Sunday, June 22, 2014

Stand-Alone Book Discussions #1

Hey, y'all! Today, I'm going to do spoiler-free discussions on all the stand-alone books I've read in the past few months. I've been planning on doing this post for quite a while, but didn't really want to yet because I only had 4 books to talk about. However, since ALL the books I'm reading this summer are within series, I realized that I would probably forget stuff about the books if I waited for more books. So, therefore, I decided to go ahead and do this ASAP so that I don't forget the details.  

I'm planning on making this a new series. I'll probably do a new one whenever I've accumulated 6 or 7 books that I haven't discussed yet. This time, however, I just have the 4, so let's start talking about them!

1984 by George Orwell

I read 1984 at the beginning of March. Surprisingly, it had never been required reading in school, so this was the first time I'd read it. It was, however, on a list of books I could choose from to read for a project in my senior English class, and I'm now really annoyed with my 17 year old self for not choosing this book! (I instead chose All The Pretty Horses, which was SO not my jam.) I have a thing for dystopians, as well as classics written in the first half of the 20th century, so I went into this with the feeling that I'd enjoy it. Surprisingly, I loved it! Free speech and free thought are huge things for me, and to read about a society where both were illegal was completely cringe-worthy for me. The manipulation of information was equal parts intriguing and terrifying. I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. I really, really liked the book up until that point, but the events surrounding the end of the book... I don't know. One second, I'm saying that although I didn't like what happened, I thought it was well done and was necessary for the point Orwell was making. On the other hand, I find myself thinking that I don't like the commentary being made and that the ending just sucked. 

Overall, I really liked the book and gave it 9 stars out of 10.

Fahrenheit 451- Ray Bradbury

I picked up Fahrenheit 451 at the beginning of April, right after finishing the Across The Universe trilogy. All I really knew about it was that it was a dystopian where books aren't allowed and if found, are burned. I went into this with fairly high expectations. I was really curious about the world where books were banned. I found myself slightly disappointed. When I read a dystopian, world building is really important to me. I like to find out all about the world and what happened to cause it to be that way, and how it functions. All we really get to see in the world of Fahrenheit 451 is the burning of books and the TV obsession. I wanted to know so much more. I also didn't find it particularly interesting during the first half of the book. The second half got slightly more interesting because of the growing action, but overall I just wasn't as impressed with this book as I thought I would be. 

Overall, it was good but not impressive, so I gave it 6.5 stars out of 10. 

Carrie- Stephen King

I picked this up right after reading Fahrenheit 451. I'm pretty sure this is the first Stephen King book I've read all the way through. I got 2/3 of the way through The Shining, but put it down. I think it was partially because of his writing style. It's not that I dislike his writing style, it's just very different and unique and I was having trouble getting through the book. Oddly, my favorite thing about Carrie was the way it was written. I haven't seen either of the movies, and all I really knew about the book going into it was that Carrie had some supernatural ability and that the Prom scene was scary. The way that Carrie was written was near perfection for me. The little book excerpts hinting at the incident, the interviews years in the future, the articles about Carrie's state of mind, the court excerpts, they all came together really nicely to give Carrie a really interesting and exciting format. The story was good, and the characters were good, but the formatting was the star of the show. I really enjoyed it, and it convinced me that I need to try more Stephen King books. 

Overall, I gave it 9 stars out of 10. 

The Giver- Lois Lowry

Yes, I'm well aware that this is "technically" part of a series, but they're really just companion novels, so I'm counting this as a stand-alone. I read this right after reading Carrie. Surprisingly, I never had to read this for school, so this was the first time I read it. My best friend told me several times that I would really love it, because I love dystopians. However, like with Fahrenheit 451, I think I was a little over-hyped. We got more knowledge about the world than in other dystopians, and it was a really fascinating and messed up world. I know it's a middle-grade book, but it just seems so short. The ending seemed kinda sudden and was a pretty different tone than the rest of the book. I am, however, really excited for the movie, because they will probably be able to flesh out the storyline a bit and give it a little more interest.

Overall, it was good but I expected more, so I gave it 7 stars out of 10. 

So there you go, those were my stand-alone book discussions/reviews! I hope you enjoyed this post! I've got a lot of things planned for the near future- a long-awaited chapter of The Secret Lightning Scar, a book haul, and some other exciting stuff you'll have to wait a little while for. It'll be worth it, I promise! In the near future, however, you can expect to see my Goblet of Fire discussion either tomorrow or Tuesday, followed closely by my discussions for the rest of the Harry Potter books and my wrap-up post. The end of the month is when everything gets exciting!

Thanks for reading! See y'all soon!

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