I got this book for Christmas last year, and since then, Edgar Allan Poe has become my favorite poet. All of the short stories in this book are rather...moreI got this book for Christmas last year, and since then, Edgar Allan Poe has become my favorite poet. All of the short stories in this book are rather dark, macabre, and sometimes just plain weird. I liked them a lot, but it's his poems that really hit me hard. That's why I chose to do my Global Lit project about him. "The Raven" my favorite piece in the book and it's a very long poem. The first time I read it, I neither liked it nor understood it. However, the frustration of not understanding it made me read it again, slowly, with a dictionary in front of me, and it was then that I thought "...". Yea, I didn't know what to think, it was so amazing. I kept reading it, over and over again and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to detail the slow descent of a broken-hearted young man into madness. "The Bells" seems to be more of a song than a poem; it's rhythm and melody is awesome. I rememeber reading it outloud in the middle of the night, alone in my room, just to hear it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes Edgar Allan Poe specifically and weird stories in general.(less)
**spoiler alert** I read this book a while ago, but I loved it so much I still enjoy rereading it. The main protagonist is Torina, a rebellious young...more**spoiler alert** I read this book a while ago, but I loved it so much I still enjoy rereading it. The main protagonist is Torina, a rebellious young girl whose father is a conquerer of land. Upon conquering the peaceful neighboring country of Bellandra, he gives his daughter two presents which both turn out to be more precious than anything: a round crystal, in which she sees the future, and the ex-prince, Landen, as a slave. Torina instantly frees Landen, who is having trouble adjusting to living under the rule of his father's murderer. Though Torina and Landen form a bond of friendship, circumstance cools that over the years. When a plot is revealed to kill Torina's father, Landen flees, worried he will become the main suspect. Torina witnesses her father's death and escapes his murderer's clutches. While Landen forms a name for himself, Torina learns what it's like to not be a princess. Seperately, they both work with the high king for peace among the countries. This book is such a wonderful combination of action, romance, humor and drama that there is no chance of getting bored. Seriously. Read it.(less)
**spoiler alert** "New Moon" is the continuation of "Twilight". It starts off on an optimistic note for Human Bella and Vampire Edward, until things g...more**spoiler alert** "New Moon" is the continuation of "Twilight". It starts off on an optimistic note for Human Bella and Vampire Edward, until things go horribly wrong on Bella's birthday. She gets a papercut, making the 7 vampires in Edward's family suddenly blood-thirsty and when Jasper almost kills Bella, Edward decides he's putting her in too much trouble. He and his family move and half the book details Bella's utter despair at losing the love of her life. I think that's why the book is called "New Moon"; it details the darkest part of Bella's life. Once again, I think the angst was overdone, albeit well-written. A werewolf named Jacob helps her through this time and eventually falls in love with her, which complicates things when Edward returns. I thought the werewolves were also a bit much. We already have vampires that are cold to the touch. Why do we need their exact opposites - werewolves who are hot to the touch? Cold vampires make sense, since they are practically dead, but why would werewolves burn hot? Just to be the opposites of vampires? There are so many interesting characters in this book: Jasper, Alice, Carisle, Sam, Angela... I kept wondering why Stephanie Meyer would bother inventing so many fascinating characters and then not develop them at all. Jacob developed a lot over the series, though, so I can't complain there.(less)
City of Glass is the third (and last) in the Mortal Instruments series. This could have been a really good book if it hadn't gone trigger-happy with t...moreCity of Glass is the third (and last) in the Mortal Instruments series. This could have been a really good book if it hadn't gone trigger-happy with the soap-opera-ness. Everyone is magically either related or in love with everyone else. And despite the complete soap-opera romantic triangles, squares, octagons, it still has that annoying element of true love/ destiny which seems almost like a contradiciton.
Still, I ended up liking it, because if you ignore the sappiness, the story is pretty interesting. And the characters are pretty well devoloped. What I like most is that the author seems to give special attention to each of the characters, evaluating their personalities and changing them steadily. For example, Alec is a secondary character with personal issues who learns to overcome them and not be afraid of being with the man he loves, but this confidence and courage doesn't appear out of thin air. It is slowly built upon from book one, and with his friends' help his new confidence is perfectly realistic.
Mysteries from books one and two are answered, and you can see the hints that were dropped in previous books. So this isn't the kind of book you can read without reading the previous novels. Overall, it was an interesting book, if not the type that sticks with you. (less)
**spoiler alert** This is the first book in the trilogy that includes "Loop". It was made into two movies, one in English the other in Japanese. "Ring...more**spoiler alert** This is the first book in the trilogy that includes "Loop". It was made into two movies, one in English the other in Japanese. "Ring" is the nerve-racking beginning of an epic story. Asakawa is intrigued by a case in which 4 teenagers die mysteriously at the exact same time. Following their footsteps, he discovers that they all watched a videotape at a cabin while on vacation. The tape itself is weird; everything depicted on it that use the 5 senses can be felt by the watcher, and at the end, it says that you will die in a week unless you follow certain directions. Asakawa watches the tape, but finds out that the "charm" to survive was deleted. Desperate, he drags his friend Takayama into ths situation. Takayama is different from him; he regards the whole thing as a game, because in the end, he'd very much life to see the end of the world. Together, they search for an answer that is nothing like they expected, involving a hermaphrodite psychic, a virus, and a shoking ending. I loved this book to bits.(less)
**spoiler alert** "Spiral" is the second book in the trilogy that includes "Loop", the most amazing book I've ever read. It breaks my heart to change...more**spoiler alert** "Spiral" is the second book in the trilogy that includes "Loop", the most amazing book I've ever read. It breaks my heart to change my favorite book, but there you go. In "Spiral", the characters from the first book are past the point of discovering the secret of the virus. The task is taken up by Ando, who does an autopsy on Takayama. After stitching him up, a note from beyond the grave is offered by the dead man. Spooked, Ando works on cracking the code on the piece of paper. Using the structure of aminoacids, he gets the word "mutation". Eventually, he realizes this means that the virus has mutated, able to reproduce itself in new, terrifying ways. It's purpose is to unify all living things, by making all humans the same; the psychic from the first book, Sadako. She offers Ando something he can't refuse in exchange for his help; the resurection of his son. The world is overrun by "cancer" - everyone is born as Sadako. I was so surprised that the end was so sad. Thankfully, it's not the end of the story :)(less)
Well, this book sure became really famous, really fast. I heard of it all the way in Romania. The subject didn't really interest me; I'm not much of a...moreWell, this book sure became really famous, really fast. I heard of it all the way in Romania. The subject didn't really interest me; I'm not much of a fan of romance. I did read it though; I figured there must be another reason that so many people like it besides the fact that it's "sooo sweeeet!" Besides, it had vampires in it - there had to be some creepiness in it too, right? And I can't lie. I did enjoy reading it, although I stopped many times during the course of the book to roll my eyes. I don't believe in "love at first sight" and it was certainly that sort of love for Bella and Edward. I don't buy the whole 'for some
reason, Edward just felt the strange urge to risk his life for her'. I liked the heroine of the story in this book (though my opinion of her changed over the course of the four books) At first, she seemed a lot like me: self-concious, clumsy and different. Near the middle of the book, I developed an affection for Edward's brother, Jasper, and his wife Alice. It was, of course, because Jasper's the dark, mysterious type (dark in the sense of personality, not looks - he's blond). And Alice is the most likable, pixie-like bubbly vampire I've ever read about. There is more to the book than pointless romance (otherwise I would have gone crazy) and there was plenty of action to keep me happy. (less)
"Artemis Fowl" is my all time favorite series. The protagonist is an anti-hero named Artemis Fowl. When teased that he has a female name, he said that...more"Artemis Fowl" is my all time favorite series. The protagonist is an anti-hero named Artemis Fowl. When teased that he has a female name, he said that "Artemis" is the name of the Greek goddess of hunting, and sometimes there comes along a male with such an impressive ability of hunting his enemies that he earns the right to use the name. Artemis is an 15-year old Irish genius who discovers a species of intelligent "fairies" living underground. However, these fairies aren't fairytale-like - they're dangerous. Eventually, he form a precarious friendship with the only female elf on the recon unit, Captain Holly Short. In the 6th book, Artemis goes back in time to fix a deadly and heartless mistake he made when he was younger and deals with the most terrifying enemy of all - his 10-year-old self. What I love most about the author is his awesome ability to keep surprising the reader. You'd expect the 6th book in a series to lose it's charm, but there was nothing repetitive or cliche about it. There were some serious twists near the end of the book that had to do with time travel, which I had to reread to fully understand. It left me thinking and that, I think, is one of the most important things in a book. (less)
**spoiler alert** "The Bell Jar", published after Sylvia Plath's death, is the story of a young woman's apparent insanity. It chronicles her life as a...more**spoiler alert** "The Bell Jar", published after Sylvia Plath's death, is the story of a young woman's apparent insanity. It chronicles her life as a college student, her slip into madness, her suicide attempts, and her "healing" in various asylums.
On one hand, I thought the idea was very interesting. Seen from an insane person's eyes, their actions can seem perfectly rational and obvious. I liked the smooth transition from Esther Greenwood's college life to her descent into madness - the writing style didn't change at all, so the change was gradual and barely noticeable. I hardly know exactly when she went insane.
On the other hand, I would have liked the book more if it suggested more about the cause of Esther's madness. There were suicide attempts without particular mention of why she wanted to kill herself in the first place. Why kill herself and not others - why did she suffer from the particular type of madness she did?
One explanation I can find is that she snapped from overworking herself. This in and of itself does not seem to be implausible to me - the fact that no psychiatrist could discover this and reduce her stress seemed weird to me. I also thought the fact that she spoke to a psychiatrist who prescribed shock-therapy without a second opinion or further tests was also a bit fishy. Then again, looking at the novel as a whole, these can be considered meaningless details.
Overall, I liked the writing style more than I liked the actual story, which I thought could have been more powerful and thought-provoking. (less)
As interesting and thought-provoking as this book was, as much as I loved certain parts, overall, I didn't really like it much. First of all, the auth...moreAs interesting and thought-provoking as this book was, as much as I loved certain parts, overall, I didn't really like it much. First of all, the author has an odd way of expressing her feminist views: in this book, we see the recurring theme of the innocent and pure woman victimized by the evil, sex-crazed man. Really. The point of feminism is to show that women can be strong, not to fish for sympathy and hope we shed a tear or two for the delicate creatures. This made me dislike most of the female characters of the novel, except perhaps Ferula and maybe Alba and Ana Diaz on a certain level. On the other hand, I thought Jaime and Nicolas were very interesting characters and I laughed throughtout the whole description of their dynamic as brothers - Nicolas uses his impressive intelligence to play devil's advocate for his brother, convince him he's wrong, and then procede to show Jaime the arguments he should have used and thus convince him he was right in the first place. I also thought Pedro Segundo was an interesting character - a simple, hard-working man who believes in the natural order of things, yet who loves his son enough to support him in his quest to ruin the "natural order of things".
I found several plot holes in this book that annoyed me, but the story was very complex so I guess I can get over them. All in all, it was an okay book with a brilliant conclusion that past, present, and future all happen at the same time and even the most evil people in the world have a purpose. (less)
**spoiler alert** The idea behind this book was pretty awesome. The history of philosophy can be very boring if you're not intereseted in that sort of...more**spoiler alert** The idea behind this book was pretty awesome. The history of philosophy can be very boring if you're not intereseted in that sort of stuff, so slipping it in a fiction/fantasy novel is a pretty smart thing to do.
Sophie starts recieving letters from a mysterious philosopher (Alberto) that make her question everything she knows. As she gets closer to this philosopher, weird incidents start to occur, such as having the long dead Greek philosopher Plato speak to her in English. The incidents become weirder and more impossible, convoncing Sophie (and the reader along with her) that she's not really living in the real world.
I absolutely loved how weird everything seemed if I thought of Sophie as a real person, and how everything made sense when I thought of her as just a character in a book controlled by a writer. I knew many of the philosophers presented in the book, but learned a lot about just what exactly each believed. Of course, I did not agree with everything in the book, but that's the point of a book on philosophy. There is no proof - all that matters is what we believe.
What I didn't really like much about this book was the way it was written. It might be because of the translation, but the writing seemed rather childish to me and some declarations were unsupported. For example, we are told about Sophists, the enemies of Socrates' views. We are then treated to a paragraph in which Alberto whines about how they weren't real philosophers, just annoying little know-it-alls. You'd think that such an accusation warrants proof, or at least an explanation.
All in all, I liked the book, and it was about time I read it since it has been sitting on my shelf for about 3 years.(less)