Written by Lauryn Smith
In addition to being F. Scott Fitzgerald’s muse, Zelda Fitzgerald has inspired writers like Therese Anne Fowler ("Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald"), Sally Cline ("Zelda Fitzgerald: Her Voice in Paradise"), R. Clifton Spargo ("Beautiful Fools: The Last Affair of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald"), Nancy Milford ("Zelda: A Biography") and Erika Robuck, author of "Call Me Zelda."
Why did Zelda garner nearly as much posthumous acclaim as her literary husband? There are a number of reasons, both glamorous and not-so-glamorous, some of which are uncovered in Robuck’s novel. Robuck's fiction, based on Zelda’s real life, demonstrates how Zelda was artistic in her own right (she was a ballerina, painter and writer), and how at times her mental well-being suffered from the effects of an overtly opulent lifestyle and a struggling marriage.
"Call Me Zelda" focuses on the story of the fictionalized Anna Howard, a psychiatric nurse at the Phipps Clinic in Maryland who cares for and becomes enraptured by Zelda. In the book, Robuck illustrates Anna’s past and present and how Anna attempts to reconcile the two through her blossoming friendship with Zelda.
Written by Lauryn Smith and Beth Winters
Paula Hawkins’s recently released novel "The Girl on the Train" has taken the literary world by storm. In fact, it has been dubbed the new "Gone Girl." The story follows Rachel, an alcoholic who spends more time focusing on the lives of others, specifically a couple she sees every day from the train, her ex-husband and her ex-husband’s new wife and child, than dealing with the reality of her own. More than one Reviewer wanted to to see what all the hype is about. Check out our thoughts below.
Did you like the book? Why or why not?
LS I quite enjoyed the book… at least until the story’s conclusion, which I found a little Scooby-Doo-esque. You know, the villain reveals his or her master plan to an audience after getting found out. Until that point though, "The Girl on the Train" is a true page-turner in two regards. Firstly, at the end of each section, I just had to know what happened next, and secondly, the writing style facilitates quick reading. A worthy beach read in every sense of the phrase.
BW I was not a huge fan of this book. I do not think the story was planned as well as the book jacket makes it seem. There seems to be times when writing that Hawkins was simply going, "Oh shoot, forgot to wrap this part up, I should probably do that,” and rushed to conclusions. I had such high hopes for this book but was not impressed. Hawkins uses many cliches and ideas from other books, so the story does not feel original. My opinion might be different had I not read "Gone Girl" prior to "The Girl on the Train."
Written by Beth Winters
I absolutely LOVED "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline.
I should start off by saying that I heard only good things about this book, so I had high expectations going in. Those expectations were definitely met.
The story starts out with the protagonist, Wade, talking about his sad existence. The year is 2044, and the world has changed drastically. Resources are scarce, and the only way for poor people to go anywhere is to plug into the OASIS, a virtual reality system that replaced the Internet.
Wade grows up using the OASIS while his mother scrounges up a meager living. At one point, both of Wade’s parents die and he is sent to live with his aunt and her crop of rotating boyfriends atop a tall stack of 20 old trailers. Needless to say, Wade does not have a great life. Wade ends up going to school in the OASIS where he hunts for the Egg during his spare time.
Let’s back up a minute. James Halliday is the co-inventor of the OASIS. Upon Halliday’s death, a video of his surfaces, leaving a message that he organized a treasure hunt, the objective being to find the Egg within the OASIS. The Egg consists of all the money Halliday owned as well as control of the OASIS. Three gates lead to unknown adventures and tasks. The catch? Halliday was obsessed with the 1980s—meaning everything in the hunt revolves around the 1980s.
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