Tag Archives: magical realism

The Shadow of the Wind: captivatingly descriptive

TheShadowOfTheWindTitle: The Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Summary: Daniel, a young boy growing up in post-war Barcelona, selects a book called The Shadow of the Wind by Julián Carax when his father brings him to a place called the Cemetery of Forgotten books. Daniel reads the entire book in one night and is completely captivated. He searches for other books by the author, but discovers that someone has been systematically destroying all novels by the author Julián Carax. Daniel is sent on an adventure discovering the history of Carax. The novel becomes a story within a story as Daniel uncovers more and more about the life, love, and mystery of Julián Carax.

Six Word Review: Written beautifully, captivatingly descriptive, creative storyline.

I started reading because: I was looking for a longer novel that had historical elements.

I would give this book 10/10 stars because it’s a thrilling story with complex plots and fascinating characters.

I loved the way the author described things and constructed the story. I hated how complicated the plot was. I read it during the school year so I wasn’t able to read it in lengthy sittings and it sometimes weeks passed before I was able to pick it up again so I kept forgetting important details.

If Daniel was in a high school yearbook, he would be voted Most Likely To: Become A Private Investigator.

Anything else we should know? If history and english are two of your favorite subjects, this book is for you.

 ​–Regina, 17, West Seattle




Claire’s List of Books to Read!

There’s always so many books that I want to, but never have the time to read! Of the many books that are on my to-read list, these are my top five.

bookthief1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My sister got this book for me as a present a few years ago.  I read the first 30 or so pages, and then for some reason I didn’t pick it up again.  My mom “borrowed” the book from me (I swear she’s a book thief – pun intended), and I didn’t get it back until a few months later.  In 8th grade, I read Zusak’s I Am the Messenger, and I loved it.  Ever since then, The Book Thief has been one of my top five to-read books.  Also, the movie is out so after I get around to reading it, I can watch that too. Continue reading

Cyber punk, magical realism, and questions of the afterlife…

HBWatEotWIs the elimination of the problems of life worth the loss of the mind?  Is an eternity of Boredom better than nothingness?  These are the intriguing questions Haruki Murakami dives into in his novel Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.

The novel takes place in two separate worlds.  One world is futuristic cyberpunk-esque yet slightly mystical, containing information theft, Kappa, and other-worldly science.  The second world is a mythical world, containing unicorns, dream-readers, and shadows that die.  Each chapter switches between each world.

This a good book for you if you are a fan of cyber punk, magical realism, human behavior, and questions of the afterlife, but this book is not the easiest to read.  The author spends much of the book focusing on detail, and towards the end, on the way the characters spend their lives.  Instead of continuously working towards a problem, solution, and ending, the author explores the lives of the characters in intense details and creates a more realistic story, from the perspective of human nature, than readers seeking action-packed novels may be accustomed to, or even enjoy.

–Sam Z, Teen Blogger

Teen Review: Like Water for Chocolate

 Recently, I had to read Like Water for Chocolate, by Laura Esquivel for a school assignment. It is the story of a young girl, Tita de la Garza, and her family. Tita has two older sisters, Rosaura and Gertrudis, and a very strict mother, Mama Elena, who has lots of traditions and rules that the family must follow. Including that Tita must take care of her mother until she dies since she is the youngest. This becomes a problem for Tita when a young boy, Pedro, asks to marry her. Her mother refuses to let him marry Tita but suggests Tita’s older sister Rosaura instead. They marry and the drama ensues from there. Continue reading