Curious adventurer. Crazed reader. Archery fanatic. Amateur author.
I’ve read some other novels by Kantor, but none compared to Confessions of a Not It Girl in my opinion. Originally published in 2004, the story still holds relevance for today’s teenage generations of being true to yourself, falling in love for the first time, and so many other problems faced by high schoolers every day. Jan (the "not it" girl) and Rebecca (the "it" girl) are best friends at their school in Brooklyn. Both girls have normal lives and are ready to enjoy their senior year of high school. "Privilege aside, Jan's life is pretty normal for a teenage girl. She's studiously avoiding French class, and college applications while trying to avoid looking like an idiot in front of her newest (possibly biggest) crush, a classmate/neighbor named Josh” (Miss Print’s Amazon Review).
Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading Forbidden Boy. The basic plot line runs along the theme of a modernized Romeo & Juliet. A young girl, living in her family beach house, meets a charming boy at a party and they fall in love after a few weeks of dating. Meanwhile, a rich family, next to her house, is trying to make her family sell their home so that the rich family can have a gym on the waterfront. Turns out, that the young boy is the son of the thieving, rich family. Neither of the families is happy about the young couple’s relationship, but they still continue seeing each other in secret. The difference between Romeo & Juliet and Forbidden Boy is that at the end of the novel that families accept the children’s love and they live happily ever after, whereas in the play the young lovers kill themselves to be together and only then do the families accept each other.
This short story (and I do mean short since it was only about 50 pages) was a bit strange, erotic, and at some points downright unpleasant, at least to me, to read. I thought it would be a vampire story, which it is, but I did not expect more than three-fourths of the novel to be sex scenes. Books should better prepare you for what is inside when you read the back cover blurb or research a book online. Obviously, I don’t want them giving away all the surprises, but when the back cover of the book says the novel is about a vampire and the love of his life saving the world on New Year’s Eve, I thought that would be it (because yes, I am one of those who jumped on the vampire story craze). Even the Amazon blurb for the novel simply says, “Times Square. New Year’s Eve. This year, it’s a Countdown to Death. Twyla Tafel has uncovered an insane plot to unleash vampires on the unsuspecting revelers. She’s armed only with her great admin skills, her useless art degree, and Nikos—a seriously hot vampire she’d love to paint as a Spartan king roaring his muscular challenge at the Persians.” Seems like a vampire fight story with some romance thrown in, right? Instead, the entire book, until the last 10 pages, is spent in the vampire’s bedroom, hence the eroticism of the novel. Only in the last few pages do the vampire and the woman go off and save the whole world from doom, so it was unexpected and thus unpleasant for me to read, but if you like those kinds of stories, then give this book a try.
First, let’s just get the obvious part out of the way. The title is a reference to Beauty and the Beast. It is obvious from the title but still needs to be pointed out. The ugly duckling and the pretty princess have starring roles, but in the end, this story takes a bit of a different turn on who is Beauty, the Beast, and so on. Never judge a book by its cover, right? Same goes for titles; just because the title is a reference to the “tale as old as time” does not mean that the story itself plays parallel to the story we all know and love.
Whenever the holidays come around, there seems to only be about 15 songs sang by multiple artists. You can listen to Dean Martin croon "Baby, It's Cold Outside" or modernize it with Idina Menzel and Micheal Buble's version. So if you're tired of those same songs, no matter how many artists have sung them, you're in luck. This year, spice up your holiday playlist with the following 10 original holiday songs.
Lynne S. McNeill’s Folklore Rules: A Fun, Quick, and Useful Introduction to the Field of Academic Folklore Studies is a great introduction for anyone interested in folklore. McNeill has a Ph.D. in folklore and is an assistant professor of English in the Folklore Program and director of online development for the folklore department at Utah State University as well as co-founder of and faculty advisor for the Utah State University Folklore Society. McNeill is also the co-founder of the Digital Folklore Project and co-editor of Slender Man is Coming.
Kate Atkinson is an English writer with multiple novels and awards to her name. Her latest, released in September 2018, is Transcription, a novel following the life of Juliet Armstrong as she enters the world of spy-craft during World War II. However, Atkinson's novel isn't only about espionage, but also includes humor, romance, a look at the reality of humanity, and literary callbacks to other famous works. Atkinson takes the good and the bad of the world and creates a believable, yet also quite an unbelievable heroine/simple girl in Juliet. Readers are unsure of Juliet's true motives (or if she even has any). She's a girl, just like any of us reading the novel, who simply get caught up in the casualties of war. However, Atkinson has audiences rooting for Juliet to find love, to make it through her crazy spy missions, and to maybe even figure out who she really is along the way.
When visiting London, the most exciting thing to do is to enjoy the people. Let's be honest, in such a large, bustling city, most tourists don't actually get to see Buckingham Palace or Big Ben, and if they do, it's for three seconds before the rush of people behind them pushes them out of the way. My advice? Enjoy the stock photos available on Google of each landmark and then go spend your time in London actually engaging in the culture. Go to the local pub, see a show at the theater, do the things that real Londoners do, or maybe even enjoy the lesser known tourist sites, but don't go to the tourist traps with the millions of other visitors. So, here's a list of things to do and places to go for those more adventurous and willing to be more than another tourist.