This weekend I finished one of the most heart-rending books I have ever read and saw Iron Man 2, the blockbuster action movie whose sole purpose was to entertain.
Mickey Rourke playing the villain Ivan Vanko in Iron Man 2 and the cover of Little Bee.
Little Bee, by Chris Cleave, tells the story of a Nigerian immigrant and an English woman. Sarah was on vacation with her husband in Nigeria when she met Little Bee who was fleeing men that had destroyed her village. A fateful decision was made and the two parted ways, never expecting to see the other again. Two years later, after finally escaping her country and being released from an immigrant detention center Little Bee finds Sarah and the two try to reconcile the past and push ahead to the future.
Little Bee continued my pattern of books with female protagonists. (I had previously read Precious and The Help.) What made the book so special was the shocking plot, dual perspectives and imagery. Chris Cleave purposely doesn’t reveal the events that occurred when Little Bee and Sarah met because “the magic is in how the story unfolds.” Cleave builds up the story before explaining the pivotal event and then reveals bits and pieces that will surprise the reader. Each chapter alternates between the perspective of Little Bee and Sarah. Both characters are equally important and it wouldn’t be possible to completely understand the rationale behind their decision making without getting inside their heads. Little Bee’s narrations are thoughtful and ties her imagery to what her life was like before conflict came to her village.
I would highly recommend this book but probably not to anyone in middle school or lower because there are so brutal and traumatic events described in vivid detail.
Iron Man 2, the sequel to the incredibly popular Marvel superhero flick didn’t disappoint. Although it was kind of slow in the middle, the final action scene blew me away.
The movie jumps right into the introduction of this movie’s bad guy. Mickey Rourke plays Ivan Vanko, a hulking, tattooed Russian physicist whose only wish is to destroy Tony Stark. He is recruited by Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), a rival businessman who will do anything to outdo Stark when it comes to weapons technology.
Tony Stark’s ego is even bigger this movie and his mouth never stops moving. He seems even more full of himself than the first movie. Rourke’s character Ivan is easily a better bad guy than Obadiah Stane, Stark’s friend turned nemesis in the first Ironman. His hair is an unkempt white mane, tattoos slink along his muscular frame, his crazy demeanor shows his indifference to death and is almost Stark’s equal in smarts. Because Stark is such a jerk I found myself rooting for Vanko and his sweet lightning whips and even when he was defeated he went out with a bang, literally.
Don Cheadle fills in for Terrence Howard as James Rhodes, Stark’s friend and fighter pilot. Scarlett Johansson is a hecka hot undercover agent kicking ass in a skintight full body suit and Samuel L. Jackson is the head of the covert organization called SHIELD.