By George Orwell, published by Penguin.
Goodreads synopsis: Winston Smith works for the Ministry of truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent – even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101 . . .
My Review: Nineteen Eight-Four was such a brilliant read! I’ve been meaning to read it for ages, and finally spotted it in my school library. Then borrowed it. Then devoured the whole thing in about a day, because it was just so addictive!
The story began really well. Instantly, I disliked Big Brother- from the first paragraph, describing that super creepy poster. The whole set-up was very eerie and suspicious. The world that Orwell has built in this book is just so imaginative; intriguing and scary at the same time. The Big Brother and the Government are trying to develop a new language to avoid people being able to speak rebellious thoughts, and telescreens in every single room monitor actions and can call in police if you stick one foot out of line. It’s a pretty terrifying vision of the future!
The plot was great, too. Well written, and rich in detail, it was just so entertaining to read. Throughout the whole story,I honestly didn’t have a clue where the story line was headed. I loved how Winston was mislead by Julia’s spy-like actions, and then how they came together and became a rebellious duo. Towards the ending, there were some truly brilliant plot twists that threw Winston and Julia apart in the most unpredictable of ways. I’d been brainstorming ways Winston and Julia might face capture, but the way they did was so unexpected, and left me in a state of shock for the rest of the novel. There were lots of pretty scary parts, too, at the ending. Room 101 terrifies me, thanks to Winston’s terrifying encounter with it. If I ever have another English class in that room (one of my school English classrooms is 101!), I think I might be more than a little scared.
Winston, at first, I didn’t really like. His negative thoughts towards Julia, before they were together, were really a little too harsh, and made me think that he was always going to be a really bitter character. In fact, it wasn’t for a while that I started to like him. As his relationship with Julia began to blossom, he didn’t seem to really, truly care about her much. However, all of that was abolished when things began to get more dangerous in the city, and I was totally rooting for him to get out of everything okay near the ending.
I think that Julia was an okay supporting character. Nothing too special, but made for an enjoyable character to read about. She was quite basic- not much background information was given on her, much unlike Winston. Maybe, if I’d gotten to know a bit more about her, and if Orwell had given her some visible emotions, I would have loved her much more.
Overall, Nineteen Eighty-Four was a really great classic read. It’s a brilliant dystopian, and obviously a must for fans of dystopic novels- because, as I’ve heard, most are based on Nineteen Eighty-Four! The world-building was just immaculate- it felt so real. The setting definitely had a big impact on me as a reader, because it’s believable, in a way, that London could actually soon become this. I liked the characters, and although they’re not my favourite protagonists ever, I do admit that I really did enjoy reading about them. If you’re a fan of classic novels, dystopia novels, or looking for a very terrifying read, then Nineteen Eighty-Four is definitely for you!
I honestly had a very hard time rating this book! The characters put it down a little bit at the beginning, but the world building was just so brilliant. So, my original rating of three has now gone up to a four, just because of the plot and setting, really.
I borrowed a copy of Nineteen Eighty Four from my school library.