Well Alison and I both missed Reading Lately last month. Oops! All of a sudden it was just March… Is it just me, or is this year flying by?! But Alison of Puppies & Pretties and I are back with our monthly linkup of Reading Lately. I decided reread the Harry Potter series a few months ago, so I spent some time reading those. And I don’t want to review those because they are just amazing. I really enjoyed going back and rereading the series though, getting lost in that world of magic again! Definitely brought back memories of staying up too late on school nights reading and shutting the book quickly when I heard my mom come down the hall.
The Odyssey by Homer
Remember the Trojan War? Or maybe the movie Troy with Brad Pitt.. While the Trojan War is from The Iliad, this story tells about Odysseus’ return home after the war. Except his journey home takes him ten years, facing divine and natural dangers. He must use his wit and quick thinking to survive. Achilles was a great warrior as Odysseus is a great thinker.
This version is an excellent translation of a classic story. I found it really build off of the themes in The Iliad, which I will not be discussing because I only read part of the story. But while The Iliad tells of honor being won in conflict, The Odyssey shows the misfortunes and consequences of these quests for glory. It’s just an interesting tale of mythology, which I’ve always found fascinating.
Abandon by Blake Crouch
Abigail and her father backpack to Abandon, a mysterious town with a haunted history. Abigail’s father has obsessed over the history of this town and takes his journalist daughter to explore the town. To get the permits to visit the town, they invite paranormal photographers. In 1893, everyone in the town disappeared on Christmas day without a trace. All of their belongings left in their houses and no trace of their remains. While they are there, they find out they are not alone in Abandon.
I read this book for Erin’s Book Challenge, I needed a book with a green cover. Very interesting concept of exploring an abandoned, “haunted” town. The story alternates back and forth between 1893 and 2009. Both stories are very interesting, they really could make their own separate books. It was definitely a lot more gruesome and violent than I expected, I would not recommend if you’re squeamish. It was definitely suspenseful, but I feel like there was a little too much happening and going on. I can’t really say too much without giving anything away.
Despite the violence and gore, the book reads easily. The chapters move pretty quickly, each one is only a few pages long. The ending is very abrupt and the plot was too predictable. The plot is a huge disappointment because it’s unrealistic, the characters aren’t developed, and too much is happening. I initially felt the fear with the characters, as if I was watching a scary movie. But it just got too unbelievable… It’s like watching Scary Movie rather than an actual scary movie. Crouch is an excellent writer though, his writing definitely kept me intrigued. Overall I think it’s an interesting concept and worth reading, just not what I was expecting. When posting my review to Amazon I read that several of Crouch’s other books are much better, specifically the Wayward Pines series. I do want to read more of Crouch’s work, so maybe my opinion will change.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
In a futuristic, sci-fi rendition of Cinderella, teenage cyborg Cinder lives with her step-mother and two step sisters in New Beijing. Looked down upon and treated as an object because she is part machine, Cinder is shunned from society. Cinder works as a mechanic in the market, where she slaves away making money that she will never see. All of her income goes to her step mother, Adri, who owns her. When the handsome Prince Kai walks into her life out of nowhere, seeking help with an android, everything changes. A plague is running rampant around the Earth and the people living on the moon, Lunars, are threatening war. As Cinder learns new things about who she is and how valuable she is, she finds herself falling for Prince Kai and the center of saving the Earth from the Lunar queen.
I must admit, when I first started reading I wanted to put it right back down. Sci-fi books aren’t normally my thing, and I didn’t know what the book was about before purchasing it, I just really liked the cover and I kept seeing it everywhere. I figured if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have to read the sequels. But I actually really liked it! The conversations felt very realistic and the plot is intriguing. Some aspects of the story were predictable. Well let me clarify, obviously some of the story is predictable because it’s based off of the classic Cinderella. But the parts I found predictable that I’m talking about were the plot not related to the classic story. Some of the things that Cinder can do are pretty awesome, interesting thoughts for the future of humanity. I definitely plan to read the rest of the series.
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Alison @ Puppies & Pretties says
I’ve had Cinder on my to-read list for what seems like forever. I really need to pick it up one of these days.
I quite enjoyed it, even though it was totally out of my norm! Enough to want to read the rest of the series 🙂
McKenzie Allyshia says
I would love to reread The Odyssey by Homer! I read it in Honors English, but haven’t read it since and I think that I would enjoy it so much more. I really enjoyed Cinder and I read a couple of the books after that. I loved reading your reviews!
Thanks for reading my reviews McKenzie 🙂 I read The Odyssey in high school but didn’t understand it much then, but I also didn’t put in too much effort into my homework ;p I really enjoyed rereading it 🙂
Sheila DelCharco says
I’m impressed that you read the Odyssey for fun! I’m not a fan of scary or sci-fi but another friend read Cinder so I would probably try it for a reading challenge or book club. You do have me intrigued with Abandoned (what did happen to all this people??) but not enough to actually read it! I really don’t like scary! And to think I used to read Stephen King and John Saul in high school! I even read Amityville Horror! Not anymore!
Well I had to read part of it for school, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise haha! But I kept reading because I was really enjoying it 🙂 And I definitely thought Abandon was going to be a scary story, but it did start out that way. And I have some Stephen King on my to read list – have yet to pick it up though!
I read Dark Matter earlier this year and loved it, so I’ve been interested in reading more by Crouch, but from your review I’ll probably pass on Abandon.
I read Dark Matter earlier this year and loved it, so I’ve been interested in reading more by Crouch, but from your review I’ll probably pass on Abandon for now.
I definitely want to read more of Crouch.. it was definitely an interesting idea, just not quite what I was expecting.
oh i hadn’t even heard of that book by blake crouch, i will have to check it out. i’ve read his wayward pines series & dark matter, enjoyed them both. i absolutely adored Cinder, and that whole series. I have read it a couple of times, which I rarely do with series. HP is obviously another series I’ve reread and I am feeling the need to read again soon!
I’ll definitely have to pick up some more of Crouch’s books. I really loved going back and reading HP again, it was so exciting 🙂 And I really liked Cinder! I have the sequels already and can’t wait to read them!
Ashley @ The Wandering Weekenders says
I’m not usually one for a ton of gore, but Abandon sounds really interesting. I love books that alternate between the past and the future and different view points, so I’ll definitely have to add this one to my list. And I’m so glad that you enjoyed Cinder! When a friend first recommended it to me I was like, “Um no!”, and then I read it and totally fell in love! I hope that you get to pick up the sequels soon because they’re all just so well written!
It was really cool how you learned more about the history as the story progressed. But I really think they could have been two entirely separate stories – not that it was bad, but I liked both view points! And I totally read the first few pages and was like “omg what am I getting myself into” but I kept reading and then got really into it!! I have the sequels already but I’m trying to read some other books so my Reading Lately posts aren’t filled with books from a series :p