Tag Archives: *****

Song of Achilles (Review by Hita T. ’23)

The Song of AchillesThe Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Exiled from his father’s kingdom at a young age, Patroclus, the socially awkward son of Menoitius, finds himself in Phthia, where he meets Achilles, the son of King Peleus and the sea nymph Thetis. Achilles is everything Patroclus is not; he is strong, handsome, the son of a goddess, and the pride of his father. However, in an unlikely twist of fate, their paths intertwine as Achilles befriends Patroclus and forges a bond between them. As they grow into young adults trained in warfare, medicine, and the arts, their friendship grows into something more, deeply displeasing Achilles’ mother Thetis, who despises mortals. To her, Patroclus is nothing but a stain on Achilles’ glory and fame.

Later, when Helen of Sparta, the wife of Meneleus and the most beautiful woman in the world, is kidnapped by Paris, the Greeks are summoned to protect her honor and attack Troy. Achilles follows the Greeks, driven by the idea of glory and being known as the Aristos Achaion, and Patroclus is forced to choose whether to stay behind or follow his best friend into the war. Patroclus tries to protect his friend from the prophecy that predicts Achilles’ death, but little does he know that fate has its own cruel way of claiming who it wants in the end…

Madeline Miller retells Homer’s Iliad in a way that paints the bond between Patroclus and Achilles in a different and more sensitive light. From the moment Achilles’ and Patroclus’ paths intertwine in Phthia, Miller has the reader hanging on each word as she draws one through the ups and downs of the two young mens’ strong friendship and romance.

On a more personal note, I have to say that I absolutely loved this book. I’m not a very emotional reader, but The Song Of Achilles hit me right in the feels. The pace was perfect, the characters were perfect, the plot was perfect — everything was just right. I strongly recommend this book to anyone; the reader does not have to know any mythology to read The Song Of Achilles. -Hita T.

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Paper Girls vol. 1 (review by Ms. Pelman)

Paper Girls, Vol. 1Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Looking for something to fill the time until Stranger Things comes back? Look no further.

Set in the late 1980s, our heroines are a motley crew of newspaper delivery girls. The story begins when the girls band together for their rounds the morning after Halloween night (it’s still kind of creepy out and at 4 in the morning it’s best to work in pairs). When some boys who appear to still be in costume steal their walkie-talkies, they abandon their newspaper rounds. The mission to recover their communication devices sends them on a wild goose chase, triggering a series of events that will mire them in an inter-dimensional alien war. This time-travel-alien-invasion graphic novel is thrilling, funny, and suspenseful. -Ms. Pelman

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The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (review by Anya W. ’20)

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Five PartsThe Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Trilogy in Five Parts by Douglas Adams
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

On a rather boring Thursday, a rather boring (but mostly harmless) planet known as Earth is demolished by a Vogon construction crew to clear room for a new hyperspace overpass, along with most of its inhabitants, who rather unfortunately had yet to invent a method of faster than light travel and therefore had neglected to see the clearly posted notice in Alpha Centauri. Ford Prefect, writer for a new edition of the “Hitch Hiker’s Guide” and alien who’s been stranded on Earth for the past decade-and-a-half is not content with vaporization. He takes up his usual pastime, Hitchhiking, bringing along one Arthur Dent, a boring, regular, specimen of humanity if there ever was one, who also happens to be a very good friend.

One of the landmark novels of science fiction and a great influencer of pop culture, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a must read. Adams writes a ridiculous romp through worlds and galaxies on an unimaginable scale, and mixes ridiculousness with unspeakable horrors in just the right proportion to make his book a comedy instead of a textbook. One of the great advantages of science fiction and fantasy novels is the ability to wave away plot holes with “magic” or “science,” but the methods Adams uses to rationalize his fantastical universe are so creative that they hardly deserve the title of Applied Phlebotinum. – Anya W. ’20

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