September Book Reviews

Hi my loves,

Here’s September’s book reviews!

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Queenie – Candice Carty-Williams
3/5 Stars
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Queenie β€” The Margate Bookshop

I’m a little iffy about rating this book because I don’t feel like I have the right to try and rate or critique it, put simply. I’ll try and keep this constructive.

Queenie is about a 25 year old Jamaican British woman living in London who struggles to fit into either of the cultures she’s been born into. She breaks up with her long-term white boyfriend, Tom, and doesn’t really know what to do in life afterwards without him. We accompany her on her journey to self discovery and identity as she tries to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with her life, and the many struggles she faces along the way as a woman of colour.

A thing I liked about this book was the quirky text message sequences we got to read between Queenie and and whoever throughout – I was thoroughly enjoying the book for the first 100 pages, until we were shown a text message argument that Queenie started with her boyfriend Tom where in my opinion she was being very silly and childish, and from that point onwards things just started to go downhill for me, as I found Queenie to be a bit of an annoying character, especially regarding the decisions she made from that point onwards.

You could argue that that’s the whole point, and I don’t disagree, however, it just became…unenjoyable to read. There was also a lot of, in my opinion, unnecessary sexual activity going on in this book. I’m not a prude by any means but the countless sexual stories we’re told about (in great detail, may I add) just did not add anything to the storyline for me and I just kept thinking…why are we being told about this? Did we need to know this? After what seemed to be the 8 millionth time of hearing the same thing, I just felt like okay, that’s enough now.

It all felt very repetitive for me and I just thought this book could have done a lot more in terms of focusing on Queenie’s development and journey to self-discovery, it felt like 90% of the book was about sex, poor decision making and Queenie acting immature. I sympathised with her but…yeah. This just wasn’t it for me.

Still a 3 star because the actual book itself wasn’t bad, I just felt like Queenie as a character could have been written better. The plot just seemed very childish and was too highschool drama-ish for me.

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Everyday Sexism – Laura Bates
4/5 Stars
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Everyday Sexism: Amazon.co.uk: Laura Bates: 9781471149207: Books

A book that has been on my TBR for the longest time and I’m so glad I finally got around to reading it. Everyday Sexism focuses on the important conversation that we must all have about how sexism has become such a normal part of our everyday lives and engrained into our society. So informative and really covers the discussion of sexism in a way that isn’t preachy and is accessible to all. If you read this book and still come out at the end of it with no understanding of sexism then well, I don’t know what to tell you.

I had to sit and read certain parts out loud to myself to really make sure I absorbed all of the all of the information that was being given to me and it was shocking to hear the things that were coming out of my mouth, because of course this book isn’t fiction. Hearing myself say these words made everything all that more shocking and real.

As a woman from the UK I liked that this was set in the UK and based around that information because of course, it then makes it incredibly relevant to me. It was such a heartbreaking and horrifying read and made me feel so angry, yet also incredibly empowered because this is the world we live in and it’s not okay and something has to change . It mades me want to fight. It made me feel fierce and strong and ready.

The one thing I will say is that this book was originally published in 2014 and so the statistics and information included in it is a little dated in that regard, so it’s important for me to also read things that are more recent as well, which I will be doing.

I wrote a whole separate blogpost on this book because this is definitely a conversation that needs to be taken further and so, click here for that.

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Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
4/5 Stars
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Their Eyes Were Watching God: A Novel eBook: Hurston, Zora Neale ...

I mentioned in my Kindle book haul that I was really excited to read this book and thought I was going to love it and well, I was right.

Set in Florida in 1928, this novel follows our main protagonist Janie Crawford, a black woman embarking on her life journey and the 3 marriages she has along the way. She’s not a woman to be held down by anything and as she goes throughout life she figures this out. She wants to experience true love and the things she dreamed about when she was young, though she finds that as she gets older this isn’t the case for her, but she’s tired of having things decided for her and decides to try and become her own woman.

This book was released in 1937 and was out of print for almost 30 years due to the backlash and rejection it received for having a strong black female as the protagonist. It was finally re-released in 1978 and has been widely loved ever since – I actually cannot believe that this story was removed from the world for nearly 30 years because it’s so good and it scares me that such a novel could essentially just be erased and taken away from the world due to people rejecting it for reasons that now in this day and age, are unfathomable. I’d recommend everyone to read this book at least once because I absolutely loved it and I think it’s such an important read.

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The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
4/5 Stars
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Everyone and their grandma knows about this book / series (I haven’t watched the series but the book is apparently a little dissimilar from what I’ve seen) so I won’t go into great detail explaining this one but basically, The Handmaid’s Tale is about a woman named Offred who lives in a totalitarian society named Gilead. Women have been stripped of all of their rights and are treated as property of the state / government, and they are now only allowed to perform one of few jobs in this new world – Offred’s job as a handmaid is to essentially be shipped off to live with wealthy couples who are in power in order to act as a surrogate because the wife is unable to conceive.

A lot of people to my surprise said they found this book boring / flat / annoying and I literally could not disagree more. I found this book so interesting and I discovered that Atwood’s writing style is one of my favourites, it reminded me very much of Sylvia Plath whom I adore. I enjoyed the little shorter chapters and considering this book was published in 1985 I thought it was definitely ahead of its time. I knew I was going to love it as soon as it came on my radar however, it had definitely been there for a long time and I can’t believe I only now just got around to reading it, but this was right up my street. Looking forward to reading The Testaments next! I’ve heard very mixed reviews on it but I hope I love that one just as much.

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Red at the Bone – Jacqueline Woodson

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This book is incredibly short (probably the smallest hardback I own) and I feel like I read it so fast I didn’t even take it all in so, this for me is a definite one to re-read. In this book we follow a family through each generation and pass back and fourth through time, starting and ending with the coming of age ceremony of Melody, who is 16 years old. We are then moved through history and witness the story of her other family members – her mother, her father, her grandparents and so on.

Like I said, this book was so short I feel like I barely even took it in and so I can’t even remember enough about it in order to comment on it but I do know that I enjoyed it and that I thought it deserved 4 stars. This one will be a re-read for me.

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And there we have it loves!

All my love,

Chloe .xx

Goodreads – ChloLuna

18 thoughts on “September Book Reviews

  1. seaofwordsx says:

    I always love your book reviews so much. I would love to read Everyday sexism. I’m a feminist by heart so I guess I will feel empowered and feel all the emotions while reading that book. I also would love to read Their eyes were watching God because it sounds like an amazing book ❀️. Thank you for these beautiful reviews

    Liked by 1 person

  2. priya says:

    such a good pick of books Chlo! I’ve had Everyday Sexism and The Handmaid’s Tale on my list for ages – I haven’t seen the show either so I’m unsure how I’ll enjoy it, but your comment about her writing being similar to Sylvia Plath’s has me more intrigues cos she’s a beautiful writer!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hannah says:

    I have heard so many good things about Queenie that I am surprised that you did not enjoy it. I have never personally read it myself but I have been considering it since my best friend owns the book. Will have to read and let you know what I think!
    I have been recommended The Handmaiden’s Tale series a few times now and I am really looking forward to finally watching it as it sounds like such an interesting concept (although one that never sees the light of day in the real world hopefully). I actually read the Penelopiad in secondary school and remember it being a very dark concept but an interesting one, very similar to The Handmaiden’s Tale. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      I’d really love to know what you think Hannah if you ever do read Queenie – you’ll have to do a review on it! I think you’d really enjoy (for lack of better wording) The Handmaid’s Tale – again, if you read it you’ll have to let me know what you think. Atwood has such a great writing style, I think I’ll love everything she writes! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. chloeburford says:

    Ive heard soo many things about Queenie, some rave about how good it is and others aren’t so impressed, I am tempted to read it for myself to see whether its as good or bad as people say haha! Their eyes watching god sounds such an interesting read – thank you for sharing angel! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. 50shad3s0fjay says:

    We have such different opinions on Queenie – it’s one of my favourite books that I read so far this year – I totally know what you mean about Queenie making silly decisions sometimes, she definitely made me shake my head at times – if she was my friend I’d totally be having words with her haha however, she was in a very dark place and when we’re depressed, we can literally make the silliest decisions sometimes – we’re not in our right minds at all and she was seeking that validation from the men etc etc, but ultimately I think she really made a wonderful job of bettering herself and becoming healthier and mentally happier in the end – she came so far and I think that’s one thing I love about this book, is that Queenie did really experience such beautiful growth and transformation.

    I remember reading your post about Everyday Sexism and absolutely loving it, you’re right, a book like this does make you want to make a change ❀ I'd definitely like to read it at some point.

    I NEED to read 'Their Eyes Were Watching God' wow it sounds so good – I can't believe it was taken out of print for so long – wth?

    Great post – thanks so much for sharing love!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      I definitely get that, she wasn’t in the right headspace hence her making all of these decisions which was very realistic in my opinion however I think my problem falls more with the fact that I felt like this book had the potential to do so much more than it did and for that reason I was disappointed. I feel like it spent too much time focusing on the wrong / irrelevant things to the point where it irritated me! I’m really glad you enjoyed it though.

      Do let me know if you read Everyday Sexism at some point because I’d love to know what you think – I can already tell you’re going to absolutely love it !! & yes I can’t believe TEWWG was out of print for so long either, when I found out I was like WHAT?! It’s insane.

      Thanks so much for reading lovely! xx

      Like

  6. arshia says:

    I love this selection of books, like hell yes! I haven’t read these but I’ve heard so much about all of them! I really wanted to read The Handmaid’s Tale, but we had to watch the show for a society discussion in college and it was just so triggering and disturbing that I couldn’t finish it even though it was so interesting. I think part of me is afraid the book will be the same way, but I hope I read it someday. I really want to read at least some work by Margaret Atwood, so I’ve got The Penelopiad coming up on my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chloe Luna says:

      I definitely agree it could be very triggering and you have to be in the right mindset to read it – if you think it’ll affect you then definitely stay away from it and be safe! The show actually goes a lot further than the book and so in comparison the book is kind of 30-40% of what the show is, so I think the book is safer – also I can imagine it’s a lot more harrowing to actually watch it as opposed to reading it .xx

      Like

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