Book Review: An Abundance of Katherines (215 pages)
Clones--In today's society, that's not beyond the realm of possibility, but that's not what An Abu...moreBook Review: An Abundance of Katherines (215 pages)
Clones--In today's society, that's not beyond the realm of possibility, but that's not what An Abundance of Katherines is about. This book, by John Green, instead takes you on a wild ride (literally) through the post-graduation of a nerdy senior and his awful heart-breaks of the past.
The plot starts at the end of the school year, when the worries of a former high-school student should be out the window. Emphasis on the word should. Instead, Colin is thrust into a depression that can only be the result of one thing--a break-up with a Katherine. The last Katherine, one of nineteen. The thing with Colin, is that he has a thing for Katherines. He has dated only Katherines in his lifetime, and they had to have the spelling K-a-t-h-e-r-i-n-e. When his most recent Katherine fling has gone crashing down, he is effected so much that his best friend, Hassan, decides he needs a drastic rehab. This rehab takes the form of a road trip that starts in Chicago, slowly working its way south to the great state of Tennessee. Once they get to the small town of Gunshot, the duo decide to ditch the open road and rest a while. "Resting" actually turns out to include meeting new friends, staying with a small family, and getting a job. They stay in Gunshot so long, they begin to feel attached to the quaint town and its drawling people. Who knows? Maybe this is just the right medicine for a boy looking to break his mean-Katherine streak and his jolly friend. Can he do it? Read An Abundance of Katherines by John Green to find out.
The character, described by John Green, Colin, is a kid who got picked on his whole life. Not for being mean, not for being weird, but for being smart. Colin is the type of person who is the nicest person anyone could know, but for some reason, people avoid knowing him because of his level of intelligence. He struggles throughout the book to keep friends and girlfriends, except for the nice and also smart (though not as smart) Hassan. Colin changes throughout the story; he becomes a person who is comfortable with who he is for what he is. He experiences the insecurities of every teenager and prevails, happy and in one piece. Go Colin!!
The setting of most of the book, Tennessee, reminds me so much of home. The same hills, the same wonderful green outdoors, the same hot summers. I believe I've actually been to some of the same places described by the author. The fact that the setting was relatable made the scenes so easy to picture as I read.
Because of Colin's (minute) trials and tribulations, the theme of the book is "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." I also think that the theme of this could be "Change is good". My thinking behind this is simple; Colin leaves the people of his past behind him and slowly evolves into a more self-confident, risk-taking person. In this process he meets NEW PEOPLE and has NEW EXPERIENCES. Under his circumstances, change is good.
I flew through this book; It only took 4 days to read. I would refer it to both boys and girls. It kept me laughing, so if you prefer comedies, this is a must-read. Enjoy:] (less)
Anger and Jealousy are proven to be two of the most powerful of emotions. When these are combined by multiple pe...moreBook Review: Julius Caesar (209 pages)
Anger and Jealousy are proven to be two of the most powerful of emotions. When these are combined by multiple people coming together against one man, the result can't anything less than deadly. Julius Caesar, a play by Shakespeare, is a combination of history and tragedy that tells of friends' betrayal and political conflict.
The composition, though entitled "Julius Caesar", tells more of the people surrounding Caesar than of Caesar himself. Cassius and Brutus are angered by Caesar and decide in secret to do something about it. Caesar is warned by bad omens and his wife's odd dreams to stay home from a Senate meeting where shady members await him--will he choose to listen or follow is own will, as he does most of the time. Will his choice affect the entirety of the Roman Empire?
The setting of the play is Rome, Italy, when the center of the Western Civilization was ruled by Julius Caesar. The contrast between 44 BC, the date of Caesar's assassination, and the present time is extreme. Then, people were just beginning to have a say in the government, when now, people expect their say in the government through either voting or establishing leaders to vote for them. Then, women were looked down on; now, all people, male or female, are considered equal. Besides the obvious political differences, the physical differences are obvious. The structures such as buildings, art, statues, and roads were all build out of different materials and designed to look a different way (mostly brick roads, marble columned buildings, and marble statues).
The style of the book is standard Shakespearean script--Iambic Pentameter. The lines are organized into sets of five lines with each line containing ten syllables. Julius Caesar was written to be preformed as a play, so the story is told directly through the characters speech with no additional narration. The speech used in the play is old English from Shakespeare's time, so it is naturally more difficult to read and follow than modern day books. I didn't particularly like this, because it was not easy to read, but the way the author presented the words in certain puns and dialogue was witty and made me feel intelligent to be able to read it and comprehend.
If a person is not interested in taking time to read a challenging book, I would not recommend Shakespeare for them. Though intriguing, I had to take time to look up extra meanings to words in order to understand. On the other hand, if they are up for a challenge, Julius Caesar is an intellectual and adventurous read.(less)
Book Review: The 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Teen (268 pages)
Everyone feels differently as they grow up and mature in body and mind. Mood swings,...moreBook Review: The 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Teen (268 pages)
Everyone feels differently as they grow up and mature in body and mind. Mood swings, loneliness, anger, and frustration are all things that teens deal with on a daily basis. 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Teen is a inspirational book by Sean Covey that tries to help young adults realize they are NOT alone and give them a positive outlook on life and those "bumps" in the road. I believe this book is helpful and was very uplifting to me as I read it.
I especially liked the organization of the book. The way Sean Covey separated his main points of discussion into seven distinct sections was ideal to me as a reader. Also, the anecdotes he featured in each section were linked together in topic; it was good to read about the same, general idea for an entire chapter and let it soak in before switching the discussion to something else. It made it feel like Sean Covey was telling you that idea solely and not thrusting all the information he wanted the reader to know at me all at once.
The theme of the book, The 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Teen, was actually several different themes--in essence, one theme per section. Though that is true, all seven habits (be proactive; begin with the end in mind; put first things first; think win-win; seek first to understand, then be understood; synergize; sharpen the saw) summed up simply reflect the word balance. Habit 1: Be Proactive, for example, means to do what is healthy to be successful. Don't be too aggressive competition for your place as a respected student, friend, family member, and human being, but don't be someones doormat either. Another example would be of Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw. It is good to have time to relax and renew the mind, body, and soul, but it is NOT good when all that is accomplished during the day is the "renewing" of the body in naps or the "renewing" of the mind by under-stressing it by no mental stimulation whatsoever. The theme of balance suggests that somewhere in the middle is where there is harmony or equilibrium. This book demonstrates a healthy way to think, and if the reader chooses, to be.
The style the author uses to write this book is an easy style to follow. He writes as he would speak, perhaps if he were speaking to a young adult-reader. This is apparent by some slang used, such as "sweet", "dude", "cool", and more. I liked this because it was easy to follow, but I sometimes disliked this, because it felt like Sean Covey was trying too hard. It kind of undermined me, made me to feel like he didn't take me seriously as mature reader who could understand the same ideas expressed in The 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Teen, only written in more mature conversational terms.
While reading 7 Habits... I was reminded of other books I have read in the past. It is very similar to Chicken Soup for the Soul Books, only it isn't focused on Christianity like those books; its focus is more of positive thinking and actions. More so, it reminded me of the American Girl's Guide to (___) books. The only real difference between them is that the American Girl books are directed towards girls exclusively, while 7 Habits... is for any young reader (or old reader, really).
I really enjoyed reading The 7 Habits of a Highly Effective Teen. It sparked my thinking on many areas of my life that I don't give a thought to on a regular basis. I don't feel like it changed my life in a huge way, but it definitely changed it on a small level. That's how change starts though, isn't it? Small changes lead to bigger changes that lead to bigger changes and POOF! A person can be changed, for better or for worse. This book changed me for better; I recommend it to someone who is a pessimist or is depressed or just bored with a normal book. Who knows? Maybe, in a small way, it could change their life for the better too.(less)