Tag Archives: Book Reviews

BookTube-A-Thon 2017 Wrap Up!!

booktubeathon

BookTube-A-Thon Wrap Up Stats

Pages Read: 769 pages
Books Finished: 3 and like the first part of a 4th
Challenges Completed: 4 – I read a book completely outside, a whole book in a day, a book bought because of the cover and a book about a character that’s very different from me

Overall, I think I did pretty well! I read 2 whole books, a graphic novel and started another novel. I was very happy with everything that I read during this past BookTube-A-Thon. Now, I am going to share some mini reviews of the books that I read this past week!

Matilda by Roald Dahl five-star-rating-black-clip-art-hi
matilda

This is a childhood favorite of mine!! 🙂 This book fills me up with so much goodness, happiness and overall good feelings. This book is what really ignited
my fire for reading as a child. I was very shy and awkward as a child and I had a hard time making friends, so I found friends in my books. As a shy and awkward kid, it was super important for me to see that quality of love for reading in a female character. So, yes – I love this and will always love this! 🙂 ❤

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo five-star-rating-black-clip-art-hi

I have had this for quite some time and I thought that the BookTube-A-Thon was if i was your girlthe perfect time for me to finally pick this up. I especially thought that with the ridiculous political climate, it was the perfect time to pick up a book that is about a young trans woman. I had such an emotional experience reading this book, but it definitely challenged my own cis-female privilege, as I was reading this book. This was a very light, yet deep contemporary read, which I loved! There was a lot of great character growth in the side characters around our main protagonist, which was also fantastic to read about. This was fantastic and I highly recommend!!

Prince of the Elves (#5) by Kazu Kibuishi four-star-rating-black-hi

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve read this series and this was a great prince of the elvesinstallation to jump back in with! 😀 I adore Kazu Kibuishi’s artwork – it’s like watching a Miyazaki film in book form, it’s fabulous!! The story also really picked up in this book! That’s all I can really say without spoiling the rest of the series. I highly recommend this!! 😀

I had a great time with the BookTube-A-Thon this year! 😀 If any of you also participated, I hope you all had a great run too!!

 

 

 

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Dualing Quick Takes: The Handmaid’s Tale

the handmaid's taleSo happy to share with you all a little dual quick takes style review of “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood! 🙂 Christina and Rachel have both recently finished it, and with the Hulu adaptation currently airing how timely these reviews seem! 🙂 We hope you enjoy our dual reviews of this book!

Christina: four-star-rating-black-hi

Y’all!!!! First of all…I am definitely slightly disappointed in myself that it’s taken me this long to read this. Shame on me. Alright…now that my self-shaming session is over, let’s get onto my MAJOR feels on this book! I will say, it did take me nearly 60 pages to really get into the book. I think this happened for two reasons: one, I had just finished a YA-fantasy book which was just paced so differently; and two, this book is shrouded in a strange sense of mystery/uncertainty and the pace of the book definitely matches that. This book was gripping and creepy, only in that this book just feels way too close to home right now…le sigh. I really can’t summarize my review/thoughts in words very well…so let me leave at this: Margaret Atwood’s writing is beautiful, gripping and incredibly thought-provoking. I can’t wait to watch the Hulu adaptation to see how it translates to the screen!

Rachel: four-star-rating-black-hi

Unlike Christina, I’m actually happy I read this when I did! Apparently like everybody and their mama, I picked this up because of all the happenings in the news we hear about on an almost daily basis. As a result, the story felt all the more timely and compelling. Atwood does seem to drop readers into this world with no apparent introduction, so the first portion of the book is a bit jarring. That being said, it seemed to add to the storyline as a whole. What is going on here? Why is this happening? These are the questions you want to be asking as you progress through the pages. I think it offered a very unique take on the dystopian genre, and it’s one I believe everyone should experience. I also thought the way the ending was designed was very unique–don’t miss that afterword type chapter like I almost did! Audiobook–yay or nay? Yay! Claire Danes narrated, and she did a marvelous job. She really helped bring Offred to life, especially in passages where she is expressing her reactions to events. The chapters also start out with muffled clips of old songs, which adds to the tone of the novel. Definitely worth a listen!

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Quick Takes: Milk and Honey

milk and honeyMilk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
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poetry is not just
hitting enter on the keyboard
so that quasi-
original thoughts
might all of a sudden
sound profound.

if that were
the case
i would take all
my high school
poetry and become
a bestseller.

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Charmed by Capricorn

Schooled by Gordon Kormanfive-star-rating-black-clip-art-hi

1025250Oh my hippie-loving-heart, this book was the cutest! It has been sitting on my to-read list for the longest time–to the extent that I forgot how it got on there in the first place–but I’m so glad I finally got to it!

A homeschooled long-haired hippie kid named Capricorn has to go to the local public middle school while his grandmother recovers from a fall, and has to learn about things like checkbooks and what a “starbuck” is. There is also the hiccup of thirteen year olds not exactly being allowed to drive school busses , but licenses aren’t really a thing inside the commune. And when he finds out about the whole school locker system, he says things like:

“When we lock things away,” he said with conviction, “we’re really imprisoning ourselves.”

I mean come on, that’s at once both funny and adorable. The popular kids of course try to pick on him, in particular by getting him to run as class president, but Cap’s naiveté and kind nature help him move blissfully forward and naturally draw people to him.

This is geared towards middle schoolers, which I am definitely not, but I think it holds its own. Even though the characters can seem a bit charicature-y, they are far from two dimensional. And aside from delightful quotes like the one above, the book is also full of incredibly touching moments that completely caught me by surprise. I look forward to grabbing my own copy of this one for whenever I want an afternoon of some quick, cozy reading. A not-so-surprising five stars from this closeted free spirit hippie chick!

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Sweet Home Chicago

Chicago: City on the Make by Nelson Algrenfour-star-rating-black-hi

algren-city1“… Chicago divided your heart. Leaving you loving the joint for keeps. Yet knowing it never can love you.”

This book is the perfect embodiment of my love/hate relationship with the city of Chicago. I was born and raised here, living both within and without the city limits, and have seen lots of different sides of her. I have a lot of pride for my city, but it’s pretty messed up, no doubt about it. Nelson Algren seems to have the exact same feelings towards Chicago and perfectly summarizes the city’s character. I found myself startled and surprised by how accurate of a portrayal it gave of this place, even though this was written over sixty years ago.

“Big-shot town, small-shot town, jet-propelled old-fashioned town, by old-world hands with new-world tools built into a place whose heartbeat carries farther than its shout, whose whispering in the night sounds less hollow than its roistering noontime laugh: they have builded a heavy-shouldered laughter here who went to work too young.” Continue reading

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More than Half-Bored

Half Lost by Sally Green
ijss5

20814993I loved Half Bad, the first book in the trilogy. The second, Half Wild, was decent enough. But this? This was an exercise in willpower.

I think I started reading this book about three times before finally finishing, and even then it took an age to get through a measly 340 pages. All the edginess, the intensity I felt towards the the start of the trilogy, was wiped away only to leave behind an over-the-top narrator and an overarching conflict I no longer cared about.

Our main character was the main problem. One could make the claim that Nathan was the way he was due to all the trauma he experienced, but that sort of emotional baggage was never communicated, even though the narration is told through his perspective. He was full of hate and bitterness and thoughts of revenge, yet the emotional intensity had all the depth of a rain puddle. As a result, I just couldn’t bring myself to care about…anything. The battle, the romance, the revenge–I slogged through it all.

Though the last 30 pages or so certainly harkened back to the writing we start with in Half Bad, I still think the whole trilogy could have done with a happier ending. Not all sunshine and rainbows, to be sure, but more sweet and less bitter. That, I think, could have left me with a kinder sentiment to the trilogy as a whole, but now I just wish I had just stuck with the first and let the other two be.

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Black Lives Matter!!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomasfive-star-rating-black-clip-art-hi

the hate u giveY’all. If you read ANY book this year…you need to make it THIS ONE!! I fell in love with this book the MOMENT I heard about the book and its premise. I knew I needed to get my hands on it, so you best believe that I went ahead and pre-ordered this precious gem!!

Quick synopsis: Starr Carter is a sixteen-year old girl living between two worlds – the poor neighborhood where she lives and the predominantly white affluent suburban private school. She constantly finds herself torn between both worlds; shifting and balancing the two halves of herself constantly. One night, after a party, Starr is riding home with her childhood best friend, Khalil, when they are stopped by a white cop and Khalil is shot. Protests and rallies being. Investigation of the case stalls by the police. National coverage begins to cover the story and consume Starr and her family’s life and Starr has to make a decision about the stance that she wants to take on the situation.

This book was a heartbreaker from the moment that it started. Starr is written in the most beautifully relatable way, within a story that is so heartbreakingly real. The overwhelming feeling that I had while reading this book was like I was constantly being sucker punched in the gut. The book just felt so real, since I can point out events like this, unfortunately, still happening in real life. Which believe me, confounds me time and time again. If you’d like to read more of my specific thoughts on this head on over to my personal blog!!

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