Because I need an Excuse Review Number 1: Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn

Hello and welcome to my first ever “Because I need an Excuse” review! This awesome book is called, “Empress of the Seven Hills” (well, duh) and it’s basically about four main characters: Vix (short for Vercingetorix the Red), who’s the basic and stereotypical Roman barbarian, Plotina, the Empress that rules her home and the Empire with equal amounts of attention and ruthlessness, Vibia Sabina, an adventurous young woman whose catchphrase is “Intresting”, and Titus (shortened from Titus Aurelius Fulvus Boionius Arrius Antoninus-what a fucking mouthful!) whose most original moments come from quoting classic poets, orators and the like. *cue trailer voice* TOGETHER THEY LIVE THROUGH THE LAST YEARS OF EMPEROR’S TRAJAN’S BATTLES IN BOTH THE BATTLE FIELD AND AT PARTIES. Ok, that was pretty funny. But seriously, that’s the basic plot.
In the beginning, the characters are all introduced with their basic personality traits that I’ve outlined above, so much in fact, that they are really really bland characters and narratives, which is not bad, but very…safe. As you go on though, things get pretty complicated, but yeah, everything goes back to the basic character traits. Frankly, it’s not as good as I thought it would be, because the beginnings slow and kinda sounds like we’re in the twenty first century, with all of the narrative choices. Also, the beginning will reek and reek of sex, which if you don’t mind, is tolerable. In the middle, things get pretty interesting, which I don’t mind and the biggest thing I liked in this novel is that it shows life in Rome beyond “rich guys pimped out their daughters who then died in labor, and fucked their slaves”. So if you want a fresh taste of Rome, pick it up; you won’t be sorry. In the end, the action war scenes are so much more….how shall I say this? brief and hurried over, and there’s a final conspiracy that we, as the audience, get a unique look at through the eyes of Empress Plotina. The only spoiler I will reveal to you is this:
Vix and Sabina have sex and then………well it kinda tapers off and then the book just ends. Because well, leave a fucking cliff hanger so you buy the fucking sequel. Yes, apparently, there’s a fucking sequel.

Overall impression?
Pretty good, not like AMAZING, even though I was hooked, until like the last quarter of the book when I’m like, “Dude, just….get to it already!!!!” would I recommend it? Only if you like “conspiracy” novels, those who have a clear “good” and “bad” characters, and those novels who have a really strong flavor of romance novels. Otherwise, while it may show some more of Roman times (and I know I might have over done it with it being the best thing I like d about this novel), it still shows the traditional side of things, with maybe a tiny bit less emphasis of patricians and their families. Also, thank the Gods that it wasn’t another novel about Cleopatra Selene and Emperor Augustus.
Rating: I’ll be…generous (or cheap, however you look at it) and give it a 3.4 rating. So basically, 68%. Not bad, but not awesome.

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Springbreak

Halfway through, and I’m already dreading going back to school. After all, when else is it possible to sleep until 3pm and stay up until 4am? Only during spring and summer break. So far, I’ve been really unproductive, which isn’t a total surprise. I’ve been reading several books, and as soon as I’m done, I’m hoping to review Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn.
The ironic thing is, I’m already bored by spring break, and I actually, paradoxically, want to go back to wretched school. I do have volunteering on Friday, which should shake things up a bit.

Midterms

I hate studying. There’s really nothing worse to me than repeating information I couldn’t care less about in the first place. To me, education is not sitting in a chair all day. Exploring, reading, talking, and thinking are the real tools to education. Sure, you need the beginning tools to read and to think, but what’s next? Why can’t we have kids who have the tools and have the brains, and just give them lessons to complete on their own pace and their own way? If I have to learn about history, I’d rather just go around and look at archives of newspaper articles, read books on opinions, and just explore that time period. I’m going to try that, and while obviously I have to complete homework, I think I’m going to use what I have; after-all, I’m the first generation to be born to all of this technology, and I might as well harness it to my advantage.
So back to studying. We have midterms, which I’ll admit, do add to my points and I really could use the buffer for my grades to increase. After that, it’s spring break and I have to do some volunteer work for my AP Government and Politics class, or I can’t pass my course. Frankly, I thought it would be more about current events, but hey! we can never understand them unless we know the basis for laws.
Speaking of laws:
I found this website http://www.docs.House.gov which shows what the legislation will pass or the bills up for the Floor. Google News is also a good resource. There’s a variety of news sources.
Anyway, have to drink my tea and take a shower and
Off to bed!!

Cooking some Anti-Kosher pork……

So it’s Sunday….the Sabbath day, which on today I did homework and read Anne of Green Gables #6. So now I’m cooking. Pork. I’m such a bad Jew. So here I make it up to you with this pork recipe, served up with perfect irony.
What you need:
Pork breast
Oil
Milk
Eggs
Garlic
Salt
Basil
Bread Crumbs
And obviously, you need containers for all of them.
Mix in the milk, eggs and basil and into the first container. The next thing you do is to wash the pork and rub them with salt and garlic. Put them into the next container. Next, you pour out the bread crumbs and soak the pork with the bread crumbs. When they are covered, place them on the oil covered pan and cook until its easy to cut through the meat. Enjoy πŸ™‚

Getting back on the Horse

So it’s been a while since I wrote on here, and sadly, until now I was wayyy too lazy to get back on the horse. I just gave up. Apparently, success doesn’t come on overnight and that’s a really tough lesson to swallow. I’m almost in junior year and I’m still fucking up. I know my major, but not my career of choice besides being a writer. I’m only now just tackling my skin problems, only now starting to legitimately study. But still, I daydream everywhere about the usual, fame and fortune, which is now probably a goal of mine: to make as much money and be as successful as possible. I can’t help but regret that I wasted a whole year without recording anything here, and that all of my attempts of writing some sort of diary went to waste. It’s so hard not to quit, and if you do, it’s so hard to get back out there.
Currently, I’m falling behind in Chinese again. It’s so hard to be motivated, and harder still to care about being motivated. The only thing I care about is watching HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, which is, to use their words, legen-wait for it….DARY! And honestly, Netflix isn’t going anywhere.
I think that I’ve failed, but really, I haven’t, at least not in the way I thought I had. I’m going back to writing, aren’t I? And I’m still writing stories and continuing my work on my novel, despite feeling insecure. and I really really wanna make money, but hey! so does everyone. The point I’m trying to make is that I haven’t failed, and that if I’m trying, then I haven’t failed. Besides, I’m back, aren’t I?