Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I read The Great Gatsby in eight grade (or should I say started to read it) and quit after about one chapter. I've never been great at just reading a book no matter what. If I don't like it, I quit.

But, this year we read Gatsby for school, and so I didn't have the option to quit. And, rather than just skim it like I sometimes do for school books, I decided to try and enjoy the book this time around.

Surprisingly, it worked, and I found myself really enjoying the book. I mean, I just focused on the writing style and all the symbols and imagery, and I just can't help but see the masterpiece aspect of the book that I totally missed the first time. Plus, the characters... I know you aren't supposed to like the characters, but I have to admit that I do.

Gatsby is just such a timeless character with such depth... I don't know; I can't explain why I liked him, but maybe I can just identify with him sometimes.

Anyway, do I recommend this? I give a reserved yes. Read it when you're old enough, not in eight grade, and read it only if you're willing to analyze a little bit as you read. I think you can't just read this for fun, you have to take the time to enjoy the writing and understand the significance behind the book.

Ender's Game

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Several people have told me I need to read Ender's Game, and then I realized there is a movie coming out and decided that I absolutely had to finish the book before the movie. So I devoured the book in three days, only to realize that the December 6th premier only applied to Mexico City, not Oaxaca.

So turns out I have to wait until after Christmas to watch the movie, which is so awful because I absolutely loved the book and can't wait to see the movie!

There was some language and a lot of violence, but it was just great action that kept me reading, and doing the whole "just one more page" thing for hours every night while I was supposed to be sleeping. Plus, the twists at the end... I knew some of what was happening because of hearing conversation from friends that had already read the book, but even knowing that there would be a twist, I was still surprised enough to enjoy it immensely.

So yeah, recommended. For sure. Go, read it. Right now. Before you watch the movie.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This was another book that I picked up mostly because I liked so many of Bradbury's quotes and wanted to use them in my graduation speech but felt I couldn't until I'd read one of his novels. Then again, there's that short story about the house which I love so much and have read multiple years in school and don't even mind that I'm rereading it again.

I picked up October, a book of short stories by Ray Bradbury, and was traumatized. Apparently Bradbury does have some happy short stories, but I sure haven't read them. I just remember clowns, mummies, and a baby that killed both its parents. Traumatizing. But... I can't say they weren't well written and, well, gripping.

Anyway, I decided to read Fahrenheit 451, partly because it was written by Bradbury, partly because my friend told me I should, partly because the school library had it when I was looking for a book, and partly because Cornelia Funke quotes it at the beginning of a chapter in Inkheart or Inkspell or Inkdeath, or maybe in all three.

Fantastic book.

I loved this book and the characters and the way I could compare it to so many things that I see in the world today and don't like. I loved reading something that echoed my sentiments in a lot of areas, and to see the hopelessness of the main character's case. It was brilliant, and left me wanting more.

I even read the epilogue; I liked this so much. And the note from the author. And the added interview with the author.

Ray Bradbury actually wrote the first draft of Fahrenheit 451 in 9 1/2 days. Isn't that insane? It was only 25,000 words, but still. I'm jealous, but also glad to know that there are other authors who spill out words too fast for their own good and then get back to editing later. I'm not alone.

Anyway, definite recommendation. Read this if you haven't already. Now. Get off your computer and go read this book.

I, Robot

I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

I picked this book us because of attempts to write a graduation speech. I kept finding incredible writing quotes from Asimov, but decided that I couldn't quote him in my speech unless I had read at least one of his books. To my surprise, the school library actually had one, I, Robot, and so I picked it up and decided to read it.

Overall it was a good choice, because Asimov is an incredible writer and I decided with that book that if I get a break between readings and have a wider selection of books, I will definitely read another Isaac Asimov book. Plus, that book, coupled with some of the others I've read lately, instilled an unknown love for science fiction.

I would never have pinned myself as the aliens and dystopias kind of girl, but it turns out I think robots are a little bit fascinating and maybe space isn't as weird as I think. I guess I did like Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle, but it's been so long that I never remember.

One thing I didn't like though was that this was actually more of a compilation of short stories than a novel. They were all connected, but still just short stories, which made it hard to get through because there was nothing to pull me through the whole story.

Overall, though, I would recommend Asimov, but maybe a novel that isn't just short stories? I don't know, but I do know that I plan on picking up another Asimov sci-fi sometime soon.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Huck Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I don't always love Twain (I think this is just because I read Puddin'Head Wilson and The Prince and the Pauper too close together and they had the exact same plotline.) However, Huck Finn has a really fun to read POV, and the character is great. So, although I just started reading this, I am enjoying it so far. Although I have no idea how I managed to not read this book until my senior year of high school.

I really enjoyed the beginning of the story and I fell in love with Huck's character from the beginning.

But I can't say I liked the ending. It seems like things just went downhill once Tom came back into the picture, and I felt like Twain was just rambling on with Jim's escape. I mean, it was funny, but it just went on way too long.

So good book, and if you haven't read this then you need to, but I can't say I liked the ending.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie

This book was another Dystopian novel that seemed like a mix of Divergent, Hunger Games, and the Giver, but not quite comparable to any one of these.
It wasn't a bad book, and it's definitely one of those that are easy to read and quick reads and has a story that gets you hooked and keeps you hooked.

However, as soon as I finished the book it was done, and I don't really have any itch to read the second one Crossed, of course, that could also be due to my friend who told me that second wasn't as good and wasn't worth reading.

It's not the best writing either, just a plot and characters that appeal to young adult readers. Not much that will last, but an enjoyable read while it lasts.

Looking For Alaska

 Looking for Alaska by John Green
I love The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, but Looking for Alaska hasn't had the same affect on me yet. It's a good book, and very well written, but I don't much like the characters. This is probably just a personal preference and something unique to me, but it's hard to enjoy a book when I don't like the characters, especially in a romantic book.

I wrote that first paragraph at the beginning before I finished the book, and I have to say that my opinion has changed some. I mean, the book is so sad, and in the second part I could identify with the main character so much more.

It was a good book overall, but still not comparable to The Fault in Our Stars and not one that I think I'll read again.