I couldn't have read two more opposite books this month. One I loved. One I didn't. One was short and sweet. One was vulgar and tedious. Here are my thoughts:
"Jonathan Livingston Seagull" is a novel about a seagull who wishes to improve himself and to be able to fly faster and better. He is expelled from his flock for this desire, so he continues to live life alone and establish his individuality. Jonathan struggles to reach perfection in his life by flying; this theme of striving for perfection is ever constant in his growth.
This story is provocative and made me think about my own life. There are many great metaphors throughout the story, that made me dig deep into my own life. It helped me want to be a better wife, mother, teacher, 2nd counselor, pianist, etc. etc. etc. The novel is about making that which is important to you come true; it's about making a commitment to accomplish your goals. In other words, "Find out what you love to do and do your darndest to make happen." We are all a little bit like Jonathan. We can do anything and be anything we want, if only we can believe in ourselves.
There are many layers to this book. It is such a simple read that I recommend that everyone reads it for themselves and find the message inside it specifically for themselves. As Jonathan learns, "The gull sees farthest who flies highest."
Charlie St. Cloud has a near death experience after getting involved in a car collision that kills his younger brother, Sam. After this experience, he can see deceased, earthbound spirits, including his brother. Every night Charlie plays baseball with his kid brother in the cemetery where Charlie works. Then Tess enters Charlie's life. She narrowly escapes a watery end at sea. And at this time Charlie is now torn between loyalty to Sam and his love for Tess.
Basically this is a ghost story and a love story. But it doesn't work for me. I don't like love stories (especially when immorality - no matter how they spin it - is involved.) I don't like any sex scenes in my books. I feel that it is not needed. A good love story doesn't need it. I ended up skipping an entire chapter in the book because of it. I also didn't like the author's manipulation of the story line to keep the reader guessing. It was unbelievable. plot twist that the author uses - it's unbelievable and kinda caught me off guard. I thought it was mean.
I am not about to recommend this book to anyone. And if this "review" keeps people from reading this novel, then I'm glad I read the book for you and consider yourself lucky....