Katina – Roald Dahl (1/27)

This is the first short story in Volume One of Roald Dahlia Complete Short Stories. This book has twenty-seven short stories and I want to post a review for each individual one, that way I can give each one their due credit.

Katina is the first story in this collection, that have been put together in one place for fans of the amazing Roald Dahl. Katina was first published in Ladies’ Home Journal in March 1944, and it’s nice to see these little facts included.

Katina is the name of the little girl that is found alive among the rumble and dead bodies of 1944 war time (I’m guessing by the date this was written). She seems so out of place and she doesn’t speak English or the language of the soldiers. The little girl in the story resembles, for me, a little bit of light, or a distraction to the story and for the soldiers, among all the darkness, cruelty, death and bitterness that comes with war. She’s found amount such brutality and seems so out of place. So innocent.

I am not somebody who likes reading war stories, but knowing that Roald Dahl spent time in the war, you can really feel the truth in his words from his own vivid experiences in the words you’re reading. The descriptions and the writing is so vivid and expressive, you can imagine it all and feel it all. Then when the ending comes, you feel every word of it. It hits you and it’s so real, with no punches held back, just like war. You don’t get to decide the perfect ending, who lives or dies, you have to accept what happens, no matter how it makes you feel.

For a brief short story, it was unexpected, especially coming from Roald Dahl, when you’re used to reading about Everlasting Gobstoppers and made up fun children stories.

I am excited to read the rest of his short stories in this collection. . .

Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian

What can I truly say about this book?

Throughout this entire book, it was such an emotional and beautiful masterpiece that, in my opinion, really should be read by everyone. It’s one of those books that just speaks to you and that you can learn from, especially when you’re a child and then if you read it again as an adult. This book teaches you about so much and when I finished reading this book, I was left thinking about countless of things. It teaches you about right and wrong, loss and heartbreak and so much more. The innocence only a child has, mixed with the anger and rage of the war. There was so much truth, which made this book just heated with emotion. As an adult reading this book you can see everything and understand it all, whereas a child may not and does not it this book, and that breaks your heart to see. To see such audacity occur to a child. It makes you ask questions and look at yourself a little deeper. 

The two main characters, William and Tom, are so different at the start of this book, but by the time you get to the end of this book, they have become so similar. You can see how these two characters have developed and grown throughout the entirity of the book, as their development is and plays a part of the story. I can’t point to anything negative to say about this book, because of how much great the writing, the plot, the characters, the story is. This book just emotes so much. What you are left with and what you take away is important. 
I saw the movie adaptation when I was younger and had such a strong bond with that movie, that I was hesitant to read this book because I didn’t want those memories tainted. This book just added to those and is one of the closest and truest book to movie adaptations I have seen. I give this book a massive 5 stars with a recommendation to everyone, no matter what age or what genre you like to read. 

Book Review: Glass Sword (Red Queen, #2) – Victoria Aveyard

Glass Sword ReviewWARNING!!!! MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR BOOK 1 RED QUEEN!!!

“Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?”

I went into this book thinking that I was going to really hate it because of all the negative and bad reviews that I had heard and read EVERYWHERE when this book was first released. This is why it has taken me so long to actually read this book, from then to now. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book and was so eagerly awaiting this sequel when it first came out, which is why I think I have been therefore putting off reading it for so long. Plus I also read the two novellas, Queen Song and Steel Scars thanks to Netgalley in anticipation for this book a while ago and they were such huge disappointments!

I am a stickler when it comes to series and wanting to see how stories, plots and characters unfold and completing them, and I was already one book and two novellas deep, plus I had already bought the book. I was however, pleasantly surprised by how much I did enjoy this book. They do say if you go into something thinking you’re going to be underwhelmed, then you can only go up and I did. Don’t get me wrong, there were some bad points to this book and reasons I can clearly see why there are so many bad reviews, plenty of them. It can be majorly repetitive which was really annoying, it doesn’t quite live up to the first one book as most sequels don’t, and can be quite a daunting, drawing out a little, making reading this book feel more like a task rather than enjoyment at times. But it did have it’s good points to it also. You do get to see what happens in the aftermath of how Red Queen ended and how all the characters deal with it and how the story then goes from there. You get introduced to all of these extra characters, building up this plot and leading you up to this ending and you get to see the world a little bit more from the other side. We get to see how the events of the previous novel had an impact on their lives and their mental states. We get some heartache and we do actually get some action. But it does seem rushed at points also.
But for me, I hated Mare! This isn’t good when she is the main character of the book, and even more so when this whole entire book is told from her perspective. I can never really connect to a book when I hate the main character, because I have no emotional investment in this book. There was one truly sad part and that just made me hate her so much more. But maybe it is a little justified to a degree, without giving away spoilers. I would read the third book, which is why I read this book now, and hope that it’s better than this one, maybe reading and listening to reviews first and hoping it jumps back up to the quality and story we all loved when it came to the Red Queen!.
3 Stars

Quote of the Day

“It’s really a wonder that I haven’t dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.” – Anne Frank