Review: Snowflake Obsidian by The Hippie

Title: Snowflake Obsidian

Author: The Hippie with Anger Issues

Reviewed for:  Pump Up Your Book Tour

This review will be a little different, because the book itself is a little different.

Snowflake Obsidian is the Memoir of a Cutter. But it doesn’t really focus on the cutting. Instead, it focuses on relationships, including the author’s relationship with herself. It’s about losing friends, gaining friends, and all the life that happens in the mean time.

For a while I was torn about this book. It took a long time for me to read it, even though it’s only 250 pages. It’s hard to read the thoughts of someone who’s depressed, because mostly my reaction is “Oh, get over it already,” even though I know it’s not that easy.

I enjoyed so much reading about the journey the author went through. It’s not easy, learning to not hate yourself, and it’s just so interesting reading about the different therapies (like Willow’s visits to Millie). She even, to an extent, uses art. It was interesting, watching her learn to laugh again, to not feel hollow.

I don’t want to say too much about the contents of the book, because it’s all inter-connected and characters that you think will disappear for the rest of the book either turn up or are mentioned, but I will say that I loved the part about hiding the remote. I giggled a lot.

Also, I learned that Snowflake Obsidian is actually a stone.

Aren't they pretty?

This book was reviewed as part of the Pump Up Your Book tour. I would like to extend my thanks to the author for providing a copy of the book.


Review: Ophelia by Lisa M Klein

Title: Ophelia
Author: Lisa Klein
Obtained: borrowed from library
Format: hardback
Rating: 2/5
Read for: 2011 Wish I’d Read That Challenge

He is Hamlet, Prince of Denmark; she is simply Ophelia. If you think you know their story, think again.

In this reimagining of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, it is Ophelia who takes center stage. A rowdy, motherless girl, she grows up at Elsinore Castle to become the queen’s most trusted lady-in-waiting. Ambitious for knowledge and witty as well as beautiful, Ophelia learns the ways of power in a court where nothing is as it seems. When she catches the attention of the captivating, dark-haired Prince Hamlet, their love blossoms in secret. But bloody deeds soon turn Denmark into a place of madness, and Ophelia’s happiness is shattered. Ultimately she must choose between her love for Hamlet and her own life. In desperation, Ophelia devises a treacherous plan to escape from Elsinore forever… with one very dangerous secret. (from

My Thoughts

Hamlet is my favorite Shakespeare play, hands down. That said, I can say that I didn’t particularly care for this book. I understand the motivations behind it–after all, Ophelia got the raw end of the deal in Hamlet. Her lover goes nuts and kills her father, and her brother is gone.
Romanticizing Ophelia’s demise did nothing for me, except make the entire story cheap. Ophelia was one of those characters who was supposed to have a sad story–not a happy ending.
The novel itself is an easy read. It’s not complicated at all, and although Ophelia often gets bogged down in description, it doesn’t detract from the story.
I kept wondering about her descriptions of other characters; Polonius, Rosencrantz, Guildenstern, even Claudius, who might have been a murderous traitor but there’s no mention of him being a lecherous drunk in Hamlet.
I just couldn’t get into the book. I kept hoping it would be like Juliet, a retelling, but no such luck. If you like seeing alternate endings for characters, read this, but if you like the play as it is you might want to skip it.

Review: Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto

Title: Goodbye Tsugumi
Author: Banana Yoshimoto
Obtained: borrowed from library || image from google image search
Publisher: Grove Press
Rating: 4/5
Read for: Japanese Lit Challenge 4


Maria Shirakawa is a thoughtful young woman thrown by family circumstance (her parents never married; with her mother, she is waiting for her father’s divorce from his current wife) into growing up with her cousin, Tsugumi Yamamoto, in her aunt and uncle’s small inn. Tsugumi, who is chronically ill, possesses a mischievous charm that both maddens and amuses her family. As Maria describes Tsugumi: “She was malicious, she was rude, she had a foul mouth, she was selfish, she was horribly spoiled, and to top it all off she was brilliantly sneaky.” Tsugumi’s tenuous health seems to free her from the behavioral norms that govern Maria and Tsugumi’s long-suffering older sister, Yoko, allowing her to curse, flirt with boys, concoct elaborate pranks and shock adults in a way Maria resents, envies and admires. Eventually, Maria’s parents are united and she leaves to attend university in Tokyo, returning for a final summer during which the inn is being demolished, and this provides Yoshimoto with all the plot she needs to explore the difficult but affectionate bond between the cousins. (

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