After five months of reading academic papers,
journals and theory books, “summer” months were spent reading just about
anything light and entertaining. I’ve had an eclectic mix of young adult
fiction, inspirational stuff and a few literary classics. For April, I had
adventure-related stories. By May, the books I read centered on mother-daughter
relationships (Hey, it’s Mothers’ Day).
April books are reviewed right here:
|Photo from: http://www.eastonlibrary.org.|
The story begins with Nick describing how his
relationship with his wife, Amy, transformed into indifference. On the day of
their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy suddenly went missing and all the evidence
found in their house point to Nick as the prime suspect. The rest of the story
develops around events that will solve Amy’s disappearance and of course, other
suspenseful stuff you’d want to read and discover for yourself.
Gone Girl’s unreliable narration and plot twists
provided me with enough reason to stay up late at night and unravel the mystery
behind Amy’s disappearance. Ultimately, the novel depicts marriage not as your
usual happy-ever-after stuff; rather, a lifetime commitment as such can turn
into something uncanny and dishonest.
I dunno if this one’s really adventure stuff, but I
guess the twists and thrills featured in this suspense novel are already
something adventurous for me. I don’t usually read “scary” stories, the same
way I avert my eyes from horror films—they keep me wide awake at the wee hours
of the night. Anyway, this one literally kept me awake at night because I was
flipping the pages of my e-book. Flynn’s novel is a page turner and it is a
good one. Also, it has a movie adaptation that will be shown this year. Looking forward to it.
|Photo from Wikipedia.|
Miles Halter is obsessed with living out Francois
Rabelais’ last words: “I go to seek the Great Perhaps,” so he’s decided to
spend his junior year at a boarding school. He becomes friends with his
roommate, The Colonel, a Japanese student Takumi, half-American half-Romanian
Lara, and the beautiful but emotionally unstable Alaska Young. Miles found
boarding school boring but the pranks done by his friends and all the other
students made it a much better place. He then falls in love with Alaska. The
book’s blurb says it all: nothing is ever the same.
This simple diagram shows how much I like Green’s Looking
Looking for Alaska > Papertowns > The Fault in
our Stars > An Abundance of Katherines
As usual, John Green’s novels tackle usual themes in
teenage narratives—academics, teenage relationships, some sort of addiction to
either smoking, alcohol drinking or substance use, and that dream to be bigger
than ourselves like Miles’ Great Perhaps. What made it better than other Green
novels? I loved how the story is simple and uncomplicated but had that sense of
depth (Naks). #truestory
|Photo from Wikipedia.|
After Suzanne Collins’ successful Hunger Games trilogy,
several other writers have tried to pitch in their own stories about teenagers
trying to make a better world in a dystopian future. But Katniss Everdeen may
have created a niche for herself when only a few managed to successfully
replicate their mainstream hit. Publishers and agents have even predicted
dystopian-oriented young adult novels would have a hard time penetrating the
market yet again.
In 2011, however, Roth’s Divergent series managed to
gain a sizeable following and even successfully landed a movie adaptation this
year. Divergent’s heroine is Tris Prior and the novel is set on war-ravaged
Chicago. In the story’s dystopian future, the people of Chicago are grouped
based on their dominant character—Abnegation for the generous and selfless,
Erudite for the intelligent, Candor for outspoken and honest ones, Amity for peace-loving
peoples and Dauntless for the adventurous and brave. Those who did not fit into
any of these five groups will either become homeless peoples or are Divergents,
those with varying characters. Tris has come of age and has to choose.
Eventually, her choice will affect the rest of those around her and the society
she lives in.
The good thing about the novel is its exploration of
characters as groupings—it resembles how the Sorting Hat in Hogwarts determines
which House a student belongs to. More than that, it shows how characters are
powerful variables to determine how we’ll behave in a society, what we’ll
contribute and how this affects social relationships. I also like how the new
members of each group are initiated and trained. It’s exciting, I guess I want
to try one. Haha! Anyway, I dislike Tris’ character. The author tried to mold
her into a strong Katniss clone but ends up becoming a Bella Swan in several
parts of the story. Overall, the story has promise but lacks in execution.
Labels: 2014, book review, books, good reads, not so good reads