Chemistry: a novel by Weike Wang

book-review-bp

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The main character’s life is falling apart. Getting her PhD is looking less likely by the day, especially after she breaks all the beakers in the lab. Also, her relationship with her boyfriend is imploding, just like their ceiling. And yet with all that there is still hope.

The prose is stream of consciousness but it isn’t incomprehensible. In this case this style makes it a relatively fast read. The main character is weird and random but I can’t help but relate because we also get snippets of her past with dysfunctional parents. All three of them are immigrants to the US and we see how that impacts them. There was a lot of depth and humanity plus chemistry. I found myself highlighting multiple passages.

I highly recommend for literary fiction fans.

Gundam Seed Episode 12: Flay’s Decision

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The Archangel rendezvouses with the Lunar Fleet and Kira and his friends have a choice to make about whether or not they are going to stay with the Archangel or if they are going back to Orb.

Flay decides to enlist and after that so do Sai, Miriallia, Tolle, and Kuzzey. Then they have to go find Kira to tell him that he can make the choice to stay or go.

But of course he has to stay because they are staying. That’s how this whole situation got started. And really we wouldn’t have a story if they all traipsed back to Orb to join their families.

And the little girl gives Kira a flower as a thank you present. Makes my heart burst.

Just in Time for Dinner

The Random Cafe

The Random Cafe caters to those who have varied tastes at various times of the day.

Every now and then they will serve a special dinner and invitations are highly prized but impossible to receive by asking.

Ben, our antihero, hates these dinners.

But our lady hero, Arabella, loves them.

She’s been officially invited since our antihero accidentally turned her into a rabbit.

This time, she arrives in a rather loud orange dress. Her mother tried to stop her from buying it but Arabella insisted on the purchase because no one else would be wearing this shade. Arabella’s mother was forced to agree.

Ben merely smiles and tips his mask at her.

Random Cafe employees all wear masks at these dinners but they may choose which color they wear. Ben wears black or white.

Arabella merely passes him, pretending he is just another server.

These gestures are expected of both of them. The eyes look away for now.

Gundam Seed Episode 11: The Awakening Sword

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Kira is on trial but he gets off because he’s a civilian.

Dearka and Yzak plan to attack the Archangel. They are mean to Nicol because he expresses concern about how much time they’ll have.

Athrun and Lacus talk. She notes how unhappy he is and he replies, “I can’t exactly fight a war with a smile on my face.”

Crazy Flay has come out to play. She nearly crushes that little girl’s hand!

Space battle!

And Kira’s Seed activates!

Yzak’s face gets pretty badly injured.

That Seed animation makes me giggle every single time. Even though it tends to happen during these really intense battle sequences. I love the colors and this exploding seed pod thing. I enjoy it.

We learn this later but SEED stands for Superior Evolutionary Element Destined – Factor.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Book Review Blue Ladder

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I first found out about this one because it was a pick for Book of the Month Club in March and I have seen it blow up since.

I didn’t pick this one in March but it sounded really interesting to me and when one of my library systems ordered it I put myself on hold. And I got it and I read it. Here are my thoughts.

This is about a couple who leaves Syria through a magical door when the fighting begins. They travel to different places trying to make a life. But as they live in different places they grow further and further apart.

The style of writing is like a fairy tale. The reader is told the story rather than shown the story.  I didn’t really mind it. I like fairy tales and other stories told to me. For some reason, I also didn’t need a firm connection with these characters. I thought it was easier to read about them with a slight barrier between us.

I also felt that this was an important book about being a refugee. There are elements of the fantastical (the magical doors, for instance) but there are big doses of reality about trying to find places to live and work because they don’t want to go back to Syria until it is safe to do so.

Overall, I really liked it and thought it was powerful though ultimately a bit sad. I recommend this to those who want to read more diverse literature and don’t mind being told the story rather than being shown the story. If you aren’t into the first chapter I give you permission to put this one down.

Thanks for reading! *waves*

 

Gundam Seed Episode 10: Crossroads

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This episode was a little rough. Flay freaks out because she lost her dad. Then she lashes out at Kira in a very hateful way.

But Lacus and Kira talk. They both admit that they both know Athrun. And then Kira decides to return her to ZAFT.

Sai and Miriallia decide to help Kira but they also make him promise to return.

As Kira passes Lacus over to Athrun they talk. Athrun wants him to come to ZAFT but Kira’s friends are still on the Archangel and he has to protect them.

That was so hard to watch.

But as Athrun returns with Lacus to the ZAFT ship Le Creuset launches to attack and Mu launches to counterattack. Lacus doesn’t sit back though. She demands that Le Creuset return and not make this a battlefield. Le Creuset is obviously frustrated but withdraws.

I love Lacus, I think she is a fabulous character.

Caged

Our re-connection was an accident

I was reckless with my laughter and smiles

Afterwards

I realized

Because you made me laugh and smile

I let you into my heart

But

I can’t act on that

Can’t allow these feelings to grow

But

I know better than that

I can cage my heart

Make that cage beautiful and intricate even

But

It’s too late

And now I hide behind sunglasses

So my eyes don’t betray me

Gundam Seed Episode 9: The Fading Light

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Three ships come to escort the Archangel to the rest of the Lunar Fleet. On one of the ships is Flay’s dad.

That’s when Le Creuset’s team attacks again. Flay freaks out and drags Lacus to the bridge threatening to kill her if ZAFT doesn’t back off but her father’s ship explodes right in front of her.

As the situation worsens Badgiruel makes the decision to use Lacus as a bargaining chip and ZAFT backs off.

Athrun gets mad at Kira, “What monsters they are!” And Kira is struggling because he doesn’t even remotely agree with what Badgiruel did. When he tells Mu what he’s feeling, Mu gets a little testy. “We are weak. Therefore, we can’t judge the officers on the bridge.”

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