A list of books I read in the month of February:
1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Awesome book. Awesome writing. I had been meaning to read this book ever since I saw the movie. I know I should have read the book first, blah blah blah. But I was actually waiting for the hype to die down so I could appreciate the reading better and not let it (the hype, the movie, the fans) influence me. And yes! It was GOOD… I loved it. I always knew I wanted to pick up another dystopian novel after I read George Orwells’ 1984. And that was … a good 5 years ago, probably.
Anyway! The Hunger Games is a nice fast read. I liked the author’s voice. I am very particular about the pace and tone of the books I read. And this one was just perfect. I have already ordered the rest of the series from my favorite online bookstore, thebookdepository.com, and I cannot wait!
2. The Dark Lord of Derkholm by Diana Wynne Jones
I have actually read another of Dianna Wynne Jones’ book, Howl’s Moving Castle, and absolutely loved that one. Including the movie adaptation by Hayao Miyazaki. It’s one of my favorite films, ever! SO, I was extremely disappointed to find this novel sadly lacking in the author’s previous awesomeness I loved in Howl’s. Frankly, it’s messy writing. I couldn’t keep up with the characters at any point in the story. There were just too many! I am not a fan of too many characters in a book. Which was why I couldn’t really get into the George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones. Except, of course, in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, which was just epic.
The plot was not convincing. I couldn’t care less what happened in the end. And again, too many characters too track of. I was scratching my head the whole time trying to remember who was who. It kind of got in the way of the main story. Not that the main story had much to go on itself. I don’t know. I found it hard to finish.
3. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
This is going to be one of the very, VERY few times I will say that the movie was better than the book. NOT that I didn’t love this book! It was a pretty fast read for me too. And I think I’m really getting to have a taste for dystopian worlds. And this one was a zombie story! I do not like zombies. It was a surprise for me then that I liked both the book and the movie!
Characters. Cool. A zombie and a normal girl. Story. Awesome. Unusual point of view. Weird humor here and there. Not as funny as the movie, but I guess it’s kind of on the same level. Recommended read!
4. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman
Another disappointing read. And I was looking forward to this one quite a bit after a series of good reviews on Youtube and Goodreads. It was supposed to be “explosive” and all that. The first few pages really intrigued me. Flipping through a couple of chapters before buying a book is like the sales pitch for me. That’s why I picked this up. Turns out, after that first few pages, there’s really not much to the story at all. There’s not a lot going on aside from constant bickering and trudging in forests.
Everything was so predictable for me, even up until the end when they figure out what the planet was all about. The writing, the plot, the characters, they didn’t work for me at all.
5. Tokyo on Foot: Travels in the City’s Most Colorful Neighborhoods by Florent Chavouet
The author, Florent Chavouet, travels to Tokyo with his girlfriend who is studying there for a few months. Every single day he walks/bikes around, finds a spot and just sketches. Anything he can find. A house. A cockroach. People. His breakfast. The result is 206 colorful pages of interesting life in Tokyo from the point of view of an “outsider.” Inspiring.
6. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
I have been meaning to read this book for the longest time! I’m so glad I finally bought a copy. This is actually a collection of stories told by Dr. Calvin, a pioneer in robot technology and psychology. Each story deals with a different aspect concerning robots and humans and how the evolution of these human inventions affect their creators, emotionally, socially, psychologically, etc … I like that it makes you think. Such an interesting read. I’m looking forward to reading more of Asimov’s robot novels.
7. The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsyth
Who knew a book about the definitions of rhetorical devices such as alliteration, synaesthesia, diacope, syllepsis, assonance, could be so entertaining? I love how the author managed to teach a possibly boring subject with humor.
8. The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
The idea is very intriguing. A modern fantasy take on a classic fairy tale. I loved the sci-fi aspect to it. A lot of awesome concepts. A lot of awesome ideas. The cards were cool, how they could fold outward and transform into these droid-like soldiers. And the looking glass transporters, I liked that. I was also taken by the story itself. Very interesting. The world-building was also done quite nicely. Not that I’m saying I didn’t like the book…
BUT, I think the writing could have done with a little bit more tweaking. I don’t know. I hated the “love story” going on with the main characters. I couldn’t find it believable to have a couple of 10-year-olds with that much feeling towards each other, after being separated for 15 years. Nobody falls in love at that age. I think it would have worked better for them to have been best friends and then, after meeting again 15 years later, to slowly fall in love towards the 2nd or 3rd book. I wouldn’t have minded something like that. However! I’m still interested enough to pick up the 2nd book.