The Catcher in the Rye | Review


My highschool required reading was minimal compared to the classics that seem to be universally read throughout other schools. I’ve never picked up nineteen eighty-four, never glanced at Catch-22, or even considered The Catcher in the Rye. I’d picked up some things about the book before going into, such as Holden being a bit of a whiny character who dislikes phonies. My expectations were founded by I didn’t find Holden to be as annoying as so many people seem to think he is.

Holden is a unique character, who is desperately and destructively trying to linger in the innocence of his youth. Whilst he is interested in learning at school, he can’t bring himself to invest his mind because that would be pushing himself further into the adult world that is full of people that are true to themselves like children are. He finds these people that are grown up and enshrined in dull rituals of etiquette repulsive because they are the catalyst of lost innocence.

The plot is largely non-existent as it focuses on Holden experiencing New York at this transitory time in his life. He isn’t quite a child or an adult, so his place in this city is undefined and shaky. There is a strong contrast between scenes where he is violent unfit for the adult scenery (such as the scene where he has a conflict with a prostitute) and scenes where is acknowledged as belonging. He may be a compulsive liar but he is not a bad person. I see this clear as day when he was talking with the nuns who are a model of virtue and charity. He can’t help but proffer himself to them and provide charity and company because this is a form of company that is more aligned with his being.

This book is interesting because of how Holden is this physical representation of philosophical difficulties of adolescence. Definitely a fascinating character study and I can see its merit in a classroom.

4 out of 5 stars


Trio of Reviews | Necrotech, Where Am I Now?, Gone with the Wind

Maybe one day I will be able to keep up with reviews on my blog, but I have not yet reached that time in my life. I’ve decided to lump together three recent reads for me that have taken up most of the second half of December. I’ve enjoyed all of these books, which makes them wonderful to end the year on.

Necrotech by K.C. Alexander31128541

Action packed and super fast paced. Set in a post-apocalyptic city that is run by mega corporations that keep track of everyone through SIN (Security Identification Number). Though some get off the grid by becoming saints who are SINless.

Riko is one unsaintlike saint who wakes up with without her memories and a lot of people to hurt to find why. She is a kickass mercenary with metaphorical balls of steel.

In this world, there is incorporated tech – tech which is incorporated into flesh. At birth, when SIN is incorporated, so is nanotech and they help with healing. If they get overloaded by either exertion or too much incorporated tech, then the tech will take over and control the body. This is called necrotech because essentially the body is dead but the tech fuels the body to kill. Therefore we get electronic powered zombies. This concept is so flipping cool and was so much fun.

This book does diversity right. Main character is bisexual and disabled (missing arm), plus the side characters are Indian, and these characters are incorporated without their traits being plot points. Really enjoyed that.

Overall, this book was epic. Cyberpunk adventure time with zombies and intrigue. I’m hooked.

4 out of 5 stars

Where Am I Now? – Mara Wilson29429875

Mara Wilson is an interesting person who has been off my radar since Matilda and Mrs Doubtfire. This memoirs describes the times in-between and I have to say that she has become a truly inspiring person. Some parts of her book really resonated with me. In particular the part about her realising she has OCD as well as the part about high school choir. I loved the chapter about the Matilda-Whore Complex where she discusses trying to become her own person outside of her “cute” reputation as Matilda and how this point of her life was a turning point for her own individuality. I think that I could connect with this transition in her life despite the child acting career. I think we all go through transitory periods where we go through who we think we should be in the eyes of others, and Mara discussing working up the courage to embrace herself was really beautiful. I listened to this as an audiobook and hearing her tell her stories was a wonderful experience.

4 out of 5 stars

Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell237241

After years of being nagged by my mum to read this hefty tome so that she watch the movie with me, I finally picked it up, and surprisingly, I couldn’t put it down. I was utterly captivated by Scarlett. I can’t remember the last time I admired a character so much. She was so interesting and masterfully crafted. She was so stubbornly and unfailingly herself that it was wonderful to witness time and time again through the plot. She was such a strong character and I adored her.

Not only was Scarlett amazing, but every character was fully fleshed out and made real for me. Melanie felt like a close friend, Ashley an abandoned teddy that you wanted to hug and never let go. And Rhett. He was a treasured character. The right amount of perfect for this spanning tale of love, loss and war.

I hadn’t realised going in that it was going to have such a heavy focus on the war and the politics of the time, and really it was ridiculously interesting since I know nothing of the American Civil War. It was thrilling to read. After Scarlett and Melanie’s retreat back to Tara, the book almost had a post-apocalyptic feel to it, because their entire lives had been irreversibly changed. I love seeing well-developed characters react and adapt to completely new lifestyles. It was such a fun ride to watch them all grow.

4 out of 5 stars

The Vampire Lestat | Review


Catchwords – Irresitable Vampires, Pre-Revolutionary Parisian Theatre, Beautiful Male Relationships, Vampiric Historical Fiction, Meaning of Beauty

Immediately upon beginning this sequel, I began to recollect how much I fell in love with Interview with the Vampire. Just like it’s precursor, The Vampire Lestat is beautifully written and full of emotions and original characters. I found myself lingering over certain lines or passages of the book that resonated a sense of literary brilliance in me. I truly enjoyed every moment of this book and wished I had picked it up sooner.

One of my favourite things about vampiric tales is how fantasy and historical fiction are melded together so that they are neither one or the other, but something totally unique. Anne Rice’s vampire lore is definitely one of my favourites and this tome doles out quite a lot of history and background to the underworld she has created. I found the stories within stories to be a truly fluid and magnificent conduit of her vampire lore. Hearing Armand’s and Marius’s tales from themselves was magical.

Lestat. The Vampire Lestat. He was wondrous in the first instalment of The Vampire Chronicles, and continues to shine as a multi-faceted and intriguing character. I fell in love with his relationships to others such as Nicholas (oh sweet child) and their “conversation”, Armand and the Theatre of the Vampires, as well as Gabrielle. It was awesome to see Lestat’s mortal beginnings and I love that the story started so normally and ended up going so many interesting places.

The Paris of Lestat’s mortal life was vivid and alive on the pages. I could see Nicholas and him going about their lives in this pre-revolutionary city.

The theme of beauty was strewn all throughout and was articulated with such brilliance. You could see Rice musing on the purpose and existence of beauty and life through her characters who were masterfully created to ponder this unanswerable queries. I also enjoyed the contemplation of humanity’s need for gods, relative to a universal and uniting purpose. When the story is told over so many differing time periods when faith in higher powers was commonplace and attached to the identity of humanity, it was interesting to see characters contemplate changing temperatures in belief and how this would affect humanity and vampires alike.

I adore these books and the stories found within. I am enamoured and can’t wait to pick up the next one.

Rating – 5/5 stars

This Savage Song | Review


Catchwords – Created Monsters, Mob-Controlled Dystopian, No Forced Romance, Powerful Music, Unlikely Friends, On the Run

A Romeo and Juliet plotline WITHOUT romance?!?!

I have to say that it was actually quite pleasant that the two main characters weren’t forced together in that way. It made the story way more cohesive and fit the character development.

Both Kate and August were well formed characters that had clear motivations and goals. I really enjoyed Kate, who is struggling to raise a torch to her father’s monstrous image but is plagued by anxiety. She feels compelled to be this type of stone-faced leader and has problems processing that maybe that’s not who she truly is.

August, on the other hand, just wants to enjoy his fleeting existence, as a human of course. He too struggles with who he is supposed to be and who he wants to be. He must take souls to survive but he only can retain sustenance from the souls of sinners, so in this way he is not a monster but the hand of justice. Despite this requirement, he still feels controlled by this monstrous nature and wishes for an existence outside the one that has been thrust upon him.

See in this world, monsters are not born. They are created by violent sins. I thought this foundation of the world was super interesting and well thought out. The monsters (human or not) in this world were so real and it’s rare that a book can make make-believe jump off the page.

The only problem I had with this book was that it was too short. As in I would have appreciated more background and character development (especially interaction between Kate and August) before everything got super intense. I guess because this is a first book in a series I will get more but still.

Rating – 4/5 stars