book review

Everything Everything

Nicola Yoon has been on my list of authors that I was looking forward to reading. I wasn’t quite sure whether to start with The Sun is Also A Star but once I saw the film trailer for Everything Everything, I knew that would be the first book of hers that I would have to read.

Yoon is an exceptionally talented writer and demonstrates her skills in character development, plot and descriptions in this novel. She is patient with the descriptions and really makes the main character, Madeline’s youthful and child-like fascination with the world believable. In the Q&A portion of the book, Yoon even says that the innocence of Madeline was largely inspired by her own infant daughter’s reactions to the world around her.

In all honesty, I hadn’t anticipated enjoying Everything Everything as much as I had. It was a new and fresh story that has never been told before. I think that there are themes like love and protection that are carried on throughout that really grip at the readers heartstrings and get them invested in the turn of events. I also respect Yoon for making the main female character multiracial. It’s not her identity but it is something that is made clear about her. I think that it’s incredible to have more culturally diverse characters in books, television and film because it really helps to inspire diverse readers and encourage diversity in the world. It helps remind audiences that fundamentally being different is nothing to be ashamed of.

****

I would recommend this book to YA readers, fans of John Green, fans of film to book comparisons, or anyone looking for an entertaining but light read.

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book review

The Night Circus

“The circus arrives without warning” is the opening sentence to The Night Circus, setting the stage for a novel full of magic, mystery and intrigue. Author, Erin Morgenstern, takes full artistic advantage of the endless opportunities in this novel to describe visually dynamic scenes of the circus turning each reader into a rêveur of Le Cirque du Rêves.

The Night Circus is a fantasy novel that follows main characters, Celia Bowen and Marco Alisdair. Both are competitors in a complex magical challenge of skill and endurance starting as early as their childhood. As the story progresses, you learn that this competition involves a lot more than just testing skill and there are consequences to every action. Morgenstern blew my mind with this novel and had me lost in the mystery of Le Cirque du Rêves. The characters are exceptionally vivid and each detail serves a purpose in the conclusion. I absolutely adored reading this book and am unsurprised that it has become a #1 National Bestseller.

Growing up, I solely read fantasy books because when I was a kid — real life was never as much fun as the fantasy worlds I got to venture into. I journeyed to Hogwarts with Harry Potter and friends, fell in love in Forks, WA in Twilight, and committed a large part of my youth to keeping up with the Vampire Academy series. As I’ve gotten older, my tastes of changed some and I’ve been trying to expand to other genres like memoirs/biographies, literary fiction, thriller and suspense novels and these are just a few among others. The Night Circus gave me a sense of nostalgia for when I clung to those stories as a child and a reminder that there’s no real age restriction for a good book.

I would recommend this to: all readers looking for something outside of their comfort zone, those who were young fantasy lovers (like myself) for the perfect nostalgic purchanse and lastly to lovers of magic, the CIrcus and a touch of romance.

 

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Books

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.

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Books

Sweetbitter

After reading Stephanie Danler’s Sweetbitter, I think that I am a different person than I was before I started it. That’s the power of books, you know. You live a whole other life within them and whether there are any physical differences or not, you are forever changed.Sweetbitter was better than I could have ever imagined. I was captivated and honestly could have finished the book in 24 hours if I didn’t have other responsibilities.

From the deckled edge to the narrative voice, the book is young, rough, raw and full of emotion. Danler manages colorful descriptions from the biting cold of winter to the feel of sunlight peaking over the horizon as you stumble home from a night out. In 352 pages, you see New York City with the wide eyed innocence of 20-something year old Tess. You understand her desire to escape her small town life, become free and experience life for the wild ride that it truly is. Danler intentionally uses the changing seasons, various platters and flavors and the people in her life to set the stage for all the life experiences that Tess will go through. She will be changed forever and you know it from the beginning and eagerly hang on for the ride.

Danler has set the bar pretty high for her debut novel and I cannot wait to read what she comes up with next. I would recommend this for anyone looking for a good, captivating read but more specifically for 20-something-year-olds with an insatiable sense of adventure.

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