Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Reviews: Kitchen House, Spring Moon and Wallflowers

I know I've said this before, but I love getting books that can be read in a few days, either because they're so good I can't put them down or they're short. Anyway, here are my latest book reviews.

The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

After she was orphaned on a slave ship, Lavinia, an Irish girl, becomes an indentured servant on a plantation in the South. As she grows, her relationships with the black slaves become complicated as she is thrust into the world of the plantation owners. The plantation owner, Captain Pyke, is rarely home, his wife lives in an opium-induced stupor, leaving control to an evil field-master. As historical fiction, it's not very likely or accurate (it doesn't seem to be) but still is an interesting story. And as frustrating as Lavinia may be, since she seems to be rather immature in a lot of her decisions, I was still dying to know how the story would end. I'd give it 3.5/5 stars.

Spring Moon by Betty Bao Lord

This came highly recommended by my mom, and she describes it as a story of a "typical Chinese family" but very well written. Lord tells an in-depth story about, Spring Moon, a member of the renowned Chang family. From the time she is young she lives through the rigors and traditions of a young Chinese girl, from having her feet bound, to be married off to a man she's never met at 16. As she grows and has children of her own, China is changing around her; going through revolutions and eventually following into communism. It's a really incredible story. I didn't love it as much as my mom did, I got kind of lost in some of the characters and am honestly don't know much about Chinese history so wasn't that invested. 3/5 stars.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Chbosky tells the story from the point of view of Charlie, a high-schooler, writing letters about his freshman year experience to an unnamed acquaintance. He becomes friends with a group of seniors, has a crush on one of them, ruins his first relationship, deals with his family, drugs and alcohol. At the very end of the book, an important, life-changing fact about Charlie is revealed that sort of made me appreciate where he comes from and the book a little bit more.  I went into this books with pretty high expectations and was sort of disappointed throughout. His experience was really different from mine in high school and I don't necessarily appreciate seemingly "typical" stories about high schoolers, where they deal with drugs, alcohol, etc. Anyway, 2.5/5 stars.

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