march of ’19

MARCH 2019 ✩ 19 PAGES/DAY

HIDDEN BODIES, CAROLINE KEPNES (439 PAGES)

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RESPONSE:

Growing up, I never had a “favorite book”. Books are something I couldn’t have a favorite in, as I had failed to read a book that truly took me away. I read good books, sure, but they never impacted me. I thought this way up until I found this book last year.

I was intrigued with the concept of murder (sorry), but I honestly stayed due to the character development and writing style. Joe Goldberg may have the most boring name in existence, but his character doesn’t live up to his name. With books like these, there’s always the little nudge that hey, he’s a killer, don’t forget that. I forgot he killed people halfway through the book. He’s such a complex character with a twisted humor and a relatable backstory, you can’t help but justify his reasons for killing everyone he did. We live with him, and we get to see him grow. He’s self-aware. He’s not stupid. He acknowledges his mistakes, except the killings. It’s a breath of fresh air.

Caroline Kepnes has a style of writing that I’ve never seen before. I guess that’s why Joe is such an amazing character. The writing portrays him perfectly as we get a look inside of his mind. He’s human, just like us, and he’s flawed. In fact, the book shows the flaws in every character. We get to see the good and bad. I grew to love almost every character in the book due to this.

In a way, I started to notice that my writing changed while reading this book. I found a new style that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was definitely exciting, something I wasn’t quite used to, but a change from my usual writing was welcomed. This book influenced me a lot, both with my way of thinking and way of writing. I decided to buy this book a year after reading it initially. I never read anything like it.

That’s when I realized something dreadful, deadly, and scary. It was like a slap to the face.

This book is a sequel. It’s a sequel to You, the terrible Netflix TV show, out of all things.

I’m happy this book can be read without needing the prior, because I didn’t need another headache. I’m not a fan of shows, especially the garbage Netflix likes to release every now and then, but I still can’t wrap my head around how the book I love so much is related to the show I hate so much. The TV show is atrocious. I don’t know how they could make something so stupid. They portray Joe as some extra creepy creep who has no social life (I mean, I guess that’s true, but I know he’s way more than the typical creepy killer). They give the characters dust. I’m choking on dust.

I ultimately decided to read the book when I come across it. Maybe, Netflix just doesn’t know how to make a proper TV show. I hope that’s the case. Hidden Bodies doesn’t deserve the disrespect, trust me.


THE SALT LINE, HOLLY GODDARD JONES (385 PAGES)
READ: 147 PAGES

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RESPONSE:

In the summer of last year, I was in desperate need of a book to indulge myself in. I stumbled across this book in the library, and despite my intrigue, I decided to choose another, more interesting book instead (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!). A few months later, and I still couldn’t get this book off my mind. I never read past the climax. I decided to pick up this book once again.

The plot is something I’ve never seen before. It may come off as the typical utopia split into sections (which is kind of true), but there’s a lot more horror and adventure behind it. I can’t give the description any justice, but the basic premise goes back to a “salt line” being placed around a city to fight off a scorched, inhabitable land full of deadly ticks. Seeing the characters venture off into a newfound territory is thrilling, and we get to experience with them for the first-time. It definitely sounds interesting.

There’s three main characters (I think), and they each have their own equally as unique backstory. The fact that they seem to have their own separate lives, never to potentially cross path, yet remain connected is amazing. Each main character builds off of another. We see their friendship grow, and their true nature to be revealed with it.

Despite the plot and characters, I have a problem with almost everything else.

  1. There’s too many characters. I mean it when I say that I had no idea who the main characters were. I guess it was obvious with the specific character flashbacks, but there’s just way too many to focus on. One main character is good, but three? As well, there’s characters I completely forget about, but are apparently there on the little “salt line journey”. I read, and see a name pop-up that I have no recollection of.
  2. I hate finances. I have no idea how finances work. You can see my problem when one of the main character’s backstory is all finance, finance, finance. Wes is one of the most interesting, main characters in the book, but I can’t read his scenes for the life of me. They talk about finances for pages, and to make me even more confused, they use terms from their futuristic society that I have no understanding of. Throwing stuff on me about Pocketz or whatever is annoying. I have no idea what they’re saying! I ended up skipping the pages with the hope that there’s nothing too important in there. I get a major headache every-time.
  3. I admit that I’m not the biggest fan of detail and description. (It’s probably why I suck at it). If done right, I won’t skim through it with boredom. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for this book. The description is barely there. It’s more of an use-your-brain kind of scenario. When they reached the camp, I realized that I was picturing the camp from a TV show I watched instead of whatever imagery the book created. When they did use detail, I got bored. It was way too long, dragged out for paragraphs, and I ended up skipping five pages to get to the thickening plot.

By that time, I got sick of it and decided to give up on the book altogether. I like the plot, but I’m not going to push myself through something I’m seriously bored of. There’s a twist, but I don’t even want to read more about it. I’m tired.


REFLECTION:

I knew that with the obstacle of spring break, I wouldn’t be able to read as much as I wanted to. I’m confusing in the way that I won’t pick up a book over a break. I do everything but read (I do read online though, if that counts). The smaller amount of pages read per day was a given. I didn’t meet my goal as much as I hoped, so I plan on keeping the same goal for next month. Maintain the goal of reading 20+ pages/day! Also, a mini goal is to read more outside of school. I tried to read over the break, so at least I get points for trying.

 

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Hidden Bodies / The Salt Line

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