When your life falls apart
The life before her eyes by Laura Kasischke
Your life can change in an instant. that instant can last forever.
One fateful day
It all starts like an ordinary day. Two best friends in the bathroom talking about – well whatever teenage girls talk about. Then they hear it dot-dot-dot. A sound not familiar to both of them. They only realize what’s happening when he’s in front of them… with a gun. Michael Patrick wants them to answer his question who he should kill. Then one says: “Kill her. Not me.”
This is how the story begins but is it also how the story will end? In the entire book are flashbacks about life before the shooting. Slowly with every page we come closer to the shooting. Besides the flashbacks, there’s another story we follow: 40-year-old Diana living the perfect life. Bit by bit her life changes and the truth unravels itself.
Kasischke doesn’t back down when it comes to difficult subjects. There’s always a lot of psychology in her books and they’re always written in a poetic style. The life before her eyes is about how your life can change (or not), if you must sacrifice yourself, love, family, choices. There’s so much more than the surface and every time you read the book you discover new things.
Through my eyes
If you like psychological books, then I would recommend not only this book but also the the other titles from Kasischke.
We didn’t start the fire
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
If you don’t want a man unhappy politically, don’t give him two sides to a question to worry him; give him one. Better yet, give him none.
Fahrenheit 451 shows us an interesting story how how technology can change people/the world. A lot of people claim Fahrenheit 451 is about censorship and the government, which I do understand: they ban books and no one is allowed to have their own thoughts/ideas. Without books, everyone’s happier they say. However, according to an interview with Bradbury, it’s about how television is killing the need to read literature. Which also makes sense since it wasn’t the government who at first banned the books. People didn’t want to read themselves anymore. They wanted to be surrounded by their ‘family’ on the TV screens. It’s an interesting take on the future (the book was published in 1953) and I’m happy it’s not like this. Yes, people spend a lot of time on their phones/Internet/cat videos/everything but we still love to read.
Yes and no
What I liked the most in the book was that you could feel the inner struggle of Montag constantly. He didn’t know what to do and it made him so angry. He made some (wrong) choices but you understand where he’s coming from. He’s trying to figure out life. He wants to know, or better understand life with books and having your own ideas and thoughts. He’s not happy now, so why can’t he be happy with books?
The part that I didn’t like was Bradbury’s writing style sometimes. He had the habit of repeating numbers or sentences: counting in the book or saying a word three times in a row. To me, this is slowing down the pace of the story and there’s no need for it.
More yes than no
I would recommend this book to everyone who’s interested in dystopian words and who wants to read a classic.
In the middle of nowhere
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.
This book was published in 1954, just one year after Fahrenheit 451. The books are both so different. As Golding clearly described: “The theme is an attempt to trace the defects of society back to the defects of human nature”. And it’s truly an interesting book. I’m always interested in human behavior. Why do people certain things? Why do they act like that? This clearly interests Golding as well, as he put these boys on an inhabited island. What happens when there are no grownups and not a clear set of rules? How do kids behave?
Golding describes the differences between the young (littluns) and the older (biguns) whereas the littluns are too young to understand everything and the biguns should be the leaders. The story begins with Ralph and Piggy on an island. Ralph, in my opinion, thinks he can say everything he wants hence calling Piggy ‘Piggy’. Piggy is very wise for his age but doesn’t get that recognition. Perhaps because of how he looks like, the name they all call him, or perhaps because they don’t understand him at all. The boys find a conch, a shell that can produce a loud sound. When they use the conch, more boys appear around them. Ralph and Piggy are no longer alone. Will this make it easier or more complicated?
The actual Lord of the Flies has one of the best symbolic meanings in the book. Even with this monster (or not?) in the story, to me, the book is more psychological (human behavior, moral) than symbolic. Although some might disagree. The good thing is that we all read and interpret books differently.
I liked the story because I am quite interested in human behavior. Would things really happen this way? Well, that’s something we won’t know for sure. We all think we know how kids behave because we were once a kid ourselves. However, times change and not every kid is the same. Yes, some events are unavoidable but sometimes kids can surprise us. Let’s just hope it won’t ever happen.
I would recommend this story to everyone who wants to read a classic and is interested in human behavior and psychology.