Finally getting back into the swing of things – here’s October’s book reviews!
Freedom – Margaret Atwood
Unbeknownst to me this book was actually just a mixture of excerpts from The Handmaid’s Tale and Hag Seed. I love the Handmaid’s Tale which is where the 3 stars come from but I wasn’t really keen on Hag Seed unfortunately.
Normal People – Sally Rooney
4.5 / 5 Stars
I’m so glad I read this. I’d heard mixed reviews on it, some people liked it but most of the reviews I read of this were 1 star and everyone basically hated it, so I was expecting some kind of dull, boring, novel that the old people who read the newspaper had voted as their favourite book – I really wasn’t expecting much at all.
I was so pleasantly proved wrong.
This book was brilliant, it got into the action and straight to the point right away whilst somehow still being able to develop the characters and make you care about them at the same time, which is so rare – normally you have to take a while to develop a character in order to care about their life and the things that happen to them, but within the first couple of pages I was invested from the get go. I loved Marianne as a character so much. I loved the dialogue, nothing beats good old British (or in this case, Irish) dialogue. When I read this book I said the same thing – subconsciously 99% of the books I read are American and then when I read something from the UK I’m like HALLELUJAH I LOVE THIS. I just prefer British books so much, I’m sorry. The dialogue is always so good, you can’t beat it. The characters were so relatable and well written – they were teenagers but they weren’t written as YA teenagers, it was just…guys it was so good. I enjoy the plots and content in YA novels but as I’m getting older I’m not enjoying the writing as much and so I find myself stuck in that in-between phase of not really knowing what to read – this was like a YA novel written in an older, better, more relatable style (for someone my age) and the whole thing was just so natural, it all flowed so well. Sally Rooney really knows how to write a story and more importantly, characters. It wasn’t overdone and there wasn’t a single part I didn’t like, I’m seriously so impressed.
I feel like a lot of people don’t get this book and honestly, I think it’s because they’re the wrong people to be reading it. They don’t understand the writing style or the point of the story and therefore they just rant about how painful it was to get through, which highly irritates me when people review books in that way. Sally Rooney is a 27 year old woman writing great literature about teenagers and relationships and not to be stereotypical but you’ve got middle aged conservative men talking about how awful they thought it was because it simply wasn’t to their taste. Yeah, like you’re the target audience and your opinion matters on that. Anyway, this book is great, is what I’m trying to say. Ignore the reviews.
It was very comforting, in a weird way. I understood everything that was being said, I understood every thought and interaction that was being described, and I don’t mean that in an arrogant way like “oh look how quirky I am for understanding the deep meaning of the book”, I just mean that I got it. Everything made sense to me – I felt like Marianne was based off of me somewhat.
The ending was a bit abrupt, if I was to try and find any weaknesses in the book (which, there aren’t) – I saw a few people mention they disliked the ending and weren’t satisfied with it however, I think this for me was overlooked by the fact I was simply grateful it wasn’t the ending I was dreading. I thought the book was going to end badly which, it didn’t, so even though the ending was quite abrupt and didn’t necessarily work the way it was probably intended, I still understood what it was trying to do and so, I was okay with it.
If anyone knows of any other books that are in this style (YA but…for older people) please let me know, because I’m always struggling to find some!
The End – Samuel Beckett
As I mentioned in this post, this was just a random buy because I needed to take my basket total up to the amount that qualified for free shipping therefore, I just added this in there. Did not like it at all. This mini book contains two short stories and I only ended up reading the first one – by the time I’d started the first few sentences of the second story I was like…this is just not for me. The writing was just a bit too vulgar for my liking and even though that’s the point of it, it really just wasn’t to my taste. I think there’s a line between writing about disgusting things in an artistic way that still makes them enjoyable / appropriate (for lack of better wording) to read and then just writing plainly disgusting things that make the writing unenjoyable, and I’m not quite sure Beckett was on the right side of the line. Will not be in a rush to pick up any of his other works any time soon!
And there we have it loves – let me know if you’ve read any of these!
All my love,
Goodreads – ChloLuna