An Inspector Calls – Observations & Questions

Many thoughts have occurred to me since reading ‘An Inspector Calls’.What i absolutely adored so far is the how much irony is in the play. Some people may not find it funny but i certainly do, for example, Birling says, “We’ll try and keep out of trouble for the next  few months.”

You might not remember, but Mr. MacKnight mentioned a question in class a couple of weeks ago that i wrote down and could very useful, “What is the purpose of each character?” How do these character help us reflect on the main question of the play, “Are we all responsible for each other?” To some extent, i believe we are – and here comes the irony again because Birling mentions that “Of we were all responsible for everything that happened to everybody we’d had anything to do with, that would be very awkward, wouldn’t it?”

I have notice that in page 18, the Inspector says, “Are you sure you don’t know.” but there is no question mark at the end of his speech. I am not so sure what this means but maybe it’s because he already knows the answer and his question is rather like a statement than a question. (Or maybe it’s’ a typo?) Another thing that i have noticed is that everyone from the Birling family who was questioned by the inspector has lied an awful lot so far. This might come up as moral lesson later on in the play. One question that Mr. MacKnight mention in class a couple of weeks ago

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Review of An inspector calls

In the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ we have learned about 20 pages or so. In these pages, it provokes some mysterious questions that raise the readers attention, like ‘Are the actions we do responsible for other people’s actions?’. The question to me might be solvable and might not. Because in the play Gerald doesn’t seem to care much about Sarah Smith that he might have something to do with her suicide. If i was Gerald, i wouldn’t believe that the girls suicide is my responsibility, some other error might of gotten mixed up with my situation. In some circumstances we are responsible for our actions, but in some cases its not only our fault.

 

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Thoughts on ‘An Inspector Calls’

Up to this point, I have developed a partial comprehension of An Inspector Calls, which has provoked several thoughts regarding the theme and characters of this play. From reading the first twenty pages or so, I have observed and gained a deeper understanding of the attributes of the major characters.

As a rather provincial and avaricious man, Arthur Birling seeks to take advantage of his daughter’s marriage which would allow him to ascend up the hierarchy and raise his social standings in general, since the Croft family is relatively prosperous. Birling’s avarice is conveyed meticulously to the reader, through instances such as alluding to future profitable cooperation opportunities between the two family businesses – Crofts Limited and Birling and Company – when discussing his daughter’s engagement. On the other hand, this further reflects a sense that most women during that period of time live in an illusional world. For instance, the female characters in An Inspector Calls are convinced that love is at the centre of marriages and Sheila is marrying Gerald because of love. However, Arthur Birling views their marriage otherwise.

Furthermore, a trend that repeatedly occurs in the play is the apparent contrast between the younger generation and the older generation. The representatives of the younger generation are Sheila and Eric, whereas their parents and Inspector Goole represent the older generation. Throughout the play, Sheila and Eric express their distinctive views, thoughts and sentiments on specific topics. For instance, when discussing about recruiting young women as labourers, Sheila remarked that “these girls aren’t cheap labour – they’re people.” This connotes her sympathy for the working class, like her brother, and possibly a feeing of connection, which are sentiments not equivalently felt in return by her father and the inspector.

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An Inspector Questions and Observes

The inspector’s imposing manner changed the atmosphere of the engagement party almost completely. On page 11, line 3-4, you can see that the inspector interrupted Arthur Birling quite abruptly, rudely. This can show that not only isn’t the inspector not scared by Birling’s presence, but he is trying to become more superior than Birling, he is trying to become the person that takes control of this situation.

One of the questions that came into my head is “why must everyone lie?” On page 12, Birling lies about the fact that he does not know who Eva Smith is. What is the purpose of lying? Dismissing staff happens everyday in a business such as Birling’s, but why lie about it?

After observing, the Inspector is somewhat extremely smart in some sense. First of all, on page 15, line 7, the Inspector says: “It is my duty to ask questions”, but why pick the word duty? Why not pick job, career? This shows that the Inspector may not be what he says he is, duty means obligation, task, so that means that he might not be doing his job, but something that he was told to do, perhaps a match to ignite a fuse that will lead to leaking scandals within the police department (quote Birling, “don’t get into the police court or start a scandal – eh?” page 8 line 30,31)

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An Inspector Calls

So far in the play ‘An Inspector Calls’ we have read around 20 pages (not sure). Throughout these  pages, they provoked some unsolvable questions. One of them, as discussed in class, ‘Are the actions we do responsible for other people’s actions?’ There is no definite answer just like Mr Macknight said, “This question will follow you throughout your life” (not in exact words) But for now, I have some opinion that I would like to share. I think that the our actions are not entirely responsible for other people’s action but in some way it is. For example, if I was a teacher and I did not teach my student the right information and they end up getting a wrong answer in their text. It will be my fault and that is my responsibility. But in another example, if I go out with a friend and persuade the person to do something stupid and the person actually does it and gets into an accident. I am not entirely responsible for the accident. I am partially responsible for the person’s injury because I told him/her to do it but the person is also responsible for their own injury by listening to what I said and actually doing it. So overall, I believe, in some circumstances we are responsible for other’s actions but in some we are not.

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Treasure Island

I just started to read treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. It is an adventure novel about a child who found a treasure map and set out to find it.

So far I have only read the beginning chapters, where much is not revealed. So far only a child and a drunk pirate has been focused on. I really liked the quote said by a sailor who has been staying at the child’s inn. For months and the captain as he calls himself has stayed at the inn, without pay, while everyone is too scared to ask him to leave. One day after he has drunk himself blind, he experienced a heart attack. After the doctor attending to him, a conversation occurred where the captain was furious about not being allowed to drink his rum.

“Look, Jim, how my fingers fidget,” he continued, in a the pleading tone. “I can’t keep’em still, not I. I haven’t had a drop this blessed day. That doctor’s a fool, I tell. If I don’t have a drain o’rum, Jim, I’ll have the horrors; I seen some on’em already. I seen old Flint in the corner there, behind you; as plain as print, I seen him; and if I get horrors, I’m a man that has lived rough, and I’ll raise Cain. Your doctor hisself said one glass wouldn’t hurt me. I’ll give you a golden guinea for a noggin, Jim”

He was growing more and more excited, and this alarmed me for my father, who was very low that day, and needed quiet;

I really liked this quote, as stated at the beginning of the book and in other resources, this book paved the way for the introduction of the stereotypical pirate of the 19’th century and I believe that this quote can support that. The manner in which the pirate speaks as well as idolizes the rum to which he needs to stay sane with, is in relation to what we call a common picture of a pirate. Not only, however, it creates a dark twist in the story as both the father and pirate die. One due to being sick and the other to fall to the one thing that has been a companion for years. Furthermore, this quote, was slightly amusing as it plays well with the idea of a pirate with his drink. I am wondering how this will develop into a story line as till now it has been quite dull and uneventful.

 

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Innocence by Dean Koontz

Innocence by Dean Koontz was a slightly strange but well written book. The main character, Addison Goodheart, is shunned from society by a condition which is not mentioned in the book. All we do know about Addison is that he is grotesquely disfigured.

The story starts with some background information about Addison before the book actually begins. I enjoyed the background in a literary sense as it came in flashes before going back to the current situation that Addison was in however his past was quite gruesome and dark.

Later on he meets a young woman, Gwyneth, with a rough past in the library which he visited after closing time through underground tunnels as not to be seen. He helps her escape from someone which he doesn’t know. They begin an unlikely companionship as she doesn’t mind his differences.

Innocence was quite descriptive which really gave me a feeling as though I was in the book but occasionally it was too much. I do wish we could have known what condition Addison had since it would help picture the story even better.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fiction which is a little more on the darker side.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I recently read The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. It was different than most of the books I read as I enjoy standard fiction books and this was a realistic fiction book. The style of writing was also quite different as it wasn’t a nonstop book but a compilation of letters for someone, almost as though the speaker was writing to the reader.

I especially liked the time period the letters were set in, 1991. The main character, Charlie, who is a freshman in high school. Charlie is different to other kids his age in the sense that he is extremely shy, he is a so called “wallflower”. He only follows others and doesn’t have much freewill of his own, which is by choice.

The ending was built up and well done but definitely a bit glum, even though it was just showing what the reality of the situation was.

Overall I would say The Perks of Being a Wallflower was a really well written book in both the style and content categories. I would recommend this book to a more mature audience and someone who wants to read something a little more thoughtful.

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The Dressmaker -DEAR ENTRY

I have just started to read a book called The Dressmaker, it is about a relatively young women, Tess, who is incredibly lucky that she was hired by a famous fashion designer, Lady Lucile Duff Gordon, to be her personal maid heading to New York on the Titanic. Tess has made friends on the ship, one of them is a kind sailor and the other enigmatic Chicago businessman. Sometimes in the day, she sneaks off to play squash in the bars without Lady Lucile finding out.

First a discreet knock at the Duff Gordons’ door.

“Ma’am, we’ve had a small accident,” the steward outside said quickly to Lucile. “Nothing to worry about. we bumped into an iceberg, but all is well. However you might want to come on deck.”

I really like this quote because it evokes the rise of tension in the story line, it also asks the reader if it was a small accident or not. It was also midnight, if it wasn’t a big issue they wouldn’t tell the passengers that late, so it must have some problems to it.

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The Time Machine

The Time Machine by H.G Wells, over the course of the holiday I have been tackling this magnificent classic science fiction novel. This story is about a gentleman called the time traveler that narrates his story across the year 800,000. During this time period, the human have evolve into two different race, the peaceful Eloi and the Menacing Marlocks. Over the course of the book, the narrator came up with various theory that explain what might have happened to cause this change. Furthermore, the time traveler seems disappointed in how the future turned out, as none of the human seek knowledge anymore.

Overall I have enjoyed this book tremendously, I have no regret in reading this novel as it is one of the better science fiction book I have read. It have complied me to become a better reader and further explore the world of the classics. My vocabulary have been enchanted after reading this book, as it contains dozens of descriptive language. I would recommend this to everyone as it should be a life priority to read this book.

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March 1: A-Mazing

I’ve just started reading the book, the maze runner. The maze runner is about a dozen teenagers that stuck in a small village type place. They can get out, but only if they escape the maze. The maze is all around them but the maze changes every day. They small village has the fittest people to go out and see if they have found a way out. They have never found a way out.

The main character is called Thomas. He is the most recent person to appear in the village. He doesn’t know where he came from; he couldn’t even his own name. But the has short little flashbacks.

The maze runner is a very interest and exciting book to read. I would suggest people around year 10 to read this book. Also if you are very interest in reading books about adventure and action. This movie would be perfect for you.

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Feb 15: Word Smart

Over the Chinese New Year holiday I decided to read a book that will benefit me and to help me to improve my English vocabulary. That is why I have started reading the book word smart written by Adam Robinson.

The in the word smart, Adam Robinson teaches you new and important words for your vocabulary. He also adds points about how to use your news words in essays and in day-to-day life.

In the first chapter Adam Robinson talks about learning new words for your vocabulary. “Bigger isn’t necessarily better” This is what I feel Adam Robinson is trying to get across. He says it several times. If you have a big vocabulary and you don’t know how define the words, its useless. When people/teachers ask you if you know what a word means you usually just say yes. But if the teacher asks you what it means the student usually uses the word in a sentence. That isn’t defining the word. So therefor you don’t know what the word means. This is why using the dictionary is so important.

Later on in the book, Adam Robinson teaches all about new words to read and learn about. I feel that this book can really help me.

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Pride and Prejudice – March 2nd

Pride and Prejudice is a classic novel written by Jane Austen. This book tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet (main character) and how she deals with love, education… She is the second oldest between five daughters by Mr. Bennet living in England in the 19th century. This book is about the Mr and Mrs Bennet and their five daughters after Mr. Bingley and his friend Mr Darcy arrives. Mr Bingley starts liking Jane (eldest daughter) while Darcy gets into disagreements with Elizabeth. My favourite quote in this book is

“Nothing is more deceitful” said Darcy, “than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast.”

This is a sentence from Darcy between a conversation with Elizabeth. I find this sentence of humility quite interesting and smart.

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“Divergent” D.E.A.R. Entry

I am still reading the book “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, a book I have really enjoyed so far. The story is one I found to be very interesting. I still haven’t found any lacking aspects to it. Every genre from action to romance is included within this novel, making it a fun, attaching read, allowing the reader to explore the book in detail. While reading it, I found that many theoretical concepts were presenting themselves, which incited me to stop from time to time and think over them. This made me wonder whether the book had received the heavy amount of positive critics and reviews due to this included feature.

It’s easy to be brave when they’re not my fears

This quote originates from the protagonist and narrator, Tris (P331). The quotation supports my latter statement; what Tris states sort of brings up a theory which I had to stop reading for. After a few seconds of thought, I came to realize that the phrase could be relatable. This reveals the author’s attempt to create a link with the reader, which I believe is a very effective technique. It gives a more realistic feel to the book; setting it apart from other mainstream fictional novels. That is actually the main cause of the spark of interest for this book from my side. “Divergent” is a novel which differentiates itself from others through several features which the author includes. This leads me to believe that Veronica Roth is a skillful and quality writer. I want to read her other releasings.

 

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dear post: American sniper

I have recently started reading the book ‘American sniper’,the book is mainly about how one man who is the most skilled sniper in U.s history endures through his tours in iraq.The book is really interesting not only because of the action which continues throughout the book but how a war can change a man and how his wife notices the each time he arrives home from a tour.This shows us that the worst part of war can actually be coming back from it,which is confusing but also quite intresting.I quite liked the book and would recommend it to people around our age.

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DEAR – Murder on the Orient Express

What a better way to start the holiday than reading a mystery book? Murder on the Orient Express is truly a magnificent detective novel written by the famous detective novelist, Agatha Christie. Since I’ve started this novel, I haven’t been able to put it down.

Hercule Poirot is a detective and although he didn’t travel on the Orient Express to solve a crime, he ended up having to solve it anyways. The setting is at that time of year where there are not many people traveling about, but yet the sleeping car on the train is full. This comes to Poirot’s attention as he finds this very strange indeed. For you to understand the quote i have picked, a little background information is needed. The Orient Express is travelling in the middle of winter through Istanbul all the way to Europe. a snow storm arrives and the train has to stop its journey. There is no signal and no way of contacting anybody until the snow has lifted. A murder occurs around the time the train stops, which is about 1:15 am. The speaker of this quote is M. Ratchett, the deceased, he rings the bell on the train for the conductor and when he comes in he says:

“Ce n’est rien. Je me suis trompé.” (loc. 2259)                                                                                       Translation: “It’s nothing. I was wrong.”

(I am reading the kindle version so there is no page situations, but there is the location). I really like this quote because, first of all, it is in French and I absolutely love the language (even though i do not know how to speck it), I could pick out little bits and pieces of what it meant because it is close to portuguese and spanish. Secondly, because this quote of M. Ratchett brings Poirot the debate of weather it was actually M. Ratchett who said this or not. M. Ratchett cannot speak french, and when the conductor spoke to him, he did not see his face so Poirot comes to the conclusion that it was his murderer who was speaking. This quote is very mysterious to the reader, and to Poirot. When ‘M. Ratchett’ first said this, i got the impression that it had something to do with why he died. I still don’t know what it literally means as Poirot is trying to solve it.

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DEAR: Dracula (III)

It’s been a while since I’ve picked up and read the classic novel Dracula, yet it has astonished time and time again how well it’s written. It’s most definitely Bram Stoker’s greatest achievement, and deservedly so, as, in a time among the likes of Mary Shelly and Edgar Allen Poe, he truly stands out, but I digress. The book, holds many references to the Bible, and when I found one that I actually knew, well, what’s DEAR good for but to post distinguished quotes. Our dear protagonist, Jonathan Harker, finds himself in a rather life threatening predicament when Dracula’s true intentions are unveiled, to reveal the monster within.
The last I saw of Count Dracula was kissing his hand to me; with a red light of triumph in his eyes, and with a smile that Judas in hell might be proud of.
Hats off to Stoker for this wonderful quote, and most of all the reference to Judas. It’s a long story and hard to sum up in one sentence, but I try. Judas was one of Jesus’ apostles, but decided to betray him with the Kiss of Judas, ultimately, if I’m not mistaken, resulting in his death and later saving of humanity. So yeah, Judas unknowingly saved the world. Judas has now since been associated with treachery and deceit, traits that both him and the Count share. It’s one of many references to the Bible, all of which emphasize the Count’s true nature.

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A Tale of Two Cities – DEAR Entry

Over the previous days, I have embarked on the course of reading A Tale of Two Cities – a grand creation crafted by Charles Dickens – which is among today’s renowned classics. Written in the mid-nineteenth century, this novel is set in London and Paris, taking place before and during the French revolution.

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other. A solemn consideration, when I enter a great city by night, that every one of those darkly clustered houses encloses its own secret; that every room in every one of them encloses its own secret; that every beating heart in the hundreds of thousands of breasts there, is, in some of its imaginings, a secret to the heart nearest it! Something of the awfulness, even of Death itself, is referable to this” (page 11).

This quotation leads me to contemplate over the relationships between each individual and whether some seemingly intimate relationships are only pretences. This further evokes the thought that disregard how individuals may claim to understand others, each individual still has secrets buried and locked deep inside himself/herself. Moreover, it reflects upon the fact that there is always a fragment of us that remains untouchable and unknowable to the rest of the world, and sometimes even to ourselves. This is part of our innate human nature, which is what retains our individuality and can never be withdrawn from us. I believe that this quotation not only sets up the background during the time period that the novel is set in, but is relatable even up to the present day.

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Feb 15 Dear Entry

The Scorch Trails is the second book to the maze runner series. The survivors of the glade are put in a house for the night, all the boys were placed in one sector of the building and the only female was placed in another. Most of them couldn’t sleep so he telepathically they talked for a bit before she just didn’t answer and went to sleep.  In the morning he tried to contact her through his mind but she didn’t remember who he was, and threatened to hunt him and kill him.

I don’t really like the second the book too the first, the first book had more action and adventure. It really made you want to change the page. The second book is more slow and it builds up the action.

I would reccomend this book to people to those reader who read slow books and don’t really want action and adventure straight away. Other than that the book is really interesting.

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March 1st DEAR Journal – Since you’ve been gone

Since you’ve been gone by Morgan Matson is a serious page turner. It contains almost all the catagories of the english language; romance, mystery, humour, horror and so on. Emily and Sloane are best friends and are impossible to separate. Or so they thought. A few weeks before the summer holiday, Sloane just… disappears. Emily tries to call, text and visit Sloane at her house but Sloane is literally just gone. Not a word, not even a phone call. What happened to her?

Before Sloane disappeared into thin air Emily and her planed on having the most amazing summer of their life. Obviously, due to unexpected events, the summer they had planned would not be happening. However, two weeks after the dissapearence of Sloane, a post mail was sent to Emily from Sloane. Instead of an explanation of where Sloane was or why she couldn’t be reached it was a list of thirteen things that Emily had to complete.

1. Kiss a stranger
2. Go skinny-dipping
3. Steal something
4. Break something
5. Penelope
6. Ride a horse
7. 55 S. Ave. Ask for Mona
8. The backless dress
9. Dance until dawn
10. Share some secrets in the dark
11. Hug a Jamie
12. Apple picking at night
13. Sleep under the stars

Each and everything on the list may just seem like a task, which it is, but to Emily its something unique that only her and Sloane would understand. Written on the list in Sloane’s neat handwriting is thirteen of Emily’s worst fears. However, Emily is determined to find out where Sloane had disappeared to (she is convinced that the list will lead her to Sloane), hence she decides to take the risk and complete the list; one by one.

Along the way to complete the list, Emily meets new people and maybe once she breaks out of her comfort zone (which is what Sloane is trying to help her do by writing the list), Emily may make new friends and even find love.

Personally I really enjoyed the book, it was very intriging and humorous. I recommend it to mostly girls because girls will be able to relate to it rather than boys. It is not a very challenging book hence it can be completed within a day or two. The novel doesn’t require a lot of thought like most books teachers recommend. It really just helps the reader relax and have a bit of laugh. It would be a really useful book to read during exam week or stressful moments. Overall, is a worth reading book for laughing at all the awkward moments that we can all relate to in one way or another.

 

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DEAR March 1st – Death on the Nile

‘Death on the Nile’ it yet another intriguing mystery of Agatha Christie. At first, the story is a little hard to decipher as there are many characters and switches of scenes. It’s like a movie really, third person narration and a constant switch of scenes/scenarios. Poirot (main character and investigator) is away on a vacation to Egypt when all of a sudden a homicide occurs on the boat. All passages are immediately questioned, however, there are always ones who don’t wish to speak the truth either from guilt, protection or blackmail. The deceased in a very young lady, Linnet Doyle, who happens to be on her honey moon after stealing her best friends husband, Simon Doyle. Linnet is a wealthy lady coming from a family full of riches, whilst Simon is quite poor and insists on doing things without the need of financial help. Jacqueline de Bellefort is who Simon left, naturally he left the penniless for the rich. Everyone knows Jacqueline has held a grudge against Simon and (especially) Linnet for taking away the only thing she truly cared about, and after threatening to kill Linnet obviously she must be the #1 murder suspect. Wrong. Well, she was a suspect at first but facts suggest otherwise. There was no way Jacqueline could have crept into Linnet’s cabin because she was highly sedated, and being watched the very moment the assassination took place. Naturally, Jacqueline still loves Simon Doyle and what i find most interesting is that after his wife’s murder, he immediately comforts Jackie (Jacqueline) and wishes to see her. I extremely like a quote from Jackie where she states how she can never be with Simon again:

“Look at the moon pup there. You see her very plainly, don’t you? She’s very real . But if the sun were to shine you wouldn’t be able to see her at all. It was rather like that. I was the moon…When the sun came out, Simon couldn’t see me any more…He was dazzled. He couldn’t see anything but the sun-Linnet”

I like how Jackie uses this metaphor to relate to how opposite she was to Linnet. It is a little cliche though, but all the same it has a great poetical effect to the story. I haven’t yet finished the book but i must say, I have absolutely no idea who the murderer could be. It can be a funny book at times but mostly it’s just full of surprises, and that’s what I love most about it.

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DEAR March 1 – The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes – The Lion’s Mane

After reading Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes, I realised that I have, metaphorically, fallen in love with the Sherlock Holmes series. So I, without a doubt, picked up the last Sherlock Holmes collection, the Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes. The one thing that is special about the case I have chosen is that it is narrated by Sherlock Holmes himself, instead of Dr. Watson, who has been narrating the series since the birth of Sherlock Holmes.

The Lion’s Mane is one story from the collection that I found interesting, not because of it’s unique title, but because of the unusial villian that the author has picked. The story starts off with the Head 0f Science, Fitzroy McPherson, from a nearby school collapsing to the floor, mumbling only the words, “The Lion’s Mane”, followed by his death. After hours of investigation, Sherlock Holmes does find clues like usual, but even if his theories are true, there is no possible way that a human would’ve accomplished this. Then McPherson’s dog appears at where he was supposedly murdered, also dead, with the same marks of death that was inflicted on McPherson’s back. Sherlock begins to think about McPherson’s last words, “The Lion’s Mane”, and it begins to trigger a memory, but he cannot recall where he has seen those words before.

Suspision begins to build on Ian Murdock, a “friend” of McPherson, because he has a motive, jealosy since Murdoch was supposed to marry her instead of McPherson. But, nonetheless, he had an alibi. Sherlock was stuck, confused by all the clues he has all ending up in a dead-end, until Murdoch appeared infront of Sherlock with the same marks on his back, instead he was not dead. Sherlock rushes to the scene, only to find an unusual rock, and under it, was a Cyanea capillata, a jellyfish, turned out to be the monster behind the two deaths.

Personally, I enjoy the Holmes series and almost all the detective stories that I have read. I would recommend this book to teenagers who enjoy mysteries and who are not bothered to take a bit of their free time to read a few short stories!

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DEAR: Dracula (II)

Still on board the fine novel know to the world as Dracula, what began as a seemingly boring and rather dreadful read turned for the better, and has impressed me so far. It took me a while to comprehend the epistolary style that Bram Stoker wrote, meaning he wrote Dracula as a collection of letters, diary entries, and the such, conveniently placed in a somewhat chronological order. This gave him the liberty to exploit his chosen style and emphasize a significance of an emotion.

And now I have told you my news, let me know yours. When are you to be married. and where, and who is to perform the ceremony, and what are you to wear, and is it to be a public or a private wedding? Tell me about it, dear; tell me all about everything, for there is nothing which interests you which will not be dear to me.       (p. 167)

Ignorance is bliss, isn’t it? Such a loving and fond relationship between two childhood friends that can only be separated by death is, well, separated by death, by, surprise, our dear friend Dracula. So yes, condolences to the fiance to be, who never will be, but the main point of the quote, or really the paragraph in general, is the placement of it. It wasn’t by some err that Stoker wrote Mina Harker’s letter to Lucy Westerna after her short and fruitless battle against death, or maybe it was, but whatever the cause may be, it had sob-inducing and tear-jerking effect. It’s a prime example of one of the many ways Stoker capitalizes on his chosen epistolary style.

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DEAR February 15 – The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – The Red-Headed League

Sherlock Holmes, presumably the most realistic fictional character the anybody has ever created in history. Decorated with visual detail, distinct dialogues, ‘personifying’ characteristics, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brings Sherlock Holmes to life on paper.

 

Red herring – something intended to divert attention from the real problem or matter at hand; a misleading clue.

from Dictionary.com

When I read the short story, Sherlock Holmes & the Red Headed League, I have constantly asked myself why did the author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, choose to use “red hair” to represent “something bizarre” (note that this is written in the 1800’s). To understand this, you will have to know the plot of the book.

Jabez Wilson, the red-headed man was introduced to a part-time job by his assistant, Spaulding (he has been working with Wilson for a month and was willing to work in the cellar with only half the price). This part-time job is an entertainment career in which only red-heads can join, therefore, the name, the Red-Headed League, founded by Duncan Ross. Wilson was told to work in the League’s office for four hours a day with no excuses to leave the room, and blindly, he took the job. The league was ‘dissolved‘ after only four weeks. Wilson reports this situation to Holmes and Watson and they, too, took on this particularly interesting case.

[spoilers] Sherlock the figures out that the Red-Headed League was a hoax, it was a distraction made to hide what the creators of the league, Spaulding and Ross, were doing. The only reason Spaulding was working with Wilson for only half the price was because he wanted to dig a hole from Wilson’s cellar to the bank behind the office. That is why he introduced Wilson to the Red Headed League, to get him out of the office and not to come back for four hours every day, and after the tunnel from the office to the bank vault was finished, they dismissed the league.

As you can see, the Red-Headed League was a distraction from what was really happening. This is a homophone: red hair and red her(ring). One is used for the Red-Headed League, and combined with the other phrase, it is a fallacy, meaning a distraction from the real problem, thus, the Red-Headed League was a distraction from the bank robbery, which is taking place.

I recommend this book teenagers to adults, mainly because of the suspense it leaves when Sherlock solves the mystery. This book is also for detective story fans.

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January 15 – DEAR ‘Insurgent’

I finished a book called ‘Insurgent’ by Veronica Roth. This book is a science fiction and young adults would enjoy this book. People who may not like this book are people who do not like novels about utopia worlds. I love this book because it combined romance and action in it. Also, unlike the first book in the divergent trilogy, this book contains betrayal of the loved ones and it had an evocative ending which made me anxious to read the next book.

A really good paragraph/sentences from the book is :

People, I have discovered, are layers and layers of secrets. You believe you know them, that you understand them, but their motives are always hidden from you, buried in their own hearts. You will never know them, but sometimes you decide to trust them.

Personally, I like sentences like this because it explains actions that we sometimes make. I can easily relate to it because I have experienced or seen it. People who like quotes about life or people would really like this book. Of course, romance is a huge part of this series, so people who do not like romance then i do not recommend this book for them. Overall, I find this book very interesting and most students in the senior school might enjoy it too.

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Half bad – DEAR ENTRY

Half bad, about a young sixteen-year-old boy, Nathan, who lives in a cage. Shackled, beaten, trained to kill. Abomination was Nathan, disgraced by everyone. In modern-day England, where two combatant dynamics of witched live amongst humans. The worlds most unlawful, terrifying and powerful witch, Marcus, all Nathan has to do to survive is to escape his abductors. Nathan will need to  hunt down Marcus to receive the three special gifts that will give him invincible powers, even when he is observed in every action he does, when there is no one safe to trust-not even his family.

WANTED BY NO ONE. HUNTED BY EVERYONE.

 

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Dear – Ticker

A girl wit a clockwork heart needs to be able to do anything to keep herself alive. Recently I have been reading a book called Ticker by Lisa Mantchev. If you read my other DEAR post from the beginning of the month, you will see that I explained a little bit about this book. To sum up, Penny’s parents have been kidnaped and her twin brother, Nick, seems to be working for Warwick, the kidnapper and Penny’s Surgeon. When Penny was young, she had heart problems, as did her 2 sisters who died because of it. This is why Penny is so important to her family; They can’t loose their third daughter, it would just be too much. Now that Penny is 16, her Ticker (the clockwork heart inside her) is getting outdated and the only person who can augment an updated version is Warwick. But he is in prison. It seems like there’s no hope for Penny. There are two quotes i would like to share.

This novel is quite fascinating because it is set in the industrial era, although the technology is extremely advance. They have flying car-like objects, augmented eyes in people, clockwork hearts, clockwork bugs and horses, machinery that can speak to the dead, and much more. It is extremely odd how the setting is all in the past but the technology is even more futuristic than now. I think this is a  factor that makes the book even more interesting and makes the reader want to read on because to be honest, the fist few chapters is a bit boring compared to all the action that happened near the end.

Hit me hard, just once, I was sure to shatter. With my family gone, who will pick up the pieces? (206)

This is penny thinking to herself. Her heart is failing; she is dying and her family is kidnapped. Who will be there for her if she dies? When she dies? I am very fond of this quote because the writer uses a metaphor here. I like how she referred to Penny’s life as a piece of glass. When she dies, that’s all she will be; shattered.

“We’ve all had terrible things happen to us… Only the week use it as an excuse to pray upon others.” (205)

Here Marcus is speaking, The commander of the Ferrum Virae Police (and Penny’s boyfriend). Here They are talking about their losses – Marcus lost his brother and Penny lost her sister. I admire this quote because it explains his viewpoint on what the consequences are of what happens to us. I also agree with him here.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes old language and old settings. Also someone who won’t mind a bit of blood and action – some parts are a bit grotesque and quite descriptive. I wouldn’t recommend this book to people who like more subtle and calm reads; this is definitely not a serene read.

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February 15th DEAR journal – Perfect Chemistry

Perfect Chemistry written by Simone Elkeles, is indeed as the name suggested, a romance novel. The novel follows the classic, ‘good girls always falls for bad boys’. Britney and Alex are the complete opposites of each other. Britney’s the ‘golden girl’ of their high school Fairfield High school. Not only is her family wealthy, she’s drop dead gorgeous, smart and has a loving boyfriend. She is the definition of ‘perfect’. Or so everyone think so. Britney wants everyone to think that she is perfect, however, her life is far from that. Alex comes from a lower classed family and lives in the dangerous part of the town. He is part of a gang called ‘Latino blood’, everyone is afraid of him and no one would dare to mess with him.

Britney and Alex has never crossed paths during their three years of high school, that is until their senior year Chemistry class. They were partnered up for the entire year where they had to constantly meet up for their projects. Slowly as the story progresses Britney and Alex, though both try to hate each other as much as possible, begins to fall for each other.

Britney discovers that the bad boy everyone thought Alex was, was all just an act. He was nothing but a complete sweetheart. The only reason he joined his gang was to protect his family. Especially his little brother, Alex joining the Latino Blood meant that his little brother didn’t need to. Not only did Britney get to see the real Alex; Alex also gets a peek into Britney’s ‘perfect’ life. Alex finds out that Brittany’s life is not perfect. If anything it is far from it. She has a mom who judges everything she wears, an absent father, and a sister who is battling cerebral palsy.

I suggest this book to anyone who is looking for a classic book to read. Always reading books with a lot of twist can get tiring, hence, this book is a perfect book to help that. The book is very predicable but I really enjoyed it as I didn’t have to worry about what was to happen, instead, I got to look more into the character’s personality and the way the author portrayed them. Overall, its a great book to read now, it was just Valentine’s day and its the holidays; great time to just sit back a relax.

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DEAR – The beginning of Everything

Golden boy Ezra Faulkner no longer ceases to be Homecoming King after a tragic accident crushes his knee, athletic carer and social life.After reuniting with his pre-school best friend (Toby), Ezra sees there’s more to life than after parties and being one of the ‘cool’ kids. Toy introduces Ezra to a young girl who he has no idea will change his life.

Cassidy Thorpe.

Cassidy is the mysterious, reckless new girl who no one knows about, except for well, (now) Ezra. Falling in love with her is not something Ezra chose and definitely something he was warned about. Cassidy has had many tragedies in her life but what she didn’t expect her biggest one to be was to let Ezra go. After finding out that her older brother (now deceased) was the driver in the black SUV responsible for Ezra’s accident, Cassidy can’t stand to be with him anymore. This is a heartbreaking story but of course with a lot of humor.

I personally didn’t like the book while I was reading it but I just had to finish it. Throughout the whole book you get these preconceptions of what the end will be like and how it will be so cliché if they end up together but the ending does strike you out of nowhere. I must say the whole book was a teeny bit boring for me, it wasn’t like John Green’s books where even with realistic event they still capture you. Nope, it was nothing like that. Although I must say that the ending was unexpected, however it is not a book i would read again. I would recommend this book to maybe people who have nothing to read at the  moment but really, it’s an okay book. It’s not the most awful book, there’s just not a lot of action and drama. If you’re somebody who loves the kind of books like Percy Jackson or The Hunger Games then i suggest you try and look for another book because ethos isn’t for you. However if you like reading simple stories with a little romance and humor then this is the book for you.

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Firewall – DEAR Entry

Firewall, a riveting crime novel written by Henning Mankell, consists of a series of eccentric and grisly incidents that sweep across Sweden. The chain of evens begin with the discovery of an inexplicable corpse in front of an ATM one evening, then follows the slaughter of an elderly taxi driver and a murder committed aboard a ferry. When everyone begins to believe that the series of dreadful deaths have eventually come to a halt, yet another gruesome incident occurs – a massive blackout in the city which is caused by a scorched corpse disrupting the connections in a power substation. As detective Kurt Wallander investigates the series of brutal incidents, he unravels the connection among them. However, unknowingly, every discovery Wallander makes leads him closer to a group of anarchic terrorists, shielded by the anonymity of cyberspace.

Unlike any other crime novel, Firewall consists of an engrossing story plot that is intricately crafted and has the capability to throw its reader off guard. At one point in the novel, you would feel as if all bits and pieces have been unraveled and resolved, however, by turning the page, you would find yourself once again overwhelmed by the baffling loose strands that are left hanging in midair. In general, I quite enjoyed the storyline, especially the buildup of tension and the linguistic techniques employed in the novel. Nonetheless, the characterisation can be bland at times, resulting in tedious sections in the novel.

I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy reading detective novels that consist of numerous plot twists and vibrant imagery, since Firewall offers all of that. On the other hand, readers who detest or feel uncomfortable reading novels that consist of gruesome content and story plots should definitely steer away from this novel.

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“Divergent” Dear Entry

I have been reading “Divergent” by Veronica Roth, the famous book turned into a blockbuster film. The plot is really simple, similar to ” The Hunger Games”. In this novel, the population is split into different classes, in this case named ‘factions:’ Abnegation, Candor, Erudite, Amity and Dauntless. The protagonist, Beatrice and her family are of an Abnegation background. The book is written in a first person point of view.

If he wasn’t Abnegation, I’m sure the girls at school would stare at him.

The quote above (P3) originates from Beatrice’s thoughts over her brother Caleb, who are of the same age. The school they attend includes the five factions, indicating the fact that people from other factions look down upon Abnegation. I believe this quotation is important as it stresses the segregation between the factions and highlights to what point separation has gone to in their world. Since childhood, humans are fed with discriminating propaganda. This quotation being so early in the book sets a certain tone for the rest of the book.

 

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Dear post: the maze runner

SO far I have only just started this book but it is very interesting.The book maze runner is about a few teenagers who are stuck in a maze which is supposed to be impossible to get out of, each day the runners of the glade run through the maze to try and find and exit but never seem to succed

This is until Thomas , the main character enters the glade.Thomas cannot remeber where he had came from but has a few flashbacks here and there.

So far this book has been quite a fun and interesting read, I think this book is suitable for people around year 10 and 11 due to it being a bit challenging but still a great book to read.

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Dear Entry

Recently, I’ve been reading a book called ‘New Girl’ by Paige Harbison. It’s a story about a young teenager that got into Manderley academy, a boarding school. Becca Normandy is beautiful and perfect in every way, she went missing at the end of last year, leaving a spot open. Everyone acts like its Dana’s fault that the beloved Becca is gone and has been replaced by Dana. Becca’s ex, Max Holloway, the guy that she should avoid the most, but can’t. She can’t help but think she is out there, watching me take her spot, waiting to take it back.

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The Woman Who Would Be King

The Woman Who Would Be King by Kara Cooney is a biography about the Egyptian queen, Hatshepsut, which I had started reading but haven’t quite finished.

Hatshepsut was the daughter of a general who took over the Egyptian throne without any direct relation the current king. She was supposed to give birth to a son but didn’t succeed, her now being considered as a failure. Little that they knew that she was to become the reigning pharaoh of Egypt in the near future.

I usually don’t read biographies however I found this one quite intriguing. The writing style was very distinguished and well done, allowing me to enjoy the book rather than it being a bore. I especially liked the fact that it was set in ancient Egypt, which I have always been fascinated with.

I would recommend this to anyone with an aptitude for ancient Egypt or powerful women in history. However, I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who is looking for a light read as it is quite a long book with extensive vocabulary.

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DEAR: Dracula (I)

Over the past few days, I’ve been tackling the grand tale of my favourite mythological being – the vampire. And no, it’s not the type of vampire that sparkles if you were wondering, but rather, Bram Stoker’s classic novel of the original Nosferatu, Dracula. I needed a book that would pique my literary affection, and since I’ve always had an odd sort of affinity for vampires in general, it only seemed fitting that I should explore Stoker’s magnum opus. My literary affection, however, is far from piqued as the number of words unbeknown to me totals to about 100, with it being only 17 pages since I began embarking on this perilous journey to find the perfect novel.

The main character is Jonathon Harker, an Englishman traveling to Transylvania to help one Count Dracula with a real estate transaction. Along the way, he is greeted warmly, but warned precariously by town members of the Carpathian Mountains. Still, anyone sane enough to live in the mountains in Transylvania is bound to be a little loony.

‘You are early tonight, my friend.’ The man stammered in reply:-

‘The English Herr was in a hurry,’ to which the stranger replied:-

‘That is why, I suppose, you wished him to go on to Bukovina [the town]. You cannot deceive me, my friend; I know too much, and my horses are swift.’ As he spoke he smiled, and the lamplight fell on a hard-looking mouth, with very red lips and sharp-looking teeth, as white as ivory. One of my companions whispered to another the line from Burger’s[not the food]’Lenore:’

‘Denn die Todten reiten schnell’-

(‘For the dead travel fast.’)                (page 16-17)

This quote produces the eerie and unsettling feeling that I’ve gathered since the beginning of the story, and adds to the mystery of this Dracula character. Although the portrayed figure in the quote is not Dracula himself, you could only speculate as to who he really is. What I find most intriguing (perhaps amused would be the better word) would be Harker’s complete ignorance at everyone around him. Some might might argue that ignorance is a virtue, and yes, that is true in some cases, but Harker seems to be surrounded by cloud of oblivion, shrouding him from all the warnings and omens that Dracula is not a kind of guy to be visiting. To give him some benefit though, he doesn’t know Dracula is a vampiric monster of the night, premeditating a plan to infect England. Instead, he only knows of him as a client. This quote is a perfect example of the foreshadowing Stoker used to incite a perception of danger on the character only know as Count Dracula.

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Insurgent – DEAR

Insurgent is written by Veronica Roth. It continues Divergent, which is the first book of the series. This book picks up from where Divergent left off which is when Dauntless is controlled by simulate serum and abnegation is attacked. The sentence in this book which had a heavy affect on me was on page 341:

 “I read somewhere, once, that crying defies scientific explanation. Tears are only meant to lubricate the eyes. There is no real reason for tear glands to overproduce tears at the behest of emotion.

I think we cry to release the animal parts of us without losing our humanity. Because inside of me is a beast that snarls, and growls, and strains toward freedom, toward Tobias, and, above all, towards life. And as hard as I try, I cannot kill it.

So I sob into my hands instead.”

This is said by Tris. I really love this quote because I strongly agree with it. I always wondered why people cry when we feel certain types of emotions. I have seen a lot of explanations but for once I accept this.

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Lee – DEAR Feb 1

Lately, I’ve been reading Anthony Horwitz’s Alex Rider series’s 6th book, Ark Angel. Following the 5th book, Scorpia, Alex Rider, a teenage boy working for the M16, finds himself resting in a hospital, surprisingly, he survived a close-to-lethal gunshot.
Because of the incident, he was put on rest and was told to stay away from missions. But after meeting a boy, Paul Drevin, he discovers that he has invited himself to a silent war between a “eco-terrorist” group and one of the richest men in the world.
 “Sometimes, it is the tiniest things that can mean the difference between life and death…” This comes after Alex’s battle against the terrorrist group. At the time, all he did was switch rooms with one of his acquaintences, Paul Drevin, the son of the richest man at the time, Nicola Drevin. Such a tiny thing, a small favour that he did for Paul, but that was what put him in danger that may cost his life.
I would recommend this book for teenage thriller-fiction readers since this book describes the life of a teenage spy – an extremely hot topic nowadays.

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DEAR February 1 – Alex Rider – Ark Angel

Lately, I’ve been reading Anthony Horwitz’s Alex Rider series’s 6th book, Ark Angel. Following the 5th book, Scorpia, Alex Rider, a teenage boy working for the M16, finds himself resting in a hospital, surprisingly, he survived a close-to-lethal gunshot.
Because of the incident, he was put on rest and was told to stay away from missions. But after meeting a boy, Paul Drevin, he discovers that he has invited himself to a silent war between a “eco-terrorist” group and one of the richest men in the world.
 “Sometimes, it is the tiniest things that can mean the difference between life and death…” This comes after Alex’s battle against the terrorrist group. At the time, all he did was switch ROOMS with one of his acquaintences, Paul Drevin, the son of the richest man at the time, Nicola Drevin. Such a tiny thing, a small favour that he did for Paul, but that was what put him in danger that may cost his life.
I would recommend this book for teenage thriller-fiction readers since this book describes the life of a teenage spy – an extremely hot topic nowadays.

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DEAR – The Scorch Trials (spoilers)

Recently I started reading The Scorch Trials (by James Dashner) which is the second book in The Maze Runner trilogy. I quite like it so far, although I expected more. It starts right where it left off, no sooner no later and i quite liked that. After the first book in most trilogies/series they begin with something happening after a couple weeks of years but not The Scorch Trials. The surviving gladers are sent to a  house-like place but with only three rooms, two dorms and a common room. Naturally, strange and bizarre things have to happen to make it a good story so of course (spoilers) dead bodies hanging from the celling have to ‘magically’ disappear within 20  minutes. The fact that Thomas and Teresa are telepathic makes everything more interesting and exciting because you get to know what’s happening somewhere else even without being there. Aris, a new boy who appears at the ‘house’, also turns out to be telepathic. Then you find out that somewhere, not far from The Glade is another maze, but completely opposite. I find it interesting how Dashner came up with such a great idea, of course every great experiment is tested twice with variable but it really wasn’t expected. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy tons of action and mysterious thing. Also to people who like surprises and unexpected stuff. There is not a lot of romance but there is drama, which is what I like about this book.

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One Day – DEAR Entry

Unraveled in five parts in alternating point of views and over a span of twenty years, One Day is not just an engrossing but inspiring novel, intricately crafted by David Nicholls. The story evolves around Emma and Dexter, whom one day come together as lovers, then separate, yet they stay in contact. The novel captures the ups and downs of Emma and Dexter’s relationship and visits their lives on July 15th in successive years for twenty years. I particularly liked the distinctive and intelligent format this novel is written in, as it gives the reader snapshots of the characters’ lives, like flipping through a stack of photos, only offering glimpses of events at various times.

Over the course of twenty years, there are numerous endeavours from both Emma and Dexter to start a relationship, but coincidences hinder them from getting together, and they remain intimate friends, both covertly yearning for the other. Dexter eventually becomes a successful television presenter, while Emma comes to be a waitress in a Tex-Mex restaurant. As time progresses, Dexter’s television career soon peaks then plunges, and becomes an alcoholic. Meanwhile, Emma comes across an opportunity to become a teacher, then a bestselling author of teen fiction. Towards the end of the novel, their paths finally intersect as they get married and give birth to a child. Heartbreakingly, Emma ends up in a tragic bike accident and dies, leaving Dexter in utter despair for three years. The novel ends with a vibrant and lingering memory of their farewell and promise to stay in touch on the night they spent together twenty years before on the exact same date – July 15th.

“You can live your whole life not realising that what you’re looking for is right in front of you.” One Day is an exceptional novel that offers moments of laughter, tears and insights which encourages us to not limit ourselves when pursuing our passions. I would recommend this book to readers who take pleasure in reading realistic fictions with threads of tragedies, heartbreaks, romance and suspense woven into them. On the other hand, those who enjoy reading science fictions or action-filled novels might find this novel rather bland and monotonous.

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DEAR – ‘Ticker’ by Lisa Mantchev

When a girl has a clockwork heart, all she can do is hope. recently i have been reading a truly spectacular novel called Ticker, by Lisa Mantchev. It is the story of a 16 year old girl, Penny Farthing. (that has a twin brother, Nick) who’s parents have been kidnapped. This novel is quite fascinating because story is set in the industrial era, albeit the technology is very futuristic, e.g. they have communication devices, the girl has a clockwork heart, bakeries are almost robotic – they have an assembling line that runs all around the store etc. Penny, Nick, Sebastian and Violet (her friends) go on a hunt to find her kidnapped parents, along with a police officer who is not much older than penny. From what i have read so far, i think Penny fancies This police officer, Marcus.

Since Penny has a clockwork heart, she has to wind up the Ticker (her heart mechanism) every morning, as well as eat a daily intake of sugar per day. Mr. and Mrs. Farthing used to have 2 other daughters, whom both died of a disease of the heart ( one at the age of 1 and the other at 18). Penny was also born with this condition, but her twin brother Nick wasn’t. Since technology was much more advanced in Penny’s time, a Doctor called Warwick sent most of his time trying to invent a clockwork heart for her. But he assassinated many during the process of his invention. He was imprisoned, but there was courthouse meeting to know what was his sentence. It has been a couple years since Penny got her clockwork heart (or else she would have died like her sister) and technology is advancing rapidly. Her clockwork heart is getting old and she needs a newer model. But the only Person who would be able to invent this was Warwick. He was working on this project for her before he got imprisoned; he never got a chance to finish. What is Penny going to do with an old model?

“I am more than a pretty little windup doll.” (29)

I absolutely love this quote because it describes Penny as a metaphor, and realistically. She technically is a wind up pretty person, but she is more that a person who does what every body tells her to do. This quote is from the very beginning of the book, but it has a powerful meaning. Penny is like a toy, she has to be winded up, but she also has a heart that can fell emotions and blood that pumps through her veins.

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Animal Farm

Animal Farm: the ever important work of political satire written by George Orwell, the book inspired tons of lives through and beyond the Cold War. As I was strolling down the school’s library, I stumbled across this book, I knew that this would be a book I would truly enjoy.

Though this book was less than a hundred pages long, it was written tremendously well beyond the capability of any average writers. This book tells the tale of a farm that got over throne by the farm animal, creating their own free nation. In reality this book directly relate to the story of the glorious motherland of Russia. Animal farm explain to us the reason a communist state will never succeed:greed.Reading this book in 2015 wouldn’t be as relevant as back in 1900’s.As we were born in the era where the war is already over, but I felt that i now understand the reason why communism was thought of as a good idea, and why it failed.

My recommendation? Everyone. This book is a classic that have kept me interested from the beginning to the end and I sincerely believe everyone should read it.

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February 1st Dear Journal Entry

The Maze Runner written by James Dashner is the first book out of four in the maze runner trilogy. After reading this book I couldn’t wait to start reading the second book, The book was a lot better than the movie; which left out so many important facts and important events and characteristics of some characters.

The book is an action packed dystopian based, about a teenager who has been sent into a giant maze among many other teenagers who lost all memories of the previous life. A new boy turns up once a month so all the previous boys who were already in the glade didn’t take him as such a big deal, however the next day a girl shows up and everyone lost their minds, the girl and thomas can talk telepathically through their minds . The two of them start a little romance.

Thomas  is passionate that he wants to be a Runner; a person who runs into the maze and studies the wall movements that happen every day.Throughout the book, Thomas eventually becomes a runner and successfully takes the Gladers out of the Maze. It is an emotional adventure yet so thrilling that you can’t stop reading.

Readers that would enjoy this book, are those who love adventure,dystopian type novels and those who like a little bit of romance. Readers that won’t enjoy this book would be those who enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and comedy

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Dear, The Old Man and the Sea

I just started reading “The Old Man and the Sea” having been recommended to me from the librarian. It was sectioned under classics so I decided to read it. After reading the blurb and listening to a brief plot summary, the book reminded me of a tale that I heard however forgotten the ending and I decided to give the book a chance. So far I have only read the beginning few pages. The quotation that I have really enjoyed was stated by a child who is a friend to the Old Man. He once worked on his boat however he left and then worked with his parents. He stated:

 “It was papa made me leave. I am a boy and must obey him.”

I enjoyed this quotation because, the phrase is a common item that we can refer to with us growing up and the feeling of not being able to do something because we were sternly told and reminded we cannot do something. This gives a sense of familiarity. Furthermore, it indicates that the story has a main moral as the purpose. Due to the fact that within the first few pages, there are references to helpful life hints, for example, helping others in need, treat others well.

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DEAR- The Return of the King

“The Return of the King” is written by J.R.R Tolkien and is the final part of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It continues on the journey of Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee to destroy the Ring of Power while Men,Dwarves, Elves and Ents unite to fight the armies of the Dark Lord. I have fallen in love with the series and it makes me very happy. Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 5.03.50 PM

“What do you fear, my lady?” [Aragorn] asked.

“A cage,” [Éowyn] said. “To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.” [page 1027]

This is one of my favourite quotes from the book. It is apart of a dialogue between Éowyn and Aragorn before he left for the Paths of the Dead. Éowyn is the niece of Théoden, the King of Rohan. She rejects the idea of not being able to fight in the war alongside the men because she is a woman and her duty is with the people. I love her as I feel that she is like a representation of feminism. (Spoiler Alert) She goes to the battle anyway disguised as a man which really expresses that if you want to do and you have the opportunity to something you shouldn’t let anything stop you.

The Battle of Pelennor Fields is one of my favourite chapter so far. Tolkien uses such descriptive and enthralling language it feels as though you are in the actual war but instead you just feel like:

Monty-Python

 

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February 1st DEAR Journal – The Scorch Trials

The Scorch Trails is the second book in the series ‘The Maze Runner’. Last weekend I watched the film of the first book since it was recently produced. I haven’t read the first book yet since i watched the movie already; I was really eager to continue the story hence I read the second book.

Within the second book, though not as accelerating as the first story, it was still extremely nerve recking. The book started off where the first book finished. They had successfully escaped from the maze, where some of the Gladers had stayed for up to three years. Though they thought they were finally safe and sound, they were proven wrong. The people who had ‘rescued’ them were hung from the ceiling. Dead; and the only girl among the Gladers was gone.

Thomas, who could communicate with the girl, Teresa, telepathically discovers that it was blocked. Hence they didn’t have a single clue as to her whereabouts. A men, who is part of the organisation ‘Wicked’ (which created the maze and had put them within it) shows up and tells them that they are not safe yet; that they were all diagnosed with a deadly disease called ‘The Flare’ (it wiped out 2/3 of earths population). In order to get to the cure, which not a lot of people were given the chance to, they had to go through the Scorch trails to reach the real ‘Safe Haven’. Through-out their journey towards the Safe Haven, they were faced with many difficult and near impossible challenges that they had to over come together.

I really enjoyed this book though its not as exciting as the first book. However, it is really worth the time to sit-down and flip through. I recommend it to people who are looking for an adventure and enjoy books such as The Hunger Games and Divergent. It has the same idea of an ‘utopia gone wrong’. It also has a short romance between different characters, it gives a positive light towards the entire story hence its not all just about killing and survival.

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A brilliant play

“An Inspector Calls” is a brilliant play written by J.B. Priestley.

The story appeared to be boring in the beginning, but as the play progressed, hidden parts of everybody’s life would be revealed by a mysterious “inspector”, Inspector Goole. As he entered the front gates of the house, he introduces the family to the death of a girl, Eva Smith.

Eva Smith, a girl that suicided by drinking strong detergent, was somehow connected to all members of the new-wed’s family:

Eva Smith, she who was fired by the man of the family.

Eva Smith, she who was hated by the daughter of the family.

Eva Smith, she who was abandoned by the husband of the family.

Eva Smith, she who was pregnant because of the boy of the family.

Eva Smith, she who was rejected by the mother of the family.

The play was bizarrely fun, filled with a huge amounts of sharp turns throughout the storyline. J.B. Priestley leaves suspense, and makes the story more intense as he goes deeper into the secrets lying in this family.

Inspector Goole leaves the house, terminating his investigation with: “We are responsible for each other. And I tell you that the time will soon come when, if men will not learn that lesson, then they well be taught it in fire and bloody and anguish.” Ironically, after the end of the play, during 1914, the World War I broke out, reflecting the line “…taught it in fire and bloody and anguish.”

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A personal response to ‘An inspector calls’

In this detective drama a family of 4,was soon to be 5 met a smart , cunning detective or as they thought.His name was detective goole.In this he is inspecting a case of which a young women had committed suicide by drinking bleach,he then links the family one by one to the murder.

In doing so each family members secrets are spilled leading to a dramatic case of events such as calling off a engagement.The mother and father of the family and the man who was supposed to be engaged were then relived as they found out inspector goole isn’t really an inspector after all whilst the daughter and son and immensely guilty.

This play made me think about ideas of how much of a coincidence it was that they all knew the same girl ,well as they thought.Also how the play had a interesting twist at the end where they had called the infirmary to find out no one had died from bleach until minutes later they were called back being told someone had just recently been brought into the infirmary.

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A Reflection on the Inspector Who Called

It was a brilliant play. Or was it a movie? It might have even been a TV special, but I digress. Despite my complete ignorance at adequately catagorizing films, however, the video was still a fascinating and oh so tragic drama piece. I’ve assumed that the film was set place in a pre-modern setting, taking it’s place somewhere in the 1910’s.

I long and revel for a perpexing story that completely baffles and outwits me. This play did not deliver. It did, however, make me reassess my original expectations, believing that the movie was no more than an unoriginal and rather boring chock-full-of-literature play about an up and coming wedding primarily centred around a table. The table and wedding remained, though one in a much better state of condition than the other. It was a nice table. As for the rest of my theories, they were effectively nullified as I couldn’t have been more wrong when the trigger for the rest of the plot was revealed. It’s my personal favourite, and can spice up any dreadful story to something Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be proud of when done right – murder. Though not directly involved, it is indeed what happened as the Birling family was subject to relentless and brutal interoggation by the ever shady and soft spoken Inspector Goole. After the realization that the play had the potential to both stump and impress me, I was hooked. Unraveling and piecing together a puzzle could not have taken a better embodiement than ‘An Inspector Calls’, as the plot quite literally unfolds as each Birling (and honorary Birling) member’s association with the murder is revealed. The unique storytelling, although making for a captivaing experience, proved to make the story all too predictable. Even before the penultimate involvment was uncovered, I’d already guessed (and was right) who the father was. Eric, you ARE the father. Even when the Inspector and suicide proved to be ‘fake’, I still knew that it wasn’t, due to the helpful foreshadowing placed by the writer, taking form as the denial in the fiance, mother, and father. At the end of the movie, I thouroughly disappointed at the cliff hanger ending. I hate them with a passion because it leaves so many questions unanswered. Was Eva Smith and (other girl) really the same girl? Was Inspector Goole the perpatrator? Who was he? What happens to the table? We shall never know.

The one thing I got out of the play other than my utter frustration at the writers cowardice at ending at such a crucial point and leaving the audience to speculate what will happen is that every action has its consequence. Every action you do, no matter who you are or how big or small the action, has varying degrees of consequences. The Birling family (and Gerald) affected Eva Smith’s life to the point of (maybe) suicide, by firing her twice, having an affair with the aforementioned and breaking it off, impregnating her, and denying assistance to her when she needed it. It’s a tragic tale that could very well happen, and the chance that it might happen is not outside the realm of possibilities. What I think hit me the hardest was the one of the last words the Inspector said, and it was something like ‘Actions have consequences, and all people are intertwined in one society, and that if men will not learn that lesson, then they will be taught it in fire and blood and anguish.” Part of that was actually said in the show, which is what I interpret as WW1. Man had failed to understand that things are connected, and paid the price for their ignorance.

I really enjoyed it. It was entertaining and thrilling when all the pieces fell perfectly together, still with a whisk of dubious doubt, but masked with a brilliant script and impeccable acting. It’s ironic, really, how the Birling family (and the soon-to-be-or-maybe-not-son-in-law) were brought to believe and fear the responsibility bestowed upon them, shouldering Smith’s death. When they find out, the father, mother, and the fiance are relieved and scoffing at the thought of being tricked, while the kids accept what they’ve done. It’s funny how the older 3 brush aside the fact that they still ruined a girl’s life, only to be so selfish as to claim they were innocent all along. But in the end, they were had by thinking they were had, and the poetic justice was served dully so.

 

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Personal Response- An Inspector Calls

“The Inspector Calls” catches its viewers’ attention with its enigmatic atmosphere and plot line. It tells the story of a young girl who committed suicide by drinking strong disinfectant and a man who claims to be an inspector comes to seek a family who have caused the chain of events leading to the girl’s death.

Truth be told, at first I found the movie rather tedious but as the “inspector” comes along and the reasons as to why the girl killed herself became uncovered one by one due to every character in the room the story became more appealing to me. I was baffled by the odds that all the family characters had contact with the girl one way or another making me more eager to continue on the story. Through the horrible action that each character has done I became shocked at how a small choice lead to a dominoes of disasters that knocked down a girl’s entire life. Then I felt guilt as I realised how the things that I have said and done may or may not have had a same effect on others (although I am quite a nice person).

The story builds up a climax, the point where every one has been made clear of what they have done, and the simple resolution to the story was that the father calls the police station and morgue about an Inspector Goole and girl who had died from drinking disinfectant to find that there were no such people. However, the story does not end there; As soon as they begin rejoicing that they had not killed someone they received a call about a girl who had died from drinking disinfectant and that an inspector was on the way. With such an ending it arouses many questions from the viewers such as “Who was the man claiming to be an inspector?”. The ending left me burning with curiosity and an enduring memory of the story which is caused by the cliffhanger.

For me the story really had an effect on my actions and words I speak. All the family members had done something minute to their lives that had a disastrous effect on another life which really make us rethink that our choices will affects too whether we think it may or may not; As Dallin Oaks says “Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.” and our actions will affect others. I love the story the idea and moral that it has taught me.

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