Saturday, November 16, 2013

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Paperback: 182 Pages

Publisher: Dalmatian Press

ISBN: 1-4037-6498-0

My Rating: 4/5
Poor Oliver...Starved and mistreated as a workhouse orphan, he runs away to London, hoping to find a better life. But twists and turns-and some rather odd characters-await him in his tale. Oliver's fate is in the hands of villains and thieves, one kind old gentleman, one woman with a change of heart, and a twisted man who follows his every move.

Everyone knows the story of Oliver Twist so I'm not really going to go into any detail here. I will say that I liked it, just like before even though it's a little deranged haha. I guess I didn't really realize (or maybe I didn't remember) just how sad little Oliver Twist's story is. I don't really feel like I should say much haha. It's a classic story, I'm sure everyone has read it so I'll just say that I liked it and if you haven't read it you should. The version of the book I got would be good for kids because there are lots of pictures in it. I didn't realize that these little $1 books were going to essentially be picture books but they are good little quick reads either way.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Paperback: 336 Pages

Publisher: Razorbill

ISBN: 978-1-59514-188-0

My Rating: 3.5/5
Clay Jensen doesn't want anything to do with the tapes Hannah Baker made. Hannah is dead. Her secrets should be buried with her. Then Hannah's voice tells Clay that his name is on her tapes-and that he is, in some way, responsible for her death. All through the night, Clay keeps listening. He follows Hannah's recorded words throughout his small town...and what he discovers changes his life forever.

I really really struggled with what to rate this book. I did really like it. It kept me interested and I enjoyed reading it. But after finishing the book and reading the ending I was a little disappointed. I actually explained the book in great detail to a friend that's a male and he just looked at me and said "Was this book written by a guy?" Why yes, yes it was. I want to give you fair warning that my review may contain spoilers. I might need to vent about my frustrations and reveal key points in this novel. So just a heads up. With that being said, I think Asher is a good author and I would definitely like to read something else from him so long as it's not a similar style of book.

One of the things I really enjoyed about 'Thirteen Reasons Why' was the dual narration. There are two main voices. Although it's Clay Jensen's POV, Hannah Baker has an equal amount of narrating if not more. I've never read a book with a simultaneous narration from two distinctly different characters. It was great and Asher did amazing in that aspect. Now on to what I didn't like. I didn't like her 13 reasons for why she killed herself. I know that we all handle stress differently and stuff but to me, she faced nothing different than any other teenage girl or (in some cases) boy. I read this book in a very small amount of time, it was an easy read but I honestly kept holding out hope that something would happen. Something besides rumors and other peoples flaws as characters. I was waiting for it to come out that she was raped, not that someone else was. And how can she sit there and berate people for not reaching out to help her when she couldn't reach out and help the girl being raped? She's a walking contradiction. I won't say more about the book then that but I have something to say about all 13 reasons.

Overall, I did like reading this novel. It was interesting and it kept me engaged; however, I'd never read another one like it. I was really disappointed and I feel like it gives an extremely negative message. She justifies killing herself for rumors and things that she let happen? If we all reacted the same way I think the world would be a very small place. I struggled with whether to give this book a 3 or a 4 so it is officially my first book that I've given a half a point to. I do fully encourage everyone to read this book and see what you think yourself. Very few people dislike it from what I've seen so give it a shot.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Paperback: 179 pages

Publisher: Dalmatian Press

ISBN: 1-4037-6497-2

My Rating: 5/5
Alice's adventures get "curiouser and curiouser" in Wonderland. From a Queen with no heart (who must win), to a Duchess with no point (but her chin), to a Cat with no parts (but its grin)-Alice is the only one who makes any sense in this wonderful tale of nonsense.

I absolutely can not find a picture for the cover of this book. I looked everywhere for one to use but I can't find one. So the picture above isn't the picture for this book, just to clarify. With that being said, I'm sure we've all heard of Alice in Wonderland whether from watching one of the many movies or by reading the classic book. I picked this one up because I was at Walmart and they had this whole big section of books that are classics there for $1 a piece....I mean, who can pass on books that are $1 especially such amazing ones! So I grabbed it up and just decided to read it today since I knew it would be a quick, easy and enjoyable read.

I don't really feel the need to explain the book because I'd be shocked to find a person who hadn't heard of it. But, in a nutshell, it's about Alice who falls asleep and has this curious dream about falling down a rabbit hole into Wonderland. There she runs into all sorts of creatures and problems. She seems to be a short-tempered child as she continuously loses her temper but seems to be able to control her anger fairly well.

I absolutely love the story of Alice in Wonderland and I've loved it for a very long time. I was so excited when I saw this at Walmart for just $1. It's a perfect book for kids because it's a picture book. The pictures aren't colored or anything but they are still in there and the illustrations are quite enjoyable. Definitely worth a purchase!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck

Hardcover: 448 Pages

Publisher: Splinter

ISBN: 978-1-4027-8403-3

My rating: 1/5
The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she'd be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that's exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spell-binding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

I honestly did really try to give this book a fair chance. I know that SO many people absolutely loved it but I just couldn't get into it. There was just something about it, the way it was written, the way the characters talked, I just couldn't get into. They didn't talk normally. It was almost like...English wasn't their first language (even though it was for some) but they still spoke it....unnaturally. Now, I want to give it a fair review even though I didn't like it. And I definitely do not want to deter anyone from reading it. I think you should absolutely check it out for yourself and I hope that people don't just buy books based on reviews.

The main character in the story was Kelsey. She's 17 and just graduated high school. She got a job at a circus where she gets to work with the dogs and a tiger. The thing that first just irked me the wrong way was how she saw the tiger and instantly was like, dang, that tiger is so special, so different. How many tigers has she worked with at 17? Then she said the tiger smelled of sandalwood and jasmine and that the smell lingered after the tiger was gone, but she said she was standing in the back watching the show...so it doesn't add up...how did you smell that tiger over everything else? And the other thing I couldn't stand was the way ALL the characters talked. Like they bought a Word-A-Day calendar and were trying to use big words. At one point Kelsey is told a story about a prince who was tortured and killed. After hearing the story she basically says "what a tragic series of events" or something along those lines. People just don't talk like that. I won't lie, I only read the first 100 pages or so and all the characters talked like that the whole time. No one had their own individual "voice" if you know what I mean.

Overall, I didn't like 'Tiger's Curse' and I won't buy the next book. With that being said, I hope that you'll check it out for yourself. Please don't ever take any person's review as the be all, end all over a book. Just because it doesn't work for me, doesn't mean it won't work for you. It actually seems to be loved more than it isn't by most people so I'm probably just the exception. Check it out, or don't, it's really up to you but I won't pick it up again.