Sunday, March 30, 2014
Fiction Mini Book Reviews
I read this one aloud with Gabe. He really enjoyed it. He asked questions and we had some good talks. Then we watched the movie.
It's an excellent book on friendship, love, life, and death and everything in between. A wonderful children's classic.
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan:
This was a really funny read. Brennan is pretty humorous and I liked her witty female protagonist. But it wasn't a book that really stood out (paranormal young adult fiction). It was cliche all the way through and slighted other characters that didn't need slighting. It didn't hold my interest enough to finish the series but I enjoyed the few laugh-out-loud moments.
Now this is a fabulous young adult dystopia/sci-fi fiction. Rossi brings out her characters in this and that makes all the difference for me. She doesn't focus too heavily on the whys and hows of how this dystopia wasteland Earth came to be and I appreciated her even more for that.
I mean there are the few undertones of saving the environment but not too heavy-handed and I think that's important anyway. It's a character-driven novel without the teen love triangle drivel that permeates so many YA fiction nowadays. Love.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman:
I really enjoyed Stedman's overall story. It's an ethical and moral one that is supposed to make us think. She mainly focuses on Tom and the ramifications his choices make in the future.
The main reason I didn't love it was I felt Stedman didn't appreciate Tom's wife enough. She made her a mad woman stereotype. I didn't identify with her at all and I wanted to. So it made the story a bit too breezy and settled than I feel it should have been.
But overall a really beautiful novel.
This is the second book in the Never Sky trilogy. The first half was a bit slow. They had to set some plot up and break apart our two lovers. But once it got going it was as excellent as the first.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston:
I read this for my feminist book club. Hurston was a brilliant writer. She loved her characters and she loved her people and she treats them so real and tenderly in her story about Janie, a black woman living in Florida during the 30s. We follow her as she learns about who she is and how she finally learns to love. So much more to say. It's a classic and should be read by everyone.
A 14-year-old black teenager is on trial for his life. He's been accused of being complicit in the murder of a store owner during a robbery.
We see all things through Steve Harmon's perspective. He decides to make a movie about his trial, so we read the trial as a script for a movie. We also get to see his journal notes that are spread throughout.
The title and thus the book, including our protagonist Steve want us to think about what constitutes a real monster. Is he one? Is he innocent? Is he still a monster even if he made some bad choices not knowing the results? It's a fascinating look at our criminal justice system and how it effects those who are just in the wrong circumstances.
We had a very fascinating discussion in our book club. I really enjoyed it.
The only problems I had with it were the miniscule details. It seems like there was also a few stereotypes that were played into in order to move the story line along.
But I think the main point was to provoke discussion and it does.