Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life of a small town...

Before I start and before you read, I just wanted to tell everyone what my biggest pet peeve was when it came to this book....when I told people about what book I was reading and they say "Oh, but I've seen the movie." Readers! Don't Judge A Book By It's Movie!!! I saw the movie too, and it wasn't bad, but it paled so drastically in comparison with the book. This book had to be one of the single most best reads I've read in a Long time. This book was flawless, thought-provoking, deep, beautiful, intense, and will stay with me for a long time if not forever.

The main characters live in Mississippi during the sixties at the peak of the civil rights movement, and Skeeter seems to be the only person in the town (who's white) that wants, and has the power, to change things. So she writes a book about the injustice black maids get when they do everything and raise the children of white families, yet they are treated as pests and time-bombs. Even though it sounds low key, the book was suspenseful because of the danger Skeeter and all of the maids face in order to try to change things. The Help was so beautifully written, I can't stand it! It was also Mrs. Stockett's first novel based off of her life growing up in Mississippi with a black maid. Therefore, the book feels real and personal.

My school's book club read this for the month, which is why it found it's way in my hands, and something that was brought up at the meeting was that "you don't prefer one person's story to another. You don't just keep reading hoping for your favorite story to come back up. They were all interesting and fantastic." You see readers, the book switched points of view from Miss Skeeter (who writes the book), Aibileen (a black maid who's gone through tragedy but still loves passionately), and Minny (another maid with a bad history and a sassiness). Throughout the book, you see how the events taking place effect each of the women, and you as readers can follow where their lives go and change. It was a clever and relieving way to write the book because otherwise the book would have been flat and one-noted.

Even though you, as young adult readers, might think this more of a dull and adult book, It's not. At. All. From page one, I was in love with every word said and typed and with every character gracing the page. Enemies come from friends and life changes drastically and wonderfully. The courage is admirable and wonderful;things that readers want to model themselves after. Some scenes were hard to take and even made me nauseous, but it's that sort of physical reaction you get that makes you know just how much this story reaches in your soul and strums your heart strings.  I just....I it So much! I never thought I'd have such an emotional attachment to this book when I picked it up. I thought it would drag in places and would feel like the longest read ever, but the minute I closed the back cover, I wanted to open the front again.  

Cover: 3/5 stars
Plot: 5/5 stars
-Love, Katie

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