Un-"Balloon Popping"-Like February and Its Wrap Up

If January felt like a long journey through the desert, February felt like a quick stroll around the mall. Before I knew it, my birth month ended with barely an announcement, not even a pop like when a balloon pops. I managed to finish two books though, and both were memorable in their own way.

1. 1984 by George Orwell
As a classic dystopian novel published in 1949 but taking place in 1984, this book imagines a world completely different: freedom is slavery, and Oceania, the superstate Winston Smith lives in, is ruled by the Party with Big Brother at the top of the pyramid. Winston has to be careful with his actions and thoughts. He, like everyone else, is constantly being watched by the Thought Police through the telescreens that are glued everywhere. One wrong move, even as out of control as an indication of defiance during sleep talking, will surely be followed by a complete erasure from the public eye. So when Winston starts to meet another Party member, Julia, in secret and forms an alliance against Big Brother, both realize what is at stake.

While the premise might sound like this book could be another recently published dystopian fantasy novel, the narrative underneath is a contradiction. If I had to describe 1984 in a few words, I would pick: clever, creepy, and painful. Sadly, the pace this book offered was too slow to my liking. I felt like this book dragged unnecessarily, making the creepiness less effective in affecting its readers. In conclusion, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had thought I would, but please don't let this review hold you back from picking up this book. Under the comment section of my latest bookstagram post, I have gathered that this book is a masterpiece for so many of my friends. If you ask me, I would argue that this book must be a huge hit or a careless miss.

2. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey follows the story of a seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland, the fourth child of ten siblings, who is offered an opportunity to temporarily stay in Bath with her good neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Allen. She meets Isabella Thorpe there, and the two quickly become good friends. Soon joined by Catherine's brother, James, and Isabella's, John, four of them explore Bath's social events together. However, her heart has set on a particular someone. Upon her first meeting with Henry Tilney, Catherine becomes besotted. After befriending Henry's sister, Eleanor, Catherine is invited to visit the Tilney family estate, Northanger Abbey. While she is ecstatic to spend more time with the Tilney, the eerie ambiance of the abbey has filled Catherine's mind with scenes from the gothic thriller novel she is currently reading. She soon suspects the mystery surrounding the death of Mrs. Tilney, and whether her husband has a part in it.

I wouldn't say that the blurb of this book is misleading, but the truth is it pretty much is. I picked up this book anticipating a mysterious classic with Jane Austen's touch, and while I didn't find what I was looking for (Catherine's visit to Northanger Abbey didn't happen until midway through the story), I wasn't left disappointed. In conclusion, my top favorite from Austen is now a tie between this book and Pride and Prejudice. If you like classic books, it must be a no-brainer for you to pick this book up.