Sunday, January 10, 2010

We Were The Mulvaneys

I think I'm going to need to try to slow down my reading...this was a 500 page book and I finished it...couldn't put it down, as is the case with any book I read. I have a feeling this is going to be a long I apologize in advance!

This I don't even know how to begin describing it. I love books that even after all the words are read and the book closed, my brain still works to take it all in. This book did that...but it just left me...sad! After I finished it, I sat just thinking of everything I wish the characters would have done differently.

We Were The Mulvaneys is the story of a family. A beautiful family they were, a loving mother and father named Mike and Corrine. They first had two sons, Mike Jr. and Patrick, followed by a daughter named Marianne. Lastly was Judd, the narrator of the book.

The book starts out painting the perfect family picture of the Mulvaney's. A successful, hardworking and happy father, a loving mother, three well rounded boys, and sweet daughter. They live on a farm with over 20 animals of all kinds. They were a close knit family, always working together. They spent their time maintaining the farm together, and dinnertime was familytime. They were involved in their community, always having people over and their house was always loud and busy.

Then one night something tragic happens to Marianne that would shake them all. The rest of the book is the fall of the Mulvaneys. Once Marianne's incident happened, the whole family started unraveling, separating, and falling apart. I won't say how it ends of course, only that I wish it had ended differently.

When I read a book, I always put myself in the character's position. I try to see if I would react the way that any of the characters had. In this book...I can say I woud have reacted completely different. I had the most trouble with the father, Mike Mulvaney Sr. I don't want to give too much away though, in case anyone is going to read it.

I believe through all trials and tribulations a family should stick together. No matter if someone is at fault, which Marianne wasn't. Family is family and I could never see turning my back completely on any of them. Moreover, if there was a "falling out" of some sorts...eventually I would want everything to be worked out. I would work towards that. To think that some people don't strive for that is just unnerving. This book just reiterated to me how important family really is. Most importantly...that you can never give up on them. Ever. As naive as it seems, I believe that everyone deserves a happy ending.

There is so much I could say about this book, but I don't want to give any of it away!! Really though, I'm dying to speak my mind about a few characters and the vile way they were treated in this book. I could never imagine treating a family member that way nor would I wish that on anyone. Things will happen within a family that are horrible. No matter what though, nothing should be enough to tear a family apart.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Agnes Grey

I have finished my first book from my reading challenges. I wanted to start off with a Bronte book, so I chose to read Agnes Grey. These are not the type of books that I would normally make a first priority to read, as other things seem to catch my interest more. Not that I don't like them, I do indeed. Something else just always seem to catch my eye. I love the time period though, and I enjoy all of the movies. These books are great, and beautifully written and I'm glad I joined this challenge so that it gave me a reason to read it. I love books that capture and pull me into the story, and sometimes these novels tend to drag on and on until I've read a few paragraphs and have no idea what I just read. I'm excited that I completed this book though, and I look forward to other books by the Bronte sisters.

Agnes Grey is a story about a girl raised in a good home, being the baby of the family. She is somewhat spoiled, not in a bad way, but everyone has always done everything for her. Her family is not poor, but not rich either, so she decides to become a governess to help her family out. She became a governess to two different households, both in which she cared for bratty kids, and not the best of parents.

I did like the story of Agnes Grey. I felt bad for while she enduring her life as a governess. I've worked in daycare, so I know what its like to deal with those kind of people. However, I loved that she stay true to herself, although I wished at times that she could have stuck up for herself more. That is where we differ though, I am known for not being able to hold my tongue at times, something I've had to work on...but I guess in those times she knew it was just part of her job.

The love story was good, although at times I would find myself saying "Okay...DO something already!" It was obvious to me what would end up happening, but still fun to read. The text was actually very easy to read, and the book wasn't very long. I finished it within a few hours.

I have a feeling I'll be done with these challenges pretty early on...I'm a very fast reader. Plus, when there is a good book to read, I tend to ignore everything else around me and want to put all my focus into that book...I love when I get drawn in...but I need to learn to put a book down so I can do everything else that needs to be done! I'm already over 100 pages into my next book...and I just got all my books yesterday afternoon!

Friday, January 8, 2010

One more All About The Brontes challenger...

Well, since Emilee and Carrie are doing the All About The Brontes Challenge 2010 I figured I would join in! In reading their posts about the books, it made me want to go read some of them too!

The All About Brontes Challenge is from Jan 1-June 30th and you are challenged to read/watch 3-6 Bronte books or films based on the books

Since I am going to be doing a few other challenges...or so I THINK...I am going to stick to reading three books. My three are:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

I have honestly never read these books, and I know they are classics, so I'm glad to have a reason! I tend to stick to more "modern day" books, even though I love books like these, I've just never gotten around to reading them!

451 Challenge

This is the very first book challenge I am joining! You can read all about it here. 

Basically, between January 1, 2010 and November 30, 2010, participants are challenged to read books on the 451 master list. There are different levels to choose from:

Spark - read 1-2 books from the master list
Ember - read 3-4 books from the master list
Flame - read 5-6 books from the master list
Blaze - read 7 or more books from the master list

Re-reading is acceptable, as are crossovers with other challenges. Audio, print, and e-books are all acceptable. Each month, participants will be encouraged to post their reviews on the challenge blog, and each review posted will be an entry into a grand prize drawing for a $25 gift card to the online bookseller of the winner's choice.

I am just going to jump in so I picked the blaze level. There were MANY books to choose from, but these are the books I am signing on to read:

The Story of a Marriage - Andrew Sean Grear
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
We Need to Talk about Kevin - Lionel Shriver
We Were the Mulvaneys - Joyce Carol Oates
The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
Greenagage Summer - Rumer Godden
Peace Like A River - Lief Enger
Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery - This is my only reread, but I LOVED it when I was little...only, now I forget it! So, I'm reading it so I can remember the story!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


I'm starting a second blog that I can use for all of the reading challenges. I've been reading up on some of them and I'm really excited to get started! I've never done them before. I didn't want to cloud up my other blog with all of my reading posts, since I plan on doing a few. Although I ADORE reading, lately I haven't been able to read as much as I would have liked to. So, this gives me a good excuse! I hope everyone that reads this blogs enjoys hearing my opinion on my reads!