The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Opinion: Being a sucker for sci-fi - especially sic-fi that includes magic - this book easily captivated and intrigued me. I liked the sense of mystery that was maintained throughout the story and the vivid imagery that instantly transported me. The world created felt very unique and magical with fantastical characters and events that really gave justice to the phrase "Circus of Dreams" and I had trouble putting the book down while I was at work. In short, it was wonderful and I loved it.
4.5 out of 5 hearts
Opinion: This is the most misleading title I have ever come across. I had avoided reading this book because it just sounds gross and creepy crawly and not like something that would be interesting to read about. Since this is such a famous book and I kept seeing references to it, I felt it was high time to read it. A title like 'The Island' or 'Assembly' or 'Savages' would at least have more to do with the premise of the story than a reference to one boy's hazy thoughts. Basically, the story is not about flies. I actually liked this book much more than I had anticipated. It was an interesting and thought-provoking look at human nature and I enjoyed reading the journey of these boys all alone on an island.
3.5 out of 5 hearts
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Opinion: This was a touching and poignant story that I enjoyed reading. There was no crazy excitement but it was an easy and cathartic read.
3.5 out of 5 hearts
The Bielksi Brothers: The true Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forrest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
Opinion - Absolutely unbelievable and incredible. An amazing story about a family who found a way to escape a cruel death by the Nazis and then tried to help other do the same by forming a community in the forests of Belarus and waging guerrilla warfare. While free from direct German cruelty that was being suffered int he Jewish ghettos, life as Partisans had its share of difficulties and the brothers faced many challenges. I thought it was astonishing to read about what was accomplished by the brothers and what issues they had to deal with. While we all know millions of innocent people were mercilessly murdered during this time, it was still shocking to read about war crimes witnessed by the brothers. To think human beings are capable of such acts of inhumanity is alarming and devastating. All in all, I though the book was incredibly fascinating and captivating and I think everyone in the world should read it. No joke.
5 out of 5 hearts
Opinion- I thought this story was lovely. There were many surprise elements that I enjoyed and even though there technically is no magic -- and I know this sounds super cheesy but I don't care -- it felt kind of magical. This was one of the sweetest stories I've ever read without being, or feeling like, a children's story.
4 out of 5 hearts
The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Opinion - I have no idea why this book is a classic. In my opinion, this story would have been great as an Edgar-Allen-Poe-Like short story but it was incredibly dull as an entire novel. There was so much minute irrelevant detail that was tedious to get through. Most of the novel is also written in ridiculous run-on sentences that contain several thoughts. This probably just has to do with the style of the 1850s but I personally did not appreciate it because by the time I got through the rambling between the sentence, I almost forgot how it started so had to look back before finishing the sentence. This would be a good book to read in preparation for a GRE or other standardized test of the sort because it had a lot of world that I had never heard of. Shout out to Google for helping me out on that account. Basically, this is a tedious book that was not good reading for fun. It was not fun.
1 out of 5 hearts