Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver (The Giver Quartet, #1)Goodreads Synopsis

“I have great honor,” The Giver said. “So will you. But you will find that is not the same as power.”

Life in the community where Jonas lives is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce newchildren, who are assigned to appropriate family units: one male, one female, to each. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs. No one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. The community is a world without conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment injustice…or choice.

Everyone is the same.

Except Jonas.

At the Ceremony of Twelve, the community’s twelve-year-olds eagerly accept their predetermined Life Assignments. But Jonas is chosen for something special. He begins instruction in his life’s work with a mysterious old man known only as The Giver. Gradually Jonas learns that power lies in feelings. But when his own power is put to the test—when he must try to save someone he loves—he may not be ready. Is it too soon? Or too late?


In The Giver, things such as inequality, conflict…choice in general are foreign concepts. Everything and everyone are assigned to what and who they’d be best suited with. No one argues with this because that would ruin the image of perfection.

After I finished this book I had to take a few days to gather my thoughts because I honestly had no idea how I felt about the story as a whole. Lois Lowry wrote what is in my opinion a great book. The idea of the plot is just so…out there. Like, imagine a perfect world. Imagine if people could achieve this perfect world, where being ‘different’ isn’t a thing. Everyone looks the same, acts the same, and there’s no room for judgement, rudeness or conflict.

I didn’t read the synopsis, which is not unusual for me so I went in not knowing anything really. The idea did occur to me that yes, a world where there’s no hate, no war…no hunger, would be perfect and amazing. I found myself wishing for just that but then I stopped to think: at what cost would all of this be possible? And that right there is the punchline to the joke that in actual fact is not a joke at all.

This book is categorised as ‘Middle Grade’ and I personally believe that that’s only because of how old the main character, Jonas, is. He’s eleven when all this starts so he’s starting to see the world in a new light. Asking more questions that in this community, one is not supposed to ask. There’s nothing middle grade about this book though. I found this to be horrific but not in a scary close-your-eyes way, more like…when the image is put in your mind, and you think of what goes on behind the scenes, it’s frightening. I think this is where the term ‘ignorance is bliss’ comes in. These people don’t know what they’re missing, so it’s not a problem for them.

I did like that this was told from a child’s point of view. Jonas has this innocence about him. He starts out as a curious kid and in the end, he’s fighting for his life. All because of him knowing the truth. Not many people like change, but I think this was taking it to a new level.

Heaven alone knows why I took so long to get to this book because I thought it was amazing. Once I had a free moment, I finished it and I couldn’t decide where I stood with everything. I’m still in a state of- I want to say confusion.

Lois Lowry did an excellent job with this book. I greatly enjoyed her writing style and look forward to continuing The Giver Quartet.

Read: 13 May 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 1 July 2014
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Lois Lowry

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Book Review: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre

Goodreads Synopsis

Alternate cover editions of this ISBN can be found here & here.

Jane Eyre is a wildly emotional romance with a lonely heroine and a tormented Byronic hero, pathetic orphans, dark secrets, and a madwoman in the attic. When it was
published in 1847, it was a great popular success. The power of the writing, the masterly
handling of the narrative, and the boldly realistic style were much admired. But many found it difficult to believe that Currer Bell, the pseudonymous author, was Charlotte Brontë , a young woman from a bleak Yorkshire parsonage.


This novel tells the tale of Jane Eyre, sent to live with her Aunt Reed when she was orphaned. Her life wasn’t a good one as she was constantly treated as if she were the scum of the earth. From her Aunt’s household, to the Lowood School, misfortune greeted her on every turn.

This was one of the books that I saw as a challenge since I didn’t know whether I was going to like it or not. I had first started listening to the audiobook but that was taking too long so I moved over to the physical copy.

The way this story unfolds is slightly strange as in I was confused a bit at the time jumps but after I caught my bearings, I was back with the program. We start out with Aunt Reed who I thought could dial it down a bit. She was a horrible woman who refused to accept anyone that she didn’t think was up to her standards. Right up to the end she was the same; there was absolutely no remorse on her part for how she treated Jane. I was glad when she sent Jane away even though she was technically kicking her out.

The people Jane met after leaving the Lowood School was a bit of a mix of everything. I like to think that her simple-ness is what drew people towards her. Sure she was plain and simple but that made her an anomaly to people, especially those who thrived on being noticed. Mrs. Fairfax for example was a lovely woman. The housekeeper at Thornfield Manor, she was inclined to know all the going ons at the house and not once did she treat Jane in an undignified manner. I felt that she was a nice change to see especially wtih the bad luck that seemed to befall Jane in her younger years.

I found Mr. Rochester to be a every strange man. He seemed very presumptuous over how he thought Jane should speak and act but I had to laugh when she set him straight. I think that was one of the things that made him love her. She was different yes, she had fire and wasn’t afraid to speak out when she thought something wasn’t right. Another thing that made her un-liked amongst others. ‘Woman (and children) should be seen and not heard.’

“He made me love him without looking at me.”

The romance aspect of this book was a lovely thing to see and I honestly appreciated it even as I’m not a big fan of romance novels. The only reason I picked up this book while knowing about the romance was for the deeper meaning behind it all. I got to see Jane grow up from being a seemingly rebellious adolescent to a strong and courageous woman with will power and a sharp mind. A woman with the determination to lead her own life and who wouldn’t be talked into anything when she’d already made up her mind that something wasn’t for her.

My only regret about this book is that I took so long to finish it because this is now my favourite book. I could read this book over and over again and would probably still be amazed. It’s been a while since I felt such joy and elation because of a book and I would gladly want to relive the experience.

Read: 29 November 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 5 May 1999 (first published 16 October 1847)
Publisher: Wordsworth Editions
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Charlotte Brontë

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Book Review: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A Little Princess

Goodreads Synopsis

Whatever comes,’ she said, ‘cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside.’

Sent to board at Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies, Sara is devastated when her adored father dies. Suddenly penniless, Sara is banished to an attic room where she is starved, abused, and forced to work as a servant. How this exceptionally intelligent girl uses the only resources available to her, imagination and friendship, to overcome her situation and change her fortunes is at the centre of this enduring classic.

First published in 1905, A Little Princess is a heart-warming tale of hope, hardship and love set against a backdrop of Victorian England, and is one of the best-loved stories in all of children’s literature.


A Little Princess tells the story of Sara Crewe who is treated like a princess and everything she desires is hers. There’s a major stereotype in this book that being the one that a person who is rich and gets everything they want must be nasty and act as if they’re God’s gift to that mind. This is not true for little Sara.

I had watched the movie years ago and I knew the story by heart but this book is so much more heartbreaking. To have lost everything in a sudden moment must’ve been so traumatising for a girl so young. I couldn’t see how she could still walk around with her head held high and put others before her.

Sara was in my opinion, a main character that any reader wouldn’t mind. She wasn’t annoying or bratty and her humbleness was such a beautiful factor, I admired that a lot.

The saying ‘Jealousy makes you nasty’ basically comes to life in this book. Seeing Sara being treated like the princess she was was bad enough for these people, but when they saw that she’s possible the nicest and kindest person in the world, that was where they drew the line. The hell they put her through just because they were jealous was absolutely ridiculous.

I enjoyed this story tremendously and once I got into it, it was quite the fast read. I feel like curling up with some popcorn and watching the movie right now. I can’t wait to get to The Secret Garden.

Read: 4 December 2016
Rating: ★★★★

Publication Date: 24 April 2014 (First published 1902)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Wrap Up: December 2016 (And January TBR)

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3008  Klaus  Champions (2016-) #1

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I took forever to get to this book and it took me a while to finish but I enjoyed it immensely. The movie is one of my favourites and I can’t wait to experience the story visually again. Review to come soon.

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

I took very long to finish this book and I felt as if I had overcome a huge obstacle when I turned the final page. This wasn’t my favourite in the series but I did enjoy it.

Klaus by Grant Morrison

I may not be crazy over Christmas but I do try to read something here and there to keep a little bit of the spirit alive. I loved how this comic was executed. See review here.

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

Finally!! These five books are finished. This was a long 3 years. I didn’t miss these characters while reading AFFC because I read them interchangeably. See link for how to do that here.

Champions #1 by Mark Waid

I couldn’t wait till next year to read this comic so I picked it up while listening to some music. I loved everything about this! It’s so new but so much was learned. I need more. Review to come soon.

Total Read: 5 Books


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Fresh start for the new year! Good luck with the reading, peoples!

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices, #1)

ARCs

If This Is Home Then Comes Love (Then Comes Love, #1) Sleight How to Mend a Broken Heart: An emotional, uplifting page turner about love, loss and friendship

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Wrap Up: November 2016 (and December TBR)

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Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3) Prodigy (Legend, #2) Inkheart The Optimist's Handbook: A Companion to Hope; The Pessimist's Handbook: A Companion to Despair Jane Eyre

The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer

I’m slowly making my way through this series. I liked this book a lot more than I did The Arctic Incident. I’m actually excited to read The Opal Deception and maybe this time I won’t leave a year between each book.

Prodigy by Marie Lu

I barely remembered anything that happened in Legend but I know I liked it enough to want to continue the trilogy. This book was really good but it’s the ending that made me really want to pick up Champion.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

544 pages ya’ll! I think this is the biggest book I’ve finished this year. I loved this book so much. I’m still on the fence about whether I’ll review this or not but I guess we’ll see. Btw, the movie has absolutely nothing on this book.

The Optimist/Pessimist Handbook: A Companion to Hope/Despair by Naill Edworthy & Petra Cramsie

This was a strange book and I enjoyed parts of it. It’s not my usual go-to read but I had it and thought I should give it a go.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

My favourite book. This has been confirmed, by me, the one and only. I can’t wait till I read this again but I think I’ll put some time in between before I pick it up again.

Total Read: 5 Book(s)


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  • Unfinished Books: (We’re getting somewhere)

This section is not going to be done for a while and that’s okay. I’m a bit busy where reading is concerned but some time I’ll get through them all and this section will have a completely new set of books. :)

3008  

  • ARCs to get through:

Heartborn

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Wrap Up: October 2016 (and November TBR)

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Not a good month for me once again but a sudden urge to read till my eyes bleed has struck so I’m going with it. Here’s to November.

Hockey Karma The Realm of Possibility

Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro

Liked this book a lot. Great finale and wonderful closing piece. Loved seeing the characters I grew to love develop so amazingly. See review here.

The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

I’m still not a fan of David Levithan’s works and I’m not a fan of poetry either. I wanted to skip this month’s challenge and not read anything but I caved.

Total Read: 2 Books

DNF’d:

The Kill Order (Maze Runner, #.5)


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  • Unfinished Books:

This section is not going to be done for a while and that’s okay. I’m a bit busy where reading is concerned but some time I’ll get through them all and this section will have a completely new set of books. :)

Prodigy (Legend, #2) Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3) 11/22/63 Inkheart Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1) The Optimist's Handbook: A Companion to Hope; The Pessimist's Handbook: A Companion to Despair 3008

   685403 Two Brothers

  • ARCs to get through:

Heartborn

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Wrap Up: September 2016 (and October TBR)

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I didn’t read much this month (barely at all) because I didn’t feel like it. I focused more on life but I hope to catch up this October.

Circles of Hell (Little Black Classics, #25) Captain America: The Death of Captain America Sindbad the Sailor (Little Black Classics, #54)

Circles of Hell by Dante

This was a weird read for me and I didn’t understand everything but I got the gist. That torture those souls face does not seem like fun. At all.

Captain America: The Death of Captain America Complete Collection by Ed Brubaker

I finally managed to finish this one! I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. Ed Brubaker never fails with the awesome writing.

Sinbad the Sailor by Anon

I watched a movie called Sinbad the Sailor many years ago but I can’t remember if it’s the same story. I enjoyed this one though and it is my opinion that Sinbad should have just stayed at home.

Total Read: 3 Book(s)


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  • Unfinished Books:

This section is not going to be done for a while and that’s okay. I’m a bit busy where reading is concerned but some time I’ll get through them all and this section will have a completely new set of books. :)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) Prodigy (Legend, #2) Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl, #3) 11/22/63 Inkheart Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1) The Optimist's Handbook: A Companion to Hope; The Pessimist's Handbook: A Companion to Despair

3008   685403 16181775 Two Brothers

  • Official TBR:

The Realm of Possibility

  • Goodreads Genre Challenge: Alternate Universe

  • ARCs to get through:

Heartborn Hockey Karma