Hello, I know I said I’ll be getting on with my stories but I just can’t resist this! There’s just so much I have to tell about my summer holiday even though it was pretty much eventless (if that’s a word) for most days. The things that entertained me, as I said, were movies and books. And sleep. Sleep is definitely the most entertaining activity in the whole world. This time, the review will be of books I’ve read over the summer, and before summer. Whoopee. So here is the list of the books as well as the comments (SPOILERS WARNING!):
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee: I assume everyone of you know this book or have at least heard of it. If you haven’t then this is a brief summary of what this classic is about: family, friendship, truth, innocence and justice. The story was in the point of view of a woman, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, who’s recalling the days when she was still a girl, and the moments she was recalling was that of the events that lead up to the accusation of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of rape, and the aftermath. The story was set in Maycomb, a peaceful “tired old town” in Alabama. I’ve read reviewsabout it in the internet, saying it was a great piece of story and very moving – seems like they were right. Since we get to see through Scout’s eyes as a little girl who knew nothing of the law systems and seems to be oblivious to the dangers around her, we can pretty much relate to her throughout the book. The plot of the story was really good because it gives us an overview of how life was back then and the prejudy that was heavily present between the black people and the white people. The theme people-is-not-as-what-they-seem was always present, so as to tell people that we shouldn’t judge people by race, looks, reputation and what-nots. It was an inspirational piece of work, I’d say.
- No Second Chance by Harlan Coben: In this story, we get to see the struggles of a surgeon/father, Dr. Marc Seidman, in finding his kidnapped baby daughter after his house had been attacked and his wife murdered. The story mainly revolves around the family, trust and crime themes, as seen at the various times Marc had mysterious encounters with the kidnappers, his emphasises on his hopes on getting his daughter back alive, the FBI’s distrust of Marc because of their suspicions and the behind-the-scenes side plot where we get to see what the bad guys were doing whilst Marc was running around chasing his own tail. Seriously, the criminals were too smart and the FBI was too busy accusing Marc (pfft! Isn’t thatwhat they always do? Suspect the victims?). There was a lot of actions in this book, such as chasing cars and shooting, because that’s what crime is about (if I’m not wrong). I must admit that the ending made me cringe in the inside – I was reading it in class and I nearly cried out in anguish at what I found out. If you want some drama-crime novel, here’s a suggestion for you.
- Mockingbird by Katherine Erskine: It’s not even closely related to To Kill A Mockingbird but there are refferences of the novel in this book. Through the point of view of a girl with Asperger’s syndrome, we get to see how Caitlin Ann Smith (the protagonist) and her father cope with the loss of Caitlin’s brother in a school shooting. It was interesting because we get to see how Caitlin’s mind works, like how she precieves objects and situations and how she handled them, as well as her emotions and her ability to sense other people’s emotions. The people in the story seemed to be considerate about Caitlin’s condition, but then again there were people who didn’t understand her views and this often lead to conflict. We get to understand how it felt like to be an outcast because of your disability and because no one understands you, and this novel really touched me. We get a happy ending, thankfully, because Caitlin and her father really needed that. The themes of this book includes family, friendship, loss, grief and closure. Really, very touching.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I’ve reviewed the movie for this book but in case you haven’t read that one yet, then here’s what the story is about: a really charming and rich guy – that would be Jay Gatsby – who has been in love with some dumb beauty – that’s Daisy Buchanan – attempts to reconcile with her, even though he knows that she’s already married to Tom Buchanan and has a daughter. And this whole story is seen through the eyes of Nick Carraway, Daisy’s cousin and Gatsby’s neighbour, and the third wheel who would always find himself in the most inconvenient situations. If someone was to ask me how the plot was, I’d say it’s pretty dumb. A dumb stage with dumb ballerinas making dumb pirouettes and all. Gatsby’s dumb. Daisy’s dumb. Everyone’s dumb. Everything’s dumb. And yet, that’s what makes the novel so interesting. Call me a sadist, but I liked it when Gatsby and Daisy struggled through their love – it was entertaining. if Romeo and Juliet is at the top of my “Stupidest and Cheesiest Stories Ever”, this one here would be number 2 or something. Here’s one very cheesy romance novel for you, if you’re into it.
- The Enchantress by Michael Scott: The sixth and final book of The Secrets of The Immortal Nicholas Flammel series. I started reading this series two years ago, when I coincidentally found the first book in a bookshop in Singapore. Let’s just say that this series is one of those crazy fantasy/mythology series kids love to read these days. It follows the twins, Sophie and Josh Newman, who one day were swept into the magical world of escaping from evil villains and monsters and coming to terms with their magical abilities, all credits to the immortal Nicholas Flammel and his wife, Perenelle. Oh, look – it’s Harry Potter all over again. At first, I thought that Nicholas Flammel was really cool and all, with the alchemy and stuff. However, I then found out that he and his wife were just as much of a douche as the villains were, but without the murderous and destructive reputation. Despite that, some of the characters here are pretty bland in terms of their siding; they’re either really good or really bad. There are some people who surprised me in the series but of course, they’re the main characters – they need to be amazing and all. Despite my distaste for cliche storylines and characters, I still stuck with this series until the end (unlike the I Am Number Four series, which I abandoned on the second book because the characters were impossibly strong and invincible, and yeah, I hate easy wins). So here’s your dose of fantasy – enjoy!
- The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom: It’s a very inspirational piece of work that will make you stay up all night and think about it again and again. I even checked the genre of this novel and it said “inspirational novel”. The structure of the novel was alien to me, but I went through just fine because it’s not like it was written up-side down and mirrored. The story is about how God had punished Father Time for being the first person to measure time (because of this, the people on Earth always worry about time). When Father Time’s jail period was over, he was tasked to come down to Earth and help two people: a teenage girl who wants to die and a dying elderly businessman who wants to live forever. Can you see where this is going? Still, it’s amazing through and through. If this book was a person, he would have been a world-wide inspiration figure who would have billions of Facebook fan pages and clubs. And not to mention his own TV show and entertainment franchise. If you need a push in your life (basically,if you feel like your life is just full of crap), then read this book.
- Divergent and Insurgent by Veronica Roth: I read this book because the girls in my school have been carrying it around and I became curious as to what it was about. I thought it’ll be like any other young adult novels – you know, the “Hey! I’m the awesome hero/heroine who is the centre of everyone’s attention! Oh, and I also get to have a really hot girlfriend/boyfriend and we’re so in love! And did I mention I am so invincible that it would take the whole world to touch my toe?” kind of novel. Yes, the novel contains some of those elements, but I just love the cold-hearted murders and tortures and how some characters were just inhumane. What it’s about? Some girl (Beatrice Prior) who is on her march with a revolution gang to destroy the evil systems of her city. And yes, she has a boyfriend – and he’s said to be really hot. And yes, there are scenes where she’s depicted as more powerful than her other puny friends. But, as the sadist that I am, I still read the series because of the murders. Mwahahaha! If you’ve finished The Hunger Games trilogy and/or The Mortal Instruments series and you liked it, you may want to read this one.
Well, that’s a pretty long list! Or not, depending on who you are.
So, how many books have you read this summer? What were those books? What books will you consider reading?