I am very inconsistent at most things, and reading is no exception. I go a month or more without picking up a single book and then in the space of a week I buy out a book shop and establish the beginnings of a library in a pile on my floor. I had one of these bookworm weeks in January so I thought I’d share my thoughts on a couple of the books that I read.
For Christmas, I asked my mum for copies of Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451. I might review Brave New World at some point but right now it didn’t fit in with the orange-blue-orange photo scheme and I need to get this post written as quickly as possible so I can frantically begin getting ready for back to school tomorrow. It took me until mid-January to start reading Fahrenheit 451, but once I started I could not stop reading it. The plot is relatively simple, and the number of significant characters can be counted on one hand. This uncluttered plot allows for a real engagement with the protagonist, Guy Montag, as there isn’t the distraction of love triangles and unnecessary plot twists you get in some dystopian novels. Bradbury explores some really intricate topics such as censorship and whether it is better to live with ignorance or unhappiness, but the story remains a human one, not a cold novel focused solely on making a statement.
A book I picked up for myself after Fahrenheit 451 got me back into the swing of reading was The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. Apart from studying The Importance of Being Earnest at GCSE, I hadn’t read any of Wilde’s work and was keen to get stuck into a book by such a renowned writer. (It also helps that the book has really pretty coverart, look up Alma Classics, they all have ridiculously nice minimalist covers.) I struggled at first to get into the book because the language is just that little bit harder to wrap your head around when its from over 120 years ago. However, from a couple of chapters in I was completely invested in the character of Dorian Grey and kept turning the pages as he begins his decline into a hardened, sinful man. It was one of those books where I found myself wanting to scream at the characters, to warn Grey to stay away from Lord Henry and go back to the moral (and admittedly a little boring) Basil Hallward. The characters are great, the writing is great, the ending is great, what more could you ask for?
My most recent read was Day Four by Sarah Lotz. Whilst on holiday last summer (Oh how I miss you, sunshine and cocktails) I read The Three, and after finding about Day Four, the kind-of-not-quite-sequel, I decided to give it a read. Day Four was a weird mix of excitement, engagement, and disappointment. Lotz writes compelling characters and an amazingly intricate – and really quite dark – plot, only to throw it away with an ending that leaves you feeling confused and with a case of “Is that it?” For me, the ending isn’t the kind of not explaining things to maintain a sense of mystery, it’s the kind of not explaining things because the author hasn’t really figured out a way to explain them so they just throw a “The End” at it and call it a day. Don’t get me wrong, I really really liked this book, but that’s why it was just such a disappointment that the ending didn’t match the quality of the story.
So there you have it, a quick review of 3 books I’ve read at the start of this year. If you’d like me to do more book reviews then let me know, I never know what people are actually interested in hearing me blog about! I now have to try and gather all of the assorted stationary and homework that I need for back to school tomorrow, so that’s going to be a really relaxing way to spend my Sunday evening. Drink lots of water, moisturise (because anyone who doesn’t moisturise in winter ends up looking like a reptile), and read a good book. Take care of yourself x