Friday, January 15, 2016

Red Queen and a strange book about cleaning

I finished two books Wednesday night.  I had Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard on my Audible and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo on my Kindle.  I would read on my Kindle here and there throughout the day when I had time, and listen to my audiobook at night, sometimes at lunch.

I had seen so many people reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying, claiming it was just a miraculous book.  My curiousity won out so I grabbed it.  I'll be honest... I'm basically a slob.  I attract clutter.  I come from a family of clutter-y people.  I do crave cleanliness and orderliness, though.  So I thought, let's see if this really is "life-changing." 

Marie Kondo is a strange chick.  There's just no other way to put it.  I was like "did she really just tell me to thank my clothes before throwing them away?"  "Does she really think I'm going to empty out my purse every time I come home?"  But after giving it some thought, while she absolutely sounds a bit kooky, she's not off base.  You should have a lot of respect and gratitude for your belongings.  I don't really know that I'll ever TALK to my belongings, but I understand the mindset of it.  I'm probably never going to clean out my purse every single day though. 

Her basic method is to do a clean sweep of your home, decluttering and getting rid of anything that you don't absolutely love all in one fell swoop.  None of this "a little bit at a time" nonsense.  Get in, get it out, get it done.  Which might be easy for a lot of people.  Kondo is Japanese, and admits that most Japanese dwellings are fairly small.  I'm not sure she works with a lot of families, either.  So my comparatively large American home with 4 other human beings involved would take me quite a bit of devoted time I don't really have.  I'd need a week or two off of work and for my family to go on vacation without me.  Because they think EVERYTHING "sparks joy".  That's the problem. LOL

BUT I think she's got very valid ideas.  She's into simplifying life.  I would really love to go through and get rid of 75% of our belongings, be simple.  It just isn't going to happen overnight so I probably wouldn't get the whole "life-changing" benefits that come from her method. 

Now... Red Queen.

Red Queen is a YA dystopian novel, much like every other YA dystopian novel.  A young girl in a world divided into a ruling class and an oppressed lower class and she is somehow a key figure in the revolution of the lower class over the upper class.  Throw in a love triangle and there you have it. 

I wasn't sure I'd really like it at first, and I think it's an example of how some books are better read than listened to.  The narrator's interpretation of Mare in the beginning made her very snotty and it bothered me.  I'm not sure I would have gotten that from reading it myself. 

Mare is a young girl, a Red blood ruled by the god-like Silver blooded upper class.  She has no real future and is soon to be drafted into the army, fighting in a never-ending war.  A turn of events has her engaged to the younger of two princes, discovering that there is something very special and very unusual about her that threatens the Silvers.  She's betrothed to Maven, but has feelings for his older brother, the next in line to the throne, Cal.  There's also affection for her friend, Killorn (I may not be spelling that right), whom she grew up with and who probably has stronger feelings for her and she may for him, but that's just implied and never fully addressed because a triangle is complicated enough without turning it into a square.  I anticipate that will probably be addressed later in the series.

Like I said, YA dystopian novels are pretty formulaic, it's just the details that make them different and I thought Aveyard has a good story.  I will say that the two "twists" are pretty predictable.  I had called them from very early on.  But she did make me wait for it, and a few times I wondered if maybe I was wrong.

I'll probably continue on with the series, but not immediately.  I'm starting Dean Koontz's Ashley Bell tonight.  I also need to find another book for my Kindle.  I try to read non-fiction on there, something that won't completely draw me in so I can just pick it up and put it down as I need to.  I spent the last 2 months of 2015 trudging through Stephen King's It, so to zip through 2 books in under 2 weeks is pretty refreshing, to be honest.  God, that's a tedious book.  LOL

1 comment:

  1. I found Red Queen on Pinterest under one of those, you have got to read this book, things. I figured my daughter, who looooved Divergent would like it. She couldn't get into it. I rechecked it out of the library so I could read it, but haven't. I'm slightly addicted to reading on my tablet (I have hundreds of books to get through still without adding on anymore, lol). Buut, glad to hear it's your pretty basic YA dystopian I can finish the series I'm already reading before I start that one.



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