The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is a phenomenal classic set inancient China. It is the first book in the House of Earth Trilogy and is arguably the best. This story tells of a common farmer by the name of Wang Lung and the hardships he and his family must endure. The story begins as Wang Lung meets his arranged bride: O-Lan, a servant from the noble house of Hwang. He and his new bride prosper for many years on the humble land of his father. However, when famine comes, the Wang family must move out or starve as the end becomes inevitable.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, the plot and characters were flawless and each character had a very gritty and believable personality. Unlike many books, there is no real hero or a typical dramatic climax, but when you reach the end of the book, you are itching for the next book to read. The realism in this story can be unsuitable for younger children with no hesitation to bring up oppression of women, and the horrors of famine and poverty. The author also clearly shows the effect of wealth on a man and how the greed inside him will grow.
Read this book. Just do it. It will be a long, hard, and uncomfortable journey but I am also telling you now that you will not be able to put this down. Also, do have a box of tissues handy, you’ll need it, BUT, If you are sensitive to rape and animal cruelty this is not the book for you. No matter how much pain this causes me, don’t read it if you can’t handle it, because this is a dark and disturbing book.
The Female Of The Species by Mindy McGinnis is told from the perspective of three different characters: Alex, whose sister was raped and murdered; Jack, the popular guy who desperately wants to get to know Alex; and Peekay, the preacher’s kid whose ex-boyfriend ditched her for the popular girl Branley, and who now works at the animal shelter with Alex.
Alex knows something is wrong with her. In her words she “feels too much” and ever since her sister was reported missing and later found dead, her symptoms have worsened. Describing herself as a wolf amongst a flock of sheep, Alex struggles to contain herself. When the three friends meet at a party, Alex reveals her dark side, well aware of the danger it brings her and everyone around her.
This book is definitely up there with The Hunger Games and there’s a reason it’s in the RPL ten. I would recommend this book to older kids because of the profanity and the content. It is a novel centralized around sexual assault and murder after all. I would rate this book a 5/5. It was a riveting and emotional novel with down to earth characters.