I’m not usually one for New Year’s resolutions, but I felt it was about time I got back into my bookworm habits, and so decided 2018 was the year of the book(s) for me!
In order to make sure I stayed on track, I decided to make #WhatsYerWanReading a monthly segment on ze blog and share my thoughts on the books (optimistic) I’ve read!
One Of Us Is Lying
Karen M. McManus
“The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.”
January opened with this Young Adult Fiction mystery novel. It really is as the blurb indicates, The Breakfast Club mixed in with PLL, as well as having a slightly Gossip Girl edge. I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, McManus manages to point the finger at almost every character we encounter. The characters are also developed in a way which catches the reader off guard. Not only are we searching for the killer between the lines of the pages, but the unravelling of the secrets the four suspects have been keeping from the world, and each other, result in the reader second guessing themselves and their suspicions from the off set. Towards the end, the plot does take a somewhat predictable turn in my opinion, however it’s an interesting ending that may leave some shocked.
The descriptive language and immersive plot mean as a reader, I could see the story being played out in my head, making it a real page-turner. In other words, if this were a Netflix series I would spend days on end binge watching it!
If you’re after a book thats going to keep you guessing, wrapped up in the world that is teenage drama, then defo give this a go!
Brave New World
“Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers.”
What can I say about Brave New World ? If I were to describe it in one word it would have to be… weird. As Margaret Atwood writes in the introduction “Brave New World is either a perfect-world utopia or its nasty opposite, a dystopia, depending on your point of view.”
Set in the future, Brave New World is quite the opposite to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, instead of a regime which seeks to oppress and keep an eye on everyone and everything, Huxley’s novel presents a future where genetically enhanced, mass produced people are thrust into an established caste system and live happily within the parameters of their society. All of the values society holds dear in today’s world no longer exist, no more marriage, no family relationships, no relationships of any kind really. The people of this brave new world are even conditioned to be extremely accepting of death from a very young age. As a reader, this novel made me feel somewhat uncomfortable, but I think in that lies it’s genius. Both Brave New World (1932) and Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) were written as responses to World War II, and if you’ve read one you should definitely read the other, as the comparisons and contrasts that can be made are really interesting. To see how these two authors juxtapose a potential future, warning against certain aspects of the modern world. In Huxley’s case it was the effects of genetic engineering, his novel is somewhat a criticism on man’s desire to consume and mass produce, even human life is not safe from this extreme level of production.
The characters in the novel are very much engaged in this existence they live in, and depending on “soma”, a recreational drug which has a calming effect and no side-effects, and “having” everyone and anyone, is the norm. That is until we meet the likes of Bernard Marx, and John “The Savage”, these two particular characters make the novel’s setting relatable to the reader, as they themselves also question the morals by which this new society lives.
If you like dystopian novels and have read Orwell’s novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, you should give this a read. Just be prepared to re-read a few paragraphs as you try to make sense of what’s going on and get to grips with the context of the novel.
Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what your thoughts were!
Now on to February’s reads…
xoxo – “Yer Wan”, Jessie