Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

”Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.” Like Water For Chocolate

About a week ago I FINALLY finished Like Water For Chocolate. Why FINALLY? Because the first time I picked up the book was almost a year ago for an english class, but I wasn’t able to finish it before moving on to the next reading assignment. However I returned to it, finished it, and absolutely loved it.

Like Water For Chocolate is a book to devour. From the beginning it is obvious that Laura Esquivel is writing from the heart, with a smooth and simple style that enters the heart of the reader effortlessly. It is almost as if she is telling you the story herself in person.

Esquivel also enters the heart of readers through the emotions she invokes in the story. The story shows the powerful effects of magical food on characters, and the book’s enchanted writing had the same effect on me. The story pulled out every emotion – happiness, anger, sadness with a natural story.

The story of Like Water For Chocolate isn’t necessarily a happy one: Tita is forbidden to see her soulmate, Pedro, and her mother acts malevonlently towards her. While this may come across as melodramatic, Esquivels writing prevents the story from sounding forced and turns it into a hopeful story searching for love and assurance.

I don’t want to give too much away about this book because I want everyone to READ IT! I promise it’ll be worth your while! Have you alreadyread this book? Do you agree or disagree with anything I’ve said? Did I leave anything out? Join me a nd let’s explore the world of Like Water For Chocolate!

 

A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

“Why, darling, I don’t live at all when I’m not with you.” A Farewell To Arms

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Just last night I finished A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway, and I am relieved to have finished!

The book moved very slowly, going between scenes at the war and at the hospital with the main characters lover. While the book went into great detail about the settings and the landscapes, there was very little character development or interesting dialogue between characters. Because of this the main character, Frederic Henry, really didn’t seem to come alive at all in my mind.

I was not expecting the understated style in the beginning. While there is nothing wrong with that style, the way Hemingway used it made it difficult to develop an idea of the characters and tone. In the first half of the novel some of the most exciting scenes to me were when the main character became wounded and a few of the events from while he was at the hospital. But these exciting scenes were few and far between.

It wasn’t until that last third of the novel that I felt excited by what was happening in the book. When Henry and the Italian army began to retreat and when Henry ran away to see his lover is when I felt the most emotion coming off the page. It was during these scenes that Hemingway described the feelings of war and love best.

Unfortunately that wasn’t enough. The end of the book continued showing emotions similar to earlier scenes, but the end was too understated to be satisfying. What’s worse is that the edition I bought included other endings that Hemingway had written, and I would have preferred that any of those be the actual ending than what really was.

The only thing more disappointing than the ending? The characters and dialogue. Catherine, Henry’s lover, was unbearable, her childishness being more annoying then charming. The dialogue was clogged with characters speaking without any indication of who was speaking, making it confusing. The way the characters spoke didn’t help either. Frederic Henry and Catherine never had a conversation outside of telling each other they loved one another, making it difficult to have a deeper understanding or empathy for their relationship.

Have you read this book? Do you agree or disagree with my ideas? Do you still want to read it after seeing my personal review? Join me and let’s explore the world of A Farewell To Arms!

The Books In Your To Read List – JUNE BLOG CHALLENGE

The title of today’s challenge is the books in my to read list, but a more accurate one would be which books are not in my to read list! According to my Goodreads account, I have over 100 books on my to read list! That is a lot of books! Instead of trying to list them all, I want to talk about a few of the books I am looking forward to reading this summer!

Room by Emma Donoghue

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Room is the story of Jack, Ma, and the Room they live in. I didn’t hear about the book until the movie starring Brie Larson was released but was immediately fascinated by the story when I heard of it. Growing up I avoided emotional stories like this. Now I am ready to dive into the story!

 

 

 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

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The Nightingale is the about two sister’s separate journeys during World War II. It’s the newest book on this list since it was first published in 2015 but it is the one I have heard a lot about! I have read many reviews online but became really interested when one of my friends recommended it. I’m also drawn to the story of sisters. I myself have an older sister and we have a very strong bond, so I am very excited to learn about these sister’s paths and the relationship they share.

 

 

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

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The Paris Wife is based on Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, and her time with him in Paris. Although it was published in 2011, I didn’t hear about it until I went to the Ernest Hemingway House over this last spring break. After learning about Hemingway and his many wives, this book seemed like a must read!

 

 

 

What books are in your to read list? What are you looking forward to reading this summer? Please share, and let’s explore the world of books!

 

 

Happy (Belated) World Book Day!

Happy (Belated) World Book Day! Even though every day should be book day, I didn’t realize there was an official day dedicated to celebrating books and reading! To me this is very exciting, and I would like to celebrate by celebrating what I’ve read, what I am reading, and what I hope to read soon!

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One of my favorite books of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird. I didn’t read it until I was in high school, but I have read it multiple times since and have also purchased a copy in Spanish to help me learn the language! There are so many things to love about this book. I love Scout’s spunk and every time I read the book I relate to her character in a new way. I relate to her growing pains the most: figuring out right from wrong, what kindness is, what unfairness is. It’s all these lessons that make this story so easy to come back to again and again.

I also read Hidden Figures earlier this year, and it was such an amazing story! I had the chance to meet the author and understand how she was inspired to write her book. She grew up in the town where the story takes place, and also grew up knowing the women she wrote about! She also takes a very holistic approach to the history in the book. It is not only black history. It is not only women’s history. It is not only the history of aerospace engineering. It is all three, and much much more.

The next book I am excited to read is A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I would have never imagined reading this book if it weren’t for the fact that I had the chance to visit the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida. There I had the chance to learn about Hemingway’s life, and specifically what influenced him to write A Farewell To Arms. As a young man he served the Red Cross in World War I, and eventually was seriously injured. During his time in a hospital he fell in love with, and had his heart broken, by a nurse that took care of him. One of the many stories loosely based on his life, the book is a dramatic story of love and war that I am excited to dive into.

What are your favorite books? Have you read anything interesting lately? Now? Is there anything you want to read or recommend?  As we explore the world of books, I want to share on of my favorite book quotes with you…

“The book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one which makes you think.” – Harper Lee