Review: Anne of Green Gables

Review: Anne of Green GablesTitle: Anne of Green Gables
Author(s): LM Montgomery
Series: Anne of Green Gables #1
Genre(s): Classic
Pages: 384 (Hard Cover)
Source: Own
For: Readalong
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

"She'll have to go back." Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert had decided to adopt an orphan. They wanted a nice sturdy boy to help Matthew with the farm chores. The orphanage sent a girl instead--a mischievous, talkative redhead who the Cuthberts thought would be no use at all. But as soon as Anne arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever. And the longer Anne stayed, the harder it was for anyone to imagine Green Gables without her.

My Thoughts

I read Anne of Green Gables as part of a readalong because I had never read it before. I was worried I wouldn’t like it because classics and I don’t always get along very well. I needn’t have worried because I adored Anne and her spunk.

I can see why this coming-of-age story is a classic. Anne of Green Gables is endearing with its quaint setting and memorable characters. As I said, I love Anne. She reminded me of myself, other than of her being ever the optimist. (I’m definitely not an optimist.) Like her, I love to name plants and inanimate objects anthropomorphizing them. I’m extremely talkative and competitive. I love fiercely and tend to hold grudges even though I try not to. I quite related to her.

I also loved the secondary characters, some more than others. Matthew was my favorite. He was such a kind soul, always looking out for Anne. I wish we had gotten to know Gilbert more. View Spoiler » And, even though I was often frustrated with Marilla’s no-nonsense ways, I even liked her because I knew she loved Anne.

I’m glad I can say that I’ve finally read Anne of Green Gables and I look forward to reading at least the second book in the series at some point in the future.

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Review: The Marriage Pact

Review: The Marriage PactTitle: The Marriage Pact
Author(s): Michelle Richmond
Genre(s): Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 433 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

My Thoughts

I decided to read The Marriage Pact because I had heard such good things about it from other readers and my hold from the library came in fairly quickly.

I really enjoyed reading The Marriage Pact even though it was very over-the-top. Each time I put it down, I wanted to pick it up again so I could find out what happened. It made me glad The Pact doesn’t exist in real life. Or, does it? 🎶dun dun dun🎶

I really enjoyed the setting of the bay area, especially since I just traveled there last month. It was fun visualizing all the places they talked about in the novel. And, I really liked Jake and Alice. I rooted for them from the get go.

The only reason I’m giving The Marriage Pact three stars is because I felt the book was a little too long and the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted it to be. All in all, though, it was an entertaining thriller.

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Review: Born a Crime

Review: Born a CrimeTitle: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Author(s): Trevor Noah
Genre(s): Memoir, Non-Fiction
Pages: 288 (Kindle)
Source: Library
For: Play Book Tag
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

My Thoughts

I read Born a Crime because the topic for this month for my Goodreads PBT group is Autobiography and because Trevor Noah is one of my favorite comedians.

Born a Crime was a very fascinating read. I learned a great deal about South Africa and the apartheid. Truth be told, until I became familiar with Noah as a comedian, I didn’t know his existence was a crime during the apartheid.

I honestly found Noah’s childhood interesting to read about because of not only how he was treated, but also because of the experiences he had as well. It amazes me how much he was considered an outsider in his own community because his skin was lighter than others. And, I thought it was interesting that language often helped him bridge the gap between his peers; he was only accepted because he was a “chameleon” and could speak their language as well as they could.

While reading Noah’s memoir, there were times I was laughing in stitches, at other times I was in shock and disbelief, and yet other times I was angry at the injustices he witnessed and experienced. I know I’ve lived a very sheltered life, but I’ve never realized how easy my life has been until reading some of these experiences.

I’m glad I took the time to read Born a Crime. It opened my eyes to the atrocities of the world in other areas than just in European and American history. I now realize that while the Holocaust was a horrible time in the world, it’s not necessarily the worst thing that has happened. It all depends on your point-of-view and many of the world’s atrocities are glossed over still because people don’t want to take responsibility for the part they or their ancestors played in slavery or racism because it’s still very much alive today.

Review: The Joy Luck Club

Review: The Joy Luck ClubTitle: The Joy Luck Club
Author(s): Amy Tan
Genre(s): Contemporary
Pages: 288 (Paperback)
Source: Own
For: Play Book Tag
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

In 1949, four Chinese women, recent immigrants to San Francisco, begin meeting to eat dim sum, play mahjong, and talk. United in shared loss and hope, they call themselves the Joy Luck Club. With wit and wisdom, Amy Tan examines the sometimes painful, often tender, and always deep connection between these four women and their American-born daughters. As each reveals her secrets, trying to unravel the truth about her life, the strings become more tangled, more entwined...

My Thoughts

I read The Joy Luck Club because the topic for this month for my Goodreads PBT group is Asia.

The Joy Luck Club was a very interesting read. I especially enjoyed reading the mothers’ stories and their hardships in China and how they came to the US. I actually wish the book would’ve focused more on them and their time in China.

I also enjoyed the nods to Chinese and Chinese-American culture. I learned quite a bit while reading The Joy Luck Club. It was interesting that even though the mothers joined a Christian church upon their arrival in the US, they retained some of their Buddhist beliefs throughout their lives.

I also found it interesting to see the differences between the mothers and the daughters. Because of the American culture around the daughters, the daughters couldn’t help but grow up American. Yet, I thought the mothers would’ve taught their children more about their culture. The daughters could understand Chinese, but they couldn’t speak it very well nor could they read or write the characters.

While I found the book interesting, I found the characters to be a little flat. Their voices were similar and the only reason I could tell each of them a part was because each of their stories were different. And, as I said, I would’ve rather the book focused more on the mothers and their hardships in China than on their life in the US with their daughters. For these reasons, I’m only giving The Joy Luck Club three stars.

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Review: A Wrinkle in Time

Review: A Wrinkle in TimeTitle: A Wrinkle in Time
Author(s): Madeleine L'Engle
Series: A Wrinkle in Time #1
Genre(s): Fantasy, Middle Grade, Science Fiction
Pages: 256 (Paperback)
Source: Own
For: Personal Interest
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

When Meg and Charles Wallace Murry and Calvin O'Keefe learn that Mr. Murry has been captured by the Dark Thing, they time travel to Camazotz, where they must face the leader IT in the ultimate battle between good and evil--a journey that threatens their lives and our universe.

My Thoughts

I decided to read A Wrinkle in Time before the movie release since I had never read it. I knew it was fantasy and I knew it had to do with darkness and light, but I don’t know what I was expecting because this wasn’t it.

I enjoyed the fantasy and science aspect of the story. In fact, that is probably what I liked most about the story. Well, that and Charles Wallace, the 5-year-old brother of the main character Meg. I enjoyed reading about wrinkling/tessering. And, I loved the mix of fantasy/science with religion. I thought that was rather unique.

What I didn’t like is Meg. She was so annoying and unless I can connect with the main character, I don’t usually fare all that well with the book. I’m not one of those readers that like books with unlikable characters just for the sake of the plot and character development.

I also didn’t like how short the book is. Without the introduction, afterword, acknowledgements, etc., the story is only 203 pages. I know this is meant for children, but I feel like this book could’ve been fleshed out so much more. I felt like the characters, other than the main three, were very one-dimensional. View Spoiler » I also have so many unanswered questions that I feel could’ve been answered with a longer book. View Spoiler »

Overall, I liked the story and I’ll continue the series at some point, but I don’t feel like the book lived up to the hype.