Next up….

 
AAAAHHHHH! I’ve been dying to read this book since I heard a review calling it The Night Circus meets Hunger Games. My interest was instantly piqued and decided to keep on going on the fantasy novel express train that I’ve been riding. I’m here for it. Are you?! No spoilers please, but if you’ve read it — let me know what you think and any other similarly awesome books I should check out.

Be sure to check back for my personal review for Stephanie Garber’s Caraval. 

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Talking As Fast As I Can

I don’t think there is any better book that I could have followed Born a Crime with than an equally as stunning and refreshing memoir by Lauren Graham– actress, writer, producer and all around effortless talent. Talking as Fast as I Can was witty, quirky and full of laughs. I often find it difficult separating the person: Lauren Graham from her roles as Lorelai Gilmore and Sarah Braverman, two of my favorite television characters. I had to stop myself, at times, and remember she is not the roles she has played, they have impacted her to some extent but she continues where their stories end.

It was truly interesting to learn more about Lauren Graham. I never knew about her struggle to stardom. Apart from learning that she was in a relationship with her former cast brother, Peter Krause (Adam Braverman), I didn’t know much about her. I think my favorite part of the story was the firsthand details that Graham recounted from previous seasons of Gilmore Girl. She also included her personal journal entries during Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. I think knowing how close of a relationship she built with her co-stars and crewmembers, returning for the final season was extremely emotional. It was incredible hearing about old memories and everyone being taken back into the nostalgia of the show the same way that audience members felt when they sat down to watch the long anticipated, A Year in the Life.

I remember growing up with Gilmore Girls and watching it constantly. At one point, when I realized that the last episode had aired, I refused to finish out the last season. I decided to wait until the inevitable tv movie aired to finally watch it all…only to learn that those months would turn to years. I binge-watched all the seasons on Netflix before the new season came on and had absolutely no regrets about it. The show honestly changed my life and made me aspire to have the Lorelai-Rory relationship with my future daughter. Their bond was unbreakable no matter what hiccups came along the way. I also agree 1000% with Lauren Graham about the final four words of the show being a cliffhanger! Is there going to be a Gilmore Girls Reloaded?! Or was this just a reminder that even if the show ends the Gilmore Girls live on in Stars Hollow!? Inquiring minds want to know.

Born a Crime

Being humorous and intelligent are rare characteristics to display in a perfect balance. Trevor Noah not only has mastered that balance but turned it into an unforgettable and captivating memoir.

First impression? I thought Trevor Noah, a mixed kid who was funny and found his claim to fame on The Daily Show. Here’s his memoir about growing up in South Africa and there’s more than likely a ghostwriter who has actually written this.

I want to start off by saying that I was completely off.

After reading his memoir, I realize there is so much more to people than meets the eye even when it comes to celebrities. The story of his life would’ve been interesting if it merely covered being a mixed child in South Africa but, that is merely the background in this story. So much happened to Trevor in his youth.

I really enjoyed reading, “Born A Crime.” There were moments when I laughed out loud and times that I was genuinely surprised by what Trevor had lived through yet could recount with such a light-hearted and comedic tone. Trevor gave us a glimpse into his little bit of perspective in the world and I’m grateful. His intelligence is apparent in his writing and he uses incredible metaphors and anecdotes to explain why he is the way he is.

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who may not immediately gravitate towards non-fiction or memoirs. I think there’s a stigma (at least in my opinion) that all memoirs are filled with research and are boring. Boredom was the farthest thing from my mind while reading this, so I can’t recommend it enough.

Girl in Pieces

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I recently finished reading Kathleen Glasgow’s debut novel, Girl in Pieces. Girl in Pieces is a young adult novel that follows main character, Charlotte “Charlie” Davis, on her journey of self-discovery. Charlie specifically is battling against her proclivity to self-harm through cutting and decides to strike out and start fresh in Arizona. Despite being in a different location, Charlie learns that no matter how many miles between her home and Arizona, that doesn’t mean her past can’t catch up with her.

In this novel, Glasgow shows her skills as a master of entering into the mind of a teenage girl. Despite the complicated feelings Charlie has, the use of striking metaphors leave a lasting impression on the reader. I really enjoy the alternative format of the novel, there weren’t traditional chapters but sections divided by markings on the pages. There were also pages that would include descriptive blurbs about the setting and Charlie’s feelings about the situation. Self-harm is a serious condition that Glasgow handles delicately. I think that anyone who enjoys reading young adult novels like John Green would really enjoy reading this. I stumbled upon the novel while seeing the “recommended books” section of Amazon and definitely do not regret the purchase.

Looking for Alaska

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Before reading “Looking for Alaska,” I had always seen quotes from the pages and never truly understood the context. For example, quotes about seeking the Great Perhaps or the quote “we are as indestructable as we believe ourselves to be.”

I’m honestly surprised that it took me this long to read this book. It was absolutely amazing, I think that John Green does a phenomenal job with the main character, Pudge. We can all relate to yearning for more at his age, yearning for adventure. In his case – that sense of adventure was Alaska. She opened his eyes to a whole new world and challenged him in a way that he had never been before. I really like how Alaska’s character is this flawed, impulsive and witty character. I wish there were more female characters like her in books and films, willing to take life by the horns and live their fullest life.

John Green is legendary within the YA community with bestsellers like The Fault In Our Stars, Paper Towns, and An Abundance of Katherines. I’ve recently added some of his books to my library and look forward to reading them. John Green did not disappoint and was able to write a memorable piece of fiction that has managed to impact his readers years later.

Milk and Honey

When scanning through the lists of bestsellers to find something to read next, milk and honey by Rupi Kaur immediately caught my attention.

Rupi Kaur has changed my life and I am eternally grateful. Kaur has been given a gift, that gift is the power of words, art and expression. She wields that power like a magician wields magic – effortlessly and with authority. Milk and honey is concisely refreshing, poignant and even intimidatingly raw at times. I’ve always known and believed in the strength of the written word and that is why it is my hope to devote my life to it – by pursuing a career in publishing. Words can do unbelievable things – move mountains, incite riots, and bring people to their knees. With 208 short pages, Kaur shares her insight of the world with her readers.

It’s such an invaluable work that I’m surprised that her agent and the publishing house, Andrews McMeel Publishing, were able to agree on a suitable price of $14.99. Page after page led me to question my own thoughts about family, love, femininity, and life in general. In a dream world, Kaur would become my mentor or guru and teach me the way of expressing myself in the beautiful manner that she has mastered. You can tell that she sees beauty in everything and finds inspiration everywhere. I wish that I could be more like that and after reading her book, I think we can all appreciate the world around us a little bit more. Too often we take advantage of all the beautiful things that surround us – kind strangers, sunrises, the serenity of waves crashing on the shore – that can be appreciated and seen every day. I think that for those who may not necessarily love poetry, this is the perfect book to be introduced to you. The tone is noticeably feminine but I think that anyone could stumble upon this book and appreciate the text. The topics are relatively universal and there’s an obvious sincerity to it. It is such a thought-provoking and intensely relatable book of poetry that I can’t recommend it enough.

 

Here is an excerpt from the book that still gives me goosebumps whenever I re-read it:

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The Girl on the Train

 

A la Gillian Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl,’ Paula Hawkins takes you on a dazzlingly hypnotic journey in the #1 New York Times Bestseller, “The Girl on the Train.” I know that if you’re looking into my track record, besides Amie Barrodale’s “You Are Having A Good Time,” all of my book reviews have been generally positive. I’m working on being more critical going forward and expressing more clearly WHY exactly, I enjoy one book in comparison to others similar to it.

As I have mentioned before, I’ve decided to delve further into the thriller and suspense genre. I live for the shows of the same genre so it would only make sense to explore the books. I had my first taste with “Gone Girl,” and it will probably be my basis for comparison for any and all thriller/suspense books that I read going forward. “The Girl on the Train,” as cliche as it sounds, legitimately blew me away. Hawkins flawlessly introduces you to the main character, Rachel, and flippantly provides you with intimate details of her character and how it affects people’s perception of her. From the first page where Hawkins casually interjects that Rachel has an overactive imagination to the final page of the story, every detail is important and serves a purpose. The sections in Rachel, Megan and Anna’s perspective all come together like three individual pieces of thread to eventually help complete the picture of what is truly going on. It is onlywhen the perspectives align with similar events and dates that you begin to truly grasp what is actually going on and who is truly responsible for the main events of the story.

I eagerly found myself flipping through the pages of this book to the point that it became 3:00AM without my realizing. Instead of foregoing the last 40-some odd pages for tomorrow morning, I refused to go to bed without finishing it. In all sincerity, if there were some other ranking system far more highly regarded than becoming a #1 New York Times Bestseller, I would recommend that this book be awarded that honor. It’s witty, charming and enveloping in the best possible way. It’s shocking that this would be Hawkins’ first thriller after being a journalist for 15 years. She has definitely shocked the masses and set the bar high for herself regarding any future projects. I hope to read more works from her. In terms of recommendation? I would recommend this to anyone looking to try out the thriller/suspense genre and someone interested in a little mystery.