Tag: Classics

Book Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden
Author:
Frances Hodgson Burnett

First Published: 1911
331 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to. When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he’s away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle’s vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven’t heard, spiking Mary’s curiosity.

Kim’s Review:

This book is a classic! Not the stuffy, hard to read type either. I remember the first time I read this book; it blew my teenage mind! Someone from my mom’s family gave me my first copy and I think I decided to read it when I didn’t have anything else to read. I was surprised by how much I liked it! Just recently, I realized how long it had been since I’ve read it, so I decided to read it again. It’s still a great story filled with wonderful characters and an amazing setting! Misselthwaite Manor is everything our gothic fantasy could desire! All the way down to mysterious cries throughout the halls and a mysterious recluse that stays hidden. I also love watching Mary grow into the little girl she was supposed to be from the beginning.

It’s not a parenting book but I think modern day parents could learn a lot from it. Overall, this is a book that everyone should read! I think kids would love it and I know it catapulted me into a deeper love of reading!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Book Review: The Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney

The Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Author:  Jack Finney

First Published: 1955
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

On a quiet fall evening in the small, peaceful town of Mill Valley, California, Dr. Miles Bennell discovered an insidious, horrifying plot. Silently, subtly, almost imperceptibly, alien life-forms were taking over the bodies and minds of his neighbors, his friends, his family, the woman he loved—the world as he knew it.

First published in 1955, this classic thriller of the ultimate alien invasion and the triumph of the human spirit over an invisible enemy inspired the acclaimed 1956 film, directed by Don Siegel and starring Kevin McCarthy, one of Time magazine’s 100 Best Films.

Kim’s Review:

I listened to this book on audio and I really enjoyed it! I had seen the old movie several years ago, so I remembered the bare bones of the story. It’s definitely subtle horror, but horror none the less! It was a little too slow for me at the beginning, but then it picked up till the very end. The concept of being replaced by whatever these pods created was pretty scary and the feeling of utter helpless really sold this story. It’s not very long and very easy to read. Finney even opens it by saying that there aren’t many answers given and it left many loose ends, so I was actually worried I wasn’t going to like it. Sure I’d love to know the history of these seed pods, but I was happy with the information given and I really enjoyed the story!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Book Review: Psycho by Robert Bloch

Psycho
Series: Psycho #1

Author: Robert Bloch
Published: April 10, 1959
208 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

The story was all too real-indeed this classic was inspired by the real-life story of Ed Gein, a psychotic murderer who led a dual life. Alfred Hitchcock too was captivated, and turned the book into one of the most-loved classic films of all time the year after it was released.

She was a fugitive, lost in a storm. That was when she saw the sign: motel – vacancy. The sign was unlit, the motel dark. She switched off the engine, and sat thinking, alone and frightened. She had nobody. The stolen money wouldn’t help her, and Sam couldn’t either, because she had taken the wrong turning; she was on a strange road. There was nothing she could do now – she had made her grave and she’d have to lie in it. She froze. Where had that come from? Grave. It was bed, not grave. She shivered in the cold car, surrounded by shadows. Then, without a sound, a dark shape emerged from the blackness and the car door opened. Psycho is not a tale for queasy stomachs or faint hearts. It is filled with horrifying suspense and the climax, instead of being a relief, will hit the reader with bone-shattering force.

Kim’s Review:

I listened to this book on audio and a great listen it was! Holy cow! I totally get why Mr. Hitchcock latched onto this story the way he did! Norman Bates is a terrifying figure. Through his mother and you have a creepy story with a fascinating twist. And what makes it even more interesting is the time period it was written in; back when mental illness wasn’t really understood nor treated well. I can’t really say much about Psycho without giving too much away. I’d like to think that most people have at least watched the movie so they know what the twist is. However, for those who don’t, I won’t say too much. But I think everybody should read Psycho. It’s a Criminal Minds fan’s dream book! I love it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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