Veronika Decides to Die – Paulo Coelho

"People only allow themselves the luxury of being mad when they are in the position to do so." - Dr. Igor.   Content warning: This book explores human nature along with concepts like suicide, mental health, corruption within health care systems and the nature of...

I Saw a Starburst to Flames – J.R. LaMar

The poems themselves are light hearted and fun to read, I can easily picture the children I’ve babysat in the past enjoying these verses. The topics that LaMar writes about are vast and while many are silly and entertaining some teach moral values in a subtle and enjoyable way. I believe this is an important quality for any piece of literature directed towards children. I am not sure of the age range I would put on this book, while the rhythm would be enjoyable to younger children occasionally the word choice seems odd for a children’s book. As you don’t mind explaining what phrases or words mean it would be a valuable educational moment to have between parent and child and would certainly benefit both parties.

The Cleansing – Anton Eine

I really enjoyed reading this short story, it was interesting to look at a planet and its history through another race’s eyes. I think this book is an excellent social commentary. The Cleansing is worth a read as it celebrates history and stories while presenting a warning about self-destructive nature. It was easy to read, despite the lack of dialogue tags and I appreciate the experimentation with this style of writing. While I cannot imagine a story in this style working for a full novel, it was perfect for this delightful piece of literature. It provides an enjoyable reading experience and a valuable lesson to writers that sometimes the rules of writing need to be bent. The storytelling was strong and, and I found myself wishing it was a little longer, I would’ve enjoyed learning more about the alien race and why they were on a mission to cleanse other planets. This information, however, would’ve bogged down the book with too many details making it more difficult to read. A collection of short stories following these characters would be interesting!

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

The way this author writes about family dynamics and relationships is superb, the focus on the family and the everyday chaos within Jesse’s world is perfectly described and helps to shape our character further. Jesse’s way of life and thought processes are interesting and delightful! Everything about this book enchanted me. For the sake of honestly I do have to say that I watched the movie first and was spoiled for the book because of this but it didn’t detract anything from the story in my opinion. I perhaps didn’t get attached to certain characters as much because of this, but it is safe to say that both the movie and the book made me sob! That’s just the kind of person that I am though, even Disney Shorts make me cry.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Atwood writes very well, and I think The Handmaid’s Tale is worth a read for anyone that is interested in reading one of the darker pieces of classic literature. It is excellent in regards to the style in which it divulges information. It is a unique and interesting way of telling a story in that it flickers between past and present. This woman is a genius when it comes to word association games, I really enjoyed the way she explores the language of a woman with too much time on her hands. I will continue to explore the works of Atwood, as this is my first experiences with one of her books. I’m excited to see what themes her other works explore.

The Call of the Wild – Jack London

This incredible adventure demands to be read. I loved this book so much that I struggled to take notes; I just wanted to read and to enjoy it. I found myself immersed in the cold wasteland, sitting by the fire watching Buck as he adapted to every new curveball thrown his way. I cannot recommend this book more; it was such a complicated little book. London has a way of tugging your emotions and throwing you off balance, only to catch you and ease you back into the story. This book is violent and introduces themes of death for both humans and dogs, and at times it is truly heart-breaking. This is the book to read when you want to cry, but also the book to read when you want to conquer. There is such strength at the core of this book; you come away from it understanding that in the greater scheme of things you are going to be stronger than you first were.