The Host

21 05 2010

Title: The Host

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Level: Advanced

Review

The Host” is the first book of a trilogy, which will have been completed with The soul and The Seeker. These books have caused the same expectation as the preceding debut saga, the international best-seller TwilightStephenie Meyer amazes us with a romantic and science-fiction novel for adults.

‘A nail-biting love and treason story where humanity destiny is at stake. The Earth has been colonized by aliens who invade and take over human bodies. Wanderer, one of the invading souls, has to face indescribable emotions, dreams and regards from Melanie’s soul. She refuses to give up her mind without havifinding Jared. A loving triangle with only two bodies.’

Written in a nice and easy style, immediately accessible to any reader, with a infallible formula that you will get you hooked on it. It is a human story faraway from the language and topics of this genre (spacecrafts, ray guns..), set at our days, where confused human feelings and emotions are told in an elegant and wonderful observed way.

This captivating writer shows us an eloquent form to introduce characters, but baffled at the same time, as they entwine to confuse the reader. Melanie symbolizes the courage, the power and the human devotion, opposite to Wanderer, a candid and insecure creature who must decide between her feelings and carrying out one’s duty.

This is not the best book I have come across, but it is undoubtedly one that catches you all at once, the five books, one after the other.

 Rate: 3/5 

Reina Pérez  2ºNA



“Los profesores recomiendan”: 1984 (by Emilio)

9 05 2010

1984.gifTítulo: 1984

Autor: George Orwell

Editorial: Penguin Readers

Obra adaptada: SI

Nivel: Intermedio

Reseña:

The book nineteen-eighty four was written by George Orwell, pen name used by Eric Arthur Blair (1903-1950), and it was first published in 1949. Initially the book title was  “The Last Man in Europe”. Orwell participated in the Spanish Civil War and this fact made his literary career politically more intransigent.  Orwell is considered as one of the greatest writers of modern literature. With Orwell a new adjective that defines organizations or totalitarian societies was born: “Orwellian”. It is very difficult to define what kind of book this is. Some critics believe that it is a fiction book, but to me -I am not an expert on the subject- it is a political book. The narrator is not involved in the story, which is good from my point of view, because the reader will be able to draw his or her own opinion about the story. Three are the characters that deserve to be highlighted:

Winston Smith, a middle-aged man, is the main character of the story and we know 1984 world through his eyes. He hates the Party, but also he is a frightened and doubtful person. He seems defeated by the present, but when he meets Julia his pessimism starts to decline and he finds the only reason to live, the trust in the defeat of the Party and a free life with Julia but without the Party.

Julia, like Winston,  is against the Party, but has a different personality. Julia lives of the Party but not to the Party, she lives here and now; she definitely is more pragmatic than Winston. She uses sex to rebel against the Party. Julia’s relationship with Winston begins as a political act against the Party but in the end they fall in love and both of them swear not to betray each one.

O´Brien, has a high position in the Party and is a cool, clever and calculating person. From his role in the novel I think that he could be considered the symbol of the madness of dictatorship. Perhaps he represents the allegorical BIG BROTHER figure.

The story takes places in Oceania, one of the three countries in which the author divides the world, particularly in London in 1984, a year in the future. It is difficult to me to make a short summary of the plot, but I will try. Winston, who works for the Ministry of Truth is in charge of changing the past, he changes the news that is harmful to the Party. One day during an act called “ The Two Minutes Hate”, he sees a man (O´Brien), and he thinks he is a member of a secret society (The Brotherhood) against the Party. In the same act he eventually stumbles on Julia, a woman that he had previously thought to be a member of the Thought Police, and  they fall in love. They rent a room in the Proletariat section of the town (whose owner is an active member of  the Thought Police), to speak and engage in many anti-Party  acts, such as sex, love and other Thought Crimes (sex was prohibited by the Party). In the middle of the story, Winston stumbles on O´Brien and this man invites him and Julia to his house. O´Brien makes them believe that he is an important member of the Brotherhood and gives them a book supposedly written by Goldstein, who is the counterrevolutionary leader (everything is a trap). They are betrayed at once, by the owner of the apartment and by the man who was going to join the Brotherhood. Winston and Julia are sent to the Ministry of Love which is a sort of rehabilitation center for criminals accused of thought crime. There, Winston is separated from Julia and tortured until his beliefs coincide with the Party. Winston is taken to the dreaded Room 101, where each suspect faces his fears, his are the rats. Then he finally shouts “Do it to Julia!”  This is the proof of his recovery, the one his torturers want. 

In my opinion the book, masterfully written, alerts us about the danger of autocratic regimes and the methods that they use to limit the freedom and the thought of people in a sibylline form.  For example, if there are not words like love or crime, you cannot think of them because they do not really exist. The author at the end leaves some doubts: is there a BIG BROTHER?  Is the BROTHERHOOD an invention of the Party? Each community will respond to questions proposed by the author. The novel shows us, in a masterful  way, the painful life of people who live under totalitarian power. 

The book is highly recommended for people with political concerns. It is worth reading and moving, absolutely brilliant. I would also like to recommended another book by George Well “ Animal Farm”. On balance, please teenagers, read this book because your point of view about politics could change.

Valoración: 5/5

Emilio Jiménez Prieto 2ºNI



The Dream and Other Stories

11 01 2010

Título: The Dream and Other Stories

Autores: D H Lawrence, Daphne Du Maurier, Frank Tilsley, John Collier, W J Lederer, Cyril Hare, E Burdick

Editorial: Longman

Obra adaptada: Sí

Nivel: Intermediate

 

Review: This book is a very interesting compilation of short tales by different authors, all based on human relationships. It is a thriller where most of the tales have an important component of science-fiction.

“The Birds”, written by Daphne du Maurier, is probably the best story. Here nature revolts against human beings; Nat Hocken, a brave farmer, has to fight against a lot of furious birds in an attempt to protect his family. This story is absolutely thrilling, but the rest of them are interesting and entertaining, too.

I really enjoyed reading this book and I really recommend it to everyone who likes thrillers and good literature.

Valoración: 5/5

 Fernando Garcia Osorio 2ºNI



The Time Machine

15 04 2008

thetimemachine1.jpgTítulo: The Time Machine

Autor: H.G.Wells

Editorial: Penguin Readers

Obra adaptada: SI

Nivel: Intermedio

Reseña: This book is about a scientist who lived at the 20nd century. This man invented a machine which let him travel through the time.
With the intention of getting to know the future of the human race, he travelled to the year 802,701.
He expected to find a better world with a developed society. Instead, he found a primitive world where two opposite races lived. One of these lived at the surface and its population danced and sang and wore flowers. And the other one lived in the dark depth or earth.
On this enviroment, the scientist lived a lot of exciting adventures.
I liked it and I recommend you this book if you like adventure books and fantastic stories.

Valoración: 4/5

Mª Teresa Pereiro Álvarez



The Time Trippers Go West

6 04 2008

Título: The Time Trippers Go West

Autor: Maria Jack - Ian Lister

Editorial: Mc Graw Hill

Obra adaptada: SI

Nivel: Intermedio.

Reseña: The book tells us the extraordinary adventures of two school friends looking for their History teacher in the Wild West. This teacher was stuck in the past as a result of a journey in time. The plot explains how the two friends have to go back in time to the American Civil War in 1864 to rescue their teacher and come back to the present.
The book is quick to read because it has an interesting plot. I recommend it because it contains a lot of interesting vocabulary and comprehension exercises, and an extra section on culture. The book also includes an audio CD.

Valoración: 4/5.

Aurora Barrero López.



1984

31 03 2008

1984.gifTítulo: 1984

Autor: George Orwell

Editorial: Penguin Readers

Obra adaptada: SI

Nivel: Intermedio

Reseña: 1984 is an interesting book about the dangers a society faces when the Government controls every second of the people’s lives and when loving another person can be punished with death. This story shows us that there is no freedom unless ideas and beliefs can be questioned.
I think that it is an outstanding book and suitable for all age groups.

Valoración: 4/5

Ignacio Díaz Villar