Friday, June 27, 2014

Review: The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

Title: The Magician's Nephew
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia #1
Pages: Paperback. 202.
Source: Shelf
Genre: Fantasy. Adventure. Middle grade. 
Published Date: January 1st 1955 
Publisher: Harper Collins 

Summary: Goodreads

The secret passage to the house next door leads to a fascinating adventure

NARNIA...where the woods are thick and cold, where Talking Beasts are called to life...a new world where the adventure begins.

Digory and Polly meet and become friends one cold, wet summer in London. Their lives burst into adventure when Digory's Uncle Andrew, who thinks he is a magician, sends them hurtling to...somewhere else. They find their way to Narnia, newborn from the Lion's song, and encounter the evil sorceress Jadis before they finally return home.

My Thoughts:

Wow. I started this book having no clue how it was going to play out (I'm not one to usually read the synopsis first). I must admit that I was very pleasantly surprised with how everything turned out. Bravo C.S. Lewis, I was quite enraptured with his writing. The story's pacing was good, nothing was unnecessarily drawn out or annoyingly shortened. Things were described just enough, but nothing went too far into detail, tasteful enough for children. Of course, obviously, this was purposefully done, and very well achieved.

The only reason I couldn't give this book a 5 cup rating was one, probably very crucial, aspect. Digory. Holy crap. Digory. This kid annoyed me like no other, I won't go into details why, but he very quickly became one of my least favorite characters. Polly, on the other hand, is a whole other story. I liked her a lot. Smart, thoughtful, and she knew just how to put Digory back in his place. She was brilliant and throughout the whole book I continued to realize how much of a good friend she was. It consistently amazed me, especially since my irritation with Digory kept slowly growing.

This book was a quick and easy read. Perfect if anyone is ever in a bad reading slump. The storyline is engaging and the book fills in quite a few blanks that I've had concerning the Narnia world. I really enjoyed reading this, it only took me a few hours to start and finish the book, and I'm glad I finally decided to pick it up. Reading the other books will be just as fun; I can already tell.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Review: Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Title: Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl
Author: Jesse Andrews
Series: No
Pages: Paperback. 295.
Source: Shelf
Genre: Contemporary. Yong Adult.
Published Date: March 1st 2012
Publisher: Amulet Books
Rating: ☕☕☕☕

Summary: Goodreads

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

My Thoughts:

I wasn't sure how much I was going to like this book going into it at the beginning. I had heard a bunch of people talking, all good things, about this book so I was obviously interested and decided to get it. First off, the cover is really unique, I like how it's set up to look like a scene of a play, and it carries on through the beginning of each new chapter. I like how the cover works with the book's setting, Greg and Earl being "movie directors" and all, everything all just seemed to fit very well. With the theme of the book having to do with death I wasn't expecting the story to turn out to be quite as funny as it was. I was shocked at how much I found myself laughing all throughout the story. However, although I thought the main character was funny, there were a lot of times where I couldn't help but noticed his lack of empathy. There were a few moments when I found myself irritated at Greg. I think my favorite character in the book would probably be Earl, he is more honest and open with his emotions and beliefs, overall I found that more alluring, especially when concerning Rachael.

The writing style of this book was very interesting. I love how Jesse Andrews meshed scripts in with his novel. I also love how the narrator and Jesse Andrews both have the same way of thinking; they have no idea how to write their book. It was a very unique and interesting way for the story to be played out. Sometimes I would be reading Greg's words and I would feel as though it was actually Andrews speaking to me through his character. Such a fascinating concept. Though there wasn't much world building, the main focus was definitely on the characters, and it was good. Extremely well written. At the end of the book, I will say this, I was a bit unsure about my feelings for it. I'm not saying this wasn't a great book, but I felt some areas were lacking. This is just my personal opinion and I know many will most likely disagree with what I'm saying, but that's okay, everyone has different tastes. For me, personally, I feel as though things could have been done differently.

Though this isn't one of my most favorite books it is definitely a good book and well worth the read. I'd recommend anyone who hasn't read it to pick it up. I'd highly doubt you'd regret it.