Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs is a novel I had heard a lot about through the grapevine. I always like to check out books that are getting a lot of fuss because I want to find out what it’s all about.
In short, this novel was a disappointment. With it’s cast of children with special talents and it’s just-odd-enough matriarch, you would assume the story would practically write itself, but I found the novel boring and slow. How can you make a book about time travel and super powers dull?! It did not hold my interest and I found myself hoping for the novels end so I could pick up something else. Too dull – not recommended.
Insurgent is book two in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Divergent, but it was alright. I’m actually kind of surprised at the popularity of this series, as I haven’t been in love with either of the first two novels.
We continue on our journey with Tris Pryor, a divergent young woman who is grappling with the war that has broken out and killed her parents and friends. After venturing to Amity headquarters for refuge and finding none, Tris, Tobias (Four), Caleb, and Susan venture into the unknown and run upon a band of factionless people run by Tobias’ mother Evelyn (previously assumed to be dead). Evelyn is head strong and bent on controlling the city, just in a different way than it is being controlled at the time. The group seems to flee from group to group in search of protection, until the Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews threatens to kill off one person every two days until a divergent member is given over to her.
Tris sacrifices herself, unbeknownest to the group, and ends up being utilized as another pawn of Jeanine Matthews in her drive for city domination. After a few scuffles with the Erudite, Tris is sentenced to death. She escapes by the skin of her teeth and ends up leading an uprising to take over the Erudite headquarters.
Am I giving away too much with my summary? Either way, I’m trying not to give away too much, but we learn a lot about the world Tris lives in through this novel. There are some story developments that are interesting, but overall, I find that Tris is not as strong as she constantly tries to remind us (the readers) she is. I hate to say it, but I’m just not impressed by the writing style or story. I give this book a MEH. Read it if you must.
Can you believe that I never read The Witches by Roald Dahl as a child?! I really missed out, you guys! What a fun and crazy novel! I don’t know what else I expected from Roald Dahl… he’s always so creative in his stories.
The Witches is the story of a young boy who moves in with his Norwegian grandmother when his parents die in a car crash. His grandmother warns him of the danger of modern witches and their secret lives among the rest of us. After several run-ins with witches, the young boy finds himself face to face with the Grand High Witch.
This story is magic and fun and just the right amount of scary. The great part about Roald Dahl is that he’s so honest to children. He’s real with them about things that we, as adults, find hard to communicate to children. I loved it. Everyone should read this novel at least once in their lives.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon is about an Autistic boy named Christopher whose mother recently left his father and ran away with the neighbor’s husband. When the neighbor’s poodle ends up dead on the front lawn, Christopher takes it upon himself to be the neighborhood Sherlock Holmes and solve the mystery.
The story is less about Christopher’s autism and more about a child’s view of right and wrong. Christopher believes his mother is in the “hospital”. He insists on visiting her and his father tells him she is dead. Christopher is heartbroken and focuses all of his efforts on his crime solving novel regarding the neighbor’s poodle. He is told repeatedly to let go of the mystery of the dog’s death, but Christopher simply cannot sleep with a killer on the loose.
Christopher is enraged when he finds stacks of letters from his mother hidden under his father’s bed. All of the letters are to Christopher, telling him she’s alright and living with Mr. Shears (the neighbor’s husband). He confronts his father, who also owns up to the murder of the dog. Christopher is in a rage and runs away from home. He travels by train all alone to visit his mother and ends up sitting outside her house all day awaiting her arrival.
His mother returns and is so happy to see him! She cannot believe that Christopher’s father told him she was dead. Christopher is afraid of his father and ends up moving into an apartment with just his mother. His father is granted daily visits, but Christopher remains afraid of him.
The novel ends with Christopher’s father bringing him his very own puppy and allowing him to name it. He promises to work on mending his relationship with Christopher, no matter how long it takes.
I thought the story was interesting and new. There were slow parts where I definitely considered stopping, but I’m glad I finished the novel. The parents are trying to raise Christopher well despite their own relationship problems, but I really just did not like either of the parents. I think Christopher is the only character with his morals in the right place. Interesting novel, though not what I would call fun. Worth reading, but not a favorite!
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards was not what I was expecting. What’s the opposite of blown away? That’s what I was with this novel…
It’s the story of a man whose wife has twins, one of whom has down syndrome. He decides to give away his special needs daughter to an orphanage, but his nurse is taken with the child and adopts her as her own. As someone who dearly loves a young woman with special needs, I thought this story would be heartwarming and sweet.
It was just boring. Is that awful to say? I’m so surprised that it was a #1 NYTimes Bestseller. The story was far too slow for my liking and I just found myself disappointed. Not a recommended read.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi is a young adult novel about a teenage girl whose touch is lethal. After accidentally murdering a young boy, Juliette finds herself in an asylum and that is fine by her. Juliette just wants to be left alone. Left alone she doesn’t harm anyone; left alone she can control her powers.
It may be a lonely life, but Juliette is happy knowing she is contained. UNTIL the prison puts another prisoner in her room. It is only a matter of time before she accidentally touches and harms the young man in the room with her. She recognizes the teenager immediately as a former school mate named Adam who was always kind to her. He doesn’t seem to recognize her and that is all the better for her. The less people who know how damaged she really is, the better.
And then everything falls away as Adam is revealed to be a soldier for an enemy militia. A militia with a leader, Warner, hell bent on using Juliette’s extreme powers to further his evil motives. Juliette will do anything to escape without harming anyone else.
The story was alright. It was different. I found the constant slashes through text unnecessary, but an interesting device from the writer. Not interested in continuing the series, although it wasn’t half bad. Two out of five stars for originality, content not engaging enough.