Thursday, January 31, 2013

Lord of the Flies

Having just finished this book moments ago, I'm still sort of reeling from it all. I'm really not sure exactly what to say about it.

A bunch of boys get stranded on an island. The bigguns and the littluns. Ralph is "elected" to lead them, Piggy (whose real name we never really learn) has an intelligence that is ignored because he's different from the other boys, and Jack is, well, cruel might be the best word for Jack.

At the beginning, they're a unified group, they want to be rescued, they want to go home. But as the book progresses, these boys slip from confident and united to broken and terrified. There's a beast, something is coming for them.

Just watching the madness descend on these boys was awe inspiring. The way they break apart and start losing anything that resembled a civilized society was almost frightening. It really makes you aware of how isolation can bring out the savage in even the most well-refined of boys.

I can't say that I enjoyed this book, but I didn't dislike it either. I can understand how it became a classic novel though. It has a significant meaning now, just like it has for years.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Slaughterhouse Five

I honestly didn't really get this book. It was bizarre. It's called an anti-war book, but I definitely didn't get that vibe from it. I more got a vibe that this was a book about a very unusual man who kept going in and out of his time in World War II.

Billy Pilgrim jumps through time. Basically, he's able to see different points in his life from other points. It's a very confusing concept. There is a lot of jumping between the 60s and the 50s and the 40s. Sometimes he's in Dresdan before and after it is bombed, and then the next moment he's twenty years in the future, and then he's back ten years.

I'm not saying it wasn't a good book. I can appreciate how it became a classic. But it's still very bizarre, and not really my favorite.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Knife of Dreams

**Links: Prequel * Book 1 * Book 2 * Book 3 * Book 4 * Book 5 * Book 6 * Book 7 * Book 8 * Book 9 * Book 10**

This book got exciting. The end is near and the world is changing.

Perrin spends a good chunk of this book (when we follow him) trying desperately to save Faile. Faile, meanwhile, is plotting ways to escape the Shaido and find her way back to Perrin. She makes deals with people who are either not trustworthy or have questionable motives.

Elayne continues her pursuit for the throne of Andor, while a woman who is challenging her lays siege on the capital city. Elayne's grasp on the Power, as well as her own emotions, is difficult to control due to the twins growing within her.

Egwene, the Amyrlin, is captured by the White Tower and begins to spread dissension among the Aes Sedai who are faithful to Elaida. She endures punishments multiple times a day for not bowing down and behaving.

Mat continues to run with Tuon, both in an attempt to get away from Seanchan (ironic considering Tuon is Seanchan) and as a way to find safe passage for his would-be bride back to her people.

As for Rand.... His ability to keep Lews Therin from taking over is often times tenuous, even resulting in him completely losing control for a span of time. Rand knows that the Last Battle is coming, and his prophesied death.

All the main characters have gone through some radical changes. Perrin has grown harder, angrier. Mat is more mature and less of the wild child. Elayne is striving towards the ruler she is meant to be. Egwene is working to restore herself as well as heal the rift in the Tower. And Rand, oh Rand. He is walking a tight rope with himself. He could fall so many ways before the end, but he won't. He is meant to fight the Last Battle, and he will.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Farmer Boy

**Links: Book 1 * Book 2**

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this book. It's a good book, but I think what I enjoy about the Little House series is following Laura herself around.

Farmer Boy, while it still fits with Little House, follows Almanzo, Laura's future husband, when he is a little boy on a farm in New York. It's a very engaging book, and shows what it was like for a little boy growing up in the pioneer days.

I read this to my daughter, who doesn't fully understand the story line, but I'm hoping that she will come to enjoy this series just as much as I do.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Animal Farm

What a stunning piece of literature. I completely get why Animal Farm is one of those classic novels that withstands the test of time.

The animals on the farm organize a rebellion, taking over the entirety of said farm for themselves. It is meant to be something separate from humans. All animals are equal, and no more food shortages are supposed to happen. But, it is a vision of the nature of communism. At the beginning, everyone is equal, everyone is doing their fair share of work and dividing the products. But then, a pig by the name of Napoleon, becomes a leader, and things start to change. The commandments which they had previously followed were slowly changed for the benefit of the pigs, who appeared to be the upper class of the farm.

In the end, with everything changed, it's very apparent what has failed with Animal Farm. It's moved from a community run farm into a dictatorship.

I really enjoyed this, and I could see the changes as they happened. The animals were convinced by the smooth talking pigs that everything was all right, nothing was changing, production was high. But they each slowly started to realize that things weren't quite right, but when you question, you get killed.

This is a moving book about how some forms of government just can't work. Someone always takes over and corrupts the whole thing.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sundays at Tiffany's

Ok, first, I have to admit, I've read this book before. But, it's definitely competing to be one of my favorite reads.

Now, it's a James Patterson book, so the chapters are ridiculously short. As in, a couple of clicks on my Kindle. This means that it's easy to just zoom through the entire book.

The actual book? It  is a sweet, adorable romance novel. Michael is Jane's childhood imaginary friend. His job is just that, being an imaginary friend to kids who need his help. When Jane is a child, she feels ignored by her parents, controlled by her mother, and she just needs a friend. But when he ends up in New York 23 years after he leaves her on her ninth birthday, neither of them expects that they will fall in love.

It's such a sweet romance. It's almost pure in how these two characters interact and fall in love. I absolutely adore this book, and I'm sure I'll read it again and again.