A large majority of the stories were brilliantly done. They ranged from funny and silly to absolutely heart-wrenching. I'll be pre-ordering volume 2 a...moreA large majority of the stories were brilliantly done. They ranged from funny and silly to absolutely heart-wrenching. I'll be pre-ordering volume 2 as soon as the release date is set.(less)
One of my favorite books now, even though I wouldn't necessarily say that the story is one of my favorite stories ever. It's great, don't get me wrong...moreOne of my favorite books now, even though I wouldn't necessarily say that the story is one of my favorite stories ever. It's great, don't get me wrong, but the style of writing paired with the photos is what made the book complete for me. It was slightly YA but with the feel of a book that isn't trying to cater to a young adult crowd. It simply was a story that fit in well with that demographic. The photographs were such a wonderful addition, too. And finding out at the end that they are all real pictures makes it even better. I absolutely loved this book.(less)
While being a brilliant book, it just isn't quite the type of book that sucks me in. The seemingly endless descriptions of sea life made me want to sk...moreWhile being a brilliant book, it just isn't quite the type of book that sucks me in. The seemingly endless descriptions of sea life made me want to skim nearly entire chapters at a time, but I couldn't bring myself to actually do it, so I dutifully read every single classification of sea urchin that Verne included. The main story is an interesting one, though. I've come across versions that have edited out the classifications and would have probably enjoyed reading that version more than the unabridged one that I did.(less)
**spoiler alert** This book kills me. When I first read it I hated it. Absolutely loathed it. I thought that Collins had given up, perhaps succumbed t...more**spoiler alert** This book kills me. When I first read it I hated it. Absolutely loathed it. I thought that Collins had given up, perhaps succumbed to the pressures of writing a best-selling trilogy or even deviated from her original path because the books were getting ready to be put to film. It took several months and reading a lot of reviews before I started to see the beauty in the story. Not the story that I had originally wanted, not the happy ending where, through sacrificing much, Katniss eventually achieved her goal of protecting herself and her family and could go on with the mundane task of choosing a beau. It wasn't ever about a world changing revolution. Honestly, I about put the book down as soon as all the fuss with Prim was made because what had she gone through this all for, if NOT to save her sister. That was the whole point! I was seething. That and the fact that a couple of likable, really well written characters were killed off without any regard. But that is exactly the world Collins had written. You couldn't rationally expect everyone to be given lengthy, heroic death scenes. People were going to die and it was going to be quick and Kat either had to move on or die herself. It just took me some time to see it. It's not as if I'm going to be able to sit here and write a better story, and because I wasn't the author, the story in my mind wasn't the one that played out and only recently have I grown to appreciate that. (Oddly, this almost never happens in any other story I read) In the end, I think Collins did a wonderful job. All Katniss ever was was a young girl who became a pawn in a terrible world. She was always rash, always making decisions without fully considering the consequences and she was never going to be able to change the world she lived in. The best thing she got out of it was that she was able to change her world. So, I went from nearly writing off the series (which, though it has dark themes, is largely fluff in the sense that it's no life-changer)to having a real respect for the story - and the author for following through with what I can imagine was her original plan for the series, despite growing fame and people truly loving some of her characters.(less)
So, Anthem was one of those books that I enjoyed in high school and decided to read again as an adult. Why? Nostalgia. A bit of a love-this-autho...more2.5/5
So, Anthem was one of those books that I enjoyed in high school and decided to read again as an adult. Why? Nostalgia. A bit of a love-this-author-who-loves-that-author-so-maybe-I-will-too thing I had with a fantasy author I used to like (I've since come to my senses). A quick read. A classic. And something that I've come to accept as a magnetism this wholly-liberal lady has with Rand's philosophy... up until a point. Themes of individuality and self-sufficiency are not for only those who think Rand is the highest authority on everything in the world aside from religion (because, let's face it, most people who are violently pro-Rand are also quite religious, though she herself was not).
So, where does it go wrong? I think that with her history, Rand had to guard herself, and like people who overcompensate because of childhood bias, she decided that the extremes were her only option. And in an interview she (I'm paraphrasing of course) noted that she's not exactly against altruism, just against it as an ultimate ideal, at the expense of individuality. And I agree to a point. It's like on an airplane. Take care of your own oxygen mask before you take care of your child's. Common sense. Where Rand fails is whens he decides not to acknowledge that most adults who have common sense would not value altruism to the point where they are being harmed. I mean, it's just one fault, and by far not the only one, but it's one of the reasons I feel like I simultaneously like and dislike her work. For a time, The Fountainhead was one of my favorite novels, despite my not agreeing with a large majority of what had been written. It's really an odd relationship I have with the two books of hers that I've read.
So where does that leave Anthem? It's an entertaining read, full of "huh, that would totally suck" moments, thought-provoking stuff if you like dystopian novels, which I really, really do. It's not practical, it's not the best written thing ever, there are flaws in delivery and in theory. But it's entertaining.
I think it was more effective as a high school read, something you could have a discussion about and expand upon, rather than just something that you read for shits and giggles. However, there are far better classic and modern dystopian novels, for example 1984 and The Hunger Games respectively. The fact that Ayn Rand uses her books as excuses for shitty behavior really makes me feel like her work isn't necessary anymore. Sadly, her zealotry has canceled out any decent ideas she might have had.(less)
I'd give 4.5 if I could. I can't quite bring myself to 5 stars (it's this thing... since I've been reading the Kingkiller Chronicles nothing compares...moreI'd give 4.5 if I could. I can't quite bring myself to 5 stars (it's this thing... since I've been reading the Kingkiller Chronicles nothing compares and when I'm reading a book by an author in the same genre, well, there are some major differences. No offense to Sanderson, Rothfuss is really just that good.)
Of the main characters I really liked Siri, I was mildly annoyed yet fond of Vivenna. Lightsong broke my heart in all the right ways. Secondary characters, I liked Vasher, wanted more of his story, more info since he seemed to be pulling so many stings behind the scenes. Denth and Tonk Fah were predictable but goofy and I enjoyed them while I could. Blushweaver, the sultry goddess, was a bit dense and predictable as well, though she wasn't so bad in the end... I think she always meant well. And Susebron, the God King, well... I had more than one inkling about what his character was going to be and I wasn't disappointed.
As for the twists, without getting too spoilery but also not too vague (so then, possible spoilers), I saw them coming which surprisingly didn't make things less enjoyable. Figuring out who held what loyalties wasn't difficult for me though I was really hoping to be wrong in the first case. (They were so likable! But really, transparent.)But, for Lightsong's sake, I was happy not to be wrong in the second.
It may be the hormones, but the only one I shed a tear for was, rightfully, Lightsong. His story, near the end, really was perfection and it was my attachment to him that made me pick up the Mistborn trilogy at Borders (20% off FTW!)(less)
Since I'm inclined to be interested in new-agey stuff and nonsense, I dug it. Even if you don't buy into the larger idea of the secret, there is a lot...moreSince I'm inclined to be interested in new-agey stuff and nonsense, I dug it. Even if you don't buy into the larger idea of the secret, there is a lot to be said for positive thinking. If it was enough to get it's cult-like following, I don't know, but it's still an intriguing concept and the book lays it out very simply and with plenty of examples and real-life applications. (less)