But then I remembered I had a blog about books and writing, and then I remembered the multiple books I read for English that I had yet to review! I didn't even know my last review was made during summer vacation. That's absolutely wild. I've read so many books for school already, it's crazy.
So yeh. Here are my reviews for four, count 'em, FOUR books I've read since the start of the school year. Here we go!
Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
Chris Collins and Win Coggans were best friends for years. They knew nearly everything about each other. During the last summer before college, they decided to bike cross-country from West Virginia to Washington. But it's on that trip that the two friends happen to have a fight and separate. Chris realizes Win has disappeared and now has to face the wrath of Win's rich and powerful father, all while trying to find his best friend.
Now, my opinion: Would I say this book has impacted me greatly? Not exactly. Did it still have some parts that I enjoyed and intrigued me? Of course. In my opinion, the ending was a bit disappointing but also the right amount of bittersweet. I mean, who wouldn't find the following **spoilers** bittersweet?
Win smiled and held out his hand.
"You're a good man, Christopher Collins," he said.
"Likewise," I said, returning his handshake.
"What else do you say at a moment like this one?" he asked, still holding my hand.
I shrugged. "Not really a Hallmark card for these occasions."
"Guess not." He dropped my hand, tucked his fists under his arms. I kept my gaze on my friend's eyes. He looked sad, proud, and satisfied all at once. It was like looking into a mirror.
Then he pulled his hands from his armpits and reached out and hugged me. The embrace surprised me.
"I'm glad you came," he said quietly.
"We stayed like that for half a second more, before Win said, "We'd better let go now. If two guys hug like this in rural Montana, people start to talk about it."
I laughed, let him go for the last time, and turned toward the ticket counter.
I mean, c'mon. So for those reasons, I'm giving it ★ ★ ★ ★ 4 stars out of 5. Great for a quick read.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Huck is country boy who has to deal with living with the "civilized" Widow Douglas and Miss Watson. However, Huck's abusive father returns from God knows where and takes Huck away from the widow. Huck flees from him into the Mississippi River and ends up traveling with the widow's black slave, Jim, who is trying to escape slavery.
The number one thing I enjoyed about this book was the realism. Twain's pretty good in the realistic department of literature. The characters had their ups and downs. And even though I don't necessarily find southern dialect charming, I can at least credit Twain with the impressive accuracy of it all. I wasn't a fan of the ending, which made most of the events prior to it basically useless to the plot.
Overall, pretty boring. What did you expect? ★ ★ ½ 2.5 stars out of 5 for this one.
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Chris McCandless was a smart yet free-spirited kid from a seemingly normal, healthy family. One day he disappeared from his college apartment without his family's knowledge. He ended up dying in the brutal Alaskan wilderness. This novel details Chris's life and the impact he left on everyone he met.
Like I said, Chris wasn't dumb. He just made dumb decisions. I wrote a whole essay about how dumb he could get. And that's what makes his story so interesting in my eyes. As I was busy discussing with classmates and typing up pages about his stupid actions, I couldn't help but see myself in him. Chris was likable, intelligent, hardworking, independent. . . characteristics that I'd like to say describe me. Of course, these qualities were fairly extreme and he did end up dying. But haven't we all, at one point or another, wanted to be reckless and try to fulfill our wildest dreams? Is it our right to judge him for doing something we're all too scared to do ourselves?
Maybe I'm romanticizing his story a bit too much, but the book itself was an intriguing read. I'd recommend it to eighth graders and up, just for comprehension reasons. I give it ★ ★ ★ ★ 4 stars out of 5!
The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
The story is told by Nick Carraway, the neighbor of the mega-wealthy Jay Gatsby. Nick is also the cousin of Daisy Buchanan, the girl that Gatsby is in love with. Daisy lives in the East Egg of New York and, unbeknownst to her, across the bay from her is Gatsby's mansion. Gatsby plans to reunite with Daisy with the help of Nick, but rekindling a romance is never that easy, is it?
Nearly everyone in this stinkin' book is rich, corrupt, and careless. Except for Gatsby, who's just a tad different by being rich, corrupt, and a bit too idealistic for his own good. And Nick is none of the above, but then again he doesn't really have a mind of his own.
In case you couldn't tell, this book was a let-down. Not a big let-down, but enough of a disappointment for me to say I didn't like it. Don't get me wrong, the writing was nice and flowery for me. I thought Fitzgerald did a good job setting the mood for each scene. That last section of the book? Heart-wrenching. But once you realize that everyone in the book is annoyingly unrelatable, you almost don't want to keep reading. At that point, the glitz and glamour that makes this book charming loses that awe-inspiring feeling and just becomes. . . pretentious.
The reviews on Goodreads are all or nothing. Either it's the most amazing book ever or it's severely overrated. I'm in agreement with the latter. I should note that most of the reviewers who rated the book five stars were people who were reading the book for the second time, outside of a high school or college setting. One reviewer said they only truly loved the book for what it was once they read it as an adult with a clearer understanding of the corruption the higher classes tend to have. With that in mind, I really want to say that I just didn't get it. Maybe I should just try again, appreciate the flowery writing a bit more, forget how creepy Gatsby is because oh my gosh who just finds a crush from the past and literally moves in "across the street" from them? Maybe I have to pretend to go into it all blindly and ignore all the people praising it and setting me up for disappointment. Maybe I oughta identify myself as one of those artsy fartsy hopeless romantics that get offended by criticism of any part of the book.
But nah, I've decided it's too boring to even consider rereading it. I'll just watch the movie again, thank you. ★ ★ ★ 3 stars out of 5, haha whoops. And with my last review for today, have this mesmerizing gif of Leo. So welcoming. . .