Tuesday, May 31, 2011

written by Megan McCafferty

I have no gripe with the plot of this book, nor the characters. I thought the alternate futuristic vision of a teenage pregnancy obsessed universe was fascinating, and masterfully developed by McCafferty. This was a good book on every account but one--the fact that it, like many others we are seeing nowadays, is regrettably not a standalone book. The story is laid out, and most major plot threads are resolved. Done with. So why is it that the author/publisher seem to think there is more to tell? I'd much rather be talking about the social and political significance of a novel such as this, but apparently, the story this book set out to tell isn't complete, so instead, I'm sitting here, complaining about the fact that the story isn't done, even though it should be. This story would have worked well as a stand-alone. As more than one book though? No way. The only story left to tell is overly-contrived and pointlessly drawn out. There's no good that can come out of sequels to this book, this book that is already great on its own.

Rating: You know what, I'd easily give this a 5-star rating, except right when things started getting good and plotlines were being resolved, there were things left wide open, and that ruins the story for me. 3/5.

I got this book from...:Amazon Vine

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Year of Living Biblically

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
Written by A.J. Jacobs

To be fair, this was one of my bigger expositions to the Bible. Not being a Christian, I don't know much. I'd read A.J. Jacob's other book and really enjoyed it, so I figured I should give this one a try. A.J. Jacobs was also raised without the Bible as an influence on his life, so this was a pretty new journey for him. As the title says, he decides to take a year to live his life according to the Bible, from the small to the big commandments, from the tedious to the utterly bizarre, he does it all. I learned so much from this book. Jacobs expresses a sentiment about religion that I think many of us struggle with in one way or other: "Don't be so caught up in the regulations that you forget about the big things, like compassion and respect for life." I learned about the extremes some people can take religion to, whether it be for their own selfish reasons, or for social altruism (red-letter Christians). I also thought it was amusing to see Kevin Roose make cameo appearances in this book. In the end, the book proves to be very thought-provoking, leading the reader to consider the role religion and spirituality plays in their own lives.

Rating: 5/5

I got this book from...:Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh