Let me first just start this post by saying that I really missed my blog! ):
I thought I'd be able to go through a week without checking it, but I failed miserably the day before (-_-)
Luckily, I was able to go through some books that I read for school a few years ago. Since I hated reading when I was little, I actually really appreciate these books now since they were one of the first main novels that I've ever read, not including chapter books (since thats quite common in children's reading).
Without further to do, let me get started with a new review on one of the most original and innovational novels I've ever read during my primary years!
Being the lazy and most of the time obstinate girl I was, I wasn't sure whether or not I wanted to read 'Catherine, Called Birdy' by Karen Cushman. Most of the times that I'd read about historical fiction, I always became bored to death from uninteresting language that they'd use like 'thee' or 'thou' (I can't think up any other words right now -_-), and any other settings that just seemed drab to me. I wasn't interested in learning about knights and castles or kings and empires; I was more into modern fiction and even futuristic themed writing. But that didn't stop me, and you'd know that I am inexorable when it comes to learning new things.
So Catherine is not your average everyday girl, and she is actually a very out going and bright girl. Although just by reading how she is like would make you think of how exciting her life must be..well its not. "Corpus Bones! I utterly loathe my life!" Is what you'd normally see her saying. Everyday and every hour, Catherine is forced to do all these aggravating chores that even I'd hurl about, since I utterly loathe chores! The setting takes place in 12th century England, so it's pretty medieval, or a whole lot. Although Catherine's life seems really hectic with all the work she is told to do, it doesn't stop there! Catherine's father, which Catherine writes to be a greedy and wicked old man, wants to have her married to a rich man. Of course, Catherine disagrees. Who wants to be wedded at 14 anyways!? As you read through the story, you will find out about Catherine's brave and exquisite journey and the jaw dropping decisions she makes throughout the book.
The book is actually a diary and the dates are marked on each entry of her diary. Since most of her brothers are away, her mother wanted her to write a diary for them so that they could read about her life, since they do not see her often.
The theme of this novel is also a very significant one that I shall remember. Karen Cushman's message to us is to respect and love our lives that we live, and be the person that we were created to be. Although Catherine was very averse to her father's decision of her being married at 14, the decisions she makes really show you how maturely she has developed in this book. I also really love her tones throughout the story, and sometimes I try to act them out, even though I fail. Catherine's attitude and personality, although can be a little annoying and disrespectful at times, really makes me spontaneous and in a good mood, as if I were reading a screenplay for a stage performance.
I'll give this book 7 stars, since it was really able to make me change my opinion and views of my own life. Catherine's story was so inspiring to me, and I thought that at the same time emotional, I was able to feel for her. I know that alot of people who have read the book actually hated her attitude and how she was very rude and mean at times, but I believe that she was a very unique character comparing to a lot of other characters in stories who are just 'nice', or as i'd like to point out as boring. Catherine was different from all those other characters, and she did show how children do act at times (cause we're not nice all the time!
My favorite character would be Catherine, because I thought she was really someone who stood out throughout the book, and I normally have a hard time finding main characters as my favorite characters. While reading, I was also able to feel as if I were in her village or the village that she lived closely to. I imagined castles and barns like of that she mentioned about and old cottages and even her rooms that was filled with birds and her spinning wheel.
(This picture is from thebigfoto.com. No copyright intended)
Favorite quote(s) from the novel:
“Corpus Bones! I utterly loathe my life.” -Catherine
“I think sometimes that people are like onions. On the outside smooth and whole and simple but inside ring upon ring, complex and deep.”
“. . . . I cannot escape my life but can only use my determination and courage to make it the best I can.”