Tag Archives: Anika B. ’18

Zero to One by Peter Thiel (review by Anika B. ’18)

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the FutureZero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Zero to One, Peter Theil, the founder of Paypal, takes the reader through the steps of building a successful startup. A notable aspect of revolutionary companies is that they go from 0 to 1, as opposed to going from 1 to n. In other words, Microsoft went from 0 to 1 by creating new technology. However, the next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. I read this book on the plane, and only opened it because I couldn’t use my phone during takeoff. I had planned on watching a bunch of movies, but the book was so amazing that I did not put it down until I finished it. The book was very easy to read, and the text was accompanied by comprehensive visuals. The brilliant metaphors further helped the reader internalize the content. However, the best part of the book was the content itself. The book preaches the opposite of what is taught in the typical economic class, allowing the reader to consider the world from a different point of view. I recommend this book to everyone, and I believe that all Harker students should read it. – Anika B. ’18

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling (review by Anika B. ’18)

Harry Potter and the Cursed ChildHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By the operationalization of the star rating system, five stars means Harry Potter. Although this book, or play rather, was faced with high expectations, it was everything I hoped it to be and more. This story takes place 19 years after the Battle of Hogwarts, and it follows the adventures of Harry and Ginny’s son, Albus, and Draco Malfoy’s son Scorpius. Plagued by troubled relationships with their respective fathers, Albus and Scorpius use a stolen time turner to prevent the death of Cedric Diggory, leading to huge complications.

Due to its structure as a play, the book lacked J.K. Rowling’s signature descriptions, but the dialogue was very smooth and well written. The plot was brilliantly delivered, and there was never a dull moment. The new characters were well developed and the dynamic relationships held the perfect degree of depth. Finally, by taking readers back in time, the book referred to moments from the earlier Harry Potter books in ways that would have made any Potter fan feel nostalgic.

Once I picked up the book, I could not put it down. Although Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was not a traditional Harry Potter book, it did not disappoint.

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart (review by Anika B. ’18)

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars follows a member of the distinguished Sinclair family, Cadence Sinclair Eastman, who is recovering from a brain injury she received in an accident that she cannot remember. As she recalls more about the accident, she begins to question her family’s ideals and develops her own identity. For me, the strongest element of this novel was the addition of various stories about a king and his three daughters being told in parallel to the main plotline. These short stories created an interesting structure and served as perfect transitions between sections. However, besides the protagonist, most characters were very black-and-white, and lacked the dynamic personalities needed for an effective story. Cadence remembers the majority of the details involving her accident quite suddenly towards the end of the book. Spreading out the realizations and starting them earlier in the book might have resulted in a stronger, more engaging novel. Most fans of this book believe the ending to be stunning, but I found it incredibly disappointing, as it seemed to contradict much of what had occurred earlier. Overall, the book had an impressive structure, but the one-dimensional characters and ending diminished its overall efficacy.

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