Hello readers, and welcome back to Sabrina’s Book Corner. This week we are going to be discussing The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. As some of you may know, The Outsiders celebrated its 50th anniversary this past November. And for the uninformed, The Outsiders is a much celebrated book, which was an incredibly important piece of fiction when it came out in 1967.
The Outsiders was revolutionary because it was written by a teenager, about teenagers, for teenagers. In fact, that was the original tagline when the book first came out. Some would say that The Outsiders was one of the first books in what would later become the young adult genre. The Outsiders is a book that has resonated with people of all ages over the last 50 years because of the relatable characters and strong themes.
Today, something new from me — a book review! Recently, “Robert Galbraith” released a new novel entitled Career of Evil. In case you’re wondering why I placed quotation marks around this author’s name, Robert Galbraith is the pseudonym of J.K. Rowling. A couple of years ago, she was unmasked as Galbraith, an identity she had assumed to publish her work without the massive attention that she usually gets for new writing. Even without the Rowling name, her first Galbraith novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, received praise. Now that she’s been revealed, though, as the mastermind behind these novels, the books are even more popular.
Career of Evil is the third novel in Rowling/Galbraith’s “Cormoran Strike” series, which follows London detective Cormoran Strike and his assistant Robin Ellacot. In previous installments, Strike has found the killer of a supermodel and a famous author. In the first story, the police thought the supermodel’s murder was actually a suicide, and Strike proved them wrong. In the second novel, the author’s murder was quite grisly, and Strike’s detective work earned him further acclaim. This time around, Strike is a bit more personally involved in the case, which begins when someone sends Robin a severed leg through the mail.
Soon after the leg shows up, Strike already has four potential suspects in mind. All four of them are violent men from his past, and all four of them have reasons to discredit and harass Strike. The novel follows Strike as he investigates these potential murderers. We also follow Robin, who is gearing up for her wedding while being pursued by the man who sent her a severed leg.
In the acknowledgements that Rowling included in this novel, she said that she has likely never had as much fun writing something as she had while writing this. That sense of joy and wild writing abandon certainly comes off in the reading of this novel. I was pulled into the novel fairly easily, having already fallen in love with Rowling’s writing style. But it was the fast-paced, suspenseful plot that really kept me reading. Halfway through the book, I was literally having trouble concentrating at work because I was so preoccupied by the plot! The resolution was very satisfying, and it included a great twist that I definitely didn’t see coming.
If you were a fan of Harry Potter, but were disillusioned by Rowling’s Casual Vacancy, I would recommend checking out the Cormoran Strike novels. Here, Rowling is building another interesting world just like her Potter-verse (but with less magic, of course), with interesting characters and crackling plots.
Today we are going to be talking about Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. This is a throwback for me because I first read The Lightning Thief in high school. This book is an oldie but a goody.
Percy Jackson, your normal American pre-teen, is about to be kicked out of boarding school. Again. Little does Percy know that he is actually not your normal American pre-teen. Percy is a demigod and he’s being accused of a crime he didn’t commit.
As if finding out you’re a demigod from your best friend (who just so happens to be a satyr) isn’t bad enough, while trying to get to a camp for demigods, Percy is attacked by a monster from Greek mythology. After arriving at Camp Half-blood, Percy finds out that he is being blamed for the theft of Zeus’ lightning bolt. With only ten days to clear his name before Percy gets smote by the gods, he, his best friend Grover (the satyr), and a daughter of Athena set out on an adventure to catch a thief.
Visiting everywhere from Las Vegas to the underworld, The Lightning Thief is one wild ride. Rick Riordan crafts a great new story about Greek mythology that is entertaining for everyone. If you’re looking for a quick read or a brief look into Greek mythology with a fun twist, The Lightning Thief is a good choice.
So happy reading everyone, and tune in next week for a new book review.