Review: The Vegetarian

Title: The Vegetarian

Author: Han Kang

Publisher: Hogarth Press

Publication Date: February 02, 2016

Genre: Literary Fiction

Rating: 4.5 Stars

The Vegetarian by Han Kang is a “kafkaesque”story of one woman’s ordinary life and how the onset of her mental illness leads to her becoming a societal outcast. It is a cerebral work of literary fiction that explores one woman’s suffering from the perspective of those that watch her suffer, sympathize with her, but who fail to understand her.

Yeong-hye and her husband were a very basic, middle class couple who expected nothing of the world but the bare necessities. Neither had hopes, nor dreams of achieving the unreachable. This was all before the nightmare: the bizarre, twisted dream that would change Yeong-hye’s life. The nightmare is dark, but splitting; mysterious, yet intriguing. We, nor the characters ever find out what the dream actually is. All we know is that it  leads to Yeong-hye cutting animal products from her diet. What follows is a horrific chain of events that manifests itself into a plague driven by eroticism, emotional and physical abuse, and self-starvation.

Yeong-hyes new way of life shocks her husband, her family, and all those who come across her decaying body. Desperate for her to snap out of this bizarre new fetish, Yeong-hye’s husband attempts multiple methods to get his wife to eat meat and even goes as far as literally raping her. Her father’s disaproval comes in the form of force feeding meat down her throat, to which Yeong-hye resists by getting a hold a knife and slitting her own wrist. This is the turning point of the novel away from Yeon-hye’s lifestyle being simply a concept of food. It has now grown into an obsessive disorder that damages and kills her inside out as the nightmare continues to invade and feed upon every aspect of her life.

The story is told from the perspective of Yeong-Hye’s husband, up to the point that he divorces her, to which the perspective changes to her sister, In-Hye’s husband. He is a deeply disturbed artist whose strange obsession with Yeong-Hye and her “Mongolian mark” leads to his own form of self-destruction. His artistic vision for Yeong-Hye recreates Yeong-Hye’s body into a work of art, and temporarily becomes a reprieve for Yeong-Hye from her nightmares. With a series of flowers painted over her naked body, she feels protected and stronger. The artwork’s pornographic turn is drastic and compelling. In-Hye’s husband’s part of the novel left me feeling deeply unsettled and conscious, more than ever of my own body, its limits, and the control that I have over it.

I found the last third of the novel to be the most bitter and hearbreaking. It is told in In-Hye’s voice, who, despite the utmost care she has for her sister, still fails to understand and soothe her. In-Hye desperately tries to hold onto Yeong-Hye’s life. She begins having her own form of nightmares, and often finds herself carried years back to her childhood with her sister. She is reminded of all of Yeong-Hye’s quirks and strange tendencies, only then coming to the realization that all of these little things Yeong-Hye had did or said, if they could have been addressed, or prevented, Yeong-Hye may have been saved.

The readers nor the three major characters are ever able to get inside of Yeong-Hye’s mind. All that is certain is that there was a dream and this dream grew into a monster having a life of it’s own, infecting each and every aspect of the lives of Yeong-Hye and those around her. The Vegetarian is doubtlessly an alienating novel that managed to leave a lasting impression on me.

Yours Truly,

(Book image credits go to Goodreads)

 

 

New BFF: Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads

I recently took part in a Q&A with, yup, our very favorite Inge at The Belgian Reviewer. A big ‘ole panda hug to one of my newest blogging BFF’s. You made my week blossom and shine like sun rays on a stormy day doll face! (okay, perhaps I’ll never be Shakespeare, but y’all gotta admit that verse was pretty crafty).

The Belgian Reviewer

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Today on the blog I’d like to welcome Delphine who is the babbler on Delphine’s Babble on Some Good Reads. If you don’t know her yet, you are going to be so impressed with this girl! She is so clever, she reads all kinds of genres, I mean she knows all the classics, she’s a fan of Alice,… she has great (and expensive) taste in shoes, she loves to use sarcasm, she likes books over movie adaptations (because movies wouldn’t even be there without the books), she loves pearls, not diamonds, and has 4 tattoos, and one of them are words in French. Yeah she has a thing for France and even wants to live there ;-). If you want to see her tattoos (go on, I know you do) or read more fun facts go on over to her blog and give her a like and a follow…

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The Sunshine Blogger Award | 2

Dear fellow Babblers,

Okay. Tell me how in Homer’s jelly doughnut stratosphere this is possible…. Delphine wakes up, spends hours cruising through social media and making new book buddies in God knows what country, island, box. She comments, plans posts, thinks about posts, and reads. And yet here Delphine is to tell y’all “I’M BEHIND!” Time has not been on my side lately and if I have not responded to some fellow babblers comments (as if any of you care, I know you just want me to pay attention to your blog and click that blue glowing “follow” icon) I deeply and from the bottom of my swiss cheesy little heart apologize!

So here I am, after a pillow scream, chips ahoy cookie binge, and cat cuddle session later to provide you with Sunshine Blogger Award take 2! I love the book blogging community for all this fun and meaningless opportunities to learn more about the pretty (or perhaps not so pretty) little faces behind every blogging account. One of my best friends that I’ve managed to make in the short time I’ve been blogging, Noriko at diaryofabookfiend has nominated me for this award. She has been a pleasure to get to know and her posts and comments (she’s one hell of an active blogger *phew* – lemme catch my breath here!) are so charming and a delight to read every time. Wait… Could it be that you, Noriko, are the reason I’ve fallen behind?!?! Yes, her posts are that good kiddos so if you think you know what an amazing book review is stick your head in a toilet and get off your high horse, visit her blog, and only then are you allowed to return for a babble with Señorita Delphine…  Continue reading “The Sunshine Blogger Award | 2”

The Sunshine Blogger Award | 1

sunshine

Dear fellow Babblers,

Jee golly whoot whoot! Two months blogging and I’m hauling mules through these awards. I’m sure y’all are pretty down in the dumps bored about falling into the nitty gritty about my meaninglessly banal life, but, I mean, complain to my fellow babbling nominators!

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To express the happiness I feel this time around allow us to compare it to a bright fart of sunlight shining upon my frizzy head of curly hair as I skip through meadows of rainbows and daisies…. Thank you so much to my pretty chica Melanie over at MNBernardBooks for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award – I”m definitely feelin’ the warmth of our toasty summer here now! Don’t be a lazy tushy and breeze through this post without visiting Melanie’s blog for some of the best book reviews and even writing that the infinite blogosphere has to offer… and you’re welcome fellow bloggers for my introducing you to her amazing site.  Continue reading “The Sunshine Blogger Award | 1”

The Unique Blogger Award

Dear fellow Babblers,

It’s Monday. Y’all I’m guessing are feining a cough so you can avoid walking into a drab ole office or playing hookie from Summer school to go bum it at the mall. As a full time blogger, part time cat pervert I am free from either pointless obligation. Instead, I get to position my tushy alongside my cat and babble to y’all about how dysfunctional I am. You can thank my buddy Alex over at coffeelovingbookaholic this time, as she nominated me for The Unique Blogger Award… I’m pretty sure unique is just a cinammon and sugar way of saying psychotic, but we’ll leave all critical interpretations out for the moment. Please give his blog a whirl for some fantabulous book recommendations; and bookish thoughts about all things BOOKISH! Salut to the bibliophiles of the digitally compressed 21st century!  Continue reading “The Unique Blogger Award”

Review: Sublime Karma

sublime karmaTitle: Sublime Karma

Author: Peyton Garver

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing

Publication Date: November 30, 2016

Genre: YA, Mental Illness

Rating: 4.5 Stars

 

“Crimson Color
You are falling under
You replace the hurt with pain
No, you’re not insane
You replace the hurt with pain
To rein in your thoughts again
And why you’re all alone
It seems there’s no escape
unless you can find another way
You can lean on me
You are not alone
I’ll be there for you
I’ll help pull you through
There is another way
Open up your eyes and see
I’ll take you there with me”

Dear fellow Babblers,

I was recently sent Sublime Karma by the author, Peyton Garver in exchange for an honest review. If y’all think you have had enough of teenage drams – prissy cheerleaders, narcissistic jocks, mysterious emos – welcome to Sublime Karma. In this novel issues of teenage depression, self-harm, domestic abuse, peer bullying are all brought to the forefront as Garver brings together two distinctly different high schoolers into a romantic and potentially fatal romance. This book has touched my heart, feelings, thoughts in a way that no story – not even Go Ask Alice or our favorite psychological classic, The Bell Jar has ever done before. Continue reading “Review: Sublime Karma”

The Versatile Blogger Award

Dear fellow Babblers,

Howdie hoe day! It’s Thursday, Friday Eve, but who cares huh? Having been off of school for a little over a month now, every day seems to peacefully blur into yet another sunny, peaceful day in rowdy and smog-infested Cal-i-forn-i-a. Being free of a number of obligations, I have lots more time to blog and read – maybe even I can finally catch up on my endless TBR… LOL PSYCHE – that thang don’t stop stackin’, no thanks to all the groovy recommendations and reviews y’all don’t stop posting!I’m technically supposed to be studying for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), which is one of the most annoying and brutal tortures that the American system could ever dare to slam on us, innocent, twenty-something-year-olds. However, as demonstrated, I have an attention as expansive as our fellow blue fishy, Dory and studying just ain’t my specialty.

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So, all graduate school ambitions seem to have temporarily (hopefully) gone out the window and I’m here, again, spending the afternoon with my lovelies (you, dear babbler)… Continue reading “The Versatile Blogger Award”

ARC Review: Mrs. Fletcher| Rated XXX

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Title: Mrs. Fletcher

Author: Tom Perrotta

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Publication Date: August 01, 2017

Rating: 3 Stars

 

 

 

I received an ARC copy of Mrs. Fletcher in exchange for an honest review. Thanks goes to NetGalley as well as Simon & Schuster for this advanced copy which is to be released August 1, 2017.

“They were glued together like prom dates, swaying under the spell of ‘Sexual Healing,’ which felt just then like an uncanny coincidence, a not-so-subtle message from the universe, even though it was just another song on Amanda’s iPhone, part of a crowd-pleasing soul- and Motown-heavy playlist that had kept them going for the past hour ad a half.”

Dear fellow Babblers,

Tom Penrotta’s seductive, evocative, over the top humorous new novel, Mrs. Fletcher, is an exploration of gender, sexuality and self discovery – three extremely relevant topics of the day. This novel is recommended for mature and open-minded audience members who seek an adventurous twist, sure to shake their reading experience. Well, at least that’s how the story went for me. More than a pleasurable read, I took away new perceptions and therefore opinions towards several of today’s controversial topics circulating around identity and relationships with oneself as well as with others.  Continue reading “ARC Review: Mrs. Fletcher| Rated XXX”