Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Clockwork Orange: By Anthony Burgess

Hey readers! I am sorry it has been a while since my last post! I had a busy summer, but I am back with an amazing book! This classic, A Clockwork Orange, is one that cannot be beat. It has definitely made my top 5. This book, however, is not for my tween crowd but ventures on the teen and adult side.

Written in 1962 Burgess portrayed a dystopian society in which everything is run by the state. The totalitarian society's rigid rules leave little room for freedom.

Alex, the protagonist, uses the little human freedom he has to engage in two things: violence and classical music. Although a seemingly juxtaposing pair, they are quite similar in Alex's mind.

Alex, the egotistic, brutal, violent and overall awful human being spends each night going out with his 'droogs' or friends committing horrible acts of terror from rape to robbery and even murder.

Although seemingly graphic, the book is written in Burgess's made up language "Nasdat".

The language was definitely the coolest thing about the book. In the beginning, just warning you, it is hard to understand what is going on because you have to get used to a new language. The slang of the Nasdat language has some similar sounding words to that of English, however, it takes concentration to become "fluent" in Nasdat. For that reason it is hard to fully understand the violent acts Alex is committing.

After the first few chapters though I found myself understanding the narration, and being in complete shock. The violence-packed book is masked by the language which really helps you take a step back from it all. SO if you are not interested in violence I still recommend you give it a try, because you may not even realize what is going on!

 In a world where the state thinks taking away one's humanity is better than having free will, Alex gets sucked into the system and spit right out.

You think you would feel bad for such a terrible human but guess what? You don't! It is exactly the opposite. You will find yourself feeling sympathy and even wondering what is wrong with other people, but not Alex! You will be confused on who the victim truly is, and what is the crime.

After reading this book I began to ask myself if this was really where our society was heading. Not only was I entertained and intrigued to keep reading (and maybe even a second reading), but I found it weird and mind-blowing that I was able to pick up another language so quickly by just reading this book. Do not be discouraged though, not every word is in this made up language.

Overall...READ IT. You won't regret it. Apparently there is also a movie, but don't go for the movie until you have read the book...please.

Your friend,
Rae Sparks

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Gone: By Michael Grant

Hey readers, we are almost nearing the beautiful summer weather!! As summer comes along, we are all in need of a new book to sit with by the beach, pool or even just to read at night:)

I recently read Gone, by Michael Grant. This book is for my teen and tween audiences, not so much for the older teens and adults. This book reminds me a lot of the Lord of the Flies mixed with the Maze Runner.

This sci-fi novel begins suddenly with the disappearance of everyone 15 and older. With no explanation, all kids under the age of 15 are left alone in the town of Perdido Beach. The town is suddenly surrounded by an impenetrable boarder which won't let anyone in or out.

When no adults are around the world of these children is sent into chaos. Struggles for power and order. Bullies taking over. There are kids to take care of and mouths to feed. Confusion all around. Not to mention once the kids turn 15 they disappear. To where? I certainly don't know nor did I find out after the first book.

If that wan't enough the kids begin to find out that they have powers.

As a middle schooler or teen fascinated with sci-fi, this book is definitely interesting. I could not put it down, mostly because I had so many questions throughout the novel. However, that was part of the problem....

The reason I picked up this book is because the concept is fascinating. What would kids these days do if all of the sudden there was no authority? Adding the supernatural into the book was a good idea in theory, but I think there was too much for Grant to develop. I was left with so many questions that I was so frustrated that nothing was being answered.

This book was good don't get me wrong, but I feel that I am starting to see a pattern in all of these dystopian novels. If I had read this book a year or two ago,  it would be a different story.

The writing style also did not agree with me. There were a lot of main characters, so much so that I feel like it was hard for the author to develop them in one book. I recently realized that there are 6 books, however, I do not know if I am intrigued enough to finish the whole series. There are so many questions I have that are unanswered, which is why I will continue reading, but it may be short lived.

Overall, I don't strongly deter you all from reading this, so please be my guest and give it a try. I just must share my honest opinion as a blogger and give you the whole truth.

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Mind Readers: By Lori Brighton

Hey readers!  I have breezed through the first book in the Mind Reader series. Those who liked Divergent will definelty enjoy this one. I must say though that this book is more for my tween crowd, however, I know adults who very much enjoyed it too!

Cameron is anything but normal. I mean how can she be when she is a mind reader?! Her ability, however, is a secret that she and her grandma keep from the world. This ability keeps her and her grandmother constantly on the move, with her grandmother forcing Cameron to move throughout her childhood in order to protect her from people who she is told will do her harm and abuse her powers.

Cameron seems to have her life under control, hiding her powers behind a facade of normalcy until Lewis waltzes into the picture.

Lewis, aka a hunk, tempts Cameron with not only his looks, but his promise to take her to a place where she could learn more than to just read minds. Cameron is in shock to learn that there are others like her and is tempted by the freedom he offers her.

Cameron soon realizes she is more powerful than she previously believed and she gets caught up in a war where she doesn't know what is right or wrong.        

I definitely enjoyed this book and I have to say it was very fast paced and easy to get through. I loved the fluidity between the "mind reading" and the dialogue. Very well done! There is definelty plenty of suspense to keep anyone interested.

My only reservations about this book is that the protagonist was, at times, not very likable.  I found myself regularly annoyed with her and her oversensitivity.  I also found her decisions annoying as well and I found myself saying,"Did you seriously just do that!"

Despite these reservations, the ending definitely made it worth the read and I found myself eager to pick up the next book, reading it in merely 2 days. I intend to finish the series, but for now I hope you all get started on the first book!

Your Friend,
Rae Sparks