Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Book Reviews of the Semester

Romance has dominated my reading selections this semester. From a fluffy, teenage drama by Sarah Dessen, to a cliche revisit of the current fad Twilight, to the dark classic Wuthering Heights, I sense a pattern. Apparently, I'm a sucker for forbidden love. The following books, in no particular order, were processed through my consciousness within the last 4 months:


  • Along for the Ride, a melodramatic young adult fiction novel, was a quick read. Most of Dessen's stories are remarkably similar and predictable and this one served to bore me. Auden, just like all of the authors' other crazily named main characters, visits her dad over the summer and realizes his new life is just as dysfunctional with a new wife and baby as it was with her mother. She meets the stereotypical perfect boy-tall, dark, mysterious, and against all odds, their love blossoms. But a selfish miscommunication will create a chasm between the lovers that bitterly ends the summer fling. This book is truly one to take to the beach, to lazily read while thinking about the skin the sun is peeling from your back and foolishly longing for the proverbial summer love.
  • Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series reached the threshold of popularity and obsession and is now ridiculed and scorned by the former fanatics. While I do recognize that the hype about the series and the movies borders ridiculousness, I am a sucker for a love story, and I did reread the book that started the Vampire mania. I can identify with Bella (as I'm sure every other teenage girl in America absolutely can) in so many ways. Last year, while making my way through the series, I was sure I had found my Edward, sitting next to me in biology class no less! I've gone through my fair share of presumed Edwards since, yet still I have an almost eerily similar personal version of Jacob. (Which is fine by me because I've always been a Jacob fan.)
  • Wuthering Heights.....I still don't know what to think of this classic. I was all for the thwarted love and revenge stuff at first, but the dark twisted plot was a little weird for my taste. All in all I found the book depressing and hopeless-stories of arranged or forced marriages always seem hopeless and miserable to me. However, I'm glad to have read it simply because it is a classic story and I feel more "educated" and "well-read" for having done so.
  • One of my absolute favorite reads this semester is undoubtedly The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Her tale of sacrifice, separation, and survival is thrilling and inspiring. I only wish for Katniss's bravery or Peeta's devotion. Katniss sacrifices herself to save her sister from the brutality of the Hunger Games. Peeta is happy to have been chosen for the competition, not because he finds joy in killing other children, but because he is in love with Katniss, a phenomenon she cannot understand. As they grow close through training and eventually through aid and survival in the arena of death, they are ever aware that to end the game, one or the other must die.The action in this ominous novel makes it impossible to set the book down. I actually took this book with me to lunch one day and read as I ate in the cafeteria. Now that is a worthy book, that makes one endure the ridicule of her fellow classmates! This book, unlike Wuthering Heights, is full of hope, which I liked.
  • Soon after finishing The Hunger Games, I obtained Chasing Fire, the sequel, in a black market exchange. Just kidding! Although it was near impossible to find. I was not disappointed in the second book. The suspense, the plot twists, the development of Katniss and Peeta's relationship, along with the tension between Katniss and Gale, her male best friend, make the story wonderful. In this difficult, post-apocoliptic world, citizens of district twelve struggle for survival even before the officials at the Capitol start the crackdowns intended to thwart the revolts that Katniss and Gale aroused in their victory tour. When the two victors are pitted against each other, they rally for a way to beat the system. Love, humanity, morality, and decency are central issues in this trilogy. I can't wait for the third book.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

I too, as you know, am a sap for a good romance. You might enjoy a few other favorite classics of mine: Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Jane Eyre, and Madame Bovary. I happen to have them all and would eagerly lend them to you!