Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude

Hi all!

I finally finished “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and even though I quite enjoyed it, I have mixed feelings about it in all.

My cousin, who is also a book-maniac like myself, is very fond of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and she said that he is a great author, but still, she didn’t really like this book in particular. And before reading it, I’ve gone through some reviews to know what I’m up against and what I found was that a lot of people liked it, but also a lot hated it. So I didn’t really know what to expect. Also, one person said that the plot of a book seems like a really weird dream from which you just woke up. And I think I agree with him the most.

The story at places is really captivating, for instance the beginning and the ending. I was really fascinated when reading the first chapters and I felt that I’m really going to love this book, but then the plot became more complicated πŸ˜€

Anyway, the book tells the story of the town of Macondo, from its founding until its destruction and presents the life of the Buendia family, one of the founding families, over a period of a hundred years.

At first that town is a really peaceful and magical place, where the gypsies would have fairs and present their mystical merchandise. What I liked most in this part, and I guess throughout the book, was that magic was presented as if it were part of reality and not something supernatural.

But as usual, a place a like Macondo can’t stay in such a perfect state without any consequences, now can it? So the state sent people to become the authorities of the town and organize the election. And because the election didn’t go so smoothly, it ended in a war between the Conservatives and the Liberals.

In the following chapters, we see how the war has its way with the Buendia family, how it turns their lives into tragedy even when the war is over. The family members have also an issue with falling in love with other members of the family, which leads to other unlucky events. But the main thing about this family is that almost no one can seem to find happiness and they’re left with their hearts sunken into sadness, grief, envy and most importantly, a devastating solitude.

What was interesting in this book was the way how each family member affected the destiny of the others, and how everything seemed to fall apart gradually from the beautiful beginning of when they arrived in Macondo, lead by the idea of a dream.

What I didn’t like, on the other hand, was that the writing was a bit foggy, and at times I didn’t know what was going on. And the fact that a lot of characters had the same name didn’t help with my confusion. And the style in places was, indeed, a bit boring and a few times I even thought that I am never going to finish this book. But the instant that I did, I felt amazed and I realized that I did like it, because the message did get through somehow. And the fact that the ending was pretty awesome did help with me thinking that πŸ˜€

So I guess I would recommend it, but beware, you will need a lot of patience and it is not an easy read, but worth it, I guess, in the end. I already miss its magic πŸ˜€

Anyway, if you want to read it online, you can find it here: One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Next time I’ll be talking about RejtΕ‘ JenΕ‘’s “The 14-carat Roadster”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

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George Orwell – Animal Farm

Hi all!

Before I start the review on this book, I would like to ask your assistance in one of my school projects. I had to design a website with the theme Vienna, and the goal is to get as many views as I possibly can. So if you could spare a minute to check it out, I would be terribly grateful πŸ™‚ There is also a contact page where you can find my contact info so you can email me with suggestions or questions. Or you can do it here also πŸ˜€ So here it is: Vienna

And now, back to George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.

When I started reading this book, I couldn’t help thinking about “1984”, another well known book of the author, and I had a feeling that I will see its ideas in this book also. And actually, a few main ideas were indeed there, only in a slightly different way. But it seems to me that the main difference between the two works is actually in the presentation.

The book tells the story of the Manor farm, where, due to the words of the wise pig Major, the animals rebel against their tyrant owner, Mr. Jones, and succeed in exiling him from his own land. After this, the courageous animals, led by the pigs, who were the smartest of the animals, try to run the farm themselves. They succeed in this also, even though the humans were sure of their failure.

But the well-being of the animals suddenly changes when Snowball, one of the leading pigs is chased away from the farm, and Napoleon, the other leading pig slowly becomes the one and only Leader. Things start to go downhill from there, with lesser and lesser food, more and more work, and public massacres of those who are claimed to be traitors by Napoleon. Even so, the animals don’t revolt against him, because they are brainwashed over and over every day by the words of Squealer, Napoleon’s right hand pig. And their ignorance and lack of initiation slowly leads to Napoleon becoming nothing more than a tyrant himself.

The animals, gullible as they are, believe that their hard labor is for their own good and that they are free. Sadly, the case is quite different, and they can feel that something is not right, but naive and not quite intelligent as they are, can’t quite decide where the problem is.

I liked this book, because it is indeed a great example of what a human community can become if the people are led by fear and ignorance, not willing to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. And it is quite amazing how someone with greater intelligence can manipulate a crowd so easily.

It is a good book, so I would recommend it, and it is actually quite short, unlike “1984”. Just to be clear, I really liked that book, but it was a bit too long and sometimes even a bit boring with the descriptions. But thankfully, the message came through.

Anyway, if you would like to read this one online, you can find it here: Animal Farm.

That’s all for now, and next time I’ll be talking about Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray

Hi all!

I finished reading this book rather late last night, but I couldn’t bare to put it down. Yeah, I know how that sounds, but actually, I think I have found my favorite book of all time πŸ˜€

I wanted to get my hands on the book ever since I saw the movie (which I loved btw :D) and learned that it is based on a book. But, of course, as it always happens when you see the movie first and read the book later, you are influenced by the movie and have certain expectations. But the book didn’t fail me. Actually, it turned out to be one of the most fascinating things I have ever read. And I want to make something clear, because at a point Dorian points out in the book, that if you are fascinated by something, that doesn’t necessarily mean you also like it. But I liked it. Well, loved it, actually πŸ˜€

The book presents the story of Dorian Gray, a young man whose exquisite beauty charms everyone who sees him. A painter, Basil Hallward, is stricken by his angel-like face and wonderful soul, and they become close friends. But when Basil finishes his masterpiece, a full sized painting of this dear friend, Dorian finally sees for his own the effect of his beauty and in a moment of despair, brought on by the words of Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian wishes that he would remain always as young and beautiful as he is now and that instead, the painting would grow old. Little does he know that his prayer has been answered.

Dorian and Lord Henry soon become good friends, and the young man is highly influenced by his companion’s views and theories about the world and he seems to discover himself in them. He changes, slowly but surely, form a pure young boy into a man with a bad reputation. But his beauty never leaves him. And all the harm he does to his soul has not a mark on him. But is has on the painting, as it gradually morphs into something hideous and evil.

Dorian is frightened at first, because he does not understand what is happening. But as he destroys his soul more and more, he feels a kind of joy to look at the portrait growing uglier and him being forever beautiful. But his conscience catches up with him as he commits his cruelest deed and fails to do a good one. He realizes that he is tired of the life he’s lead and the terrors the portrait beholds. The only question now is, how can he get out of the deal?

As I said, this is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. It is a marvelous psychological study, because, as I see it, it somehow comes down to man’s search for happiness. Dorian sees happiness, influenced by the words of Lord Henry, in beauty and the fulfillment of the senses. He searches always for new experiences, so he can experience life.

Lord Henry’s views, on the other hand, have a sort of philosophical demeanor in a way. And what he claims is not all that bad, at least in my opinion. Some of his theories stirred something in me also and I feel that now I may understand myself a little better. And I love it when a book does this. Actually, quite a few books have made me really think of various topics and I loved them for that, but this is the first book that ever made me think about myself. It made me see life in another way, something I didn’t really see before.

Another thing I loved about the book is its time setting. Actually, I love all British classics that take place in that era, because they have a certain air that I truly love, and it always makes me think that I’ve been born in the wrong time πŸ˜€

So anyway, I would recommend this book to anyone, especially to those who like the classics πŸ™‚ If you would like to read it online, you can find it here: The Picture of Dorian Gray. You can even download it from there if you’d like.

So that’s all for now and next time I’ll be presenting George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. (I miss this book already :D)

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Meg Cabot – Missing You (1-800-Where-R-You #5)

Hi all!

I’m back with the last book of the 1-800-Where-R-You series, “Missing You”, and I have to say that I was really surprised when I started reading it, because it is a bit different than the previous ones. It’s more serious, more real and, frankly, this was the first time I could actually identify with Jess.

I guess, in the end, it turned out that this is actually my favorite of the series, but not because of the plot. If I had to choose based on the plot, it would still be the third. What I liked about this one is that is taps a little more into psychology and even more into the problems of young people, mainly the question “What do I want to do with my life?”. But, of course, the story also involves some crime fighting, to which Jess is already used to. But let’s start at the beginning πŸ™‚

The story takes place a few years later, and it seems everything has changed. Jess and Ruth are 19 and in college in New York, with Mike and Skip crashing on their couch for the summer. And it turns out, a lot has happened in the last years. Jess had helped the U.S. government in the war in Afghanistan, something she returned from broken. Not only had she lost her power, but she wasn’t quite the same either. And this had somehow lead to her and Rob breaking up and her moving to the big city.

But now, a year later, Rob shows up and asks her to find his sister. And as Jess discovers her power has not left her after all, she finds herself on a new case, this time dealing with an amateur pornographer interested in underaged girls.

But as she goes home to “do justice”, she feels weird being in the small town again, with so many things that have changed. And Jess knows that being home again means she will have to face Rob and finally talk about what happened between them.

The story is interesting not only because of the non-violent and quite clever way Jess handles the criminal, but also because we have a chance to really glance into her mind and soul, and maybe identify with her, as she seems as lost as anyone could be at that age. And sometimes it’s good to know there’s someone out there (even if she’s fictional) who doesn’t quite know what she’ll do with her life, and seeing that everything turns out the way it is supposed to can indeed give the rest of us some hope πŸ™‚

Anyway, this was a good book, I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it. If you’d like to read it online, you can find it here: Missing You.

That’s all for now, next time I will be talking about Oscar Wilde’s “The Picture of Dorian Gray”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Meg Cabot – Sanctuary (1-800-Where-R-You #4)

Hi all!

I finished reading “Sanctuary” last night, but I was too sleepy to review it then, so I will do it now πŸ˜€

When I was told by my BFF, who has already read these books a couple of years ago, that you can read them really fast, I said okay, but even she was a bit amazed by my speed πŸ˜€ Anyway, this is always a good thing, I think, if you can read a book quickly, because it not only means that it’s interesting, but also you don’t take a lot of time with it. This, mainly the last part, is important, because I have a lot of books on my to-read list that I can’t wait to read. Like the one I’m reviewing after I finish this series. I’m not going to reveal the title yet, let that be a surprise πŸ˜‰

Anyway, the forth book of this series was actually pretty interesting. Maybe even more interesting than the third one. But that one’s still my favorite up ’till now πŸ˜›

The story starts out at Thanksgiving, when the Mastriani family gets an unexpected visit from their new next door neighbor, Mr. Thompson. It turns out his son has gone missing. But as Jess is returning home from Rob’s, where she’s sneaked out to a second Thanksgiving dinner, she finds Nate Thompson, but he is clearly not in the best of conditions: he is dead in a cornfield, with a strange symbol carved into his chest.

This, of course, sends Jess, along with Rob, on a new adventure to find the murderers and as the synagogue is the criminals’ new target, along with another missing child, they find out that this may not be your average serial killer, but something a little more extreme.

Jess and Rob head for battle against the violent militia group, helped by Chick and the other bikers, but will it be enough to stop them? Maybe now’s the time to reconsider the FBI’s offer…

I liked this book because it had mystery, it had romance and even a little Hell breaking loose πŸ˜€

I would recommend it, especially if you’ve read the first 3 books, than don’t stop here πŸ˜‰

If you would like to read it online, you can find it here: Sanctuary.

Well, that’s all for now, next time I’ll be presenting the last book of the series, “Missing You”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Meg Cabot – Safe House (1-800-Where-R-You #3)

Hi all!

I just finished book three of the 1-800-Where-R-You series, “Safe House”, and I have to admit that I liked it a lot more than the first two. This, I guess, is due to the fact that the story gets a bit more serious, and maybe even a bit frightening. And, of course, this is the third book, so I kind of got familiarized with the characters, and it’s usually more fun after this happens.

The story starts only a couple of weeks later than the second one has ended, and we find Jess coming home from a two week vacation that followed the orchestra camp. And as she returns, she learns that a terrible thing has happened: a girl from school, who was quite popular, has been cruelly murdered. And by the reasoning of the other popular kids, this was all Jess’s fault, who wasn’t around to find her with her psychic ability.

Things heat up as another girl gets kidnapped, and Jess manages to find her in the last minute. Of course, this only leads to the FBI getting even more on her case, not to mention that she is threatened by an anonymous caller that she will end up as the previous victims if she doesn’t stop asking questions. And what about the fact that she seemed to become Miss Popularity overnight and boys started to ask her out? Yeah, Jess has got a lot to juggle in this story too πŸ˜€

As I said, I really liked this book, this is the best so far from the series, and I would recommend it. Another thing I liked about it, that it even had a bit of psychological presentation when it came to the person of the murderer. Just a bit, but I was pleased anyway, because that was what I’ve been missing.

Anyway, if you would like to read it online, you can find it here: Safe House.

I guess that’s all for now and next time I’ll be talking about book 4, “Sanctuary”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Meg Cabot – Code Name Cassandra (1-800-Where-R-You #2)

Hi all!

I’m back with book 2 of the 1-800-Where-R-You series, “Code Name Cassandra”, and, just like with the first one, I managed to finish it in only 2 days. I liked it better, though, than the first one, but it’s almost always like this with series. I guess the first books are a kind of warm up for what comes next. But even so, I wasn’t all that crazy about this one either. But I already explained why that is in my previous post πŸ™‚

The book continues the story of Jess Mastriani, who finds a job as a counselor at the Wawasee camp, organized for children who are gifted musicians.

She is not recognized at first as the famous Lightning Girl, but she can’t hide it for long. Still, she tries to sustain her story that her power went away, but when a desperate father shows up seeking her help, she feels the need to give a hand. But not before she investigates the case herself. This, of course, leads only to trouble.

And let’s not forget that the FBI is constantly monitoring Jess (who has the code name Cassandra, as you could guess from the title πŸ˜› ), who has not only a handful of children to look after, but also gets closer to the guy of her dreams, Rob. And that’s a lot to handle for a 16 year old. Oh, and did I mention the raging murderer who is after her? πŸ˜›

So yeah, the story is interesting and I would recommend it. If you would like to read it online, you can find it here: Code Name Cassandra.

I guess that’s all for now, next time I’ll be talking about the third book: “Safe House”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Meg Cabot – When Lightning Strikes (1-800-Where-R-You #1)

Hi all!

I’m finally feeling back on track after the weeks of reading nothing and I feel highly ambitious about reading as many books I can get my hands on πŸ™‚

After I’ve started reading this book, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, because it is part of a series and I usually read series books one after the other, so I won’t forget what’s going on and stuff. But I finished the first one really fast, in about two days, and I guess it’ll be the same with the rest because it’s the type of book you can get through very fast.

It falls in the category of teen fiction, and I guess that’s why I didn’t like it all that much. I’m not saying it was bad. I found it interesting and I did kind of like it, but I felt like something was missing. I guess this is the sort of book that when you’re at that age (around 16-17), you find it great, but I’m not a teen anymore (sadly πŸ˜› ) and so I guess I’ve kind of grown out of it. But of course, this is only my opinion πŸ˜€

Anyway, as you can probably see on the cover picture, it wasn’t originally published under the name Meg Cabot, but Jenny Carroll.

The book presents the story of Jessica Mastriani, a 16 year old girl, who gets hit by lightning and thus receives an amazing gift: she becomes psychic. This new ability helps her to find missing children, and she shares her knowledge through a hot-line dedicated just for this: 1-800-Where-R-You.

She soon becomes a sort of national hero and the government starts to have interest in her. For the sake of her family, she accepts to go to Crane Military Base for tests, but things start to get complicated as she hears that the case of one of the children she’s found didn’t turn out for the best.

The story, as I said, is interesting and if you’re looking for something you can go through quick and easy, then this is the book for you πŸ™‚

If you want to read it online, you can do it here: When Lightning Strikes. You can also download it from there if you prefer to read it offline.

So, that’s all for now and next time I’ll be talking about book 2 of the series: “Code Name Cassandra”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Stephen King – The Eyes of the Dragon

Hi all!

As promised, I’m back with Stephen King’s “The Eyes of the Dragon” and I have to say, this story was quite a surprise for me.

When I think of Stephen King (and I’m sure it’s not just me), I think of horror stories. So you can imagine my surprise, when I read what this story was about. But it sounded interesting nonetheless and it did turn out quite captivating.

When I was small, I always enjoyed stories with kings and queens, dragons and wizards, and I had a kind of nostalgic feeling when I started reading this story. But as it turns out, it’s a bit more than just your ordinary fairytale.

The story presents the kingdom of Delain, ruled by king Roland, along with his right hand man, the wizard Flagg. But Flagg’s concern isn’t to help the kingdom, but rather to destroy it. And of course, the king doesn’t have a clue.

Roland, at a very late age, finally gets married and has two sons, Peter and Thomas, who grow up to be very different personalities. Peter is talented in everything he does and loved by the people of Delain. And Thomas… Well, you can imagine how he turns out, living in Peter’s shadow.

The story gets more interesting when Flagg discovers that if Peter will be king (and he eventually will), there will be no place for his evil doings in Delain. So he comes up with an evil plan to get rid of not only the old Roland, but also the young heir. His plan succeeds, but sadly for him, this isn’t the last he will hear of Peter.

The plot of the story is, as I said before, really captivating and the author pays much attention to detail, not only in the actions, but also in the psychological presentation of the characters. And considering this, I have to say that this story seems rather complex.

I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it, even for nostalgia’s sake πŸ˜› And now that I’m finished with it, I kinda feel sad because it’s over. But I guess it’s always like this when I finish a good book πŸ™‚

I don’t really know where you can read this one online, but if you want to download the ebook, you can do it here: The Eyes of the Dragon

I guess that’s all for now, and next time I’ll be talking about something a bit different: Meg Cabot’s first book from the 1-800-Where-R-You series, “When Lightning Strikes”.

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚

Edgar Allan Poe Shortstories Part XIV

Hi all!

I’m back with the last part of the Poe shortstories series and there are only 3 of them left. As it turns out, Poe also has a novel entitled “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket” and it is the only know finished novel by him. But since this series is about his shortstories, I’m going to leave that for another time.

So here are the three remaining stories, and as usual, the titles are links to where you can read them online.

Shadow–A Parable

This story is a rather short one and not much happens, but I guess the emphasis isn’t really on the actions.

The story presents a group of people, who try to lock themselves away from the raging “Pestilence”. Then, one night, they have an unexpected visitor who fills them with terror, by his appearance and voice.

Von Kempelen And His Discovery

This story is again a shorter one, and presents, as the title says, the discovery of Von Kempelen.

The narrator presents his acquaintance with the main character, and claims that although they had more conversations, he never suspected him to have scientific aspirations. After this introduction, he presents an “anecdote” about Von Kempelen, and this anecdote is the story itself. The main idea is that Von Kempelen is arrested for counterfeiting, but it soon turns out that the case is something very different and much more interesting πŸ™‚

Morning On the Wissahiccon

This story is a pretty short one and it starts out as a description of the valley of Wissahiccon, which is a small brook in America. The scenery presented is beautiful, and it is put in contrast with the populated parts of England for example.

The narrator tells about the time he visited the brook and saw an elk, but as he went closer, his visions of untouched and unspoiled nature became immediately shattered.

So it seems I’m finally done with the series and I have to say that I’ve learned a lot while reading these stories. Not only did I get more familiar with the person of Poe, the way he thinks, the things he knows (which is amazing :D), but I also had the chance to get to think about various topics I never before considered contemplating on. And I think that is a definite plus if a writer, or anyone in fact, can make you really think πŸ™‚

So I guess this is all for now and I’ll be back shortly with something different for a change: Stephen King’s “The Eyes of the Dragon” πŸ˜€

Until then, have a nice day and a nice read πŸ™‚