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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mini-Reviews: The Giver, The Near Witch

Title: The Giver 
Author: Lois Lowry 
Published: First published in '93
Genre: Dystopian
My Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Jonas' world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

My Review:

I've been wanting to read this for awhile now, but it's been making me nervous. I finally picked this up for the Book-Tube-A-Thon. 

The Goodreads synopsis doesn't really give much detail as to what the book is about, so I had to go into it without knowing much, and finding out as I read. You might want to do this too, but if not keep reading. 

Soon-to-be 12 year-old Jonas lives in the so-called perfect community. As the book progresses, we get to find out what it's like to live in a place where there is no war, no fear, and no pain. Seems perfect? Well, how perfect could it be when every single decision is made for you. Your partner, children, job, etc... I'd like to share more about the concept of the book, but like I mentioned earlier going into this book blind or with very little information is best.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed the book and its concept. Jonas and the Giver are the only characters I actually liked. They were the only ones that have any depth, or personality at all. The other characters were a bit meh and I think the author intended them to be that way to prove her point on society's partisanship.

I can't stop thinking about whether or not their society is the ideal one, or corrupt and ignorant but I'm currently leaning towards the latter. If you're still debating whether to read the book or not, I'd say go for it; after all it's only 180 pages.

The Giver was recently made into a movie. It came out on the 15th of August starring Jeff Bridges as the Giver and Brenton Thwaites as Jonas. I couldn't help but picture the Giver as Michael Gambon (Dumbledore). I also feel that an 18 year old Jonas fits the description of our main protagonist much better than a 12 year old.

Title: The Near Witch 
Author: Victoria Schwab 
Published: August 2nd, 2011
Genre: Paranormal, Mystery 
My Rating: No Rating 

Goodreads Synopsis:

 The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. 

If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. 

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. 

But when an actual stranger - a boy who seems to fade like smoke - appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi's need to know - about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab's debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won't soon forget.

My Review:

I'm disappointed to say I had to 'DNF' this book. I really tried. I just couldn't get into it and found myself constantly skimming through pages chapters. I read The Archived and The Unbound, both by Victoria Schwab, earlier this year and fell madly in love with them. So obviously, I was excited to delve into her other books and decided to pick this one up after looking through the rave reviews on Goodreads. 

Although, I have to give Ms. Schwab credit for her time invested into the writing style. It was so, I don't know ..... poetic. It helped me picture a lot of things, from the town, to the people, and the perfectly worded images. 

Lexi was the ok-est character. She was a strong lead. The townsmen (especially her domineering uncle) seemed to be a bit sexist and backward (which I find a turn-off). Other than that, I don't know where things went wrong. Maybe it was timing or maybe the overall characters.

I have to say, I won't let one book disappoint me I will be reading Vicious, her Adult Fantasy novel. And the author will be writing a third book to one of my all-time favorite series, The Archived. So everything's gonna be alright.

Have you read any of those two books? What did you think?