Such a sweeping poignant story. I honestly can’t decide if this book or The Kite Runner is the better one of the two: A Thousand Splendid Suns just agSuch a sweeping poignant story. I honestly can’t decide if this book or The Kite Runner is the better one of the two: A Thousand Splendid Suns just again proves to show Hosseini’s immense talent of storytelling.
The backdrop of this book is the nearly forty years of tragic turmoil in Afghanistan’s history, from the Soviet occupation to the end of the Taliban rule. This story, however, mainly focuses on the lives of two extraordinary women, Mariam and Laila, who will meet each other by fate and must persevere in their hardships during a time when flamingoes could not be painted without trousers because their long bare legs were too revealing. Over the course of the book, I really felt for and was moved by the characters. Hosseini, through his eloquent prose, paints a heartbreaking reality of how Afghan women were crushed under the rules and regulations of the Taliban and within their households. I do hope he writes more in the future and I am waiting for his next book.
I doubt anyone will be able to read Ender’s Game and not go on to Speaker for the Dead. What can one possibly do after reading that tortuous cliff hanI doubt anyone will be able to read Ender’s Game and not go on to Speaker for the Dead. What can one possibly do after reading that tortuous cliff hanger in Ender’s but pick up its sequel, right? But it’s hard to consider this book as the sequel since it is so different from Ender’s Game on so many levels.
I admit, I was stumped at first. What’s with the characters talking in Portuguese? Are we reading a biology book or a sci-fi adventure? And when did Ender become a detective in space all of sudden? Then I came to realize that Speaker for the Dead requires a different mindset, maybe even a different audience. People who liked the boy-against-the-world plot in Ender’s Game will be sorely disappointed by this. This is mature stuff, it’s sophisticated, it’s bewildering. But you just got to dig deep; then you will find treasure. Accept the changes; I assure you, you will be rewarded.
Orson Scott Card had intended to write this book along. He meant Ender’s Game to be just the background for Speaker for the Dead, a short story enlarged. I myself like Ender’s Game more than Speaker for the Dead as do many others; however, I can see why Card sees the latter as the core book. Speaker is a masterpiece on humanism. This book is not just the speaker for the dead, but also for our fears, our prejudices, our truths, our hatreds, our guilt, our redemptions, our desires.
Card has an incredible ability to write about such deep and real characters and a thought-provoking story. The concept of speakers for the dead is marvelous. If more people read this, maybe our funeral ritual will change altogether. Gosh, imagine that! And the piggies—that was amazing characterization. I don’t know why but they remind me of the pigs that were slaughtered by the boys in Lord of the Flies. I know, they are separate things, but once I thought about that, the whole story of Lord of the Flies transformed. The pigs from LotF became piggies and the Ralph and the boys became an older generation of Ender’s. Kind of far-fetched, but hey, this book poked my brain and it kept me thinking about random stuff.
It’s hard to talk about everything else this book is because it is so vast and ambitious. Please ignore the terrible book covers; they don't depict the novels in the slightest bit. It would just be so unfortunate if fans of Ender’s Game overlooked this. Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are the only two science fiction novels to win both the Hugo and the Nebula awards for the same author in back-to-back years. There is a reason for that, and you will also see why when you read them. ...more
This is so good that I want to read Lord of the Rings all over again. The characters, the story, and the world of Middle Earth are going to stay withThis is so good that I want to read Lord of the Rings all over again. The characters, the story, and the world of Middle Earth are going to stay with me forever! And it’s all credit to JRR Tolkien and his astounding imagination. Hats off to him; he is a genius. The genre fantasy emerged from his works, and he inspired and influenced so many other authors.
If there was one thing that I would like to have changed, then it will be that I wish females held more significant roles in the books. There’s an amazing scene with Eowyn, but the other females, very few in fact, are minor. Arwen mostly stayed out of the action, the appearances of Galadriel were few, and then there was Rosie, Shelob, and that talkative healer in Gondor, but that was really about it. Sometimes I think, “What about a female in the fellowship?” but I guess I also have to consider the time in which the book was written.
But still, this is a book everyone must read. Don't miss out! And the length of the book is a poor excuse, because it’s definitely worth your time....more
This is as great as the first book. In fact, it’s better if that is even possible, and I have a feeling that the third book is going to be nothing lesThis is as great as the first book. In fact, it’s better if that is even possible, and I have a feeling that the third book is going to be nothing less. Tolkien is seriously throwing more and more surprises at me as I read his books. He is now officially my #1 favorite author. We’ll see if any other author can change that. :]
In The Two Towers, there is more action. We meet fascinating characters like the Ents and Gollum, and we learn more about the minor characters. The character development and the relationships between the characters are like nothing I have ever read before. I loved following the characters on the map. The cliffhanger at the end was great; I'm dying to know what happens next so I must start the last book right away!...more
I used to think that Frankenstein was the monster and not the creator of the monster. I know, tsk tsk. But I bet there are numerous number of people wI used to think that Frankenstein was the monster and not the creator of the monster. I know, tsk tsk. But I bet there are numerous number of people who think that too. Confess it; I won’t bite you. No, Frankenstein is not the green-skinned blockheaded zombie with bolts in his neck. Frankenstein is the person who created the monster. There are several other things that shouldn’t trust from the movie, so it’s best to read the book instead.
I love how the story is like a set of Russian dolls. The largest doll that covers it all is Walton’s letters to his sister, and Frankenstein’s story fits inside that, and within Frankenstein’s story is the monster’s story. See how beautifully layered that is?
And it’s beautifully meaningful too. It raises great questions about humans trying to go beyond their limits when experimenting in science. Right now, nanotechnology is the hot topic full of hope, but what about the ethical dangers that could occur in the future as a result of this scientific advance? It’s stuff to ponder about.
If you want, you could block out all of the themes and symbols and just read it as a chilling horror sci-fi story. It’s quite an extraordinary book whichever way you read it. ...more
A father and a son walk through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. We don’t know their names (they are known simply as “the man” and “the boy”), and we donA father and a son walk through a post-apocalyptic wasteland. We don’t know their names (they are known simply as “the man” and “the boy”), and we don’t know a thing about the catastrophe. We only know about their journey on the road. We only know about their heart-wrenching hope to survive. Nothing else matters.
It was beautiful and depressing. The lack of apostrophes and quotations, and the clipped conversations worked perfectly with the bleak setting.
I felt that there could have been more at the end, but nonetheless, this is an unforgettable story. ...more
Tolkien created an entire new world to such detail—the races, the geography, the events, the languages, etc. It’s amazing how much imagination he putTolkien created an entire new world to such detail—the races, the geography, the events, the languages, etc. It’s amazing how much imagination he put into this and created something so developed and profound.
Yes, there are parts in the story that drag. The characters are sometimes traveling miles with nothing much happening. But hang in there; there are many magical and exciting events yet to come. Tolkien also takes the time to describe Middle Earth and this can be tedious to some, but when the writing is so rich and beautiful, there should be nothing to complain about! :)...more
Ever read a book only a while ago and then had a sudden urge to read it again? Fahrenheit 451 is one of my examples. And instead of picking up the actEver read a book only a while ago and then had a sudden urge to read it again? Fahrenheit 451 is one of my examples. And instead of picking up the actual book, I picked up the recently published graphic adaptation. It wasn’t what I planned, but it's what I took out of the shelf and I thought, “Hey, what not?”
The comic book version was more than what I expected. It was very faithful to the book, and the art was wonderful. And the irony of this adaption! Fahrenheit 451 states that one of the causes for the decline of books is that books were being abridged to comic books. There is a particular quote from the novel that says this: “"Books cut shorter. Condensations. Digests, Tabloids. … Classics cut … to fill a two-minute book column.”
Is the dystopian world of Fahrenheit 451 alarming close to ours then? It is if people are going to read this comic book as a means of gaining a shortcut of the novel. However, I would recommend this for those who have already read the novel and would like to it see portrayed in a different way. ...more
If there’s ever any more new books to the Harry Potter series, this is the closest it can get. You just need to forget the fact that it’s fanfic and sIf there’s ever any more new books to the Harry Potter series, this is the closest it can get. You just need to forget the fact that it’s fanfic and simply enjoy this next generation of the Harry Potter world. Lippert does an amazing job depicting it, and I doubt HP fans will be disappointed. Well, that is, if you don’t worry yourself about the smallest and silliest details that may be wrong. :D
If you enjoyed the first James Potter book, you’re going to find this second book much much better. I really hope there’s a third book. There is still much left unanswered, and questions like "What did that ending scene mean?" and "What's going to happen to blahblahblah?" and "And what about him/her?" are going to kill me sooner or later. The story can't definitely end here, can it? There must surely be more, right? ...more
**spoiler alert** I went from pretty much disliking this series to completely loving it. With each book, the series got better and better, and CITY OF**spoiler alert** I went from pretty much disliking this series to completely loving it. With each book, the series got better and better, and CITY OF GLASS was the best one, no question about it.
This last book was definitely a roller coaster ride for me—twisting and turning, the sudden drops, the dramatic climbs, the breathless and heart-pounding moments, etc. The vivid emotions shown throughout the book were wonderful. It was all great fun. And the ending was just right—well-rounded and satisfying and fuzzy-feeling.
And there was a solution to the love triangle! After I finished CITY OF ASHES, I thought, “How could the things between Jace and Clary ever get resolved?! It’s so complicated!” One of my friend guessed that Jace and Clary might not be siblings after all. (Oh, isn’t she a smarticle?) And I thought I would hate it if that happened. I really don’t like it when the reader is told something, and then later told that what they heard before was false. (Don't you just get bummed when that happens?) I thought I would hate it more in this book, especially since we have been knowing this lie for two whole books!
But that’s not what exactly happened. Yes, I did dislike it a bit. I thought “Why would a YA author keep pushing a love relationship with a sibling? That would raise too many questions from the public.” And when I read the twist, I was like, “Oh, right. Of course. She’s going to make them not related.” I thought it wasn’t realistic at first, and it would be more real-life-like if they remained brother and sister. However, I ended up liking it. And I loved how Cassandra Clare drops in clues that suggest it’s Sebastian, like how Clary thought she had known Sebastian all her life even if it was the first time she met him, or how she got Sebastian’s hair dye on her fingers. Cool foreshadowing. =)
The best thing out of the whole series are the characters. Oh god, I loved them. Each one really is making a journey of his/her own through the series. They grow, they change, they have their ups and downs in their journey, they learn their abilities...and most importantly, they have some yin and yang going. This makes them so real and flesh-like and distinctive. Sometimes I felt sympathy for Valentine, sometimes I hated Jace. It was crazy.
I liked who everyone ended up with. Alec and Magnus are awesome. I'm glad it isn't Simon and Clary, but I would prefer if he was with Maia and not Isabelle. I actually liked the part when Clary's mom tries to catch up to Luke and tell him her real feelings. I know, that kind of scene is in very freaking movie, but it was cute. And Jace and Clary... all's settled. ;)
One of my favorite quotes in the book is probably:
“So we all have to do that?” Maia said. “Get drawn on, I mean.” “Only if you’re going to fight,” Isabelle said, looking at the other girl coldly. “You don’t look eighteen yet.” Maia smiled tightly. “I’m not a Shadowhunter. Lycanthropes are considered adults at sixteen.” “Well, you have to get drawn on, then,” said Isabelle. “By a Shadowhunter. So you’d better start looking for one.” “But – “ Maia, still looking over at Alec and Magnus, broke off and raised her eyebrows. Simon turned to see what she was looking at – and stared. Alec had his arms around Magnus and was kissing him, full on the mouth. Magnus, who appeared to be in a state of shock, stood frozen. Several groups of people – Shadowhunters and Downworlders alike – were staring and whispering. Glancing to the side, Simon saw the Lightwoods, their eyes wide, gaping at the display. Maryse had her hand over her mouth. Maia looked perplexed. “Wait a second,” she said. “Do we all have to do that, too?” ...more
My first encounter of Little Women was when I read the Portraits of Little Women books by Susan Beth Pfeffer when I was young. Those books were a greaMy first encounter of Little Women was when I read the Portraits of Little Women books by Susan Beth Pfeffer when I was young. Those books were a great introduction to Little Women, but the actual book is even better.
I adore this book. Each chapter is like a new story and a new lesson to learn. And reading about the four girls--their flaws, their strengths, their adventures, how their character develops--was absolutely cherishing. All the characters are great actually, and the moments they have together are heartwarming and comical. This is truly a lovely novel. ...more
I absolutely loved this book. It was emotional, powerful, and stunning. This is my first book I read by Jodi Picoult, and I liked her writing style. II absolutely loved this book. It was emotional, powerful, and stunning. This is my first book I read by Jodi Picoult, and I liked her writing style. It was also pretty cool how each chapter was in a different character's point of view. The plot was pretty original, though sometimes it reminded me of the book, House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.
Basically, the story is about Anna, who is the genetically perfect match of her leukemia patient sister, Kate. The very existence of Anna's life is to provide her blood and bone marrow to keep her sister alive. When it finally comes to giving her kidney away, Anna sues her parents for the rights of her body. And, then, begins the winding set of events to answer the fundamental question of what's right and what's moral. "If you use one of your children to save the life of another," the author asks, "are you being a good mother...or a very bad one?"
There's also the issue about the ending. I don't know...I didn't see it coming, but it wasn't exactly as horrible as others thought it was. I mean, life can be have moments that are unexpected and catch you deer-in-the-headlights. Maybe that's what Jodi Picoult intended. I personally didn't have any problem with the ending, except for the fact it was so ultimately sad.
Whenever I had the slightest bit of free time, I was plunging into the pages of Fire. I couldn't stop reading it.
What Kristin Cashore did here is shiWhenever I had the slightest bit of free time, I was plunging into the pages of Fire. I couldn't stop reading it.
What Kristin Cashore did here is shift her camcorder and zoom it into a different area of the world she created (and go back 35 years but a camcorder can't do that, so we will ignore that part). She has a story that will not disappoint her fans. And people who didn't like Graceling: well, there is no Katsa in this book, so maybe there is something you might like in here.
The writing, the plot, the fantasy, the complex characters, the wonderful gripping scenes--I devoured it all, and now I'm hungry for Bitterblue. ...more
**spoiler alert** OH MY GODS... This was, like, the perfect ending for the series. All the loose ends were tied and all the questions were answered. T**spoiler alert** OH MY GODS... This was, like, the perfect ending for the series. All the loose ends were tied and all the questions were answered. The conclusion of the saga was perfect. Not at all sappy and lived-happily-ever-after. Simply perfect. (Okay, I need to stop saying that word). Perfect! XD
*****************NOW TIME FOR SPOILERS************************
1) I like the title of the book. When all the other gods are out there having a hard time fighting Typhon, when it looks like Olympus is sure for destruction, there is only Hestia left. She is the the goddess of hearth, meaning family and fireside. Percy says, "Hope survives best at the hearth." When your friends are dying around you and when you are fighting something like Kronos, there might only be one thing you could hold onto--family--and it might just tip the balance in favor of you and Olympus might be saved after all.
2) Okay, so Luke dies. It was kind of predictable. But how Luke dies was a total surprise. I was thinking more along the lines of a duel between Percy and Luke to death. And I'm sooo glad it didn't turn out like that. Also, it was cool how Percy didn't end up being the hero of the prophecy. I see Luke differently now after knowing his difficult past and how in the end he sacrificed himself to kill Kronos. Totally unexpected.
3) Hurray for Percabeth!! I was grinning the whole time during the "best underwater kiss of all time" part. Yay!
4) I loved Percy's wish of making the gods promise that they will to claim their half blood children. It's cool how camp half blood is going to have cabins for minor gods. And I'm so glad Percy turned down the gods' grant of immorality.
4) It was kind of creepy how Rachel became the Oracle, and how it was her "destiny." But with the previous Oracle not having anyone to take her place for years, and Rachel painting the pictures of Luke as a kid and the Empire State building surrounded by an army... it all makes sense. The pieces fit correctly.
6) Okay, adding onto #5--the second great prophecy.
*spooky music* "Seven half bloods shall answer the call. To storm or fire, the world must fall. An oath to keep with a final breath, And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death."
I wonder who the seven half bloods will be. I heard Rick Riordan saying that his second series (Yipee! I am so happy there's going to be a 2nd series!! Thanks Riordan!), is going to be about the next generation of half bloods. So, Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and others might not be in it, and if they are, they are going to minor characters. Also, I wonder what this new adventure is going to be.
I applaud this wonderful series. It's definitely one of my favorites, and I will be on the lookout for the second series.
Oh, I just remembered. Tomorrow, August 18th, is Percy Jackson's birthday! Happy (early) b-day, Percy!! =)...more
This book gets shunned by people just because it’s science fiction (e.g. Ryan!), but one really doesn’t have to be a sci-fi junkie to like this book (This book gets shunned by people just because it’s science fiction (e.g. Ryan!), but one really doesn’t have to be a sci-fi junkie to like this book (If you want proof, then here I am. I’m your wonderful living example.)
It’s more than aliens, spaceships, and time travel; it’ also about war and leadership. And I know that at this point no one is convinced. Like Ryan said, “If you’re telling me that a sci-fi book about war is something I’m supposed to find appealing, then I don’t know how you’ve been my friend this long.”
My reply to this is: “It don’t matter whacha like; this book’s gonna keep you interested.” See, you might open this book doubtingly, but you’re going to be pulled into the story and before you know it you’re already reaching the end.
And the characters are really something. They aren’t simply defined as the good, the evil, the hero, and the villain. The characters have been on both ends. And it’s so interesting to read about Ender’s character—how the control of adults affected him, his struggle to remain good and not a killing machine, his decisions in circumstances, etc.
The ending caught me unawares. It was a sharp turn away from the path, and I’m so glad that’s how it turned out. And I loved the very, very last part of the book; it holds a lot promise for the next books.
So try this book! It’s an incredible story. Prepare to be blown away....more
Another highly entertaining book in the Percy Jackson series! An interesting plot, good character development, and as always, action-packed and hilariAnother highly entertaining book in the Percy Jackson series! An interesting plot, good character development, and as always, action-packed and hilarious!!
The ending leaves a huge "What is going to happen next???!!!!" question. So, I simply can't wait to read next book. Except there is, like, 50 holds on the first copy in the library. Dx...more
"You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can't have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this count"You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can't have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, What do we want in this country, above all? People want to be happy, isn't that right? .... Well, aren't they? Don't we keep them moving, don't we give them fun? That's all we live for, isn't it? .... Colored people don't like Little Black Sambo. Burn it. White people don't feel good about Uncle Tom's Cabin. Burn it."
That is exactly the firemen's job in this futuristic, sci-fi book--starting fires to burn books instead of putting out fires. In this society, reading and owning books is a crime. You could get arrested for simply being a pedestrian. Front porches and rocking chairs were removed so people wouldn't be able to sit and talk. But, spending time with your technological parlor wall "family" is encouraged. The people were ignorant of knowledge, creativity, world issues, nature, etc., and were wrapped up in their bubble of shallowness and blindness of the rest of the world. This is the vision in the frightening future that Bradbury portrays.
Guy Montag, the protagonist, is a firemen, and he loves his work, thinking that he is actually doing good to his society. His perspective completely changes as he meets new people, like the innocent 17-year-old girl Clarisse. She teaches Montag to slow down and observe, pay attention. To think.
"I sometimes think drivers don't know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly," she said. "If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he'd say, that's grass! A pink blur? That's a rose-garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once. He drove forty miles an hour and they jailed him for two days. Isn't that funny, and sad, too?"
"Have you seen the two-hundred-foot-long billboards in the country beyond town? Did you know that once billboards were only twenty feet long? But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising out so it would last."
"Bet I know something else you don't. There's dew on the grass in the morning."
"And if you look"-she nodded at the sky-"there's a man in the moon."
"Are you happy?" she said.
And, all of a sudden, Montag realizes the wrongdoing of burning books, and his life becomes in danger.
Chilling. Disturbing. Amazing. This book makes you think about life today, and wonder if we may be closer than we think to that grim future in Fahrenheit 451. ...more
Don’t you just love it when you get that warm contented feeling after you read a good book? And you just want the last sentences, the last words to laDon’t you just love it when you get that warm contented feeling after you read a good book? And you just want the last sentences, the last words to last forever, so you read it slowly, letting it roll over your tongue.
This book left me feeling like just that. It was wonderful. I liked all 500 or so pages of it, every sentence was written beautifully, and nothing should have been taken out. Compelling, sad and funny, this was one of the best novels I’ve ever read. Definitely recommended. ...more
I loved it. It's nothing like the movie. Except the fact that the family has a dozen kids. And, I assure you the book is much better than the movie...I loved it. It's nothing like the movie. Except the fact that the family has a dozen kids. And, I assure you the book is much better than the movie... which is the case almost always.
Anyway, it's about a father, who is an motion-efficiency expert, and the mother and their kids. There isn't much of a main plot in the book, but instead contains a bunch of (very funny) incidents of the family (that makes you burst out laughing every time--guaranteed). And, something that's really cool is that it's a TRUE story written by two of the children! Which makes the book even better! :D...more
If you are a die-hard science fiction fan, you might not like this book. I’m not sure how likely it is that a meteor can push the moon closer to EarthIf you are a die-hard science fiction fan, you might not like this book. I’m not sure how likely it is that a meteor can push the moon closer to Earth and cause earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, etc. I think scientists could have predicted that the meteor was too big and prepared the people for the catastrophe. However, we can’t be too critical, because that’s not what this book focuses on. It’s about one family. It’s about the strength they had to muster inside themselves to survive and their increasing love for each other as the world seemed to get smaller and smaller.
This is very eye opening book. When I read it, it felt so real. It was as if I was living in it. It got me terrified and weirdly paranoid, and only when I raised my head reluctantly from the book did I realize that it wasn’t happening to me. I took in all things in my house that were running on electricity, the food in the kitchen if I got hungry, the heater to keep me warm. It’s going to make you think, and when you look around yourself, you’re going to see the world differently. Life as you know it now is going to change after you read this book. ...more