amackson_40213's blog

Annabelle Mackson - Bookseller in Manchester

A lifelong Vermont resident, Annabelle is a full-time college student who moonlights as a bookseller. Starting at Northshire in the children’s department, she has since been trained on the adult floor and switches between the two on a regular basis.

DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781940696959
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Published: Wave Books - April 7th, 2020

Heartbreaking and informative, Don Mee Choi’s DMZ Colony is not a fun read, but felt very essential. The truth is never easy to stomach, and Don Mee Choi delivers the truth of the Korean War, the United States’ involvement, and its aftermath in an honest and almost pure way, as many of the accounts she puts into the book are that of children. There are graphic depictions of war and human rights violations, but they are a part of history and must be acknowledged. This book was short, but packed the punch needed to make an impact on every reader. ~ Reviewed by Annabelle Mackson

Justine by Forsyth Harmon - Book Review

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ISBN: 9781951142339
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Published: Tin House Books - March 2nd, 2021

Ali is a lonely and bored teenager struggling with an eating disorder, until she meets Justine, a co-worker at the local Stop & Shop. Through first glance, we see Ali’s obsession with Justine as romantic attraction, and while there are hints of a lesbian relationship between the two, it becomes clear that Ali wants to be Justine, rather than date her. We follow the dynamic between the two girls and their male romantic interests, complete with casual breaking and entering, shoplifting, and good old underage drinking. Though quite a short novel, the plot and themes Harmon introduces are quite intriguing and left me thinking long after I had finished the book. ~ Reviewed by Annabelle Mackson

Paradise Lost by John Milton - Book Review

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Paradise Lost Cover Image
By John Milton, John Leonard (Editor), John Leonard (Introduction by), John Leonard (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780140424393
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Published: Penguin Classics - April 29th, 2003

Oh how I would love to see a debate between John Milton and Dante Alighieri. The classic piece of biblical fiction written in the manner of an epic poem, Paradise Lost is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of religion, and, though less advertised, feminism. The relationship between Adam and Eve, God and Eve, and Satan and Eve speaks volumes about how the world treats women, especially within quite orthodox Christian sects. Though written over 350 years ago, Milton’s words still hit the beats today that they did so long ago and have surely passed the test of time. ~ Reviewed by Annabelle Mackson

Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse by Anne Carson - Book Review

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Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375701290
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Published: Vintage - July 27th, 1999

This is definitely the type of story where you learn more from each reading. I found the writing and plot beautiful and found many meaningful moments in this retelling of the classic Greek myth of Geryon and Hercules (Herakles in the Greek). As someone familiar with the traditional trials of Hercules, this was a very interesting dive into the background of one of the titular enemies of this classic hero. I highly recommend it for anyone partial to the classical studies, but the content and writing is perfect for contemporary readers too. ~ Reviewed by Annabelle Mackson

Bunny: A Novel by Mona Awad - Book Review

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ISBN: 9780525559757
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Published: Penguin Books - June 9th, 2020

Compared to both Heathers and The Craft, Bunny was a wild ride. The Heathers comparison is quite apt, only instead of making their fellow high schoolers miserable, the Bunnies are fake woke grad students who write about womanhood as if they created the concept. As for the reference to the Craft, well just read it and find out. Samantha is just trying to get through each day and overcome her debilitating writer’s block so she will actually have a reason to graduate. Even though she spends most of her time with her friend Ava, Samantha is fascinated by the Bunnies and is quickly drawn into their whirlwind life of pastels, drugs, and a dash of the occult. This book is so mind-bending that you almost have to suspend your judgment until it’s all over, otherwise nothing will make sense. And even then it still might not make sense. Bunny is perfect for anyone into dark academia and who isn’t afraid of a bit of gore. I really, really enjoyed this book, and I am looking forward to Mona Awad’s next novel coming out later in 2021. ~ Reviewed by Annabelle Mackson


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