Review: Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

The novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, by George Orwell sweeps you into the world of Oceania, Airstrip One.

In Air Strip One, there are two parties: the Inner Party (the ruling party) and the Outer Party (the working party.) People in both Parties work in one of the four ministries: the Ministry of Love, the Ministry of Truth, the Ministry of Plenty, and the Ministry of Peace. Ironically each ministry concerns itself with affairs opposing their name.  For instance, the Ministry of Love deals in killing and torture.

Within the Inner Party is Air Strip One’s leader who is called “Big Brother.” Big Brother, who the Air Strip One citizens treat like a god, controls and watches everything. Through the Thought Police, Big Brother knows of every rebellious scheme against the country. Alone time is discouraged and a country belief is that “everyone belongs to everyone.”

In the Ministry of Truth, works a young man called Winston Smith. Although Winston feels like he does’t fit into the Party community, he never crosses a line. That is until he meets a woman called Julia. Julia is a woman who convincingly plays the role of a devoted Party member, but who actually despises the Party. As Winston and Julia bond and sneak away for longer periods of times, both unwittingly forget the forbidden nature of what they’re doing. And at the end of the book, the reader will discover just how far Air Strip One will go to break an individual’s will.

I enjoyed this book because of George Orwell’s vivid description of his prediction of life in 1984. The characters were also very compelling, along with the suspenseful action and disturbing thought of what a world would look like with no privacy, individualization, and free thought.

However, I thought the pace of the book took awhile to pick up. I would recommend Nineteen Eighty-Four to anyone who enjoys reading about haunting, dystopian worlds with disturbing thoughts about the future or enjoyed reading Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I would not recommend this book to someone who dislikes dystopian books, sad endings, and complicated worlds.

Rating: Read It! Choose It!

Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this book in the comments section. Are there any similar books you would recommend?


Favorite Fiction Books of All Time

This is a list of my favorite fiction book books of all time, they are not in order of preference.

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  4. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  6. Origin by Jessica Khoury
  7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  8. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
  9. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  10. The Maze Runner by James Dashner


Review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The dystopian novel, Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley describes a satirical utopian future set in London, England where humans are genetically engineered and raised for a single job.

Brave New World due to its broad topics is difficult to summarize. Therefore I’m not including a brief plot synopsis. If you’d like a good plot synopsis, visit GoodReads. Skipping the synopsis, I will just highlight the pros and cons of Brave New World.

I neither liked nor disliked this book, so I’m giving Brave New World a rating of Choose It! You could Read It! or Leave It! and not go wrong–I guess there is a third rating, after all. While I think the book had some meaningful warning of what the future may look like (maybe that’s why some people like the book), the book was very difficult to follow. During one chapter, every few sentences or so the character perspective would change, which is one of the reasons why. Also, there were lot’s of intense romantic scenes, which I personally disliked and skipped over.

The main character, Bernard Marx resembles Nineteen Eighty-Four’s main character: Winston Smith. Both protagonists have not fallen in perfectly with the unified mindset of their country. Brave New World bears a semi-resemblance to Nineteen Eighty-Four The plot wasn’t very clear–another aspect I disliked. If I hadn’t heard so many good things about Brave New World and I had known what is was about, then I probably wouldn’t have read it.

Part of the reason for this book’s rating is due to opinion and book preference. Leave It! is my subjective opinion while Choose It! is my impartial opinion.

Rating: Choose It!-Leave It!

Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this book in the comments forum. Are there any similar books you would recommend?

Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver, by Lois Lowry*,  shows you a world where everything is perfect…and controlled in almost all aspects.

Eleven year old Jonas lives in the Community. In the Community, there is no war, pain, fury or inequality. Nobody knows of war or Christmas, the very bad is hidden away with the very good. But there are also no choices, differences or individuality. Parents raise and teach their children from a young age to fit in with their fellow citizens.

However, one person remembers a time when love and hate existed. He is The Receiver and experienced both great good and terrible evil. The Receiver is the Community’s only link to the unsheltered past where strong emotions like despair and joy raged unchecked. When the Council, the Community’s government, desires advice, the Receiver is the one who shares because he knows of the past’s mistakes and triumphs.

When eleven year olds reach the age of twelve, they attend  the Ceremony of Twelve, where they receive their assignments (jobs) in the Community, and begin their job training. This year Jonas is twelve and will receive his assignment. He’s both excited and nervous. He’s unsure what his role will be. Unlike his friends Asher and Fiona, he’s never done volunteer work all in one place consistently.

To Jonas’s shock, he’s skipped at the Ceremony of Twelve. The Chief Elder announces that he’s been singled out as the next Receiver. During training, the former Receiver explains that Jonas is now the Receiver and he the Giver, and will receive memories from him, so that he can hold the memories for the Community.

Over time Jonas will learn of realities he would’ve never discovered without the Giver about the Community. As Jonas tastes memories of the past, he begins to realize the truth about the restricted world he lives in. What will he do with the powerful truth that he possesses?

*Winner of the 1994 Newberry Medal

I initially read The Giver because of the many good reviews I’d heard about it. I was not disappointed. In fact, the book exceeded my expectations and told an excellent story with a hidden message. You can’t have freedom without choice and neither can you truly appreciate the good things in life without experiencing the bad, too. I wouldn’t be surprised if The Giver is still a well-known book fifty years from now. This book definitely qualifies as a Read It! book with it’s beautifully disguised dystopia that makes reading the book all the more enjoyable.

Rating: Read It!

Please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions on this book in the comments forum. Are there any similar books you would recommend?