Monday, February 1, 2016

We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler

Book #1 completed in 2016: We Are Pirates by Daniel Handler

This is the 3rd under this name of his that I have read (he also goes by Lemony Snicket - and, of course, years ago I read all 13 books from his Series of Unfortunate Events). I do find myself slightly biased when it comes to choosing to read his novels, but that is simply because his writing never fails! There is something so subtle, yet so unique about his style of writing that I can't help but fall in love with it.

Anyway, enough of me blabbering on about how much I love Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), here is my assessment of my most recent read:

This novel is about 14 year old Gwen, who is struggling to feel like she belongs, even in her own home. After meeting a new friend, or two, together they rally a crew of odd-balls and mis-fits and hit the "high-seas" on a unique endeavor to leave it all behind. All the while, Gwen's father, Phil Needle, while pursuing a job prospect, struggles in his relationship with his wife as well as trying to make it home to find his daughter.   

I found this novel tough to follow/get in to at first (which was thoroughly disappointing for me since I have a fondness for Daniel Handler's writing), however, within a chapter or two, I was hooked by not only the abrupt, vulgar imagery and language, as well as the unique style that the modern day Pirate theme carried with it. Although this book is mostly based on a 14 year old girl, I definitely would not consider this a youth or teen novel. There is a varying range of harsh curse words, and blatant, as well as subtle, sexual references.
Overall I thought the novel was well written and carried a unique premise. Daniel Handler has a very special way of writing exactly how you would expect different ages/genders think, so this is definitely worth a read (as long as you are not easily offended)!

Quotable Moments:
"Where does trouble come from? How do you get into it? It was no trouble to steal any of these things, and the thief was untroubled during the entire easy adventure, her immune system and her skin flushed and glowing." pg. 9

"If people were sorry before-hand, they wouldn't do things." pg. 21

"It went down the drain to stain the ocean." pg. 27

"His teasing her was so many things at once: Gwen's desire for him, her shame at her desire, her embarrassment at her shame." pg. 35

"And we have the spirit of rebellion." pg. 102

"If nobody knew then, they wouldn't know now." pg. 107

"'We want to forge a social order,' she said, 'beyond the realm of traditional authority.'" pg. 109

"Blow jobs weren't out of the ordinary." pg. 142

"They would leave her, Gwen decided, let her howls, like a ghost, warn other sailors away." pg. 171

"Nobody, nobody, nobody should have children." pg. 229

"She wanted them to go wrong better." pg. 243

"Look for your breath to save your life, or the lives of those you love." pg. 267

I hope you take the time to check out any of Daniel Handler's novels!

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