Monday, January 21, 2013

To Kill A Mockingbird (book review).

Today our Internet was down. We still don't know exactly what was the problem.... But we didn't get it back until about quarter past nine.
I also haven't been feeling good today, so no writing. Not much of anything the past few days.... I've just kind of been lazing about.

Nevertheless, I though I'd do a book review because it's easy.

Title: To Kill A Mockingbird.

Author: Harper Lee.

Synopsis: The story follows Scout Finch and her brother Jem. They live in a small town in Alabama where everyone knows everyone - and everyone else's business. Their father, Atticus, is a lawyer.
For years, the whisperings of Miss Stephanie Crawford (the town gossip) had to do with Boo Radley, the shut-in down the street from the Finches. Rumor had it that he stabbed his father with scissors and was mad. At night he sneaks around and looks in people's windows as they sleep!
Something ruffles the town, though, when Atticus is chosen to represent a colored man in a trial.
Even though it is the 1930's, colored people are still not treated fairly. To Kill A Mockingbird deals with this issue through the eyes of children.

My rating: 10/10.

Why I liked the story: To Kill A Mockingbird is one of my absolute favorite books. Harper Lee's writing style is so wonderful to read. It is easy to understand and very very entertaining.
I love how funny the book is. My favorite part is when Scout experiences snow for the first time. She looks out her window and thinks the world is ending. "Atticus! Atticus! Come in here quick! The world is endin'! Come stop it!" she yells to her father. Atticus comes running in, half-shaved, and explains that no, the world isn't ending, it is just snowing. Scout and Jem proceed to build a mud-man and then cover him in the snow. It looks so much like one of their neighbors, they are forced to change it.
The characters. I love great characters. Whether they have a quirk... or are out of the ordinary... or are exceptionally moral... etc. etc. A great character can make a book for me. The characters in To Kill A Mockingbird are absolutely wonderful.
The story is told in Scout's perspective. Her real name is Jean-Louise and she is (I believe) seven or eight when the book starts. She is a total tom-boy and likes to wear overalls. She had a fiery temper, especially if someone is making fun of her. Throughout the book, she has to learn to control it.
Jem is Scout's older brother by four years. He loves football and adventures. He takes care of Scout, but does a lot of growing in the book, as he gets older.
Atticus is my favorite character and one of my literary heroes. He is so moral and he tries to be a good father, as well as a good lawyer. He doesn't defend Tom Robinson because he has to, he does so because he believes in justice. He knows Tom Robinson isn't guilty.


Dill is Scout and Jem's friend. He is the nephew of their neighbor and comes to live with her during the summers. He is the one so very interested in Boo Radley and the one who comes up with the plans to make him come out.
Boo Radley, the Eules, Miss Maudie Atkinson, Calpurnia, the Cunninghams, and all the other characters are wonderful as well.
I love how there are two separate plot lines and two separate climaxes. Everyone always makes such a big deal about Tom Robinsons case, and while that is a huge part of the book, it really only takes up a couple of chapters. The two plot lines are so intertwined, yet have nothing to do with each other. That's what I love about the book.
The Tom Robinson case shows just how unfair people can be. It is showed through the eyes of Scout (who is ten or so at the time) and understandable. We also feel the unfairness of the kid's innocence. Why should a man go to prison when he is so obviously not guilty? Why is his color the only reason he was stamped 'guilty'? The question everyone thinks, but only the children are young enough to ask out loud.
All in all, this is a wonderful wonderful book. Far from boring.

What I didn't like/things you should know: I can't think about anything that I disliked about the book... There are, however, things you should know.
Tom Robinson is convicted of raping Mayella Eule and is found guilty despite all the evidence that supports his innocence. It is implied that Mayella's father is actually the one that does her physical harm.
Tom Robinson's trial is spread out through three or four chapters and isn't really graphic... But things are described in full.
Scout goes through phase where she thinks she needs to swear all the time. There are quite a few swears in the book... Not a super lot though. Only a hand full of D-words and H-words, as I can recall. Also the N-word is mentioned very frequently (the slang for "Negro").
There are several intense scenes.... A house burns down. Jem and Scout are almost killed.

Will I read it again? Absolutely!

Would I recommend it? I would recommend this book for mature 12 year olds and up. I think I read it (for the first time) when I was 13.

Live long and prosper!

2 comments:

  1. Another classic I need to read. I'm making it my goal to read as many of them as possible. I've never read this one, but from what you've said it kind of reminds me of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Same time period and everything...

    You're very good at writing reviews, I must say! They're smart, informative, and well thought out. *applauds*

    So I've been watching Elementary -- and I am absolutely hooked! It doesn't hurt that it has regular episodes instead of waiting years and years between seasons. [*MOFFAT!*] I watched M the other night. It was so intense. I loved it. Jonny Lee Miller does a great job, and so does Lucy Liu.

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  2. This has been up on the to-read list for a while, since it's a classic. Considering how much you liked it, I'll probably pick it up if I ever see it laying around!

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