Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book Review: 3 Book Reviews

This book is like a car accident. You don't want to look. You can't bear to see. But you have to, you are compelled to continue until the carnage is over. The main thing I hated about this book is that my life did not come to a skidding halt in order to allow me uninterrupted reading time.

It's horrifying. It's awful. And it's the most consuming book I've read for quite some time. I absolutely cannot WAIT until the next book, which comes out very soon.

This is billed as a young adult book - You are in an awful, post-apocalyptic America, which has been separated into 12 Districts. Each year, a boy and girl are chosen from each District, and placed in a reality-game type setting where they must fight to the death. That's right, 11 deaths, one winner - with the entire country watching. And if you start this book, you'll watch it too. And you should start this book. Now, if possible.

I've had this book on my list for so long. An Iran post-Shah in the 70's. A Jewish family gets caught up in the wave of imprisonments that came after (and come after) regime change. This book is pretty brutal, too - although much more real than the above book. This stuff really happened. Like Hitler-era type brutality, this book depressed me at times. I hate to think that humans are capable of this kind of cruelty, but apparently they are. I wouldn't rave wildly about this book - the characters didn't completely capture me and carry me away. But I certainly have no complaints about it. I'd recommend it for sure, especially if you have an interest in this culture, this era, or the plight of Jews around the world in various countries and regimes.

I read this book many moons ago and remember not liking it all that much. I rarely, if ever, read a book twice. However, my book club is reading this and I did not remember enough to have an intelligent discussion about it. Now I wonder if I had read this pre-therapist days, because this time around I found it fascinating. This author so accurately captures the thinking and associations of an autistic-spectrum child it was amazing! I think you'd like it even if you don't know a kid like this, but if you do, all the better. The richness of the character's world proves that these kids aren't dumb or vacuous. There's a lot going on in there! I really enjoyed this book this time - so glad I gave it another go.