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review 2018-09-28 19:06
Some Really Bad Luck
A Series of Unfortunate Events 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket

Its bad enough to be orphaned after a tragic fire but to then be forced to live with a skimming distant.... and I mean distant relative makes it that much worse. For the Baudelaire children, this is the predicament they find themselves in. Will they be able to outsmart and survive their stay with Count Olaf?

 

Pro: 

 

  • I am in love with the Protagonist in this novel. Violet is a smart and creative young girl. She has the mind of an engineering mastermind. She can create anything and is not afraid to get dirty. Throughout the novel, she is in a constant state of imagining and wonder of how things work. Her younger brother, Klaus, is a researcher by heart and loves to read the most. He jumps at chances to learn and tries to solve problems through literature and knowledge. Both these characters are strong allies for children to connect with. 

 

  • Throughout the book, difficult words are used to describe certain situations or emotions the children face. Although this is not unique to use a vocabulary slightly higher than the reader's comprehension at the time the act of defining the words in a vocabulary the reader would understand it is. I appreciated the clarification given along with it embedded in the story. So as not to appear as a vocabulary word. This will help children build a vocabulary and how the word is used correctly. 

 

  • The book's narration is vivid and clear in the description. The surroundings and characters are depicted in a language children will understand and appreciate. 

 

Con:

 

  • I was not anticipating the book being so dark. At times I asked myself " what was I reading?"There are instances of child abuse, child bride, death and hints at other mature topics. I think this book would have to be either read with a parent or read by the parent beforehand. 

 

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review 2018-08-22 19:43
Simon Says Part 1
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - Becky Albertalli

What if you had a secret and it defined your whole being? What if someone was blackmailing you with that secret to get closer to a friend? What if you were in love with someone you have never met? What would you do to keep that relationship? 

 

So I have to admit I watched the movie first before reading the book. I know I know its a grave sin!! I should always read the book first. That's what I have always done because another wise I feel like I'm cheating. But I'm actually glad I did it reversed. This will be a two-part review, first the book then the movie in comparison. 

Simon, Simon, Simon....... I want to love him but I kinda don't. He's a little self-absorbed and superficial with his friends. The entire time he is all consumed with how things affect him and trying to hide that he is gay. Throughout the book, his emails and relationship with Blue mirror Simon's real-life relationships. In the fact that Simon really does not dig deeply into any relationships, his long relationships with his best friends are only surface deep and when someone wants to dig deeper (such as parents and sisters) he pushes them away. Blue's animosity reflects how Simon hides everything about himself and when the person he wants to get the closest too treats him how he treats people, he is forced to reflect on himself. Yet, his personality and attitude are how the adolescent stage is.  

Albertalli does a great job in constructing a society where secrets are kept. Simon's sisters, friends, classmates are all keeping secrets that don't necessarily have to be a secret. Just like Simon, they do not want the image of themselves to be altered because that means things will change. Albertalli captured the hardships of trying to project what society expects from us vs what we truly are. I loved that Albertalli did not censor Simon's language or actions to fit into a pleasant box. Simon cusses, drinks, do what his parents would probably not like him to do BUT he's a teenager! Leah.... I don't like her, I just don't. She's a little too angry for my tastes. I don't think Albertalli developed nor gave enough backstory to her. Nor to many characters outside Simon and Blue. 

I did appreciate the authenticity of the bullying in the school. Portraying coming out in a positive and negative light. It was the little jabs here and there that made the deepest wounds for Simon but at the same time, he saw people stand up for him even people he least expected. 

Quotes:

Nothing is worse than the secret humiliation of being insulted by proxy

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review 2015-06-21 09:22
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead Review
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - Tom Stoppard

This was one of those rare moments when I actually saw the movie before I read the book.  Only because at the time I didn't know it was original a book.  So when I stumbled across this book at the library, I finally picked up.  I couldn't have made a better decision.  The movie is one of my favorites, and now so is the book.  One of my favorite bits about the book is actually gives the scenes in Hamlet that correspond with certain parts. Since it had been a while since I'd read Hamlet it helpful to have a refresher on what was going on around Ros and Guil.  Sadly the book is pretty small, but so is the lifeline of both of these characters.  It was brilliant, hilarious, and of course a little upsetting because Ros and Guil are dead.

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