Friday, September 12, 2008

August Book Reviews

I am getting very lazy. Hence, these very short reviews consist the entirety of my effort towards reviewing my August books.

The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

McCarthy is a genius. I should have known this already, when I saw No Country for Old Men, but it didn't click. It did with this book. Read it before the movie (starring Viggo Mortensen) comes out later in the year. The book is a long detail of fear and apocalypse, starvation and brutality, but also a love story of family, loyalty and persistence. It is the ultimate survival tale. And it won the Pulitzer.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
by Stephen Chbosky


If your looking for a very fast read, this is it. It reminds you how hard it was during those teenage years. This coming of age story is refreshingly raw. And is not filled with lame alliterations either... And, to tell the truth, I liked Charlie (the protagonist) more than I ever liked Holden Caulfield.

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston


Autonomy. Male/Female Relations. Race. Black Folk Tradition. God. Spirituality. Love. Death. Power. The American South. This book has it all. The writing is amazing, the story is amazing, the characters are amazing. This book is literary and accessible. Meaning: everyone can and should read this.

Salem Falls
Plain Truth
by Jodi Picoult

3.5/5 for both

I really enjoy Jodi Picoult novels. She is one of my guilty reading pleasures. I was hooked in high school, when I read The Pact, and then again recently when I picked up my sister's copy of My Sister's Keeper. Salem Falls and Plain Truth, the two more recent books I read, were addictingly good, although I am noticing many similarities between her various novels. Expect each book to include a controversial/hidden issue brought to light, a town/family torn apart, a trial, a lawyer and his/her love interest, and lots of drama. I recommend checking any of her novels out if your looking for easy reads. My favorite was My Sister's Keeper. Although make sure to read it with a box of tissues at hand.


by Gregory Maguire

So I know I already blogged about Wicked. But I did so before I read the actual bonafide book. Which, I have to admit, was pretty disappointing. Creative it was, enjoyable it was not. Elphaba (the 'wicked' witch) is made into a kind of freakish anarchist with a skin deformity. I actually really liked her, right up until she is post-Fiyero. Her character, and the story, go rapidly downhill from there. I felt like the author had so many great ideas, but could bring little, if any, of them to fruition. Really the only parts in the novel worth reading concern Melena, Elphaba's mother, and Elphaba's college years (where the nature of good vs. evil is first brought up). Maguire brings up many good questions for readers to ponder on, but he fails to provide any kind of concrete solution we can grasp onto. This probably was purposeful, (by nature of the time period he is a Post-Modernist) but all would be better equipped to answer life's questions if one picked up a copy of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics instead of Maguire's Wicked.

Breaking Dawn
by Stephenie Meyer


Wow, didn't see that one coming! Honestly, I can't say a lot about this book without giving stuff away. So don't read further if you don't want to know. OK so definitely the most crazy twist was the whole pregnancy/death/vampire baby thing. I mean, what was that? Don't get me wrong, I loved the baby. But some things that bothered me were:
1. When did Bella suddenly become mother of the
year? She went from hating marriage stereotypes to wanting a child and loving being married in like 2 seconds.
2. Did anyone else notice the lack of fatherly affection Edward displayed for his new offspring?
3. The whole connection between the baby and Jacob was a little too convenient. What, suddenly every romantic feeling Bella had for Jacob and vice versa is gone?
Those are really my three main problems with this book. What I loved most about it is that Bella ceased to be a pathetic girl always needing to be saved by various men. I love vampire Bella more than I ever did her weaker human version. Kudos to Meyer for finally allowing Bella to save herself...

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