Tag Archives: #survival

Room; First Thoughts Fiction

room cover

Here it is yall… my next review for my #firstthoughtsfiction segement. I know it’s been a minute.

So, I’ve never been the type to read a book before watching the movie… and the book Room by Emma Donoghue wasn’t the exception to the rule. I enjoyed the book, as well as the movie (it’s on Netflix) but I was skeptical in even wanting to complete the book nor watch the movie just because it was such a slow start for the story to pick up while reading. I must admit, when I started the book life happened (brown skin girl emoji shrug), so that could be a small part as to why it took me a minute to start.

Emma Donoghue is a best selling author with multiple books; Room being one of the books that put her on the best selling charts. This book is raw, intense, whimsical, and heavy just to give a few details. Don’t be expecting it to be all sunshine and rainbows, you’ll definitely need to take a break sometimes.

What made this book so different was, it was told in the perspective of the little boy, Jack. Room was about a mother “Ma” who lived with her son Jack in an 11 x 11 room. She was kidnapped and raped and held captive for years until she was able with the help of her son to escape. The first half of this book is all about Ma and Jack in room. He perceives everything as “fake” except themselves. Although this book was deep and unbearable at times, there were times where Donoghue showed Jack’s intelligence but also his young-mindedness; you’ll have to read the book to truly understand what I mean.

The second half of the book was about Jack and Ma’s escape and what their lives were like after being free. For me, the second half was easier to swallow, but you could tell that even being ‘home’ for Jack was different. For the mother she struggled and suffered from being able to express herself. She was resilient and did everything she could with the circumstances she was given to protect herself and her son; but being in a ‘normal’ environment took a toll on her (depicted only in the movie).

In Room for Jack he seemed comfortable, at ease and safe. He didn’t quiet understand that outside of room there was a whole world he knew nothing about. I loved how Donoghue portrayed Jack’s emotions with learning all of this new information. It was a lot for him as a five-year-old boy to go from having only knowing the room to the world. In the movie, I think Jack was depicted as he was in the novel. You could see and feel while reading how he had to handle his old and new life.

What I wish was consistent in the book more so than the movie, was you were able to see more about Jack and Ma after they were freed. It showed their everyday life, how Jack adapted too his life outside of room, and more importantly his moms role. She struggled once they were free and wasn’t able to tend to her son, even though she was able too go above and beyond as best she could in the book. Donoghue’s attention to detail was given more life in the movie from Ma’s perspective. I always hear “the movie was better than the book”, but in my opinion that is never the case. I’m a true book lover at heart. Reading a book gives way more detail for me than watching the movie.

When reading this book, please have an open mind. Although I didn’t (lol) and it took me a few times to get the ball rolling, over all it was enjoyable. It was difficult at times to remember that the perspective of the book was told in Jack’s voice. That’s something I had to get use too, but that’s something that kept me intrigued the more I continued to read as well.

If I could leave you with this, imagine being the characters in Room, at least five year old Jack. You have the whole world to live, breath, and make an impression. Leave your mark on the world in someway shape or form. As I type this, I think that’s something the book taught me. Being confined in one space and thinking that’s all there is, you’ll never succeed. Take this book in a sense as a learning lesson. Don’t be confined to thinking you need to stay in one area in your life. Grow, change, and adapt to the circumstances you’re given, even sometimes if they are bad. Things will get better, and you’ll have plenty of time, and space to make a difference and start over. Everyday.

brian-tracy-inspirational-quote

the Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes; First Thoughts Fiction

ceecee wilkes

the Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain is a book that has twists and turns every chapter. In short, this book is about survival, secrets, love and lies. The main character CeeCee Wilkes grows from being a naive, gullible, and care free teen and transforms to a woman who depends on the relationships she’s built to keep a secret that could destroy all she’s worked hard to forget.

This was my first time reading a book by this author, and it won’t be my last. Once I was done reading I immediately found Diane Chamberlain’s website to discover she’s written more turn twisting books that look just as interesting.

the Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes is about second chances. CeeCee did the best she could with the hand she was dealt, and without giving too much away, she was able to turn the tables and win. There were times she counted herself out but she had an amazing support system that didn’t give up on her even when she felt like giving up on herself.

This book had me in my feelings each chapter. I felt like I was part of the family and I didn’t want anymore destruction to happen to CeeCee even if she was part of the problem. She was a protector, a lover and a survivor. Just imagine being in her shoes… falling in love and having your whole life change because of someone who you trusted whole heartedly.

If you’re looking for a book that will have you on a roller coaster ride this is it. Diane Chamberlain has become one of my favorite authors.

Would you be able to keep a secret for years that would affect your future?

Little Bee; First Thoughts Fiction

littlebee cover

Little Bee by Chris Cleave took me forever to read simply because life got in the way. I had to start it over three times; with the third time being the final charm (pun intended).

Little Bee was about a young Nigerian refugee woman (Little Bee) who was released from her detention center and travels miles away to the only people she knows; the O’Rourke family who saved her life but also tried their hardest to forget the tragic incident of how they met. So I don’t spoil too much, this book I would say has a theme of ‘wanting to be free.’ Every character, small or large is suffering, or going through some type of journey that they only hope keeps them safe and sound on the other side. This book is about second chances. This book is about starting over the best way you know how but being scared (you know what-less) because you don’t know what the outcome will turn out to be.

What I loved about this book was each chapter alternated between Little Bee and Sarah’s (the wife in the story) perspective. Little Bee’s perspective was about survival, never forgetting where she came from, and trying her hardest to re-create herself in a world she really had no business being part of. Little Bee studied how people in England carried themselves because she thought that would be the key to saving her life. She felt like changing her vernacular and knowing facts about a world she would’ve never been placed in if it wasn’t that day on the beach with Sarah was her out. Her way of being free and starting over.

For Sarah, she too was about surviving but in the sense of, she had to focus on the present and not go back to who she was. A woman who was lost and just seemed to go through the motions. Essentially, she was changing for the better but still held on to who she used to be. Sarah was a people pleaser, but failed to focus on how to properly love, balance, and care for her family. It was like she was in denial about things and she knew it but she didn’t take the steps to figure out how to get out of those moments. So she went about her daily routine, struggling because she never spoke up until it was too late; but redeeming herself when Little Bee came back into her life was her way of being free. Helping someone else was they key for her life to be better.

Little Bee and Sarah are one in the same, and it’s crazy because their lives were totally different prior to when they were put together and it changed everything. Their willingness to help one another in a time of turmoil, both physically, and globally shaped who they became as women. They depended on each other and I think subconsciously knew that with all the secrets they kept they needed each other because one couldn’t survive without the other.

Chris Cleave also has another book,  entitled Incendiary. I enjoyed his style of writing  in Little Bee and hopefully you will too. Although it was a slow read in the beginning the relationships the characters developed with each other continuously peaked my interest. Each chapter there was something I wasn’t expecting. A story of two women trying to survive in a world they felt like they didn’t belong too.

 

 

Push; First Thoughts Fiction.

 

PushNovel

So I’ve decided to come up with this concept called “First Thoughts Fiction” where I discuss a particular book I’ve recently finished. These particular blog post will consist of any pros/cons I felt the book had and simply what I thought about the book as a whole. Today’s post will be about Push by Sapphire.

For those who don’t know, Push by Sapphire was written in 1996. This story is about a girl named Precious from Harlem, who’s illiterate and has to fend for herself in a time where she feels like no one is on her side. Being raped by her father and abused by her mother she finds solace in the comfort of her teacher who helps Precious see things in a different light. Most of you at this point maybe remembering the movie Precious, which debuted in 2009this movie was based off of that book.

I loved the book and the movie, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t trying to incorporate movie scenes into the book while reading. To be honest, the grammatical errors in the book (placed purposely to show Precious’ illiteracy) made my brain hurt. I understood the reasoning behind it, but if I remember correctly Precious, played by Gabourey Sidibe, did way better in the movie with her literacy verses in the book. I would have to stop reading every once in a while to let my brain cool off, it was hard trying to properly form the words she was writing into proper English. It was a constant battle every time I turned the page, and hoping with each chapter I read her grammar would improve, but it didn’t.

The hard images Sapphire wrote about of Precious being raped, and the abuse she endured from her mother were raw and real. While reading I felt the pain Precious felt, I felt sorrow and sadness too. Being able to create those images in someones brain is a skill, and seeing it on film was just as important.

All the actors and actresses of Precious I think were phenomenal. I had to look up what actress played Precious’ teacher, because I couldn’t place the face; it was Paula Patton. I don’t remember her at all in the film, (maybe I should re-watch it) and it’s sad because her character in the book played a vital role in Precious’ growth. It’s funny, I remember only Gabourey Sidibe, Mariah Carey & Mo’Nique. It could just be because the three most important actresses ended up being the three most important people in the book. I can’t even remember who the actresses were that played Precious friends in the film. From the book I think the social worker (Mrs. Weiss played by Mariah Carey) and Precious’ mom (played by Mo’Nique) were so uncut in the book that it made sense for these actresses to portray uncut emotions. Who remembers the scene where Mo’Nique was yelling and screaming at Precious from the top of the steps and threw the tv? Or how Mariah Carey didn’t even look recognizable? These are the things I remembered in the film, and in the book they were just that raw and intense. There were definitely things I remembered in the movie about these characters and the roles they had in Precious’ life, but in the book they were portrayed differently.

All in all, the book is a great read, and if you haven’t already pick up a copy. When a book has a movie attached to it, I try to read the book first so I can look for things I’ve already read about in the film. Push is a book I’ll never forget and always recommend because of the realness and raw talent that it took Sapphire to create. Someone somewhere felt like Precious at one point or another, and hopefully reading this book will only teach them to never give up and follow their dreams, no matter what. Spoiler Alert, that’s something Precious grew to love about herself. She may not have had the best home life, but she had a support system from women and friends she formed relationships with; what she learned from them she never forgot. She always pushed through.