Category Archives: books

My Top Ten Favorite Reads

10. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

mockingbird

Lawyer Atticus Finch defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee’s classic, Puliter Prize-winning novel—a black man charged with the rape of a white woman. Through the eyes of Atticus’s children, Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unanswering honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930’s.

9. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

34

The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. The play dramatizes the revenge Prince Hamlet exacts on his uncle Claudius for murdering King Hamlet, Claudius’s brother and Prince Hamlet’s father, and then succeeding to the throne and taking as his wife Gertrude, the old king’s widow and Prince Hamlet’s mother. The play vividly portrays both true and feigned madness—from overwhelming grief to seething rage—and explores themes of treachery, revenge, incest, and moral corruption.

8. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The-Lovely-Bones

The Lovely Bones is the story of a teenage girl who, after being raped and murdered, watches from her personal Heaven as her family and friends struggle to move on with their lives while she comes to terms with her own death.

7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

the-book-thief-cover

Narrated by Death, the book is set in Nazi Germany, a place and time when the narrator notes he was extremely busy. It describes a young girl’s relationship with her foster parents, the other residents of their neighborhood, and a Jewish fist-fighter who hides in her home during the escalation of World War II.

6. Papertowns by John Green

PaperTowns2009_6A

Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life – dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge – he follows. After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues – and they’re for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew

5. The Host by Stephanie Myer

thehostcover

Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind. As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love.

4. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

the-infernal-devices-series-facebook-cover-timeline-banner-for-fb

This series takes place in Victorian England, ten years after the peace treaties between the demon-fighting Shadowhunters and Downworlders (vampires, fairies, werewolves, and warlocks) was signed. As Shadowhunters consider themselves superior or purer than Downworlders and demons, they may have few qualms about killing either. The first book in The Infernal Devices is entitled Clockwork Angel and begins the story of Tessa, an orphaned teenage girl who is looking for her brother Nate, who has disappeared, and seeks her true identity.
Her search plunges her into a world she never knew existed, and reveals talents she never knew she had. She will have to learn to master them if she wants to find her brother, and must forge an alliance with Shadowhunters if she wants to survive in this dangerous world.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

the-fault-in-our-stars-book-cover1

The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel, who is forced by her parents to attend a support group, where she subsequently meets and falls in love with the seventeen-year-old Augustus Waters, an ex-basketball player and amputee.

2. The Divergent triology by Veronica Roth

Divergent-series-by-Veronica-Roth

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-book-covers-slice

The series follows the many adventures of a wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry’s quest to overcome the Dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who aims to become immortal, conquer the wizarding world, subjugate non-magical people, and destroy all those who stand in his way, especially Harry Potter.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under books

Leave a comment

November 10, 2013 · 11:54 pm

Allegiant Review [Warning: Spoilers!]

allegiant-book-cover-high-res

Confusion. Frustration. Heart break.

These are all the feelings I had while reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth. I had been so excited for the release of this book, and as per usual, my expectations were much too high.

I read Divergent about two years ago after borrowing it from a friend, and I fell in love with it. I fell in love with the concept of factions and the corruption involved with them. I fell in love with the characters, with Tris and her bravery, with Tobias and his courage. I fell in love with all of the factions and everything they stood for. It was my new favorite book! I finished it in about a day, and quickly moved on to Insurgent.

Insurgent was great. Great, not amazing. I know a lot of people had issues with Tris being so brave to the point of stupidity, but I sympathized with her. She lost her parents, her brother betrayed her, and she saw some of her best friends die. She just wanted to be done, and save people doing it. Insurgent ended with a cliff hanger, and I immediately looked up when the next book would come out. It was a very long year and a half.

The waiting didn’t pay off as much as I hoped it would, and I did not get the book I expected. When readers know it’s the last book of the series, they want some important aspects to be resolved, and they want the characters they have grown to love to have the ending they deserve. However, Allegiant didn’t give the readers this at all. Rather than resolving the crisis between factions, they introduced a whole new issue. Tris and crew ventured out beyond the fence and found something they were not expecting. It turned out that their whole world was just an experiment put on by the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, and Tris’ mother was involved with working for them. Throughout the book, we learn more about the experiments they put on, and why. They believed that people were different, genetically. There were those that were genetically pure and those who were genetically damaged. Those who were genetically damaged were treated as inferiors, and this caused an uprising within the Bureau, which Tobias took part in. This really made me question where the cold and calculating Tobias I had come to know went. Tobias and Tris continued to fight and bicker when all you want them to do is kiss and say how much they love and need one another. The book is written in dual point of views, switching between Tris and Tobias, but neither of them had much of voice, and if you weren’t playing close attention, you’d get confused as to who was talking. In the end, Tris gives herself up to save everyone, and I was absolutely heart broken. Tobias’ reaction was even worse. I cried for about an hour and a half while I finished up the book. The ending was rather nice, but not what I wanted. I know authors like to end things with a big bang, but I wanted Tris and Tobias to prevail and beat all the odds. But that’s the down side of being the reader. You don’t always get what you want or expect.

So in summation, if you want to get really attached to some great characters, experience fears and heart break along with them, then pick up the Divergent trilogy today! And if you already read it, let me know what you thought of Allegiant! I’d love to discuss it with you guys!

Leave a comment

Filed under books

Is John Green Misogynistic?

Image

Recently, a blog on Tumblr sparked a lot of controversy regarding John Green and whether or not he is misogynistic. Many people believe that he makes his female characters “manic pixie dreamgirls”. It has been said that many of the girls in his novels are simply props, rather than human beings.

While I don’t personally believe in everything that has been said, I did notice that John Green had a tendency of looking down on certain types of people. I mean, in his novel An Abundance of Katherines, he described a female character in this way, “She was incredibly hot, in that popular-girl-with-bleached-teeth-and-anorexia kind of way, which was Colin’s least favourite way of being hot”. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised that a lot of people were offended by this book. Green has a tendency of generalizing minor characters in his book as “popular stuck ups” that have no character depth whatsoever. People also say that all of Green’s major characters are very smart for teenagers. I believe this to be true, but only because, as an adult, Green doesn’t look down on teenagers and knows that they can be very smart and amount to quite a lot.

I love a majority of John Green’s books, but I will admit that they do have some flaws. However, that doesn’t stop me, and many others, from enjoying them. There have been a ton of misogynistic and sexist authors in the past, but only recently did they start coming under fire. So rather than take everyone’s word for it, go out and read for yourself!

Leave a comment

Filed under books

Allegiant – It’s Almost Here!

allegiant-book-cover-high-res

I don’t know if anyone is as excited as I am, but…It’s almost here! Allegiant, the third book in the Divergent series, comes out October 22! Well, unless you’re one of the lucky ones who already got it due to some shipping errors.

As mentioned before, Allegiant is the third book in the Divergent series. The first book, Divergent, follows 16 year old Beatrice (Tris) Prior as she struggles with who she really is in her society. In the novel, the future of the world lies with factions. Society is split into five different factions, all of which have their own values. Abnegation, the faction Beatrice comes from, values selflessness and modesty. Candor values honesty and bluntness. Erudite values knowledge and research. Amity value peace and tolerance. And lastly, Dauntless values bravery and courage. The first book in the series follows Tris as switches from Abnegation to Duantless, and goes through initation to become a member of the faction.

The second book in the series, Insurgent, continues to tell Tris’ story as she finds out that her world is dangerous and corrupt. Erudite and Dauntless team up and are fighting against the Abnegation because they believe they are withholding supplies and prosperity because of their belief in selflessness. Tris’ loyalty to her family and her old faction leads her to defend them and fight against the Erudite. Being Divergent gives Tris a lot of trouble in the series, but it also guides her and makes people respect her.

And now, we have the third and last book in the series, Allegiant! I’m not sure what lies in store for Tris or the factions, but I know that I cannot wait to read it.

2 Comments

Filed under books

Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them – New Movie!

fb-cover

Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them is a novel that is mentioned within the Harry Potter series, and also the inspiration for the title of this blog! J.K. Rowling is directing this new movie and Harry Potter fans couldn’t be more excited. The last Harry Potter book was released in 2007 and the last movie came out 2011. After initial depression and sadness, the Harry Potter fandom was left grasping for the smallest things to hold on to. But never fear, J.K. Rowling is here to rescue us from our longing for more information about the Wizarding World and all those who inhabit it.

There is no denying that Harry Potter is the series of our generation. I bet that if you were to ask people around the ages 17-25 what their favorite book from their childhood was, they would say Harry Potter.  I remember clearly being in the fourth grade and asking my older brother if I could read his books. He firmly told me no because I would “tear them up”, and I went crying to my dad and was later given the first Harry Potter book by a grouchy brother. However, as soon as I finished the first book, I immediately ran to get the next one, which was a shock because I wasn’t much of a reader as a young kid. But the Harry Potter series definitely changed that.

I know that I, along with thousands and thousands of others, waited for the last Harry Potter book to come out. And when it did, we read and cried our hearts out. But after a few months, all we had to look forward to was the movies, which in my personal opinion, are nothing compared to the books. And after the movies all anyone could think was, “Now what?”

But J.K. Rowling continued to deliver and show us that there was so much more to learn about the Wizarding World. She wrote Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, both being books mentioned within the series. However, both books were very short and not nearly enough to keep us Potterheads entertained for long. But now, as mentioned before, Rowling is directing the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. And this is very exciting news because the book only describes the beasts that inhabit the Wizarding World, but there is no plot. For the first time ever, the fans of Harry Potter have no book to base their opinions or judgements upon! These are very exciting times for all of us fans and we cannot wait to see what Rowling does to expand our love for the Harry Potter world.

Leave a comment

Filed under books

BooksBooksBooks!

BooksBooksBooks!

Who in the right mind doesn’t like books? Well, actually, in our world, a vast majority of people haven’t picked up a book since high school. Some people think reading is homework. Well, this blog will show you that reading is fun, and maybe you’ll find a book that sparks your interest!

Leave a comment

September 3, 2013 · 2:48 am