The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is one of those children’s books that I never got to read while I was a kid. I’ve been hearing about the land of Oz while growing up but it was only recently that I finally got to read it, thanks to the 501 Must- Read Children’s Books Challenge that I engaged my self to do a couple of years back.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the fantastical world of Oz and the adventures of Alice, Toto, Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Cowardly Lion, but I think my younger self would have loved the story more than I did now. The writing was very easy to follow and what I like most about it is how vivid the scenes were explained; it’s like I am watching a movie inside my mind. (Note to self: See the movie version.) The lessons in the story are valuable and relatable and practicable – they speak of friendships, promises, courage, and wisdom. I can’t wait to read this book to my children one day, complete with voices and hand gestures. 🙂
“No matter how dreary and grey our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.”
My copy: ebook free from Goodreads.
Drawn by Cecilia Gray
“A wholly original tale of friendship and betrayal through the eyes – and lies – of one extraordinary girl. Sasha has a secret – that she can make you spill your secret with nothing more than a question. Her strange gift makes her a burden to her foster family and a total freak of nature. Not that Sasha cares. Why should she when no one cares about her? Then the CIA knocks on her door. They want to give Sasha a new identity and drop her into a foreign country to infiltrate a ring of zealous graffiti terrorists. They want to give Sasha something to care about. To survive a world where no one is who they seem, Sasha needs to make people trust her. But when that trust blossoms into love, Sasha is forced to decide between duty and friendship, between her mind and her heart, and whether to tell the truth or keep her secrets.”
I was looking for a random read, and if not for the cool cover, I wouldn’t have picked this book. And of course, there was the blurb which immediately caught my attention because, teenage girl? With a secret? CIA? As a reader who fancies everything that’s mystery, I thought that this could be the right story to keep me out of my reading slump.
Drawn is not at all bad as a random read. And since I had absolutely no expectations about the story or the writing, I was easily pleased. The comic strips before each chapter added to my appreciation of the book. The main character, Sasha, was understandably angst-y, and her personality and superpower reminded me of the Noise in Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking Trilogy and Lisbeth Salander of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
The plot was easy to follow and the writing was uncomplicated. The revelation of the identity of Kid Aert may not have surprised me at all because I had actually figured out who he was early on in the story, but still I enjoyed the unfolding of the events leading to the discovery. There was no hard action but the encounters of Sebastian with Sasha’s superpower and the “goose” replies that followed were funny and engaging.
All in all, I liked Drawn. It is a story of friendship and family and belongingness. I am sure my high school Nancy Drew loving self would have loved this too.
My copy: ebook from NetGalley.