Monthly Archives: August 2015

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel – BOOK REVIEW

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Have you ever read a book that has you in awe from the moment you start it until the very last page? Station Eleven is that book for me.

I wish I could give this beauty a standing ovation. Mandel completely enamored me with her incredible prose and her ability to make such vivid characters that I instantly cared and worried for. There were many shifts in perspective and time, but it was done so well that I hardly noticed the changes. This novel deals with many themes, such as humanity, relationships, civilization, and loss.

Due to the Georgia Flu pandemic, ninety-nine percent of the world’s population died. We’re able to see the lives of a few people as they deal with the fall of civilization, as well as how they dealt with life before mostly everything was gone. A group of musicians and actors called The Traveling Symphony goes around the settlements that formed after the pandemic to perform Shakespeare plays and play music, and they do this because survival is insufficient.

“Hell is the absence of the people you long for.”

People are what make this world work, and I think that was an important message in this story. And how beautiful is it that not one person is perfect, and that everyone, absolutely everyone, is flawed? Once you meet someone, whether it’d be a friend, a lover, a kind person who offers you a nice smile, it affects your life in some way. It shapes the person you are, and the person you will become. And their presence lingers on you, despite disaster, heartache, betrayal. The people we meet tend to have a long lasting effect on us. Humanity holds us all together.

“He’d adopted new speech patterns. But of course he had, because since she’d last seen him and there had been eleven years of friends and acquaintances and meetings and parties, travel here and there, film sets, two weddings and two divorces, a child. It made sense, she supposed, that he would be a different person by now.”

This novel is brilliant. It frightened me sometimes because it made me ponder on how easily everyone and everything could be lost. It made me realize how finite we are, how mortal and defenseless. It made me value the things that I have, things that I use every day without any small consideration. Mostly, though, it made me value and cherish people. How often do I think when I go out somewhere “there are too many people here, I wish they would leave.” But despite the violence, crimes, and injustices surrounding us, I genuinely value humanity. Now more than ever. We make history every day. We invent brand new things. We improve and change and learn every day. We love and create and help each other. Isn’t that worth appreciating while we still have it? Isn’t this life worth living, knowing there are no guarantees it will be here forever?

I think this is a highly significant book. It’s like a person–full of flaws, charisma, love, wonder, emotion, and hope.

Top Ten Book Friendships

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  1. Ron and Harry (Harry Potter series)
  2. Aristotle and Dante (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe)
  3. August and Summer (Wonder)
  4. Charlie and Patrick (Perks of Being a Wallflower)
  5. Aysel and Ramon (My Heart and Other Black Holes)
  6. Juliette and Kenji (Shatter Me)
  7. Katniss and Finnick (Mockingjay)
  8. Thomas and Chuck (The Maze Runner)
  9. Aaron and Thomas (More Happy than Not)
  10. Ty and Nick (Cut & Run series)

Character Spotlight #7

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Name: Aaron Warner Anderson

Books: Shatter Me, Unravel Me, Unite Me, Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi

Get to Know Him: Warner is the commander of sector 45, son of the supreme leader of the Reestablishment. He dresses nicely, speaks with perfect grammar, and loves to read non-fiction handwritten books. Warner has green eyes and blond hair and is symmetrically perfect, or so I’ve heard. He loves scented soaps, bubble baths, his enormous closet, and a girl he sort of maybe kidnapped to use as a weapon at war.

Why I Love Him: I loved Warner since he first appeared in the very first book of the series. In his villain stance, with his sassy comments and charming lines, I couldn’t help but fall for him. Then as the series progressed, my love blossomed and it became a near obsession. Warner is such a serious person, but the few times where he shows what’s hidden inside, they are so precious. I think there are so many layers to this character. His intensity and his vulnerability really took me by surprise. He’s someone I wish I could hug and protect, even though he wouldn’t like that very much.

Favorite Quote: “People can think whatever they like. I don’t desire their validation.”

My Life in 10 Books (Tag)

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This tag was created by the lovely Emily May from TheBookGeek. You can watch her video here. In this tag, Nicole and I chose 10 books that have really made an impact in our lives at the time period that we read them. These books were important to us for various reasons, so let’s get started.

1.

NICOLE

Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

I didn’t read this series technically, but my kindergarten teacher would read them to us every day, and I loved it so much. It’s one of the first books I remember reading and enjoying.

ISIS

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

I read this book in my sophomore English class in high school. I wasn’t an avid reader, so I struggled with it, but I understood the story completely. I was captivated by the friendship in this book, and the heart-wrenching ending. It was the first time a book really affected me emotionally.

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