Books for Breakfast #67

Book Reviews

The Merciless by Danielle Vega
&
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig

I picked this book up because the cover caught my eye, I mean how could it not! I saw it sitting on what I think was the “New/Popular in Young Adult” table and immediately walked over, grabbed it, and put it on top of the other five books that were already in my arms. I have an addiction and it can not be stopped. Sorry I’m not sorry at all. If I ever won the lottery I would build myself a little library cabin with a nice reading nook and a tiny tea/coffee bar and stay in there all day long surrounded by books arranged nicely in alphabetical order by author last name, separated into genres. But I’m going off topic here….Let’s talk about The Merciless.

I picked it up first because of the cover and then kept it because of the summary. I love scary/horror books. I thrive on them. I’ve been a horror buff ever since I watched Jurassic Park while hiding in my blanket fort at the tender age of 5. Although, I didn’t find this book to be scary…more creepy and cringing (aka gory). The premise is a group of popular girls who decide another girl at their school needs to be exorcised, so they set to work on that and it ends up being a lot more like torture than an exorcism. Seriously, these girls are ALL very messed up.

It was hard to like any of the characters and I feel like some things were never cleared up. It had that vague sort of ending that I didn’t really see coming, although it did clear up some of the earlier situations that didn’t make sense to me when reading. (Spoiler: Like how Brooklyn escaped the bathroom and didn’t drown? Like what? I mean, her being a demon/devil explained how she moved around all injured like that.) It was an interesting, creepy, and quick read. It’s certainly not for everyone, just because I didn’t think it was scary, doesn’t mean it wasn’t. I’m kind of dulled when it comes to scary things, in other GoodReads comments I saw a lot of people found it to be frightening!

Apparently it’s going to be made into a movie though? Which is kind of cool, I will probably check out the movie if/when it comes out! I’d like to see how it would be transferred onto the big screen and perhaps it would clear up some parts in a way? Another comment mentioned that there would be a sequel, but I couldn’t find anything to support that claim, so for now I am taking it to just be a single stand alone story.

Where do I even start with this book. Alex got this book for my dad for Christmas because it’s his favorite book and he thought that my dad would enjoy it, which he did. In fact, he pestered me to read it for quite a while after he finished it and dropped it off with me. Alex wanted me to read it as well and I finally got around to it. Now I totally understand why they both pestered me to read it so much! It’s an AMAZING book! It’s really deep and I feel like I need to sit and digest what I’ve read, wait a while, and then read it over again!

The book is, like I said, really deep. It talks about philosophy, values, quality, and a lot of other thoughts about life. It’s hard to talk about one single thing when it comes to this book. I suppose I can start with a brief premise though. It’s about a father and son road tripping across the country on a motorcycle. At first they are joined by two friends, but soon they make the rest of the journey alone. Throughout their travels, the father goes into long internal monologues about his thoughts on, mainly, quality and what quality is to people. He also talks about motorcycle maintenance and a lot of other things. You learn a lot about the father and that a lot happened to him from before.

This book has been out for quite a long time and even has a sequel, which Alex hasn’t finished, but didn’t like as much as the first one. The book has a first person narration, which once reading it, made a lot of sense. I skipped the foreword, because Alex told me to, and read it after finishing the story. Honestly, I think the Foreword is better left till the end as well. It cleared things up well and reading it first would have spoiled some things. Anyways, the book showcases an internal struggle of the narrator, along with an external struggle between him and his son. It’s a very involved story.

I wouldn’t say it really has a novel plot line, it’s more like a philosophical text narrative. Almost like the old Greek texts where the philosophy was discussed between two characters like a dialogue instead of just straight text. Still, it’s a satisfying story and I feel like I’ve learned a lot about how to live life in a more fulfilling way. It’s also changed the way I view certain problems and issues. He talks a lot about technology and how there is a group of people that find it “evil”, which is one of more interesting parts of his philosophical talks, part of his Chautauqua. (PS. If you don’t know what that is, it’s something that came about in the nineteenth century where talks were held to further education in adults. They were held at Chautauqua Lake, which I’ve been to multiple times, and all sorts of people held lectures there and talked to crowds about their ideas and such. It’s all very interesting. Kind of like the original TED talks! You can read more about it on Wikipedia!)

Basically, this book is earth shattering (maybe mind shattering is a better phrase) and really makes you look at things differently. He talks a lot about education as well and it really makes you rethink college and how we as a society look at education. Alex actually wrote a whole paper on it last year. It’s a crazy good book! Even if it’s not your normal genre, I suggest reading it anyways. It can really change the way you view things. I think it has a really amazing life lessons in it that make you want to change the way you think about the world around you.

Next on my reading list:
What You Left Behind
Also, the reader’s choice was a TIE! So I’ll be adding Unabrow & The Paris Wife to my reading list! I can’t wait!!

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By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!

  • Kay

    AH!! I saw Jurassic Park when I was 5 too! My dad brought me to see it in theaters with my (older) brother (to which I now wonder what on earth was going through my dad's head haha). I LOVEd it, but definitely hid in his shirt from the T-Rex and yelled at the movie screen when they were trying to get the door locks to shut. Okay, random childhood tangent over.

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance sounds like a great read! I haven't read too many books with a sway toward philosophical nature, but I love having chats about such subjects with friends. So I imagine I'd enjoy reading about it too!

  • I remember watching it while curled up inside a pillow fort and mid way through the movie, during the T-rex scene, my dad kicked the pillows in on me and I screamed because I thought there was a T-rex in the house! Needless to say, my mom got really mad at him for scaring me! haha! Although I handled it like a champ!

  • The second book's title is intriguing!