Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Published: September 17, 1954
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
As provocative today as when it was first published in 1954, Lord of the Flies continues to ignite passionate debate with its startling, brutal portrait of human nature. William Golding’s compelling story about a group of very ordinary boys marooned on a coral island has been labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, and even a vision of the apocalypse. But above all, it has earned its place as one of the indisputable classics of the twentieth century for readers of any age:
At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate. This far from civilization they can do anything they want. Anything. But as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far removed from reality as the hope of being rescued.
What. A. Read. I mean holy cow! I’ll admit that I should have read Lord of the Flies many years ago, but for whatever reason, I just read it recently. I’m actually glad I didn’t read it in high school, ‘cuz I guarantee you, I wouldn’t have understood, nor appreciated it. Plus, I wouldn’t let most teens read it anyway. It’s incredibly mature for teens and I’m not sure it can be justified as high school reading. Maybe senior year . . . Maybe.
It started off slow. I had no idea what was happening. As with much great literature, Lord of the Flies is all about the journey, the growth. I spent most of the book trying to understand what the heck Golding was trying to say. Ivan and my dad kept telling me to stick with it, the ending will be worth it, you’ll get it at the end. That’s the reason it’s getting 4 stars, it did get a bit monotonous in the middle and there was no end in sight. It did get a little frustrating. But I kept reading, and boy were they right! The end is everything! It all comes down to one line and it reveals the entire reason Golding wrote Lord of the Flies. I can’t quote it ‘cuz I don’t want to spoil it. I would absolutely recommend that every college student be required to read Lord of the Flies. And anyone who hasn’t read it yet, needs to! An excellent book!
Author: Michael Northrop
Published: February 1, 2011
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: September 2-6, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive. . . .
Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn’t seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision. . . .
Trapped is a short and quick read that I enjoyed until it abruptly ended. Were the last few chapters accidentally left out of my copy? Nope, that was it! Who lives, who dies, and what’s going to happen next? I will have to decide that on my own…
I was pulled in from the beginning wondering what was going to happen. I knew it was going to be a bad storm, but the snow just would not stop! These poor kids just kept getting worse off as the novel progressed. For a YA novel that has boys and girls stuck alone together, there surprisingly was not much teenage drama: They were focused on survival.
If you like quick YA reads, give Trapped a try. Our narrator is a boy, which is a rarity in YA novels. *Disclaimer*: Going in keep in mind that the novel ends with no conclusion/ epilogue.
Northrop wrote another novel which interests me called Surrounded by Sharks. It is similar to Trapped in that it deals with survival, but I doubt I will read it. It is about the same length as Trapped and I am afraid that there will be no conclusion, and my thinking is this:
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
If you have actually read Surrounded by Sharks, I would love to know if there is a conclusion to that novel!
Other than the lack of conclusion, Trapped would be perfect to read while it is snowing: I just hope you don’t end up in a blizzard like our poor teens![Top]
Down a Dark Hall
Author: Lois Duncan
Published: September 1, 1990
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Kit Gordy sees Blackwood Hall towering over black iron gates, and she can’t help thinking, This place is evil. The imposing mansion sends a shiver of fear through her. But Kit settles into a routine, trying to ignore the rumors that the highly exclusive boarding school is haunted.
Then her classmates begin to show extraordinary and unknown talents. The strange dreams, the voices, the lost letters to family and friends, all become overshadowed by the magic around them.
When Kit and her friends realize that Blackwood isn’t what it claims to be, it might be too late.
I found the movie, with Uma Thurman and AnnaSophia Robb, and decided to watch it. And then I realized that it was based on a book, so naturally, I went and bought the book! I have to say that for such a simple story, the atmosphere that Duncan creates around Blackwood Hall is brilliant. It’s another implied horror book, but I was still creeped out and completely believed in the danger. As I said, the actual plot is very simple and not hard to figure out, but the fact that the villains are not what one would expect makes it all the more horrific. Kit is a strong character who is smart enough to carry the story. I think this is the perfect paranormal story to give to teens to help keep their attention. A great story that’s easy to read!