Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Forgot How Much I Loved This Book

If you're wondering what book I'm talking about, that would be The Giver, by Lois Lowry.

It's been five years since I've read this book. I had to read it in my eighth grade Language Arts class, and as I recall, it was the first book I was ever assigned to read, that I actually read ahead. I remember sitting on the couch in the family room, reading the required chapters for homework, and the next thing I knew, I'd read about two or three more chapters than I was supposed to. I shrugged, and continued reading. It sure did give me an edge when we had to predict the ending and I'd finished it already.

So, The Giver. In a future where society has adapted into "Sameness," 11, soon to be 12-year-old Jonas is starting to see things differently. He's worried about what his assignment will be -- his job for the remainder of his life -- and is started to find out he will be the Receiver of Memories. It's an honored job, and it's rare to come by somebody who can take on that assignment. And through it, Jonas learns about a lot of things he, and the rest of his community, have never experienced... such as color, weather, pain, and love...

There are so many reasons why I like this book, and I think the biggest reason is it's simplicity, despite the complex story. There's a lot to the background, but it's never forced on the reader. It's explained as it's needed, as though the reader is living the same life as Jonas. While some facts may come as a surprise, they are revealed as though they shouldn't be.

I love the story. I love the overall idea and how it is done. I love how we can almost sympathize with the oppressing characters, while at the same time root for Jonas. Let me praise Lois Lowry for a job well done, especially when I can read a book a years later and still be shocked and surprised, and tear through the book in two days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Refreshing Book

I needed this. I needed to read this book after a series of disappointing reads that I couldn't even get through.

I passed on two or three books that I started, and just couldn't get interested in. I read through a few chapters, then posted them on my paperback swap account and shipped them off. Finally I pulled out a book on my bookshelf, more or less at random, and started reading, and the best way I can describe how it made me feel is refreshing.

I just finished reading Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. And then I watched it tonight on demand because I had nothing better to do. I've already read a book by the two of them, that I really liked, so I had high hopes for this book. And they were met.

We probably all know the premise. They're in a huge crowd, some sort of music club, and Nick and Norah cross paths, and he asks her to pretend to be his girlfriend for five minutes, so that he won't look quite so pathetic in front of his ex. Funny story, she knows his ex, and she doesn't like her.

So the two stick together for the night. Nick wants information on his ex-girlfriend, who he is still heartbroken over, and Norah is trying to give him a good time, while trying to figure out what direction to take her life on all different levels.

I like this book for many different reasons. It flows quickly. The point of view changed each chapter so I get to hear a different voice every few pages. There's music references that don't date the book. The characters are lively and hilarious, and I will admit to laughing out loud a few times.

If you haven't already, give this book a chance. It won't take long to get through, but it'll definitely entertain you.

And on a side note, I really kind of wish the band in this book, Where's Fluffy? was a real band, because the way the characters talk about it, and the way the band's image is designed, sound incredibly amazing, and should definitely exist outside of fiction.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Should Think of a Better Title

Things I should be doing:
  • posting more blog posts
  • reading more books
  • editing the manuscript I wrote over a year ago
  • writing the numerous ideas I've gotten since then
  • reading some blogs I've been neglecting
  • looking for a new job
  • winning the lottery
  • going for a run
  • saving my money
  • not plotting ways to go see X-Men: First Class again
  • researching about a thousand different things
That's been my life right now, in a nutshell, or not so much of a life if you'd prefer.
School is out and summer has begun. Except for those of us who work year-round jobs. Those of us who are lucky to get that week long vacation (which I just put in a request for, so now I have that to look forward to.)

But just because I don't have a three-month stretch of "nothing" doesn't mean I can't set goals for myself. So how about I turn that list around...

Things I will be doing:
  • blogging more regularly
  • making a dent in my To Be Read pile
  • editing the heck out of my manuscript into perfection
  • writing a dozen new things I'm proud of
  • getting myself back into the blogger-sphere
  • find a new job
  • win the lottery (I can dream, right?)
  • lose a few unnecessary pounds
  • raise the balance in my bank account
  • realize that twice is enough, and wait patiently for X-Men to come out on dvd
  • and know everything
(please ignore the exaggerations. That's what makes my list great.)