I hope you are not bored by all the book reviews that I’ve posted lately because I have 3 more for you today. What can I say? I read a lot. 🙂 Today I’m reviewing three children and young adult novels. Apart from Twilight, the other two I first read when in Junior High school and only recently found them again in an old box. I thought it’d be interesting to reread them and review them. So, here are my thoughts on these books:
Eva by Peter Dickinson.
This is one of the weirdest, most unsettling but most-provoking books I have ever read. The book is set sometime in the future, when the world is overpopulated and people rarely leave their homes anymore, most animal species have disappeared and chimps live in an artificial environment. Eva is a normal 13 year old girl whose life will suddenly and dramatically change when she’s involved in a car crash. The only hope to save her life is to implant her brain into a chimp’s body. Thus, when Eva wakes up from the coma, she’s trapped in a body that’s not her own. This poses some very interesting questions. What would we do if we woke up in someone else’s body? Actually Dickens takes this a step further, making that body an animal body. How would you react if that happened to you? And how would the world react to you? Would people still be able to see that,even though you look differently, you’re still the same person inside? Or will you be turned into a freak and be exploited by unscrupolous people who want to make a quick buck? To complicate matters, the operation was very expensive and Eva’s parents couldn’t afford it. A company forked out the cash for it so now they’re also facing the problem of who owns Eva. Is she still a human being who can’t be owned by anyone, or even though her mind can’t be owned, her body can and she should thus do whatever the company want her to to get their money’s worth? Eva herself isn’t feeling entirely human anymore. Apparently her body still craves the companionship of other chimps and wants to be free with them in the jungle so that in the end Eva will have to choose whether to live with humans or to abandon her family to live as a chimp among these animals. And of course there is the ethic question of whether it is right to kill animals to save human lives. Although there are some parts of the book that are really disturbing and made me feel really uneasy (but I can’t mention them here without spoiling the book for those who want to read it), I still think that it provides some interesting food for thought.
Available at: Amazon.com
Ronia, The Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren
This children’s classic book is not my favourite work of the Pippi Longstocking’s author. It tells the story of Ronia, the daughter of Matt the robber, who grows up playing in the woods and paying very little attention to how her father makes a living. Although she knows what he does, she sees the profession through the innocent eyes of a child. Then one day, Ronia meets Birk, the son of Matt’s arch-enemy and the two become best friends. This of course upsets their families causing them to agree at least on one thing: the two friends shouldn’t be allowed to see each other anymore. Ronia addresses some very important themes: the foolishness and uselessness of feuds, the importance of friendship, the relationship between parents and children and the wisdom of children. Because the story is seen by a child’s point of view, it is quite too simplistic, which put me off a bit. This is also the reason why the portrayal of the robbers is too lenient, which is something I didn’t appreciate. Still, it’s a nice and genuine story with an important message.
Available at: Amazon.com
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Initially I thought I’d write a full review for this book because I have so many things to say about it, but since they are all bad I decided to write a short and bitter one instead. The only reason I read this book was because I wanted to see what the fuss was about, but I haven’t figured that out yet. We know the story. Bella moves to to the tiny town of Forks to live with her father but hates the place, until she meets Edward. A vampire that, when hit by sunlight, instead of turning into dust, glitters. And apparently he’s gorgeous when he does that. WTH? Excuse the expression, but seriously, that’s just… ridiculous. Besides, both Edward and Bella are very boring characters. He likes to keep reminding us throughout the book that he’s an evil monster even though all he does is save Bella’s life again and again. Seriously dude, if you want me to believe you’re bad, you’re gonna have to do a lot worse that than. And Bella is whining, pathetic and completely dependant on Edward. She doesn’t have a personality at all, she just wants to be a vampire to be with Edward, although I doubt she fully understands how much her life’s gonna change if she ever becomes one. She’s simply obsessed with him. Oh, and the writing style is horrible. Meyer seems to have a poor grasping of the English language and the book seems like a draft, like she has written it all in one go and published it without bothering to edit, correct or improve it. It doesn’t seem to have a message or a moral either. I have learnt absolutely nothing from it, but it worries me that young and impressionable girls may take the obsessed and dependent-on-others Bella as a role model. That would be unhealthy and dangerous. Overall, one of the worst books I’ve ever read and I have no intention of reading the other ones in the series. The torture isn’t worth it. If you’re interested in it, borrow it at your library, but don’t expect too much.
Available at: Amazon.com
Have you read these books? What do you think of them?