Review of Prince Lestat, By Anne Rice:Special Midnight Review Post!!


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Review of Prince Lestat, by Anne Rice

Review Written by: Justin Boyer

Prince Lestat: The Aeneid, of The Vampire Chronicles

“Turn your two eyes
This way and see this people, your own Romans.
Here is Caesar, and all the line of Iulus,
All who shall one day pass under the dome
Of the great sky: this is the man, this one,
Of whom so often you have heard the promise,
Caesar Augustus, son of the deified,
Who shall bring once again an Age of Gold
To Latium, to the land where Saturn reigned
In early times.”

(Travel into the Underworld; Aeneas’ father Anchises, who speaks in-depth about Aeneas’ heroic destiny to be the purveyor of the “Golden Era,” for Rome)

“The Cross is not a shadow of death, but a sign of progress.” (Teilhard de Chardin)

Prince Lestat accomplishes a feat very few novels, or progressive parts of a series, accomplishes with such surefire confidence. It literally paves the way for the future trajectory of literature into the unknown realms of what lies beyond the post-modern era. Marius wisely says, inThe Vampire Lestat, that the tangible mark of existence can be tactilely represented through the written records of human history. Throughout the Vampire Chronicles, there has been a progressive arc, pointing to some indefinable point beyond the boisterous cynicism representing the vanishing era of the post-modern era, and directing the evolution and progression of human intelligence towards the only mythic point that lies beyond, which exists only in the territory of mythology or myths, referred to by the noteworthy Jesuit priest Teilhard de Chardin, as “the omega point.”

Regardless of your own individual religious perspective, the main thrust behind Teilhard De Chardin’s omega theory, in purely secular terms, describes a much deeper idea of the reason for enlightenment. Teilhard De Chardin describes the purpose of history and writing, in much the same terms, that Marius describes it as implicitly showing the wondrous progressive arc of  humanity’s evolving intellectual and ethical ideals, towards some consistently elusive “omega point,” which Teilhard de Chardin described as evolving to the level of (ineffably) being in communion with the divine or God. Those are Teilhard De Chardin’s more religious/spiritual description, though you might simply boil down all this philosophical persiflage to describe the underlying trajectory for Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.
Anne Rice is undeniably a very sharp writer, who has managed to perceptively articulate the hypothetical ramifications of a forthcoming paradigmatic shift in consciousness, in her return to the Vampire Chronicles with the dense, intellectual tour-de-force of Prince Lestat.   If we think of Interview with the Vampire being entrenched in the dark ages, before reaching psychological enlightenment, the more capricious sequelThe Vampire Lestat deals entirely with the concept of how to anachronistically exist as a progressive figure, at a time, where the world is embroiled in superstitious rebellions and wars. One thing Lestat learns early on is that the late eighteenth century was not the ideal moment to really shake things up in both the mortal and immortal worlds, by making people eschew all primeval and antiquated superstitions, in the face of embracing a more enlightened view of humanity, represented allegorically in Lestat’s mind as the savage garden.

Throughout the series, each of the subsequent volumes of the Vampire Chronicles has been Anne Rice’s own metaphoric savage garden, where she has the artistic wherewithal to experiment with different forms and directions with her Vampire Chronicles. Lestat believes that democratic ideals of free will, in terms of enlightened society, acts very much like a savage garden, where humanity progressively tests out different ethical or sociological ideals, till they purge themselves of more moribund ideas, and evolve to assimilate much different ones. Facilely, this takes the form of the “monster,” a composite figure that was first examined sharply by Mary Shelley in the early nineteenth century. And, the “monster” has become the embodiment of the estranged, or the social pariah, who again thinks in such revolutionary terms, that they almost psychologically exist “out of time.” This paradoxical “out-of-timeness” is what causes vampires to eventually bury themselves underneath the thin crust of the Earth, where they wait in unconscious slumber until the time is ripe for their progressive ideas to have more resonance and meaning with the new emergent generation of the “undead” before them. It is almost, as if the act of the way some of the elderly vampires retreat into the Earth, is often how more progressive sociological/ethical ideals are buried in the collective unconscious, until these things are almost fated to be exhumed, brought to new life.

After ten years, the Prince Lestat emerges from Anne Rice’s subconscious, because the time is indeed right, for the greater implications and ramifications of the paradigmatic shift of the events of Queen of the Damned to culminate in one of the most momentous events in the history of the undead. It is as if Anne Rice is eruditely widening the scope of vampire novels everywhere in this new century, allowing them to achieve new ethical, sociological, and aesthetical heights, which the older cultural ideas have long enslaved them to ideas that have become more vapid and irrelevant for readers of this era.

This novel demonstrates Anne Rice’s greatest heights reached, as a talented novelist, as she adeptly articulates the overall artistic and philosophic trajectory of the Vampire Chronicles. Impressively, she takes every disparate element of the series from the start, and ties it together in a new unified whole, finally breathing new blessed life into a series that we thought would rest undisturbed in Anne Rice’s subconscious for another score of years.

Allusively, Prince Lestat is the Aeneid of the Vampire Chronicles, because in many ways, the sharp progression and evolution of vampire civilization in this novel is analogous to the same types of transitions that have been commonplace in human evolution throughout the centuries. If the earlier Vampire Chronicles were like Greece of the BCE times, Prince Lestat is very much the founding of Rome, retold and modified to cohere with the mythic history of the undead.

If you are an attentive Anne Rice reader who has read these books to the point where the binding has deteriorated over the years, the newly-released Prince Lestat will be most rewarding to you, because even the smallest, nuanced details of either the surface or deeper philosophical story of Prince Lestat play an important thematic role with aiding Prince Lestat  to help literature, as a whole, be given new trenchant analysis of where our literature, especially speculative fiction itself, is bound to venture into beyond the current literature period of post-modernism.

You will need to read and pore over every small detail of Anne Rice’s Prince Lestat many times over, to see that the story of a tragic comedy actor, emulating the exaggerated person of Lelio, in the Vampire Lestat, has always been fated to take the stage again, helping vampire kind alike to provide a new cosmology, a new mythos, a new set of ethical and sociological constructs, to really help vampires themselves remain as relevant as ever during the fading years of the post-modern era.  As you close the book to a new chapter in the Vampire Chronicles, you will undoubtedly be thinking just where this courageous maverick of a vampire writer will dare to take her vampires next time, because Anne Rice, without a doubt, has completely redefined the vampire novel once again with Prince Lestat.”

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Review of “Fields of Blood:Religion and the History of Violence” by: Karen Armstrong

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In our ideologically polarized world, one thing that two sharply-contrasting groups militant fundamentalists or atheists, on either end of the theism and atheism spectrum, is an extremely facile grasp on history. Facts merely become an easily domesticated, tamable beast, to some members of both these groups, who feel that history should be expunged of complexity and paradox, for the sake of the conservation of coherent rhetoric that can easily lead more lightly-defended minds under their influence. Often discussions about “religion” are almost always correlated with “violence,” by some militant atheists, who haplessly believe that the totality of religious history demonstrably proves that religion is the singular source of violence in the world. Defying  the more complex findings from more sober information sources like psychology, history, and anthropology, the militant atheists will often depict an Utopian scheme or idealization of the world,  existing freely of religion, or any things they see as barbarous neuroses of the human psyche. Somehow, they think the ultimate solution to the world’s inveterate violent lifestyle lies with the complete and utter annihilation of religion from world, magically siphoning out all the greed, misdeeds, and moral complexity of humanity along with it.

In the same vein, religious fundamentalists depict a world, where their heavily politicized, fatalistic view of the world, would help spare the world violence, by bringing peace through ideological homogeneity of strict religious belief.  Fatalistically, Christian Fundamentalists see themselves as being in some type of perpetual insurrection, against the forces of secularization or modernity, who they see as abolishing or outlawing their religious views. They become fanatical, because they are always acutely aware that they are at war with the modern world. They often use sneaky rhetoric, which says much the same thing as the seemingly antithetical view of the militant atheists. They believe that anything other than strict, rigid, unflinching adherence to heavily politicized views of their religious dogma will somehow create a blighting apocalyptic scenario, as secularization of the modern world is something that inherently causes the undeterred wrath of God to spill out into  the world. It is the unsparing freedoms of complete democracy, which they seem as being too irregularly liberal for their rather small-minded, prejudicial God (that ironically is unable to handle the trauma of modernity, as much as Fundamentalist Christians themselves).

Sometimes in the midst of loud din of didactic voices from these two ideological polar extremes, it can be very difficult for more moderate, disinterested observers to seek out more balanced, temperate approaches to heavy issues like religion (that carry so much emotional ideological baggage). You cannot even begin to talk about religion without other side, uttering “the problem with so/so is…”, and then you become subjected to a rather tedious litany of that specific group’s problems. Social media has sometimes only made the exasperating issue of uncivil, dense-headed “ideological” war arguments much too common, for the more methodical fence sitters, trying to judiciously pick out the glimmering facts from the sludge of ideological

Having read a slew of Karen Armstrong’s articulate, well-written religious history books before, I knew that her newest book (being released tomorrow, October 28, 2014) would be just as smartly written and have an abundant amount of clear-headed insights, as any of her other books that have handled the large questions, concerning religion, with coherent ease. I often find many nonfiction writers extremely ponderous, because many of these writers are far too enmeshed with their own scholarly biases, to look outside of their little cozy scholarly trench, and try to scope out the depth and nuance of other views. Within each well-written chapter of Field of Blood, you get very well-cited, briskly-summarized chapters about different ancient cultures and how there is much more complexity, as evident in history, with the question of whether religion is simply the singular source of all violent conflict in human history.

For most of the moderate thinkers,this lazy assumption, made by some of the new atheists, is incredibly easy to refute, because any deduction that asserts only one monolithic group is responsible for “all of something,” is an approach that is very vacuous, and completely detached from reality itself. It completely ignores the political influences behind the ways some religions act, entirely adverse to their core spiritual or ethical ideals.   One example, from Karen Armstrong’s book, is concerning the chapter about the Israelite, which is a chapter that might bewilder fundamentalists, as Karen Armstrong holds the academic perspective (collaborated by many, many archaeologists, historians, other religious scholars, etc.) that many of the stories of the early Jewish scriptures- especially the Pentateuch- are not literal examples of true history, in the same sense that we recognize history today. If you know anything about the history of writing, you should know many cultural stories at this time were an amalgamation of shreds of truth, with some clever story-telling fabrication, so that the storyteller, or travelling yeoman, that told these stories, had something that would resonate with whatever type of conflict people of this specific culture was facing. These stories were chiefly for catharsis,in the same way that people flock to Harry Potter, and come away feeling euphoric, knowing that the spiritual conflicts inside of their psyches, can sensibly be defeated, or outwitted, because Harry Potter allegorically showcases the psychical battle between the pernicious forces of melancholy and hope/ambition.

So, the original Exodus story, about Moses leading the Israelite out of Egypt, far away from the despotic corruption of Egyptians towards the Israelite, was relatable, enrapturing, and above all, spiritually invigorating for the Israelites in the BCE era, where war was common, all due to the combatant tribes and large contingencies of other nations and their armies, who had an interest in conquering and subsuming their land and various economic resources (food; material goods that may have been unique to a specific geographic area).   The core conflict, reenacted and recapitulated in all Jewish scripture, is the need to preserve their culture, their specialized form of religious/spiritual practices, etc. Linearly, the early stories from the Pentateuch are a story, describing the different patriarchal fathers of the Jewish faith, telling a coherent, easily assimilated, origin story of the Jewish faith. In reality, Judaism, as known today, hardly resembles the more polytheistic Judaism, which would have included other patron Cannonite deities, that makes it impossible, with today’s scrutiny of corroborated facts and evidence, to be considered true, in the same sense, that the people back then viewed this story.

In another sense,with respects to Karen Armstrong’s  main thesis in Field of Blood,these scriptures,though, are essentially a political history of the Jewish people, trying to uphold more egalitarian approaches to ethics and the structure of society, in lieu of  the reality that larger agrarian cultural forces are really the mainstay element of structure of successful societies back then.  Wars, hierarchical marginalization/enslavement, and tedious/mundane labor were ineradicable realities for people back then and even now, because without this very normalized system (that we have evolved to acclimate to), we fear that society would not be able to function.

Sometimes, religious interests go enmeshed by stronger imperial interests, because of the way agrarian cultures functioned, and that is why there is a rich, embattled sense of paradox and indecision, with respects to what truly constitutes righteous ethics, in the Jewish scriptures, particularly, because this  problem is nigh impossible to solve, and continues into today.  Karen Armstrong argues that religion is only part of the bigger historical problem, really, of certain evolved customs of human society, like either warfare, social/economic stratification, being a bitter, disillusioning reality that is part of the agrarian/urban society. Even in our more modern world, we are still living in an agrarian culture, where imperialistic interests (mainly political interests) dominate policy decisions that cause us to go to war. Oftentimes, our religions and ideologies are going to invariably be influenced by the political issues of the day, whereas there is still always a strong battery of more spiritual/mystic groups that try to separate their religions from becoming too politicized.

During the time of the Crusades for example, we saw religion being used as a primary force to compel people into joining the crusades, religion thus becomes a tool to utilize to motivate, cajole, in some sense, rile people up till they’re in the right mindset to go raging into war.  Before the new atheists solely blamed religion, Machiavelli shrewdly devised the theory that religion is often used by rulers, in order to really help with making political policies more palatable to the masses. The war in Iraq, engineered by the Bush Administration, was only retold as a religious meta-narrative, to certain ideological groups in this country, to feel that ridding the world of Saddam Hussein would be helping in eliminating the pestilence of terrorism that threatened both our country, but the psychological sense that our country is divinely favored by our most coherent sense of God. 

In some sense, the current Christian fundamentalist obsession with homosexuality, is mainly a conservative, political one, borne out of a mythic view that the aggrandized, Utopian scheme of America in the ninety-fifties- which in truth were not simply those halcyon “good ol’ days”- was when America enjoyed the splendors of economic prosperity.  With some naturally-occurring economic problems in today’s country though, the fundamentalists fear that homosexuality distracts Americans from the ideal of marriage, reproduction, and replenishing the population with more of their assured homogenized progeny, which reveals that the very thing belying this insistent, frantic fear over homosexuality, is really part of a wider subconscious fear of rapid modernization, and even growing racial diversity in the world. Religion gets pulled in, as though to give the whole thing an inerrant religious polish. Biblical scriptures, plucked with disregard to their true historical origins, get thrown in, in desperate attempt to despoil the liberal message, with messages that carry the clarion of what fundamentalists believe is divine messages from God himself. Again, the true underlying motivation for this obsession is mainly political, but religion and any other fragments of information pulled from other favorable sources are used to create an illusory message of ideological coherence.

The fact that there are nearly 39,000-40,000 Christian denominations is proof enough that Karen Armstrong’s thesis is strongly supported, in that the political atmosphere or climate, or what is commonplace in the social structure of society, is what really helps bend and shape the strident religious forces in any nation, throughout history. She does add that religion can contribute to violence, as anything can theoretically be used to promote violence, as long as it is part of a larger, coherent message that promotes a ideological interest, or the interest of a state or nation, to motivate a strong political force in the country to agree to a certain political policy.

Karen Armstrong’s book could have easily been long-winded, and muddled with ridiculous verbiage and convoluted arguments, but yet it is startlingly clear and resolutely moderate (and even objective) in its approach to the history of the development of certain nations, along with the depiction of how religion gets easily molded into something different by the individual or government using it for ways to add a splash of coherence and resonance with whatever message or political policy they’re trying to support. Religion, like anything in our social structure, is uniquely complex, and it cannot be reduced to being a caricature that ridiculously is portrayed as the source of all human evil. In a sense, that is only part of the trend of creating alibis-the shadowed other, the aberrant enemy-  these things are more strongly influenced by our agrarian social structure, more than even religion. The things that we call primeval or base desires-like greed, envy, violence- are psychological realities that exist somewhere in our subconscious, or in the reptilian parts of our brains (referred to as the ID) that can greatly influenced the more sophisticated messages dictated by our superego. Our goal is to look more within the psychological grey territory of our ego, where there is more sober deliberation over everything. This is where we truly need to perceive the world and its slew of issues, in a way that vigorously demands acknowledgement of the wider scope of complexity with these issues.

Sobering and impressive in its academic scope and coherence, Karen Armstrong’s Fields of Blood is the history of religion and its complex psychological relationship with the social and political structure of different cultures and nations. It is a book for the observers, the seekers, and the overall disinterested observers of the ridiculously complex world around us.  Books, like Fields of Blood, remind us that there are still scholarly books out there, not written with a decisively annoying, restricted ideological bias that implies that there is only one ideologically-pure  way to look at an issue. With something as dynamic and complex as religion, we cannot afford to be sticking with only one way of seeing everything, but trying instead to circumspectly analyze everything through a more disinterested lenses, undaunted by the reality that your views about something will be altered, but will probably only deepen. And, my own approach to religion and it’s complex relationship with violence and politics sure did deepen, after reading another wonderfully articulate, thorough examination of the issue, in Karen Armstrong’s fantastic book: a book geared towards the vigorous, serious thinker of such divisive issues like religion and the history of violence.

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Prince Lestat Online Midnight Party Details & Special Signed “Prince Lestat” Hardcover Giveaway

Dare to click the book cover below, to pre-order your copy, because this is a book you will not want to miss, if you view yourself as a serious fan of the Vampire Lestat…

PRINCE LESTAT ONLINE MIDNIGHT PARTY DETAILS:

**Click the GIF image of a joyous Lestat, in order to be redirected to the page to RSVP for the Prince Lestat Online Midnight party, commencing at 10pm. Eastern time, and ending at exactly midnight, allowing each and everyone time to get the book instantly via their Kindles,Nooks (any and all derivatives of such Ebook devices)!***

Details about the Party:  The party will be a two hour wrap up discussions, finalizing,polishing, and recapitulating any and all things that we discussed over the past few months. Below, you will find my published psychoanalytic essay (published for free via Wattpad for a short time only), which you may read to further deepen your own analysis of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicle books.

   Most important, you are encouraged to reminisce about past Anne Rice signings, or Lestat Balls, anything that is brought to the forefront of your mind, while we are all in the eager, anticipation-filled mood, of waiting for the most exciting time of the decade for all Anne Rice fans- the release of Prince Lestat.

**SPECIAL MIDNIGHT PARTY GIVEAWAY*****************

**There will be prizes  given away during the broadcast (courtesy of the wonderful people of Knopf Publishing Group), which includes (1) a signed hardcover copy of Prince Lestat,  (2) an I “heart” Lestat pin, and  (3)  a special Lestat bookmark.** RSVP for the event by clicking this link to the appropriate Google Hangout on Air Page, and have your steaming mug of chicory coffee ready for two hours of intellectually intensive discussion of our favorite series of literary vampire books!!!
The contest is only open to those living in the US/Canada, which I know might seem prejudicial, but postage is pretty high, so I can only feasibly (based on my financial situation) ship things to those living in the US/Cananda. I apologize to all those outside of this US for this one policy, because I hate having to do it, knowing how many of you really love Anne Rice’s books, and how many of you have so much to contribute to this group!

SPECIAL BLOOD AND GOLD First Edition, Signed Hardcover Contest

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I will be attending Anne Rice’s signing at 192 Books on October 28, 2014, and I am planning to get a copy signed and personalized for the winner on that date!! This is a special laminated (serving to protect the book) first-edition hardcover that is in very good condition. This contest helps further promote my self-publishing publicity and editorial services, for the many indie writers out there, and I really thank you, in advance for entering this contest, as these contests do go a long way with helping promote this service, so aptly named: A Bibliophile’s Workshop

Another hypothetical prize- Video Greeting, from Anne Rice herself!(still not definite, as of yet) is to record a special message at the signing, from Anne Rice, to the winner. I’m pretty certain she’d be really excited to do this, so it is a good chance that it may happen. But given time constraints at signings, this may not happen…Stay tuned for more details on this development.

Contest Rules:
     Winners are chosen randomly, by the Rafflecopter APP, and the contest is to everyone, with a few restrictions. For those living outside either US or Canada, you can enter, as long as you understood you are required to pay the postage, as I cannot afford to pay any international shipping costs. I’d love to, but I cannot feasibly offer this, in my current financial situation!

I apologize to those in the same boat, as well, who would not be able to afford the shipping costs. I am always remiss to post that following message, barring you from entering. It generally sucks, as so many of you are equally as passionate (or even more passionate) about Anne Rice’s  than anyone.

**Comic Shared by Coven Member, Jo Vee**
Read, and be entertained by this very amusing comic, which will serve as the Hyperlink image, that will allow you to be redirected to a Rafflecopter App. that will allow you to enter this contest!!

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***Please send photos, artwork, letters, diary entries, an epistolary novel, something that you feel artfully engraves the impact Anne Rice’s stories have had on your life to narniafanatic@gmail.com with the subject line of “28 Days of Lestat! With your express permission being granted to share these things (one poem or song per day during the course of October, 2014, up till the 28th of October), I hope to post something each day- a small fragment of one person’s completely unique approach to the series, which will hopefully come together, impressively, on the 28th of October, to virtually reconstruct the different views and memories people attach to this series, the character of Lestat, and many of the other vampires (or immortal species) Anne has created, in an uncannily realistic way, which makes us believe that these characters are very real, and existing amongst us.

    Also, be sure to share anything Vampire Chronicles-related on the Lestat Book Coven Facebook Group Page, any comment sections on all 28 individual #28daysofLestat posts here on this blog, or on Twitter,Instagram, Tumblr, and beyond!!

**For those who reside in the vicinity of New York, NY, Anne Rice will be at 192 Bookstore in New York, NY on October 28th, 2014 (coinciding with the official release of Prince Lestat)   

**Update about live Memnoch the Devil Reading:  The hypothetical Memnoch the Devil Reading, at St. John the Divine Cathedral, has been cancelled (even though it was never a finalized event, at any time in the planning stages). There wasn’t enough time for the right preparations for this event to be made. I apologize for the few that were looking forward to this. The signing, as you are always well-aware of, is still going to happen. Hope you all have a wonderful time, at the event!

**Those of you, who do not live in the New York area still have a chance to meet Anne Rice, and get your treasured/beloved copies of Prince Lestat signed.

Several venues have discreetly posted some ticket information for the upcoming Prince Lestat book tour.  I will try finding more, and posting them below, with hyperlinked text for your convenience!! If you need help finding a signing near you, leave a comment below, or email me at narniafanatic@gmail.com.

*Updated list of Prince Lestat signings, kindly borrowed from Anne Rice’s Facebook Fan Page

    COMING SOON; There will be a special sub-page, for you to share pictures, videos, etc. from any of the events below!!

Tuesday, October 28—NEW YORK, NY

7:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

192 Books/Paula CooperGallery

534 W. 21st Street

New York, NY 10011

Buy tickets here! (Scroll down on “Upcoming Events Page” to find tickets)

Sunday, November 2 — NEW ORLEANS, LA

1:00pm

BOOK SIGNING

Garden District Book Shop

2727 Prytania Street

New Orleans, LA 70130

Buy Tickets here!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

12:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Harvard Bookstore

1256 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge,MA  02138

Buy Tickets here!

7:30pm

Writers On A New England Stage

The Historic Theater

28 Chestnut Street

Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

Buy Tickets Here!

Wednesday, November 5 — HARTFORD, CT

7:00pm

Reading and Q+A

Hartford Stage

50 Church Street

Hartford, CT 06103

Buy Tickets Here!

Thursday, November 6—PHILADELPHIA, PA

7:30

Q+A interview with Vicky Wilson

Philadelphia FreeLibrary

1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

8:30

BOOK SIGNING in the lobby

Buy Tickets Here!

Friday, November 7—NEW YORK, NY

7:00 pm

Anne and Christopher Rice Conversation

The Strand

828Broadway @ 12th Street

NewYork, NY 10003-4805

8:00 pm

Buy Tickets Here!

BOOK SIGNING

Saturday, November 8—CHICAGO, IL

4:00 pm

Conversation with Vicky Wilson

Chicago Humanities Festival

UIC Forum — Main Hall AB

725 W. Roosevelt Road

Chicago, IL  60608

5:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

BUY TICKETS HERE!

Sunday, November 9—LOS ANGELES, CA

5:00 pm

Bent Con with Christopher and Eric Shaw Quinn

on The Dinner Party Show

BUY TICKETS HERE!

Tuesday, November 11 — SANTA ROSA, CA

7:00 pm

Anne and Christopher Rice Conversation

Copperfield’s BooksEvent

Santa Rosa Theater

8:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Buy Tickets Here!

Wednesday, November 12—SAN FRANCISCO, CA

7:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Books, Inc. in OperaPlaza

601 Van Ness

San Francisco, California94102

Buy Tickets Here!

Friday, November 14  TORONTO, Canada

6:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Inspire book fair

Penguin Random House booth

Buy Tickets here!

Monday, November 17— MIAMI, FL

Miami Book Festival—with Victoria Wilson

Tuesday, November 18—DALLAS, TX

5:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Half-Price Books

5803E. Northwest Hwy.

Dallas,TX 75231

Buy Tickets Here! (Special Receipt Available, upon purchase of Prince Lestat, at 9am. on day of event!)

Wednesday, November 19—LOS ANGELES/SANTA MONICA, CA

8:00 pm

Anne and Christopher Rice conversation

Moss Theatre

New Roads School

3131 Olympic Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90404

8:45 pm

Audience Q&A

9:05 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Buy Tickets Here!

Saturday, November 22—TEMPE, AZ

3:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING with Christopher Rice

Changing Hands

6428 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ 85283

Buy Tickets Here!

Saturday, December 6—PALM SPRINGS, CA

1:00 PM

BOOK SIGNING with Christopher Rice

JUST FABULOUS

515 N. Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, CA 92262

No Ticket Information Available, you may want to try calling the book store, at the following number (760) 864-1300, anytime between 9am.-6pm.

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Review of Les Miserables Manga/Graphic Novel

 

Reviewed by Paula Tupper    September 21,  2014

I grew up in the Silver Age of comic books.  My clothes were in a messy heap under the bed because my closet was stacked four feet high with the entire lines of Marvel, DC, Harvey, and Dell comics.  I stole money from my grandmother’s purse to get the newest issues of Fantastic Four and Sgt. Fury, Millie the Model and Baby Huey.  My taste was all encompassing, and my hunger insatiable.   I attribute my love of reading to those comic books in no small part, and to used bookstores and jumble sales for the other part.  The best and worst part of every year came in midsummer, when I was sent to sleep-away camp for two weeks.  Best, because I loved sleeping in a tent in the woods, swimming in the lake, and eating all American camp food which was exotic to a girl raised on pierogi.  Worst because the one huge rule of law for summer camp was “NO COMIC BOOKS!”  Our tender minds were not to be corrupted by superheroes or cartoon characters for the duration of our stay.  It would have killed me, had it not been for one exception to the Iron Rule: Classics Illustrated.  For those not a product of those years, Classics Illustrated were comic books that re-told the great books of literature in comic book format.  Everything from Gulliver’s Travels to Faust were given the CI treatment, and these were often a first introduction to a work that would then be sought out at the library and read in its true form.  Summer camp allowed these illustrated magazines to be included in our CARE packages from home, and being indiscriminate in my tastes, I was more than satisfied to use these to fulfill my comic book craving.

Reading Classic Illustrated and mainstream comicbooks conditioned me to favorably  accept their modern incarnation, the graphic novel. I have read the serious books such as Maus and Persepolis, and enjoy the lighter fare of Serenity and The Dresden Files.  My son and daughter follow The Walking Dead, and I read through Watchmen.  I was therefore primed to venture into a n area very new to me, western literature transformed into Manga.

“Manga’ is loosely translated as “cartoon” or “caricature.”  Manga did not really have a widespread following until after WWII, when Tezuka Osamu drew on Japanese traditions  and techniques  and coupled them with a Disney influenced cinematic style to develop a new, distinctly Japanese form of graphic narrative.  Manga is vastly popular throughout Asia, and has been gathering a large following in Western countries.  Most of what has been sold here is traditional Japanese manga, particularly that derived from or combined with anime series.  One typically sees big eyed, attractive childlike characters, with sexually mature bodies, in melodramatic or adventure based stories with various gender combination romances.  One category is shoujo-manga, or girls manga which generally features emotions, atmosphere and mood rather than action.  Another category is bukyou, a Chinese word that roughly means “chivalrous knight” or “martial wanderer.”

I recently read a manga version of Les Miserables, that western classic of class conflict and spiritual redemption by Victor Hugo. , adapted by Crystal Silvermoon and illustrated by SunNeko Lee.  It presents Jean ValJean and Fantine as a sort of cross between shoujo and bukyou, with the kawaii cuteness pervading the panels.  I think everyone here in the west has seen or heard Les Miz in one of its everpresent incarnations.  Jean ValJean has shouted his wrenching “Who am I?” on the West End and Broadway stage, in the movies disguised as Wolverine, with his special set of skills as Liam Neeson raised the oxcart, and even in an anime in Japanese.  Fantine has been an ethereal Uma Thurman, a pixified Lea Salonga, and an emaciated Anne Hathaway.  None of this prepares you for Fantine as Sailor Moon.  The manga style has an exaggerated comic edge, so that the Thernardiers have a Laurel and Hardy look to them. ValJean and Javert are whippet thin, almost delicate and androgenous except for the facial hair.  Fantine is erotic. Even as she hovers on the edge of consumptive death, her full breasts jut like the prow of a ship. It is mildly disconcerting.

More problematic is the need for over simplification and reduction of the text.  The power of Hugo’s novel lies in not just the circumstances, but also in the fulsome and rich language.  Minimizing it to fit the panels allotted per page, and shaved of its descriptive metaphor and philosophizing leaves the story without much of its soul.

There is a lot to be said about this type of work as an introduction to the masterpiece itself.  It can only be good if the manga introduces even a small percentage of its audience to Hugo’s novel and gives them an incentive to read it in its entirety.  The manga does catch the poignancy of Fantine’s sacrifices, and the trajectory of ValJean’s arc.  It is beautifully drawn in its own style and layout, and is clean and easy to follow once you become acclimated to the peculiarities of reading back to front and right to left.  If I were sending you off to camp, I would definitely mail this off with the clean socks, extra underwear, and the hidden Hershey bar, and now I would have made your day complete.

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Tea Time at Reverie: Tea From Taiwan’s Dong Ding Ming Xiang Oolong Tea

Before we kicked off Tea Time At Reverie, I had no idea that so many types of oolong tea exist. Now I do, thanks to Tea From Taiwan. This Taiwanese vendor specializes in top-quality oolong tea grown and processed in its home country. Each oolong is named after the region where it’s harvested and has different aromas and flavors resulting from their growing altitudes and soil conditions. I was a bit concerned that the Tea From Taiwan samples would overlap some of the oolongs I’ve received (and yet to review) from other vendors. That worry vanished once I opened my package. :)

Tea From Taiwan logo

Our first Tea From Taiwan sample is Dong Ding Ming Xiang Oolong Tea, grown and harvested in the Dong Ding region of Nantou, Taiwan. One of the country’s most famous oolong-producing areas since the 1860s, Dong Ding suffered extensive damage during the 1999 Jiji Earthquake. Tea plantations there were temporarily abandoned in the quake’s aftermath. When work resumed in Dong Ding and the neglected oolong was picked and processed, farmers discovered the tea had developed a surprising honey flavor – thanks to cicada secretions left on the leaves. That last factoid may make some tea drinkers cringe, but don’t let it scare you away. Dong Ding Ming Xiang’s distinctive taste (and its cultivation without the use of pesticides) is one of the reasons why you should try it.

The Basics

Courtesy of Tea From Taiwan

Courtesy of Tea From Taiwan

Tea From Taiwan’s Description: “Taiwan Ming Xiang wu long has a distinctive sweet taste and aroma. It brews a dark colour wu long tea that has a lingering sweetness that settles on the back of the tongue. Dong Ding Ming Xiang is truly one of the jewels of Taiwan wu long tea and is highly valued by oolong tea connoisseurs.”

Ingredients: Dong Ding Ming Xiang Oolong tea leaves

Steeping Instructions: Use 1 teaspoon per 8 oz of water. Heat water to below boiling (195 degrees Fahrenheit / 90 degrees Celsius) and steep for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add 30 seconds for each subsequent brew.

Multiple Brews?: Yes, about 5 to 8 times

Bagged or Loose Leaf?: Loose leaf

Caffeine Level: Medium-low

The Experience

Courtesy of Tea From Taiwan

Courtesy of Tea From Taiwan

Tea From Taiwan is right to call Dong Ding Ming Xiang (loosely translated as “fragrant tea from the frozen peak”) a dark-colored oolong. I immediately notice the difference with the dry leaves. These tightly curled pellets aren’t various shades of green, but a blackish brown with streaks of green. And while most oolongs produce a golden liquor, Dong Ding Ming Xiang results in an alluring dark amber that grows more lustrous with the longer brew times.

Aroma is another area where Dong Ding Ming Xiang deviates from its fellow oolongs. The dry leaves give off a slight forest scent that strengthens with the first steep. Instead of the usual orchid base, moist earth, wood, and hints of coffee lilt from the liquid and wet leaves. It’s not an unwelcome change. In fact, the mix of smells reminds me of early fall in New England. I wonder if the tea will taste like autumn, too.

And it does! With my first steep of 45 seconds using the instructions above, Dong Ding Ming Xiang offers an autumnal flavor foliage. Earthy and faintly tannic, it carries accents of coffee, caramel, and – as Tea From Taiwan described – honey. Not a dominant honey, but it’s there in the aftertaste. The second steep (about 90 seconds) highlights the honey without becoming overly sweet and introduces wood and roasted tones. This is when Dong Ding Ming Xiang reminds me of the current season. If I sit back and sip this tea, I can picture myself strolling along a tree-lined road, surveying the red and orange leaves, and savoring the crisp, bonfire-tinged air.

Longer brew times for Dong Ding Ming Xiang lead to a more outdoorsy infusion. My fourth and fifth steeps (about 3 and 4 minutes, respectively) bring out more of the earth and wood flavors. The honey and caramel notes have also disappeared. These later brews are more like a soft black tea than a typical oolong. They also lack the clean or creamy finish and orchid currents that most oolongs have. (So did the earlier steeps.) While I miss those familiar qualities, I can’t complain about Dong Ding Ming Xiang’s departure from the norm because I enjoyed every drop of it.

The Aftertaste

Tea From Taiwan’s Dong Ding Ming Xiang Oolong brings the wilderness to your teapot without too much sweetness or leaving a dirty taste on your tongue. It’s warm, cozy, and teeming with the natural smells and tastes of autumn. Steeps of 2 minutes or less will bring out this tea’s most appealing profiles. Dong Ding Ming Xiang may not be a typical oolong (though at $24 USD for 75 grams / 2.5 ounces, it’s still quite expensive) or a fall tea bursting with food aromas and flavors. However, once you find yourself relaxing by the fireside with a cup of Dong Ding Ming Xiang to chase away the season’s chill, you’ll agree it’s a worthy investment. Oh, and remember to thank the cicadas for their contributions! ;)

Grade: 8 / 10

Recommended For:

  • Tea Drinkers Who: Like oolong, black, or autumnal teas
  • Time of Day and Year: Any time of the day during the fall, especially afternoons
  • Possible Book Pairings: Dong Ding Ming Xiang can bring comfort to haunting or chilling reads like J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Children Of Húrin (epic fantasy), Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (dystopian), and Heather Gudenkauf’s The Weight Of Silence (contemporary fiction).

You can purchase Dong Ding Ming Xiang Oolong directly from Tea From Taiwan here or as part of the more affordable Chong Pei Sample Pack here.

*       *      *

In addition to being a tea enthusiast, Sara Letourneau is an avid reader and a writer who… well, enjoys writing! Currently she’s working on a novel, and she writes book reviews and articles on the craft of writing. She’s also a published poet with works available in various print and online publications. Visit Sara at her personal blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

If you’re a tea seller and would like to have one of your products reviewed here, please visit the Contributors page for contact information.

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Coven of the Articulate Vampire Chronicles Scholarly Discourse Review Session/ Prince Lestat Online Midnight Party Details!!

Dare to click the book cover below, to pre-order your copy, because this is a book you will not want to miss, if you view yourself as a serious fan of the Vampire Lestat…

Day 22 (of 28 Total Days) Post: Vampire Chronicles Academic Review Session:

PRINCE LESTAT ONLINE MIDNIGHT PARTY DETAILS:

**Click the GIF image of a joyous Lestat, in order to be redirected to the page to RSVP for the Prince Lestat Online Midnight party, commencing at 10pm. Eastern time, and ending at exactly midnight, allowing each and everyone time to get the book instantly via their Kindles,Nooks (any and all derivatives of such Ebook devices)!***

Details about the Party:  The party will be a two hour wrap up discussions, finalizing,polishing, and recapitulating any and all things that we discussed over the past few months. Below, you will find my published psychoanalytic essay (published for free via Wattpad for a short time only), which you may read to further deepen your own analysis of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicle books.

   Most important, you are encouraged to reminisce about past Anne Rice signings, or Lestat Balls, anything that is brought to the forefront of your mind, while we are all in the eager, anticipation-filled mood, of waiting for the most exciting time of the decade for all Anne Rice fans- the release of Prince Lestat.

**There will be prizes  given away during the broadcast (courtesy of the wonderful people of Knopf Publishing Group), which includes (1) a signed hardcover copy of Prince Lestat,  (2) an I “heart” Lestat pin, and  (3)  a special Lestat bookmark.** RSVP for the event by clicking this link to the appropriate Google Hangout on Air Page, and have your steaming mug of chicory coffee ready for two hours of intellectually intensive discussion of our favorite series of literary vampire books!!!

VAMPIRE CHRONICLE ACADEMIC REVIEW SESSION POST DETAILS:

Until this coming Tuesday (when a special post will appear at midnight on the exact hour, the book is released, before a planned special 2 hour live chat/online midnight party at 10pm. Eastern Time via Google Hangout on Air), For each post, on the last few days till October 28, 2014 will include my own academic/scholarly related posts (is that too lofty of a term to describe these articles?) will be posted for your perusal, and enjoyment. 

For today (and for all of next week) as a gift and also a means for promotion for getting more entries for the Coven of the Articulate: Anne Rice Scholarly Compendium (slated for a March-April 2015 release), I am publishing the full-text (free of charge and for your enjoyment) of my psychoanalytic paper about Anne Rice’s works. I ask that you please respect the copyright rules and restrictions that are a fundamental part of keeping my intellectual property safe and completely within the realm of my control.

   This is a privilege, so I ask that you please respect that, by only reading, but never trying to illegally upload the text of this, or replicate any of the sentences, facts, or analysis for your own perfidious activity.

*To be redirected to the Wattpad page, with my essay available for only a temporary amount of time, click the image of the forest below (the savage garden) to be taken to the page!!

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****If you wish to have your paper considered for publication in Coven of the Articulate, head over to this separate blog post, outlining the rules and deadline for any and all entries for this volume

SPECIAL BLOOD AND GOLD First Edition, Signed Hardcover Contest

IMG_1439

I will be attending Anne Rice’s signing at 192 Books on October 28, 2014, and I am planning to get a copy signed and personalized for the winner on that date!! This is a special laminated (serving to protect the book) first-edition hardcover that is in very good condition. This contest helps further promote my self-publishing publicity and editorial services, for the many indie writers out there, and I really thank you, in advance for entering this contest, as these contests do go a long way with helping promote this service, so aptly named: A Bibliophile’s Workshop

Another hypothetical prize- Video Greeting, from Anne Rice herself!(still not definite, as of yet) is to record a special message at the signing, from Anne Rice, to the winner. I’m pretty certain she’d be really excited to do this, so it is a good chance that it may happen. But given time constraints at signings, this may not happen…Stay tuned for more details on this development.

Contest Rules:
     Winners are chosen randomly, by the Rafflecopter APP, and the contest is to everyone, with a few restrictions. For those living outside either US or Canada, you can enter, as long as you understood you are required to pay the postage, as I cannot afford to pay any international shipping costs. I’d love to, but I cannot feasibly offer this, in my current financial situation!

I apologize to those in the same boat, as well, who would not be able to afford the shipping costs. I am always remiss to post that following message, barring you from entering. It generally sucks, as so many of you are equally as passionate (or even more passionate) about Anne Rice’s  than anyone.

**Comic Shared by Coven Member, Jo Vee**
Read, and be entertained by this very amusing comic, which will serve as the Hyperlink image, that will allow you to be redirected to a Rafflecopter App. that will allow you to enter this contest!!

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***Please send photos, artwork, letters, diary entries, an epistolary novel, something that you feel artfully engraves the impact Anne Rice’s stories have had on your life to narniafanatic@gmail.com with the subject line of “28 Days of Lestat! With your express permission being granted to share these things (one poem or song per day during the course of October, 2014, up till the 28th of October), I hope to post something each day- a small fragment of one person’s completely unique approach to the series, which will hopefully come together, impressively, on the 28th of October, to virtually reconstruct the different views and memories people attach to this series, the character of Lestat, and many of the other vampires (or immortal species) Anne has created, in an uncannily realistic way, which makes us believe that these characters are very real, and existing amongst us.

    Also, be sure to share anything Vampire Chronicles-related on the Lestat Book Coven Facebook Group Page, any comment sections on all 28 individual #28daysofLestat posts here on this blog, or on Twitter,Instagram, Tumblr, and beyond!!

**For those who reside in the vicinity of New York, NY, Anne Rice will be at 192 Bookstore in New York, NY on October 28th, 2014 (coinciding with the official release of Prince Lestat)   

**Update about live Memnoch the Devil Reading:  The hypothetical Memnoch the Devil Reading, at St. John the Divine Cathedral, has been cancelled (even though it was never a finalized event, at any time in the planning stages). There wasn’t enough time for the right preparations for this event to be made. I apologize for the few that were looking forward to this. The signing, as you are always well-aware of, is still going to happen. Hope you all have a wonderful time, at the event!

**Those of you, who do not live in the New York area still have a chance to meet Anne Rice, and get your treasured/beloved copies of Prince Lestat signed.

Several venues have discreetly posted some ticket information for the upcoming Prince Lestat book tour.  I will try finding more, and posting them below, with hyperlinked text for your convenience!! If you need help finding a signing near you, leave a comment below, or email me at narniafanatic@gmail.com.

*Updated list of Prince Lestat signings, kindly borrowed from Anne Rice’s Facebook Fan Page

    COMING SOON; There will be a special sub-page, for you to share pictures, videos, etc. from any of the events below!!

Tuesday, October 28—NEW YORK, NY

7:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

192 Books/Paula CooperGallery

534 W. 21st Street

New York, NY 10011

Buy tickets here! (Scroll down on “Upcoming Events Page” to find tickets)

Sunday, November 2 — NEW ORLEANS, LA

1:00pm

BOOK SIGNING

Garden District Book Shop

2727 Prytania Street

New Orleans, LA 70130

Buy Tickets here!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

12:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Harvard Bookstore

1256 Massachusetts Avenue

Cambridge,MA  02138

Buy Tickets here!

7:30pm

Writers On A New England Stage

The Historic Theater

28 Chestnut Street

Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

Buy Tickets Here!

Wednesday, November 5 — HARTFORD, CT

7:00pm

Reading and Q+A

Hartford Stage

50 Church Street

Hartford, CT 06103

Buy Tickets Here!

Thursday, November 6—PHILADELPHIA, PA

7:30

Q+A interview with Vicky Wilson

Philadelphia FreeLibrary

1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

8:30

BOOK SIGNING in the lobby

Buy Tickets Here!

Friday, November 7—NEW YORK, NY

7:00 pm

Anne and Christopher Rice Conversation

The Strand

828Broadway @ 12th Street

NewYork, NY 10003-4805

8:00 pm

Buy Tickets Here!

BOOK SIGNING

Saturday, November 8—CHICAGO, IL

4:00 pm

Conversation with Vicky Wilson

Chicago Humanities Festival

UIC Forum — Main Hall AB

725 W. Roosevelt Road

Chicago, IL  60608

5:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

BUY TICKETS HERE!

Sunday, November 9—LOS ANGELES, CA

5:00 pm

Bent Con with Christopher and Eric Shaw Quinn

on The Dinner Party Show

BUY TICKETS HERE!

Tuesday, November 11 — SANTA ROSA, CA

7:00 pm

Anne and Christopher Rice Conversation

Copperfield’s BooksEvent

Santa Rosa Theater

8:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Buy Tickets Here!

Wednesday, November 12—SAN FRANCISCO, CA

7:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Books, Inc. in OperaPlaza

601 Van Ness

San Francisco, California94102

Buy Tickets Here!

Friday, November 14  TORONTO, Canada

6:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Inspire book fair

Penguin Random House booth

Buy Tickets here!

Monday, November 17— MIAMI, FL

Miami Book Festival—with Victoria Wilson

Tuesday, November 18—DALLAS, TX

5:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Half-Price Books

5803E. Northwest Hwy.

Dallas,TX 75231

Buy Tickets Here! (Special Receipt Available, upon purchase of Prince Lestat, at 9am. on day of event!)

Wednesday, November 19—LOS ANGELES/SANTA MONICA, CA

8:00 pm

Anne and Christopher Rice conversation

Moss Theatre

New Roads School

3131 Olympic Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90404

8:45 pm

Audience Q&A

9:05 pm

BOOK SIGNING

Buy Tickets Here!

Saturday, November 22—TEMPE, AZ

3:00 pm

BOOK SIGNING with Christopher Rice

Changing Hands

6428 S. McClintock Dr., Tempe, AZ 85283

Buy Tickets Here!

Saturday, December 6—PALM SPRINGS, CA

1:00 PM

BOOK SIGNING with Christopher Rice

JUST FABULOUS

515 N. Palm Canyon Drive

Palm Springs, CA 92262

No Ticket Information Available, you may want to try calling the book store, at the following number (760) 864-1300, anytime between 9am.-6pm.

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Review of Every Ugly Word by Aimee L Salter

Amazon/Goodreads

Review written by: Jessica C.

I used to think if I was popular, or if Matt loved me… that would do it. I thought it would close me up so I could feel whole…

Welcome to world and the mind of Ashley Watson. Each step in her teenage walk of life is one that so many of us can relate to in some form or fashion. The judgement, the internal struggles to feel accepted and wanted, the fending off of bullies. Every Ugly Word introduces the reader to the realism of that which is high school. The story breathes life into the emotional turmoil that each misfit endures. For Ashley Watson one mistake ends up being the catalyst for her entire time in high school being one of torture. A talented artist, Ashley finds herself so consumed with the ugly words around her and the opinions of others, she forgets to look within herself to see the true beauty within.  Ashley is so wrapped up with the cruelty of her class mates that she starts to believe that what they say is the truth, and in turn tears herself apart.

“Some things aren’t deep!!!”

“Yet those very things can have incredibly deep consequences.”

Thankfully, Ashley has the ability to see a bit of light through the darkness and pain. The light that is her future self as revealed in her own reflection in the mirror . Ashley’s future self is her conscience as much as her guide to a better life. Her glimpse into the future and her ‘future self’ guide her towards a path to hopefully correct the mistakes her ‘future self’ made. If only Ashley can believe that she is better than the ugly words she hears about herself.

“…just remember, no one’s perfect. But you want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror the next morning. No regrets. Better to make the right choice than to hate yourself the next day. You know?”

Every Ugly Word is a book that so many of us can relate to. Each of us at some point of our lives has been in a dark place, or have felt so low we didn’t know if would be able to make it through. The story itself though was unique because it made Ashley’s struggles so easy to understand and relate to. Aimee L. Salter helps the reader realize that bullying doesn’t always come in the shape of other people… sometimes we become our own bullies. If we do not feel good enough, if we do not feel like we are wanted, loved, or accepted… we in turn can become our own bullies and we beat ourselves down and tear ourselves apart.

People you love should always be more important than people who judge you

The truth is I struggled at times with this book. At times I found the main character weak and unrealistic. Ashley in some ways seemed blind to what was around her and so willing to give up at each word that she took personal. Still, when I look back and think of myself as a teenager, Ashley’s reactions really don’t seem that bizarre or unreal. We are our own worst critics and sometimes our self judgement can bring our own ruin. There were times in the book I just wanted to give Ashley a reality check, to just step into the pages and shake her shoulders a bit. Even her future self seemed the epitome of moping and loss at times. Still I cannot be so judgemental because what we dislike so much in what we see of others is often what we dislike about ourselves.

What happens to Ashley is horrible. How she treats herself because of bullying is even worse. The book isn’t easy to stomach at times, but it needs to be read. I wouldn’t put it on my highest rated reads, but it is a book that should be handed out as a mandatory read in high school. For me Every Ugly Word isn’t just about overcoming bullies, it’s also about learning to love yourself at the hardest times. I have to be honest, if Ashley had been a real person and in my school I probably wouldn’t have been able to stand her… yet… I can’t be the one to judge. If anything Every Ugly Word teaches us that even we can be bullies to ourselves. Our actions can make us bleed or they can make us heal. Our words can cut or they can be just the balm we need.

In the end Every Ugly Word leaves the reader with food for thought. Actions and words can destroy or they can repair. Make your choice wisely.

…It isn’t what happens to you in your life that destroys you. It’s what you do about it…..

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