Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I'm back.  I'm sporadic, and I am unreliable on this blog, but I'm here.  So today's book is The Great Gatsby.  I recently read this book for school and fell in love with it.  I have heard mixed reviews on this book, and I was a little apprehensive to start it, but it was so incredible.  We follow Nick Carraway to the rich luxurious side of East New York where he takes a job as a bond salesman.  He lives modestly, but is coincidentally next door neighbors with the very mysterious, very rich Mr. Jay Gatsby.  Mr. Gatsby is notorious for his extravagant parties and unknown past.  Nick gets caught up in the rush of life with Mr. Gatsby, and his rich cousin Daisy, Gatsby's one love.  He goes to their parties, observes their life styles, and he ultimately is appalled at the carefree, wasteful, self centered, and destructive lives they lead. This is such a beautiful story, and when you shuck it all down, it shows the horribleness and unsatisfying nature of living a superficial life.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Mrs. Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

I would like to give you forewarning about this book.  It is absolutely amazing. I bought this book a few days ago after seeing it advertised at BooksAMillion.  I started it with high hopes and I literally have not been able to put it down for three days.  I'm glad I'm finished with this book if only for the sake of my schoolwork...  This book is about the not so ordinary life of Jacob Portman.  He has one friend, loads of money, and a grandfather he adores.  Hid grandfather tells Jacob all of these stories of children with "peculiarities" that lived with him in the orphanage where he grew up in Wales.  A levitating girl, an invisible boy, a headmistress known as "the bird", these pictures filled Jacob's head as a child.  He was convinced they were all make believe until the day his grandfather called him in an absolute panic because "the monsters" had come after him.  After Jacob rushes over to find his grandfather slashed open in the woods he spirals downward and his psychiatrist becomes his best friend basically.  Jacob can't get his grandfather's stories out of his head and finally convinces his parents he needs to see the island and the house to finally rid himself of his nightmares and fantasies. With that he and his dad travel to the distant island where his life would never be the same.  He discovers that all the children from his grandfather's stories were very real and very much alive, only living in a "time loop", stuck on the same day over and over for years.  It was the only way to protect him from the very creatures that killed his grandfather, and as Jacob learns more about the peculiar children, he realizes how much danger they are in and how he can help save them.  I won't give away the ending, and I hope that wasn't more information than you wanted to know, but this is an exquisite book and you should most definitely add it to your list.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Well well well, I have finally arrived at my very own blog post about Lord of the Flies.  If this were a conventional blog that simply raved and raved about the beauty of classics, especially this one, I would tell you this book is amazing and accurately portrays human nature and impulses...  I'm not going to tell you any of those things. I am my own mind, and as such, I will tell you what I really think about this book. That's what this blog is about anyhow.  Well I started this book with much optimism. I mean, stranded boys on an island, adventure, survival, no obligations but tropical paradise, it set itself up to be a winner. The boys started out happy, building fires, eating fruit, and hanging out on the island.  The book took a downhill spiral when the group of boys, twelve and under mind you, split up and began to hate each other and live off of the bloodlust of killing. That would eventually dissolve into complete hatred and obsession to kill Ralph, the former chief, and Piggy, the fat boy that seemed the only one with any sense.  I didn't hate the book per say, I just don't think it is extremely plausible.  I just cannot imagine putting a group of boys together and within weeks seeing them turn on each other and kill each other. I personally believe they would either work things out and live relatively happy, or they would all die. Let's be honest, they are tiny city children.  Maybe I just have too much faith in human nature.  I don't know.  I have to tell you that the end of the book made me furious beyond belief.  I mean, one minute they are all out trying to kill Ralph and the next an army officer has landed on their beach and just put this deadly game to an end.  It' s not that I wanted them to kill Ralph, quite the opposite.  I was just furious that Jack, his rival, had done so much evil and wrongdoing on that island, and in the blink of an eye, they were set free and he got off without so much as a sunburn.  I, in my head, wrote a Lord of the Flies II: Ralph's Revenge, in which Ralph, got his revenge on Jack to pacify my need for justice. I know, I know, that thought is totally screwed up but that is how I feel. So, next time you see LOTF, or if you haven't read it yet, go with this knowledge and enjoy.
Until next time, keep on reading.
-Fox

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

Happy Tuesday Readers.  My most recent read was Cannery Row. I really love John Steinbeck, and this summer has seen me jump into a bit of a Steinbeck phase.  Well like most of his books. Cannery Row seems to be a jumble of chapters rambling on about a small town and the people within.  It doesn't have an overwhelmingly clear plot, however most of the book is centered around of group of homeless men known as Mack and the boys.  These men want to throw a party for the town doctor because they really love him, but the party is a huge disaster.  They eventually try again and the party is a huge success.  That is the main gist of the story, but it is not a dumb book.  It is one of those that you read and take away as much or as little as you want to.  It is filled with "mini revelations" I think.  A friend of mine is currently reading this book and I am very excited to get with him and discuss it.  It is one of those that you don't want to read alone because you can't fully appreciate it by yourself if that makes any sense. Anyway, this was a relatively easy read and I would recommend it especially to you if you were going to read it with a friend.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Look who's back.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's me.  The notorious Fox is back.  So for this blog post, I am going to talk about The Perks of being a Wallflower.  I read this book for two reasons:
1. I had heard that this book was just amazing, and
2. It is going to be a movie this fall starring Emma Watson... Kind of obsessed

Well I picked this book up at a discount store for fifty cents. It was short, it was young adult, and I was excited just to be starting another book.  Well in the novel, we follow Charlie, a young freshman, through his first year of high school. It's interesting however, because the entire book is written in the form of letters to a "friend".  We don't know, and never find out who it is.  Charlie is a special kid known as a "wallflower". He sees things and understands them, but he never participates. As he is starting high school he is suffering from the death of his aunt and his best friend so he is a little psychotic. He is different and alone and a group of five seniors take Charlie in and show him the world.  He is particularly influenced by Sam, whom he falls in love with, and Patrick her twin brother.  I loved this book because it was deep, depressing, and lovable... If that makes sense.  I was sad a lot of the time, but I really loved it.  Now, be forewarned, this book contains some chapters of the more risqué nature. He experiences drugs, and parties, and some sexual encounters.  So I would recommend this to an older and more mature audience. Overall this is a beautiful book and i look forward to reading it again.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

I have to be honest with you. I've been doing a lot of thinking recently.  I've been thinking of deleting this blog. I'm extremely busy and I have little time for reading. (please hold on to your hats at the outrage you must be feeling).  However, after talking it over with my mom (yeah, she's my literary consultant) I have decided to keep it going.  So I am going to do my best to be better with this blog because it's taken a big chunk off of my life and I don't feel like I should throw it out to the dogs.  So here we go.  All Quiet on the Western Front is a brutally real and beautifully written account of a young German soldier, Paul Baumer, as he lives through the horrors of WWI.  He was a young 18 year-old recruit for the German army.  Though a fictional novel, it is still a very real account of what the men went through and the terrible things they faced.  It is more than anything a tale of becoming a man in a way that no boy wants to become one.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

Dear readers on the world wide web, yes, the rumors are true, I am back in action.  So, I have not dropped off the face of the planet, I am still alive, still reading, and still becoming a better looking person by the day.  So, I've decided to do some revamping on this blog.  It is seriously lacking.  So what am I going to do to improve you ask?  Well I feel like my so called "reviews" have been more like reading the back cover of an impersonal book on the shelf at the store.  I'm going to make it a little more about what your everyday regular Joe (Joe being me) thinks about books.  So to start off my new and improved blog, I'm going to talk about The Fault in our Stars by John Green.  Well, the only reason I read this book is because a good friend of mine more or less forced it upon me as her favorite book that I absolutely could not live without.  Well, I complied and began to read about Hazel Grace, a young teenager battling terminal cancer.  Her life is surrounded by loving parents and few friends.  She continually goes to a support group that she hates until that fateful day when Mr. Augustus Waters enters the picture and begins attending.  Basically they hit it off and fall in love even with all the complications of sickness.  Undeterred, and realizing their time is limited they spend all their time together and make the most of their situation.  I don't want to spoil the ending, but I am sure that you, like myself, can guess what happens in the end of a cancer book.  I will say this, though I was hesitant to read it at first, I actually enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars,  It will not go down in history as one of my all time favorite books, but I enjoyed it while I read it.  I also think it gives a good picture into a real account of a regular girl struggling with cancer.