Saturday, December 29, 2007

Into The Wild

A Bonus Review for the New Year

This book was a required read for school this year. Many of the books our school assigns for us to read are not that great, some were boring, others were just bad. This one is hard for me to fit into a category, but for your sake, I will try.

The author, Jon Krakauer, wrote with a style that is hard to follow. The whole book is out of order, and it can get very confusing; the reason our class had to keep a map and lists of people, places, and times. Some of the chapters don’t fit in at all; they are about other people, and other circumstances. These stories of other people were told to make similarities and differences between Chris McCandless and others who attempted similar things. These facts, though, are vital to our final view on Chris.

Chris McCandless was and extremist, it was not hard to tell. This Transcendentalist had some thoughts that were ‘way out there’, and did some crazy things (like canoeing in the ocean for a while, burning all his money, and ‘running away’, never to see his parents or sister again), but he had some good morals. He not only had morals, he stuck to them, no matter the cost or what people thought of him.

Personally, I found this book hard to read and follow, it was interesting, but, it does not fall onto my favorites list.

I am giving Into the Wild (207 pages) a 3.5/5

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Westing Game

At first, I was going to wait until next year to start this blog, and start all the fun that comes with it; but I just couldn't wait. I just finished The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin a week or two ago, and thought it was a perfect way to start my reviewing. So, here goes!
This novel was very intriguing, I hardly put it down at all once I began it upon recommendation of my cousins. Sixteen people, who are possible heirs of Samuel W. Westing, are called together one day for the reading of his very strange will. No one was guaranteed to win the $200 million, but they could, if they played the game right. After being put into eight teams of two, the game begins, and from the clues they are given they must figure out who took Samuel W. Westing's life from him. The plot is very interesting, one would never expect many of the things that occurred to happen, such as bombs, burglaries, and blizzards, but everything makes sense when the answers are revealed on the last few pages.
Overall, I believe my favorite character was Turtle. This 13 year-old girl was very smart, and the answers she gave to some of the clues were amazing. She had an older sister who was practically perfect and engaged to a plastic surgeon, a mother who does not seem to care about Turtles welfare, a father who has a very interesting role in the story, she made important friendships, and almost always wore braids. For the longest time I was sure I had figured out the whole book; but that is one thing I loved about Ellen Raskin's story; you cannot figure it all out until the very last chapter.
I am giving The Westing Game(285 pages) a 4/5.