Well, maybe not the greatest about our human condition, but made us at least feel something. There are moments in everyone’s life where you look up in the sky, and you feel with wonder. “I wonder what’s up there?” This list isn’t composed of those happy moments of wonder. These are those moments that made you say “Carpe Diem motherfucker” as you chugged a beer and mattress surfed off your roof into a pool below.
1.) The Curiosity Rover would sing “Happy Birthday” on Mars every year by itself. Alone on the red planet, stuck in isolation. It’s just a robot, right? (source)
2.) Pluto was disowned by science. That hurt everyone right in the ego, and everyone just decided to not acknowledge he wasn’t a true part of the Planet Pals in the Solar System Family (yes I said Planet Pals. It’s late.)(source)
3.) There’s literally a stream of garbage floating up in space. This isn’t because we’re now launching our landfill garbage up in space, but more like we don’t pick up after ourselves so it just stays stuck in outer space. Floating somewere. (source)
4.) Stars burn out. Yes some will grow into gorgeous supernovas and others will become black holes. Yet others will become white dwarfs and just…burn out. If that doesn’t feel like an epiphany for my life, I don’t know what else is. (source)
5.) The sun is going to destroy Mercury, Venus, Mars and Earth…someday billions of years into the future. Even though I won’t be around to see it, something about the planet being destroyed just makes me hold my blanket around me just a bit tighter. (source)
This book…wow you guys. I burned through this book within a few days. Yes, it was one of those books that you get hours lost wandering through the pages wondering what’s behind every door you pass. I do want to warn you guys, there are spoilers ahead! These are my thoughts after I have finished reading the book. I also would like to take this chance to warn you that there’s sexual assault and rape in this book, and some explicit content that may be triggering to some readers.
“Mexican Gothic ” is the second book by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I believe this book came out June of this year. I had received it as a part of my Book of the Month subscription box, but didbn’t get a chance to read it until now. Going into this book, I didn’t know much about it. My first impression from the front cover was that some sort of horrific event was going to happen. The woman on the front cover is in a burgundy dress with a bouquet of roses in hand and a glowing green backdrop is behind her. The burgundy dress and the bouquet of flowers had me infer that some sort of wedding was to take place. The contrast the green background surrounding the woman in red had me relating it to some sort of toxic relationship or toxicity when it comes to the woman.
Now, let me get into what I liked and disliked about this book, starting from the top.
CHARACTERIZATION & THEMES
Two things that I enjoy immensely of this book is the characters and the themes the author has going on in her book.
Usually novels in which the author feels the need to include a description of what our main characters are wearing almost each and every time we see them are not the novels you want to be reading. This is not the case in this book. Naomi will know what she’s wearing every day when she gets up because she wants you to notice. She notices every character by what they are wearing because she is Naomi Taboada.
Every character has a purpose, and every character is motivated by different things. Even though Catalina isn’t a character that is seen through most of the story I still know what purpose she has to the plot.
We need to also talk about Howard.
Howard is the epitome of social darwinism and what happens when you keep on forcing marriages on your neices and other relatives multiple times and expecting that they won’t grow to hate you as you continue to shove your indoctrination down their throats. That is not how science works, Howard; it just makes talking at the dinner table very awkward.
However, Howard still plays a role to the plot. There are different themes to cover in this book, and one most importantly is colonization. Moreno-Garcia uses all of the reader’s senses to delve deeper in using metaphors to represent colonization; from the musky smell of sports mushrooms growing on mildew-laden portraits and buzzing of bees the reader is surrounded by a colony at all times.
I would go into the deeper themes and topics covered throughout this book, but I don’t want to be writing this blog entry too much like a book report. But this book covered a lot of current topics in regards to women’s rights and racism. There is also a lot to be said on how “Mexican Gothic” could be compared to “Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gillman.
The setting is of High Place and its grounds for the majority of the story. Everything the author talks about she brings to life. She makes the pathway to High Place foreboding, and the mansion has me trying to guess what’s going to happen next without getting the twist right in the end.
The romance between Francis and Naomi is on the cutting edge of acceptable to me in the way of character motivation. Naomi at first likes both Virgil and Francis for very separate reasons at one point. This, and her mentioning her other gentlemen suitors back at home tells me she likes attention moreso than genuine feelings towards any of these men. I expected she would have left sooner if it wasn’t for her wanting to protect Francis so I do find it more believable that this relationship was meant to tie her to High Place for a longer period of time.
This book is definitely worth a read as long as you have enough time to finish it within a few days. It is just the right amount of dark and the underlying romance wasn’t distracting to me whatsoever.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
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Hey my dudes! What’s up? I hope you are having a great day today! I’ve had a bit of an unexpected week. On Friday the 13th I showed up to work and was told the woman I work with every Friday had tested positive for COVID-19. Which is not the greatest thing you want to hear as soon as you walk through the door to work. That, coupled with the fact that I had been coughing up a lung all night long had my boss nervous to let me work the front desk, so up until yesterday I was home at quarantine with my boyfriend.
It wasn’t that bad, and as you all know I’m rarely out of the house to begin with. I am living in a county where the infection rate is going up again, and clinics are giving tests out by a first come first serve basis. Another coworker of mine spent five hours waiting to be tested. I found out through Kevin (boyfriend) you can get a test shipped overnight to your house online if you live in the United States! How cool is that? Mine came all the way from the West Coast to the East Coast on Monday and by yesterday morning I found out I was negative! It’s through Pixel by LabCorp and it’s been approved by the FDA. This isn’t a paid advertisement for Pixel and I am not in any way affiliated with Pixel or their parent company. I just know how precious time is, and if you’re worried if you have COVID-19 I want you to know all your options to get tested.
Since I’ve been at home I’ve made the best of my time. I got an exceptional amount of writing accomplished, including a full length story and a few blog posts I’ll set up to be blogged over the course of the next few weeks. You may have noticed as well I updated the theme of my blog once more. I’m still trying to decide which theme/layout I like more so you’ll continue to see my blog’s appearance change. I also have finished and started a new book on my November reading list, which is very exciting for me as well.
Oh, I also potentially have a new scar to add to my collection. This isn’t the aftermath of a rambunctious night hunting aliens like I’ll one day tell my grandchildren it’s from, unfortunately. I rubbed my hand against a very hot lid off of a boiling pot whilst cooking dinner the other night.
You’re welcome for the scars in the making overshare. Does this mean we’re best friends now?
Any who, for more updates on what I’m doing or what I’m posting, I am in the process of getting a Instagram and a Facebook page up and running. Talk to you guys soon.
Did that just really happen? Yes! Yes it did! I finished writing 50,000 words 13 days ahead of schedule.
I never in a million years thought I would be able to type my own work of fiction in under 30 days. This is so unbelievable. Of course, I have been working part-time and I have been able to spend a lot more time dedicated to writing this year than any other.
The rest of the month will be spent on polishing up the work I’ve just written. I have hopes on getting this book traditionally published if I can. I’ll walk you through the rest of this process if you want me to.
I’m so exhausted but so happy it hurts. I can’t stop smiling.
Author’s Note: I wrote this article last week, but due to an unfourtonate events have been quarantined in my house. I’m just now sitting down and editing since I figured it was about time to get my rear in gear and get this done. Okay, that’s all I needed to say.
Today I finished reading “The Girl On the Train” by Paula Hawkins so we would be able to talk about it, and oh by I’m not sure where to begin. Let me start off by saying SPOILER ALERTS will be ahead on this review, so you’ve been warned.
The novel “The Girl on the Train” is now a motion picture as of 2016, but I have yet to watch it. I’ve been planning to read this book for a while after picking it up from a used bookstore sometime between 2015-2017 because I wanted to watch the movie and then ended up doing neither, because that’s just how I roll.
SYNOPSIS For a brief symposium, this book follows the unreliable narration of Rachel Watson. Rachel rides past the house she had once lived in with her ex-husband (Tom Watson) everyday on her way to work. Except Rachel doesn’t live there now. She also does not have a job that she repetitively lies about having… So every morning, Rachel looks at her old house and essentially spies on her husband, his new wife, and their neighbors. This combination is usually her morning routine, at least. Rachel also spends her evening passing the time by repetitively calling Tom’s house, showing up to Tom’s house, and just overall terrorizing him and his new wife. For all that she does, Tom never wants to call the cops on her despite Tom’s new woman Anna begging him to do something about Rachel. Anna is also the woman Tom left Rachel for, and there’s a bunch of plot that I’m not going to let go for you since I already gave you the general dynamic of this triangle.
For those of you wondering…
Rachel also has an unhealthy fascination with Tom’s neighbors a few doors down. The couple she has been fantasizing about has been having marital issues of their own. Everyone knows Scott and Megan fight a lot. When Megan goes missing, Rachel takes it upon herself to stick her nose into the case believing herself to be useful. Plot happens. Girl power moment, and then Rachel is on the train for our end sequence.
Okay, so now that I got the plot out of the way, let me explore a little more into what I liked and didn’t like about this novel.
The novel has four main places it takes place– the train (obviously), Tom’s house, Scott’s House, Kathy’s, and the park. There is a few other places strewn in there, but these will be the main focuses of the story. The settings are believable to a point. I am unable to understand why somebody would willingly choose to stay on a public transit everyday when they don’t have to, but hey, but maybe that’s just me during COVID being paranoid. The playground is going to be an important key later on in the book, although I was frustrated by how often it is brought up before being tied back.
Everybody. Has. Issues. You have issues, I have issues. Everyone in this book has a sketchy past.
Our main narrator is unreliable and Rachel spends most of the book battling her alcohol addiction to help another character she has no relatable reason to be helping. Fantasizing and projecting her ideal life onto people she sees everyday on the train is borderline stalkerish, made only worse by the fact that she continuously stalks her ex-husband and his new wife a few doors down.
Scott’s character is someone who I cannot feel sorry for, although of everyone we know probably the least amount about him and his background story. Even if Megan hadn’t died and this entire plot was null and void, they should have looked into couple’s therapy or divorce.
Megan’s back story does a 360 about halfway through the book, and she does a lot of shady crap. Her background story is probably the worst one out of the six of them, and I cannot imagine all of this was hidden until then. I have more than one literal question that’s entirely beside the point, such as: Where did she get the money to one day curate a art gallery? Aren’t you supposed to have some sort of experience to do a job like that? Perhaps that was all just omitted from the book, but I’m not exactly sure.
Tom is a narcissistic man, and I don’t need a crystal ball to identify this in him. He’s not a prince charming, although Rachel wants you to believe he is. What man who doesn’t have his own hidden agenda let’s his ex-wife pull the shenanigans that she does to his new wife and his child?
Ana’s character is petty. For being the meek and timid wife everyone believes her to be, she sure enjoys married male attention in ways I had never seen before. This has to be some sort of disease, or a kink. I’m not sure.
Kathy just wants to help a friend that is downtrodden. Which I can relate to, but the amount of crap she puts up with from Rachel makes me want to slap her silly in hopes it’ll knock some sense into her. Rachel hides booze around the house, she pukes on the stairs and doesn’t even have the common decency to clean it. She finds out Rachel has been lying about keeping a job. She is enabling Rachel’s bad addiction without really helping. Friends don’t enable friends.
Absolutely uninspiring. We can see it coming from a mile away, making it a dissatisfying “who done it” moment. Since I was really looking forward to a plot twist, the fact that there wasn’t much of one makes me sad.
This was a solid novel, despite me making fun of the book at least a little. Would I recommend the book? Maybe. This isn’t going to be your next favorite read. If you’re trying to get back into reading after a literary hiatus, this is probably not the book for you. But if you’re looking for a mystery on a rainy day then this book might be a good read. There was a few intense moments that had me burning through 30 pages in a sitting, but there was quite a few dull moments where I was just biting at the bit to finish.
Overall, I give the novel “The Girl On the Train” three stars. The book is okay, even though it is a little too predictable for my taste.
The first week is wrapping up for National Novel Writing Month. Personally, I have met much success in my writing. I came off cold at first, with Day #1 offering me no time to sit down and type out any word count for the day. I was off to a wonderful start from the starting line. Preparation time was rough as well, as I was unable to write up a usable outline in time prior to the start of November. I love writing outlines, and I highly recommend writing an outline.
I was having a hard time at first coming up with a good idea to take me through the month as well. In my mind, I had strict criteria that my book would have to meet prior to me starting. I wanted a book which:
Stands Alone – This idea of having a sole book instead of a series went out the window almost entirely by the end of the second day as I wrote drafts to three stories. I have a bad habit of almost always coming up with series ideas as I write a novel; there is so much to explore.
Low Fantasy Fiction – I didn’t want to get involved too much in world building this year, and preferred some sort of realistic fiction. I was leaning hard on the idea of horror because of writing so much about the genre in October. Horror is a great genre which has so much potential to eventually write, but this book is not going to be the one.
A New Idea – I have so many half-baked ideas of novels sitting in files within my computer. I had no interest in re-constructing one of those novels for this year’s writing challenge. I wanted to focus my attention on something new entirely and then go from there.
Instead I am working on a fantasy novel which will potentially be in a series, depending on how far 60,000 words will get me. I will be limiting myself to keep under 65,000 (Game of Thrones length this will not be). This novel has been floating around for at least a decade and can be found in many forms on my computer or in notebooks under my bed. I have instead deconstructed it over many times, using the characters as my own personal stock characters for writing instead. I have used these characters to write about whenever I hadn’t found anything else to inspire me. Just short ideas or scenes here or there, so it would be about time for me to create something based solely on them.
I should be putting the finishing touches on the article I had chicken scratched down this weekend. My new publishing schedule for this blog had indicated to put time away to do that right after I had cleaned out my inbox that has way too many emails in the main box. I’m not very good at cleaning, and my emails seem to back up until I clean them out towards the end of the year. In this conglomerate I find an unopened email dated a couple months ago from the National Novel Writing Month website.
The hellish writing triathlon I used to participate in on a yearly basis. Why had I ever stopped? I would assume it had correlated with leaving my parents house the first time in 2015 and I had to face the responsibilities that would entail. I had remembered how I had once spent almost an entire Saturday in high school trying to catch up to my writing timeline after spending 4 days not writing a single word of my story. I felt accomplished after completing my word count for that week. I was a superwoman when I had written over my goal. I completed my word count one year a few days ahead of time and yet I still kept going, only for the sheer enjoyment that meeting my goals had given to me.
I want that thirst.
I want to create again for the sheer enjoyment of madness.
Despite everything else that’s going on in my life right now, I’m going to try once again to compete in National Novel Writing Month. I have outlines out the wahzoo. Working part-time has left me with the most time that I’ve ever had in my adult life to plan and structure my days out the way I want them. Let’s do it.
I’m going to try to keep a diary of my progress on my blog to keep a continuous update on how I’m doing. I created a new account, feel free to follow my progress on the NaNo site by clicking here. If you’re planning on participating as well, feel free to add me and we can become writing buddies.
I appreciate you. Happy writing.
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