Monday, August 29, 2011

Bright Before Us

Having a 3-day weekend, one day of which involved a hurricane that kept us all indoors, really ramped up the reading time.
This is somehow the pose I associate with the book Bright Before Us.
I probably should have spent more time in the closet because this outfit...was not how I pictured it in my head at all.
Dress - Tucker for Target, Cargo skinnies - American Eagle, Espadrilles - Franco Sarto
This dress is on the short side for work, so I thought, Ah ha, I will pair it with my skinny cargos which perfectly match the stems and leaves on the dress. I wore matching wedges to elongate my legs further, but I don't think it was enough. Maybe if the dress was shorter, but oh well.
Let's chalk this up to, Well, you tried, Michelle.
This outfit also fails because it in no way can be associated with my review for Bright Before Us by Katie Arnold-Ratliff, which is something I tried to do for Townie: A Memoir and The Instructions.
Sorry, it's too hot to wear a puffer coat like the ones featured on the cover.
What did I think of the book? 4/5 stars! Here is a great example of being able to really write. Not relying on a fantastic character that we all love, which you know, is fine to do. But I dislike it when people act like authors must constantly churn out super huggable characters. You don't necessarily need likeable characters if an author is fantastic! For example, our main character Francis is a complete JERK. He makes mistake after mistake. He actually maneuvers himself into these terrible situations and you want to scream, "No! Stop! Please, God, just stop!" (and maybe you actually do scream these things. Whatever. I was invested.) Like if you were a teacher taking your kids on a field trip and found a washed up corpse, what would you do?

Take pills all weekend, roll up into school, and feel threatened by concerned parents, then maybe eventually **SPOILER** slam a kid's head into the art supplies? When you finally end up marrying the girl of your dreams do you **SPOILER** curse at the grave site of her recently deceased parents? OMG, just please stop, Francis. What you said is one of the worst things I've ever read.

You know what Francis's problem is, though? He is so immature. You read this and think of...well, not exactly similar things you've done, but yeah, some stupid decisions you made because you were in love but too young to take care of it. Or you had a lot of responsibility, and something hard happened, and instead of taking control, you just...fell apart.

I enjoyed Arnold-Ratliff's style, and for a first-time writer, she really came at us with a story that I thought was original and shocking. Literally, I gasped out loud several times (and I've already mentioned the yelling). Yay to Powell's for introducing us to another great new author.


  1. I like your outfit Michelle! I really like the dress with military cargos, the dress adds some feminity to the military trend. I totally agree about not needing huggable characters if the writing is good!

  2. Thanks, Cara! Good point about mixing the feminine florals with the masculine military!