The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
***** A.G. 2018
I loved this book because, even though it is a brutal book, it helps me personally to see a culture I otherwise never would have seen. Yes, the book is full of brutality, sorrow, mourning, and depressing content, but throughout the journey of Amir, I saw a message of hope and loyalty. There’s always hope, even in the most brutal, sad, or depressing times, there’s always hope. Yes, there are scenes in the book, like the torture of Hassan by Assef by being loyal to Amir and retrieving the kite, or the “fight” between Assef and Amir so Amir could repay his debt to Hassan by finding Sohrab and taking him to a good home, or when Sohrab tries to kill himself at the thought of going back to an orphanage after saving the life of Amir, but throughout that there is still hope. Hassan leaves and ends up getting married. Amir is saved by the young Sohrab with his slingshot. Sohrab doesn’t die, doesn’t end up going to an orphanage, and he ends up getting adopted into a loving family by Amir and his wife, Soraya. This message of hope and loyalty is evident throughout the book.
**** C.H. 2018
I also liked this book. I agree that this did help me personally see the Afghanistan culture through a different lense than i had previously before. But the story line of the novel was just to sad for me to give it a 5 star. I audio booked the story, and the rape scene actually made me turn it off at one point. That was a tough scene to listen too, however it was essential to the story because it set up Amir's attitude and mindset for the remainder of the novel because he was motivated to redeem himself after not helping Hassan. At first Amir seemed like he was running away from his guilt, he chose to ignore and be rude to Hassan which in turn made him feel worse. Then his move to America Physically moved him away, and as he grew in age, so did his guilt. When Rahim Khan called him back home, he chose to head back and was told of Hassan's death and how he was actually his step brother. This took his guilt to a Whole new level. So when Khan asked if he would bring back Sohrab (Hassan's son, and his nephew), he pounced at the idea to make things right. This novel is a tale of redemption. it is set up in the beginning and portrayed in the end. I would recommend this book, permitting that you can deal with many sad turns of events. All in all Good story, Very sad.
***** A.C. 2018
I really enjoyed this book, I think I would give it 5 stars. Not only was it an extremely compelling story, it was also very eye opening. I had no idea about the turmoil in Afghanistan other than it was just generally not a good place to live. Having the plight of the Afghani people represented in the characters of Laila and Mariam and their family (except for Rasheed, because he is literally the worst person ever.) really made me view the problems in Afghanistan as something happening to real people with names and families. I honestly didn't expect that I would enjoy the book at all, so when I got drawn in to the story so completely it was very surprising. Mariam was my favorite character because of the sacrifices she was willing to make for her family. When she turned herself into the Taliban it was pretty heartbreaking for me, but the book did a good job of showing the hope she had fulfilled through Laila and her children. Overall I was very wrong about the way I first thought about this book and I am glad I read it.
***** E.P. 2018
I really appreciated how the author took me to Afghanistan and walked us though the daily lives of the people and especially women who live there. It felt real. I also liked the way it flowed between the Miriam and Laila, two really put into perspective how people there can end up in the same place whether they are rich or poor. But along with this idea, I appreciated the emphasis in Laila's life on education. She was always pushed to continue learning and working hard even when times were tough. This shows us a lot about how we should conduct ourselves and how we should support each other in education.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
**** H.L. 2017
The Modern Prometheus was probably one of the most impactful books I have read this year. This was due mainly because of the vast amount of different life lessons and themes one can take away from the book. When analyzing Victors character and his monsters, you can notice both share a similar trait: their intellect. But the biggest difference, is their appearance. This made me realize that we as a society judge appearance before anything else - even Frankenstein, who values intellect more than anything, judged the appearance of his own creation rather and gave it no chance, even after knowing how smart the monster had become. I also took away the fact that the monsters entire upbringing was in nature, and had learned an innocent life that way. He was helpful, respectful, and had no greed - until he came in contact with humans. He learned that in order to get what he wants - which was a companion - he had to be greedy, get revenge, and murder. The writing was also entertaining enough to the point where i was interested all the way through, unlike other books i have read written in this time period. Overall, i think the modern prometheus should be read by those looking for an entertaining yet smart book that can one can learn a lot from, definitely recommended.
* J.D. 2017
Mary Shelly's Frankenstein, is by far one of the worst books I have ever read in my entire life. It is my recommendation as an avid reader, who can go through a five hundred page book in a twelve hour period, that anyone who enjoys life and doesn't desire to gain homicidal tendencies not read this book.There are several key issues i have with it but let's stick to the basics. The main character, Victor Frankenstein, has terrible judgement. So, the beginning of the book is all about how Victor wants to create life. You know, basically play God. If he wanted to "create life" why didn't he just make a baby? I know that sounds crude, but dude, really? Anyway, he was so obsessed with this little pet project of his that he almost killed himself by never taking breaks or eating. Because that's the kind of person the world wants to father a monster. Oh, but let's not forget my favorite act of judgement, or lack there of. When Victor is completing the resurrection of the monster (who we will call Charlie) he didn't think to strap down the monster that he purposefully designed to be bigger, stronger, better. That's some outside the box thinking right there. On top of that, after Victor realizes that he's an idiot for orchestrating the "catastrophe" that produced a "wretch" he runs out of the room claiming he was "unable to endure the aspect of the being I had created". Wow. That was a great Idea. Not. Oooh! I just made a monster that's super confused as to what it is and what's the difference between right and wrong. I'm going to run away like a wimp. Brilliant. Just brilliant. Moving on, Charlie, the monster, must have inherited his judgement from dear old Victor. I understand watching "the cottagers" and even helping them from time to time but what did he expect was going to happen when the protective Felix came back and saw a giant, ugly looking humanoid clutching his blind defenseless father? Come on, use your brain. Then, of course, the next logical action is to make another humanoid that will be just as hated as him and pray that all the hormones and attitudes that make women wild and commanding and every other mood on the planet will somehow be lost in the creation process. Oh and that she doesn't have a mind of her own. Genius. I could go on but I want to finish this review before I die of old age so I'll stop here.
A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen
**** P.H. 2018
I gave this book 4 stars although I did not particularly enjoy this book. The reason I dislike this book is because I have a hard time relating to Nora. I can not understand how she was able to walk away from everything her life has ever been including her husband, house, and hardest of all, her kids. The reason I gave this book such a high review is because Ibsen developed all of the characters in the book in such an amazing way, that it feels like I could be placed in the book and watch the characters handle their problems. Nora was the big question and the focus of the story and was by far the most developed character. The reader can see her go from a women who listens to everything she is told to a character who has her own mindset and can act upon her thoughts. Her historic crime of forgery comes back to haunt her and leaves the reader gasping as Torvald makes his way to the mailbox and is stopped several times. Beware of a little revenge....
** M.C. 2018
Ibsen writes brilliantly and he ultimately succeeded in undermining the status quo and stirring up the society of his time, but this book didn't connect with me at all. While I'm in no place to be a critic of an established author and playwright, I must say that Ibsen's flaw is that the Doll House doesn not have a protagonist that I could root for. There isn't a character in the story that I felt connected with, or could wish them success and the best. The one who came the closest was Christine who seems to be a level-headed mediator, but even she seems meddlesome at times. It was hard to keep reading when I was repulsed by the their superficial and surface-level perspective of the world. I get that Ibsen was trying to illuminate societal inequalities and bring some issues out from under the rug, but it would have been so much better if he had thrown in a sensible character in the mix of chaotic idiots.
The play "A Doll's House," by Henrik Ibsen portrays to the reader the picture-perfect image of a respectable family in the late 1800s. The wife dotes on the husband and children and the husband supports the family (and has even recently achieved a promotion at his job). However, beneath the "picture-perfect" veneer, it soon becomes apparent that the family isn't so flawless after all. The wife, Nora, has committed an egregious crime. Unbeknownst to her husband, Nora has taken out a loan- and forged her late father's signature to get it. Ibsen takes this time to highlight the gender incongruities of this time period, by featuring the illegality of women taking out loans on their own accord. As the play continues, the reader is on the edge of their seat as Nora navigates the return of her childhood friend, Christine, her bitter lender, Krogstad, and her unsuspecting husband, Torvald. Despite being thought of as incompetent in many respects due to her gender, Nora proves herself adept in the field of manipulation in order to sustain her family's reputation. Unfortunately, it all falls apart as Krogstad's jealousy of Torvald's promotion leads him to blackmail, eventually reaching the climax of the play as he sends a letter of Nora's actions to her husband. As Krogstad and Christine reunite, Nora and Torvald's marriage disintegrates, and Nora realizes she has lived her whole life as a doll-person; pretty to look at, but that is the extent of her worth. She decides her best option is to abandon her family and go find herself. This is a decision not many would be able to make, leaving the reader to question the extent of society's influence in their own lives, and what they would be willing to do to rid themselves of it.
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