What I’ve Been Reading: January to March 2017

Hey guys! It’s been a while since I’ve done any book reviews, but doing the full posts takes so much time. I enjoy doing them though, so I thought I’d do a condensed version for you. Enjoy!

download (1)Seveneves —2000px-3.5_stars.svg

This book was so good in so many ways. The premise was fascinating, and I liked the idea of splitting between present day and 5,000 years in the future. But the execution really fell short for me. It was so bogged down in technical detail that didn’t add much to the reading experience. The characters in the first part were actually pretty interesting, but in the bit 5,000 years later they’re obviously all dead, and there really isn’t the same fondness for the new characters. The later part was super interesting, but it was so short compared to the first part, and I was a bit burnt out by the time I got there because this book is LONG AS HELL. Even just the later part would be novel-length, and not a short one. I couldn’t see anything that could have been obviously cut, but it was just too damn long.

 

51nuPcsSgtL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_The Martian —2000px-5_stars.svg

Now this book is incredible. It’s really heavy on technical detail like Seveneves, but the execution is so much better. The voice is so, so strong. When there’s only one major character, you have to make him or her really likable, and this book managed that beautifully. I haven’t seen the film, but this book was SO good that I’m not sure I want to. However, Matt Damon fits this character so perfectly. What a good casting decision. It’s definitely joined my list of all-time favourites, and I’m sure I’ll be re-reading it at some point.

 

 

download (2)The Road 2000px-2.5_stars.svg

Ick. I had never read this book before, and I’ve gotta say that I did not enjoy it. The premise was interesting, but the style did not resonate with me. I really wanted more from it. I’m kind of curious to see the film because I have no idea what they could even be doing. That must be a super unsatisfying film to watch.

 

 

 

51nbN8pPECL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_The End of the World Running Club —2000px-5_stars.svg

Similar concept to The Road, but SO WELL EXECUTED. This book is the best of crossover fiction: an incredibly commercial premise with lots of action and an easily trackable plot, but all the character study and intelligence of the most literary fiction. I gave it to Alex’s mom and she agreed that the main character really grows on you and gets under your skin in a great way. Larger than life but oh-so-real. This will be my most recommended read of the year, I almost guarantee it.

 

41G0NGED81L._SX299_BO1,204,203,200_Girl, Interrupted4_stars.svg

This book is a true story about a woman’s experience in her young adult life at a mental hospital that has housed some truly famous people. I read this for a book club, and I found it really, really interesting. It’s super short; it only took me a cumulative 2 hours to read it. If you’ve seen the film (I haven’t), apparently they dramatize quite a bit; this is nonfiction (something I didn’t realise before reading), and it reads much more like a memoir than a narrative. It left a lot to be desired regarding her upbringing and background, but to be fair this isn’t her actual memoir; it’s a follow-up as a result of requests for more info about her time in the hospital. I’d recommend it if you’re interested in that sort of thing and have a couple of hours to fill.

 

download (4)A Home at the End of the World —2000px-4.5_stars.svg

This book is honestly so beautiful and haunting and poetic. It tells the story of two boys who grow up together, as different as can be but thrown together by circumstance. They struggle with their sexuality before growing apart, only to be reunited in adulthood. I adore this book because it’s such a testament to how individual and nuanced sexuality is. The characters are so endearing and complex, and you really really want them to succeed and get what they want, even when that conflicts with what you want for another character. I could not recommend this book more.

 

downloadMe, You & Tiramisu —2000px-4.5_stars.svg

I’m not planning on getting in the habit of reviewing books from work on here because that gets into tricky territory, but I GENUINELY adored this book. Instead of ending with happy-ever-after, Jayne and Will get together at the very beginning of the book… but it’s how their relationship handles Will’s celebrity status that is the bulk of the story. Spoiler: not well. It’s a sweet and honest and earnest love story, and it deals a lot with the topic of couples where one person is obviously more physically attractive, which is something I found really interesting. Jayne’s insecurities are explored in a really relatable way (coming from me, someone who is in a relationship with someone way out of her league physically). I think it’s a refreshingly original story, and that’s why it deserves a shout-out here.

 

download (3)The Knife of Never Letting Go —4_stars.svg

So this series is really well done, and I know that. The style is really masterful, I just got burnt out on it. I enjoyed the first one, but I need a big break before starting the second one, which is a shame because it picks up immediately from where the first one ends. I’ll write a more detailed review when I’ve read the second and third books.

 

 

51yeN6i+BdL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_The Honey Trap

This isn’t a review, because that would be silly. No, I edited this book, and this is a shameless plug of it. If you like rom-coms and contemporary romance novels, you’ll love this. Even if you don’t normally like those things, you should read it, because I edited it. That is all.

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