The Giver by Lois Lowry

thegiverI hadn’t heard about the book before, but I believe my host sister Erin told me that is was a book they needed to read during school. The reason why we started talking about it last year, about a year ago, was because the film adaptation came out and we were thinking about going to see it (we didn’t, as I don’t want to see book films unless I’ve read the book already).

Erin knew I liked dystopian novels (the Hunger Games and Divergent series being the big ones I had read so far), so she thought it would be a book that I just might like. So, a click later on my Kindle during a day that my lovely hosts were working on, I was lying outside and burning my white skin tanning, while I was giving the book a try.

“It was almost December, and Jonas was beginning to be frightened.”

Thus opens this haunting novel in which a boy inhabits a seemingly ideal world: a world without conflict, poverty, unemployment, divorce, injustice, or inequality. It is a time in which family values are paramount, teenage rebellion is unheard of, and even good manners are a way of life.

December is the time of the annual Ceremony at which each twelve year old receives a life assignment determined by the Elders. Jonas watches his friend Fiona named Caretaker of the Old and his cheerful pal Asher labeled the Assistant Director of Recreation. But Jonas has been chosen for something special. When his selection leads him to an unnamed man -the man called only the Giver -he begins to sense the dark secrets that underlie the fragile perfection of his world.

Told with deceptive simplicity, this is the provocative story of a boy who experiences something incredible and undertakes something impossible. In the telling it questions every value we have taken for granted and reexamines our most deeply held beliefs.

– From the website of Lois Lowry

As always with this kind of books for me, the start was a pretty confusing as I was supposed to “know” things already, but it was pretty easy to get into the story after a while. I liked the part about memory sharing, the whole thing about the Sameness and Elsewhere, and realizing what the unique talent Jonas had was. The book was also very surprising at times, which makes it a great book in my opinion.

I’ve yet to read the other books in the quartet, but maybe I will find time at some point to do so. The ending of the Giver was very interesting, and I need to know what happens!

I don’t want to say too much about the book, if there’s someone who hasn’t read it yet and gets curious to read it. So let’s leave it here 🙂

Dinosaurs! And more.

I’ve been wanting to read Jurassic Park ever since I realized that the movies were based on books. Dinosaurs are awesome, and this book even more so.

JurassicParkI think this is the first time I actually like the book more after seeing the film first and then reading the book. The book has so much going on before the group even gets to the island – the hints and lab tests with the “lizard” that they find on the beach after it bites the girl. Everything with Alan Grant before he gets to the island. It’s just amazing and I really like Crichton’s style of writing. I wish I could write as well as he does, haha!

Synopsis for Jurassic Park:
“An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Now humankind’s most thrilling fantasies have come true. Creatures extinct for eons roam Jurassic Park with their awesome presence and profound mystery, and all the world can visit them—for a price.

Until something goes wrong… and science proves a dangerous toy.”

AllegiantI’m also reading Allegiant by Veronica Roth now. I had pre-ordered it for my Kindle, so it was delivered to it on Tuesday when it was published. It’s pretty good. The only thing that really bothers me, is that the point of view changes all the time, from Tris to Tobias. I always forget who is “speaking”, and it makes it really confusing to read sometimes, haha. It’s also pretty good, but I feel like it’s going all over the place, like she couldn’t decide where to go with it so now there’s all these different things happening in it. Good, but confusing. I hope I feel different once I’m finished with it.

Synopsis for Allegiant:
What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.”

One choice can transform you

So, I know I should be reading Inferno at the moment, and I am! But there was a book on the list of recommended books for me on Amazon that caught my interest because of the very nice cover. I’m talking about Divergent by Veronica Roth. Because the sample for my Kindle was just one click away, I decided to see if I’d like this book at all. I started reading it last night when I was supposed to go to bed after watching The Hobbit again. It was 1am. Six hours later I realize that at some point I had finished the short sample (a few chapters long) and had bought the whole book and read over a half of it. The only reason I had to stop reading was that I couldn’t remember what I had read five minutes ago and I could barely keep my eyes open. The last time this happened to me was when I read the Hunger Games.

Divergent coverThe book was a little odd, in the way that I really liked it even though I didn’t really understand what was going on some of the time. There wasn’t that much of a backstory. Sure, some basic things were explained as you read on and such, but for most of the time I got the feeling that it was  expected that you just go with it. It’s a way of writing I’ve been trying to figure out, but I can’t seem to stop trying to put everything down there for people to read and process. Maybe reading this series will show me a way to do that, haha. That said, I still liked it. It was an iteresting climbse to a world that I’d like to know more about. The characters were mostly interesting, even if the story went a bit too fast some of the time. Sometimes the same kind of things just kept going on and on and on (the training and how the main character wasn’t really sure where she really belonged), until suddenly you had skipped five steps ahead and what just happened?

But the fact that I finished the book within a day, barely in 6 hours says a lot. I liked it, couldn’t put it down and now I want to know what happens next. All in all, a successful book, no?

Synopsis of Divergend, Book 1 by Veronica Roth:
In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Seek and ye shall find.

It seems that starting work again makes me tired (again) after the workday. Which means that I haven’t been reading almost anything since my last post. I started Storm Front and got quite far with it (or so I’d like to think), but then just… Stopped. Luckily, a new book came out that I’ve been waiting forever for, or so it seems. I love Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series. So – Inferno. It came out around the middle of May, and I was able to get my hands on the English version a couple of weeks ago. And again: didn’t have time/the energy to start reading anything.

Midsummer changed everything. I took it with me to read if I got bored (as well as an avoiding aid – oh no, I can’t do that now, I’m reading – see?). Well, I didn’t need to use it for skipping any tasks, I just started reading it. And fell into the world again. Of course, eating and having fun stopped me from getting too much into the book and then work started again. But now I picked it up and it starts getting interesting! I just might be able to finish this one for once! But we’ll see soon enough, eh? 😀

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Inferno by Dan Brown

‘Seek and ye shall find.’

With these words echoing in his head, eminent Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon awakes in a hospital bed with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. Nor can he explain the origin of the macabre object that is found hidden in his belongings.

A threat to his life will propel him and a young doctor, Sienna Brooks, into a breakneck chase across the city of Florence. Only Langdon’s knowledge of hidden passageways and ancient secrets that lie behind its historic facade can save them from the clutches of their unknown pursuers.

With only a few lines from Dante’s dark and epic masterpiece, The Inferno, to guide them, they must decipher a sequence of codes buried deep within some of the most celebrated artefacts of the Renaissance – sculptures, paintings, buildings – to find the answers to a puzzle which may, or may not, help them save the world from a terrifying threat…

Set against an extraordinary landscape inspired by one of history’s most ominous literary classics, Inferno is Dan Brown’s most compelling and thought-provoking novel yet, a breathless race-against-time thriller that will grab you from page one and not let you go until you close the book.

Synopsis from Goodreads.

The other wizard named Harry

I heard about the Dresden Files for the first time when I was reading a crossover fanfiction around 2008, so not too long ago. The world sounded so interesting that I decided to read the first book and see if I liked it. I found the author had sample chapters up on his website from the books and I read the ones for the first book.

Did I like it? Understatement. I absolute loved it. The character, a wizard named Harry Dresden, is so sarcastic and he has funny catchphrases. (Each book is written in first person.) Short story even shorter, I ordered the first books and then got the rest after I had read them. I’ve been meaning to read the whole series again because I’ve forgotten some details and I don’t want to read the new books (books #11-14) before refreshing my memory. So this is the perfect reason to read them all again 🙂

StormFront

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

HARRY DRESDEN – WIZARD. Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things—and most don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a—well, whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

I finally did it. After years and years of ‘I’m going to read it next‘ I finally did actually read it. Even if it took me a long time to do so. I kept falling asleep! And it wasn’t even a boring book, I actually quite liked it. I just couldn’t keep my eyes open at some points, haha.

But yes. I liked it. I had forgotten how funny Tolkien’s writing style is. That might also be because I haven’t actually read anything of his in English before. I read the Lord of the Rings in Finnish, but still. I really liked it. I thought it was very funny how sometimes he would tell us that ‘and then this happened, but not just yet! We come to it in the next chapter, so keep reading!

Also, the illustrations by Alan Lee were incredible. I loved seeing them. Very nice! I wish I was that talented at drawing/painting/whatever.

I give the book a 4/5.

theHobbitThe enchanting prelude to The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a quiet and contented hobbit whose life is turned upside down when he joins the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves on their quest to reclaim stolen treasure. It is a journey fraught with danger and in the end it is Bilbo Baggins alone who must face the guardian of this treasure, the most dreaded dragon in all Middle-earth.

Nightlight: A Parody

I decided to read a slightly smaller book as my second book this year. I started reading it a couple of years ago but didn’t finish, so now I read it again.

This was probably my third parody book I’ve read so far, but the first one I remember finishing. It certainly was the first Twilight parody I’ve read, that’s for sure.

nightlight“About three things I was absolutely certain. First, Edwart was most likely my soul mate, maybe. Second, there was a vampire part of him–which I assumed was wildly out of his control–that wanted me dead. And third, I unconditionally, irrevocably, impenetrably, heterogeneously, gynecologically, and disreputably wished he had kissed me. 

And thus Belle Goose falls in love with the mysterious and sparkly Edwart Mullen in the Harvard Lampoon’s hilarious send-up of Twilight. Pale and klutzy, Belle arrives in Switchblade, Oregon looking for adventure, or at least an undead classmate. She soon discovers Edwart, a super-hot computer nerd with zero interest in girls. After witnessing a number of strange events–Edwart leaves his tater tots untouched at lunch! Edwart saves her from a flying snowball!–Belle has a dramatic revelation: Edwart is a vampire. But how can she convince Edwart to bite her and transform her into his eternal bride, especially when he seems to find girls so repulsive?

Complete with romance, danger, insufficient parental guardianship, creepy stalker-like behavior, and a vampire prom, Nightlight is the uproarious tale of a vampire-obsessed girl, looking for love in all the wrong places.”

The back and the first couple of pages had me laughing so hard that I was crying, but then it started to get weird and fell a little flat. I had no idea what was going on in the book after a while. Everything was way over exaggerated, too. At first it was pretty funny, but then it was a bit too much. Disappointing.

1.5/5

Forgotten year 2012 and starting anew in 2013.

So. Hi there. Long time no see. Haha. Oops.

Yeah. I’m pretty embarrassed to say this, but… I forgot all about this last year. I didn’t read pretty much anything since April. I moved to a different city and got a summer job, wrote my thesis and then suddenly it was New Year and now already Easter and April’s about to start. So yes, I didn’t make it that far after all last year.

When this year started I didn’t even think about doing this again. I saw the Facebook group for this project posting a lot of things but I didn’t read them and pushed it away from my mind. But now. Now…

What made me change my mind? Well. I have a lot of books I’m wanting to read. And my latest purchase was the final reason for me doing this. It’s what gave me the push needed to come here and post this thing and update my reading list, among other things.

Last year I started reading the Infernal Devices series, Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince being the first two books in the series. Now Clockwork Princess finally came out. And my bookstore actually had it, I didn’t need to order it and wait for two weeks. I got it before going to the movies with a friend.

So… Even if I’m 87 days late and thus at least 24 books behind schedule, here goes nothing. This year’s first book is the Infernal Devices series’ book 3: Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

Clockwork-Princess

Danger and betrayal, secrets and enchantment in the breathtaking conclusion to the Infernal Devices trilogy

Tessa Gray should be happy – aren’t all brides happy?
Yet as she prepares for her wedding, a net of shadows begins to tighten around the Shadowhunters of the London Institute.
A new demon appears, one linked by blood and secrecy to Mortmain, the man who plans to use his army of pitiless automatons, the Infernal Devices, to destroy the Shadowhunters. Mortmain needs only one last item to complete his plan. He needs Tessa. And Jem and Will, the boys who lay equal claim to Tessa’s heart, will do anything to save her.

A book that really needs no introduction…

ImageHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a wizard, makes close friends and a few enemies at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and with the help of his friends thwarts an attempted comeback by the evil wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry’s parents when Harry was one year old.

The book was published on 30 June 1997 by Bloomsbury in London, while in 1998 Scholastic Corporation published an edition for the United States market under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The novel won most of the UK book awards that were judged by children, and other awards in the USA. The book reached the top of the New York Times list of best-selling fiction in August 1999, and stayed near the top of that list for much of 1999 and 2000. It has been translated into several other languages and has been made into a feature-length film of the same name.

This will be the first time in maybe 5 years that I’ll read this book again. Ah, how I’ve missed you!

Short Book #2

So, I decided to read this short novella by Stephenie Meyer to get more books read quickly, as I am yet again behind with my reading schedule (which I knew would happen once I realized it would take me longer than a day to read the first Mortal Instruments book). But hey, I’ll try to read the Chronicles of Narnia next week, so I can still catch up soon enough! (Hopefully.)

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner is a companion novella to the Twilight series by author Stephenie Meyer. It tells the story of a newborn vampire, Bree Tanner, who is featured in the third book of the series, Eclipse. The book is written from the viewpoint of Bree, as opposed to the rest of the series which is predominantly narrated by character Bella Swan.