Monday, April 16, 2018

Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia | Mini Review

77092Title: Dreaming in Cuban
Author: Cristina Garcia
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: February 10, 1993

Here is the dreamy and bittersweet story of a family divided by politics and geography by the Cuban revolution. It is the family story of Celia del Pino, and her husband, daughter and grandchildren, from the mid-1930s to 1980. Celia's story mirrors the magical realism of Cuba itself, a country of beauty and poverty, idealism and corruption. DREAMING IN CUBAN presents a unique vision and a haunting lamentation for a past that might have been. 
This was another book that I had to read for my English class last fall. I found it to be interesting, yet at times it was rather boring and I found it hard to keep interested in what I was reading. However, I think the most interesting aspect of the novel was that it was magical realism, which I hadn't read before. It was nice to get a peak into a genre that I wasn't very familiar with before, and it's opened my eyes to a bunch of new books that I definitely wouldn't have picked up otherwise.

Another great thing about this book was the multiple point of views from everyone in the family. It tells the story through a few generations, which was really interesting. I felt like I was really invested in the family and all that they were about.

If you're looking for a quick, magical realism novel about Cuba and families, then I'd suggest giving this one a read.


Friday, April 13, 2018

The Awakening by Kate Chopin | Mini Review

916134Title: The Awakening
Author: Kate Chopin
Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
Release Date: December 29, 1999 (first published 1899)

This revision of a widely adopted critical edition presents the 1969 Seyersted text of Kate Chopin's novel along with critical essays that introduce students to The Awakening from the perspectives of feminism, gender (new essay), new historical, deconstructionist, and reader response criticism. An additional new essay demonstrates how various approaches can be combined. The text and essays are complemented by introductions to The Awakening and to the criticism, a glossary of critical terms, and (for the first time) contextual documents. 

I had to read this book for my English class, and I honestly didn't enjoy it that much. For some reason, classic novels are really hit or miss for me, and this one was definitely a miss. I found the book to be written very beautifully, so I did appreciate Chopin's writing style, though the plot itself was kind of boring and hard for me to get interested in. I honestly found myself most interested in the book at the very end, and then it was over.

Despite that, I did appreciate how much feminism was in this novel, especially with Edna trying to decide what she wants to do with her life with the society that she was in, as well as the time period. I found her to be a fascinating character.

I think this book is worth reading at least once, but it wasn't one that I will ever reread.


Monday, April 9, 2018

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury | Mini Review

13079982Title: Fahrenheit 451
Author: Ray Bradbury
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: November 29, 2011

Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.
Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television 'family'. But then he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people did not live in fear and to a present where one sees the world through the ideas in books instead of the mindless chatter of television.
When Mildred attempts suicide and Clarisse suddenly disappears, Montag begins to question everything he has ever known. 

I had to read this book for a Communications Media course at my college, and I was pretty glad that I enjoyed it! The book is split into three big chapters, and I flew right through them when I was reading. The story is very interesting and keeps you on your toes.

I think I found it most intriguing because I never really thought about a world where books are banned, since they play such a large role in our society today. I mean, I'm a book blogger, so they play even a bigger role in my own personal life.

Despite some of the parts of the books being extremely interesting, every once in a while the book would hit a lot and get kind of slow-paced, which is why I only gave this book four stars.

Looking back on it now, this is definitely a classic dystopian novel, and I will be sure to check out more of Bradbury's pieces in the future.