Wuthering Heights

518A0CQ6VVLOne of the most beautiful and yet tragic love stories of all time and an all time classic, Wuthering Heights is the story of the difficult upbringing of Katherine and Heathcliff and their love – and – hate relationship from the moment they met, to their death (and beyond!). Emily Bronte’s one and only novel takes us to an isolated cliff of the English countryside, which is known as Wuthering Heights due to the strong winds around the estate. Katherine’s father, who has found Heathcliff roaming the country alone and adopted him, will soon die, and she will be placed under her  alcoholic brother’s protection along with Heathcliff. Abuse and fear will bring them together and they will fall in love, only to be parted when Katherine decides to marry in a rich family instead. But this will not be the end of their story.

Bronte’s story is so beautifully described, that it makes you believe that you are there, in Wuthering Heights, along with young Heathcliff and Kathy while they grow up. It is a heart breaking story, but in the same time it is so beautiful that its powerful lines will move t is a heart breaking story, but in the same time it is so beautiful that its powerful lines will move you beyond the horrors of the heroes. Imagine a love story that doesn’t end, even when death comes; it is this story. But there is more to this book than a love story. Religious hypocrisy, fake morality, marriage for social status and wealth and racism are some of the issues dealt with in the novel. Taking into consideration that it was written in the Victorian era, this is a radical piece of literature.

Should you read this? Yes, yes, yes! Whatever the genre you like the most, this is one of the literature treasures you need in your heart, mind, bookshelf. It is a transforming and inspiring piece of literature, and, although gloomy (we have to be honest, here), it is something you will not regret reading.

A game of thrones

a-game-of-thronesHow does someone write a review of a book that has been too big of a success and is currently also a huge success as a TV series? It is, admittingly, very difficult. The Game of Thrones phenomenon has spread throughout the world in a very short time and has become one of people’s favorite stories.

But let’s just focus on the book for a while. In the land of the seven kingdoms life is more than hard; it is cruel and borderline psychotic.  After the suspicious death of the King, every ruler wants the Iron Throne, and we have to give them credit- everybody tries! The means are different; some lie, some cheat, some kill, some bribe others. Some of them believe they have a claim to the throne, some know they do not and still yearn the power. Hopefully, despite them all, there are also the honest people, the ones that want to do what is right, so the balance becomes somewhat better.

This is not a book for the faint at heart. Yes, what you have heard (or watched) is accurate. There are a lot of murders, and I do mean…well, a lot. More than you would have to meet while reading the Silence of the Lambs. And there will be a lot of violent scenes, heartbreak, anger and many many rivalries. It is , however, consistent with the world George Martin has set up. It is practically Middle Ages, and that was a cruel time with zero romance and 100% violence and treachery. If you are into that sort of reading, you definitely should read this. If you watch the series, again, read the book. It is much better than the series (isn’t that always the case?). Fair warning, however; if violence is not your thing, this book isn’t your thing either. This is well written, with beautiful descriptions, but it needs a very strong stomach.

Silver in the Blood

silver-in-the-bloodDacia and Loulou are maternal cousins, whose mothers are from a high nobility family of Romania. Born and raised in New York, two years before their eighteenth birthdays they are  ordered to travel to Bucharest in order to meet with their maternal family. The year is 1897, and Romania has recently become a whole nation under the reign of King Carol. Beautiful country as it may be, though, the girls quickly realize that something is very, very wrong with their Florescu relatives. And why is everyone so persistent as far as Dacia’s acquaintance with Prince Mihai Dracula is concerned?

There are a lot of supernatural stories out there nowadays, since it is a trending genre. I can assure you this is one of the good stories, the well written ones, one that – especially if you have read Stoker’s Dracula – you will appreciate.  Written in Stoker’s style, with letters between the heroes and extracts of their diaries, it is a truly well composed story. The big secret of the Florescu Family reveals itself only halfway through the book, and although the words silver, blood, Romania and Dracula make you obviously very suspicious, thing are not exactly what you imagine they will be. Which for a book, I believe, is a very good thing.

 

Should you read this? If you are a fan of the supernatural element, you should definitely give it a go. If you like fiction but you’re not a big fan of mysterious things/creatures/circumstances…well, I still say give it a go, you might end up liking it. Besides, trying a different genre from time to time is a great way to enhance your preferences!

The giving tree

givingtreeAn apple tree and a child play together every day. While the child grows things start to change. He starts being concerned with other issues, leaving the playing behind.  The apple tree , however, never stops loving him. So every time the growing man appears, the apple tree makes a sacrifice for his happiness, whether it is her leaves, her branches, or her heart.

A highly controversial children book, it has been a subject of both criticism and praise ever since its first publication in 1964. The Giving Tree teaches the act of selfless love and complete devotion, yet it seems just a tiny bit difficult for a child to grasp. The story seems to not be exactly for children, yet a little bit too simplified for adults. The concept of never being satisfied and materialism are points too hard for a child to understand.  The_Giving_Tree

Whatever the criticism concerning the book, it is worth a try for your child as well as yourself. It is a small, melancholic but beautiful story that is certainly worth giving devoting a little time on.

Seraphina

Seraphina_book_cover_(US_addition)“We are all monsters and bastards, and we are all beautiful”

Welcome to  the kingdom of Goredd, where after many years of war against the dragons, humanity has decides to live with them after the signing of a peace treaty. After the King is found murdered under suspicious conditions, Seraphina, a sixteen year old court musician, gets involuntarily involved and tries to solve the mystery along with Prince Lucian.

A complicated world unravels before the readers’ eyes; Goredd is a Kingdom of wonders, a Victorian-type parallel universe, where music is wondrous, people are suspicious, and dragons, who can take human form, are extremely intelligent but lack any emotion. Complicated politics, lack of tolerance, hatred, but in the same time light, intelligence, understanding, and eventually love, are all aspects you will meet in Hartman’s novel.

However, the most important issue addressed is the aspect of being different in a society with zero tolerance regarding uniqueness. There is a clear picture of what people, today, in our universe (not only Seraphina’s) go through when they are even a tiny bit different from everybody else. Hiding your unique abilities, your strange thoughts, your different character, being scared, and eventually embracing yourself and becoming strong is the best lesson you could ever get from a book. And it so happens that it is a lesson Seraphina will offer you!