Cameronia

This is the place where Jourdan Cameron writes about books.

Little Brother

Little Brother - Cory Doctorow Though it has been years since I read Doctorow's Little Brother, I can't forget the disappointment I felt reading it. In spite of having been (much) younger, I couldn't shake the feeling while reading the book that Doctorow was trying very desperately to tell me something about surveillance. I'm not a man against putting a message in a book; I've put one in my own. The trouble is, I felt that the message in Little Brother- the one warning me about what I post online, who I talk to, or how I should behave- was shouted at me. I feel that if Mr. Doctorow was subtler with his message, it would've been far more effective and thought provoking. Instead, I got bashed over the head with it.

While I thought the story was interesting (and, given the current political climate, believable), I don't feel that it was well executed. I got a bad sense of "I'm a big boy and I swear!" from the protagonist- he was vulgar to the point of awkward. I'm not a book-burning fear-mongering censor-jockey; I just feel that some parts of the book were there for the wrong reasons. In particular, there was a poorly handled sex scene that didn't at all fit into the context of the story- while Doctorow had the good sense to fade to black, I couldn't shake the feeling that what had just happened didn't make any sense.

I appreciated the little nods to 1984, and I thought that while the overall idea of Little Brother was great, it felt like somebody pushing an idea with a story hidden in it somewhere- it didn't feel like a book that contained an idea.

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury I loved Fahrenheit 451 because it was a book about burning books that was far more than a book about burning books. F451 is a book about the true cost of the loss of culture- it can be burned books or banned films or the unsubtle self-imposed censorship of an idea- regrettably, this book isn't particularly "fresh" in my mind, and it's been a while since I've read it.

What I can remember, however, is that besides a great message, F451 featured great characters and a very interesting world. The main premise is that firefighters set fires to libraries, hunting down those few strange people who cling to books, creating the most spectacular of funeral pyres for the last bastions of culture in the world.

The book follows Guy Montag, a firefighter who befriends a strange girl who inevitably turns his monotonous, fiery life upside-down. I'd hate to spoil the story, but I feel comfortable saying that Mr. Montag discovers what's gone horribly wrong with his world. What made Fahrenheit 451 so special to me is that Bradbury makes his point without shoving it down my throat- even though I'm a little surprised that his protagonist didn't put the pieces together particularly quickly, I never felt as though I was being led along by the hand.

Overall, it's an excellent book- I'd consider it to be life-changing in the way that it encouraged me to think about the sort of media that I both consume and create, and how it affects me.

Lies: A Gone Novel

Lies - Michael  Grant To be honest, I don't remember Lies very well at all, and thus can't write a full review- I'm writing this some years after having read it. That being said, I do remember hating it- it wasn't as interesting or thought-provoking as the first book, an it was after I finished Lies that I decided to quit reading the Gone series.

Turn back now, while there's still hope.

Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)

Mockingjay - Collins Suzanne Mockingjay is a book that will reach through its pages, grab you by the throat and slap you for good measure. Of course, I mean this in the best possible way, but also as a warning to anybody who wants to read this book: it is extremely powerful. I must apologize now, because I'm afraid that I simply do not know what to say about this book. I'm totally speechless. It was... It was a masterfully composed novel, with powerfully conveyed messages against violence, a strong (but obviously not superhuman) protagonist who feels extremely real, and a cast of interesting and multifaceted characters.
On account of my being so shocked (positively!) by the book, I'm suffering extreme difficulty writing this review.

Full review:
http://thestuffiread.blogspot.com/2010/09/mockingjay.html

A Northern Light

A Northern Light - Jennifer Donnelly Pretty fascinating, an interesting look at life in New England earlier in the 20th century, through the ambitious eyes of Mattie Gokey, who has a love for literature and desires to go to New York to become a writer.
The story is excellently written and, for the most part, devoid of the cliches that could have severely put a damper on this book.

For the Win

For the Win - Cory Doctorow I absolutely hated Doctorow's first book for young people, Little Brother. However, I can say that in For The Win, Doctorow has redeemed himself many, many times over.
Full review here:
http://thestuffiread.blogspot.com/2010/08/for-win.html

The Hunger Games: Catching fire

Catching Fire  - Suzanne  Collins I really enjoyed this book; Collins has written yet another awesome book.

I wrote a review here:

http://thestuffiread.blogspot.com/2009/12/catching-fire.html

Gone

Gone - Michael  Grant Currently reading... Book club...

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, Book 1)

The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins I wrote a review here:
http://thestuffiread.blogspot.com/2009/11/hunger-games.html

This book is quite scathing to reality TV, and encourages its readers to think for themselves about complex moral decisions the protagonist faces. In all, a very good book.

Currently reading

Mind Changer by James White