Quick Reviews # 4

Saturday, February 13, 2010

For quick reviews, I simply give my general view and opinion on the books included. If you are interested on reading more about the plot of these novels, simply click on the titles and it will lead you to a website (Amazon.com, usually) and the synopsis can be found there.

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
  • This is definitely one haunting and disturbing depiction of child abuse. Not only was the plot well-written, the characters were also so well-defined that I found it so easy to fall in love with them. The details were vivid, making it even easier (and difficult to accept) to picture the situations these characters were forced to face.
  • Though the topic is touchy and naturally complicated, the author was able to write with sensitivity, clarity, and ease through her words. Overall, this is a thought-provoking and engrossing novel that I recommend mostly to YA readers.
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  • I like the premise of the book, and the overall storyline. I also liked the overall feel to it; dark, melancholic. There are moments of real and genuine emotions, and had moments of clear viewpoints. Facts and information were shared, and I have learned a lot from this book through those. However, this book does not really offer much at all. It was not as interesting as what the plot implies, and even the characters were not as likable as I hoped them to be. Overall development was not there, and the ending was very unsatisfactory.
  • This is not a bad book, but it is simply mediocre. I do not recommend this, for there are other books out there with the same topic and story line that are way better than this.
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
  • Having loved Kate Morton's The Forgotten Garden so much, I expected that I would feel the same enthusiasm with this novel as I had felt with that. Unfortunately, I can not say as much praise for this book as I did with TFG. Do not get me wrong, because this book is not bad. Actually, I did enjoy this as well. I thought that the story was very unique, and the way the author dealt with it was smart. Her writing, as expected, was up to par. However, I think it's the characters that were not so good. Though the story was interesting, I did not exactly care much for them.
  • As I mentioned, I am not as enthusiastic with recommending this as I was in TFG, but I don't think this is a bad book at all. It is overall a good one, with flaws here and there, that can actually be worth your time.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
  • There are so many novels (especially YA adult ones) that use the same topic again and again. For me, when I read a book talking about sensitive topics like this one, I judge it mainly on how it gets to me. If it makes me feel disturbed, awkward, bothered, etc, then for me, it is a good novel. I mean, I can only talk about some book based on technical successes or flaws, but when a story actually makes me think and feel, then that is what I call a genuinely good book. With this one, that's exactly what it did to me. From the details, narratives, to the dialogues.. everything, was very well-written with simplistic style that was so easy to grasp and understand. I was hooked right from the beginning until the end. The main character though, was probably the main reason why I kept reading. She was so realistic, as was the vivid details and descriptions of the situations she was facing. As I was reading, I found myself feeling very emotional. Not gonna lie, movies make me cry more often than books, but this one almost did it for me. The only reason why I was able to stop was because I was reading this in public. To cut this review short, I can definitely say that this is one of the books that touched me deeply, and will touch others as well. Wintergirls is an extremely important novel talking about an important issue that I highly recommend. Though this is targeted mainly for teens, I recommend it to everybody no matter what the age.
Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Marcus Zusak
  • Having finished this one, I can finally say I have read every single novel Marcus Zusak has written. Because of that, I can honestly say now that he is definitely one of my favorite authors today. To me, his novels are about real situations. And one of his biggest strenghts is digging into human nature through very realistic, relate-able, and complex characters. His writing also, is of course, something not to be ignored. His prose is addictive, and his words are simple yet deep. The insights are far from preachy, yet are the ones that are really thought-provoking and compelling. Fighting Ruben Wolfe has all of these elements, and as expected, left me wanting more.
  • I recommend this, most definitely, and everything else Zusak has written.
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  • I remember reading a lot of Sarah Dessen's work when I was younger. Probably around 13-15ish. Having said this, I recommend this book mostly to YA readers. Good (and cute) story, likable and lovable characters, and all backed up with Dessen's ability to entertain.

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