American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Basic Summary (this is a personal summary and may contain spoilery elements): This is the story of a man who goes on an trek across the country after he is released from jail. He discovers a hidden world that he never imagined to exist and becomes apart of the world.
My opinion: First off, this book contains a lot of magical realism which is an element that i greatly enjoy in literature. Especially the way Gaiman does it, it’s flawless and never over top but always engaging enough to really push the point home of the magic that’s happening. The main character, shadow is pretty quit and doesn’t offer a lot of his own personal opinions on things and is more of a figure for the reader to really experience the journey, Gaiman also explores a lot of America that know one knows about and really brings it to life. a lot of this novel talks about the different people of the past who have “discovered” american and talks a lot about how people can be fickle and don’t realize their influence over the world. It was cool to see how the author incorporated the different gods and how they came to be stuck in america. i also loved that there was a sort of mystery happening in the background so the reader knows basically what’s going on but at the same you have no idea.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
General Summary (this is a personal summary so may contain unintentional spoilery elements): The journey of a young man throughout his life but the way he experiences it is simultaneously. He jumps from WWII to an alien planet to a suburban life.
My thoughts and opinion: Let me start off by saying that Vonnegut tells a story like no one else and he skips around a lot but doesn’t make it difficult for the read to follow along with the most important ideas and elements of the story. Last fall i read The Sirens of Titan and i think it would beneficial to read that book before you read Slaughterhouse-five because there are some elements in the former book that may help to grasp the concept of the latter but you can still get by. I usually don’t like WWII books because they tend to be about the same sort of themes and subjects but this book doesn’t really focus on WWII but more on humanity as a whole. It’s dark without being overbearing and it’s humorous but not in a inappropriate way. It’s like real life humor, if that makes sense? It’s difficult to sort of describe exactly what Vonnegut is trying to portray in this story but that’s what i like so much about his writing. He’s teaching you a lesson but you never quite no what you’re learning. The writing itself is pretty easy to get through but i found myself constantly stopping and thinking about things not only in the context of the story but also the context of my own life. I really identify with this book because the main character sees his life all at once and not just as a linear sort of progression. I have a very strange perception of time and after reading this book i realized why. What i also really like about Vonnegut is that he isn’t super descriptive about environments or buildings but he does go into details about people but not in such a way that you know their hair color but that you understand their personality. I would say this book is mostly about human perception of time and out interactions with one another.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
General Summary (this is a personal summary so may contain things you may consider spoilery):
Dystopia future America in which the government has implemented a serious of violent, to-the-death series of games in which contestants are chose from the ages of 12-17. This is the first book in the series in which we follow two tributes from their homes in the 12th district to violent and devastating world of the games in the 1st district.
My Overall Opinion:
Ok first blog here we go. So the first hunger games book was recommended to me by my mom, she told me that it was a really quick read because it was obviously intended for the young adult/teen crowd. i was not expecting it to be so gripping i literally read this one in one day, i almost skipped class just so i could finish it. I knew about the premise of the story because i had read some fanfiction that was loosely based on it but other than that i didn’t know what it was about. First i love love love Katniss Everdeen, i think she is an amazing female character because she doesn’t play into any “female” role. she isn’t the love sick puppy like Bella Swan of Twilight but neither is she the butch tomboy that so many non-girly girls get pushed into (i don’t have a literary example for this one but just watch any Michelle Rodriguez movie). I like that katniss takes care of her family not by cleaning house or prostitution or being the town bitch, but she uses her natural instincts and the skills her father taught her and goes out and hunts. What i think really makes this story successful is the inner monologue from the first person perspective which you don’t get a lot. but what Collins manages to do is to give the reader insight into all the characters without too much of katniss’s bias and yet we still see her side. Once the action begins it’s hard to pinpoint individual things that really caught my eye but i think the fast pace of the story is something that kept me interested. the fact that everyone was so apathetic to their plight was pretty accurate to how people respond to government mandates, especially into today’s society among the youth. overall i felt like this was a real wake up call to open my eyes and look at what’s going on around me and whether or not i’m willing to fight for it. oh and peeta! how i love peeta and his baker’s hands! lol. seriously though i loved all their interaction and at the same time hated it because of the whole reasoning for katniss, survival, but i can’t blame her she did what she had to do (and what she thought she had to do). for me the violence wasn’t that intense but i’ve been watching gory/violent movies since i was a little girl so i’m pretty desensitized to that kind of stuff. plus i love dystopia books so i was all for it.