Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak

Doctor Zhivago is a novel by Boris Pasternak that follows the life of Yuri Andreevich Zhivago as he lives through World War I, the Russian Revolution, and the Russian Civil War. As Yuri grows up, he eventually marries his childhood best friend Tonya. But when he gets drafted as a doctor for World War I, he meets Lara Antipova, whom he can't seem to get off his mind, even when he returns from the War in time for the Russian Revolution to his old home, but a new Russia.

I was very intimidated to read this book because not only is it a heavy classic, but it's translated and I feared that it would lose meaning and sense, but I am so happy that I read it. Something I love about the novel is that nearly every single character mentioned, no matter how irrelevant they may seem in the moment they are mentioned, is somehow connected to every other character. All of their lives cross points somehow, by some strange connection of another familiar person. Also I really enjoyed noticing how the political events of Russian in the early 20th century are mimicked in Yuri's relationships with Tonya, Lara, and Marina. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Nobel Prize winning novels or enjoys learning about the effects of the Russian Revolution.

Reviewed by Nayri T., Grade 12
Casa Verdugo Library

Monday, May 30, 2016

Way of the Peaceful Warrior, by Dan Millman

Dan Millman’s, Way of the Peaceful Warrior, is a fictional novel that changes lives of people by slapping the readers’ face and waking them up into reality. The author’s descriptive imagery and diction brought laughter, tears and helped to reflect on the deepest questions of life and realizing life’s larger meaning and purpose. For example, Socrates(teacher of Dan), always says “The journey is what brings us happiness not the destination,” “A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds the love in what he does,” and “Life has three rules: Paradox, Humor, and Change.” As Dan develops throughout the entire book, he learns to be himself, to be the moment, to focus and to live everyday like it was the last day.

All the amazing and life changing lessons that the character gains are what the reader gains and learns throughout the novel. I liked this book because the fiction came to life and taught me relevant life lessons. High School students and adults would highly appreciate this novel because they will not only enjoy the action but also discover new themes that will remain with them throughout their lives.

Reviewed by Siranush  M., Grade 12
Glendale Central Library