Thursday, June 2, 2016

May 2016 #OABookClub: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Welcome back! In May and in honor of our MG Pass or Pages, the members of Operation Awesome read Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt.


Kara

I hate to say that I was disappointed by Tuck Everlasting. I was so excited by the premise; immortality in any shape or form is guaranteed to catch my attention, but I felt that so much of this premise was wasted. Not only were the Tucks super boring, they were wasting immortality! They could have done so much with their longevity, and instead they just spent it in hiding. I much prefer the way the vampires in Twilight, for example, spend their eternity: learning new languages and skills, and helping the community.

I wanted much more exploration of what immortality meant to the characters. I liked the older brother’s sadness at the loss of his family, and I wanted to know more about how immortality affected the other members of the Tuck family. Apparently it turned the younger brother into a perv; the way he treated 10-year-old Winnie made my skin crawl. I’m glad that in the end, she chose not to drink the magical water.

The prose was beautiful, I will say that. But overall, I would prefer a lot more action in place of so much description.

Katrina

Ever since watching the movie as a teen, I have been wanting to read this book. When it popped up at a library sale for 25 cents, I swiped it up as quick as I could! Now I wonder why it took me so long to read it!

The poetry of the words alone is worth the read! The overarching theme of the wheel of time and interdependence of life, and the clever descriptions also make it deep, thought-provoking, and entertaining. The toad may have been my favorite character. Isn't he just like Tuck himself? Very touching ending.

I do think if I read this as a child I would not have appreciated the ending, but I certainly do now, as a mother. To be frozen at 17 seems an awful curse when I think how much joy I'd have missed without aging through motherhood. Very thought-provoking.

Samantha

I didn't love this book, nor did I hate it. It was kind of meh, but then again, I don't read much MG. When I do, I have an eye toward whether I think my 21-month-old will eventually like it. I think she will, but I found it slow going, especially the beginning. The descriptions dragged on and I kept wanting them to get to the point. And, to be honest, I still don't get why the Tucks kidnapped a little girl, but she did get to have a nice adventure, so there's that.

The one thing bothered me was the promise of gaining immortality at seventeen. I know that as a ten-year-old, seventeen seemed like the perfect age: so grown-up, but not ancient and withered like my parents. (And I had my daughter three years later than my mom had me--yikes!) But as an adult, stopping growth at seventeen seems horrifying, unless emotional growth keeps going.

I'll take immortality in my late twenties, please and thank you.

***

June's Operation Awesome Book of the Month


In June, we're reading Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.


Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

Come back on Friday, July 1, to discuss what you thought of the book!

#LesMisRead2016 Update from Samantha


I'm finally all caught up again, although it helped that I skimmed the chapter on the nuns. I might have paid more attention if it was a real order of nuns, but apparently Hugo decided to make them up, according to the translator's note before the book. It was a little bit weird, to be honest, and almost seemed like he was projecting some kind of fantasy onto these fictional women, but maybe I'm being unkind.

On the whole, I'm liking the actual story. Cosette's story is heart-breaking, and I'm so glad that Jean Valjean rescued her. She didn't deserve all the horrible things those people did to her. It was a little mean of him to use Madame T-whatever to keep her quiet when they were being chased by the police, although I understand why he did it. But there's still more than half the book remaining, so I imagine (or, well, hope!) that their troubles aren't over.

Thanks for stopping by. Let us know what you thought of Tuck Everlasting in the comments!

3 comments:

  1. Tuck Everlasting is one of my favorite books of all time. I actually love the way the Tucks hide--they knew that if they were to go out and call attention to themselves, people might discover their secret, and be stupid enough to believe immortality to be a good thing. They were incredibly unselfish, just trying to do their best for what was right for the world. (And I won't get started on how the Cullens differ from that.) I loved the lyric prose, both in middle school and as an adult. And as a child, I did not fully understand Winnie's choice at the end, though as an adult I obviously do. The movie was cute, with the romance component, but as per usual, the book was sooo much better.

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  2. I read this book in junior high. Beyond a hazy recollection of the characters, setting, and style, what stuck with me most was how the book made me feel. Sad. And not just sad, but bleak. At the time, I remember thinking I just never wanted to read this book again, so I wouldn't feel as awful as I did after reading it. As a kid, I couldn't grasp the reason why I felt so despondent, but now I do. The thought of existing in an infinite loop without change, without growth, without escape, is horrible.

    I realize there are those who really like this book, but I'm wondering if there are others like myself who really don't. To be honest, most of the books I read for class during middle-grade and high school were depressing and could've put me off reading altogether if I hadn't discovered fantasy novels around the same time.

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