Oct 1st-Oct 3rd:
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Opinion - While I personally did not care for all the crude language and the general psychotic story, the mystery aspect of the book kept me engaged. Generally, I did not like it. Absolutely psychotic. Disturbing but you do want to know what happens. Couldn't help but admire the cleverness of the story but I got more and more frustrated at what happens. I also hated the ending and after reading the whole book I just said to myself 'Well, what was the freaking point of this whole book?!?'. However, I liked the ending of Mockingjay while others did not and there are plenty of people who did enjoy the book. I just don't get why and I am shocked that it is critically acclaimed and is even on some 'top 100 books to read' lists.
Side note: I watched the movie after reading the book and they did a good job staying true to the story. Some things had to be condensed due to time, off course, but all in all, the movie was just as disturbing and frustrating as the book was for me.
Recommend? NO. 2 out of 5 hearts
Oct 6th-Oct 7th:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
This coming-of-age story takes you in the mind of the shy and intelligent 15 year old Charlie during his freshman year of high school and his struggle to find a place to belong in the world. He is socially awkward and always tells the truth. After befriending two upper classmen, Sam and her stepbrother Patrick, Charlie tries to 'participate' more in life as recommended by one of his teachers instead of only being a wallflower. The story is told through letters Charlie is writing to an unknown person and explores Charlie's relationships with the people around him, his past and his hopes for the future.
Side note: I watched the movie after reading the book and they did a great job staying true to the story and they even took out the scene that disturbed me. Definitely worth watching.
Recommend? YES. 4.5 out of 5 hearts
Four by Veronica Roth
Very quick read. Interesting insight into Tobias' character. Nothing special but a fun read because it was part of the story you know from Tobias' perspective and cool to hear characters mentioned.
Recommend? If you read the Divergent series, yes. Otherwise this book will make no sense and it will seem dull. 3 out of 5 hearts
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Really profound and insightful. Taught me a lot about life in the Swat Valley in Pakistan before and after Taliban invasion. Also taught me a lot about Islam and how the Taliban is using the Quran against its own people and turning Islam into something it is not. Malala advocated for education because fighting ignorance is he best weapon against brainwashing the Taliban uses. It is both an eye-opening and inspiring book. Remarkable story.
Recommend? HELL YES. 5 out of 5 hearts
Oct 13th-Oct 18th:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Holy crap what a long ass book (1448 pages on iPad). Don't get why it is so famous because it was incredibly dull. It was way too descriptive at a lot of parts and it was very hard to get through. I get that the character development is really good and that you can learn from the behavior of each of the characters but it was very underwhelming. I am not interested in 1880s Russian High Society. I then watched 2of the movies movies (1996 and 2013). First movie changed more of the storyline than the second movie but the second movie tried to be too artsy by filming most of it on a stage as if it was being performed in a theatre. The second movie captured the feelings better than the first.
Recommend? NO. 1 Star
Oct 19th-Oct 21st:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
Great book. Very interesting because you really feel like you are in the mind of Christopher and come to learn about his unique reasoning skills, aptitude for mathematics and his aversion to social situations. It was an interesting and unique quick read.
Recommend? YES. 4.5 Stars
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Excellent book. Unlike anything I've read. Really interesting to see where Victoria takes her life and at the edge of my seat towards the end when she makes some big decisions. Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. It also made me interested in the meaning of flowers and gave me some perspective on the foster care system and the psychological effects on a child.
Recommend? YES. 4.75 stars
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Extremely great. Way better than I thought it would be. I don't know why this book is not more widely read because it is awesome. It is suspenseful the whole way through and is superbly written. There are also additional 'facts' about vampires that I had never heard about (and I was a huge Buffy fan growing up - huge). Fantastic read.
(because the writing style and language was impeccable).