Monday, March 23, 2009

What I Read - White Oleander

Just a short one this time around.  I picked up White Oleander when I was browsing on BookMooch, and if you've been paying attention, you know why it caught my eye.  So I put it in my wishlist and once it arrived, I basically could not put it down.  It's the story of Astrid, shuffled from foster home to foster home after her mother is sent to jail for murdering an ex-lover.  And like I said, it was incredibly gripping.  I haven't been so compelled to keep reading a book in months.  But that said, it is a very dark book, as a lot of the situations Astrid finds herself in are not very pleasant, and even the nicer ones have an edge to them.  There's instances of sex, drugs, and even rock and roll (no, really), and all that goes with them, so keep that in mind if you decide to read the book.
The edition I received was the movie tie-in, so after I read the book, I checked out the movie, and while I thought it was good, it wasn't nearly as powerful as the book, first because the book is told in first person, so we really get inside Astrid's head much more, and second, the movie cuts out the two worst foster homes and moves one of the other homes to an earlier part of the film, which doesn't quite feel right.  But maybe that's because I read the book first.  If I'd seen the movie first I probably wouldn't have bothered reading the book might have felt that the order it put the homes in was off.  And while this isn't really related to the movie itself, the two 'making of' featurettes on the DVD heavily recycle footage from each other.

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