Jan 9, 2014

1984

Here's a quick review of the first book I finished this year:


19841984 by George Orwell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As a fan of dystopian fiction, I felt I ought to read this book. It is the most well known of dystopian fiction, isn't it?

The world was excellent, well thought out and presented perfectly. As expected. It was appropriately horrible and disturbing.

Overall, although I didn't not enjoy it, I wasn't really enthralled with it. The politics and philosophies were really interesting, but the characters were flat and...not unlikable, but...boring. I didn't care about them. Winston and Julia...would they die? Would they live? Would they be caught by the Thought Police? I really didn't care either way. And because I didn't care about the characters, the story just didn't excited me.

Nearing the end, I just wanted it to be over.

On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful, I'd give it an Alright. I'm glad I read it, but only for the sake of having read it, not because I enjoyed it all that much.

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Jan 7, 2014

Pandemonium

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

This is book two in the Delirium trilogy. Read my review of book one here.

From Amazon: I’m pushing aside 
the memory of my nightmare, 
pushing aside thoughts of Alex, 
pushing aside thoughts of Hana 
and my old school, 
push, 
push, 
push, 
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

It's more or less a rule that book two in a trilogy is never as good a book one. Pandemonium breaks that rule. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's better than book one, it's hands down just as good as Delirium. 

It's written in a non-linear way, which I like. Jumping between 'Then', which picks up where the story left off in book one, and 'Now', a point in the near-ish future. It makes the story move along at quicker pace, without having to leave out all the slow bits of Lena getting from there to here. It works really well, because 'Then' can be a little slow paced, but it's important and only lasts a chapter and you're back in "Now" where things are getting...complicated. 

Julian...I'm not sure exactly how I feel about about Julian. I guess he grew on me...grew on me as his character grew as person. Even though he's basically a more repressed, richer, male version of Lena from book one. By the end, right up until the ending happened, I was really starting to get behind where things were going with this Julian fellow. But then the ending happened. 

THE ENDING. Glugghrg. That the sound my brain makes when it thinks about the ending. I spent the whole book thinking about this thing I was sure was going to happen. And I wanted it to happen. There were several opportunities for it to happen that it didn't happen. I had given up on it happening and in fact - didn't want it to happen anymore. And then at the very, very bitter end, it happened and I couldn't decide if I was happy or sad about it. And my brain melted a little bit. 

On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful, I'd give it a Just Awesome, same as book one. I am pretty afraid of book three - can it possibly stand up to the greatness of it's predecessors? At the same time, I can not possibly get it into my hands fast enough.