Anthem by Ayn Rand – Book Review

Happy Thursday!

In the next few weeks, I am going to be putting out more book reviews than usual so I thought I would reacquaint myself with them by reviewing the last book I finished…which was Anthem by Ayn Rand. Why was I reading this book you ask?? Well, it was for an essay scholarship that I shrugged to and said why not? I know there is controversy surrounding this writer, but I am going to be putting that aside for the moment and instead, focusing on the actual story of Anthem. There WILL be spoilers so if you don’t mind, then keep reading!

Anthem by Ayn Rand is described as a dystopian novel set in a world where society has erased the individuality of the word “I” and has replaced it with a collective “w”, however, our main character Equality 7-2521 dares to defy society in order to regain his individual freedom stolen from him. While at first, this book was confusing characterwise because the narrative of this story is told by “we”, “our”, “they” so I thought Equality 7-2521 and all the other strange names, were collective groups of people. However, I reached the end and realized that was not the case but in reality, society had gone as far to strip people of saying “I” so Equality was only one person. This book will get you thinking about where society has been in the past and even right now, with socialism countries and all, but it also offers you the opportunity to value your individuality that we carry so easily and effortlessly without fathoming its disappearance.

While this book is very short (105 pages), I thought Rand managed to tell a story that ended satisfactorily. Anthem begins with Equality 7-2521 standing in front of the Council with dreams of being allowed into the Home of the Scholars, however, instead, they are placed in the Home of the Street Sweepers. When they tumble into a strange hole in the ground that leads to a cave full of forbidden manuscripts, later on, they read and discover all the things their society has stolen from them: the overall thing being each person’s individuality and freedom of choice. What I found interesting about the first part of the plot, is that once Equality found the cave, his goal didn’t immediately switch to the idea of “fixing the world” that they end with. The plot switched to him realizing that with all this knowledge, he might be able to stand before the World Council of Scholars and be allowed into the Home of the Scholars. It isn’t until the Council cowers at his re-invention of lightning, does he realize that will never happen. Also, by this point, he has fallen in love with the Golden One so he doesn’t need the Home of the Scholars, right? No! He can just run into the forest with her and tell himself that when his son is born, he will be a man who knows of the word and meaning of “I” while the rest of society is a massive dependent group of “we’s”.

I enjoyed this book but I do not have any plans of re-reading it…ever. I have read a bit of Fountainhead by Ayn Rand in the past, so I kind of knew what I was getting myself into with this one and I was spot on. All of her books continuously feature male characters with women being faint characters in the background that pop up every so often with no real meaning. Also, whenever she refers to being successful, Rand will write about winning the minds of men or in Anthem towards the end when Equality is ranting about his newfound discovery of individuality, it goes a little something like this:

  • “Many men in the Homes of the Scholars have had strange new ideas in the past…” – pg. 73
  • “And man will go on. Man, not men.” – pg. 104

Yes, so this book is about regaining individual freedom BUT Equality only ever refers to men as the ones who deserve and need it. Never women or generalizing to people. I guess I understand why it is like this to a point, as Ayn Rand is a writer from the 1950s and equality (haha, how contradictory since the main character’s name is Equality) wasn’t super “in” back then. (Wow, that sounded dumb when I re-read it and really sad.) But still! Jane Austen wrote female characters who were strong, independent, and intelligent, not just flimsy things meant to aid the men in the book. So actually, I take that back! I do not understand Ayn Rand’s words at all!

One thing I really wanted to touch on is Equality 7-2521 as a character. Since Equality is unable to have personal likes and dislikes and whatnot, they felt like a bland structure that every author takes to tailor their characters to. However, we do see them having conflicting thoughts to society in the beginning, and that only continues to grow throughout the story until Equality seizes the word “I” for himself. Equality was not likable or unlikable…so I do not have too much to say. They were not the smartest at times, for example, when they brought the “box of lightning” to the World Council of Scholars! Like what are you doing? They know this existed at one point AS YOU READ IN THE FORBIDDEN MANUSCRIPTS, so why are you showing them that you broke all of their laws? Whatever, it’s fine. It’s fine. One thing I did not like about Equality aka Prometheus though was how Rand revealed that the Golden One aka Gaea was PREGNANT. I hope that a few years passed since they met before she got pregnant because um…SHE WAS 17 WHEN THEY MET. Also, I think he was 21 so one, ILLEGAL and two, SHE IS ONLY 17. So yes, really hoping it was like a “five years later” thing at the least.

For me, this was a 3-star read because while I had my problems with it, the story was interesting and there wasn’t a point in the book where I looked at the ceiling with desperation for it to be over. If you enjoy books influenced heavily by philosophical elements, meaning you are fans of Camu, Sartre, or other philosophy writers, I would think about checking Ayn Rand out.

Anyways, that is all for this review and I hope you enjoyed! Don’t forget to check out my last blog post, as well as my social media linked down below. Thanks for reading 🙂

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Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi Review

Since I am now on the last book of the Shatter Me trilogy I decided to review them! Don’t worry, if you have not read this series these reviews will be non-spoilery.

Shatter Me is about a 17 year old girl named Juliette who has been locked up for a few years because of her curse/gift. She can kill with her touch. After being locked up for many years, she manages to get out but is brought to an organization that wants to “help” fix the broken world they live in but the longer Juliette stays there the more she realizes she needs to escape.

I loved this book. It was a fantastic way to start off a trilogy because it had me hooked on every page. The entire story was so poetically written and it was extremely easy to read. I gasped, laughed and cried quite a few times through this book just because of how amazing it was. I definitely recommend this for any dystopian or fantasy lovers because I can practically guarantee you will like it as much as I did. One of my favourite things about this book was the characters just because they were so real and in depth that I could just see where they were all coming from and that’s one thing that was a really strong aspect of this book for me. So overall I give this book a 4.8/5 stars and I cannot wait to finish the series.

Mini Book Haul

Yesterday I went to the bookstore and bought some things I wanted so here is my first book haul!

The first thing I bought was Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard which is the second book in the Red Queen series. Red Queen is about a girl name Mare who lives in a society that is divided by the colour of their blood, red or silver. Reds are the poorer people and silver are the wealthy and can even have control over a certain element. I won’t say much more in case you haven’t read it but I would recommend it! I hope Glass Sword is great and I cannot wait to dive into it.

The last thing I bought was the Harry Potter colouring book because it was only $13. I am not a HUGE colouring fan but I will definitely colour anything Harry Potter related.

So that was my mini book haul and I hope you liked it!

Books I Don’t Like

So as we all may know, there are good books and there are bad books. In this post I will be going over the few books I just didn’t like for whatever reason. (P.S. This is just my personal opinion)

The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancy is the second book in The 5th Wave trilogy and I absolutely loved The 5th Wave, I just thought it was a fantastic book but then I read the second book…and lets just say I was really disappointed with it and gave it a 2/5 stars.

Insurgent and Allegiant by Veronica Roth are the second and third book of the Divergent trilogy and just like with the Infinite Sea I loved the first book. Divergent was a really strong first book and I was super excited to dive right into the last few books but I just found them really dull and throughout the entire books they never hooked me. 3/5 stars for each.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy. I don’t adore the first two books but I still like to read them but it was just so hard to get through the last book and I found it a bit…un clear at times so I gave it a 3/5 stars.

Those are the top 4 books that I do not exactly like but please don’t think they are errible books they are just books I didn’t find very gripping or interesting.

Instagram: @chasing_jace

January Wrap Up!

Today is January 28 which means there are only 3 more days of January left so I thought why not share with you all the books I read this month! So I read a total of 4 books this month which for me is pretty good since I can be a slow reader. Anyway, here are the books I read in the first month of 2016…

The first book I read this month was Winter by Marissa Meyer, the last book in the Lunar Chronicles which is a sci-fi fantasy series that you must read. I got this book for Christmas and I was highly anticipating it in 2015 so I flew through it and read all 800+ pages. It was an amazing, epic finale that was done right.

The next book I read Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout, the first book in YA paranormal series called the Lux Series. I have been putting this book off for a while and I am so glad I finally read it because I couldn’t stop. It was such an easy read and I relate to the character so much and it was just wonderful.

I also read Onyx by Jennifer L Armentrout which is the second book in the Lux Series and it was definitely just as good. The main character, Katy sometimes gets on my nerves but I still find myself relating to her a lot which probably would make her my favourite character.

The last book I read this month (and still currently reading) is Opal by Jennifer L Armentrout, yes the third book in the Lux series but I am just flying through her books! The series has 5 books but I wish it would just continue on, and on, and on…no but seriously please pick up the first book sometime and read it because the books are just so mesmerizing and fun, it is worth the read and you will not regret it!

Okay, that’s all I will be posting for today so I hope all you have a great day and I will be back with another blog tomorrow morning. 🙂

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Book Recommendations!!!

I decided to tell you guys some book recommendations that I think everyone needs to read! I will be giving a few for every genre so there is something for everyone. I will not be going into detail or anything just because it would be too long to describe all of them but just trust me, they are all worth the read.

Contemporary- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Every fangirl needs to read this), Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny.

Science Fiction- The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy and Cinder by Marissa Meyer (sci-fi and fantasy).

Middle Grade- Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken.

Fantasy- Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, Passengers by Alexandra Bracken and Kiss of Deception by Mary E Pearson.

Dystopian- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard and Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Paranormal- Obsidian by Jennifer L Armentrout (considered YA fiction but it has paranormal occurrences in it) and Vampire Academy by Rachelle Mead.

Hope you enjoyed the book recommendations but seriously you have to read these fantastic books!

Comment some recommendations for other in the comments below 🙂

Instagram: @chasing_jace