How to Make a Reader Hate Reading and a Book Review Too.

Niamhy is a great reader – Niamhy cannot get enough books.  That’s why we bought her a kindle.  So when her new middle school informed her she had to read 25 books during the academic year, it seemed like a no brainer.  Except that she also has to write a synopsis of each book and she hates doing that…so now she is refusing to read – great, well done middle school.  Goodness knows what effect this system has on reluctant readers.

That led me to thinking that I should write a review of the last book I read.   It was The Passage by Justin Cronin.  I picked up a leaflet with a few sample chapters of this book in the UK this summer and was blown away by the start.  It launched straight in to a series of mysterious events, a young woman whose life starts spiraling downhill rapidly, a trip into the jungle of South America which goes horribly wrong, men on death row becoming medical guinea pigs for the army, these events merge together into a cohesive and fast paced story of a medical experiment that results in a ‘virus’ (I use that term loosely) wiping out most of civilization, the lifestyle of the survivors and how they start to fight back against the ‘virus’.  Through it all is the child Amy, the illegitimate child of the young woman mentioned at the beginning of the story…and some how the antidote.

Over all I thought it was a fantastic, fast-paced novel, the characters were believable and likeable, the catastrophe was feasible enough to give me chills and the writing style made it an easy read for summer.  However, there were holes…if this virus started in South America why wasn’t that continent affected in the same way as North America?  The ending was a little weak too, in fact the ending made me feel like I had been cheated…Clearly Mr. Cronin has left room for book 2, but that doesn’t mean that he should leave us on without a strong finish.  I also did not understand the references to Noah’s Ark – I get that the virus wiped out the majority of humans like the flood in the bible, but I did not see the characters themselves as Noah, the dove or even the ark itself.  Maybe that is just me…over all I would recommend this book and will definitely read book 2 when it comes out.

Right now, I am off to plead with Niamhy to pick up a book…



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5 responses to “How to Make a Reader Hate Reading and a Book Review Too.

  1. That sort of “encouragement” to read infuriates my OH, y’know, the English teacher. He’s head of department and has introduced free reading for the S1 and S2 pupils (12/13 year olds). For one English class a week they get to just read, anything they want, and they will not be asked to write or say a single thing about it. The class teacher is encouraged to read too rather then use the time for admin. It’s reading for nothing more than enjoyment and can be a comic, a novel, a newspaper, a magazine…. anything goes.

    You should try Plague Year by Jeff Carlson, I just finished it – tis rather fab.

    • It makes me want to poke them in the eye – with the corner of a book…

      Sounds like a great plan on your husband’s part…reading is the foundation of everything and all you really need is enthusiasm to master it.

  2. veryanniemary

    Thinking about it N’s. elementary school had Dear Time. D.E.A.R.

    Drop Everything And Read – that’s probably why she loves to read so much, shame the middle school doesn’t do similar. Thanks for the recommendation I’ll check it out.

  3. Julie Barnette

    Glad you mentioned the summary, didn’t realize they needed it! My reluctant reader was not happy about that revelation!
    The middle school has (or least had when older kid went through) a D.E.A.R type time every other Thursday. I forget what they called it….Amen to letting kids read for the heck of it–Of course I’d still have to tie my youngest to chair to make her do it!

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