Top 5 Friday: Classics

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I’ll admit that when it comes to classics, I’m not an expert. I haven’t read that many of them and I normally only read shorter ones. However, of the ones I’ve read, there are some absolutely amazing ones that have stayed with me and that I will forever cherish. Due to the fact that these are all really well known classics, I don’t think I need to add a summary, but if you have any questions involving these books, let me know. :) Here are my top 5 classics.

1. “1984“by George Orwell

1984 was the first dystopian I ever read. While it has been several years since I picked it up, it still continues to be one of my all time favorites.

2. “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens

Dickens and I have a rather tentative relationship. A few of his books I love, and others I find dreadfully boring or can’t even finish the book. But, this is one of the few gems of his that reminds me of outstanding talent. This one was so unlike anything I’d read and I will always love it.

3. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’ll admit. I was originally skeptical of this book. I have never been the hugest fan of the 20s and prefer lots of other time periods. But, I loved this one. F. Scott Fitzgerald does such an amazing job at imagery and I could everything in my head perfectly. Wonderful.

4. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

I don’t know how to speak about this book without getting too overly fangirly, except that yes, I am one of those diehard Jane Austen fans. Oh, and that I absolutely love Mr. Darcy. (But, who doesn’t?) I like her other books, but this one is still my favorite. I have reread this book several times, seen so many movie adaptions, and watched the Lizzie Bennett Diaries. It’s kinda crazy. But, I suppose I’m a bit of a crazy kind of person.

5. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

This is my favorite classic. I absolutely adored reading this book and fell in love with the characters.

“Maus Vol. 1&2″ Book Review

maus

4 stars

World War 2 is quite possibly my favorite period of history. I don’t know what that says about me as a person, but I find the whole event sickening and horrifying, yet oddly fascinating. How one man could start such an uproar and cause so much brainwash is terrifying. How the whole world could be involved (“world war” for a reason) in a war is just mind boggling. Everything about World War 2 and even world war 1 still gets me to this day. No matter how many stories I read about this time, whether fictional or nonfictional, I will never quite be able to grasp what it must have felt like to live in that time. But, I still try.

Maus is the true story of Vladek Spiegelman, a survivor of the World War 2. While this wasn’t necessarily a brand new perspective on things or a completely new story, it still managed to stand out to me. Due to one, the fact that it is real and these people all existed and two, the medium the story was told in. I don’t read that many graphic novels, but the few I’ve read have been excellent. This one was as well. I loved the use of animals to portray people. Cats as Nazis, mice as Jews, pigs as Poles, and dogs as Americans. I thought it was quite inventive and new. While I wish he could’ve gone a little further into the whole animal theme, I do think he did get the point he was trying to make. Cats chase mice. Nazis chase Jews. And even though they were animals, it did not lessen the amount of hatred and disgust for the Nazis. I still can’t believe how anyone could hate people of a certain religion so much. It’s disgusting.

This story was amazing, and I definitely appreciate it immensely. It saddens me to think that we are getting to the point where many World War 2 survivors are passing away and that there are thousands and thousands of stories that will never be told. I definitely think getting those stories on paper are important so that people will remember that World War 2 was more than just an event. That the people who died and who survived are not just a statistic. Everyone had or has a story to tell.

I absolutely think this book deserves the awards it has been given. I loved it so much.

“Watchmen” by Alan Moore Book Review

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4.5 stars

I’m going to be honest. Comics were never really my thing. I just never really cared for them. Some were OKAY, but I never really liked them. They just felt like a waste of my time. I read some of the Spider-Man and Batman and even Superman comics due to my love of the movies, but other than that the extent of my liking and knowledge of comics are quite limited. However, I read “Watchmen” and my opinion of comics instantly changed. I didn’t really think anyone could create a well thought out and complex story in the graphic novel form. I guess I was wrong.

I’m going to keep this brief, but I’ll point out a few of the things I loved.

1) the artwork. I loved the attention to detail and the color themes the illustrator had. It was very eye catching and wonderful to look at.

2.) the story. I feel like this is a given, but I thought everything was so well thought out and so interesting and intriguing that I couldn’t put this book down. I loved all the extra thought like comics within this book, and excerpts from books written in this world.

3.) the characters. Alan Moore really pushes the envelope with his characters. None are black and white and are so complex and original. There is no definite hero or villain in this novel and I love that. Just wow. My favorites were probably Jon and Rorschach. 

Overall, really impressed with this graphic novel and am a little shocked to love it so much. It was just So. Good.

 

littlegirl

“The King of Attolia” Book Review

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5/5 stars

Oh, look, yet another series that I have fallen head over heels for, only to find out that the author takes approximately FIVE years to write a new novel. No big deal. None at all. Fortunately I still have one more to read, but after that…

I’ve always had a fascination with what goes on the world of royalty. This series literally has everything I love. The betrayal, political intrigue, war strategies, contempt, love, and even humor that goes on in the royal court. All in under 400 pages.

I loved this book. So incredibly much. I read this in about a day which is unheard of when reading fantasy. Ms. Turner has created a world that I can picture so vividly, a culture so intriguing, and characters that warm my heart and ones that fill me with disgust. In fact, the characters are truly what make this book.

If Eugenides wasn’t already married (and not fictional) I would marry him. I already loved him in the previous book, but this one only cemented my love for him. The Queen of Attolia was magnificent as well. She’s so complex and her relationship with Eugenides really added something to the story. No character is black and white. No one is pure evil, and no one is pure goodness. Going into this book, I was annoyed that the narration had changed and that I wouldn’t be able to see of much of the characters and plot, but I was so wrong. Having Costis as narrator really helped the story and made me care for the characters more.

This book series is perfection. Please, please, please pick it up if you haven’t. You won’t be sorry

“The Queen of Attolia” Book Review

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*no spoilers for the first book or this book (The Queen of Attolia is the sequel to “The Thief”)*

5/5 stars

My god.

I love fantasy. It’s one of my favorite genres. But, sometimes I find them to all feel similar. They all blend in with each other. However, this one stands out.

I enjoyed “The Thief”. It was a fun quest to read about, and I really liked Eugenides. I did find myself bored at times and I didn’t quite connect to the characters. But, “The Queen of Attolia” completely stepped it up. This book completely blew me away.

Everything about this story is on a larger scale. It is no longer told in first person, switching instead to third. This allows to get inside more of the characters heads and tell the more complicated story the three lands endure. There are more politics involved, due to the fact that a war is brewing. The stakes are now raised, and the author does not shy away at making the characters have to make tough decisions. This book just feels so much more epic.

The characters have grown on me immensely. I adore Eugenides and at times feel horrible for him. I even love the Queen of Attolia and love how her storyline offers a different perspective on the story. The queen of Eddis is quite a sweetheart as well, but still intelligent. They’re all fairly intelligent, to be honest. I love how all of these characters think. They use their brains. Their first priority is saving their kingdoms and winning the war, not brooding and providing unnecessary angst.

The author also does a fantastic job of keeping me interested. I have never felt like there is a dull moment. She’s either providing character development, or political intrigue, or battle strategies. She never wastes words.

I absolutely loved this book and am anxious to start the next.

~~Emily

“Confessions of a Shopaholic” book review

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3.5 stars

I’ve only read one Sophie Kinsella book previously, and although I did like it, it was rather average. But, this book was so much better. I hadn’t laughed this hard in a little while.

Rebecca Bloomwood has a shopping problem. She just can’t resist a good sale. But, it soon catches up to her, leaving her with a huge debt. While I wouldn’t call myself a shopaholic, I do have a habit of either buying nothing or everything. Shopping seems to be many girls’ weakness.

Ms. Bloomwood is not the most intelligent character. She’s not the nicest, or the most selfless, and can be quite annoying at times. Her obsession with material is a little vain, I admit. BUT, for some reason,I still like her. Maybe because of her adorableness or maybe because I see a lot of myself in her, I’m not sure. But, when she complains about money or jobs or clothes, I find it oddly relatable. She’s not a perfect person and she doesn’t claim to be. She’s just… her.

I also really loved Luke Brandon and her. I thought they had plenty of chemistry and can’t wait to see their relationship develop throughout this series.

I flew through this novel in a day. That is not usual for me. Sometimes a book might take as little as two days, but one day? Absurd. But, due to the author’s quirky and easy to follow writing style, this book makes it easy to read in a short amount of time.

This book is nothing noteworthy or thought provoking, but I enjoyed it immensely while reading it. I laughed loads in this story and cringed a bit at her unwise decisions. This book is just pure fun.

New Co-blogger!

I want to make this blog as current and active as possible, so I decided to have one of my good friends, Sam, join my blog. I will still be posting whenever I can, but I thought this would offer more variety as far as reviews go. She is a lovely person and even has her own blog: http://girlinink.wordpress.com/ I hope you enjoy some of the new content we will be posting, and maybe even find a new book to read. :)

                                                            yours truly,
                                                                 Emily