Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lost in the Pages?

The other day, a friend asked me, “Why did you decide to call your blog, ‘Lost in the Pages?’”
So, I explained. I decided to title my blog “Lost in the Pages” for the obvious reason, because it’s about book reviews, but for another reason as well. I love to read and when I do, I literally get lost in the pages of my book. The story absorbs me so much that I pretty much end up in my own little world. I’m sure that others have experienced the same feeling. You know, when a book captivates you so much, that you just get so lost in it. So, read the reviews and maybe you’ll find a good book and get lost in the pages yourself. :)

Check it out!

Hi everyone! Love reading book reviews? Especially, new young adult fiction? Then check out Kreag’s blog at:

If you’re interested in reading reviews about anything in ink (books, comics, etc), then be sure to check out Sonny’s blog at:

Read their blogs and let Kreag and Sonny know what you think! :)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair was first published in 1906, a time when immigrants were flowing into America and living conditions were dreadful. The book follows Jurgis Rudkus, his wife, Ona, and their extended family as they try to start a new life in Packingtown, Chicago. To them, as to most immigrants, America was suppose to be a place full of opportunities, when in reality it was mostly lies and scams. For the family, nothing seems to be going right. In fact, it seems that everything that could go wrong does. Still, the novel really shows what it was like for immigrants during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. They certainly had their share of issues and struggles they had to work through and that can be seen in The Jungle. Sinclair wrote the novel to show the American people the horrors of factory work during that time, especially in the meat industry. He was actually successful in his cause because his book led to the passage of the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.
            Let me just say, this is one of my all-time favorite novels. I read it over the summer, but I had to write a review for it. I’ll admit, when I first looked up this book to see if it would be something that I wanted to read, I honestly wasn’t that impressed. I mean, meat packing in Chicago? Sounds exciting, right? However, after I picked this book up, I fell in love. The beginning was a bit slow, but after the first few chapters it quickly picked up. At times, it was gruesome. This book is not for those with a weak stomach, because Sinclair spares no details. Just be warned, if you do choose to read this, expect some nasty descriptions.
            Another interesting characteristic is the fact that the book is written in a journalistic style. It makes sense because Sinclair was a journalist, but the sentences and ideas are to the point. Sinclair does use a lot more description when compared to dialogue, but he never spends an incredible amount of time on one subject. This is something I appreciated, because I hate when the author drags the same idea on for pages and pages.
            Sinclair did a wonderful job creating the characters. It is a bit confusing to follow them all in the beginning, because there are quite few, so it would have been helpful to have a family tree in the beginning of the book that shows the relationship between all of the characters. Still, as the book continued and everything kept taking a turn for the worst, I sympathized with them. Especially Jurgis, whose life just didn’t seem to be getting any better. Overall, the characters were amazingly crafted, because Sinclair definitely did a brilliant job of capturing the hardships that many immigrants faced.
            Overall, this was one of the most amazing books that I have ever read. It opened my eyes to what the life was like for the lower classes during that time period. It was something that I never stopped and thought about. I mean, these people worked for hours on end, only to get paid maybe one, two dollars a day. It really made me appreciate a lot of what I have today, because I can’t imagine having to go through what Jurgis and his family did. If you get a chance to read this book, you definitely should! You won’t be disappointed.

"I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." ~Upton Sinclair, on his novel The Jungle

Friday, January 28, 2011

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Kyle Kingsbury is the perfect guy. He relies on his popularity and good looks (and his father’s money) for everything in life. Then, one day, a witch curses him. He gets transformed into an ugly, hairy, monster that is suppose represent what he’s like on the inside. In order to break the spell, he must find love before time runs out, otherwise, he will remain a beast for the rest of his life. Will he be able to break the curse?
            I know, I know, not the best description in the world, but I really don’t want to give away too much in this review. It’s much better to read it and find out what happens for yourself. From the moment I started this book, I couldn’t put it down. It was as though I was trapped in a spell. Alex Flinn did a wonderful job of taking a classic story, Beauty and the Beast, and putting a modern spin on it. Almost everyone knows the tale of Beauty and the Beast, although most people only know the Disney version. However, the original is in French and is titled La Belle et La Bête. Her novel relates more with the original French version (which, if you get the opportunity to read it, you really should. I was fortunate enough to read an adapted version of the original, en Français nonetheless) than the Disney version. Nonetheless, it is a great book. The characters are all well written. To be honest, I found Kyle to be a bit obnoxious and egocentric in the beginning of the novel, but I’m sure that was the attitude the Flinn was aiming for. Since, after all, he was supposed to be pretty shallow and self-centered. As the book continued though, and Kyle spent more and more time as a beast, I began to sympathize and relate to him more. I thought the story line was fantastic. There wasn’t a dull moment at all. I was slightly disappointed with the ending. Flinn led up to the final moment so dramatically, that the climax fell short for me. Still, that didn’t stop me from loving this book. I would certainly suggest it for anyone looking for a good read. It’s a great young adult novel that is easy to get through and follow. I definitely give Beastly two thumbs up, so be sure to check it out :)

Also, I’m super excited to say that Beastly is going to be a movie! It premieres in March and you can bet that I’m going to see it! After enjoying the book so much, I hope I won’t be disappointed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hello and welcome to my blog :)

Hi, I’m Shaylene and I’m passionate about reading, which is exactly why I started this blog. Whenever I finish a book, I just want to tell people about it. So, I figured, why not create a blog in which I can review the books I’ve read. That way, other people may read my reviews and decide if it’s possibly something that they want to read. I read all different genres and books from all different time periods, so there will be quite the variety. One day, the post may be about a classic and another day, it could be about book that has just been released. Either way, I hope everyone enjoys the reviews and be sure to let me know what you think. Also, if you have any suggestions for good books or books that you want me to read and review, just let me know! I’m not sure how many people are going to read this, but whoever does, enjoy! :)