Short & Sweet Book Reviews Part 2

So I have been reading a lot lately- an alarming amount, actually- so once again I have enough material to do a repeat of Short & Sweet Book Reviews. The first one seemed to be popular, so hope you enjoy!

Hag-Seed, by Margaret Atwood  

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I loved this quirky retelling of The Tempest, a modern story in a series of retellings called the Hogarth Shakespeare. The book’s plot centers on a fifty something kind of crazy man who has lost his wife and daughter. Hag-Seed was a wonderfully all encompassing story that includes theatre, prisons, revenge, and easy prose. While there was a lack of character development for everyone in the large cast, I would recommend this to any fan of The Tempest or Margaret Atwood. Also if anyone has any recommendations for more books that talk about prisons, I would love to read more about the inner workings, etc.

 

Handmaid’s Tale, also by Margaret Atwood 2017-08-23 (2)

Okay, so this is probably the most unpopular book opinion I’ve ever had. I didn’t like The Handmaid’s Tale. Yes, I completely appreciate how revolutionary and important this book is/was, and I think that the idea is terrifying. But I thought it could’ve been written better. Some of my problems:

  1. There was a random lack of quotation marks most of the time. Bad grammar does not equal art.
  2. The story would move between present and past in a way that was very disorienting.
  3. It felt like the book was taking advantage of me, dangling what had happened in front of my nose for more than half of the book, then throwing in random affairs that meant nothing and a frustratingly unresolved ending. I don’t always mind open endings. In The Giver, for example, it is left unknown whether Jonas lived or died and what happened to his Community. In contrast, the ending of The Giver felt thought out and purposeful in a way that The Handmaid’s Tale’s just hadn’t.

 

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline

I had very different feelings about the first and second halves of this book. I loved the first half. The plot was inventive and fun, making two things I knew little about (video games and the 80’s) accessible to me. I’m sure people who are interested in those things would like this book even more.

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The front cover called it a combination of The Matrix and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and that is so true. I don’t want to get into spoilers, but it basically starts as a near-future dystopia Easter Egg hunt for billions of dollars. Wade, his friends, his enemies, and practically every other video gamer on the planet looking for the Easter Egg. The second half was worse. Parts captured my attention, but most of this formerly exciting book was repetitive and predictable. I spent the first half thinking things would change, that the action would develop. After all, Harry Potter doesn’t spend all 7 years fighting off trolls in bathrooms.

 

The Long Walk, by Stephen King

     2017-08-23 (5)The Long Walk is my second Stephen King book, after reading Carrie last year, and it just keeps getting better. The Long Walk is the story of a dystopian world where willing teenage boys get to walk until they drop- literally. This book is violent without being gory and has perfect characterization. Stephen King manages to make a book where all the characters do is walk, talk, and die action packed and engrossing. After 370 pages I cared about every character so much, and the reality TV aspect of the Walk draws clear parallels to our own world. I literally couldn’t stop reading.

“They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn’t like to look at them. They were the walking dead.”

The Long Walk

At the Edge of the Universe, by Shaun David Hutcherson2017-08-23 (6)

In this very mediocre book, Shaun David Hutcherson tries to mix sci-fi with speculative fiction with gay romance, and it really doesn’t work. The book felt like it was trying too hard, and while kind of fun to read, was overall just okay. The main speculative points were undeveloped and just kind of lost. I thought At The Edge of the Universe seemed like a wannabe More Than This, and not in a good way.

Have you read any of these books? Leave your own opinions in the comments!

“Sleep tight, ya morons!”

The Catcher in the Rye

Bye! 👋

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The Sunshine Blogger Award Q&A

 I was given the Sunshine Blogger Award by hotshotheadlines, so thank you so much. I honestly think this is my first Award, not counting the goat show participation medal that everyone got. Anyways. These are the eleven questions I had to answer:

Picture of medal

Do you have a favorite sports team?

Nope, sports do not interest me much. 

What movie are you most excited about for 2018?

I heard that The Miseducation of Cameron Post was coming out as a movie then, and if that’s true I am so excited. Hopefully the adaptation will do the book justice.

If money was no object, what would be your dream job?

Stunt pilot, or actress. Unfortunately I’m not brave enough for the first and not talented enough for the second. It would also be amazing to be a professional writer.

If you could do your school experience over again, would you have changed your field of study? If so, what would you pick?

I’m still in high school. But there is SO much about PreK that I would change…

What is your favorite breed of dog?

Definitely Bedlington Terriers. Look them up.

Do you have a dream pet(s)?

I’ve always wanted goats, and a huge snake. I realize that both are unrealistic, though.

If you could embark on a week-long trip in the United States, where would you go?

I would go to California. I’ve been there once, and it was so fun and people are so friendly there.

What’s your favorite breakfast food(s)?

I know this makes me evil, but I don’t really like breakfast food. Maybe cereal?

If you could meet any author, who would you choose, and why?

Probably Adam Silvera, I really love his book More Happy Than Not and it would be great to just talk to him about life and sexuality and writing. Or like, Shakespeare.

Is there a particular time period that you would want to live in?

This one is really hard. I like the romance of the 20th century, but I think I would really miss modern comforts. It would be cool to just visit the future and see how bad it is for a day or two, though.

Do you have a favorite vacation or trip from your childhood?

Probably when I went to Mexico for school. That was just really awesome, the views, the weather, the people we met. All great.

For the Sunshine Blogger Award, you have to tag eleven bloggers and ask them eleven new questions. 

The Questions:

  1. If you absolutely had to burn a book, which one?
  2. Favorite adaptation of a book into a TV show or movie?
  3. Favorite sandwich?
  4. Last time you held someone’s hand?
  5. Favorite time of day or night?
  6. Turn to the first page of the closest book to you right now. What is the first sentence?
  7. Why do you have a blog?
  8. What is our first memory of reading a book?
  9. How many windows are in your room? Do you wish there were more?
  10. Biggest pet peeve when it comes to books?
  11. To what extent are you superstitious?

And the recipients of the Sunshine Award:

reactionarytales           

lifeofchaz

thewellthumbedreader

lifesfinewhine

maxxesbooktopia

artibookreviews

thetattooedbookgeek

brilliantlybookishsite

abyssallibrarian

commahangover

mypaperinfinity


Thanks for the award!