Showing posts from June, 2018

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender Review

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: My Review Rating: 5/5 stars I found it ironic that I should be blessed with wings and yet feel so constrained, so trapped. It was because of my condition, I believe, that I noticed life's ironies a bit more often than the average person. I collected them: how love arrived when you least expected it, how someone who said he didn't want to hurt you eventually would.   The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is, as its title suggests, a strange and beautiful book. It's also a book that came along, stole my heart and smashed it to smithereens - in other words, it has become one of my favourites of all time.  This book is magical realism at its very finest, at the height of its potential. Walton writes in a way that is inexplicably bittersweet with the ability to make you smile and break your heart in a single sentence. There is this melancholy, almost sinister but beautiful atmosphere that permeates every

History Is All You Left Me Review

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera: My Review Rating: 4.5/5 History is nothing. It can be recycled or thrown away completely. It isn't this sacred treasure chest I mistook it to be. We were something, but history isn't enough to keep something alive forever.  This is the first book I've read by Adam Silvera and I LOVED it. Smart, funny and heartbreaking, History Is All You Left Me is a character-driven novel focusing on grief and the process of trying to figure yourself out while reeling from the loss of the person closest to you.  The story is told by Griffin as he comes to terms with the death of his best friend and first love, Theo. There is a complex web of relationships at play as we are also introduced to Theo's new boyfriend from California, Jackson, and the third member of their friendship group, Wade. Theo was the group's anchor and so they all find themselves in varying states of confusion and helplessness without him. Griffin is esp

The Hate U Give Review

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: My Review Rating: 5/5 stars What's the point of having a voice if you're gonna be silent in those moments you shouldn't be? The Hate U Give is one of those books that I don't think many of us realized needed to exist until it did. It is very rare to find a book that is well-written, emotionally-charged and unputdownable yet also sends out a sociopolitical message that will make all readers from all walks of life reevaluate themselves and become truly educated on the society we live in. This is one of those books.  We follow Starr Carter as she deals with the aftermath of witnessing her childhood friend, Khalil, being shot by a cop. He was unarmed and doing nothing wrong.  We see how the media presents young black men as guilty until proven innocent because of the social stigmas surrounded black culture. We see how it is virtually impossible to appear innocent when you are black, poor and from a rough neighborhood, a

The Bell Jar Review

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath: My Review Rating: 3/5 stars I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am. The Bell Jar is a very difficult book for me to review. I unfortunately did not love it in the way I thought I would and that many others do, yet because it is a semi-fictional autobiography it is extremely hard not to equate its value with the tragic death of its author just weeks after its publication, thereby making me feel as though I should have a relatively delicate approach to the way I discuss the problems I had with it. Nevertheless, I'm going to try to separate this piece of literature from the onset of events that followed it so this can be a completely honest review. We follow the protagonist of Esther Greenwood, a 19-year-old woman of the 1950s who begins in the dark heart of New York for a glamorous job at a magazine, yet in this she finds no excitement whatsoever as she believes that society has placed her under a be

The Catcher in the Rye Review

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger: My Review Rating: 4/5 stars Among other things, you'll find that you're not the first person who was ever confused and frightened and even sickened by human behavior. You're by no means alone on that score, you'll be excited and stimulated to know. Many, many men have been just as troubled morally and spiritually as you are right now. Happily, some of them kept records of their troubles. You'll learn from them - if you want to. Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful, reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.  The Catcher in the Rye was an extremely unique book but one that I found to be totally captivating and memorable. Being the first modern classic I've read, I wasn't sure what to expect but I devoured it in a couple of days and, while I can certainly see why it is a book that people have very

All the Light We Cannot See Review

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr: My Review Rating: 4/5 stars Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever. All the Light We Cannot See was undoubtedly one of the most beautifully well-crafted and complex novels I have read. Avoiding at all costs the tropes of WW2 historical fiction, Doerr explores the birth of the French resistance in the middle of German fascism while sensitively illustrating how the lives of happy young children are upturned and irreparably changed by the harrowing occurrences around them.  I think I can confidently say that the two main protagonists in this book will remain present in my mind for many years and they are, above anything else, an inspiration. The story is told in dual perspectives starting off with Marie Laure, a blind French girl who is forced to emigrate from Nazi-occupied Paris where she lives with her father to the coastal town of Saint-Malo to live with her great-uncle. The way Doerr crafts her