This is where we will post our commentaries and responses for the Independent Reading Requirement.
(Remember commentaries need to be at least 300 words, and responses at least 150 words.) 

8 thoughts on “A3/4 Book Discussion

  1. Here’s my book review for this term! The book was incredible; I hope you guys all read it at some point. I’m looking forward to hearing what you read!

    In reading this book I was at once frightened– scared, even– but also amazed by beauty. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is at once quiet and subtle, but stunningly powerful and disturbing. You can see this when the main character describes the garden of her Commander’s wife, filled with beautiful flowers in bloom, like the “irises, rising beautiful and cool on their stalks, like blown glass, like pastel water momentarily frozen in a splash, light blue, light mauve, and the darker ones, velvet and purple, black cat’s ears in the sun, indigo shadow . .” but even the quiet and subtle things are not all quiet and subtle: “There is something subversive about this garden of Serena’s, a sense of buried things bursting upwards, wordlessly, into the light, as if to point, to say: Whatever is silenced will clamor to be heard, though silently” (153).

    It is filled with passages that describe the beauty of nature, however, this is a stark contrast to the dark and frightening things happening around the main character, Offred. Along with others like her–you could almost say “friends”– Ofglen, Ofwarren (are you sensing a pattern here? Took me a while to figure out that the women are named after their Commanders, just with the word “Of” in front). Women like Offred are a part of a society that subjects women under the pretense of bearing children. They live in a world where declining births are presenting a threat to society, so under the guise of religion women like Offred “must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant . . . [She] and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable” (book summary).

    Probably the reason I found this so frightening was how thoroughly the society controls the women– they aren’t allowed to even read– something that I find absolutely horrific– can you imagine?! They can’t go anywhere by themselves, they can’t dress how they want, they can’t eat what they want, and any trace of their former lives– their names, careers, family– are gone. It was the flashbacks that Offred has of her family and her daughter that they took from her that were some of the most powerful moments in the book for me. I can’t imagine someone taking away my children– or how I would live if they did. And yet, Offred’s story offers some hope. She joins an underground resistance, called “Mayday”, and fights– in quiet and subtle ways– against those in charge. One powerful and hopeful moment for me was when she describes how this happens: “We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of the print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.”

    May we ever find our way from the blank white spaces and the gaps between– to true freedom.


  2. Here’s my response towards the Magnus Chase. I find the book entertaining and has a variety of knowledge towards the Norse mythology. Has a lot of humor and brings controversial settings towards today’s lifestyles. It also brings a question towards what life would be like if old gods such as Greek Norse and Egyptian existed and still exist. The author also insists on creating a lifestyle of combined religions. Being that one of the main characters is Muslim. Which means that he is bringing more of a well-rounded world instead of what most authors do is have it specifically be on a specific topic. Generally what that means is that this the author has an idea of how book should be written in stays towards that. While this author as said before is more open and free writing and it comes out fairly balanced. It does have a lot of comedy when it comes to this book. In the book that I’m reading it goes over a idea which is abuse even though it doesn’t say out loud it has the characteristics which states that the author is unafraid of going over such a touchy subject as this.
    In my own words actually find this book fairly fascinating and entertaining to read. The only thing I don’t like about the writing is that he does use more of a simplistic writing style so that readers of all ages can be able to understand the story. Other than that I actually have read his other books quite often when I don’t have anything to do. It’s a great story to pass the time and relax. Something that you will notice is that in his stories is he starts off great in the story which captivates the reader as you start getting towards the middle it kinda slows down in previous books this was kind of a problem but he has made it better and this is a very delightful story. In the end I do recommend to read the series because who doesn’t love a good combat story with comedy it.


  3. The book I’m doing my review it on his call divergent. They version is a book that is more adventurous it put you into a different world it can make you forget about what you were doing and put you into the book and make you believe that you are there. My feelings on the book our the few different options I feel like. along the story there is characters that have to play a certain roll and no matter how much they try to solve a problem 3 along the story there is characters that have to play a certain roll kama which is really useful they all have their own certain part that they have to play it is really nice to know almost know what’s going to happen but then again what you think is never what’s going to happen in. The book will answer lots of questions but every time the characters answer question or problem where they fix something that they messed up they have to answer 5 more there’s no stopping point for them it is a book of mystery and it is very well written in very very well played out and lots of time into that book. You should definitely take a look at this book it is amazing book of you haven’t read it.


    1. Dustin Ostler, I agree with you that the book Divergent is a good one, and is a most read. The book is just able to pull you in and take you on a roller coaster of emotions from happy, sad, and depressing moments. It will always leave you in suspense, making you want to read more. My favorite part of the books story is the different groups and the different tasks they have. From the Dauntless which are the warriors to the Amity who are the peaceful faction that is laid back, happy, and kind. If you like this book i would suggest you read the other two books in the trilogy, they are excellent in there writing and continues the story of the characters, making twists and turns that you would never expect.


  4. My response on All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

    I really loved the book as some of the events that happen in the book also happen today too. Has a lot of humor in it, but can also be very serious and dark when it needs to. Another unique thing that this book has is that the events talk from two different people. Rashad, a ROTC boy who can draw really well, gets the short end of the stick. While Quinn, who knows the person that gave the pounding to Rashad, has to witness what the media is saying about his friend. The book is from these two different people, talking and explaining about the incident from two different perspectives. To me, that’s the really unique thing about the book as you have two completely different characters talking about the same incident. I enjoyed the book throughout so far and am waiting for more once I finish it. This book ends up picking on racism in the real world as a lot of the problems that happen in this book is either happening or has happened before in the real world. After reading this book, I realize that this book can somewhat relate to what I have gone through in my life which I am really happy to see. The book is really fun to read and with the different pov’s, can be a new experience for some. Also, there is a little cursing in the book but I bet you can handle it. Another unique thing is that it’s two authors writing the book. Remember that I told you it had two different perspectives? I thought that it was really cool seeing two stories mixed into one as every author has a unique way of telling and writing and this book can prove it to you. With the way the characters are written, you can see that both authors are writing as if they were writing their own book. Making one event from different views connect and show how different the world can be in another person’s eyes. Same goes for both Rashad and Quinn as one event breaks off into two completely different ways to handle and try to solve the problem. Imagine that with even more people! You can get an infinite amount of thoughts and views from just one event and this book shows it perfectly. It’s a great book to enjoy and pass time while comparing one to another at the same time. If you can, you should give this book a try.

    Your friend,


  5. The Screwtape Letters is the book I chose for term reading which is the story of a man being taunted by Devils. The book talks much of the conflict between an apprentice Devil, Wormwood, and his uncle, Screwtape who teaches him a great deal of tricks and tips on how to take over a human soul. The book is written in letter segments in the perspective of Screwtape.The writing style in this book is very “wordy” and metaphoric which creates an older feel to the book. The Screwtape Letters is set in an earlier time period during either WWI or WWII, and it gives context to the idea of an older feel to the wording in the book.
    As the book goes on it seems as though Screwtape gets more frustrated with his nephew despite his obvious improvements at certain times. The character development is subtle at first and progressively changes the deeper into the book it goes. They have an interesting relationship and though it doesn’t show the letters of Wormwood to his uncle, it’s easy to tell what they may have consisted of. Again, going back to the writing style which is excellent.
    In the book, Screwtape often mentions a being which he doesn’t name though calls “Him/He”. As many may have interpreted, this being may be inferred as Satan. Many times Screwtape convinces Wormwood that turning their victims soul over to “Him” is the most important aspect of it all. I find that very inclusive to the story and adds a great deal of quality context since it isn’t just the two. Speaking of, they also talk about what may be Angels as “The Enemy” and often times in the book they are fighting between the enemy to win the soul of the victim, The Human.
    This book gives a lot of great life details to into living stances and the aspect of good and evil. In this book that is turned around and the Devils are looked upon as the “good guys” which isn’t often a viewpoint in many people’s minds. But it brings an interesting and very original idea to this piece of literature. It makes it very enjoyable to read and takes quite a lot of time to fully understand the book but is great for really getting into the depth of a perspective such as this.


  6. The book I read for this term was the Seekers: The Quest Begins by Erin Hunter. Unfortunately I was unable to finish the book before the end of the term, but what i do know about the book is it’s about three bears that get separated from their families, and they group up to survive the harsh wilderness. From what I have read the book was very entertaining, it drew me in and made me want to read further. The writing was elegant and really brought me into the world these bears lived in. The beginning of the book is pretty basic, introducing the characters, letting you get to know them. The standard stuff. The story starts to take off at the end of chapter 4 where you learn that the world these bears live in is more dangerous than you expected. If you are a fan of any of Erin Hunters books, you will enjoy this one immensely.


  7. I’ve been reading Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh. It’s a Scottish book about a group of herion addicts in the 1980s. The story is mostly from the main character, Renton’s perspective. At some parts though, it’s told through different characters’ perspectives.

    Renton is clean on and off in the book. He struggles with withdrawal, overdose, friends getting locked up, relapses, and the death of someone close to him. It shows how bad heroin is through the characters glorifying it and seeing that they’ll do almost anything to get their next fix.

    I really like this book, the movie is fantastic as well. It’s a little difficult to read since it’s written in Scottish English though. I would definitely recommend it as long as explcit content doesn’t bother you. It’s a great book.


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