From the Bookshelf #16



Hello, lovelies!

It's been a while since my last From the Bookshelf, so this one is going to have a good bunch of them in it. If you're new to my blogosphere, these posts are basically my way of doing mini reviews on books I've read recently so that you can decide for yourself if you want to read them. (:

(Also, look at my new little logo for these posts! I figured since my #AskSeana ones had a logo, I might as well make one for these too.)

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Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Star Rating: 5
Notes:

I rarely ever give five stars on a book, but this one really stuck out to me. It features a character named Riley, who struggles with being gender fluid (which was explained as identifying as more female some days, while identifying as more male during others). Riley also struggles with anxiety/panic attacks and writes a blog, which also put me on a personal level with the character. This book had me on an emotional roller coaster the whole time, and it delves deep into topics like LGBTQ+ support, family issues, bullying/friendships at high school, the internet (and its consequences) and also sexual harassment. This book isn't for the faint of heart, but I think the perspectives it takes on finding who you are and what life is all about are both ones that make it extremely worthwhile to read.


Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Star Rating: 3
Notes:

Jennifer Niven is also the author of All the Bright Places, which I adored. However, I found that I didn't like this one as much. The characters reminded me a LOT of Eleanor and Park from Rainbow Rowell's book, Eleanor & Park, but they weren't quite as 3D as E&P are. This book features an extremely heavy girl who's trying to bounce back from being "America's Fattest Teen," and a boy who can't remember faces. While the idea of not being able to recognize anyone in your life, not even yourself, was intriguing, I felt like it was almost an add-on to the character to actually give him some depth. Both characters were semi-interesting, but everything seemed too easy in their romance department, which frustrated me since most things don't come that easy. 


Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Genre: Fiction
Star Rating: 4
Notes:

Someday I will get a cat and name him Mr. Bingley because of this book. I loved the characters and the fancy balls that were featured, and I've always been a sucker for a good love story. It took me a lot longer to read this book than it would for most other books because of the wording, but I liked it nonetheless. Lizzy was the strong female character I've always wanted, and Mr. Darcy was dark and mysterious. *le sigh* P&P is a classic book, and I definitely see why.


Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Genre: Poetry
Star Rating: 4
Notes:

I'd been seeing pictures of different pages from this book on Twitter, and they were always so simple yet struck a chord with me every time. She divides the book into sections, and they tell a tale of sadness but also of strength. I loved all her little illustrations that went along with the poems, but she does touch on some difficult topics, so if you're sensitive to themes dealing with sexual abuse and rape, this is your heads-up.



The Great Divorce and The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Genres: Fiction (with religious aspects in each)
Star Ratings: 4 (for both)
Notes:

Aside from the first book in The Chronicles of Narnia, I'd never read a C.S. Lewis book  before these two. I read The Great Divorce over the past summer, and while it was hard to plough through with all of its symbolism, I really did enjoy reading it. (The ending was a little cheap to me, but oh well.) It goes along the plot of taking place on a bus ride from Hell (literally), all the way up to Heaven.

The Screwtape Letters is about a higher up demon teaching his nephew, also a demon, how to be a proper tempter and lead his charge away from a good faith. It was really interesting to read a religious book that's from a different perspective, but sometimes the symbolism got a little overwhelming here too.


Star Crossed by Linda Collision

Genre: Fiction
Star Rating: 2
Notes:

I picked this book up on a whim, and I thought the plotline sounded good: a girl on the high seas, serving as a medical assistant, and a cute sailor boy hanging out too. I ended up hating this book. The girl's mentor on the ship, the head doctor, is a ridiculously old man, and she decides his financial stability is much more appealing than poor sailor boy's affections. I got so angry reading this book that I couldn't read it for a week straight, and even when I picked it back up, I was bored since she was pursuing a character that no one really cared about. (Hence my two star rating.)


Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare

Genre: Fantasy
Star Rating: 3
Notes:

Cassandra Clare has written my favorite trilogy of all time (The Infernal Devices), and I was excited since this first book in her new series takes place after the events of the Mortal Instruments ended. However, it focuses on a different set of characters than the original cast, and I found I just didn't care about them. I wasn't able to get emotionally invested in their quest, and the villain in this story seemed too easy. It was almost like she'd developed the villain's actions and heinous deeds before even thinking if the actual villain himself would fit the bill. Overall, it was an okay book, but I don't think I'll be reading the ones that come after it when they're released.


The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Genre: Fantasy
Star Rating: 3
Notes:

This book takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. What exactly destroyed the world is unclear, but I assume it was some kind of explosion/fire since the world is covered in ash and gray now. It follows the story of a father and his young son who are journeying together, and the son was my favorite character. Even though the setting seemed really interesting, I hated how repetitive it was. There were constant reminders of how gray everything is, and there was very little to keep me interested for most of the book. There is a part in this story that alludes to cannibalism, but there's nothing too gory.


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Genre: Fantasy
Star Rating: 3
Notes:

This felt like a bad Harry Potter fanfiction. Now, I adored HP, but this book didn't do a good job with taking wizardry for a new spin. The first third of the book was filled with infodumping and an excess of details that I, quite frankly, did not care about. The plot was extremely hazy throughout the entire book, and the dialogue wasn't witty enough to keep me interested. The supposed "villain" wasn't painted in a light to make him seem evil, and the hero was a complete flop, even though that was supposed to be a joke. The chapters would often switch narrators, but I really wasn't invested enough in the different characters to really care about what they were thinking. I wanted more character development and less useless background knowledge. I also wished the real villain had been explained a little earlier on, since it felt rushed and hastily thrown in to me.


Girl Online: On Tour by Zoe Sugg

Genre: Realistic Fiction
Star Rating: 3
Notes:

This is the second book in Zoe's trilogy about Penny and Noah, and I thought it was just okay. I wasn't really that impressed by the whole thing, but I didn't hate it either. It brings in the usual backstabber and paparazzi-infused plotlines that rockstar books tend to have, but there wasn't really any twists that surprised me. I think if I had read this while in my early teen years I would have liked it more, but I probably won't be reading the final book in this trilogy.

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Well.

Now that I've exhausted you all with that info-dump, hopefully you found it helpful (at least a little bit). Some of these books are all the way back from my junior year, but I tried to remember as much as I could about them anyway. (:

That is all.

Cheers,
Sea

Comments

  1. Loved this! I really wanna read 'Symptoms of Being Human' -Even more so now!
    -Cait xx
    http://passionatemindblog.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please do! I think you'll really enjoy it.

      Delete
  2. If you name a cat Mr. Bingley, I will love you forever.

    (Not that I already don't. ;) )

    ~TUC

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, if/when I do, I'll send you a picture of him. (:

      Delete

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