I have to preface this by saying this book is not for the faint of heart or people who are easily triggered by mental health issues or sexual misconduct. I will also say that if you enjoyed the movie, you’ll like the book even more.
This book is told through letters written by Charlie, our main man in the novel. It’s set during his freshman year of high school, soon after his best friend commited suicide. The entirety of the novel basically centers around his life, and his struggles, told in a very simplistic yet jarring way. It revolves around making friendships, identity, and even learning to cope with trauma.
A key thing I wanted to highlight is basically the writing style, since it’s partly experimental considering the letter formatting, the inclusion of parts instead of chapters, and the anonymity of the characters to the receiver (trust me it all gets explained in the first letter if you’re confused) .
Besides the style, there is also how strange and transcendiary it became for me when it hit how Charlie was relatable to so many people, including me. It dramatizes the naivety of teenagers that “adults” stereotypically associated with the demographic. What I love is how the book decided to show instead the maturity and capability of teenagers to handle difficult subject matters. All due to the awareness of the stereotype, and believing that adults won’t be able to help/understand situations.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone and everyone who’s curious about it.
This book was one that was actually recommended to me by a close cousin who was reading it for her high school. The interesting part is that instead of the typical sad and depressed girl it’s a boy who is also feeling these things, and experiencing something that can negatively affect him.
I think ages 14-18 should read this book because it does deal with some serious eating disorders and may trigger emotion, but it’s good to be aware.
The text and physical format of Skin and Bones is easy to read. It’s definitely middle school/ high school reading level, and contains lovable characters. Shahan writes about dealing with anorexia while still growing up and experiencing typical teenage things. It’s one of those books, where after reading you realize that everyone should get the help they need. Teenagers with anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorder are still normal kids who have crushes and want to be the best version of themselves.
While the book is good, it was slow to read, and that may have been a personal thing; however, if you are curious I encourage you to go for it. Do as the spirit moves you.
Until next time, K
This is a debut poetry collection of Fatimah Asghar. I found this collection when I came across the poem “Partition”, as a true millennial I am, on Twitter and immediately felt so emotionally connected to it. The book itself mainly focuses on themes of identity, culture, and is deeply connected to her experience concerning her being of South Asian descent and the struggle of not having the typical household.
You may have noticed I’ve been venturing out to pick up poetry books a lot lately. I really am fascinated by them, and I didn’t even think they were possible to publish unless it was the work of Maya Angelou or Robert Frost. I also want to try and venture out into poetry and really be comfortable and proud of my work, so I’m beginning my research by reading as much as I can.
Nevertheless, this collection did take my breath away. What I believe it accomplishes is that to those unaware of the microaggressions occuring in America daily, it gives them a little insight as to the realities they might be unaware of. However to those living that reality, it gives them a chance to relate and not feel so isolated/unheard as they might think they are.
I also want to touch on the fact that there’s a lot of experimental poetry included. It was an added element of intrigue I was not expecting, but there are crosswords, tables, and “film scenes” that are included.
Ultimately, this is just my interpretation of her work. I would love to hear yours and understand your perspective.
- Love, M
I am so excited to review the Chronicles of Avonlea because it’s a great series and the show Anne with an E (based off the first book, Anne of Green Gables) is amazing.
In the first novel Montgomery details the life of young Anne, an orphan, after her arrival at Green Gables, home to the Cuthberts. In book one, Anne grows older throughout the series, and endures tough lessons while also having a fun time with her friends.
The language might be boring for younger kids (6-12), but the content is fine for all ages. Montgomery writes beautiful descriptions which, when it comes to food, makes me hungry, and I find that I often will go hunting for a snack. For each book, she changes her organization style which I think makes each book feel like a new one, and sort of shows how Anne is growing up, yet remaining the same. While the Chronicles of Avonlea might be outdated they are still entertaining, and it’s fun to watch as all the characters grow up to become new people.
I was inspired to read this series after watching Anne with an E. I will say that as the show progresses it strays further and further from the actual book, but it manages to keep important parts of the story accurate.
I hope this review has encouraged you to read the Chronicles of Avonlea, or watch Anne with an E on Netflix. Both are excellent if you have a little free time.
There is a stigma with Mr. Dickens and this particular novel of his. In a little corner of my heart, I want to agree with those who have read this and say it was a terrible book with no meaning or purpose. However, I cannot find myself agreeing. Yes, it was almost exhausting to read this novel. Though, I have to say Mr. Dickens was a very funny man if his words are any indication of his true personality.
If you are not already familiar with this classic, the book is about a young orphan named Pip, who lives with his sister and her husband, in very poor conditions in a village twenty five miles from London. Most younger audiences say it was a waste of time, I say different. Pip’s journey is one that is realistic, well as realistic a fictitious story can be.
The author tries to convey the uncertainty of life and how small the world could really be, even with its vast oceans and never ending adventures, if one never goes out and explores. It shows how mundane reality can be. Some may attribute my opinions to the profound behavior that is associated with being a literary fanatic, to those, I say that you simply are not reading in between the lines, my friend.
The thing is, I have noticed authors do some things for a reason, though they may not choose the color red to describe the particular thing in the particular line on that particular page for any sane reason, they sometimes try to include motifs that are harder to decipher in some parts mostly because they believe that it will either make them sound stupid or vulnerable, both of which are important for one to be a good novelist.
I sincerely hope you give this book a chance, even though you might think you are way beyond understanding books in the era of Mid-century England .
- Love, M
The Deal of a Lifetime & And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer both by Fredrik Backman
This review is sort of spontaneous because I recently read these novellas, and they left me feeling that way where you just have to share the value of the stories, or it seems like you are doing the world a huge injustice.
As some of you may (or may not) know, Fredrik Backman is my favorite author; I will admit this category often changes, but Backman always seems to find his way back with each book he writes. It all began with My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry (which I have written a review about), a pleasant story about a seven-year-old girl who goes on a life-changing adventure by apologizing to all the people her grandma wronged in the past. I felt that I could relate so much to that little girl because of the way he wrote about her. Backman uses words to make readers feel exactly how the character feels.
Which is what I wanted to talk about for his two novellas. We don’t know the names of the people in the stories, but somehow their names aren’t necessary for understanding their life. For example, in the Deal of a Lifetime we know that there is an old man who is troubled with making decisions by how he writes to his son, and in the other we can feel the sorrow of a fading memory. It’s all in the words.
I recommend this book to mature middle school students, high school students, and people above that age. Both are very short and easy to finish in an hour or less, but may take longer if you like to ponder over each chapter.
I wish you luck on your literary adventure.
Before reading this, I had gone through a plethora of children’s books such as: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, Because of Winn-Dixie, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and Matilda. So, my mind was looking for something new. Something with lots of “scope for the imagination” that was also insightful and a little tragic.
That’s when I came across The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman hiding in my backpack with other titles such as: Sing, Unburied, Sing, and Beartown (stories I am eager to read). Neil Gaiman's book was the smallest option being less than a couple hundred pages, and the most enticing with tales of a forgotten past and an “ocean” the size of a small pond.
This story is one of those that you wish could be made into a movie only so that more people would see it and feel what you felt, but it is also one of those stories that you are glad is not a movie because no director (no matter how skilled) would ever get it right.
To adults who miss childhood, I recommend this book. It serves as a nearly perfect fictional recollection of events from a young boy’s life with the added insight of the same boy, except all grown-up.
I just want to thank Neil Gaiman for a beautiful story of a magical and tragical childhood.
I hope this encourages you to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
I don’t think I can look at any pond the same way again.
Another fluffy contemporary, how rare in the M world. This one comes with a twist. This novel is about Dimple, an Indian-American incoming Stanford freshman, who desperately wants to go this web development program called Insomnia Con. Her parents are very conservative and instead wish for her to get married, but allow her to go with minimal conflict. When Dimple arrives in San Francisco and believes she’s out to live her dream to meet her inspiration in app development, she is shocked and disappointed to find out that she was in fact set up to meet her “future husband” Rishi. Dimple wants nothing to do with her arranged meeting, but is forced to be near his presences as he is in the same program, and her partner. Things start to flicker and spark, and they actually fall in love.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand I love the fact there is Hindi transliteration sprinkled throughout, it is such a unique and very heartwarming thing to see. The other part of me feels very hesitant about how this portrays South Asian culture. This is a contemporary romance where you aren’t really supposed to take everything too seriously; it is purely there as a feel-good read. Though I can’t help but notice the way the family dynamic was presented. Menon chose to portray it as a story that could be featured as a Bollywood drama. It was entertaining. Personally, I’d take those dramatic moments that were present to sometimes debunk stereotypes present about the community and not encourage them. Then again, I don’t have a NYT best selling book out, so she must have done something right.
I don’t really read high fantasy. It’s not really because of the setting or how worlds have to be created, but it’s because it’s usually just not relatable to the reality I live in. However, Holly Black’s writing style and how she describes going on in the story.
The actual story is about a girl named Tana who lives in a world where vampires have existed for years on end. She ends up at a party alone one night, and when she wakes up the next day in her “friend’s” bathtub, she finds her ex boyfriend tied and bitten with the infection that turns people into vampire, and he is going into the “Cold” state, where he is human AND has the ability to turn into a vampire if he drinks human blood within eighty something days. When she finds her ex, she also finds a vampire, Gavriel, who helps Tana and her ex come up with a solution and ends up being a part of a big vampire conundrum.
I’m just a little tired of vampires by this point. Seen vampires stories too often to be amused or excited by them, plus with everyone’s Twilight phase over and done with, I was really surprised when I was truly enjoying the book and story. I even finished it in just a couple days. It was truly a good read.
Hope I gave you some insight,
I used my last ten dollar gift card to buy this book from Barnes & Noble because one of my best friends couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved it. I’ve had it laying around since and never got around to reading it until a few weeks ago, and let me just say, OH MY GOD. A Thousand Splendid Suns was the most heartbreaking and serious book I have read in a while.
If you are a fan of the blog, then you know that a lot of the books I read are light-hearted, so to make this switch was difficult because, even though the characters were not real, their situation was for women, at the time.
A Thousand Splendid Suns is told from the perspectives of two women in Kabul, Afghanistan about how life changed under the control of the Taliban from the Soviet Union. Hosseini really captures the abuse that takes place at home and the female struggle as laws are made clearly separating men and women. Both women grow up throughout the novel which is amazing because I got to watch them mature and change.
I recommend this to everyone at or above the age of 15 (High School or above) because it has some scenes that can leave one feeling shocked and angry. The story itself is not difficult to read and Hosseini provides context to understand the phrases presented in the story.
If you have already read something by Khaled Hosseini, then READ THIS BOOK. Give it a chance, I loved it and I definitely see this book in my future.
What do you see in yours?