Tuesday, June 26, 2012

2012 reading: Catch-up (Part 4)

In an effort to catch up on my reading for this year, I'm posting short reviews of all the books I've read so far.

Title and author: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling
Source: Personal library
Rating: 10 out of 10

What can I say about this book besides I love this whole series? It had been a good decade since I first read this, though I watch the movie at least once a year. There's so much I forgot about this book that pops up later in the series. I now remember why this series became an international phenomenon: great characters, writing that's simple yet challenging to kids and a rich world that allows the reader to dive right in.
Title and author: O Pioneers! - Willa Cather
Source: Kindle
Rating: 9 out of 10

While I didn't like this novel as much as My Antonia (seems to be a pattern with me this year), I can see why this is considered an American classic. Cather obviously had a love for the prairies on which she was raised and for the hardy people who settled those areas. I loved Alexandra as a character, not only because she was a strong female protagonist who lived contrary to the social norms, but also because she seemed like she would have been a great person to know. Thinking that a character would make a great BFF is, to me, the hallmark of a well-written protagonist.

Title and author: Awakened - P.C. and Kristin Cast
Source: Library
Rating: 2 out of 10

I don't know why I've kept reading this series as long as I have. I wasn't too fond of the previous novel in this series for a lot of the same reasons: The characters are awful and stereotypical, the language is too contrived and the plot just doesn't really move along. I guess I figured, I'd invested in seven previous books, so why not try to finish things out and see what happens? Yeah. Not my brightest idea. Do yourself a favor and just skip this series altogether.

Title and author: The Gunslinger: The Dark Tower I - Stephen King
Source: Kindle
Rating: 9 out of 10

Would you believe this is my first Stephen King? I know, right? This is a great book, and I'm excited to see how the series develops over the rest of the parts. I think Roland is a great character based on a great poem, and a lot of the lore that King builds into his fantasy world is spot-on. Sure, there were times I got a little lost (Kind of happens trying to read this over a nursing baby's head), but I thought that it was a great accomplishment that King could make a world so bleak and deserted so rich with description and mystery.


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