Tag Archives: The Compound

WWW Wednesday, 29-October-2014

29 Oct

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! I’ve finally started moving forward, thankfully! So here’s a new set of books!

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis, but I don’t have it checked out now and it’s likely to be two weeks before I can get it back. Stay tuned. I’ve finished the next section of Read Along #2The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. I want to keep plowing ahead with this one, it’s a struggle to stop each week. I’m making steady progress Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett on audio. I’m around disk 14 now and I’ve renewed it for the first time. I’ll keep counting how many times I need to do that. And there are two new books! I started an audiobook on my phone, California by Eden Lepucki. This was a free Audible download courtesy of the Ford Audiobook Club. If you haven’t seen this on Goodreads, go check it out. You get a free audiobook every month and they don’t expire. This was the September selection so I’m behind on discussion, but I’ve got the October selection downloaded as well. This book is perfect for time spent unpacking and cooking. I recommend it. I’ve also jumped on the bandwagon with my physical book selection; Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’ve heard so much about the movie that I want to read the book so I can go see it! I have two other books that I need to be reading now, but I’ve got to get this one out-of-the-way first.

Recently finished: I’ve finally finished Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King. YAY! I finished it and promptly took an hour-long nap. It’s that kind of book. I think this would be a great research book if I were writing a thesis, but this was not a good book club selection and I wish I’d skipped it.

I’ve also gotten a book review done, so check out my recap of The Compound by S.A. Bodeen.

Reading Next:  I’ll get a copy of The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver soon as a part of my work book group. The first person to read it really liked it and the second person is in process. No word yet to how that’s going.

Ideally, I’ll finish Gone Girl this week but with Halloween and the beginning of NaNo (which I’ll post on soon), that doesn’t seem likely. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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Book Review: The Compound by S.A. Bodeen (4/5). So this is what crazy billionaires do.

27 Oct

I found this book (yet again) on my book-a-day calendar in 2013. I was excited when I found an audio version of it and saw that it was written during NaNoWriMo! Well, the first draft of it was, but that means this is the brain child of a 30 day dash to the first 50,000 words. That’s so awesome.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

The Compound by S.A. Bodeen

Summary from Goodreads:

Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they’ve become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy.

For Eli, no amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day.

As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary—and their sanity—Eli can’t help but wonder if he’d rather take his chances outside.

Eli’s father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe—or sorry?

Wow. I was really sucked in to this one. Well, until the end. I found one thing really unbelievable there, which I’ll address later.  Other than that, I was really intrigued by this book. I thought the world Bodeen created was really detailed and I liked the small things she added in that helped me see the apocalyptic world through Eli’s eyes. This book really made me consider the value of living. If you are trapped in a compound for fifteen years with only your family and have to resort to some of the measures the Yanikakis family looked into, is life worth living?

I thought the characters were all very real except Rex. I didn’t understand is madness and it seemed a little out of left field. I know the author tried to explain it away by describing the turdunken scene, but that didn’t build the character enough for me. I still didn’t buy it. I liked Eli, and as he’s the narrator, it made me like the characters overall. I loved the fight between Lexi and Eli; I thought that was a great touch and it reminded me of myself and my brother.

Eli himself was my favorite character. I liked that he kept things from his dad when he thought he needed to, that’s very true to life of teenagers. I liked how he talked to his brother over IM and how he didn’t immediately believe that his dad had been lying to him and I really liked that he confronted his dad about it. He was forward when he needed to be and I liked that about him.

I sympathized most with the mother. She was stuck in a difficult place where she wanted to do what was best for her family and as much as she wanted to do things for herself, she couldn’t. Even when she didn’t agree with how she was being treated, she couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t relate to her pain, but I felt bad for her more than the others. Especially with how her husband treated her younger children. I don’t think I could have stood for that.

I liked Eli’s escape from the compound at the end the most. It was great to see him working with his younger brother and tricking his dad. It was cool to see him out-smarting and physically outmaneuvering a man with more paper-based intellect, but who wasn’t as well versed in real-life application.

S.A. Bodeen Image via Goodreads.com

S.A. Bodeen
Image via Goodreads.com

It seemed to me like the clues Eli followed were really vague and I doubted they were even actually connected. It reminded me of the scene from Men In Black where J is trying to find a clue and thinks each thing is pointing to something else. The statue is pointing to a pizza box that’s pointing to pointed lamp, etc. It was unbelievable and ultimately wrong. I expected Eli to be led down an errant path at well and when it turned out to be the right answer, I shook a metaphorical fist at the author. It seemed to be a convenient way to wrap up the book and it seemed like cheating. No me gusta.

As Eli is stuck in the compound with his family, family seems like the obvious theme to discuss here. The family was very fractioned in the compound, but as Eli says, they all have to work together to get out of it. The clues he followed relied on all of the siblings memories and knowledge. The ultimate sacrifice that their mother was willing to make of giving up her younger children for the older children was all about family. And the long-awaited reunion with Eddie and Gram was all about family. When the family finally worked together, they got out and could be together again.

Writer’s Takeaway: As I said, I thought the ending was a cheap way out for the author. I think if she’d taken more time, she could have developed a better ending. The details of the setting were so well done, but then the ending was rushed. She said in her closing authors note that she wanted to thank the NaNoWriMo staff and it made a little more sense to me. At the end of November, you sometimes need to wrap the story up quickly and get to the 50,000 mark. But the editing phase should have allowed her time to go back and add the needed pacing to the end of the book and make it more solid. I thought that was lacking.

An overall compelling and good novel that had a fatal flaw at the end. Four out of Five stars.

This book fulfills Washington for my Where Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review: The Compound by S.A. Bodeen | Book.Blog.Bake
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen | Books: A Pathway to New Worlds
The Compound by S.A. Bodeen | Young Adult Controversial Titles
The Compound: S.A. Bodeen | Jen Robinson’s Book Page

WWW Wednesday, 8-October-2014

8 Oct

Time for MizB’s WWW meme yet again! Okay progress this week, but nothing special.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  My ebook is still The Domesday Book by Connie Willis. I’m almost 30% of the way in and so far it’s really good. I’m excited to see where it goes. I’ve finished the second section of Read Along #2The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. This book is really great and tearing at my heart. If you want to join in, please send me an email! No progress on Misterio de La Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie this week. I’ve been reading my book club selection instead. Speaking of which, the book club book is Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King. It’s slow, I won’t lie, but I think I can power through. I’ve begun yet another new audiobook, Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. That’s right, I got it! I had to go to another library and finally got it and I’m ecstatic. Woo!

Recently finished: I finished the audiobook of The Compound by S.A. Bodeen which was really enjoyable. Parts of it were far-fetched, but it was a good YA thriller.

Just one little book review, We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. It was a great thriller and will make for a good book club discussion.

Reading Next:  My work book club has chosen our next selection, The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver. I’ll be jumping on that one as soon as I can.

I hope I can finish Michelangelo this week, but it will be a push with all the hectic parts of moving! How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 1-October-2014

1 Oct

Time for MizB’s WWW meme! This week was the jump that I was posed for last week.

www_wednesdays4The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:  My ebook is The Domesday Book by Connie Willis and as expected, this is a long haul. I’m 23% of the way through which I’m actually pretty excited about. It’s farther than I expected to be. I’ve finished the second section of Read Along #2The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. It was a really great section and I can’t wait to read the next! As expected, I’ve started my ‘Reading Next’ books. The first is  Misterio de La Guia de Ferrocarriles by Agatha Christie which I’ll be reading slowly. That might work against me, but I think I can keep up with the story. It’s the Spanish that will be a problem! The other book is  Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling by Ross King for my book club. I started it and so far, its dense, but still reads well. Hopefully I can get into it a bit more. I began a new audiobook, The Compound by S.A. Bodeen, which is yet another recommendation from my book calendar last year. That thing is hopping!

Recently finished: Two this week! The first is the drawn out Canada by Richard Ford. I liked this one, but I didn’t love it. As I was told it would, I was reminded of John Irving.  The second is The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory which I listened to in my car. Again, it was good, but it just didn’t blow me away.

One lonely book review this week. Check out my review of The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka.

Reading Next:  No new news on Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I’m holding out for a miracle! I also need to pick out something for my work book club. Hmm. I’ll be deciding on that today.

I don’t expect to finish anything this week, but there are always book miracles. How is your WWW? Leave a comment and let me know and check out the original post on MizB’s blog!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!