Right after publishing the last post, in which I explained I had lost this book right before finishing it, I found it and read the last chapters right away. Although I’m off to a much slower start than I hoped, I have finished the first book on my reading list. Here are my thoughts about it.
I settled on a simple and short template to get through reviewing possibly 200 books. First is a picture of the book and buttons to buy on Kindle and preview some of the pages. Then will come a section called “Cover Judgment.” You’re never supposed to judge a book by its cover, but sometimes it’s interesting to compare first impressions with later opinions — and not just with books. After that is a quote from the back/inside cover of the book giving a synopsis. Finally, a star rating out of 5 and my thoughts, good, bad, and neutral.
The cover depicts probably a young girl holding a toad. This doesn’t reveal much about what story it will tell, but it seems like a calm and reflective book. I don’t know anything about eras of clothing, but it seems kind of old-fashioned and might be set in an earlier time.
Is eternal life a blessing or a curse? That is what young Winnie Foster must decide when she discovers a spring on her family’s property whose waters grant immortality. Members of the Tuck family, having drunk from the spring, tell Winnie of their experiences watching life go by and never growing older.
But then Winnie must decide whether or not to keep the Tucks’ secret—and whether or not to join them on their never-ending journey.Back cover of Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Caution: spoilers ahead.
In the Cover Judgment, I call Tuck Everlasting “calm and reflective.” The reflective part is definitely true, and it is very calm until exactly page 100, when someone hits someone in the head with a shotgun and the characters’ lives spiral even further out of control.
The book begins with a slight unreliable narrator that had sort of a Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy vibe. In a way, it “tense-jumped,” a phrase I just coined that many books do. It went back and forth between reflecting past events, describing the present, and foreshadowing what will come. Past the prologue, though, it focused more on Winnie and her current thoughts and feelings.
Tuck Everlasting was strange, because it felt like I had just read a short story, and I couldn’t believe that what I had just read was 139 pages long. That might be because I’m not used to reading shorter novels. It also had a slower pace than other novels, especially in the first half. It’s hard to believe the entire story, save for the prologue and epilogue, happened over just a couple of days.
Natalie Babbitt uses the perfect words and writes some of the most impressive and amazing descriptions I’ve ever read. On the other hand, they occasionally grew long and I found myself reading the same line over and over.
Those who haven’t read this might still be wondering about the toad on the cover and, honestly, so am I. Winnie sees it before she finds the immortal spring and if I remember correctly, it’s partly what motivates her to sneak out. (You’d think that the Fosters would have found the spring in the wood that they own by then, but I guess not.) After her adventure, she sees it again, this time getting attacked by a dog. Winnie decides to pour the magical water on the toad, making it live forever. This act surprised me, and my first thought was that it was a bad decision, considering she had just learned the consequences of things never dying. But it was a sweet moment, and the toad must symbolize something deeper, although I’m not sure what.
I’m glad this book landed at the top of my list, because it’s given me a new outlook on life and the fact that immortality may be the worst curse one could possibly be given. Tuck Everlasting was a fantastic story about birth and death and everything in between. I recommend it to people of all kinds and ages.
That is my opinion on the first book of my reading list. Most of these books will probably have high ratings, because I heard about them through their good reviews and popularity.
Yesterday I went to a cool free book giveaway my school does during the summer. I took some new ones, some that are not on my list. So, as I figured would happen, I will stray off the list sometimes to read them and other new To-Be-Reads.
Lastly, this challenge will be called The Ultimate Reading List, because it makes it sound important and I couldn’t think of anything else. The next book I finish will either be Fangirl or a book that comes next earlier on the list, if I can get a copy.