50BC Book Reviews #2

Greek’s cooler than English
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (****): Recently I decided to start reading the Harry Potter series since the movies were over and I don’t feel any pressure to read them. I’m one of those people who started reading the books but then saw the movies and never finished the series. I only made it through half of the Chamber of Secrets because I saw the movie and the spiders freaked me out so much that I didn’t want to finish the book. Well that was years ago and I’m glad I decided have another go at them. Surprisingly, (or unsurprisingly depending on your HP beliefs), I really enjoyed the first book. I felt like I was starting something pretty cool but enjoying it for what I wanted it to be and not what others expected (pretty deep for a book eh?). I really like the storyline, and although I know what will happen in general, I’m excited to see the differences between the movie and books and understand the whole Harry Potter world in a different way.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling (****): I really enjoyed this one as well – more than the first. As each of the events went by, I could picture the movies scenes in head. At times it bugs me that when you read a book and see a movie, the actor(s) become the face you visualize when you read. But in the case of Harry Potter, who is so iconic, I don’t mind and wouldn’t be able to picture anyone else anyways. The first book was more like an introduction to the wizard world and I felt like this book was a chance to get to explore the characters a little more and expanded on subplot that I’m sure will make an appearance later in the books. I’m excited to read the next one!
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley (****): This book was actually recommended to me by Little Orange Jeep Girl awhile ago and I finally got around to reading it. And I am very glad I did. The basic story line follows a girl with a large port-wine stain on her face and some of her difficulties with family and friends. But it is actually much deeper than just a story about beauty. The family aspect of her life, with her controlling and abusive father and her compliant mother is very intriguing. But one of my favourite parts is the romantic aspect between the main character and a boy she meets haphazardly. It is truly a captivating book that brings many surprises as well as thought provoking questions and thoughts.
The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs (***1/2): I was quite pleased with this book. It was my first time reading one of Jacobs books, although I have heard about his other two books The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically. The book consists of experiments that Jacobs performs in different aspects of his life, usually for a month at the time. For example, in one chapter he outsources his entire to India, including everything from arguing with his wife to emailing his boss. It is a very amusing and funny book that I read pretty quickly. I’m anxious to read his others.

Nobody Move by Denis Johnson (**): Oh God, I hated that book. I only finished it out of pure dedication. I don’t even know how to describe it. *throw my hands up in frustration* I bought it for three reasons: 1) it cost 2 bucks (I was born cheap), 2) the outer cover had bullet holes and big font, 3) the cover said National Book Award winner. Boy was I disappointed to learn that it was not this book, but another one of the author’s, that had won the award. -_- And this happened to be the book he wrote in a different style. My dislike is deep, in case you have not noticed. It is an organized crime sorta book, but on a small scale. Some things that I didn’t like were: the “scenes” (the proper literary term escapes me) – they were choppy; the plot was hard to follow at times; there were hardly any transitions from one paragraph to another; there were no chapters, just four sections; I could go on really, but I think you get the point. It got two stars because the plot concept was decent enough.

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