Fahrenheit 451

by Ray Bradbury

It’s true, I made it through almost 20 years of my reading life without picking up Fahrenheit 451. But at least I’ve read it now, right? And I actually loved it.

Like Speak, it was a book that I knew would be a favorite before I was even halfway through. I think I only made it a few pages in before I realized that this was good writing, and that I’d want to read it again. After I finished, I found out that Bradbury did not write this book about censorship (although you could certainly interpret it that way) — he said that he was thinking of how television decreases interest in reading books. The same could be said of the internet, the Romgi adds.

Now I just need to buy my own copy so I can digest it slowly.

The bonus: now I know how to spell Fahrenheit.

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The BFG

by Roald Dahl

Cute, short, fun, but without much depth. Then again, it was written by a giant, so what can you really ask for?


Speak

by Laurie Halse Anderson

Alright, so by now you’ve all heard that I’m terrible at figuring out where the plot is going, and that this can be a good or a bad thing. Sometimes, though, I pick right up on the foreshadowing, and of course, that changes how I read the rest of the book. Speak was written so that even people like me can figure out early on what happened to the main character before the story began. At first I was really proud of myself for knowing the unspoken secret, but then I realized that the author wasn’t really making it too much of a secret. The point was for the reader to understand how the main character dealt with it, and since it was a first-person narrative, the “secret” couldn’t stay hidden for too long.

Regardless, Speak was poignantly written. Amusing at times, heartbreaking at others, it was one of the best books I’ve read this year and mentally went on my Favorites list before I even finished reading. Better still, it provided a basis for the Romgi and I to have a really good discussion about life and society. I love books like that.

I was a little disappointed that Speak didn’t win the Newbery, but maybe it was too serious of a subject matter for that. It wins my award. For what? Um…good question. The Roni Instant Favorite Award, I guess.


Peter and the Starcatchers

by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

I’ve read a bit of Dave Barry in my time. Every so often — about once a year — I pull out a copy of his Millenium in Review (yes, that’s where I got the idea for my Year in Review) and fall off my chair laughing as I read it again. So I was fully expecting that Peter and the Starcatchers was going to be a complete tongue-in-cheek, sarcastically hilarious version of Peter Pan.

Well, not quite. It was more like the story behind Peter Pan, and it wasn’t all sarcastically hilarious. In fact, most of it was “serious” insofar as a children’s fantasy book can be. I have to admit, the whole Starcatcher thing was a little too ridiculous for me. Far-fetched, I mean. I like to think that I have a healthy ability to suspend my disbelief, but it just wasn’t working for this book. Maybe it’s because I saw (finally) Stardust recently, and for whatever reason, Peter and the Starcatchers seemed too similar. And too ridiculous.

That being said, I really enjoyed the book, despite its Starcatcher nonsense. And I even plan to read the sequel, Peter and the Shadow Thieves. I’ll let you know how it goes.