This won’t exactly be a complete review of the book but rather a collection of my thoughts and the process I took while reading it. (more…)
It’s been a little under two months since my last book project was finished. It was over Gone Girl and took up about a week to fully post. I hope it wasn’t too annoying for my readers because it’s time for another one! This one is due in it’s entirety by May 8th. So between now and that day, I’ll be pumping out posts about a specific book, one after another. I realize that this completely ends the “hiatus” I had going on (let’s be real, that hiatus is only a half hiatus) but I’m getting a grade for this and actually kind of enjoy writing these.
This time, the book I was reading a book was for the #ReadingMyLibrary event (which I’ve been so so bad with updating). If you’ve read my sign-up post, you could probably make a good guess on what I’m probably doing this project on.
And it is……….. *drumroll*
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater!
The posts are going to be in a slightly different format this time around. Since I’ve already finished the book, it’s going to be more of a series of various thoughts I have about it.
This post is kind of a introduction/warning for any followers. I apologize that all of the posts are going to be about one book and I’m really sorry that it’s going to be like spam. I just wanted to say that I will be discussing spoilers so read them at your own discretion.
Now overall I did not have very many expectations for this book. I was unimpressed by Stiefvater’s book Shiver and was on the fence about whether or not this book would be any better.
Kelly’s Thoughts About The Scorpio Races Prior to Reading
- “I hope I like this more than Shiver.”
- “I have no clue what this book is about.”
- “I like the cover. It’s maroon and that is my favorite color.”
- “I really hope I like this more than Shiver.”
- “Is there romance? I bet there’s romance.”
- “I wanted to borrow that Raven Cycle series instead but the library only had this. I guess this works too.”
- “Is this like the Kentucky Derby goes fantasy?”
- “Please, please, please be better than Shiver.”
- “I’ve had this book for a month now. I should probably start reading it.”
- “This looks like ancient cave drawings. Is this historical fiction?”
So yeah. I didn’t have very high expectations for the book, especially after I tried to read Stiefvater’s other book, Shiver. I didn’t really like the plot or mood of the book at the time. I heard that her other books were way better but having not read anything and knowing that I’m a picky reader….. well I wasn’t expecting much at all. I wasn’t even sure what I was supposed to expect from the book. I went in completely blind. I didn’t know anything besides the fact that it was something horse-related.
I’m not going to talk about what I did end up thinking of the book (in this post at least), but if you haven’t read The Scorpio Races yet, what do you think of the book, basing it solely on the cover?
This post serves two purposes.
1. To warn all my followers about the posts that will be going up.
2.. To review everything I’ve heard about this book up until now.
1. If any of you don’t know yet, I’m a high schooler. Obviously that means I take classes on a daily basis and do this as a hobby because I don’t have time to expand my blog as much as I would like to.
Every semester in English I have to read a book off of a list in order to finish a book project. This time around, I decided to read Gone Girl. The project is due on the 6th, which means that between now and Thursday, a lot of posts about Gone Girl will be going up on my blog. I apologize in advance and wish to tell everybody that I will definitely be discussing spoilers within the novel. At the same time, I will be trying to stick to my regular blogging schedule although as I said in a blog update earlier, it will be difficult. Especially since I’ll be trying to finish 10 posts on the side because I didn’t plan on it.
And now onto part 2 of this post.
Gone Girl is an adult thriller novel released in 2012. It was adapted to the big screen in 2014.
I heard loads and loads about this novel earlier, especially since the movie released last year. I can’t even begin to count the number of times that someone told me, “Oh that movie was really good! I didn’t know that it was based on a book!”
The funny thing is that I can’t even fathom trying to watch a movie without reading the book first. I almost always research a movie I might see prior to watching it. And no, I don’t have high expectations for the movie because I’m generally unimpressed by cinematography.
Regarding the book itself, I’ve had two teachers tell me that Gone Girl would fuck with my mind. I’ve heard people say that the ending would enrage me or that the book would cause me to think that I myself am messed up. I’m already expecting the book to cause me intense feelings because I haven’t heard a single negative thing about it. But at the same time, I’m expecting the book to grossly disappoint me because 99% of popular books don’t sit well with me.
I’m going in completely blind. I think most people know what the book is about, but I kind of suck at keeping up with American pop culture. Especially movies. So I literally have no idea what the book is about.
So far, I really enjoy the book design. I got the copy that appears like this:
I really like the color scheme of the book itself. The book is black and it’s flaps are neon orange. It’s kind of distracting when I try to read the summary, but it’s a really flattering design.
As for what I think the book is about…. uh some girl disappears? A girl flies off into the wind saying, “gone”? Maybe her hair is gone because it flies away with the wind. I have no idea.
What were your first impression when you first heard about Gone Girl?
The Monstrumologist: Will Henry’s Hat
So here is the first post of my English project. It will discuss the symbolism of Will Henry’s hat within Rick Yancey’s book, The Monstrumologist. If you would like to avoid spoilers, skip this post.
Early on within the novel, it is mentioned that Will Henry has a small cap, one that is too small for his head.
“He lifted my tattered little hat and squinted down at my face, a smile playing on his lips, and, despite myself, so comical was his expression of earnest study, I caught myself smiling back.
‘Ack! You’re right, not a child – a fine young man, then! D’ye know what I think it is that fooled me, William Henry? It’s this hat! It’s much too small for a strapping young man such as yourself. A fully grown man should have a man’s full grown hat!'” Page 53
Will Henry had been orphaned a mere year earlier, having witnessed his parent’s death in a fire. His hat is the only artifact he has left from his past life, having lost all of his possessions in the fire. He has a deep attachment to it, due to the fact that it’s the only connection left. The reader doesn’t know this though. Slowly, parts of his story are revealed to show that the only reason he still keeps the hat is because he hasn’t let go of his parent’s deaths. He feels panicky when he loses the hat. During the first expedition to the Anthropophagi’s lair, Will Henry loses the hat in the chaos of running for his life. When Dr. Warthrop returns to retrieve their lost cargo, he does not bring the hat back, must to the chagrin of Will Henry.
“‘No, sir. I mean, yes sir. I mean…I was wondering…That is, I’ve been meaning to ask if you found my hat.’
He stared at me uncomprehendingly, as if I were speaking an exotic foreign tongue.
‘Yes, sir. My hat. I think I lost it at the cemetery.’
‘I didn’t know you owned a hat.’
‘Yes, sir. I wore it to the cemetery that night, and it must have fallen off when they…when we left, sir. I was wondering if you might have found it when you returned to… to tidy things up there.’
‘I didn’t see any hats, except the one I gave you to destroy. Whenever did you acquire a hat, Will Henry?’
‘It was mine when I came, sir.’
‘When you came…where?’
“Here, sir. To live here. It was my hat, sir. My father gave it to me.’
‘I see. Was it his hat?’
‘No, sir. It was my hat.’
‘Oh. I thought perhaps it held some sentimental value.’
‘It did, sir. I mean, it does.’
‘Why? What is so special about a hat, Will Henry?’
‘My father gave it to me,’ I repeated.
‘Your father. Will Henry, may I give you a piece of advice?’
‘Yes, sir. Of course, sir.’
‘Don’t invest too much of yourself in material things.’
‘Of course, that bit of wisdom is not original to me. Still, much more valuable than any hat. Have we satisfied your inquiry, Will Henry?’………..
‘I just wanted to know if you found my hat,’ I said.
‘Well, I did not.’
‘That’s all I wanted to know.’
‘If you’re looking for my permission to purchase a new one, get thee to a haberdasher, Will Henry, with the caveat that you do sometime today.’
‘I don’t want a new hat, sir. I want my old hat.’
Will Henry still aches for his family, even if he doesn’t realize it. His concern for his old, tattered hat shows the first stage of his character development.
Also, throughout the book, Will Henry battles the confusion within, wondering why he listens to the eccentric Dr. Warthrop. He knows that the man is not capable of being a worthy guardian, attributed to his lack of concern for Will Henry’s basic needs. Food and sleep are the last things on his mind and in multiple scenes, he chastises Will Henry for wanting to eat. At one point, Will Henry came to the conclusion that the only reason he continued to work for Warthrop was because firstly, he was the only thing he had left, and secondly, he felt that it was his duty as the successor to Dr. Warthrop’s assistant. Will Henry’s father had been the doctor’s assistant. His reasons for working are connected to his little hat.
However, as the adventure unfolds, Will Henry learns what it means to let go and Dr. Warthrop learns what it means to care for others. In the end, Dr. Warthrop gifts Will Henry a hat, which he accepts. The old hat is burned along with the the remnants of the doctor’s past. This burning symbolizes the two of them letting go of the painful past, together and is a sweet moment where the two have come to understand each other.
“The doctor was sitting on the floor before the hearth, stoking the fire. Besides him sat his father’s old trunk. If he noticed my appearance, he gave no sign of it, as he threw open the lid and, one by one, began tossing the contents into the crackling conflagration…….
‘What have you got there, Will Henry?’ he inquired without taking his eyes from the purifying pyre.
I looked down at the two hats lying side by side in lap. I raised my head and studied his face, turned away from my own, turned toward the fire. Upon his angular profile shadow warred with light, the obscured visible, the hidden revealed. His father had named him Pellinore in honor of the mythical king who quested after a beast that could not be caught, an act of thoughtless cruelty, perhaps; at the least a fateful portent, the passing on of a hereditary malady, the familial curse.
‘My hat, sir,’ I answered.
‘Which one, Will Henry? That is the question.’
The fire popped and crackled, snapped and growled. That is it, thought I. A fire destroys, but it also purifies.
I tossed my old hat into the center of the flames. Warthrop gave merely the slightest of nods, and in silence we watched the fire consume it.
‘Who knows, Will Henry,’ he said after it had been reduced, like the effluvia of his father’s life, to ashes. ‘Perhaps this burden you bear will prove a blessing.’
The journey of the hat shows the process it took for Will Henry to come to peace with his parent’s passing as well as the relationship he had with the doctor. In a way, the gifting of the hat also symbolizes the new level of respect and understanding that Will Henry had come to develop with the doctor.