I’ve decided to start my (first ever) kind of series now on my blog where I review three books that I’ve recently read and give you all my thoughts and opinions on them. I read a lot of books and so thought it would be a nice idea to maybe make this a monthly thing or something along those lines so, without further ado, here are 3 books I’ve read over August that I wanted to talk about – I hope you enjoy♡
Bone Gap – Laura Ruby
I heard about Bone Gap through someone I was following on WordPress actually (I cannot for the life of me remember who it was which is super annoying but I’ll try link the post if I do – if it was you then please comment the link to your post!). I am always looking for book recommendations and so this person’s review was really helpful and interested me a lot – I got straight onto Goodreads and had a look at the reviews, quotes etc. and was really intrigued. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been wanting to read more fantasy for a while now and so the fact that this was a magical realism novel was exciting for me, and I didn’t even realise at first! In short (and to not give anything away), the story is about a girl called Roza who is kidnapped, breaks free and then is kidnapped again but this time, there is one person who comes to save her. Everyone believes Roza has left off of her own accord as she randomly turned up in Bone Gap out of nowhere (telling no one where she’d came from or why) and therefore everyone assumed she had voluntarily left out of nowhere too. The protagonist in the novel – Finn, is the only one knows she didn’t leave through her own choice, as he was the only one who saw her being kidnapped, however, this information is of no use to him as the people of Bone Gap don’t believe him and simply just think he’s crazy.
I really enjoyed this book – it didn’t leave a lasting impact on me and I wasn’t necessarily invested in any of the characters apart from Finn, but I enjoyed them all nonetheless and thought it was a fun read. The writing style is not childlike but I do feel as though this story may be aimed at younger readers (14-16 year olds) but like I said, I did really enjoy reading it anyway. It’s definitely something I’d recommend – even though the plot is very adventure / magic based the book overall is about the perception of beauty in others, whether that be through physically looking at someone or just hearing what other people have to say about them. I feel it teaches a bigger lesson that just the plot itself, which I really like.
I had a few things left to Google after I’d finished the book regarding why certain things existed in the first place, they didn’t necessarily confuse me but I was curious as to why certain things were there as I wasn’t sure I understood that they contributed as much to the overall telling of the story as maybe the author thought they did, I think some things should have had more of a back story if that makes sense.
Overall it was a really nice book to read and definitely a great beginner to slowly easy you into the idea of fantasy and magical realism, I’d definitely recommend it!
History Is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera
Okay so, I’m writing this review the second after I’ve finished the book, as in I’ve literally just finished the last page and have set it down. I have no words. Even from early on I could tell that I was going to fall in love with this book and oh my, I certainly have. I read a lot of YA books surrounding death because as I’ve mentioned before, me and my sister – my best friend, were both 15 when she passed away. In order to cope with the pain, the loss, the feelings…I used to read these type of books in order to find some clarity, or to be able to relate to something and read something that understood me, because I truly couldn’t find anything else I could relate to. Over the past 4 years I’ve read many YA books surrounding death in friendships or relationships and they have helped me grieve and understand my own feelings towards it, and the way I see the world. This book also helped me to do that, I felt like it helped me in a different way to the others and I don’t know whether that’s because I’m 19 now and I haven’t read this type of book for a while and was therefore able to take something away from it that I hadn’t necessarily been old enough to before, but it was about love and friendship and even though this book is focused on romantic connections, I could still relate anyway.
The feeling of guilt, the idea of love and what that actually is, being jealous over new friendships and not knowing how to deal with it, pushing the people away who mean the most to you and ending things before they end you…Adam Silvera wrote this novel completely perfectly and I cannot fault it at all, I am so grateful that it exists. There are so many unintentional quotes and extracts that I will take with me wherever I go because I feel like I understood this novel completely, but more importantly – that the novel understood me. I would also like to mention the fact that I didn’t cry once over the duration of reading this which may seem like a negative thing but honestly, normally when I read these types of novels I’m sobbing so much I can’t breathe and I finish the book wondering what the hell I’m going to do with my life now that I’ve read the story. I got choked up many times and a tear almost slipped out, almost. There were so many parts that I read where tears of happiness brimmed my eyes because even though the writing was sad and heartbreaking, it was also beautiful and more importantly, like somebody was reading my mind and finally putting things into words – that was the reason the tears came. I wanted to mention it because as I said earlier, I feel like I’m different now as I took inspiration and love from this novel, rather than the sadness and heartache and broken-ness that it’s based around, which again, proves to myself that I am in a different place now with my grieving and I am grateful that this novel was able to clarify that for me, it made me understand and it made me feel at peace with myself.
The story told itself beautifully and at the end I was left with emotions that Adam Silvera could have very easily implemented within the novel to purposely elicit within the reader but he didn’t, he let the story take its own course and you as the reader are able to emotionally feel what you will. I feel like the way you react to this novel says a lot about you as a person and my feelings changed a few times throughout it but each time they did, I feel like I gained something from it, like I was going through a healing and grieving process. I like the way I felt during this novel, I like the way I reacted to it. Again, it may sound weird but I feel like this novel helped me understand / accept a lot of things and I’m very appreciative of that. It also made me feel like maybe I wasn’t so alone in topics that maybe I wouldn’t necessarily discuss out loud.
This is also the first novel I have ever read with the protagonist/s and main characters being gay – I’m not sure why it’s taken me 19 years to end up reading a book where the main characters, or even any of the characters aren’t heterosexual but here we are and can I just say, I absolutely loved it – it was beautiful. When I choose the books I want to read I just pick up things that I think I’m going to learn from or find interesting and subconsciously none of those have contained gay / lesbian characters but I’m definitely going to make a conscious effort to change that now as I enjoyed this one so much.
Even if you cannot relate to the subject of this novel (and I hope that you can’t) please read it anyway because you will not regret it, it is filled with love and inspiration and I fell in love with all of the characters, regardless of how big their role was within the story or the things they may or may not have done. This was written absolutely perfectly, thank you Adam Silvera for creating something so wonderful.
This isn’t one of my recent reads because I read it a few months back now but I thought I would include it anyway because well, I felt like I needed to share my thoughts on it. This book is one that you see all over Instagram, Tumblr etc. with people posting snippets of the poems inside and we as social media followers see it and think wow, that looks really interesting. This book has also been talked about and reposted by famous people with a large following such as Ariana Grande, Madison Beer etc. and therefore it’s become iconic almost, in the way that it’s now a poetry book that everybody owns or has read from. I didn’t purchase the book until a while after it was published because honestly, I thought it was overpriced and wasn’t willing to pay the full amount for it, but one day I was online ordering some books and saw that it had been reduced by 50% and thought I would buy it to see what all the fuss was about. Due to the explosion of this on social media I feel like this book was definitely overhyped which then lead to me being even more disappointed and underwhelmed than usual when I read it and simply just couldn’t see what all the hype was about. If I could sum up my reaction in one word, it would be “oh”.
I was really unimpressed with it and I hate saying things like this because at the end of the day this is someone’s work, someone has put time and effort into making it and I don’t like to be the one that reads it, doesn’t appreciate it and tears it down, but I have to be honest here. None of the poetry really resonated with me and I cannot justify having 3/4 words on a page in a writing style
in order to create effect, to me this just made it less authentic and more like things that had been copied and pasted from Tumblr – I can understand why you would use the line spacing, but in every other poem where some of them only contain 6 words? I don’t get it. This type of poetry is the style that I like (not the single line space thing, but the rawness and youth-like feeling of it) and I follow a lot of poetry and writing accounts on Tumblr with a similar style however, I just simply couldn’t get into this one and disliked it. I read it all within around 15 minutes and was wondering how I’d ended up spending money on it in the first place. The fact that all of the reviews I see about it on the internet are 5 star saying how amazing this collection of poetry is, really makes me feel like I’m missing something here and maybe I just don’t get it. I don’t know. It also makes me wonder whether people are actually delving into the poetry itself because I don’t believe that everyone that reads milk and honey thinks it’s faultless, perfect art. I don’t know what everyone’s definition of poetry / literature is but for me, this just isn’t it. To me it just feels like someone got lucky and made a lot of money out of 3 word poems and I know that might sound harsh but I know of a lot of writers and artists who in my opinion, produce better content than this and deserve the amount of recognition this book has received. I’m someone that can relate to a lot of emotions and feelings and with this, I just couldn’t. Nothing really grabbed my heart or made me feel anything, I just kind of read it and felt deflated almost. Everything for me was very neutral and underwhelming.
However, before you all hate me and think I’m the worst person in the world, I do appreciate Rupi Kaur as an artist and the effort that went into writing these poems and making this collection to share with us, I know they are very personal topics on sensitive subjects and I don’t want to come across as ignorant by saying that I don’t like them, I just maybe can’t appreciate them as much as other people, but I do appreciate and respect her as a writer and for all of the effort she put into creating this collection.
I never want to write negative things in blog posts but I feel like if I’m doing book reviews, everything can’t always be happy and dandy because at the end of the day these are reviews that require my honest opinion and I think with the positive, it’s only right to sometimes include the negative. I hope you guys don’t mind.
With that I’m going to sign this off here and I’ll speak to you guys soon. I hope you enjoyed this post and if you’ve read any of these, please let me know what you think!
All my love,