1984 fits the general theme prevalent in dystopian society-focused novels that have become so popular today. I’d always heard things about it from various friends who read the book in high school as part of their English curriculum, but had never read it myself. The story details the life of Winston Smith, a party member living in London, Oceania who is discovering the truth about the party and its idol, Big Brother (famed in popular culture by the phrase “Big Brother is watching you”). The majority of the characters made me want to grab them by their shoulders and shake some sense into them. Even with those irritations, the plot was extremely compelling and the writing was very nicely done (concise, yet descriptive).
I greatly enjoyed the book and was looking forward to the ending, up until the final section, Part 3. This book is not for the faint of heart, sensitive, or those who are highly empathetic. What Winston is forced to go through during the third part of the narrative is extremely upsetting and will most definitely cause you to shudder numerous times, though you will most likely be unable to put the book down until the section has come to a close. If you are looking for a book with a fairy-tale happy ending, this is not the book for you.
Availability: COSMOS, SMCM, USMAI
Review Submitted by: Breanna Thorne
Rating: Recommended with Reservations
Challenge: Title with a Number in it