Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Revolution" - Review
I am interrupting my series of posts on "Maddigan's Fantasia" to express the enjoyment I experienced in the holidays while reading Jennifer Donnelly's novel, "Revolution."

"Revolution" gives a first-person insight into the life of eighteen-year-old Andi, who is struggling to cope with the sadness induced by the loss of her younger brother in a road accident. Driven to the brink of depression while trying to keep her heartbroken mother sane and get along with her father (whose only love in the world appears to be his work), Andi can only seek support in music. Despite her difficulty in maintaining her mother's presence in reality,  Andi is furious when her father checks her into a psychiatry hospital and insists that she accompany him to Paris where he is performing tests to determine the identity of a certain human heart which is said to have belonged to a prince living during the French Revolution. However, her refusals and complaints fall upon deaf ears and she is forced to relent. While in Paris, Andi discovers and ancient diary telling the story of a girl who lived during the French Revolution and who also lost someone she loved...

Andi and the girl are united despite living centuries apart in this poignant novel and as a reader, I clearly experienced Andi's pain as my own as a result of Donnelly's ingenious writing techniques. The book does contain some adult topics which nearly caused me to stop reading at certain points and may be considered to have an atmosphere that is simply too melancholy to appeal to many readers. Regardless of this, I thoroughly enjoyed "Revolution" and would recommend it to any avid readers from the ages of fourteen and up.

Enjoy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Maddigan's Fantasia - Post Three
Today, I ventured a little further through the pages of "Maddigan's Fantasia" and was surprised by what I found. The part I read today described a change in the heroine's emotional state. This event appeared to provoke the occurrence of a spontaneous change in Margaret Mahy's writing style. This change somewhat altered the atmosphere within the book and if I am to be honest, I think it slightly stagnated the flow of the story. It momentarily occurred to me that the new style of writing might develop into one that was less collected and possibly abusive of grammatical rules - I have encountered this in numerous other novels - but as I read on this prospect became relatively unlikely and now I have almost ruled it out completely. The quality of the writing is not poor, but I found it a little repetitive and, if I am to be harsh, a bit inferior. On a more positive note, this has not entirely marred my enjoyment of "Maddigan's Fantasia" and currently bear no intention of concluding my reading experience. I still look forward to reading more.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Maddigan's Fantasia - Post Two

Admittedly, I have only read two chapters of "Maddigan's Fantasia" between my last post and today's, but those two chapters have been pivotal towards the enjoyment of my reading experience. The recently deceased Margaret Mahy, who is the author of this book, displays unforgettable talent in capturing the emotions of her characters in her words which I am sure were painstakingly chosen and shaped into captivating phrases and sentences. While grieving for her dead father, Garland meets two mysterious boys who claim that they are on a very interesting mission - one involving the use of a very interesting dimension! Garland struggles to trust the boys and their ridiculous-sounding stories, but the majority of the circus crew are happy to accept them as one of the boys is extremely talented in the art of magic.

So far, I have not experienced any difficulty while reading this piece of literature but am preparing myself for a thick plotline which may excersise my inferring, mental paraphrasing and synthesising skills.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Maddigan's Fantasia - Post One

Having only started fifty pages ago, I already love Margaret Mahy's novel, "Maddigan's Fantasia." Set in a fascinating image of the future, the novel illustrates the story of Garland, the twelve-year-old tightrope walker of Maddigan's Fantasia Circus.  I can vaguely see a problem arising to create a plot and can't wait to see where the storyline leads.

This is the stage at which I can see a good opportunity to use a "Guided Reading" skill: Predicting. With the circus having just endured a vicious attack from their enemies, I can see potential for a huge conflict. Also, members of the circus at this stage in the novel are debating moving to a city which is quickly running out of the futuristic form of the energy that powers our societies today. This could cause another huge problem in the book and could create an exciting plotline.  The title, as far as I can see, has not helped my predicting a great deal, but the first couple of chapters definitely have.

I can't wait to keep reading!