Thursday, December 29, 2005


Author: Christopher Paolini
Reading Level: 5th and up

After finally getting past the first few chapters of rather clunky writing and derivative plot details, I suddenly understood why the book has been so popular with young readers. This is a book that, young readers of fantasy stories would have written themselves: the surprising but not really complex plot twists, the relationships between major characters, and the resolutions are all very young-person-like (as opposed to childlike.) The actions flow quite quickly and there is definitely enough excitement to uphold reader's interest. Now, I might actually go and read The Eldest.

Mortal Engines

Author: Philip reeve
Reading Level: 5th and up

This scary, ugly world of the future (thousands of years away) is so well realized and extremely chilling. The story is exciting but oh, so very sad. Almost every single one of the characters, major or minor, dies along the way. So bleak -- most of the deaths are justifiable, but some seem a bit gratuitous. Definitely not a book for the weak of stomach. After closing the book, I can still hear the grinding of the city wheels and gear and feel the pain from so many different kinds of wounds inflicted to the various characters.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Dolores: Seven Stories about Her

Author: Bruce Brooks
Reading Level: 6th and up

I definitely liked the character very much and enjoyed a few stories tremendously: especially the first story when she was 7 and the story about her first romance. However, it does not quite feel that all the stories are connected, and I can't quite figure out how each of them builds on the previous version of Dolores. I think that is the intention -- to show how she becomes the Dolores of the next stage. But, it might be just me as a reader who failed to see the connection between one set of characteristics to the next. It also seems very unrealistic, fairy-tale like almost -- although I do know young women who remain true to their inner-selves and are accepted and even admired for their fierce loyalty to their own hearts. So, maybe it is not quite a fairy-tale!

The Fountainhead

Author: Ayn Rand
Reading Level:

Edition: Audio Book

After hours of listening, I am now finally done with this famous work. So many of my friends read this when they were younger and told me how this book "changed their lives." At this stage of my life, I definitely did not feel that the ideology or situations presented in the work have that much impact on my life as a whole. It is a gripping story with completely unforgettable characters, for sure.