Update & October Wrap Up

So I haven’t posted on here in around three months now I believe, and I think that this is in part due to just being more busy than before, and also because I wrote the review of the Dorothy Koomson book and did not enjoy writing it much at all, and as I have a ridiculously small attention span, I gave up on it entirely like I normally do. So, I have decided to just write and include posts which I find to be interesting. I am only going to write reviews on books that I particularly feel like writing about, and those reviews are unlikely to be as structured as the ‘That Girl From Nowhere’ one, as I felt a lot of pressure whilst writing it, and don’t know if I particularly got many of my own true feelings across.

In the space of the last month I have dropped out of University after staying for one night, and then started at a new college in which I have no friends, and so this has all been pretty stressful. However, I have been spending a lot more time with friends from my previous college and it’s been great!

Due to not having any friends to sit with during my breaks, and also having incredibly long spaces of time free in which I just sit in the library on my own, I have been reading a fair amount more. During the month of October I have read:

  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. This is a book about a girl called Maddy who is allergic to a huge amount of different things, and has spent much of her life locked inside her house not able to see anyone except her Mum and her nurse, Carla. I really enjoyed the first half of the book, and especially appreciated the diagrams and charts that were included. I loved it when Maddy would describe her reading and books, as one of my favourite things to read about is characters describing their love of books. However, I personally did not enjoy the plot twist. I gave this book three stars.
  • Lifegame  by Alison Allen-Grey. This is a book set on a dystopian island in which an orphan named Fella and his best friend Grebe are attempting to uncover the truth about where they live and who Fella is. I thought that this book did an amazing job of getting you to vividly visualise the settings and situations that the characters were in, and also great at building the suspense as the book went on. I felt very attached to both of the main characters fairly early on, and the side characters were also written in a way that made you care about them a lot as well. I thought that the ending was very well written, and I would not have guessed it. Overall I really enjoyed this book, and so gave it five stars.
  • The Ottoman Motel by Christopher Currie.This is a mystery book about a young boy named Simon whose parents go missing when they go to visit his Grandma in a small town. The book then follows the story of him coming to terms with his parents being absent, and also the investigation into his parents death.Possibly my favourite thing about this book was the exploration of multiple character’s points of view, and there were quite a lot of characters. Each character was incredibly realistic, and I felt invested in every single one of their stories. Whilst reading it, I felt huge amounts of emotion for each of them, as if I was experiencing everything that was happening with them. Mystery is not a genre that I have delved into much, but I thought that this book was incredibly captivating and I find myself thinking about the characters at random moments in my day.

    I gave this book four stars, due to huge amounts of spelling and grammatical errors which were incredibly distracting at times.

  • Every Day by David Levithan. This book follows a person named A who wakes up in a different body with someone else’s life every single day. The main part of the story comes from where they fall in love with a girl called Rhiannon who is the girlfriend of one of the people’s lives that they inhabit for a day, and it is about the difficulties and experiences that arise from this unusual situation. My favourite part about this book was the detailed view into so many character’s separate lives, families and thoughts. However, I didn’t really get attached to either of the main two characters, even though I felt a little more for Rhiannon than I did A. I found myself becoming slightly bored with the way that A was describing his love for Rhiannon as it was at times bordering overly dramatic, considering the fact that they had only known her for a day at first. Regardless of this, I will probably read the second book if it comes into my library as I would like to know how the story wraps up. I gave this book three stars.
  • Rio Grande Shoot-Out by Ethan Wall. This is a Western story about a civil war in America. It follows the stories of quite a few characters, including  a husband and wife that are fleeing their home in order to stop the husband being killed by the army, and a priest that lives in the small town where they end up. I picked up this book from the library as I have been attempting to read a more diverse range of book genres. However, I do not think I will be reading any more Western books for the foreseeable future as I really did not find this book to be particularly enjoyable. I didn’t find myself caring too much about any of the characters, except maybe towards the end of the book, and it took me quite a long time to finish it as I felt no excitement towards it. I gave this book two stars, as I did feel that it had some potential if it had perhaps been written slightly differently.
  • The Humans by Matt Haig. This is a book about an alien from a planet called Vonnadoria who comes down to Earth on a mission to destroy all evidence that the Riemann Hypothesis has been solved in order to protect the humans from getting knowledge too quickly and destroying themselves. The alien takes the form of professor Andrew Martin. The book is his about his outsider’s exploration and discoveries of human life. I will start off by saying that I did not particularly find the story line of this book to be overly entertaining, nor did I find it to be ‘hilarious’ or ‘wonderfully funny’ as The Guardian and The Times suggested it was going to be, and so this was the reason why I took a stars off my overall rating. I also at times found it slightly tedious, and lost interest at various points in the book. However, this book has left a profound impression on me due to it’s commentary on human life and behaviour. It talks about topics such as human issues with appearance and it’s irrelevance, shows how irrelevant some of our social constructions are, and comments on some of the pointless things that we do in our lives that make us unhappy. Near the end of the book there is an ‘advice for a human’ list of 97 items which is written for Andrew Martin’s son, and I found this outsider’s perspective to be really insightful and I will remember quite a few of the points on the list for a long time. The way that Matt Haig has written this book is kind of extraordinary, as you can really believe that it is written by an alien because it has such a detached tone to it. In the back of the book there is a note from the author explaining that the idea for writing the book came to him when he was in the grips of a panic disorder where human life for him felt as strange as it does for the alien narrator of his book. This really resonated with me, and I found that a lot of the things I think about were explored in this book in a way that I hadn’t really heard anyone else talking about them, which was incredibly comforting and thought provoking. I gave this book four stars, and it is one that I can’t stop thinking about when I am just going about my daily life, and I think is likely to stick with me for a long time.

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