Posted in Book Reviews

First Five Books of 2015

My goal this year, or New Year’s Resolution you could say, is to read 40 books in 2015. Last year, my goal was 30 books and I finished Emma by Jane Austen December 31st, right before the end of 2014! My hope is to build my way up and finish 50 books in 2016. I was 7 books short of 50 in 2013 and hope not to fall so sadly short this time around! So far I have read 23 books this year. That means I have to read 16 books in 4 months, before 2015 ends!! It will be hard, but I know I can do it!

Since I am reading so much, I thought I might give you the list of books I’ve read and what I thought of each of them. Here are the first five I finished in January-March:

*SPOILER!* I may include some of the book’s plot/content in my reviews for them, so if you haven’t read one or more of these yet and want to read it without spoilers, then you can just skip down. *

  1. * The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – This is a book that a friend gave to me for my birthday last year. She wanted me to read it because it was one of her favorites. I’ll just start by saying it was a looong book, BUT–it was well worth it! I love historical fiction and the World War II era fascinates me and to read about a girl who loves books just as much as I do, if not more? What more could I ask for? This book gave me a completely different perspective on Nazi Germany. Not all the Germans were as bad as Hitler and the Nazis. Many were victims just as much as the British, French, Austrians, etc., around Europe were. This book also showed me what everyday life was like in Nazi Germany. Growing up with Liesel, the main character, was an amazing experience. Unfortunately, there was one detriment to this book. It had a lot of language. It bothered me a lot and would have prevented me from finishing it if it hadn’t been recommended so highly (and I’m very glad I did finish it!). Although it was at times hard to stand, the language fit the setting around it, considering they led some pretty awful lives. Not that that is an excuse, but I suppose they did say a lot of bad words back then (as they do now :\).
  2. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne – This book I read for school. I loved the first chapter…but I didn’t love it so much after that. His poetical way of writing was beautiful and inspiring, but the overall story was not very…happy. In fact, it’s a rather depressing book. I did, however, enjoy discovering the character of Hester Prynne’s little girl, Pearl, a lot. The book somewhat portrays her as a devil-child since she was born out of wedlock, but we readers know the truth. She’s just a stubborn, selfish toddler. Having watched Jonathan grow up, I know what toddlers are like and how children at her age think. She’s no more “devilish” than any other stubborn child, really. However, she was really clever and perceptive for her age and loved her mother (in her own way) very much, which intrigued me.
  3. * The Death of My Country by Maxine Trottier (part of the Dear Canada series) – This book is about the French and Indian War, particularly when the British take over Quebec City in the mid-1700s. Having been born in Quebec myself (and because the French and Indian War has always fascinated me), I loved learning more about my province and its history. It was interesting to see how the British took over the French’s city and started turning Canada into the mostly English country it is today. At one point, the main character writes in her diary that Quebec is no longer French, but English now that the British have invaded. In a way, she was right, but in another way, she was wrong. Quebec today is still very much French, but the rest of Canada is very much English.
  4. Look to the Hills by Patricia C. McKissak (part of the Dear America series) – This book is about a black girl who is a companion to a French girl who sails across the Atlantic and moves to Niagara in search for her missing brother. In this book, the main character discovers that no matter how close she and her mistress are and how kind she is to her, she will never really be independent and free while she is her companion. This book showed a different perspective on slaves while still emphasizing the need for their freedom.
  5. Mandie and the Medicine Man by Lois Gladys Leppard (part of the Mandie mystery series) – I love the Mandie series and this was another great mystery with Mandie and her friends, both white and Cherokee, searching for the group of people tearing down their new hospital.

Well, that’s all for now!

* (Books that I absolutely recommend to anyone have a * next to them!)

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