The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is truly a conundrum. It is a story with intricately woven twists and turns. It is one of those novels where the true meaning of the plot is invigorating and the comments that Fitzgerald makes about the society in the 1920s are astounding. It was the first book I was glad to have read in an English class and not on my own. The nuance in the text adds to the story and having a teacher there to explain it all made the book more intriguing.

This is a book to delve into the world of the roaring 20s and for one to get lost in the madness of the time. It is one of those novels that is so exquisitely that it feels as if one is living in the story. Every minute detail of the picture is painted allowing one to see the world Fitzgerald is commenting on. One of the best parts of this book is how easy it is to lose one’s self in it. Reading this book feels like being transported back into time which is not only educational but also a great time passer. Reading this book feels as if no time is passed at all because it is so easy to start reading and then look up at the clock and see that hours have passed.

This story, focusing on a man Jay Gatsby and his extravagant lifestyle sorts through the lies, mistruths, and rumors that are constantly thrown around about him. Gatsby’s confidant, Nick Carraway helps balance the story showing the difference between the honest truthful citizen and the corrupt misleading money-hungry rich. Through these, to characters and the people that surround them, Fitzgerald tells his story. However, his story is a criticism of society more than anything. He portrays the disparity between the rich and poor.

The comments on society are the most interesting part of the book. It is so elaborate yet truthful that it makes one wonder. This wonder keeps one coming back to the story until the end. This story is one I would recommend to someone who wants an interesting read. I read that is for more than just fluff but instead has true meaning.

-Ava G.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This novel was one I was assigned as a summer reading assignment which, undoubtedly deterred my interests from the story. It took a lot of psyching myself up to finally delve into the world Marquez had exquisitely painted. But immediately the book was extremely intriguing. The first line of the novel was an eye-catcher stating “On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on.”

This novel, in the beginning, was confusing. The book was not written in chronological order as suggested but instead jumped around in time. This constant shift through time made it hard to understand a cohesive story during the early stages of reading. However, after a few chapters, the story came together. So as a suggestion, do not let this initial confusion deter you from reading this book.

By the end of the novel, this jumping through time helps create a more intriguing story, creating suspense because the author can choose specific information through different times to give to the reader.

This story is also accurate to the customs of the place in which the story was written. So, it gives an almost realistic feel to a seemingly horrific action. It also allows readers to have some insight into the practices of a different era and different location. This story, stating that the main character was to be killed, then follows the actions which allowed the main character to suffer such a horrific fate. This story ended up being one I extremely enjoyed. I finished the book in a day because I just could not put it down. So, sometimes these books that we are forced to read because of school can actually be enjoyable. It gave me something to do over the summer which was fun.

This book is a nice short read for anyone who is interested in a mystery book. I would suggest it to anybody looking to read something different than the popular books that are being written today. For, this book brings a totally different perspective to the way books can be written.

-Ava G.

Chronicle of Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Its Finally Summertime. Now What?

We have all have staring at the clocks in the classrooms waiting for the minutes to slowly pass by until finally the bell rings to let us out of school. We have been staring at our calendars meticulously counting down the days until school gets out. We have all sat through the stress of finals. Gotten that last test done. Until finally that school bell rings for the last time of the year and school is officially out. Most of us have been waiting for this day since summer ended last year. Wanting some free time to ourselves, instead of pouring every extra second of the day in studying, doing homework, and reading. And the day finally comes.

It is always great for the first couple of days. Sitting around doing nothing. Not having to stress about the next test or the next big project. But yet, every summer is always the seem. We all want to get to summer but yet we get there and realize how boring it is. Sitting around all day with nothing to do, a sharp contrast to the constant motion of the school year. We get here and we do not know what to do with ourselves. Every second spent sitting around it seems as if there is a little voice in the back of our heads telling us, be productive, there is still so much to do, so much work to get done for next year. So many projects to be done to get ready for college applications.

So then comes the question, What do I do with all this free time?

Well, the best part about summer is that it is finally time to relax. Have fun, go out with your friends. It doesn’t have to be something productive. Because, you are still a teenager so enjoy being young.

But also instead of spending countless hours bored staring at a wall, pick up a new hobby. Read the book you’ve been dying to read. Find a new project to do over the summer. It can be something completely new like learning how to sew your own clothes or making things to redecorate your room. Make a bucket list of all the things you want to do. Get outside and be active.

Even though it is summer too, you should remember to get ahead a little bit for the next year of school. Don’t procrastinate on that summer reading assignment, instead read it little by little whenever you are bored and by the end of the summer it will have been finished stress free. Don’t let these nagging school projects stay in the back of your head nagging you and stressing you out while you’re also trying to enjoy yourself.  Instead just get them done before the summer all of a sudden ends.

Summer to is a time to get ahead. That SAT prep that you have been holding off from because you don’t have any time. Get it done so it is not there stressing you throughout the school year and all throughout the summer. All that volunteering that you wanted to get done to help the community out as well as make sure you graduate high school. Just get it done and over with.

Overall, summertime is a time to finally relax and enjoy yourself. It is a time to try new things and finally get to do all those activities you’ve been thinking about.  Just because it is summer it doesn’t mean you have to coop yourself up in your house and be antisocial. But still, summer time is an important time to get work done that you would have never had time to throughout the rest of the year.

-Ava G.

A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities is a piece of classic literature that many teenagers are required to read in English class. Which mean that when many people including me go into reading this book, it is in the mindset of getting it finished for class. Of course, reading for school also seems like a chore.

The book, however, is not horrible. Though, it is quite difficult to read and has a storyline that is confusing. Which makes reading this book take a long time because to truly understand what is going on, it has to be read slowly and be comprehended. But, reading books in this style of old English is a skill and does get easier over time.

This story is placed in the late 1700s and is focused on both England and France during the French revolution. Which makes it interesting for those who are into history. It gives an insight into life during the revolution and the turmoil and chaos that followed it.

The main character that the story follows is Charles Darnay, who travels between both France and England, as well as Lucy Manette and her father Dr. Manette who are the other main characters of the story. They allow the reader to have insight into the personal life of someone during the French Revolution and gives a different side to this historical event other than the typical reading from a textbook.

Throughout the story, there is a lot of drama, with long sections of suspense can be captivating but also off-putting for it seems as if there is no end in sight. There are long sections of buildup which are often partially resolved. Especially with Mr. and Mrs. Defarge who both help and betray Darnay. They also a large role in the revolution.

Overall, this story is confusing but is worth reading at least once. It gives a reader a better understanding of reading literature and of the past. It does take a while to read but, as the story goes on it become more interesting. This book is good for someone looking for a challenge.

-Ava G.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Movie Review: Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel actually exceeded my expectations. I went into the movie thinking that it would be extremely hyper-feminized in a way where it would actually take away from the movie especially, because of all the controversy surrounded the main actor Brie Larson. However, this movie did represent feminism in a way that was not annoyed and seemingly forced unlike many other movies that have been coming out recently. Which was nice. It showed the empowerment of women but did not push the idea so much that it took away from the movie.

The movie was by no means amazing or anything revolutionary or new. But, it was a pretty good average superhero origin story. It had some good actions scenes mixed in with an okay story line. Though nothing was truly that originally or different from any other super hero movie that has come out. There was a pretty cool plot twist which, I am not going to ruin which did make it a little bit more interesting. But, many of the main concepts where just like any other movie, the main character gets in a battle, looses, so then she goes back and finds her roots and all of a sudden she is a lot stronger. It is nothing new.

Overall though, the movie was entertaining and it was nice to see a woman taking a lead role in a superhero movie and showing the empowerment of woman and what they can do. It was cool to see that women where being represented in action movies and not just romance movies. The actions scenes where also very well done and the music chosen for the movie was amazing.

This movie is a great one to see to just pass some time and have some fun with friends or family. It is enjoyable to watch and is relatively engaging. I would suggest this movie to anyone who just wants have to have a movie night with others.

-Ava G.

Film Review: Aquaman

I recently went and saw Aquaman, and walked into the theater with the mindset that it would be just like all the other Marvel movies, super dark, a lot of action, a little storyline and some comic relief. And, this movie finally broke that formula though, it wasn’t necessarily anything that seemed that original. But, it was more of a fluff movie than some of the other recent and extremely dark Marvel movies that had been coming out like Avengers. So, it was nice to have something different that was slightly less dark with a little more storyline.

In essence, the movie seemed pretty typical. A forbidden love between two worlds with a child that has to bring the two together. And, of course, the child at first does not want to but, in the end, decides to try to save the day. So, the storyline is pretty much predictable. Though, the actions scenes where cool and the special effects throughout the entire movie were extremely well done.

This movie is the perfect movie to go and watch and turn your brain off. It is entertaining without much substance. But it provides a nice break to just stop thinking. I would suggest as a movie to go out and see with your friends and family to just have some fun. Since it is more of a light fluffy movie than a typical dark Marvel movie, you can finish the movie and not have that air of darkness and instead, it leaves you with a happy humorous mood. So it is great to just have some fun.

-Ava G.

Book vs. Movie: Lord Of The Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

The Lord Of The Rings series is just beautifully written By J.R.R. Tolkien. The Fellowship of the Ring is the first book in the series. Personally, I enjoyed both the book and the movie. They both totally immerse you in the world of Middle Earth, bringing you into the immense fantasy world the J.R.R. Tolkien has created. Giving you an escape from the real world, where you can, just for a couple of hours, live in the world of the Shire and Mordor with hobbits, dwarves, goblins, wizards, elves, and the all seeing eye. It is all a creative adventure that keeps you on your toes the entire time, wondering what is going to happen next.

As always, the book is better than the movie. It just goes more in-depth into the lore and the story. It has more characters and just more detail than what can be explained in the movie. The book tells the story of the adventure of Frodo Baggins, who has come into possession of the One ring, an extremely powerful ringed forged for the Dark Lord who, after thousands of years of submission has yet again started to rise. It is not an easy book to read and requires a lot of attention and comprehension, which is what makes it so easy to get lost in the book and forget about the real world.

The movie, however, is still very good. Unlike other books made into movies, the Fellowship of the Ring movie still follows the original story line, just cutting out some of the smaller details. It of course, is not as good as the book but it still is a great movie. Also, the soundtrack of this movie is amazing. It is one of my favorite movie soundtracks and it just help makes the movie great.

Overall, both the book and the movie are great. I would totally suggest both of them to anyone though, reading the book before watching the movie will probably help give you the full picture of the realm that J.R.R. Tolkien created.

-Ava G.

Both the novel and film are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.