Wednesday, April 16, 2014

[Reading the Classics] The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
Publication Year: 1925
Pages: 177

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My thoughts

The first (and second) time I read The Great Gatsby was for grade 11 English class (2009). It was one of the only books required for class that I actually read ahead of the deadline, and it was also one of the only ones that truly grabbed me and convinced me to love it. It was all so profound and felt somehow relevant to our times and just who I was as a person. I couldn't get enough of the story, the characters, the setting, the themes and ideas portrayed and explored by Fitzgerald, an author I've been itching to read more of since.

But in 2013, I dared to revisit this highly-revered modern classic: partly so that I'd be refreshed and ready to view the upcoming film adaptation (which I still have not watched!), but also because I was curious. Curious to see how I would react after a relatively significant amount of time had passed since my first reading it. It was like going to a reunion, a warm one, where everyone is the same as they were the last time you saw them, save for a few details here and there (that you may or may not notice).

Bottom line: I fell in love all over again.

Monday, April 14, 2014

[Review] Poppy (#1) by Mary Hooper

Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 08/05/2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 288
Source: Publisher for review
Genre: YA (12+) - Historical

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My Rating: 
Highly entertaining!
My thoughts

I had no idea that this book would have a sequel, but as I was nearing the end I knew there was no way there couldn't have been. May 2015, 'Poppy in the Field'. I know it's going to be an emotional and intense read.

Last week I received a package from Bloomsbury in the mail, containing two books: this was one of them. I hadn't heard anything about it, but 1) I adore good historical fiction; 2) Mary Hooper is quite a well-known staple of YA historical fiction; 3) This book focuses on WWI; 4) The heroine becomes a VAD nurse for the war effort, so I picked it up almost immediately and don't regret the decision one bit.

Poppy Pearson is a young woman working as a parlourmaid for the de Veres. The war rages on. While the older de Vere brother enlists to fight in the war, the younger, Freddie, only joins after being handed an anonymous white feather in the mail (which Poppy's teacher had encouraged her to send). It is also by her teacher's suggestion that she also partake in the war effort by joining the VAD as a nurse. She's good at taking orders and she is no stranger to hard work and long hours. Before Freddie and Poppy part, they share a few moments: a look, a kiss, a touch and squeeze of the hand; and despite their difference in social standing they exchange letters and agree to meet once again. But Mrs de Vere will not allow the two of them to end up together--her son must marry someone of higher class...


Friday, April 11, 2014

[Review] The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 01/01/2012
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 296
Source: Bought
Genre: Adult contemporary

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My Rating: 
Bittersweet
My thoughts

I was drawn to The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry because I'd read The One-Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (review), which also involved an elderly man walking... somewhere. I didn't really know what to expect when I started reading this book.

It wasn't long before I was hooked on the story, the characters and the meaning behind it. This is a very simple story. It's about an elderly man who pledges to walk from one end of England to the other because he believes that as long as he keeps walking the woman he let down 20 years ago will continue to live. She has cancer. All he knows is that he must get to her; he will not let her down again.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

[Review] The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy): 13/03/2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
Pages: 437
Source: Publisher for review
Genre: YA (14+) - High fantasy

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My Rating: 
Brilliantly written
My thoughts

Somehow, after knowing what happens in Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, revisiting Celaena BEFORE the salt mines of Endovier brought forth a whole new perspective and a newfound appreciation for Celaena's character AND Sarah J. Maas' writing and vision. I LOVED that I was given the chance to reread the novellas in a print paperback format. I believe the experience was somehow different and richer because of it.

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