Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.

But there’s another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Usually I’ve read the book before I’ve seen the movie, this wasn’t the case when it came to Coraline. I absolutely LOVED the film, it was creepy and interesting, and just a lot of fun to watch. So going into this book, I had pretty high expectations of it. I figured that the book is almost always better than the film, so this has to be one heck of a story.

It really is a great book, but it just wasn’t what I expected. I thought the creepiness of the story would be more prevalent than it actually was, and there were a lot of differences from the film. So that of course took a while to get used to. But once I was into the story it was such a wonderful delight.

I really enjoy creepy stories, and though this didn’t really creep me out, the subtlety of it was quite nice. There were a few scenes of course that had me a bit paranoid, and I really enjoyed those the most.

My advice to anyone going in to read this that has seen the movie first, go in expecting a completely different story! They felt very different to me, but I loved them both.

Coraline

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

Review to come:

Breed: A NovelBreed: A Novel by Chase Novak

 

 

 

 

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Book Review: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Animal Farm is the most famous by far of all twentieth-century political allegories. Its account of a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind, can fairly be said to have become a universal drama. Orwell is one of the very few modern satirists comparable to Jonathan Swift in power, artistry, and moral authority; in animal farm his spare prose and the logic of his dark comedy brilliantly highlight his stark message.
Taking as his starting point the betrayed promise of the Russian Revolution, Orwell lays out a vision that, in its bitter wisdom, gives us the clearest understanding we possess of the possible consequences of our social and political acts.

I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed this book as much as I did. I read 1984 and loathed most every minute of that torturous book, but I was really into this one. It did take a minute or two to get used to the fact that the animals were the focus of the book, and not just that, but get used to the fact the the animals were anarchists of sorts.

This book was extremely entertaining, and while I wasn’t surprised at the turn Animal Farm took, it didn’t stop me from wanting the Farm to stay as idealistic as the animals first agreed upon. For a while the Utopian society they dreamed up was something I was hoping would work well for the animals and allow them to live their lives without the reign of a farmer such as Jones. But with power, comes those who will use it against those whom they have sworn to treat as equals.

The ending in particular was great. Those last few sentences were a perfect description of how I’d come to see those specific characters. Overall, I really enjoyed this book.

Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

 

 

 

All caught up on book reviews now!

Currently reading:

Coraline

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

 

Book Review: Colin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz

Colin Fischer cannot stand to be touched. He does not like the color blue. He needs index cards to recognize facial expressions. But Colin is Wayne Connelly’s best–and only–hope of proving his innocence after Wayne is accused of blowing up a birthday cake in the school cafeteria. Colin and Wayne quickly set off on a journey to prove Wayne’s innocence, but neither realizes just how far their investigation will take them or that it will force Colin to consider the greatest mystery of all: what other people are thinking and feeling.

Colin Fischer is a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. He’s a boy with Asperger’s syndrome who sees clues in the unlikeliest of places, and whom readers will root for right up until the case is solved . . . and beyond.

Colin Fischer was a hilarious read for me. I particularly loved the way Colin interacted with others, that is…when he interacted at all. He’s very much so as uncensored a human being as possible to be. If he thinks it, you will hear it, and if he observes it, it will undoubtedly be going into his journal. Obviously this makes him an easy target for bullies in his school. Most of the kids in his class have known about him and his “disability” since they were young, yet instead of embracing it and looking past it, they alienate him for it.

But one day while in school Colin’s observations and curious nature come in handy when he witnesses an incident. This is the real turning point in the book for me, because this is where we learn a lot more about Colin and his interest in solving mysteries.

The whole story was really fast paced and I rather enjoyed that aspect. The footnotes scattered throughout took a bit getting used to at first, but once you’re into the flow of the story they only enhance everything going on and make things that much funnier. I also liked the contrasting of home life with his school life. While the kids at school don’t understand him well at all, his parents are used to his behavior. But being used to his behavior doesn’t always make it easy, and we particularly notice this whenever Colin’s younger brother Danny is around.

I really liked this book and I would recommend it to anyone. You’ll definitely chuckle throughout the majority of it.

Colin FischerColin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Almost caught up with all of my reviews! One more to go:

Animal FarmAnimal Farm by George Orwell

 

 

 

 

Book Review: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

This extraordinary work–echoing Plath’s own experiences as a rising writer/editor in the early 1950s–chronicles the nervous breakdown of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, successful, but slowly going under, and maybe for the last time.

I was pleasantly surprised while reading this book, not with the subject matter at hand obviously, but I was glad that I could enjoy the book. Esther Greenwood at times reminded me of myself when I was going through a introspective stage of life. She’s not what one would call a person of privilege, but she does have wits and talent about her that allow her to gain opportunities to move up in life.

I found Esther to be quite normal at the beginning of the story, with just a touch of a rebellious nature. She doesn’t seem as though she wants to fit in, but at the same time she’s not at the opposite end of the spectrum either, so that leaves her in the middle feeling like she can’t relate to her peers. There’s not much I can say that would make this review remain spoiler-free. But I particularly enjoyed Esther’s subtle descent into madness.

I found it hard to keep track of her thoughts sometimes, but that just pulled me in more to what she was feeling at the time of her decline. There were many events that triggered her depression and I was shocked by a few of them, and even more so shocked with the nonchalant air Esther seemed to treat them with. She was a very strange character to read about, yet one the reader can still relate to on a human level. She’s by no means perfect, and at times not too likable, but that just made her a more real person to read about.

I enjoyed the read and if you’ve ever had a similar decline you’ll most likely enjoy this book.

The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

 

 

 

Review to come:

Colin FischerColin Fischer by Ashley Edward Miller

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Crashing Eden by Michael Sussman

For one boy and his friends, the path to Paradise comes at a cost—one they may not be prepared to pay.

When a biking accident leaves 17-year-old Joss Kazdan with the ability to hear things others can’t, reality as he knows it begins to unravel.

A world of legends exists beyond the ordinary life he’s always known, and he is transported to the same Paradise he’s studying in World Mythology. But the strange gets even stranger when his new friends build a device that delivers people through the gates of the Garden of Eden.

Now Samael, the Creator God, is furious. As Samael rains down his apocalyptic devastation on the ecstasy-seeking teens, Joss and his companions must find a way to appease Samael—or the world will be destroyed forever.

I was fortunate enough to win a free ebook of this and I was quite excited to start reading.

Early on I found this book to be fast-paced, and I generally like to read books where the chapters don’t drag on and on. So this was perfect for my preference, but at the same time I felt that there was a lot missing because of the fast pace. At times, especially towards the end, it felt like the story was being forced a certain direction and I didn’t necessarily “buy” what the author was selling.

Other than that hiccup in the story, I did enjoy this book as a whole. Joss was a pretty interesting character, and though he had some major flaws at the beginning of the story, towards the end he turns a new leaf. I particularly enjoyed his interactions with his younger sister because it was mostly then that we saw Joss’s sweet side. He’s not exactly on the best of terms with his parents, and his interactions with his only friend doesn’t make it seem like he’s that nice of a guy.

All in all there’s not much I can say without giving away spoilers, but I feel as though the story could’ve been structured a bit better, maybe filled in some gaps the story seems to leap through. But it is an interesting read nonetheless.

Crashing EdenCrashing Eden by Michael Sussman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

 

 

I’m behind on posting my reviews! But I’ll be catching up soon. Review to be posted tomorrow:

The Bell JarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath