Hello ladies and gents. I’m back with another list of fab books that I’ve managed to read. This time around I would describe the three books as the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s pretty fitting, and hopefully you’ll understand why.
I guess we’ll start with the bad since I go in chronological order of when I read each book. I picked up 1984 by George Orwell because I always feel bad when I miss out on a story that everyone seems to be familiar with. Whenever people bring up 1984, I mention how I loved Animal Farm. And people are like, “Yeah but 1984 is so much better and different.” But is it?
In his novel, George Orwell writes about a dystopian society ruled by Big Brother. Everyone is constantly being watched and controlled. There is a lack of freedom in all areas of life. Even thoughts are successfully under surveillance. The story follows a man named Winston and his memory of how life used to be before Big Brother, cameras, and hidden microphones. He has so much rage against the setup and wants to break free. One day fateful day the chance presents itself to Winston and his love interest and they decide to act on it.
I wasn’t really wowed by this book. I’ll admit that Orwell’s idea was way before it’s time and from a creative standpoint, very unusual and impressive. He really made that society come alive. However, I just wasn’t into the characters or the long, drawn out descriptions of Oceania’s politics. Some of it went over my head and a lot of it bored me. Overall, the book didn’t wow me, but I can appreciate the uniqueness of Orwell’s idea at the time.
After that I read something really great. White Oleander by Janet Fitch. I remember my mom reading this book when I was younger because Oprah featured it on her show. I’m glad, years later, I finally got around to reading it myself. Actually, during the middle of the book, I reached out to Janet Fitch on Goodreads.com and told her how much I loved her book and she wrote a very kind message back. It was a delightful surprise.
White Oleander is the beautifully tragic story of Astrid Magnussen and her mother, Ingrid. Ingrid paints her bohemian lifestyle in an alluring way for her daughter. Everything about her mother is enchanting. But sadly, most of Ingrid’s life is focused on herself and not on her sweet daughter. After dating a man for a short time and being suddenly dumped, Ingrid seeks revenge, which costs her freedom, and Astrid’s lonesome wandering.
I really enjoyed the descriptions in this book. They were so fun to read. So many pretty words and scary scenes, yet all so real at the same time. I thought it was a little bit lengthy, but I couldn’t see it being shortened either. Just an all-around good read. I’d highly suggest this one. Especially since Janet and I are bffs now.
Today I finished reading Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. Every so often I like to throw a Young Adult book into the mix. I thought this story was intriguing, but it’s an ugly topic.
Thirteen Reasons Why is about a teenager named Clay who received 7 cassette tapes in the mail with no return address. He listens to them and hears the voice of the girl from his school who recently committed suicide. She sent out 7 tapes with thirteen sides naming all of the reasons (and people) that caused her to end her life.
It’s actually a really creative plot but I ended up getting bored a little bit towards the end. I kind of struggled with the girl’s story and how she didn’t really help herself or let other people reach out to her. There were a lot of names being juggled around which made it kind of hard to follow. The thing is, don’t think she should’ve blamed people for her own choice. But it’s a tricky subject so who knows. It had a lot of potential but didn’t totally deliver in the end (for me, personally). BUT one cool add-on to the book is the youtube site hannahsfriend13 where you can listen to a recorded voice read off the tapes. Kind of rad and spooky. It really brings the book to life, which I appreciated.
Have you read any good books lately?