An amalgamation of tragedy and celebration, of eternity and mortality, of love and hate and envy and depression and hope. This debut collection of poems by Chinese American author Chen Chen takes you from China to Texas to New York state, from moonlit tree tops to silent kitchens, from the city to the forest.
These poems are testimonies to the small things that we collect throughout our day, and those moments in life that define us, whether we want them to or not. Chen speaks of being an immigrant, an immigrant’s child, gay, and not-white. He speaks of unrequited love, the pain of not being excepted by family and peers, the crushing weight of world that does not allow you to celebrate who you are, and is breaking in so many ways…
“You have a destiny. You aren’t allowed to know it.”
Where to begin? There is a part of me incoherent with the amount of pleasure I got out of reading this book. There is a part of me that wants to yell and hit inanimate objects because I liked it so much. I am relatively self contained though, and reluctant to startle my cat.
What is this? It’s the story of Numair Salmalin, when he was still the child Arram Draper. It is the tale of a boy who will grow to become the greatest mage his world has ever seen. He will battle monsters, confront dragons, cross into the very Realms of the Gods- but first, he must attend school.
Spoilers for The Song of The Lioness and The Immortals Quartet…
Twenty years of Harry Potter is a strange and surreal thing to write. Wasn’t it only a handful of years ago I was reading the first book? But no, I suppose the acne is too faded for Junior High to have been a few years back… more like… two decades. *cue dramatic music and a close up on my eyes, looking frantic and cornered*
Anyway, this was fun- a list of questions pertaining to Hogwarts and how you think your time would be spent there.
(You can read my review for the first installment in this series here)
We’re back for round two with The Pennsylvania Pen Monkey and it’s a fantastic, blaster filled romp from planet to planet that left me feeling as much a part of Norra Wexley’s team as Jas or Sinjir. Mostly Sinjir, because I am not cool or athletic enough to be Jas. But I can see myself wandering space getting punched in the face.
Things are going pretty well for The New Republic- one after another, the pockets of Imperial resistance are falling, and peace is returning slowly to the galaxy. But for some, the battles have not ceased, and war has left many debts in it’s wake.
This is late because my husband, cat, and I just finished moving to a new apartment. Moving is exhausting, especially because we were trying to get our cleaning deposit back after living in the same place for eight+ years, and then when we got to our new place we found the cleaners had done a horrendous job- so I essentially spent two months cleaning. I thought my hands were going to die on my wrists, they were so dry and tattered from scrubbing and chemicals.
Now we are settled, everything is cleaned and unpacked, and despite my brick and mortar job throwing a curve ball at me last week, things should be normalizing a bit. *knocks on wood*
Oh, how I wanted to like this book. Oh, how I set forth into it’s pages with the golden promise of a beautiful dawn setting my path aglow. Anchored fast by the scores of joyous online reviews and the exuberance of one of the employees of my local bookstore, who was a veritable font of praise and excitement at seeing this book about to be devoured by another soon-to-be-delighted reader.
Little did I know the road that had lead so many others to happiness and satisfaction would lead me to the cliffs of hollow obligation and disappointment.
First of all, allow me to say that this was a beautiful story, even though (as Mr. Rothfuss says) it does not do the things a traditional story does. It is nonetheless pure delight, and hard to put down because of it. Some people were disappointed in this novella because of it’s lack of focus on Kvothe, or because they feel Mr. Rothfuss should only work on the next novel of the King Killer Chronicles- this story is not for them.
As the Afterward says, this book is for all the fucked up people, you can look into this fragmented story and see a reflection of yourself, like a mirror shattered on the ground. There were moments I had to put the book down and simply be amazed at how perfectly Patrick Rothfuss got it, how he captured in words the frantic-bird-flight of the heart, the way the world suddenly turns on it’s head, comes rushing at you all at once, and every press of cloth, every shaft of light, feels like daggers to the throat. But he also captured moonlight with his words, cartwheels and soft songs. You have to read it to understand, and even then you might not- but I firmly believe it’s worth it to dive into the darkness with Auri, to see and feel the world alongside her, as she waits for a visit from Kvothe…