Friday, August 17, 2012

Indie book: In the Fool's Footsteps

       "In the Fool's Footsteps", a new indie book that I just read, is definitely hard to put down. Karen Hoffman's complex structure of books within a book and a-million-characters set up is an innovative collection of writings. The story begins as main character feels compelled to read a diary of many peoples' lives. The main character's determination to find out where this diary came from, her struggle to decide whether she wants to write in it also, and her attempt to juggle her personal life too causes severe chaos in Kal's life.

       Clara's diary is the pit of a thousand secrets for centuries that have passed. Because of this, many people strive to keep these secrets within the confines of the people who write in the diary; however, Kal's determination to publicize the secrets is disrupting everything. Some writers are mad, some don't care, but all of them play a part in this special project. So what happens?

** Spoiler Alert **

       Well, it takes a bit to get used to the structure because it jumps from one character to the next, but if you stick with it, this book gets really good. Between Kal's personal life and the diary she is pursuing for falling on her, Kal has a lot cut out for her. Even worse than this is that the more people she interviews, the more she is beat down. The situation gets severely intense when she realizes the terrible abuse her lover is facing, but life still gets worse from there. A van gets vandalized to pieces, books and papers are stolen, and Kal has to suffer through it all alone. Who is behind all this and why is it such a huge secret?

       The controversy that lies within this book is various. It ranges from teen pregnancy to rape, from a same sex relationship to suicide, and even more. Hoffman has made this book reach boundaries without actually pushing them. The most extreme sexuality portrayed directly is a soft kiss and the only intoxication of the main character is by beer.

       I simply adore the effects of the foreshadowing in each chapter. It kept me guessing at the next part of the story and wondering what the next character would be like. My favorite character of all was Jen for her crazy goth style. Cherise and Marc were also quite fascinating in the ways they partied, dressed, associated with others, and reacted to certain things. It would be so wonderful to read this again with someone else so I could discuss the variety of riveting details.

P.S. Isn't the cover just amazing?

Karen Hoffman's "In the Fool's Footsteps" can be purchased for $12.99 as a paperback book or $2.99 as a Kindle edition at Amazon:

There is also a book reading on Youtube @
a book signing being held on September 8th. For more details visit Karen Hoffman's blog at

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

the Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong

** Spoiler Alert **
     It's not exactly the most bone-breakingly controversial book (unless you count the strange powers everyone has); however, it shows a corrupt system that defines life and death which always gets my blood flowing a bit. Every page leaves a new question, questions that can't be answered till much further in the story. The intensity in which this book amazed me was astounding.  Armstrong added great back-story parts to support each conclusion and racked up the suspense with every word.

      In the beginning, you already expect there's something terribly wrong (or terribly fascinating) about this little teenage girl. Armstrong hints at the importance of a nightmare/memory and a vision that goes haywire. Then, it escalates into more, and the next thing you know Chloe is being taken away on a gurney. But that's not even half of it. Soon, Chloe faces a much more intense realization that she isn't insane; she's actually seeing ghosts and the people trying to convince her she's mentally ill are the scientists that developed her powers. Not only that, other people in the institution are also very powerful creatures!

     Armstrong takes us on an amazing adventure as Chloe escapes, is recaptured, and attempts to escape again. Along the way, she gets tussled, tattered, slices an arm open, falls in love, ruins then revamps a friendship or two, and learns not to trust a single soul. Will she make it out alive?

     I honestly couldn't put this book down. Every chapter something new and exciting is revealed, but it's not just random. Armstrong has a back story showing how every turn of event links to the truth of the situation. As an author, she has astounding foreshadowing skills. They coincide perfectly with her beautiful talent in imagery. I nearly died every time I read about Derek transforming or about Chloe rising bodies! The way Armstrong portrays these events is just simply breathtaking. If you've read it, you understand. If you haven't, then you will. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

          Lolita, a 1950's well-known classic, written by Vladimir Nabokov was and still is after 60 years a very controversial book. It leaves out a lot of the messy sexual things so it's not too explicit, but the reader can only assume the extent the "story" really goes to. Some people believe that Nabokov was reiterating a popular case of kidnapping at the time where  a young girl was taken on a trip from hotel to hotel by a man that used her for sexual acts.

**  Spoiler Alert  **

          In the first half of Lolita, Nabokov starts by giving a very long yet very intriguing detailing of “Humbert Humbert’s” before-lolita days. The way he scopes out child-like prostitutes, detesting their every womanly feature, and blaming his past with Annabel and human traffickers for his own fails and falters is exactly how I imagine a person in HH’s state of being would act; Along with the violent thoughts towards Valeria and complains of suffering through it, Nabokov created the suspense of what HH could do to others in a sort of ironic way where the reader doesn’t trust HH to tell the whole truth about his past.

           Throughout the story, HH sees himself as sly (which is also questioned due to his mental state) like how he thinks Lo’s mother doesn’t notice he suddenly changes his mind about not wanting to live with her because he sees Lo, “the fire of his loins”. HH tells us how he plays the coy father role and – again because his perception is off – the reader can only assume that Lo and her mother both notice his desires for Lo (hence, Lo’s acts of “seducing” and her mother’s attempts to lead him astray with marriage and religion, her extreme jealousy, and finally her invasion of his personal things). Another tid bit of the story that might have been tampered with is Lo’s mother’s death. HH said he had nothing to do with it – a mere timely coincidence – but there’s no way of knowing if he truly had nothing to do with it.

            This then leads to his skillful plan – executed quite perfectly in his mind. He takes his Lolita and commits an act he gives every excuse for in order to persuade the reader that it’s right, though it’s generally seen as wrong; all the while, he is terrified someone will find out his secret and have him locked up. Not to mention, his “lover” that he says he cares so much for is extremely unhappy so he’s also afraid that she’ll run away. There’s no doubt that these fears are simply selfish even when he swears he cares for Lolita. The things that fuel his anger revolve around jealousy, losing his little slave, and Lo not obeying. She is depicted as an object with the horrible side effect of not wanting to give up what HH wants from her. Despite the fact that HH presumes a father-like role in public and is perceived as protective, it is not the sort of protection in Lo’s best interest; her protection is merely his best interest – if you can even call what he does “protection”.

             Lo’s disappearance really throws HH through a loop because he has then lost the thing he had looked for all his life and even made disgusting plans to impregnate in order to fondle the – hopefully – girl child. The reader is then entertained by his wild spout of insanity as he tries to track his prized possession down. Things get slow after that because he gives up eventually, relying on his relationship status with a small drunken woman for his writings. Long after HH has stopped tracking her and she looks to her “father” for financial aid, it’s amusing that his first reaction is to shoot someone. Obviously, the man is still crazy; He goes after Lo despite his little girlfriend and wielding a gun in his hand. The reader is then put through the suspense of wondering HH’s next move. Will he shoot the girl or kidnap her or both or neither? Will he shoot her husband or her child or both or neither? Could there be anyone else to get in his line of fire, anyone else that he could blame all of this on?

             The man he does wind up in a bloody fight with and the story behind all of it completely blew me away. Nabokov’s expertise at foreshadowing and side plots is incredibly clever. Even though this story has unearthing controversy to draw the reader to it even after all these years, the most remarkable thing about it is how well the storyline was put together and how real Mr. Humbert – the insane and cocky yet fiercely frightened Mr. Humbert – seems.

Even with the looks I get when I read this book, I’d gladly read it again and again. 

     Welcome one and all to my new blog. Yes, I have others but A Cup of Depression wasn't working out for me as much as I had liked. It lost it's main topic (to cure or at least lighten the effects of depression). I also had Day-by-Day  but I couldn't even think of a topic for it... so this time, I present to you my new blog, Cannibal Cutie

     The topic I'm hoping to pursue is......
 controversy attracts an audience    

hence the name "Cannibal Cutie"; obviously, I am not a real cannibal nor do I wish to be one. Cannibalism, though an interesting topic, is a very real and highly terrifying thing in my eyes -- not just to endure from being eaten but even for the cannibal. I imagine some feel much guilt but...

     I have noticed a rise in Cannibalism throughout media these days: the news spouts horrific stories, my best friend is listening to "Cannibal Corpse", KE$HA is singing about being a cannibal in a sexual manner, and the uproar of the zombie apocalypse is obviously just a fear of a cannibal cult with gang green. ^_^

     Anyhow, back on topic for a bit, I will be updating this blog very often with new, trendy, and seemingly controversial books, films, fashions, memes, debates, anything I can get my hands on. Expect some random topics too (like writing tips, none sense about a sweet guy or new friend I meet, things I find cute, or rants about annoying people that I sometimes think deserve to be devoured)
P.S. I love Zombies and wish I had the patience to write about a teenage cannibal suffering through high school, scared to kiss a boy/girl in fear that she'll eat his/her face off.