Review: Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury


Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

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Title: Fahrenheit 451

Author: Ray Bradbury

Release Date: March 28, 1953

Publisher: Voyager

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 227

Source: School book

The terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

The classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.

Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, decades on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.

4 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Montag is a fireman along with many others from his small town. These firefighters are different from what we know today, they start fires instead of stop them. Why do these firemen start fires and burn down homes? Book live in hidden places: behind fridges, in air conditioning ducts, anywhere hidden. Guy Montag meets a young girl, Clarisse McClellan, while walking one day and she reminds him that books aren’t a bad thing. He steals a book at the next burning he goes to. Guy comes home to his wife and her friends sitting in the living room watching the multiple-screened TV. He reads the group of them something from a book he stole, then mysteriously gets busted for having books the next day. He is assigned to another burning and ends up running away and escaping. He follows a river until he comes across a group of former scholars and professors. They discuss some common ideas, then they take Guy in. This is a very short book, and I’m surprised at how much I liked it. I read this for my Novel class and I realized about two sentences into the introduction that the writing style is absolutely gorgeous. I love poetry-esque books and this has made me realize that I take books for granted. What if there were no books left, and those who read them got arrested? This has made me realize that great, classic works of fiction will always be great.

Characters:

Guy Montag is the main character in this story and he showed so much development throughout this story. His wife, Mildred Montag, is very… interesting. She has a TV room, but is only every focused on that TV. She calls the characters of her favorite TV show her family. She’s just odd. Ray Bradbury made it very clear that the purpose for this book was that people mindlessly watch TV for hours or days without even realizing they’re watching something. There are so many amazing things that people can do and learn and we all just sit and watch mindless television. I also thought that it was weird when they were talking about kids. The only reason they reproduce is to continue the population and keep the species from going extinct. They don’t love their kids, they just have them.

Who Would I Be?:

I would most definitely choose to be Clarisse. She has imagination and pizzazz and doesn’t follow the rules. A lot of people lost their curiosity because it was deemed unacceptable, but she never lost hers. I think that that was a really beautiful addition to the story. I really loved that about her. I also don’t really hate the idea of being the odd-ball girl who is supposedly a little mentally unstable.

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Review: Just One Day (Just One Day #1) – Gayle Forman


Just One Day (Just One Day #1) – Gayle Forman

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Title: Just One Day

Author: Gayle Forman

Release Date: January 8, 2013

Publisher: Speak

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 400

Source: Bookstore

Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.

The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

4 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Allyson isn’t the adventurous type of girl at all, She has always planned everything, and her Europe trip after graduation wasn’t any different. Her parents gift her a trip with an organized education group. She goes with her best friend, and she follows all the rules and doesn’t go to the pubs with the rest of the group. The group is in line for Hamlet when some actors and actresses come up to them with flyers for the play they’re performing. The two friends ditch the long line and follow the directions to an outdoor clearing. The group stars performing, but this is a different kind of performance. The actors are running around and acting instead of staying in one spot. Allyson and her best friend are clapping after they’re done performing and one of the actors flips a coin around his knuckles then sends it flying toward Allyson. She catches it then claps even more. Allyuson and her friend go back to the hotel and fall asleep so they can get up for their train ride back to London when the actor from the performance comes up to them. The man who comes up to the pair is named Willem. Allyson recognizes him as the man who threw the coin at her during the performance. “Will you go to Paris with me?” Willem asks Allyson. She doesn’t know what to do… I mean what’s just one day? This story was a little far fetched, though.

Characters:

I liked Allyson. I mean she was a perfectly nice character, but what nineteen year old girl just goes to Paris with a complete stranger. There were some character flaws with that. She was a little too trusting with strangers. I’ve never been to Paris, but I’m pretty sure that no matter how charming you are, locals will not be that nice and they won’t take you to tulip farms at 5:30 in the morning. Willem was perfect for that one day though :)

Who Would I Be?:

I would choose Allyson because she got to go to Europe. I want to live in Europe more than anything. I live in a small town in the midwest United States. I want to go somewhere, and that somewhere happens to be Europe. I will go to Europe and live there. It’s going to happen.

Series:

Just One Year (Just One Day #2)

Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5)

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Review: Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew #10) – Carolyn Keene


Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew #10) – Carolyn Keene

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Title: Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew #10)

Author: Carolyn Keene

Release Date: June 1, 1960

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 192

Source: Bookstore

A carrier pigeon furnishes Nancy with a clue to a mysterious retreat.

4 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Nancy stumbles upon yet another mystery. Shocking, right? Anyway, Nancy finds a mysterious note attached to a wounded messenger pigeon and she calls in to the Pigeon Registration and finds out it was unregistered. Why would there be an unregistered bird delivering messages, and why would it be wounded? So many questions run through Nancy Drew’s head. She gets ahold of a bracelet with an engraving and a family crest. She takes the bracelet to a local jeweler and asks if he can trace it and see what family it belongs to. She finds out the name and realizes that the woman the bracelet belongs to is being held captive by the “bad guys.” She helps out and finds out where the quote-on-quote “bad guys” are keeping the old woman. She goes there and finds that other old women are being held captive as well. What if she can’t find out who is doing this? I love the Nancy Drew books and always have, but I never read them in order until a couple years ago. As of now I’m on #11 and can’t wait to collect them and read them all. I just have some random ones of the series that I’ve picked up from garage sales, used stores, and book stores, but I can’t wait until I have them all.

Characters:

Nancy and her best friends, Bess and George, are some of my favorite characters, but Ned and Nancy are the perfect couple. I love Ned and I have since I started reading this series. He’s so sweet and he’s such a gentleman. He holds doors and flirts in a publicly appropriate way, and he totally reminds me of my boyfriend. Bess and George are the perfect friends for Nancy. They compliment each other so well.

Who Would I Be?:

Duh. This is a dumb question. Of course I’d choose Nancy. I mean come on. Teenage girl detective, it can’t get much better than that. Nancy is always so brave and she thinks everything through multiple steps ahead. Not a lot of people do this and I think its a wonderful quality to have.

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Review: Reave (Reave Series #1) – C. Miller


Reave (Reave Series #1) – C. Miller

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Title: Reave (Reave Series #1)

Author: C. Miller

Release Date: December 4, 2013

Publisher: Createspace

Format: eBook

Page Number: 308

Source: Author

How far would you go to be free—to make your own choices without being subjected to punishment for doing what you felt was right? Could you kill for it?

After being abandoned by her father as a child, Aster spent ten years of her life as a servant for the leader’s House in the broken city of New Bethel. She’d known, even as a child, that the cities of her world were corrupt places with human monsters—assassins—running rampant between their high walls.

Thinking everything will remain the same as it always has there, Aster is startled to discover that one day . . . the cycle breaks. As a young new leader takes a strange and—at times—horrifying interest in her, will she be capable of discovering the reasons behind his actions and orders?

In a world where nothing is as it seems and all things are never anywhere near as simple as they appear at first glance, will she be capable of making the distinction between what is real and what is not? Will she find anyone at all she can trust? More importantly . . . Does she have the strength to do what is necessary to survive in a world filled with evil?

4 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Aster is taken from her father as a young child and is made a servant in a castle. She has her chores that she needs to do every day and they haven’t changed since she was brought there. Aster is now older and suddenly some of her duties change. She has to be a server at a party. The leader of the castle, Ahren, tells her to serve food to the Reaper. Reapers kill criminals and other people who have done bad things, but Aster gets assigned to be his personal servant/housemaid. He stays in one of the guest rooms in the castle and Aster brings him breakfast every morning then cleans and straightens up his room. At the beginning she doesn’t allow herself to speak to him, but eventually she allows herself to say two sentences to him each day. She continues to clean his room until one day he just gets up and leaves the castle. Only then is it that she realizes she’s in love with him… Oh my lord. I loved this book. I contacted C. Miller to ask her if I could read and review this book and I’m so extremely glad I did. This book was honestly exceptional. Thank you to C. Miller for sending me this book! I cannot wait to read anything she writes in the future. Beautiful writing style and beautiful story.

Characters:

Aster is really reserved and scared of almost everything at the beginning of this book, but then she discovers who she truly is and opens up a little bit. She got taken away from her father at a young age and is put into the castle with no one to look after her. She eventually finds Agatha and she becomes the only motherly figure in her life, but the best part of this whole book was when Chase is introduced. Chase is the Reaper that stays in the castle that Aster is told to look after. He’s so perfect. New book crush. He’s nice and sweet and he loves her. He is the best possible match for her.

Who Would I Be?:

I will choose to be Aster. Even though she doesn’t have a dad anymore, she meets Chase and Ahren. Ahren becomes her friend and somewhat of a fatherly figure, but Chase becomes her best friend and lover, which is the perfect way to form a relationship. Because she becomes friends with Ahren she then finds out information about the castle and oh my gosh just read it. Do yourself a favor and read this book.

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Review: Gathering Blue (The Giver #2) – Lois Lowry


Gathering Blue (The Giver Quartet #2) – Lois Lowry

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Title: Gathering Blue

Author: Lois Lowry

Release Date: January 1, 2000

Publisher: Ember

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 240

Source: Bookstore

In her strongest work to date, Lois Lowry once again creates a mysterious but plausible future world. It is a society ruled by savagery and deceit that shuns and discards the weak. Left orphaned and physically flawed, young Kira faces a frightening, uncertain future. Blessed with an almost magical talent that keeps her alive, she struggles with ever broadening responsibilities in her quest for truth, discovering things that will change her life forever.

As she did in The Giver, Lowry challenges readers to imagine what our world could become, and what will be considered valuable. Every reader will be taken by Kira’s plight and will long ponder her haunting world and the hope for the future.

4 out of 5 stars

Plot:

In a village there is a hierarchy. Our main character, Kira, is in one of the lowest branches. Kira lives with her mother, and her father is suspected to be killed by the Beasts that live in the Field. Kira is born with a twisted and crippled leg and was supposed to be sent out to the field as an infant, but her mother pleaded and begged to keep her at home. Her mother won that tiny battle, and Kira was kept at home. As infants the villagers are named a one syllable name, and as they age they add more syllables to their name. The oldest person in this book has a four syllable name. That four syllable name is the person that Kira visits to learn to dye thread and yarn. There is something special about Kira. She can embroider and weave. She is put in charge of fixing the Robe. The Robe is the story of their people. The Singer wears this special robe at the Gathering while he sings the history. Kira learns to make the colored threads, but doesn’t know how to make blue. Blue is the color she most desired to make, so her friend goes and finds the plant to create blue. Based on the reviews on Goodreads I was really skeptical. NO ONE LIKED THIS BOOK. I enjoyed this book. Everyone was freaking out that it wasn’t the world as The Giver, but it was. It wasn’t the advanced utopian world, but it was the dystopian side of it. If everything was as advanced as The Giver then it would be a completely different world. I loved that it showed the other side of the world.

Characters:

Kira had two friends. Matt who was in the lowest branch of the hierarchy, and Thomas, The Carver. Thomas carved wood like Kira embroidered. Kira and Thomas were lovable characters. Matt was so cute. It was unclear to how old he was, but he was adorable. He had a pet dog that he nurtured back to health, and he grew up in the Fen. Because he lived in the Fen he had a weird accent. He was probably my favorite character.

Who Would I Be?:

Even though Kira has a twisted leg, I’d choose to be her. I love sewing, and embroidery is kind of like that. She’s just a lovable character. She lost her mother, but she pushed through. She lost her dad, but she pushed through. She was such a strong main character.

Series:

The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) – Lois Lowry

Messenger (The Giver Quartet #3) – Lois Lowry

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Review: The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2) – Lemony Snicket


The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2) – Lemony Snicket

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Title: The Reptile Room

Author: Lemony Snicket

Release Date: September 30, 1999

Publisher: Scholastic

Format: Hardback

Page Number: 192

Source: Bookstore

Dear Reader,

If you have picked up this book with the hope of finding a simple and cheery tale, I’m afraid you have picked up the wrong book altogether. The story may seem cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle, but don’t be fooled. If you know anything at all about the unlucky Baudelaire children, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery.

In fact, within the pages you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the appearance of a person they’d hoped never to see again.

I am bound to record these tragic events, but you are free to put this book back on the shelf and seek something lighter.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

3 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire have had many unfortunate events happen to them. First their parents die in a fire, their house is burned down, and then they are forced to live with a horrible distant relative, Count Olaf. The children are taken from Count Olaf and brought to a nicer family member, Uncle Monty. Uncle Monty lives in a huge house with a lot of bedrooms and a reptile room filled with snakes and toads and frogs from all over the world. There are poisonous snakes and snakes who move half an inch an hour. Uncle Monty is planning to go explore the world and decides to go to Peru. The children are supposed to go on this trip with Uncle Monty and his new assistant, Stephano. The children are suspicious of Stephano and try to tell Uncle Monty what they think about him, but it soon becomes too late. I am enjoying this series. These are the books I imagine myself reading to my future children. These books are fun, easy, and quick reads. I wish I would have read them when I was younger, but I’m still enjoying them.

Characters:

I honestly love Violet, Klaus, and Sunny. I feel bad that their lives have been so unfortunate, but I still like them and enjoy reading about them. When I read this book I imagined reading it when I was younger, and found I liked it and enjoyed it more than the first book. Klaus loves reading, so it isn’t hard to choose my favorite of the Baudelaire siblings. Violet loves inventing and Sunny likes biting things. Some weird hobbies, but I don’t judge.

Who Would I Be?:

I would be Klaus. He loves reading and gets to read all the time. He’s also the middle sibling. I would love to have both an older and younger sibling. He is also the one who thinks everything through. Violet just jumps into everything, which isn’t a bad thing, but Klaus always thinks of the possible outcomes.

Series:

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3)

The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4)

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Review: The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) – Lois Lowry


The Giver (The Giver Quartet #1) – Lois Lowry

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Title: The Giver

Author: Lois Lowry

Release Date: January 24, 1993

Publisher: Ember

Format: Hardback

Page Number: 179

Source: Walmart

Jonas’ world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

5 out of 5 stars

Plot:

Jonas is eleven and lives in a futuristic world. He lives in a place where when you’re born you are grouped with everyone born in that year and they become the people in your grade. At the age of One they are put with a family. Each year in December they have a ceremony. In this ceremony the whole grade/group of kids gets something new or gets a small thing changed. For one of the years they get their first bike, for another they get a button down shirt with buttons in the front instead of the back, but for the twelfth year they get told their occupation. After they get told what they will do for the rest of their lives, whether it be a laborer or someone who takes care of the Old, they begin training for their job. Every day after school they head to their job training. While everyone else is planning their future, Jonas is receiving memories from his instructor, The Giver. Jonas is the new Receiver. He takes some of the burden of the memories that have been passed down from all the Givers. He is gifted some of the good memories and is put through the pain of the bad memories in preparation to be the newest Giver. I loved this book. It was so beautifully written and wonderfully told. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this book, but I was hooked by chapter two. I think that this should be a book that is read by everyone. Read in schools for required reading. Read to children by parents. Read by everybody. It was amazing and cannot wait to read the other three in the quartet.

Characters:

Jonas was an awesome main character to follow and read about. I never got bored or irritated with anything he did at all. He was always so brave and courageous. The Giver was my favorite character, though. He was so wise and so smart because of all the memories he had. He got to read all the books to get more information. The books weren’t allowed in society because knowledge was kind of like a weapon. He knew all the stories. He knew everything.

Who Would I Be?:

I would choose to be The Giver. He knew more than anyone and everyone combined in the quarantined utopia. He was so smart and so extremely wise, but he was also burdened with all the horrible memories. Sure he had nice and fun memories, but not enough to outweigh the bad. Because of Jonas he had an easier time with dealing with the harsh memories, but that would be so much to handle.

Series:

Gathering Blue (The Giver Quartet #2) – Lois Lowry

Messenger (The Giver Quartet #3) – Lois Lowry

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