Showing posts with label coming of age. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coming of age. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Watership Down Book Review

Wonderful Book To Read

A review of a classic book for you  to consider reading, Watership Down. You may have been required to read this book when you were in Middle or High School. I fall into an age group that wasn't; when I was still attending school it hadn't been written yet. So, I'm quite late to the game but I enjoyed this book a whole lot and would have loved writing a report on it or discussing it in a classroom. (I was one of those strange kids who relished those book assignments!)

watership down rabbits
Would the rabbits of Watership Down look like these two?
image courtesy of pixabay.com

I had heard of this book written by Richard Adams and first published in 1972 but had never considered reading it. From the title I guess I thought that it probably had something to do with a ship or a sea battle. I couldn't have been more wrong. Watership Down is actually a chalk hill in Hampshire, England. The story is about a group of wild rabbits who flee from their colony and warren when one rabbit senses that danger is on the way.

Richard Adams didn't set out to write a book but instead began to make-up the story to entertain his children on a long road trip. His daughters loved the tales so much that they encouraged him to write it all down and make it into a book. Adams was rejected by several publishers before Rex Collings Ltd took a chance on him and published it for him. The book was so well received that it won both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Prize. I wonder what those publishers that rejected it thought when that happened!

My attention was drawn to the book when I was watching a re-run of a British television show. The presenter was in Hampshire showing properties to a couple who wanted to move to the country. He pointed to the real Watership Down and referenced the book. My curiosity was peaked so I looked up the novel and ended up buying it. I was not disappointed!


Brief Synopsis of Watership Down


The main characters of this wonderful book for children or young adults are wild rabbits. Just like with humans each has his or her own personality. Fiver and Hazel are friends growing up in a colony of rabbits in England. Both are about a year old and haven't found their place in the hierarchy of the colony yet. Life is hard for young rabbits in any warren; it is a bit harder for Fiver because he is smaller than most rabbits of his age and most think he is more than a little strange. Fiver shares a vision that he has had with his friend that warns of some kind of danger coming to their hillside home. He insists that the entire colony needs to flee immediately. Hazel has learned that his strange little friend is usually right when he "sees" things and encourages him to go tell the Chief Rabbit.

The Chief dismisses little Fiver when he hears the warning. He figures the little buck is just trying to find an insured spot in the colony since he will never be able to be in the warrior or guard class, he is just too small. A few believe the small rabbit while others are rather easily convinced. A small band of young male rabbits leave the warren in the middle of the night to follow Fiver and Hazel to a new land that is believed to be safer for them to begin their own colony in. 

As you can imagine their trip to the down (hill) that they can see on the horizon is filled with adventure and danger. The young rabbits form stronger friendships and try things that are new to them. Each finds strengths they never knew they had. 

I loved this story! Even though it was originally written for children, adults can and do enjoy it, too. It is rather a tome with over 400 pages but I think you will find that it isn't difficult to finish, it is so well written and interesting that you just keep flipping those pages. It is a great book to read for yourself but also one that would be wonderful to read to a child or group of children in several sittings. You can share it with children aged 8 or older and I think they will love it just as much as you will.




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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Summer Between Reviewed

Sometimes A Book Touches Your Soul

summer scene
Summer scene image courtesy of pixabay.com
A few days ago I finished reading The Summer Between by Amanda Linton. I wanted to share my review of it with you today. Amanda is pretty new to the YA genre of books. In fact, I believe this book may be her first. It doesn't read like a first book, though. 

I had put her book on my TBR (to be read) list after getting to know her in a group that I belong to on Instagram. Her book cover and the line on the cover grabbed my attention. The line reads "I'll see you at the line where the waves meet the clouds." That made me want to find out more about the story.

I think that many will relate with Cleo Porter the 17 year old main character in the book. As she enters into her senior year of high school, she hides behind her camera. She snaps glimpses of the world that she doesn't feel like she belongs in. Her relationship with her mother, touched me greatly because it was more than the usual teenage girl/mother strained existence so many experience. This went deeper and I knew it because I had a similar relationship with my mother. Always hoping for acceptance and never quite getting it. A very believable and touching part of Cleo's story.

Bebe Blattner comes bursting into Cleo's life as a new student at school. Bebe is loud, she is too tall and she lives each day as an adventure. Cleo has known Bebe since they were small because they went to the same church but never attended the same school until now. Bebe makes friends with everyone, the popular kids, the less popular and the ones in between. Cleo struggles with keeping the few friends that she has. They are just about as opposite as two girls can be.

This is a story of coming of age, of finding who you are and the bond of friendship. It is a story about family; the one that shares our DNA and the family we choose as our friends. The future may look bright but often fate walks into your life in a way that might break you. This is a story of one girl working through the pain of loss to try to become whole again. Will she be able to?

I absolutely loved this book! It touched me in so many ways and I look forward to Amanda's future works. She is an incredible writer weaving a believable story on each page. Even though this is considered a Young Adult book, I think that most woman will fall in love with the characters and the story. In many ways, we have all lived at least parts of it. Take a chance and give this new author the recognition that she deserves. You won't regret it!




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