Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Review of 'The Phantom Tollbooth' By Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth
This was an exceedingly clever book.
Milo is a boy who finds joy in nothing, who is bored with everything, and who can't understand the purpose of learning. Then one day, there is a large package in his room. He opens it and assembles a tollbooth. Because he had nothing better to do, he drives his little car into it, and the adventure begins. This is an adventure through the kingdom called Wisdom. In this kingdom are many places. His quest begins in Dictionopolis, the city of words. It is ruled by king Azaz. All things here have to do with words, such as people selling words, or eating words, or saying words for their dinner. For example, if you said pork, honey, and ice cream, that would be your dinner, but if you said therefore, because, and why?, that would be your dinner. Hopefully your word choices would taste good! My favorite characters resided in the kingdom. They were Azaz's five cabinet members. They all had a way of saying things, if you said hello, they might reply:
Good day!
And so on and so forth. in this kingdom Milo learns that to restore the kingdom he must rescue the beautiful princesses - Rhyme and Reason. And so he starts his perilous journey. It was very interesting, something different happening on every turn. And so clever. The Mathematician (Azaz's brother who rules Digitopolis, the kingdom of words.)has a staff (which is a pencil) that he can use to multiply things (Like himself) or subtract things (Like a pot of soup from a table). There is the island of conclusions that you get to by making assumptions and jumping (Jumping to conclusions! See what I mean about wordplay?)
Milo learned one of the most valuable lessons a person can learn. He learned the value of knowledge and understanding, thanks to his experiences in Wisdom, both good and bad. Though Milo, in the beginning, isn't the happiest character, you still are interested in his story and you root for him, he is a likable character.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Spoilers or no Spoilers...that is the Question

      What do you think bout spoilers? Do you enjoy them and ask for them, or do you steer clear of them, avoiding such reviews?
       Personally, I don't like spoilers. I tend avoid those reviews. I have a friend you doesn't mind them, though I refuse to tell her what happens. I was talking to her once, and she starts listing all the characters who die in a certain book! I wasn't very happy about it.
       For a while, every book I read I would read the first few pages and then I would flip to the back and read the last two. I finished very few books when I did that. I didn't want to read them because I knew the ending, and I didn't care as much about what happened in the middle.
      That I why I don't like them.
       But some people do like them, perhaps because the suspense is gone? Not being one of these people I can't give their reasons.
       I was wondering though, what are your opinions? Do you enjoy the spoilers or not, and why?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Review 'The Inheritance' By Louisa May Alcott

This is Louisa May Alcott's first novel, written at the age of seventeen. Among the short stories, plays and poems she wrote in her teens, she apparently also succeeded in a entire book. I haven't read Little Women, as unfortunate as that sounds, though I do have a copy of the book. I tend to pick up shorter stories to read first, which is why this was read first.
This book is a romance, and a very sweet one. It is about a young lady named Edith, who serves as a governess (Though practically the same age) to Lady Amy. She is well loved, though very poor, and in the beginning of the book she is not allowed to socialize or take part in any of the home events unless specifically asked to. Edith is a sweet girl, gentle and innocent. She is loved by all members of the household - except for the unmarried Lady Ida. Edith is despised by Lady Ida, for Edith is still young and beautiful, despite her lowly birth, and Lady Ida is growing less beautiful everyday, and is jealous of Edith, and how she attracts more potential suitors. Ida's hatred grows stronger when Lord Percy visits, and when he is drawn to Edith. When Edith does something incredibly brave, she is welcome to events, and treated as a daughter.
This story focuses on Edith, and her relationship with Lord Percy, as well as the other characters n the story. Many different things happen to Edith, but she always manages to show bravery and respect. She would be a magnificent role model for little girls.
It would be hard to find a main conflict in this book, since so many things happen to poor Edith, and all because of the horrid Lady Ida. Somehow, even though Lady Ida treats Edith so terribly, she isn't that character that you hate, in fact, you can almost pity her.
The characters were likable, and the plot as nowhere near dull. Though it wasn't what I would call fast paced, it was definitely engaging.

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