Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: The Book Thief… Markus Zusak…

This is a book i was a bit apprehensive about when i bought it. The premise is a great one, but i wasn’t sure how i would like it, hearing a story from Death himself.

thebookthief20171018i finished it. Actually, i looked forward to reading more about Death each time i opened the book. Death is such an interesting character in this story. Zusak has created a Death who is more human than many humans throughout history has shown themselves to be. And because of who Death is in this story, you believe it and are drawn into it that much more.

Of course, Liesel is the main character and i was wholly immersed into her world and her reality, which was a really harsh one, from beginning to end. i love how much books played a part in making her life more bearable; how they gave her strength and was a tool for her to reach the people around her.

Zusak has given a perspective of the Second World War which i think not many have stopped to consider before; certainly, i haven’t. He makes you so aware that no matter which side you are on in a war, there are innocent casualties on both sides; that life became hard for people on both sides, that children on both sides do suffer the most in conflict.

i’m not going to say anything about the storyline because i think it is a story worth discovering for yourself. i think it suffices to say that i was sad, i was horrified, i smiled a little, my heart stopped a couple of beats, my faith in humanity was at the same time destroyed and restored.

i hope and pray that we will never see war on such a scale ever again and i pray really hard that all the conflict currently afflicting our world will end somehow, as soon as possible. i pray for those who are currently affected by the horrors of war and i ask God to bring them peace in the midst of terrible circumstances.

syc

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Book Review: Shakespeare… by Bill Bryson…

i love Bill Bryson’s books! They are funny and insightful at the same time, always. His writing is so honest and humourous, i always have laugh-out-loud moments. i have read quite a number of them already but this is my first review of a Bill Bryson book.

i like my books and i like my classics and of course, i like Shakespeare. i will admit that if i had not studied Shakespeare at school, i would be a bit intimidated or at least i would find the language tiresome to read. But i did study Shakespeare at school and in some detail, so i have come to like the way Shakespeare writes and his myriad of characters.

51q2bgmu-mrl-_sx324_bo1204203200_In this book, Bryson tries to de-mystify the person who is Shakespeare. There have been many assumptions made about Shakespeare, mainly because he lived in a time when written records of persons were not well kept. There was no google or digital database where you could find lots on any one person.

Bryson writes in a matter-of-fact voice about a rather matter-of-fact subject; a famous man’s life, and yet, i still found myself smiling at various points in the book.

He lays it out quite clearly, and with some authority, about how life was during Shakespeare’s lifetime and how inaccurate things can be when passed down through word of mouth, and how, even eye-witness accounts, or what claims to be eye-witness accounts, can turn out to be untrue.

i have to say that after reading this book, my romanticised view of Shakespeare has been shuttered, but in a good way. Shakespeare wasn’t some rich boy who had all the resources in the world and could spend his days writing and not worrying about daily life. He was a man who had to work his way up to be recognised, and yes, he was fortunate that many things fell his way but still he did not have it easy and he had gotten himself into some measure of trouble in his day.

So if you would like to know more about Shakespeare the man, but don’t have time to wade through more high-brow works on the man, then pick up this book and have a fun time learning about Shakespeare, the theater and life during the 16th and 17th centuries.

syc

Book Review: The Truth About Celia Frost… by Paula Rawsthorne…

This is another one of those long-time-coming book reviews. i read this book many months ago and i have been putting off writing this review. Not because it is not a good book, but simply because i didn’t find the time to review it and i was feeling a bit unsure about writing a review for a book that’s really meant for middle graders. The question in my head was; should i review it from the POV of a middle grader or from the perspective of an adult or as a parent? i finally decided i will review it just as me, because i can’t be anyone else… silly, wasn’t i, to complicate things like that? Hahaha…

So on with the review.

514trybfppl-_sx325_bo1204203200_i like this book. i don’t say super like because it’s a good book, just not one i would re-read anytime soon, mainly because i am not the target audience.

Celia Frost is a young girl who has led a weird life so far. She has been told by her mother that she has this strange blood disorder which can be life threatening. Her mother tells that to all the schools she has been at but has never brought her to the doctors, as far as Celia can remember. She can’t do the things normal kids does because her mother won’t let her, telling her that if she got even a small cut, she could bleed to death. So it’s a lonely life for Celia.

Celia gets teased a lot about her disorder. And one day she decides to fight back against the school bully. In the struggle, she is cut. Then her mother packs them up immediately and moves away. They have moved often before, but never at such short notice. Celia says goodbye to the only friend she has, a little old lady who is their neighbour.

At their new place, which is some faceless complex of flats, Celia meets a boy, whose brothers are tough but protective, and whose mother is loving and warm; a family Celia always longed for. They start spending time together and Celia feels that she is finally living a little. Celia starts to question her mother’s strange behaviour and even her own disorder.

A private investigator is hired by a mysterious lady and Celia gets kidnapped. But he is a PI with a heart, even he didn’t know he had that, and Celia is rescued. Her mother finally tells the truth and it is more surprising than one would imagine.

This is a good first thriller mystery book for middle graders. The story is engaging and fast paced. The characters are familiar and easy to relate to. The language is at the right level for middle graders. i would recommend this for a keen reader who likes some mystery and tension in their stories.

syc