books

5 QUICK BOOK REVIEWS

Hello, my dear readers!

Another week has gone on by, and in its place is a new weekend. Can you guys believe this is going to be the last weekend of September 2019? It’s a weird thought, but it’s kind of cool to think that October is just around the corner.

For today’s post I thought it would be interesting to share my thoughts on the last 5 books I’ve read. I did this on another post over the summer, which you can check out here. Since most of you guys are literary minded, why not share our book recommendations with each other? (Although I’m not going to be able to recommend every book on this list, I’m sorry.)

So, without further ado, let’s get to the list!


1. A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN by Virginia Woolf

This essay was originally published in 1929, but it reads as if it could be written today. Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own is a stinging feminist collection published from her time as a guest lecturer at Cambridge University in London, and to be honest it does seem like something I’d read in my creative writing classes.

The principle point Woolf makes is that female writers must have a room of their own in order to write well and make a life for themselves. In order to do this, she showcases the history of women in literature and extends it to the still-rigid era of her own works.

As a writer I appreciate Woolf’s sentiments, and I do think the essay is relevant even today. That being said, it’s not written to entertain you, as it’s a critique on society as a whole. Woolf’s arguments are valid, but it’s not an essay that is meant to make its audience feel warm and gooey inside.

Overall, I’d give it this score, out of a possible five: ◊◊◊.


2. THE NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS by Frederick Douglass

The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is a chilling tale that made me think, “How did this happen? How was this real life?” But that is the power of this autobiography from the freed slave and avid abolitionist Douglass, whose storytelling is passionate and uplifting as he describes the harsh reality of slavery. Douglass wrote his autobiography with the utmost care, and it shows throughout the narrative.

This book is not for the light-hearted. It asks its reader, even in the modern day, to consider the disgusting practice of slavery, in the Americas and elsewhere. It reminds us that just two hundred years ago, slavery was legal in my home county, the United States. But it also reminds us that so much has changed since the successful case for abolition, and that we must remember what happened so that it does not happen again.

Please read this book! It will make you appreciate everything you have in life.

Overall, I’d give it this score, out of a possible five: ◊◊◊◊.

 


3. 1984 by George Orwell

I know, I know, 1984 is a classic, and I’d never read it before, which makes me feel like a fool. 1984 is one of those books that a person must read. It’s got so much in it, and I feel cheated since I was never required to read and analyze this book in school.

While this novel is rather politically charged, I think its depiction of totalitarianism is necessary for one to consider when it comes to government reach. Though I don’t want to go too far down the rabbit hole (you can read the book if you’re interested), there is so much in this book to dissect and think for oneself. What happens when the government controls every aspect of our life, to the point that freedom of speech is so heavily monitored that dissent is impossible?

Well, 1984 forces its reader to think of the possibilities.

Overall, I’d give it this score, out of a possible five: ◊◊◊◊.


4. THE DOVER DEMON by Hunter Shea

While the previous novels were classics, let’s consider a book that was recently published by Hunter Shea, The Dover Demon. We’re shifting genres as well, and heading into the science fiction/horror realm.

The Dover Demon takes place in a small Massachusetts town called, rightfully, Dover. In the 1970s, Dover was hit by a conspiracy known as “The Dover Demon,” in which a creepy humanoid creature was discovered by a group of teenagers. Flash forward to the modern day, and The Dover Demon story remains. Except this time… There’s no playing around, and The Dover Demon makes an appearance.

While I think this plot could have been so incredibly interesting, Shea’s writing seemed rushed and confusing. The opening section of the book was strong, but it read completely different than the latter section of the novel, as there was a shift in scenery and pacing. Plus, the ending was so ridiculous that I sat the novel down and thought, “Okay. Shea must have been on a serious deadline from his editor, because there’s no way this is legit.” ;/

Whatever the case may be, the story had an interesting premise. The delivery falls flat.

Overall, I’d give it this score, out of a possible five: ◊◊.


5. A FIRE SPARKLING by Julianne MacLean

As a fan of romance novelist Julianne MacLean for years, I wondered how her latest novel, A Fire Sparkling, would turn out. She’s best known for her Color of Heaven series, but she smartly took a turn and published this standalone that is equal parts romance, World War II drama, and family saga.

A Fire Sparkling introduces us to Gillian, a career woman who has recently discovered her boyfriend has cheated on her. Despondent and dejected, she heads home and discovers that her grandmother was not who she said she is… And there’s quite the story that follows. This summary does this story no justice, but I ask you to read this book. Please, read this book.

It’s entertaining, it’s thoughtful, it’s clever, and it’s original. I don’t want to write too much, because I want you to be as surprised as I was. But please support Julianne, and read this book! Her hard work really paid off, and the novel reflects this.

Overall, I’d give it this score, out of a possible five: ◊◊◊◊◊.


THANK YOU!

All right, you guys! Thank you so much for reading this post, and I hope you got some good book ideas of what to read next. 🙂 If you have anything to share with me, leave a comment below, and I’ll definitely check out your recommendations. There’s nothing quite like reading a book, and I know you feel similarly, so do not hesitate to share!

Thank you guys, as always, for being so supportive! I hope you enjoy your weekends and make smart choices.

-Katie Kay.

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