Summary (if you don't already happen to know): Frodo has the One Ring and has to destroy it before Sauron gets it. If the enemy gets the One Ring, all of Middle Earth will fall. He sets out with nine extraordinary companions and the trilogy follows all nine of their stories through the year that this story takes place.
Review: I started this book in high school when the first movie came out. However, I got to the second half of the Two Towers and stopped because I couldn't get through it. I read The Hobbit that time too, though this time I didn't. I never finished The Two Towers and never got to Return of the King and I put off finishing it because I dreaded book two so much. This time I decided that no matter what I was going to read the entire thing because I feel that it's a series that everyone should read.
I got through the first book easily and really liked it. I loved following the characters on their adventures together and the ways that they interacted. Tolkien writes beautifully but not quite SO poetically that I get tired of reading him. However, I hit the same problems with the second book as I did the first time. Reading about the part of the fellowship that wasn't Same and Frodo was fun. I loved the fight at Helm's deep and watching the characters bond and their attempts to save Merry and Pippin and how everyone, no matter how small, played a major part in the battle for Middle Earth. But when I got to Sam and Frodo I was bored to tears. It was so hard to get through, mostly because I felt that it was getting repetative. Tolkien was telling us a lot of things the reader already knew but Frodo and Sam didn't. There also wasn't a lot happening. Gollum, Frodo and Sam just continually walked and talked. That's it. Until they were attacked by the oversized spider (whose name escapes me at the moment), nothing was happening. Subsequently, when I did finally manage to push through the end of the book, it made me less enthusiastic for the final book, which I had continually been told was the best book.
Luckily, Tolkien didn't let me down. The final book was amazing despite my reluctance to read it. The first and third book I read in about two days each, the second took me about a week to get through. I like that the books tell you so much more about what happened than you ever find out from the movies (as is usually the case). Tolkien wrapped up everybody's life and stories without making it seem contrite as can sometimes when you tell what happens after all the fighting. He broke my heart but made me happy all at the same time with his characters and by the end of the book, I, the reader, felt so proud of all the characters and I could see how much they had grown in their adventures. Though the second book was hard to concentrate on, I'm glad that I pushed through it because I really ended up enjoying the series.