march 2020 ✩ 15 pages/day
coraline, neil gaiman (162 pages)
As a huge fan of the Coraline movie, I was thrilled to experience how the words on paper translated into a widely liked stop-motion film. While I wasn’t disappointed, to say the least, I wasn’t surprised. I’m not sure which feeling would be worse for my expectations.
I would describe this book as an extremely easy read – as it is defined as a children’s book for the ones not easily spooked. I believe that I finished this book in approximately two days (yet I was also book-hungry for anything that wasn’t my predetermined ELA read). While I do love a good, lengthy, metaphorically crafted piece, I felt that I needed something a bit more easy on the eyes for the month of March. Coraline provided me with the childlike excitement I once had for simple and classic horror stories. Oh to be a kid that just encountered the Goosebumps series once again…
One factor that I thoroughly enjoyed about this book were the drawings scattered throughout. For a children’s story, the illustrations almost scared me a tad bit. You could really pinpoint the intricacies and detailing that went into each piece: black and white, simplistic, yet so perfectly adding onto the tone of the story. I particularly liked the drawings of the Other Mother and the emphasis on her skeletal, thin, spider-like hands.
As I stated before, I’ve been a huge fan of Coraline for years. Perhaps, my everlasting love for this franchise is the main reason as to why I found this book so lacklustre. The writing was simple, blunt, straight-to-the-point, if you will, and I was fine with that. The plot proceeded at a followable pace. The characters were developed as well enough as 162 pages can provide. All in all, Coraline‘s book adaptation, to me, is nothing but passable. I already knew what was going to happen, that Coraline would succeed in her quest to save her parents, and finding out that my dimming memories from when I previously watched the movie were right was supposed to make me feel – what… excited? I appreciated the different outlook that the book provided, but it felt all the same nonetheless.
lord of the flies, William golding (225 pages)
God I hate this book so much if this book was a person I would *%$@$-
I admit that I feel a bit too strongly about this book (and you can guess what feeling I’m relaying on about). If Lord of the Flies wasn’t already a part of our ELA curriculum, I would’ve never picked this piece to willingly read in my spare time. I’m all for expanding my reading genres and accepting a variety of books, just not this one. Never again. I’m never reading this again.
My main problem (as if the whole book isn’t a problem that I want to pick at in the first place) is how boring it is. I won’t hold back, this book is boring. I was so bored of this book that I hate read through everything in the span of a week and a half. First of all, I never even knew that hate reading was plausible. I can visualize the Lord of the Flies like a slow, agonizing drive up a hill of sorts that, by the time I reach the top, I’m only slightly buzzed. In fact, once I reach the peak of the hill, I probably just want to go home by foot and forget that I wasted a good few hours of my life.
My good friend told me that the book gets decently interesting halfway through – which I guess gave me a bit of hope that the first chapter managed to bury along with the flimsy airplane they subsequently crashed. I still don’t think I managed to find the hope I had after the boringness of the following chapters decided to sink into my skin and play tug-of-war with my poor brain. Understandably, I tend to pinpoint the exact reasons as to why I find said book boring; but, in the case of Lord of the Flies, everything managed to poke me the wrong way.
The vocabulary did confuse me a bit, but I could interpret what the words meant with context. Usually, the complexity of vocabulary could bore me into a dull slumber – that wasn’t the issue for me this time. The issue was simple: I did not like the characters. None of them appealed to me, except Piggy, but that was just the bare minimum of empathy. (Spoiler alert: everyone can always empathize with the bullied kid. No bonus points for you, William Golding). Maybe, if I was a poor ol’ British kid that gets stranded on a habitable island, I could understand a bit better. As a teenager, that was also once a kid (shocking, I know), I could grasp the basic feeling of helplessness, confusion, and uncertainty that the kids felt. Being basically alone, without guidance, on an island is scary – I get that. I just can’t comprehend how there’s a whole bunch of British boys crammed into a book, and I don’t like any of them. Even I tend to have favorites in everything, yet by the end of the book, I could care less about what happened to the boys. There was no connection for me with the characters. If any of the characters suffered in some way, I didn’t care that much (which makes me sound heartless, but its true).
The plot is way too tiring for me to handle. It basically proceeds at a snail’s pace, leaving me to just tire my eyes with a lack of excitement or enjoyment. The first few chapters are a snooze fest, sprinkled with some significant events that I’m supposed to care about. I wholeheartedly believe that the best part of this book is Simon’s talk with the Lord of the Flies – which is the only vivid time I remember being enthralled with the words in front of me. The symbolism is nice, I’ll give them that. While the plot can be easily followed, with me being able to understand the significance of the events and objects, it still managed to leave me feeling drowsy with a lack of satisfaction.
QUARANTINE CRISIS AHEAD…
The 7 1/2 deaths of evelyn hardcastle, stuart turton (482 pages)
read: 57 pages
Despite my earlier statement of wanting the simplicity of a somewhat quick, easy read, this book basically failed to pass all my guidelines. Due to the spread of COVID-19, the library had closed before I could pick up the book I put on hold (unfortunately). This was the first book I decided to read online, which wasn’t that successful in my opinion. I find that online books don’t have the same feeling as an actual book does. It’s harder to concentrate for online reading; and, since I decided to figure out the actual page count after I loaned the book, I knew I wouldn’t finish it in the span of 9ish days.
I chose this book on a whim, as I usually do for times I’m left clueless on reading options. The basic plot summary appealed to me and my love for anything murder-mystery/thriller related. (I originally wanted to read something out of my usual favorite genre, but I eventually caved). The writing was certainly interesting, managing to capture my interest just enough for me to get so far (its a miracle I got 57 pages through). Despite everything, I had a lack of hope due to my circumstances: reading online wasn’t something I enjoyed as much, the loan for said book was somewhat short, and I wasn’t in the mood to finish a lengthy book once again. I sort of gave up on reading the story around 2 days before the due date, and moved on to something I hoped would be easier on my eyes. Don’t worry, I plan on picking up this book again once my local library opens. Sometimes you can just sense when a novel deserves to be read properly.
Straight: The Surprisingly Short History Of Heterosexuality, Hanne blank (264 pages)
read: 13 pages
I’ve been wanting to read about this specific topic for a while now, mostly due to my interest in the whole spectrum of sexuality itself. There’s something that leaves me so fascinated and interested in how the terms of sexuality seemed to burrow deep within our societal norms. Plus, it mentions “surprisingly short” in the title, which is exactly what I needed for an online read.
Surprisingly, as the title stated, I found this book to be oddly pleasant to read. I enjoyed the lore and history behind sexuality itself (that 13 pages could possibly provide) while being simultaneously threaded into witty, personal moments in the author’s life. I was left with a lot more questions about sexuality than I could ever have. Usually, such books like these leave me a bit bored, yet I remained interested for a majority of the time.
I already had a poetry book on hold while I was reading Straight, and I had used this story as a temporary read until my other book came in. Once I’m done reading my poetry book (during the time I’m typing this, I’m almost finished), I’ll go back to finishing Straight. For now, I thoroughly enjoy this story and what it provides.
I was hoping to have more pages read per day for this month, and I admittedly felt a bit invincible when I managed to read 2 books halfway through the month; yet, unfortunately, the circumstances of the virus left me unmotivated to read properly. I did try my best to read at least once a day, yet I mentioned earlier how uncomfortable I felt with reading online. I ended up reading a lot these past few weeks (just not the books I loaned from my handy library app). I’m still proud that I managed to pull out all the resources to get some online reading in nonetheless. Next month, I hope to finish Straight and get my hands on the poor book I never managed to grab from the library.
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