Posted by: ashburnreviews | April 28, 2009

The Golden Compass, The Lucky One, and Lost and Found

The last three books I finished reading are:


The Golden Compass
by Philip Pullman

The Lucky One
by Nicholas Sparks

Lost and Found
by Carolyn Parkhurst

My favorite of the bunch was the Target Bookmarked book Lost and Found. It is light read that follows a number of teams through filming and participating in a reality TV “game” show. What I liked most about this book, is that each chapter is told by a different character of the book. I would have thought this would have been distracting but it wasn’t. The storyline was easy to follow and the different character insights were very interesting. The best collection of words in the book – the ones that really stuck with me are about child rearing. The person talking, Carl, has a young kid named Benjamin.

Sometimes I hear parents of little kids, kids Benjamin’s age, talking about how they’re already dreading the teenage years but I don’t see it that way. It’s all part of the whole package when you have a kid. you job is to adjust to them along the way, to give them what they need at every stage. Sometimes when I’m at the playground with Benjamin, I look around at all those kids, and I think about what’s going to happen to them. I mean, yeah, one of them could grow up to be president, or an astronaut, or the person who cures cancer. but mostly, they’re going to be like us. …Those of them who have the chance to grow up at all, they’re going to have broken hearts and jobs they sometimes hate, they’re going to have happy days and sad days and days where nothing happens at all. They’re going to have lives. And we’ve got to prepare them to live those lives and be as happy as they can.

I like that a lot. I agree. Having children is about preparing them for what they may encounter later in life. And what they encounter may just be the same things we do. Paying the mortgage. Trying to stay healthy and happy. Having good relationships.

The book The Lucky One felt very contrived to me. This books tells the story of a military guy who finds a photograph of a young lady while he is in Iraq. And while he is at war, the photograph becomes his lucky charm. When he gets out of the service – he sets off to find the young lady. I won’t go into more details here because I don’t want to spoil the book for those of you that will read it. But I will say that the book is a typical formula Nicholas Sparks book so expect all that. I recognize what I just said didn’t sound too positive so I should say that I wouldn’t say The Lucky One was a horrible book… that would be harsher then I need to be. It just – in my opinion – wasn’t that good. The author seemed lazy to me. The characters are very typical and predictable. And yes I know so many people love Nicholas Sparks – but I just don’t think I am one of them.

Lastly was The Golden Compass. I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about it since I finished it sometime back. It is an odd book. That masks itself as a children’s book. And is trying to do a lot. It is the first book in a series of 3. I had bought the other 2 books. I don’t know if I’ll go to book number 2. A good friend of mine likes this series and says that the first book is the worst of the batch and that it is worth going on. Maybe.

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