Hey guys! So, being locked in Bone Marrow Transplant world defiantly gave me a lot of time to read! But I was also really really busy the whole time too. There was a solid week where I couldn't drink anything and eating was difficult, so my brain fog was bad enough that I didn't really get to focus much on books. Nevertheless, I was able to get through five, which is actually a pretty solid accomplishment for me. Once I get released (today!) I'll have a lot more time at home to spend on reading, blogging, and publishing my work again! In fact, I'd like to get my last two BMT essays up this weekend and next week so that I can start talking about recovery. The last week of my life has been filled with lots of news, all of it just up on Instagram for now. Hopefully, I get the chance to update the website completely soon!
My reading list & Reviews for the Month of July:
The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir (2 Stars)
I had some seriously mixed feelings about this novel. I understand what the author was trying to do, but I don't feel that it was effectively achieved. The characters in the novel are far too self-aware of their actions, and although the ending does imply that it's a retelling of the story, I don't think that it gives ample justification for their "wokeness." This book also had a lot of twists that I didn't think added to the story, and really just took away from it at points. I felt like this was a second or third draft of an idea that needed more work through, and although the cover is really pretty, I'm not sure I would suggest it.
This is a good, unique YA Fiction fantasy read that comes across like a modern fairy tales Grimm. I really did enjoy the book all he way through. It had good characters and a completely unique plot. The writing fit the situation and it was truly entertaining. My only issue was that it felt very Candide (Voltaire) in the plot and series of events. I never really got time to settle into an event, since hey happened to aggressively one right after the other. The writing felt like the author was simply reporting on events at times, which fits because it’s an observation that the main character herself has within the novel about another book. There could have been a much more interesting structure to the book itself, I think, with Alice's story being put throughout the book instead of squished at the end. The explanations for things were there, but they were often vague and confusing. There was defiantly time where I was confused by the world building and when what world began and ended.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (5 Stars)
This is one of those once in a generation novel that all of our kids are going to have to read in class one day. This novel is fast moving, and while the book itself looks large, the formatting of the novel helps it move (as does the writing style). Thomas does an amazing job of capturing a complex narrative in a way that doesn’t turn away an audience, even if they might not agree with her originally. This book also shows the lines in a community of color— especially between black young adults split between two very different worlds. It presents the issue in a way anybody can understand and sympathize with, and makes the issue easier to understand. I loved the characters in this book too. I loved the descriptions. Even if you’re not picking it up for social justice messaging, it really is just a good book.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (5 Stars)
This is a novel for anybody who loved “All the Light We Cannot See” or wants a kick-ass story about two sisters. Focusing on France during WWII, the novel covers a different part of the battle aside from the famous war scenes. Nightingale is focused on the French people and their new harsh realities— especially for the women and families involved. It follows two sisters as they grabble in dramatically different ways with their new worlds and talks about how it affects their values and relationships with each other. This book is a beautiful testament to what women are capable of in times of trouble, and how they keep the world together in important ways when things are falling apart. The writing of the book is beautiful, and, although it looks big on the shelf, it’s really not that rough of a read (it took me about a week).
Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I've Loved by Kate Bowler (3 Stars)
For a book that’s 200 pages, it took me a long time to work my way through it. Not because Bowler isn’t a skilled writer, but because I started it right before a bone marrow transplant and ended it around halfway through engraftment. There were certain parts of his memoir that I identified with as someone with an invisible illness, but it was more found in the smaller life lessons & parts. As a whole, this collection felt very disorganized and frazzled, although it fit the occasion. Her narrative defiantly proved something that I’ve said for a long while, “the worst part of sickness is the culture shock.” The suddenness of her diagnosis and the processing that takes place about what it means for her life is interesting (not completely relatable to me, personally) but really well described. If anything, Bowler manages to write a pure, honest account of something awful that most people will never have to experience. Her story is a valuable testament to health care centered storytelling, and in that respect, it’s well done.
Here's My Reading Goal for the Month of August:
- The Night Circus (Started), The Bone Witch, The Incendiaries, Blink, Idaho, & To Kill a Kingdom
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