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.

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.

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Review: Ready Player One

Review: Ready Player OneTitle: Ready Player One
Author(s): Ernest Cline
Series: Ready Player One #1
Genre(s): Dystopia, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 374 (Kindle)
Source: Own
For: Book Club
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines, puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them. When Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win--and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

My Thoughts

My book club read Ready Player One for January. I was really excited to read it because I knew it was all things nerdy. And, boy was it nerdy!

The concept of Ready Player One was so fascinating. I loved the dystopian society that Cline built and the need for the OASIS. At times, I wished the OASIS were real, but to be honest, I’m glad it’s not. I kept thinking about my self-proclaimed from JK Rowling, “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” In the society that Wade lived in, the OASIS was needed. In my society, it’s not and I hope we never need something so immersive.

The contest was fun. I adored reading about all the 80s nostalgia. I felt like I was reliving my childhood. I’d agree with the characters when they talked about “our” favorites and then I’d get mad at them when they dissed one of my favorites. I’m looking at you, Aech. Ladyhawke is awesome!

My biggest pet peeve with Ready Player One was the info dumps. Whenever Wade got hold of a new technology, I felt like Cline couldn’t help himself. He just went on and on about the technology he created and it was a little much. I understand that he needed to describe what was happening, but that whole chapter in Wade’s apartment was just painful to read.

Besides the info dumps, I really enjoyed the story. I was immersed and glued to my seat, so to speak. I’m excited to see how this book translates into a movie.

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Review: Artemis

Review: ArtemisTitle: Artemis
Author(s): Andy Weir
Genre(s): Mystery, Science Fiction
Pages: 322 (Kindle)
Source: Own
For: Book Club, Play Book Tag
Rating:
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Synopsis from Goodreads

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you're not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you've got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

My Thoughts

I read Artemis because my work just formed an impromptu book club and chose Artemis as its first book and the topic for this month for my Goodreads PBT group is science.

I really liked Artemis for the most part. In fact I thought it was interesting and it makes me want to read The Martian, which I was on the fence about before. Weir includes the science part in a way that makes it fun and interesting, not boring or like I’m listening to a lecture in school.

The reason I’m only giving Artemis 3 stars is because of the main character Jazz Bashara. I liked her, but she read more like a teenage boy than a 23-year-old woman. During the first part of the book, I couldn’t figure out what it was that seemed off, but then I read someone else’s review that mentioned the teenage boy thing and I immediately thought, “Yes, that’s exactly it!” Does that mean she’s all bad because she reads like a teenage boy? No. In fact, I liked her sassiness and don’t-take-crap-from-anyone attitude. She just said some things that no woman I know would say.

I still think the book is worth a read. It kept my interest and I really wanted to know what was going on, who was behind everything, and what would happen in the end. I even made some guesses as to who the bad guy was. I was way off. 😉