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Escape From Camp 14

13 Jun

A boy is born in prison, to parents who were awarded each other for good behavior.

The boy is considered a traitor, his blood tainted by the sins of his parents’ families. Sins like leaving the country.

His world is one of starvation, where snitching on friends and family is promoted, attempted escapes meet with public killings, and children are beaten to death for offenses as slight as hiding a few kernels of corn.

He is familiar with intense labor and cruel guards.

He doesn’t understand loyalty. He doesn’t know that the world is round.

No, this isn’t the plot of another book set in a dystopian future where the government is evil and goodness has shriveled up to die.

This is now. This is real.

This is the story of Continue reading

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Killing is OK

7 May

This is a rant. I warned you there’d be some of these.

Picture this:

You and the girl you’re kinda into (except-let’s-keep-it-in-the-subtext) are running across the planet in a bid to find safety. The crazy, murderous preacher who’s tried to kill you both before is coming after you. In a climactic moment, he catches up with you and tries, yet again, to kill you. Somehow you get the upper hand. You don’t kill him. Instead you keep running.

Rinse and repeat three (or is it four?) times. The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness

That’s pretty much the plot of Chaos Walking, a trilogy by Patrick Ness.

Chaos Walking actually has an interesting premise: In the future when Earth is inevitably ruined by careless, violent humans, other humans seek a new life on other planets. One group lands on New World, a planet where the natives (Spackle) communicate telepathically. Pretty soon, the newly-arrived men find that, like the Spackle, their thoughts are being transmitted aloud for all to hear. They call this “Noise.” Women, for some reason, aren’t affected.

Like I said, it’s an interesting and original idea. Leaves lots of room for discussion.

However. There were multiples times when I wanted to reach into those pages and shake the characters till their teeth rattled in their imbecilic heads.

Namely, whenever Continue reading

4 Awesome Starter Books You Should Read

26 Apr

These four awesome books were originally listed on a static page (like the pages above), but I figured it was out of place there and should have a home with the rest of my book recommendations.

So I’ve decided to make a post of it.

I call them “starter books” for lack of a better term (if you know of one, let me know!). Three are the first books in their respective series; one of the books being not part of a series, but an introduction into the kinds of books the author writes.

The Thief By: Megan Whalen Turner
The Thief is the first book in a fantasy quartet. The thief in question is the main character, Eugenides (nicknamed Gen). It’s tough with a series like this to review a single book. There are so many plot twists that I’m not quite sure what I’m giving away. There are thieves, political intrigue, love, and more, all set in an ancient Greek/Byzantine-like setting. The stories revolve around the countries of Eddis, Attolia, and Sounis and all involve Gen. Interestingly, they’re all written in different points of view which allows for an in-depth look into Gen’s character.  I read the books slightly out of sequence, but they’re amazing in any order.

the thief

Friday’s Child By: Georgette Heyer
Georgette Heyer’s historical romances are different from every other historical romance. I admit to Continue reading

Is The Hunger Games Movie Better Than the Book?

30 Mar

Back in November, I wrote about my excitement for the Hunger Games movie, and my hope that it wouldn’t be a total flop or butcher the story too much.

I went to see  it on Wednesday.

It was a very interesting experience for me because though I read the books, it’s been a while. I only had a vague memory of the general storyline, but as I watched, the scenes came back to me like a half-remembered dream (apologies for the cliche, but that’s how it felt).

I didn’t like Katniss Everdeen in the book version. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that I actively disliked her. I don’t remember why, but it might have had something to do with her prickly personality. Katniss, as portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, is much more likable. Possibly because the audience can’t tell what she’s thinking. The reaping scene where she screams, “I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!” gives me chills every time I watch it.

katniss everdeen the hunger games

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen

Peeta Mellark was probably the most Continue reading

The Book Thief

12 Mar

The Book Thief by: Markus Zusak

The Book Thief is a searingly original book, and I say this for three reasons:

The Book ThiefFirstly, the story is told by Death, who makes for a surprisingly compassionate and eloquent narrator. He reveals bits of the future to the reader, and yet, that doesn’t take away any of the novelty or emotion of reading those scenes when they do take place.

Secondly, it’s a Holocaust story told from the perspective of  a young German girl – not exactly a typical viewpoint. 

Lastly, the writing itself is very unique, with asides by Death and imagery that walks off the pages. Here’s an example:

 

As he looked uncomfortably at the human shape before him, the young man’s voice was scraped out and handed across the dark like it was all that remained of him.

The Book Thief is a wonderfully-written, emotional book that I highly recommend.

Check out some of my other book reviews!

Why I Didn’t Like “11/22/63”

13 Feb

If there was ever a waste of 849 pages, it’s Stephen King’s novel 11/22/63.

That’s harsh, I know.

11/22/63But I’ve just finished reading it, and I don’t feel very forgiving. It’s not a very forgiving book.

11/22/63 is well-written. It’s a good read. The characters are three-dimensional.  And it’s probably one of the more accurate portrayals of what would happen if time travel were possible.

But I wish it had ended a bit more romantically.

Dumbing down the plot to a sentence: A teacher from 2011 travels back in time to stop JFK from getting assassinated.

Of course, it’s not as Continue reading

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

2 Feb

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by: Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?Because it’s so honest and fresh, and because even though I haven’t watched Mindy Kaling (yet) and didn’t know anything about her before I read the book, I now really like her.

Because it took me only a few hours to read, and Kaling comments in the beginning of her book, “This book will take you two days to read. Did you even see the cover? It’s mostly pink. If you’re reading this book every night for months, something is not right.”

Because I totally relate to Mindy before she became famous. And because it made me relate to post-famous Mindy as well, because I could totally see myself in pre-famous Mindy, which bolstered my confidence that some day, I’ll write a book detailing my rise to fame that will embolden an aspiring young woman to become famous like me.

Here’s an excerpt!

The only other thing I had keeping me in Los Angeles was Continue reading