Wednesday, 30 October 2013

GINS Post 2

Hello! This is my second official GINS post. Below you will find a link to my groups recording of our very first round table. I hope you enjoy, and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

GINS Post 1

For my G.I.N.S, I chose the novel The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The novel I chose regards many pressing issues, but I have found that the main ones are human equality and discrimination.
Originally, I had chosen a novel that was on the list of options our teachers had supplied for this project. However, during the break, I had thought about the project and suddenly remembered a book my mom had told me about a few years back. I then asked her about it and deepened my understanding of the novel, discovering that it clearly related to a global issue and met all of the criteria for the project. My mother has always loved books and after hearing that it was most defiantly one of her favourite reads, I couldn't help but be drawn to it.

Discrimination and human equality are both major issues that are evident in our everyday lives. They come in all different shapes and sizes. I have not only learned or heard about them in school, but also in the real world. Many current events in the news and subjects of movies I have seen regard these two issues. I know that racial and cultural discrimination, which is mostly focused on in the novel, can be very crucial.

My goodness, I have so many questions. Thus far, the author has done a brilliant job of ending chapters with a perfect touch of foreshadowing and suspense, leaving readers, like me, hungry for more. I would like to know more about the background story of Amir's father, Baba, and what his wife, whom is Amir's mother, was like before she died. I would like to know where Hassan's mother is right now, and if she will ever return. Does she feel guilty for abandoning him and Ali? Does she ever wonder what her son is like? Or how he smiles or laughs or the way his eyes light up when Amir reads him stories? I would like to know what happens when "Afghanistan changes forever", and how Amir and Hassan's lives will change, as well? How does Amir end up living in San Francisco? Does Hassan stay with him over the years? I would even like to know the smallest of details, as well, such as if they will win the kite-running competition? And what is so significant about it that the author decided it to title the book after it?

One thing I absolutely adore about the novel thus far is the characters. Many characters have been introduced and delved into. We have met the two main characters, Amir and Hassan, and their fathers, Baba and Ali. Rahim Kan has been introduced as Baba's business partner and a fatherly-like figure to Amir when Baba isn't present. The author has briefly introduced us to Hassan's mother, whom left shortly after giving birth to him to run away with a group of singers and dancers, and Amir's mother, who sadly passed during his birth. We've also met Assef, the blonde-haired blue-eyed tormenter, and his two followers. These have been the major characters that have been introduced, and I am sure many more are about to come. Each and every one of these characters are vividly unique and add their own little spice to the story.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Litspiration Challenge

For the first litspiration challenge of grade nine, I decided to create a playlist for the character Elena Gilbert in the 1990 series, The Vampire Diaries. Enjoy!

1. This Gift – Glen Hansard

 After mourning over the recent loss of her parents, Elena has found the light in the darkness, and is keeping her head held high. She has a touch so soft and delicate, but she has a core as strong as rock. Here is a direct quotation from the novel, where Stefan expresses his thoughts on Elana. I chose this song for Elana’s playlist because it clearly reflects the positive way she views life. Unlike many characters in the novel such as Stefan and Damon, Elena looks at life as if it is a gift. She believes in making the most out of it, for before she knows it, all her time will have slipped through her fingers like sand, and it will all be over.


 2. Addicted To Love – (cover) Florence + The machine

 When Elena first meets Stefan, something changes within her. Her every thought revolved around him. If her life was one never-ending storm, he was a hurricane. She knew that she wanted him; in the second chapter of the novel, she says: “She’d have him, even if it killed her. If it killed both of them, she’d have him.” (Smith, p.022). After their love finally kindles, Elena finds herself addicted, in a way. She’s not only addicted to him, but to the way he makes her; the love. Before she met Stefan, Elena was always that girl who “didn’t care”. She wrapped people around her finger and played with boys’ feelings as if she didn’t have a single care in the world. I found that these specific lyrics from the song really relate to this point: “Whoa, you like to think/That you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah/It's closer to the truth/To say you can't get enough/You know you're gonna have to face it/You're addicted to love”. Another quote from the novel that clearly exemplifies her love is in the eigth chapter, when it says: “Elena felt Stefan`s lips meet hers. And... it was as simple as that. All questions answered, all fears put to rest, all doubts removed. What she felt was not merely passion, but a bruising tenderness and a love so strong it made her shake inside. It would have been frightening in its intensity, except that while she was with him, she could not be afraid of anything. (Smith, p.095)


 3. Oh No! – Marinna and the Diamonds

Throughout her life, Elena has always been the beautiful, prominent, and undeniably desired girl. She is notorious, flamboyant and hard as rock. She has always been good at hiding her feelings and even she is upset, she is able to appear as cool as ice on the surface. She knows what she wants, and she gets it, no matter what the consequences. In the song, it says: “I know exactly what I want and who I want to be/I know exactly why I walk and talk like a machine”. Other people look up to Elena as if she is a goddess. In this specific quotation from the novel, it is Stefan’s thoughts toward her: “Elena... For a moment he felt a rush of pure joy and awe, forgetting everything else. Elena, warm as sunlight, soft as morning, but with a core of steel that could not be broken. She was like fire burning in ice, like the keen edge of a silver dagger.” (Smith, p. 107)


 4. Name – Goo Goo Dolls

 Elena and her younger sister Margaret lost both their mother and father in a tragic car accident when they were younger. At the time, Margaret was too young to understand what happened, and she still doesn’t quite understand any of it. Ever since then, Elena has had to be strong and fight through the pain so she can be there for her little sister. I believe that the song “Name”, by the incredibly and timeless back Goo Goo Dolls, relates to their situation perfectly. In the second stanza, the lyrics read: “And now we’re grown up orphans/And never knew their names/We don’t belong to no one/That’s a shame/But you could hide beside me/Maybe for a while”. This tidbit of lyrics relates to Elena and Margaret’s situation because it is saying how they have no one anymore but another (aside from their aunt, of course) and how Elena will always be there for Margaret and shield her from the pain.


 5. Still Into you – Paramore

Elena and Stefan’s love is full of hardships and misfortune, but through it all, their love has been able to persevere and make it through. This part of lyrics from the song really connects to this aspect of their relationship, in my opinion: “It’s not a walk in the park/To love each other/But when our fingers interlock,/Can’t deny, can’t deny, you’re worth it/’Cause after all this time I’m still into you”. There has been so many opportunities for them to give up on their love, but they never did.


 6. Why Can’t I? – Liz Phair No matter how much she loves Stefan, Elena’s feelings for his older brother, Damon, always find a way of creeping back up on her. They are feelings that she doesn’t and never will understand, leaving her lying awake at night, restless, asking herself “why?”. I found that the chorus of the song “Why Can’t I?” fits her circumstances with Damon perfectly; “Why can’t I breathe whenever I think about you?/Why can’t I speak whenever I talk about you?”. From the first minute she met him she was undeniably attracted to him in a way she had never been with anyone before. It was so different from the way she felt about Stefan. No matter how much she hated how she felt that way, she couldn’t help him. Although a big part of her despises him and what he does, those feelings will always be there. On page 164, the whole page is when her attraction towards Damon becomes dangerously extreme for the first time. At the end of the quotation, which is far too large for me to include, Elena thinks: “...I was about to let him kiss me! But that wasn't the worst thing. For those few minutes, something unbelievable happened. For those few minutes, she had forgotten Stefan.”


7. Lovers in a Dangerous Time – Barenaked ladies (cover)

Just like the song title, Elena and Stefan are lovers in a dangerous time. In a way, it is a forbidden love; the young teenage girl with a bright future ahead of her and the brooding vampire who can ruin everything for her in a single moment of mania. In a world where every single thing around them is screaming that their love is wrong, they don’t care. In the last stanza, the lyrics weave into their situation utterly: “When you're lovers in a dangerous time/Sometimes you're made to feel as if your love's a crime/Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight/Got to kick at the darkness 'til it bleeds daylight/When you're lovers in a dangerous time”. In this morsel of lyrics, the darkness could signify what Stefan is, a vampire, as well as how it could simply represent their infortune.


8. Crave you – Flight Facilities

 “Why can’t you want me like the other boys do?/They stare at me while I crave you”. When Elena first met Stefan, he seemed undeniably uninterested in her, which was most defiantly a rare occasion for teenage beauty queen Elena Gilbert herself. This specific quotation is from the beginning of the novel, not long after she meets Stefan and witnesses the odd way he acts around her. “She was interested in the guy because he made her feel nervous? Not a very good reason, Elena, she told herself. In fact, a very bad reason.” (Smith, p 37)

Monday, 30 September 2013

The Whale Story ( Analysis )

With only reading the first few chapters of the novel The Whale Story, the author did a wonderful job of beginning the novel, painting a vivid image and really getting me interested. Quite frankly, I wouldn't mind taking a trip to Chapters and buying the novel for myself. Already, the novel is rich with description. Tardif did a wonderful job of spending the perfect amount of time delving into the background and analyzing the main characters. The theme was still developing, but thus far I believe it is opening the door of change and welcoming it, no matter how hesitant you were about it previously. All in all, I quite enjoyed reading the begging of Tardi's piece.

The Sea Devil ( Analysis )

A story over-flowing with descriptive writing, an assortment of metaphors and similes, and depth meanings and messages. "The Sea Devil" is rich of suspense and action, which is basically the tone and theme of the piece. As the story unfolded and finally came to a close, I found that the theme was dropping into the shoes of the prey and feeling the fear they go through while being hunted.  The story had a bumpy story board, which means there were many peaks of action throughout. To me, the climax lasted very long. This was because the whole middle section of the story was packed with action.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Summer, summer, summer!

As some of you may know, I've started school already! For my first blog post of the year, I will telling you about what I read over the summer and what i am currently reading.

Unfortunately, I was unable to read any novels over the summer. Between friends and vacationing, I just couldn't find the time. The only thing I did have time for was studying for my learner's license. So that is pretty much what took up all of my time regarding reading. As of now, I have time! Thank goodness. At the moment I am reading the phenomenally written tear jerker, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I'm only a little ways in, and I've already fallen in love. The characters are fantastic, the writing is flawless and the metaphors are absolutely brilliant. I cannot wait to read more and see the plot unfold!

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Individual Post 8

In this post I will compare and contrast the protagonist of the film Gatteca to the protagonist in the book The House of the Scorpion. In Gatteca we are introduced to Vincent, a young man that was brought into the world the 'wrong way' with imperfect genetics that fulfils the identity of a perfect being named Jerrome. In the House of the Scorpion, the protagonist is a young boy named Matt, whom is the clone of powerful drug lord El Patron. In both of the stories the boys are faced with hardships and obstacles of being different from those around them. They are mistreated for many years of their lives and finally, through a series of plot twists and events, they learn that they are not as different and inferior to others as they were brainwashed to believe. Also, both Matt and Vincent have a very strong friendship with a wise and loyal being. Vincent's being Jerrome, and Matt's being Tam Lin. These two characters both end up committing suicide in the end, as well! Even after their deaths, they still impacted the lives of the protagonists greatly and ensure they have a bright, stable future ahead of them. I found this a very strong connection. *Spoiler alert* Another connection between the two characters is that in the end they both get what they wanted and rightfully deserved all along. All ends happily. Matt becomes the leader of Opium and becomes human, and Vincent travels to space, fulfilling his life long dream. Both stories had that type of feel good ending that leaves you sighing with relief.

Below is the link to the official movie trailer of Gatteca, and the cover of the movie! And you can find the book cover for The House of the Scorpion in my very first individual post.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Individual Post 7

Theme, theme, theme, and theme.. Where can I possibly begin? My group found if very difficult to decide upon one short and concise theme statement for this novel. We discussed things from equality to beliefs to social status, and finally concluded on one specific topic; morality. After deciding this, we pieced together a sentence and came up with our official theme statement. Our theme is the difference's of morality and it's influences. Throughout the novel we are introduced to unique characters and their even more unique moral beliefs. The differences of morality play a very large part of shaping the storyline of the book, without a doubt. To support our theme statement, we found quotes from the novel  as evidence. Below you will find the quotes (underneath all of them is the authors last name and page number).

“I love you," Matt said.
I love you, too," Maria replied. "I know that's a sin, and I'll probably go to hell for it."
If I have a soul, I'll go with you," promised Matt.
(Farmer, 222)

“No one can tell the difference between a clone and a human. That's because there isn't any difference. The idea of clones being inferior is a filthy lie.”
(Farmer, 245)

““Saint Francis would take a dog to church,” Maria said in a clear, high voice. Where had she come from? Matt turned to find her right behind him. She was even more beautiful close up. “Saint Francis took a wolf to church,” she said, “He loved all animals.” “Maria,” groaned Emilia, who wasn’t far behind. “Dada will have a fit when he finds out what you’re doing””
(Farmer 154)

““Father decided implants were immoral,” said Mr. Alacran, “And I honoured his decision.” A sudden intake of breath around the table told Matt that Mr. Alacran had said something dangerous. “He’s deeply religious. He thinks God put him on earth for a certain number of years and that he mustn’t ask for more.” El Patron stared at Mr. Alacran for a long moment. “I’ll overlook your rudeness,” he said at last.”
(Farmer 106)

“Give things . . .  away?” he cried in the voice of a man one hundred years younger. “Give things away? I can’t believe I heard that! What have they been teaching you!”
(Farmer, 184)

“Was it wrong to blow twenty men to smithereens? El Patron wouldn’t have worried one second over it. Tam Lin had tried to blow up the English prime minister, but he’d killed twenty children instead.
Murder is wrong, Brother Wolf, said a voice in Matt’s mind. He sighed. “
(Farmer, 312)

“...Only you must promise me that once you’re in control, you’ll destroy the opium empire and tear down the barrier that has kept Aztlan and the United States apart for so long.”
(Further down the page)
He (Matt) guessed that Esperanza cared less about her daughters than her desire to destroy Opium.
(On the next page)
He (Matt) understood the full extent of it now. It wasn’t only the drug addicts throughout the world or the illegals doomed to slavery. It was their orphaned children responsible for the Keepers.
“I promise,” he (Matt) said.
(Farmer, 367-368)

"You aren't evil, only [...]"

"Only what?"

"You don't have a soul, so you can't be baptized. All animals are like that." 
"What Matt hated about the creature was everyone´s assumption that he and Furball were the same.  It didn’t matter that Matt had excellent grades and good manners. They were both animals and thus unimportant."
(Farmer, 85).

“Listen to me,” said Celia. “El Patron had ruled his empire for one hundred years. All that time he was adding to his dragon hoard, and he wanted to be buried with it. Unfortunately”- Celia stopped and wiped her eyes- “Unfortunately, the dragon hoard included people.” 
(Farmer, 375-376)

Individual post 6

In this post I will be discussing the real world issues that connect to the novel. If there was one thing that was clearly evident throughout The House of the Scorpion, it is real world connections. There have been many connections to the real world within the novel so far, three of the more major connections that have been mentioned a variety of times being forced / arranged marriages, isolation, and boarder jumping.
In the novel, two arranged marriages have been planned between the Mendoza and Alacran family. Emilia and Steven, and Tom and Maria. These cases are very evident in our society today as well as in the society of Opium. They are planned for many reasons; culture, gain of wealth or financial security, full family support and many more. Although arranged marriages are much more common and looked at as a norm by societies in the Middle East, and in parts of Africa and Asia, they also occur in our society here in North America. In some cases, arranged / forced marriages can be a form of oppression for women. This is another connection from real life to the novel.
Opium is very isolated from the outside world in terms of the majority of their moral beliefs and society. Throughout most of the novel, which takes place in Opium, Matt is brainwashed to believe that it is morally wrong to be a clone and that they are to be treated lesser than humans and that turning people into eeijits is acceptable if one "deserved" it. It isn't until later in the novel when Matt is in Aztlan and the orphanage that he discovers that the opinions and beliefs of the outside world are very, very different. Matt realizes that El Patron has been dictating Opium, brainwashing his people's morals and playing death through his innocent clones and surgery. Dictatorship happens in countries all around the world and in all different forms. It is a very serious issue that causes many problems in places like Pakistan and India. Later this year we will be learning about the Japan and their isolation, and I am very curious to see if the isolation of Opium is similar to Japan's in any way!
Towards the second half of the novel we learn that the people of Aztlan and the United States illegally jump the boarder between the two places, hoping to find their "dream life". In reality, boarder-jumping is also illegal, but just like in the novel, it still happens. In 2002, 134 illegal migrants lost their lives while crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. As well as in the novel, there is patrol team that's job is to protect the border. In the book they are called "the Farm Patrol", whom are described as hostile men 
riding horses and in real life they are called "the Boarder Patrol".  
As I stated earlier, these are just a few of the real world applications. Thank you for reading :) 

Friday, 3 May 2013

Individual Post 5

I will be focusing on narrative structure in this post. Farmer has included many little peaks of climax throughout the novel. Right from the beginning there has been jaw dropping and nail biting excitement at the turn of every page. As the plot unwinds, the action rises and falls, but I believe it can all be considered as rising action. Excluding the first chapter when Matt has not even been born and the second chapter that introduces his peaceful and non eventful life in Celia's small house in the poppy fields, which is the exposition. From this point further, the action of the novel takes a giant leap as you engulf into the confusion and terror of Matt's situation. I believe that Farmer chose this approach of writing to keep her readers interested when having such a complex and unique plot line. Although there has been some peaks of climax as I mentioned earlier, I don't believe the highest point in climax has been reached yet. There is still quite a large fragment of the novel remaining and with the plot twists that have occurred at ever turn of a page thus far, anything can happen. And when I say anything, I honestly mean it.
Something else that I found very intriguing was how Farmer decided to align the novel by Matt's ages. This was a very diverse and clever way to approach the novel that I have never seen before in any of the novels I've previously read. Although I must admit before reading the novel I was uncertain if this was the best choice for a fiction book, but after reading I learned that it was completely necessary. The exact age of Matt is very abstract throughout the novel, for it is not righteous for clones to celebrate and keep track of age as humans do, and having these categories helped me grasp a better understanding of how old he was. I was very curious when I found that the fifth and final part of the novel is not an age span, but a Spanish phrase. My curiosity of this led me to searching up the meaning of it, and I came to found that it means "New life". This phrase could mean so many different things and I'm very litspired to discover what it means to Matt's life and future.. if he even has one.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Individual Post 4

In this post I will be discussing characterization thus far in the novel. We have read over half of the book now, and there has been lots of characterization. Unlike my other posts, I will be writing this one in point form and go into detail with some of the more major characters.

Matt - From the beginning, Matt has been the protagonist of the story. We follow him on his journey of growing up. We learn about his quiet life in the house in the poppy fields under Celia's cautious, loving gaze that, in less than an instant, changed forever. We watch him grow as a character, not only physically but mentally. Farmer allows readers to see the side of Matt that is shielded from the rest of the characters. We see the brilliant minded, calm and collected, big-hearted young clone while everyone else in the novel sees him as a wild, filthy 'beast'. Excluding a select few characters of course.

Maria - Throughout the novel Maria has a played a big role. Since she is so close to Matt as a friend and possibly something more, we continuously learn more about her. So far, we have learned about her family, hometown, the diverse and insightful way she sees the world, and so much more. We even know the little things about her, like how she cries too much and how fond she is of her miniature dog, Furball. Maria is a round character without a doubt. Maria, with her big and caring heart, is a character that everyone is sure to love.

Celia - Although Matt was brought up in a cow, Celia is and will always be a mother-like figure to him. For a large bit of the novel, Celia was a flat character. That is until chapter 14 when we learn Celia's story. We lean that Celia is forever devoted to Matt and her love for him is unbreakable ever since El Patron saved her from becoming an eejit. Some people may consider Celia as a stalk character; the over-protective yet undeniably loving parental guardian of the protagonist, but I find her a character all of her own. Farmer has foreshadowed some mysterious plans and schemes Celia is brewing up. I guess I will have to continue reading to find out. Although she may seem fairly round, I can't help but think there is a mysterious side to Celia we haven't seen yet.

Tam Lin - I have to admit that when Tam Lin was first introduced, I though he was going to be a static and flat character that would simply act as Matt's mean ol' bodyguard, but he is so much more than that. As the plot unfolds, we meet the loyal, protective and surprisingly wise bodyguard from Scotland. It wasn't until later in chapter 17 that we learn about Tam Lin's dark past, making him even rounder of a character. Tam Lin may have never been educated, but he knows more than schools could ever teach him. He has a friendship with Matt that nothing else could compare to, and he understands him in a way that no one else could.

Thank you for reading :) Stay tuned, for more posts will be coming soon.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Individual Post 3

Hey there :) This is my third individual post regarding the novel study I am currently doing, which is on the novel The House of the Scorpion written by Nancy Farmer. This post will be focusing on setting.
Thus far in the novel, the exact time and place has not been stated. To me, Nancy Farmer has provided a sort of abstract idea of the setting. Although I have noticed many intentional hints regarding the setting. It has been said many times throughout the novel, that the setting of the house in the poppy fields, the big house, the oasis and other destinations in the novel, have taken place somewhere near both Mexico and the United States. I have made an inference that it is in the stretch of the land between the two. At one part in the novel, when El Patron and Matt are introduced for the first time, El Patron tells Matt many stories of his youth in Aztlan, which is a place that was once called Mexico. He also states that he was from a place called Durango, a beautiful place Matt imagines having dusty cornfields and purple mountains. There was also another location mentioned in the novel; Scotland. This is where both of El Patron's towering body guards, Tam Lin and Daft Donald, are from, and El Patron himself has mentioned traveling there before.
While the location of the novel has been specified fairly well, the time of the novel has not been at all. However, there have only been petite hints regarding the time. The author has included hobbies and pastimes from our present day society such as colouring and crossword puzzles, as I mentioned in my previous post, that hints that the novel is not futuristic, while there is also cloning and very advanced technology and one-eyed fish that say otherwise. In my last post, I made an inference that it may take place in an alternate universe. If this is correct, then this alternate universe must have Mexico and Scotland and the United States, which doesn't seem literate. So that idea is pretty much invalid as far as common sense goes.
I believe that leaving the setting a mystery so far is an author choice that Nancy made for a reason. Perhaps she will not include the exact destination and time of the novel at all. Perhaps she wants her readers to have more room for imagination to paint the portrait of the setting themselves. But who knows? I guess I will have to keep reading and discover this myself.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Individual Post 2

Hi! This is my second individual post regarding my recently started novel study. Thus far, I have read the opening to the book. So much has happened already! Most characters are already round, the setting has been beautifully described, and so much more. One thing I found very intriguing was how the time of the novel is very unpredictable at this point in the novel. Throughout the first and second chapters, the author, Nancy Farmer, hinted at little snippets of activities and hobbies from our present day society such as cross word puzzles and colouring books, although cloning is happening in the society within the book, which most certainly does not take place in ours and I assume it will not anytime soon. At this point, I can also inference that the novel takes place in a parallel universe or world. But the setting of the novel is in-between Mexico and the United States. Unless this other universe has both of those locations, I can assume that inference is invalid. So in order to find the answer to this question I guess I'll just have to keep reading.
Another point in the novel that spiked my interest was how differently young Maria (human), who is the same age as Matt (clone), saw him and understood him in such a drastically different way than adults and older children did. This made me wonder if at the end of the novel, the people of this society will learn to see and understand the population of clones through the innocent eyes of a child. In this society, could children be more logical than adults? I personally believe that this would be an amazing way to end the novel.
I also noticed that the theme of the novel has not yet been established or even remotely hinted at, in my opinion at least. Thus far, the novel can turn in any direction regarding what is going to happen next. It's no unpredictable! I love it! I'm very excited to discover the theme, and once I do, I will let all of you know how I perceived it.
These were just some major things within the novel that really got me thinking, I'm sure there will be many more. If you have any questions regarding the novel or this post, just leave a comment and I'll try my best to get back to you as soon as possible. Stay tuned :)

Individual Post 1

Hi! We will be doing a novel study on the novel "The House of the Scorpion" by Nancy Farmer. As a group, we will create a blog and make posts and complete litspiration challenges to demonstrate our understanding of the novel and its literary elements and to express our litspiration for reading! Instead of posting book reviews and vlogs, from now o I will be focusing on this novel, instead.

I'm very excited for this new approach at litspiration, and I hope all of you guys are too. I'm very nervous about sharing a blog with a group of people. I'm so used to having this one all to myself. I'm sure there is going to be some disagreements. But I think my group will find a way to get through it. Stay tuned :)

Ps. Sorry this post is late, I wrote this entry on pen and paper due to having no laptop all of last week. And this is the first day I have a spare, so I could only post it now :)

Below is an image of the cover of the novel

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Responding Book Review 2 ( ~ Someone like you by Sarah Dessen )

This was without a doubt a very well written book review for Someone Like You by Sarah Dessan, although I did have my own personal disagreements and thoughts towards the novel. Quinn’s book review was clearly thought out and included some of the major key factors from the novel. At one point in the review she says, “The theme of this book is how to deal with growing up. Halley has to deal with a lot of grown up things and she is having difficulty with this new challenge because she is still a teenager.” I disagree with this statement. I found that the theme of this novel was coming of age and discovering who you are in a world full of obstacles and disputes. Although I do partially agree that growing up plays a part throughout the novel and really helps it unfold. To me, growing up was the minor backbone of the novel. A statement she says that I completely agree with is, “I think that everything in this book is great advice to any teenager on the verge of being an adult.” I agree with this point entirely. I, as well as Quinn, came across little hidden snippets of advice Dessen was hinting on to readers throughout the novel. This is definitely a novel in which you really take something personal from and hold with you after finish reading it.
            Someone like you is a beautifully written coming of age novel. It was overflowing with vivid characters. One character that was the “diamond in the rough” to me,
personally, was Macon Faulkner. To me, Macon was endlessly evolving throughout the novel. He was most definitely a dynamic character, and this is something Quinn had not included in either of her paragraphs. I found that all of the characters in the novel were very easy to connect to and this led to me. I often found myself dropping into their shoes and walking around in their world. Another key aspect to the novel that she did not write about was setting. Most of the novel took place in the neighborhood of Halley and Scarlett, and at their public high school. Some other places that were briefly spoken of included “Sister Camp”, the house of Ginny Tabor and Milton’s Market. Each of these locations were vividly described and played a very large part in the novel. Although this was an all-around good novel, I did have some dislikes. During several bits and pieces throughout the novel, I found Dessen’s writing to be a bit childish and raw. I think this could possibly be because I have read some more harder-to-read novels in the past and therefore I’ve grown used to that style of writing. With this being said, I would recommend this novel to twelve to fifteen year olds who like an easy, girly read. But all in all, I would say that my peer Quinn did a good job of analyzing and reviewing the novel.