Classics

Book Review: The Trial

The Trial
Author: 
Kafka, Franz
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

The Trial is a brilliant novel. Throughout the story the reader follows K., the protagonist, who tries to figure out what he was arrested and charged for. On his journey, K. meets several different types of people all which contribute to the book's questioning of bureaucracy and totalitarianism. Its finale left me a bewildered state, probing at the depths of existence and reality. Whether or not this feeling was a good one, I cannot tell, however Kafka's ability to use the mysteries of existentialism and expand upon them is truly amazing. I highly recommend this novel.

Reviewer's Name: 
Steven

Book Review: The Giver

The Giver
Author: 
Lowry, Lois
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

This book is very interesting because of many things. There are very strict rules in the community. The changing of age ceremony is the best part. The main character gets a job nobody thought would happen. This changes his whole perspective of the community. In the end, it ends happily.

Reviewer's Name: 
Jaime

Book Review: The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four Book Cover
Author: 
Conan Doyle, Arthur
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

The brilliant adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson continue with The Sign of the Four. Holmes' deduction ability continues to amaze as he unravels mysteries as if they are elementary. Doyle's brilliant writing will keep you intrigued to the very end as his creativity is unmatched. The Sign of the Four is full of murder, thievery, romance, action, adventure, humor, and incredible solutions. This novel will challenge your detective capabilities and I highly recommend it for any reader searching for a classic mystery novel.

Reviewer's Name: 
John B.

Book Review: The Giver

The Giver by Lois Lowry
Author: 
Lowry, Lois
Rating: 
2 stars = Meh
Review: 

I read this book in my eighth grade L.A. class and surprisingly it stuck even though I thought it was boring and had a hard time comprehending most things. The book does have a PG-13 vibe where it does carry some “sexual content”, but it’s basically about a really strict and emotionless society. A society where everyone was equal which sound really boring. I’m not going to lie that this was the most boring part in the book, learning about how strict it is and how love is forbidden kinda lame. The only interesting parts were when the main character would rebel against the society’s values by expressing his emotions, finding love and most importantly running away so he could give baby Gabriel a less uncompromising and more unconfined life. The most annoying part of the book is the ending not knowing what happens to Jonás and Gabriel. (The movie was better)

Reviewer's Name: 
Miguel

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: 
Lee, Harper
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

To Kill a Mocking Bird is about the racism and false accusations towards African Americans in the 1930s. The book is for a more mature reader because of the language used and some of the ideas that are introduced. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about the racial prejudice in the south in a book with a good plot. The characters are also relatable to a reader which I really enjoyed. Overall I think Lee did an amazing job writing this book.

Reviewer's Name: 
Jana M.

Book Review: Peter Pan

Peter Pan
Author: 
Barrie, J. M.
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

I didn't grow up with Peter Pan as a child. The fact that I'm reviewing this book when I'm 34 merely highlights this oversight. I didn't even get into this story through the animated Disney version. Again, another oversight. About the only reason I know anything about Peter Pan is through the 1991 movie Hook—which I remember quite fondly. At this point, finally getting around to reading the source material was refreshing even if I already picked up most of the pop culture references this book inspired.

While I didn't grow up with Peter Pan, I can see its merit. I'll probably even read it to my daughter when she's old enough to understand it. What's perhaps the most notable quality of this book is how its randomness almost makes sense. Do you know how kids make stuff up but have a logical sense about their creations? Well, Peter Pan has plenty of elements that seem random but somehow work to build a coherent and cohesive narrative. I'm almost more surprised how close Hook and the Disney adaptation held to the source material. The fact that the ideas presented in Peter Pan are so unique and have yet to be fully replicated in any other story says something about its timeless quality.

That's not to say that Peter Pan is perfect—even if it gets close. Sure, it's charming, but it also hasn't aged too well either (which is also present in the Disney adaptation). 100+ years after this book was written, the world is a different place. These small qualms can be glossed over fairly easily if a parent wants to do a little censorship when reading to their child (they don't necessarily add to the plot).

A unique and creatively random children's story that just works, I give Peter Pan 4.0 stars out of 5.

Reviewer's Name: 
Benjamin W.

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: 
Lee, Harper
Rating: 
3 stars = Pretty Good
Review: 

I read this book my freshman year of high school and there are some really interesting parts to this book involving suspense, murder and mystery but the book can be a little confusing if you don’t really pay attention. This book is very well written as it’s showed us how it was during this time period, giving us a whole perspective on how the characters were feeling at this point of time. The characters in this book do have to deal with a couple of problem which some don’t really go their way for example the whole situation with Tom Robinson. Although this book is well written it does carry some inappropriate language include a very discriminatory word, but you do have to keep in mind that this book was written in a very controversial time where saying the n-word wasn’t really frowned upon (not say that is was right). I wouldn’t recommend this book for children because it’s does deal with murder and rape but other than that it is a very good book.

Reviewer's Name: 
Miguel R.

Book Review: Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice
Author: 
Austen, Jane
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen is my favorite book of all time-- which isn't a phrase I throw out lightly! This book truly has the best of all worlds-- a wonderful romance, lovable characters, humor, and beautiful writing. Pride and Prejudice is the story of a young woman in the 1800's, Elizabeth Bennet. The Bennet family has five daughters, and in an age where the only thing women could do was marry rich, all the girls are pressured to find wealthy matches to secure the family's comfort. Elizabeth, however, refuses to marry the first man the comes along, and only marry when for love. She meets brooding, silent, proud and very rich Mr. Darcy, who at first has no interest in Elizabeth. Over time, he begins to fall in love with her wit and charm. Elizabeth thinks Darcy is the last man she could ever marry, but through the course of the novel, begins to see that her prejudices towards him are fake and that he is a true gentleman who is only shy. The questions remains-- will they overcome their pride and prejudices and get married? I'm not a huge fan of 'classical classics' where the writing style is dull and hard to understand. I was so pleased to find that this is not the case with Austen's writing style. I enjoyed every single page of this wonderful novel, and truly did not want it to end! I will certainly be reading more Austen! I would recommend this book to anyone-- fans of romance, family-oriented stories, comedies, fans of classics, and even reluctant readers of classics who would like an easy gateway into the world of classic novels.

Reviewer's Name: 
Allie S.

Book Review: Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited
Author: 
Waugh, Evelyn
Rating: 
4 stars = Really Good
Review: 

This is the book to read when you're up for lofty prose fiction that's readable, sophisticated, and becomes gradually more and more that of a delightful meandering upon a grandeur of intricate reminiscence, which, though, it may seem a meandering at first, reveals itself soon to be very much otherwise, instead, the exact opposite—this author never wanders, never guesses, but totally knows where he's expertly taking you—Evelyn Waugh, I realized, was truly a master, he absolutely wins the contest for your literary respect, telling, not a delightful, but a painful story remembered in part from the initial mobilizing of the second world war back to the 1920s, with a thoroughly nostalgic march forward in time from then, a growing up story in an exceedingly high society, I mean, not just aristocratic, like you'd expect in a novel written in the kind of British high style of Brideshead Revisited, but cream of the crop top, the tiptop aristo-of the-cratic. Waugh's writing is proportionately as great as this reviewer's is stilted. This book deserves your time. I put off reading it for a long time. I thought it might be impenetrable. I wonder what's like to listen to?

Reviewer's Name: 
Trent

Book Review: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Author: 
Adams, Douglas
Rating: 
5 stars = Bohemian Rhapsody Awesome!
Review: 

Five stars (If you don’t laugh at this, then I don’t know what cave you’ve been living in) The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a sci-fi comedy so specific that it is funny. Between the absurd circumstances and the very specific jokes, I couldn’t stop laughing. The start of the book is normal, but once you get into it it keeps you laughing as it gets weirder and weirder. The events that happen are so improbable that it turns it the other way and makes it very probable. When reading the Guide, don’t forget your towel!

Reviewer's Name: 
Ethan W.

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