The Future is Dead (1984 – A Book Review)

1984
Author: George Orwell
Published: 1949

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1984 - flavorwire

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WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

The year is 1984 and during this time, three continents: Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia, have been at war for a long time. Technology is at its utmost heights. It’s the ideal utopia…but it’s not. Language is constantly changing, turning lies into the truth. Television watches you wherever you go. Even love is distorted.

This utopia where a simple crime or immoral wrongdoing could get you vaporized and your every thought and emotion is monitored by the Thought Police, you are not you. War is constant and seemingly never ending. Following Winston, get a firsthand look at this new future where your everything is controlled and the future isn’t as bright and shiny as it appears. You are watched to make sure you follow the leader, though Winston begins to search for individuality in whatever way he can in secrecy.

Big Brother Is Watching You

This book scared the ever-loving crap out of me. It felt realistic and left me shook.

The story was really slow at first, but then little by little everything was being revealed and the more that was revealed the more frightening it was! And by the time I got too far it was too late. The jeering hatred spread across the pages that was encouraged throughout the book by The Party was jarring. How dark this book is, is quite unnerving for me. The idea that an all-powerful ‘Big Brother’ is watching everything and everyone is just too creepy.

1984

The tone was mechanical and automated feeling and then started changing little by little as Winston’s world changed. I really enjoyed how it shifted along with the character. It’s unique and intriguing, emphasizing him changing throughout the novel. The ending made my blood run cold. Since I try to keep my reviews as spoiler free as possible, I can’t tell you anything more except that I felt utterly stripped and drained and heartbrokenly horrified. The book is really in depth, too. There’s not a single moment where I felt lost. Everything is so well thought out, increasing how intense it is.

Winston felt like such a plain person at the beginning, but grew more and more as I kept reading. He was utterly simple and ordinary, but so is everyone in the book. That’s how The Party liked their people. Compliant. Blind. Mindless. To have thoughts or any true emotions was a death sentence.

I crumbled a few times during the book. There were no holds on what went on around Winston. It was like he lived in a grey world and slowly began to see color. (Pleasantville, anyone? Only much worse.). In such a world like this one, I wanted to protect him and warn him of all the dangers he was in.

1984

The Party, the great antagonist, was mysterious, but the kind you didn’t want to figure out. This government held all of the power and didn’t hesitate to use it to put people in slavery without them even realizing it. Imagine if every step you took or every breath or thought was being watched? Feeling like that one song by The Police? Well, that’s The Party AKA totalitarianism. Total control to the point that they could make it possible that you never existed.

Following along with Winston, he was slowly coming to see what the world was really like and how dangerous The Party was. The entire city he lived in felt so plain and dark and generic, just the way The Party wanted it. The technology was scarily advanced just so that it could invade every aspect of people’s lives. It heavily reminded me of what happened with the FCC just months ago. There was nowhere that felt safe.

1984

Do I recommend this? Certainly. The writing is spectacular and truly brought this whole twisted, futuristic world to life to feel real and possible. From the eyes of a man that lives day to day in this dark utopia. My brain just took off at the speed of light with so many contemplative questions. It’s deep and crazy and had my heart racing with dread. READ THIS!

Quotables:

“Until they become conscious they will never rebel and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” (p. 70)

“Sanity is not Statistical.” (Winston, p. 218)

“But the whole universe is outside us. Look at the stars! Some of them are a million light-years us. They are out of our reach forever.” (Winston, p. 265)

More to come soon…

–K.

P.S. Song today? One Step Closer by Linkin Park.

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Forever Until There’s Nothing Left (Wither – A Book Review)

Wither (Book #1 of The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Published: 2011

Wither

My Rating:Full boltFull boltFull boltFull boltHalf bolt

3/25

 

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Because of a deadly virus, women die at the young age of twenty and men at twenty-five. It’s not unheard of that girls are kidnapped right off the sidewalk by Gatherers to be sold and married off to wealthy men, but Rhine never expected it to happen to her. Then suddenly she and two other girls are married off to the rich Governor Linden Ashby and she’s brought into a life of lavish and exquisite slavery. She can have anything she desires, but Rhine is determined to escape by any means necessary so she can get back to her twin brother, Rowan.

“This is my story. These things are my past, and I will not allow them to be washed away, I will find a way to have them back.” (Rhine, p. 22)

 

This book marks 3 out of 25 authors, from my New Year’s resolution, that I’ve never read from before. This was Lauren DeStefano’s debut novel I was instantly drawn in because of how dark and twisted the world she created is.

 

Rhine Ellery’s life of survival turns into one of privilege and wealth overnight. She doesn’t want to be in this beautiful mansion and she certainly doesn’t want to be getting married, not at sixteen and not when she’s only got four years before the deadly virus takes her. She wants to be with her brother, Rowan. Now, she’s locked up like a princess in a tower. To get free she’ll have to act like she cares for her husband, Linden, though he genuinely loves her. One of the attendants, Gabriel, helps her with her goal and as she grows closer to them and her sister wives, she starts wondering what’s an act and what’s not. Can she escape? Is she sure she truly wants to?

Wither

Holy shit. This book was pretty good. This is a story’s structure is ruled mostly by its imagery and let me tell you, it was powerful. Everything from the buttons on someone’s shirt to bubbles in the bath to what Rhine eats for lunch is so vivid and colorful. DeStefano really sucked me into this world with all of this up close imagery. I was disturbed and horrified as I read further because this rich world became dark and twisted right quick. A place that nobody is safe in. The plot just thickens and thickens each time Rhine discovers a secret. My stomach just kept churning because of the development of the story. It wasn’t terrible! Not at all! But, a lot of what went on in this mansion was pretty messed up. There was no real love in it. This is a story of sheer survival. Later on down the road could there be feelings? Totally possible.

Rhine is such a strong and smart character. Nothing breaks her stride. While she wants to protect those she cares about, she also stands up for what she believes in and never allows herself to get close people if she can help it. I was actually very surprised with the male characters. Both Gabriel and Linden. They were the damsels; both of them were brought up with silver spoons in their mouths, believing this rich life was okay and never knowing what was underneath.  It was strange because I’ve never come across something like this. And when I say damsel, I mean damsel. They were weak minded, though had strong, kind, and loving hearts. The villain of this book was so creepy! He was nice; the kind of nice you can see right through like saran wrap and see the smart, cunning man who is capable of doing anything without remorse. It was deeply unsettling. All in all, I was greatly surprised by all of the dynamics of the characters. This is certainly a bunch I’ve never seen before. It really made this a fun read.

I have to say, the story being told from Rhine’s POV does get repetitive, but in this case there is the exception. Yes! One does exist. It isn’t DeStefano, it’s Rhine that’s repetitive. She’s clinging on to her life, reminding herself of who she is so that she doesn’t forget. She pushes herself harder because of all she’s lost. It didn’t drive away from this book, but made me even more impressed with Rhine and how strong she is. She doesn’t give up. And the pressure she is under from everything around her and inside of her increases the further the book goes. You really don’t realize the value of the small or large things until your life is put on a time limit. Then every little bit matters. You have to make it last for all it’s worth. This was a primary thought of mine as I read. She holds onto everything.

Wither

I must give praise to the cover art of this book as well. I usually don’t gush over cover art, but I can’t help it. The artwork really blends well with the story with its elegant and eerie touch to beauty. It’s quite haunting and give glimpse of what this world that Rhine’s been pulled into looks like. The geometric lines and magnified/cleared imaging over the wild and steampunk elegance reminded me of the periodic table ; element squares connecting to others. And the title itself is so subtle in reference to not only what the virus does, but what this forced life of luxury does.

Wither

This is a great book. Very different and totally unique. I usually don’t go with the elegant frilly kind of story, but this was seriously dark. I was completely enthralled with this biological, futuristic novel. It’s worth a read.

 

Quotables:

“I do not want to stand out. I do not want to stand out.” (Rhine, p.3)

 “I’ll tell you something about true love. There’s no science to it. It’s natural as the sky.” (Dad to Rhine and Rowan, p. 119)

“Make that boy happy and he’ll give you the world on a string.” (Vaughn to Rhine, p. 228)

 

More to come soon…

-K.

 

P.S. Song today? Thnks Fr Th Mmrs by Fall Out Boy.

 

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To the Future! (The Time Machine – A Book Review)

The Time Machine
Author: H.G. Wells
Published: 1895

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A brilliant time traveler holds a dinner to tell his tale of a harrowing journey he just returned from. He tells his guests of the people he met and the places he saw with incredible detail when he visited the year 802, 701.

I think that at the time none of us quite believed in the Time Machine. (p. 11)

The time traveler describes those he meets as ‘exquisite creatures’ of ‘futurity’. He goes on to describe their elfin and china-like features and how innocent and delightful they are. Honestly, I kept thinking about Minions since the people of this community that the time traveler landed in all look alike.

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Soon enough the time traveler comes to miss an important part to his machine that prevents him from getting home. More so, Morlocks, who I pictured to be a creepy rendition of skeletal ghost-like creepies, dwell in the tunnels beneath the oasis that is right where London used to be. While trying to get home, the time traveler tries to protect his new friends.

Author of War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells created an entire futuristic world of complete awe. His attention to detail is phenomenal and this tale is all being told in the past tense of having happened already. That’s what really made me like this so much. The point of view was unlike anything I’ve read so far. This classic Sci-Fi piece is an adventure and a unique and beautiful look into the future.

 

Quotables:

“We are kept keen on the grindstone of pain and necessity, an, it seemed to me, that here was that hateful grindstone broken at last!” (p. 29)

“Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life.  thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. I thought of the great precessional cycle that the pole of the eart describes.” (p. 54)

 

More to come soon…

K.

P.S. Song today? Science Fiction/Double Feature from The Rocky Horror Picture Show….It just came on and I pressed repeat.