Book Reviews: May 2022 Reads*

by Asian Authors

*(3 stars or more)

Book Review: Book vs. Movie Edition – The Great Gatsby

Book

The Great Gatsbyjpg
The Great Gatsby

Name: The Great Gatsby
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
ISBN: 978-0-00-736865-5
Genre: Romance, Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 140
Difficulty: 4/5 Dictionaries

Plot Summary:

From the eyes of Nick Carraway, who we eventually find out is the only true friend of Jay Gatsby’s, we learn what Gatsby has sacrificed and done for Daisy Buchanan’s love.
In short, the story is about love and how unreliable love can be, especially when it is built on lies and misguided principles.

Favourite Quote:

“Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

Reasons Why You Too Should Read It:

1. It’s a great book to boost your vocabulary.

For half of the book, I was stumbling on two or three new words on every page. Words such as hilarity, echolalia, caterwauling. It’s also a recommended book for those taking the SAT.

2. You learn several moral lessons.

You learn the ugly trait of greed and carelessness. You learn the hard truth that life isn’t always fair. But, you also realise that eventually, the ones that we can truly depend on when all things fail are family. Some friends might become family, but not if the relationship was built on lies.

3. It’s a classic.

The book tells a story of the bygone age of US history. In the 20s, the parties were bigger, the morals were looser, and by 1933, prohibition ended because it was clear it had backfired. Instead, people were making their own moonshine or getting alcohol through other illegal means. The Great Gatsby is a window to the world that most Americans wanted to learn from as America became a wealthy superpower in the years after.

Movie

The Great Gatsby (2013 Edition)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If I had three words to describe the movie, they would be wild, jazz and elaborate.

The book trumps the movie because there is more sincerity and emotion in and between the characters. Such as that seen through Daisy and Gatsby’s love, Wilson’s pain and Nick’s disappointment at the novel’s end. I believe this is because the movie was produced for the big screen and is thus flamboyant. As a result, the audience is distracted by all the glam, and the focus on the moral lessons is minimised.

In addition, although I understand it is natural for there to be some slight differences between the movie and the book, I am pretty surprised by one. In the film, I think Gatsby is portrayed to be a villain. One example would be when he takes Nick out to lunch and decides to tell him his story while speeding across town. Clearly, he was scheming – trying to confuse Nick and get him to believe his lies. Also, there were strange phone calls and expressions that supported such an impression.

In the book, on the other hand, upon my first reading, Gatsby is portrayed as a man who is foolishly in love. Even though he isn’t a saint, his mistakes and evil doings all seem to be the fault of Daisy or have Daisy as the reason.

When it comes to a book with a movie, I always read it before watching it (whichever was published first, books/plays based on a film are not as common). I would recommend doing so because you get the most accurate version of the story. What about you? What’s your habit? 

P.s I would love to hear your take on which was better, the movie or the book?

P.s.s The review was also uploaded to Goodreads, do have a look!

Book Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson Cover
credit: googleimages

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: John Green and David Levithan
Genre: Romance, Young Adult
Recommended Reading Age: 15 & above
Pages: 310

Brief Introduction:                                     

In Chicago, in the most unusual location, Will Grayson meets Will Grayson on a cold night, and their lives change forever. Not only do they impact each other but those around them, and behold, sparks of everything are ignited from friendship to love. But, would a strong friendship blossom, or shall hearts be broken?

Favourite Quote:

“weltschmerz: the depression one feels when the world as it is does not line up with the world as you think it should be”

Reasons To Read It:

  1. It is brutally honest.

This isn’t a cliché love story. Instead, it is honest and raw, significantly speaking from Tiny Cooper’s perspective, a character who represents a group of individuals whose love lives are usually taboo. In addition, we get a peek into the struggles of being a teenager in this modern-day society.

  1. It’s a good bowl of chicken soup.

With Will Grayson, Will Grayson, you reflect. You challenge words and phrases that you probably failed to before in the past, such as ‘best friend’. You ask yourself if you are as courageous or passionate as Tiny Copper when pursuing what you love, and in turn, you learn a little more about yourself.

  1. It’s an easy read.

It didn’t take me long to finish the book, roughly a week, because of the humour and unique writing style employed in the book. Those who have read John Green’s work, you are most likely aware of Green’s carefree; make you laugh out loud writing ability he holds. The same was present in this book. In addition, the change in lowercase caps to differentiate the Will Graysons made it easy to follow the story.

Do let me know if you did or did not enjoy the book. Feel free to also leave any book recommendations.  

The review was also uploaded to Goodreads, do have a look!</strong