” (p. 19). Astfel, dorința lui Oedip de a afla adevărul este unealta care se întoarce împotriva lui, consecințele imediate fiind autopedepsirea regelui pentru propria-i mândrie și inconștiență, căderea sa bruscă de la statutul de rege la cel de cerșetor, autoexilarea, dezbinarea familiei sale și blestemul rostit de însuși Oedip, care va cădea peste el și copiii săi.

Oedip este un personaj al contrastelor, care pendulează între speranță și deznădejde, este bun conducător al cetății și totodată criminal, are certitudini și dubii, stări contradictorii care îl poziționează în mijlocul axei dintre bine și rău și este foarte mândru. Prin acest tip de personaj, Sofocle înțelege și pătrunde mai bine în psihicul uman, dând viață unui personaj nemuritor. Cât privește complexul lui Oedip, care a devenit chiar mai cunoscut decât protagonistul tragediei lui Sofocle, Freud i-a făcut un deserviciu legendarului rege al Tebei, deoarece el nu a fost atras inconștient de mama sa și nu a simțit repulsie față de tată, deoarece Oedip nu știa că ei erau adevărații săi părinți. Este ca și cum te-ai îndrăgosti de cineva, v-ați căsători, iar peste ani ați afla că sunteți frați sau altfel de rude apropiate.

Nu pot încheia această recenzie fără a menționa că, deși Sofocle s-a inspirat din mitologie pentru a reda destinul tragic al regelui Tebei, mai aflăm tot din Istoria teatrului universal faptul că și Eschil a scris o tragedie despre Oedip, însă aceasta nu s-a păstrat, iar Oedip rege este cea mai jucată piesă antică din istoria teatrului. Deși tragedia lui Oedip poate nu ne impresionează la fel de mult, așa cum s-a întâmplat cu spectatorii mileniului trecut, incestul rămâne o temă tabu și în zilele noastre, iar Oedip rege rămâne un exemplu al decăderii unui individ care a făcut câteva greșeli radicale din ignoranță, iar consecințele se vor răsfrânge și asupra generațiilor următoare, așa cum vom vedea în celelalte două tragedii: Oedip la Colona și Antigona.

 

Review: The Real Midnight in Paris by Paul Brody

A History of the Expatriate Writers in Paris That Made Up the Lost Generation

Title: The Real Midnight in Paris

Subtitle: A History of the Expatriate Writers in Paris That Made Up the Lost Generation

Author: Paul Brody

Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Literature, Literary Guide

First Published in 2012

Published by BookCaps Study Guides

Imprint: HistoryCaps

Rating: 4/5 stars

Several months ago I wrote a Romanian review for Woody Allen’s film, Midnight in Paris, which is one of my favourite movies of all time. Due to this amazing film and also to my fascination with the City of Lights, I bought a short literary guide in e-book format entitled The Real Midnight in Paris, written by Paul Brody.

The author explains who the expatriates were and why they settled in Paris after the Great War ended instead of returning to their homeland. “This group of young artists, most of them born between 1895 and 1900, would become known as the Lost Generation. In 1920s, Paris, they were all between 20 and 30 years old and eager to test the boundaries of life” (page 1). As the previous quote already suggests, these young people had a strong interest in arts, especially literature that brought them together as well as “the seismic shift in culture that signalled the painful birth of the Modern World” (Idem).

Perhaps, no one anticipated then that the First World War and the Second World War would change dramatically the way people used to live, their culture in general, politics, mentalities and so on. The Great War was also the first historical event where most of the men belonging to the middle class had to fight. We should mention here writers such as Ernest Hemingway or Wilfred Owen, who died in the line of duty. Thus, traumas, disillusions and frustrations linked to the war not only left their mark on the young survivors’ minds, but they also influenced and shaped the works they created.

Moreover, these intellectuals, who came from restrictive and conservative countries, saw Paris as the refuge they needed, due to the “climate of intellectual freedom and experimentation was unlike anywhere else in the Western world” (page 2). Because of this, thousands of American and European expatriates flocked to the City of Lights, where they could experiment, share and debate with other artists their outstanding ideas in the now famous literary salons, cafes and publishing houses. Besides the modernity and freedom for artists and their arts, Paris also reminded them of the Old World, with its charming boulevards and the ornate buildings of the 19th century, which became the cliché image of the Romantic Paris, which some of us love and others hate.

In the first two chapters, you will read about the historical background of the Great War, the post-war effects that led artists and writers like those who will establish the Avant-garde movement to move to Paris, the most important Salons, Cafes and Bookshops – such as Sylvia Beach’s bookshop Shakespeare and Company and “Gertrude Stein’s Saturday evening salons” (page 13). In such gathering places, literature and art radically deviated from the traditional norms and principles thanks to the outburst of various movements we still recognise today: Cubism, Dadaism or Surrealism. Next, you will learn which historical factors put an end to the Lost Generation and then Paul Broody gives you some essential information about the Forerunners of the Lost Generation such as T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce. Later on, in the chapter entitled Primary Representatives of the Lost Generation, you will read about Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and other writers and artists. The final factual chapter ends the study with the Critical Reception regarding the works of the Lost Generation.

Before I go, I must add that this study was pretty good. Some would say it is too short, but I think that, for a beginner, it is a guide that gives you a taste of the 20s and if you are longing for more, you have the seventh chapter where you can find enough titles for further reading, such as the works of the main writers of the Lost Generation. If you need to better understand this literary period, but don’t want to read too much, this guide may be the book for you.

Review: The Rocker Who Holds Me by Terri Anne Browning

 

Book 1 of The Rocker

 

Title: The Rocker Who Holds Me

Author: Terri Anne Browning

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

First Published in 2013

Self-Published

Series: The Rocker

Rating: 4/5 stars

Warning: This book contains adult themes and language!

There are a lot of romance novels out there from the sweetest to the darkest. I’ve always wanted to read a rockstar romance, but I wasn’t sure what book to pick up until I came across The Rocker Who Holds Me, the first book in The Rocker series written by USA Today bestselling author Terri Anne Browning. Though the series is pretty long, the blurb for the first book blew me away and I couldn’t resist the urge to buy it.

In short, Ember Jameson had a rough start in life because she had to endure the recurrent beating of her alcoholic mother who made her days a living hell. But luckily for Emmie, she always found refuge in Nikolas Armstrong’s trailer. He took care of her and nursed her wounds like an older brother would along with his friends and members of the rock group, named Demon’s Wings. A few years later, Emmie became part of their extended family lived in their van and took the unofficial role of the band’s tour manager, which can be Ember’s act of gratitude for those years when the guys protected her and showed her the affection she never had at home. She loved all four men like they were her family, so she mothered them, arranged interviews and even managed the dirty work from backstage. If Emmie sees Jesse, Shane and Drake as her older brothers, she harbours distinct feelings for Nik and she ends up doing something pretty silly and desperate to quench her desire for the sinfully sexy singer. To be honest, that particular scene is one of my favourite scenes in the book, but I don’t want to enter into a spoilery territory. As if it wasn’t enough to be eaten by doubts regarding Nik’s feelings for her, something else happens along the way and somehow Emmie didn’t see it coming because of her busy schedule with the band and their tours. How will she explain everything to Nik and how will the singer face the music?

All characters are morally-grey which is a sign of authenticity because this is a rockstar romance and some celebs tend to ease the pressure of fame by indulging into addictions. In this case, the rockers tend to get drunk very often and enjoy one-nightstands with groupies. Each member of the band is pretty well fleshed out and each one of them has a distinct voice and personality. For example, Drake loves booze and doesn’t like taking showers, Shane enjoys sex a lot more than his buddies, Jesse loves getting into fights because he has a bad temper and. Nik swings between caring for Emmie and making her suffer. As for Ember, she is a responsible person when it comes to her professional duties, but her desires make her act without thinking of the consequences and, later on, she regrets being selfish and taking advantage of Nik. Though Emmie is sometimes naive and unreliable, I loved her voice very much because it felt sincere and it pulled me into the story from the first page.

Nik’s voice drives the female population crazy. The huskiness mixed with gravel and seduction is a caress to that dark place between a woman’s legs. I’m nowhere near immune to it and find myself letting my desire show as I stand there watching the band preform.” (Loc.270)

By reading The Rocker Who Holds Me, we break the barriers of the stage and take a sneak peek at the tumultuous lives of the four members of Demon’s Wings through Emmie’s eyes. We witness her happy moments and breaking points which make the reader cheer for her or feel sorry. This is not a sweet romance, but a story with ups and downs, abuse, music, lust, heartbreak, jealousy, but also humour, love and hope. There’s something in this book for every romance reader interested in this subgenre. The writing is simple, seasoned with f-bombs that suit the story well, the story is very visual and easy to follow and Emmie’s voice makes you root for her from the very start.

Recenzie: Poetica de Aristotel

Titlu: Poetica

Titlu original: Περὶ ποιητικῆς

Autor: Aristotel

Traducător: D. M. Pippidi

Ediție îngrijită  de Stella Petecel

Gen: Non-ficțiune,  Teorie literară, Estetică

Anul apariției acestei ediții: 2011

Editura Univers Enciclopedic

Colecția Cogito

Rating: 4/5 stele

Poetica (Περὶ ποιητικῆς) face parte din categoria operelor aristotelice care se adresează în principal celor care studiază literatură și teatru. Se presupune că această lucrare ar fi fost scrisă în jurul anului 335 Î. Hr. și corespunde primilor ani ai învățământului atenian, dar și perioadei în care tragedia greacă nu mai era jucată, fiind înlocuită de comedie. Faimosul tratat este alcătuit din două cărți: Cartea I  este închinată „ramurii nobile a poeziei”, adică epopeii și tragediei, iar Cartea a II-a „ramurii grosolane a poeziei”, comedia, însă această parte, precum multe alte scrieri valoroase din Antichitate, s-a pierdut.

Aristotel consideră producțiile literare ca poezia tragică, epopeea, poezia ditirambică și comedia drept mijloace de imitație – mimesis – prin limbaj, metru sau ritm, însă mimesis-ul se extinde și spre celelalte arte, ca muzica și pictura. Tragedia reprezintă imitația unei acțiuni, este o creație cu o anumită întindere („în limitele unei singure rotiri a soarelui”, cu limbaj ales – „grai cu ritm, armonie și cânt”, cu personaje ale căror acțiuni stârnesc mila și groaza spectatorilior – catharisis-ul).

Din punct de vedere structural, tragedia este alcătuită din șase părți: subiectul sau intriga (mythos), personajele (ethos), judecata (dianoia) cu rol oratoric, limba (lexis), spectacolul (opsis) și muzica (melos). Intriga trebuie să aibă un început, un mijloc și un sfârșit, o semnificație universală, o structură și să nu se abată de la tema și scopul tragediei. Ea trebuie să conțină răsturnări de situație, recunoașteri și suferință (pathos). Subiectele pot fi simple sau complexe, subiectul simplu fiind acțiunea cu un deznodământ fără răsturnări de situație și fără recunoașteri după o desfășurare unitară și neîntreruptă a acțiunii. Răsturnarea de situație sau peripeteia reprezintă schimbarea celor petrecute în reversul lor.

Recunoașterea sau anagnorisis este trecerea personajelor de la ignoranță la cunoaștere, moment care le poate împinge fie spre dragoste, fie spre ură, iar Aristotel consideră că o recunoaștere reușită trebuie să fie însoțită de o răsturnare de situație. Există cinci tipuri de recunoaștere, de la cele mai puțin artistice până la cele mai iscusite: recunoașterea prin semne (doica îl recunoaște pe Odiseu după cicatrice), recunoașterea inventată de poet (Ifigenia îl recunoaște pe Oreste printr-o scrisoare), recunoașterea determinată de amintirile care trezesc sentimentele personajelor, recunoașterea datorată unei judecăți (În Hoeforele de Eschil: „Cineva semănând cu mine a venit; nimeni nu seamănă cu mine decât Oreste, Oreste trebuie să fi venit”) și cea mai bună recunoaștere decurge din înlănțuirea faptelor. Iar cel de-al treilea element al intrigii este cel patetic sau suferința, o acțiune cu rol distructiv, dureros reprezentată de morțile și rănirile personajelor înfățișate pe scenă. Elementul patetic este rezultatul recunoașterilor și al răsturnărilor de situație.

Prin îmbinarea celor trei elemente ale intrigii se crează catharsis-ul, care trezește în spectator mila și frica: milă pentru eroul care trece printr-o situație dificilă și frică de faptul că și spectatorului i se poate întâmpla un eveniment asemănător – fratricidul, copilul își poate omorî părinții, fapte săvârșite în cunoștință de cauză. Așadar, tragediile nu se pot scrie decât prin zugrăvirea unor întâmplări cumplite sau înduioșătoare petrecute în cadrul unor familii nobile. Personajele din tragedii trebuie să aibă atitudine aleasă și caracter nobil, să se potrivească cu firea umană (cruzimea nu se potrivește cu firea femeilor, deși Euripide avea altă părere…) și statornicia. Personajul tragic are caracter nobil, însă el va fi pedepsit de către zei din cauza mândriei sale de a înfrunta sau de a-și schimba destinul, element numit hybris sau din cauza unei erori, hamartia.

Poetica este poate chiar primul tratat de teoria literaturii, în care Aristotel îi învață pe poeți cum să creeze tragedii valoroase ca odinioară. După interzicerea și redescoperirea acestei lucrări, mulți scriitori și critici literari au fost influențați de ea, de la Nicolas Boileau la Umberto Eco. Deși nu poate fi citită fără note de subsol și suport critic, Poetica nu este desuetă, pentru că orice dramă bine construită (fie jucată pe scenă, fie proiectată la cinema) are răsturnări de situație, hybris, hamartia și provoacă efectul cathartic.

Review. Goddess by Kelee Morris

Book 1 of Goddess

 

Title: Goddess

Author: Kelee Morris

Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance

First Published> 2015

Year of Publication of this Edition: 2016

Self-Published

Series: Goddess

Rating: 3/5 stars

Warning: this book contains adult themes and language! “I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book so I could give an honest review.”

*

As well as in the case of One summer in Montmartre, I received the free copy of this book via Reading Deals. Goddess by Kelee Morris is a more daring book for me because I’ve never read erotica before and hopefully it won’t be the last one belonging to this genre.

Julia Nelson is a loving wife, caring mother of three and PTA president, who lives a pretty dull life that revolves around her children and her busy husband. Though everything seems peaceful, Julia is unhappy with her marriage, even if she is fully aware that Matt is working hard for her and for their girls. She also has an unfulfilled professional life since her family always comes first and she is unsure if anyone would still hire her (considering the fact that she is in her forties).

When Nina Hwan, a PhD student in archaeology, and Dr Ashland Stewart offer Julia a temporary job, Matt is not supportive of his wife. What Julia has to do is to go to the rare books library daily, where she must translate a 16th-century journal of a Catholic monk (Brother Ferreira), who went to Japan to convert its people to Christianity, but a terrible storm makes him stumble upon Korean shore. Dr Stewart and Nina excavated a site in North Korea, where they found the ruins of a forgotten matriarchal society named Magoa and they hoped that the translation of Brother Ferreira’s journal will reveal something about this mysterious city.

However, the most intriguing part is that Nina spots a strange tattoo Julia had on her ankle that looks like a familiar symbol she encountered at the Korean site. This tattoo first appeared many years ago in Julia’s wet dreams, where she was visited by a mysterious man, whose face she couldn’t see. This unusual symbol will let Julia enter into a small circle of archaeology students and she will meet the ruggedly handsome and intimidating Dr Ashland Stewart. He will make her rediscover her sexuality and will bring meaning to her life, but also a lot of trouble.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but I enjoyed most of it, especially the part about Magoa because I don’t know very much about that side of the world. The writing is good, it’s easy to read and Julia’s midlife sexual crisis is understandable to a certain point. She is a busy mum and wife, a responsible PTA president, but she wants more from life… more lust, passion, and a better job – things that only Ashland can give her.

Though I can’t say that I fully agree with everything Julia does or says, her relationship with Dr Stewart makes her more aware of her femininity, he boosts her confidence and her interest in archaeology. By meeting Dr Ashland Stewart, Julia not only enters into a private course of sexual revival and experimentation but also an intellectual circle of people interested in solving the mystery of a lost city on North Korean soil. Enjoy!

Review: Wild Child by Mike Wells

Book 1 of Wild Child

A Teenage Sci-Fi Conspiracy Thriller

 

Note: Wild Child, as well as all of Mike Wells’ first instalments in his series, is a freebie!

 

Title: Wild Child

Subtitle: A Teenage Sci-Fi Conspiracy Thriller

Author: Mike Wells

Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult

First published: 1998

Year of Publication of This Edition: 2014

Self-Published

Series: Wild Child

Rating: 2/5 stars

Here’s that time again when I post a review for a book I didn’t enjoy. As a side note, I devoured most of Mike Wells’ thrillers I read and he is definitely one of my favourite writers, but sometimes I happen to come across a book that isn’t my cup of tea or it doesn’t feel specific to the author’s style. So, as awkward as it may seem, I have to underline how I feel about the story, hoping that the devoted fans of the book will respect my opinion because we all come from different cultures and see the world through our unique perspective.

Wild Child is the first instalment in Mr Mike Wells’ eponymous trilogy and it’s A Teenage Sci-Fi Conspiracy Thriller, which made me curious to pick it up, taking in consideration the fact that the author usually writes series for an adult audience. In short, Kyle Dunlap and Briana Fox are two teenage friends who go for a swim in Lake Carlton, but Briana has a terrible boating accident and you would expect her to die. . However, she survives due to a mysterious green substance she finds at the bottom of the lake. After this drug-like healing water is tested, two government officials question Kyle about the location of this strange water that heals wounds and fortifies the body. Will Kyle give in and reveal the location of the mysterious pool of green water? And what will happen to Briana who can’t get enough of that strange substance?

Though the premise was interesting – the strange healing water that also acts like a drug – I didn’t feel invested into the story because the plot was a bit thin and the characters were underdeveloped. Briana is bossy, overly stubborn and rushes headlong into danger. I found her very annoying in the first chapters, but her wild nature calms down a bit when the effects of the magic water fade away. On the other hand, Kyle is quiet, cautious and more sensible than Briana, even though he acts a bit too boldly in front of the two government officials. And speaking of those two CIA agents, I think that this part of the story is a little far-fetched due to the lack of depth of the plot. Okay, I understand that this book is part of a trilogy, but besides a few suspenseful moments, which are characteristic of Mr Wells’ writing style, the story fell flat. The writing was okay and the descriptions of the lake and caves were interesting, but it didn’t do much for me. Though the book is around 100 pages, I got bored while reading it and I pushed through just to see if it gets better. The suspenseful moments and an ingenious twist saved the book from hitting the bottom of the rating scale.

In the end, those were the thoughts I wanted to share with you about Wild Child. I don’t know if I should recommend it or not because I didn’t enjoy it that much; but if you are still curious, you can check it out. Personally, I think that I will stick with the author’s adult series because they are more my thing.