Thursday, September 11, 2008

Book Reviews

Let me just say I do not consider myself a book scholar in the slightest-- I just know whether I like a book or not and that is all that matters to me! I'm always looking for a good book, so I thought I'd post my thoughts on a few of the most recent I've read. If you've read any of these, I'd love to hear your thoughts!
The Host: Stephanie Meyer

My sister-in-law Julie let me borrow her copy and I kind of read this because I was curious how Stephanie Meyer would do with a story that didn't involve vampires and werewolves. I thought the beginning was awesome (although a lot of people have complained that they had a hard time following what was going on). Somewhere towards the late middle of the book I was honestly bored to tears because the story seemed to keep dragging on and on. I felt like the same stuff just kept being repeated. Luckily towards the end I felt like she pulled it together and made it entertaining again. I'd say it's worth reading, but I wouldn't put the same enthusiasm behind it as her other books.

John Adams: David McCoullough

I was hoping this wouldn't be boring and put me to sleep. It's a pretty big book, and I was pleasantly surprised. I have to admit I only read through the Revolutionary War (a little more than half way) on purpose to keep myself from burning out. The Revolutionary War has always interested me, and this book did a great recap of the events. What I especially liked about the book was that it was written simply. It wasn't something I had to stay on top of or read continually in order to remember what was going on. My respect for the Founding Fathers grew by leaps and bounds (well... for most anyway) and I learned a lot about the sacrifices many of them made because they believed so much in America. John Adams and his wife have a great love story and it was cool to read the letters they would write to one another-- it also made me realize how writing and penmenship these days has gone to pot!

The Book Thief: Markus Zusak

LOVED it. It was written so creatively (from the viewpoint of death) and unlike anything I have ever read. It was a new perspective on Nazi Germany from the viewpoint of a little girl. The story makes you happy, sad, scared, etc. The foreshadowing by "death" was really cool. Hard to explain-- you've just got to read it. This was my favorite read in a long time!

Vanishing Acts: Jodi Picoult

This is the second book I've read by this author. The first I read was "Plain Truth," which I loved. I thought this one was entertaining at times, but I also thought she could have cut out about 200 pages and ended up with a much better story. There just seemed to be a lot of fluff in this one. For instance, she kept talking about some of the old traditions and stories from the ancient tribe of one of the supporting characters-- the stories were often hard to follow and uninteresting. I could see what was going to happen in the end and I wasn't too keen about how things turned out. I'm not saying I need a happy ending, because I don't. I just didn't agree with some of the main character's decisions. I've heard "My Sister's Keeper" is amazing so I guess I'll try that one next and hope for better luck.

Breaking Dawn: Stephanie Meyer

I'm sure many of you have read this also. If you haven't, don't read on because I am likely to spoil something! I was really excited for this last installment because I really loved the first three books. I was suprised with how quickly everything got going-- I was worried it might be like the last few books where Bella just whines the whole time about not wanting to get married and then gets into some sort of trouble and then the climax of the book takes place in the last 30 pages (and Bella remains human). I was happy this wasn't the case in this book. I have to say I was surprised at the honeymoon vampire-lovin' adventures, but it's all good! I kept thinking as I was reading that this book is not appropriate for teens, but as an adult I say A-OK. Anyway, I definitely didn't see all of the twists coming and for the most part was pretty entertained. It sorta dragged when all the vampires were congregating to take on the Volturi, but the ending made up for it. One BIG pet peeve about the book though: the name Renesmee. UGH! For real? What was she smoking when she came up with that one? Other than that I really enjoyed it and was kinda sad when I finished it. One of my favorite parts: Edward being able to hear Bella's thoughts at the end.

If anyone has read anything good lately or has books on their to-read list, I'd love to hear about it! I'm finishing up a book called "Drowning Ruth" right now so I'll be needing some reading material soon!


Leah said...

Hey it's Leah (Lachelle's sista) I love to read so thanks for your reviews on these books! I will have to try some of them. I agree with your comment on Renesmee! What the crap? Anyways, I have a book suggestion but you probably have already read this one. "A thousand splendid suns" LOVED it!

Ryan and Cecily said...

The Host: I really loved The Host! I loved it all. I've read it a few times, and liked it just as well the second time through.

Breaking Dawn: I was disappointed with the book. I didn't get into it like I did with the first 3, and I think it was because nothing really tragic happened. Everything was happy. Sure, the Volturi, but nothing happened! It was all happy. However, I did like reading about
Bella expanding her powers. I also liked near the end when Edward could see her thoughts about how she felt. That was pretty neat.

I haven't read the others you posted, but I recently read Pride and Prejudice for the first time. I've seen the A&E version several times (who hasn't) and I was so surprised by how many more characters there are in the book. I enjoyed it!