Thursday, January 27, 2011

Coffee For The Brain Book Tournament - Round 2 Decision - Life As We Knew It vs. Matched

This here is fantastic write-up on two novels that were battling it out.

First up we had Life As We Knew It

Here's our review from our 1st book Life As We Knew it by Susan Beth Pfeffer  Neither one of us enjoyed the book.  Amy wrote the review after we discussed our opinions.  If you have any questions or need to make corrections, please feel free to do so.  We can't wait to get started on our next book - hope we enjoy it more than this one!

A Book Review of Life As We Knew It

A meteorite is in line to hit the moon.  No big deal.  Meteorites hit the moon all the time -  that's how craters are formed.  Well, this time it is different.  It is a big deal.  This time, the meteorite crashes into the moon sending it significantly closer to earth.  With the moon no longer in it's regular orbit, all sorts of natural disasters happen: tidal waves, earthquakes, volcanoes, blizzards.  Life as we knew it would never be the same. 

The characters in this story do all they can to survive as conditions deteriorate and resources dwindle.  Just when things begin improving, tragedy after tragedy occurs leaving no reason to think things will ever improve. 

This story was just gloom and doom.   The plot was jumbled.  Characters were dull.  And the meaning of the story got lost half way.  Although the book is sad, it is not sad enough to make you cry, not happy enough to make you laugh and not deep enough to make you think.

I would not recommend this book to anyone.  I do not think that it is bold enough.  (1 star out of 5)

Next up, this wonderful pair of judges were asked to read Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Ally Condie– A book review

Most of us think we want to live in a “perfect world.”  The characters in this book actually do and the situations that they must endure to achieve this level of perfection have them wondering whether it’s all worth it. 

The story revolves around a young girl who is “matched” with a boy who will become her husband.  He has all of the right characteristics needed to ensure that there will be no major problems in the couple’s future.  All should work out perfectly, except for the fact that the girl has fallen in love with another boy.  When she realizes that she wants to be in charge of her own life and make her own decisions including who she will marry, she knows that achieving perfection at the cost of losing her free will is not worth it. 

This was a great book!  I did not want it to end!  When it did, I was left with lots of issues to think about and discuss with my family and friends.  Issues like whether or not living in a perfect world would be worth it if it meant we could no longer be able to make our own choices; is there really a way to actually achieve such a world or would that just be someone’s perception of  perfection and not truly reality when viewed from a bigger vantage point?

When a book leaves me with things like this to think about long after I’ve read its last pages, it is a real treasure.  I would highly recommend it anyone who may wonder what a perfect world would be like in the future. 

5 out of 5 stars!

And now for their decision

Amy and I both agree that between the two books we read - Life As We Knew It and Matched - Matched should move onto the next round.  Here is our rationale:

In Life As We Knew It, the storyline was predictable.  The characters were in survival mode experiencing one disaster after another.  At the end of the story, there was a slight reprevieve in the calamities they had to face but really no hope that things would ever get better for them in the end.  It seemed a gloom and doom type of book. We finished it feeling depressed.   

In Matched, the storyline kept us interested from beginning to end.  The main characters surrendered their chance to live in a perfect world in order to keep their ability to make their own choices.  It left us feeling that even though we ourselves do not live in a perfect world, we should be thankful for the things we have, including our freedom.  

So, one book left us feeling depressed and one book left us feeling thankful.  Since we like feeling thankful better, we have chosen the book that left us with that emotion to move on to the next round in the tournament.  In our opinion, Matched won Round 2!

Congrats to Matched for making it on to Round 3. Thanks to these two wonderful judges for taking the time to write all of this up for the tournament.

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