January Wrap Up

In the month of January I obtained a ton of books, which you can see in my haul here. I managed to read 5 books, which is a lot for me in a month. Below are photos of the books I read. I will share my review for each.

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All the Bright Places

3 Stars

First let me start by saying that though I try to do spoiler free reviews I don’t know if I can do that with this one, so read this review at your own risk. People may not like my review of this book, and that’s okay. To be honest I don’t really like my review of this book, but it’s how I feel and I can’t change that. I desperately wanted to love these characters, but I didn’t. So, lets start with what I did like…

I loved the premise of the story. I loved the feels that the circumstances the characters dealt with gave me. But that’s about it…

For me, the characters were flat. They didn’t show enough emotion given the situations that they dealt with in their lives. Violet doesn’t show much emotion around the death of her sister, the death of Finch, the way her family doesn’t talk about Elenore, the way her friends treat her or Finch. Finch is just as bad, he doesn’t show much emotion over the demise of his family, or the way his dad treats him, and not about the fact that his mom is just a shell who drinks wine and doesn’t care about her children. They bottle it up and that leaves the reader with nothing to relate to, or feel. Feelings your characters have is a way for you to reach out to your reader and pull them in. Make them want more. Essentially, you’re their feels dealer and you must give them the first hit to pull them in and keep them coming back for more. In order for you to do that you have to have some emotion for the reader.

There is so much going on with these characters and I don’t feel like the author even touches it. I understand that teen suicide is the main focus of the story, but there is more to it than that. The bipolar disorder, and anxiety, depression, they are just mentioned almost as a way to explain how the characters may have gotten to that point. The book just kind of ends and there is no epilogue to tie up how the characters are doing. Finches parents, where did Violet go to school, did her online magazine take off. There was so much I was left wondering.

I was told by several people that this book was a must read and that I would love it. I guess my over-all thoughts were that for me this book was lacking. I expected and wanted so much more from this book and these characters, and at the end of the day it just didn’t do it for me. So, I’m giving this a 3 star rating. This is a subject that should be read about and should more prevalent. There needs to be an awareness amongst teens about suicide. They need to be told about the signs and what to do if you think someone you know is contemplating suicide.

Most importantly remember if you’re ever in crisis and you need someone to talk to just text 741741 which is the number for the Crisis Text Line. You will be able to speak with a trained Crisis Counselor.

 

Ready Player One

2 Stars

Honestly, I’m not really sure where to start with this review. I guess I need to preface by saying that I wanted to like this book. I mean REALLY wanted to like it. I love video games, I love the 80’s and the idea of living almost exclusively in virtual reality sounds like an amazing combination for a story. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for me… at all. I totally respect that there is a HUGE following for this book, and I am sooooooooooooo glad that so many people loved this book. I think that’s great. I really wanted to like it.

The author’s writing style was the biggest problem for me. The book started off strong for the first couple of chapters, but then became a huge info-dump for about 6 chapters. Then it would get interesting again, and then another mega epic info-dump was upon us, until about the last 6-8 chapters. It was great that the author wanted to give detail to world build and help you become part of the book/game, but at times it was just too much for me.

I also found that the author did a poor job of explaining what life was like outside of the major cities, it was almost as if we were supposed to just know that it was a wasteland. The author also was not consistent with their acronyms (GSS, PVP, MMO, etc). He would use the acronym and provide no explanation, and then the next page he would spell it out with the acronym, and then the page after that it would be spelled out with no acronym… It was all over the place.

The other glaring issue for me was the fact that Wade was fighting the sixers and their huge corporation but then was trying to find the egg and in the end became the head of a super-mega-corporation. It didn’t jive for me at all.

 

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

4 Stars

I’ve heard so much hype about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda that I was a little afraid to read it. I am one of those people that usually dislikes books that everyone raves about. Or it gets so much hype that it doesn’t live up to the hype. Anyway… This book lived up to the hype. This book was great! I loved Simon and his voice. He was awkward, down to earth, funny, and witty. I want Simon to be my best friend. Some of the supporting characters I wasn’t super fond of. Abby, and Nick were just kind of there for me. I also didn’t think that Alice was a necessary character. We didn’t get to know her in any way. I would have loved to have seen more of Simon’s parents and more of Leah. I am dying to read Leah on the Offbeat.

The emails back and forth between Simon and Blue were amazing and about 10 times throughout the book I was 100% sure I knew who Blue was, and I was completely off. I loved having that surprise element and having the suspense until the end. I think having that suspense kept me on the edge of my seat and reading because I had to know who Blue was.

It took me about 3 days to read this book, and I’m a slow reader, so for me 3 days is pretty incredible. The authors writing style worked really well for me and she did an amazing job of giving each of the characters their own voice and sticking with it. Often times I see where the beginning of the book characters have their own voice and then by the end they all start to sound the same.

Over all I really enjoyed this book, the adventure, the characters, and the growth the characters experienced. I highly recommend this book to everyone. I think it’s a great quick read that will teach you not to fight who you are, you are you and that is amazing. It also teaches you about the impact that you can have on another person’s life, so be kind and choose your words and your actions carefully. Be kind.

 

Words on Bathroom Walls

4 Stars

The premise of this story sounded amazing to me and I knew I had to read about these characters. I personally found it hard to relate to any of the characters. However, I don’t think it really determined how well I liked the book. I thought the information was great, the story was great, the character progression was really well thought out. I loved the last 1/3 of the book. Walton was really on point with all the feels and the emotions. I would have 5 stared this book if she could have carried that emotion throughout the whole read. I didn’t feel really invested in the characters until everything was about to fall apart.

The part of this book that held me back was that it was supposed to be written in journal entries to his therapist, but it didn’t feel like journal entries to me. There was dialogue in the “journal entries”. The entries were also too methodical and thought out for me. I was expecting more of a stream of consciousness kind of journal entry. I think this would have been just as effective if it was just a story from Adam’s perspective.

This is definitely a different kind of book, and I’m very glad that I read it. I would recommend reading it if you’re even just a little bit curious.

 

Wrinkle In Time

This is a book I read but did not review. Simply because I had read it as a child, and I was so excited to re-read it as an adult in honor of the upcoming movie. However, after reading it as an adult I realized I didn’t care for it as much. I remember loving it as a child and as a result I am choosing to continue on with my childhood memories of loving this book. So, I chose not to review this book or to rate it. I am looking forward to seeing the movie when it comes out.

 

5 Comments

    1. I agree, and it made me a little leery, but I ended up enjoying it. I’ve been afraid to read The Hate U Give because of all the hype. I think my next read is going to be Every Day since the movie comes out at the end of the month.

      Liked by 1 person

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