Once upon a time there was a girl called Shar. She read a lot of YA novels published in the 21st century. They were easy to pick up and devour, had relatable characters, and made her forget her homework.
Unfortunately, one holiday she had some English homework: read a book related to a certain topic recommended by her English teacher. Fortunately, she had a lot of books to choose from, and the blurb of Fahrenheit 451 fascinated her. Unfortunately, the audience was adults, it was written 50 years ago, and had no comic relief or cute subplots. Fortunately, it still sounded wonderful.
The premise: In a futuristic society people are more into their multi-wall TVs than books that tackle hard ideas in books. Guy Montag is a fireman, but since all houses were fireproofed, this job has a different description- to make a show of book hoarders by burning their libraries. Meeting a young girl called Clarisse who sees everything differently changes Montag’s perspective on his job and marriage- and his life takes a different turn.
Unfortunately, her Fahrenheit 451 was in such high demand that she couldn’t get it from her library. Fortunately, If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller was available instead, and it was perfect for her topic. Unfortunately, she kept thinking about Fahrenheit 451. Fortunately, she wanted to read books out of her comfort zone, and Fahrenheit could fulfill this goal.
Unfortunately, Shar became so busy with schoolwork that she had no time for difficult books that weren’t in her library. Fortunately, one day she looked in her library- and it was there! She checked it out. Unfortunately, Shar procrastinated and busied herself with George and Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging. Fortunately, that weekend Shar finished these books and was forced to turn to her last option: Fahrenheit 451. Unfortunately, Fahrenheit is extremely difficult to spell. Fortunately, Fahrenheit 451 was amazing. It had wonderful language.
“Stuff your eyes with wonder, he said, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”
“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?”
“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”
The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.”
“A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?”
“That’s the good part of dying; when you’ve nothing to lose, you run any risk you want.”
It had engaging characters: Montag, a fireman with a family history of firemen, who is questioning his job and his life. Clarisse, a 17-year-old (and insane) girl who shows Montag that there are alternatives to the way he lives.
It had an excellent setting: A future society with oppressive government and disengaged citizens in the midst of a war nobody cares about. Considering it was written in the 50s, it was surprisingly prophetic.
It had an excellent ending and was perfect for a standalone.
Most surprisingly, Shar thought Fahrenheit 451 was easy to read! It was short, engaging, and had a fast-paced plot.
After such an adventure with this book out of her comfort zone, Shar decided that she would recommend this to bookworms looking for something that tackles a relevant and important topic that is close to their hearts, that has excellent language and a fast paced plot, and that is short and easy to read. She wouldn’t recommend it to bookworms who find the thought of burning books horrifying or even vaguely traumatic. (Think multiple Alexandrian libraries.)
To wash down her adventure with Farenheit 451, Shar devoured Fangirl (again) in a day.She also made donuts for her brother’s production of Holes with her friend(get it?), got braces and hence had sore teeth, and finished 1 short story and worked on another (which you might get to read sometime)
What’s one out-of-comfort-zone book you’ve read? Was it worthwhile? Does Fahrenheit 451 sound traumatic or fascinating? What’s a fortunate and unfortunate thing that happened to you recently?