Monday, July 21, 2008

Book reviews

Here are a few reviews of books I've read lately.

The Host, Stephenie Meyer

I really enjoyed this book. I admit I wasn't really excited to read it, but I was pleasantly suprised. I think that Meyer did a better job at making a cohesive book than she did with Eclipse (the 3rd book in the Twilight series).

I have two criticisms of the book. I hate how Wanderer (and Bella, if you really want to know) is always getting packed around by Jared and Ethan. I don't understand why Meyer always has her characters being physically carted off so often. It really bugs. I also disliked the person that Wanda became in the end. She was too Bella-y, shy, cute, smallish. I thought that the Melanie host was much more appealing because she wasn't cutesy. All of their reasons for picking her aside, I was dissapointed in who she became in the end. Yet again we have a character who everyone is always fauning over and wanting to protect. It makes me crazy.

Aside from these minor issues, I enjoyed the book. I thought that the way that humanity and what really makes us human was portrayed very well. I think that Meyer was able to bridge the gap of her personal morals and the book's well. I always wonder how I would write a book, when I come from the culture that I live in. They say they can only write what you know, and I think that Meyer has done well at writing a book that appeals to mainstream audiences without compromising her morals.

Outlander, by Gil Adamson

This book is like Cold Mountain, except the outlaw we are following is a woman. She is running from her freaky brothers-in-law, who are after her because she killed their brother, her husband. Most of the time, the woman is just called "the widow," but her name is Mary. The book follows her through her adventures in the mountains as she tries to outrun her pursuers. The book is set in Canada at the turn of the 20th century, so it's full of colorful characters, like miners and horse theives and other outlaws. Definitely a fast read, and written extremely well. The author has a background in poetry, so the details are vividly alive.

Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan

This book is set in the late 1940's in Mississippi. It is told from the multiple perspectives of 2 families who live on a cotton farm, one black, one white. The first scene shows two brothers preparing the grave of their recently deceased father. The setting is grim, all muddy and rainy and full of despair. In time you learn how the father died, and why the wife of the oldest brother was glad he was dead. It's a book that shows you the despondency caused by racism, and how events viewed from both sides of the story show the gaping holes in even good people's morals. The book gets brutal, but it is a good portrait of how prejudices remained even 80 years after the Civil War.


Britt said...

I had the same issues with The Host. Is Stephenie Meyer's secret fantasy to be carried around by overprotective men? And what's with her constant use of the phrase, "he pressed his lips together in a hard line?" The characters press their lips together in hard lines almost every paragraph. Is there no other facial expression in her imagination?

I haven't read either of the other books, so I can't lend my opinions to you on them just yet.

Amy Sorensen said...

LOL...I am giggling at Britt's response. I do have to say that when I read any of her books, I think I read mostly for's she doing what she is doing? More aware of the story being a creation rather than a novel, if that makes sense.

I'm happy, though: we have both of the other two books in the library!