Wow, just 2 more of these and I’ll have managed a whole year of keeping track of what books I’ve read! I know they’re not my most popular posts, or anywhere near being popular at all, but I’ve really been doing it for my own good. I used to write down what books I was reading in a little notebook, but now I use Goodreads, and I like to write up a little summary here too 🙂
I’m actually going to be doing two posts today, so this should be the second – unless I change my mind and swap them round, but they’ll be both be scheduled at some point! So I hope you enjoy them both – neither are outfit posts either – shock, horror!
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher – 6.5/10 – I actually read this book as a ‘real’ book, as in a paperback, rather than on my Kindle – yay! I got it off my Amazon wishlist from my parents for my birthday and decided to read it straightaway. The premise of the book was really good, if very ‘teenagery’ – Clay, a normal teenage boy, returns home to discover a parcel of tapes waiting for him. As he begins to listen, he realises it’s the story of a girl from his school as narrated by herself who had recently committed suicide, and the thirteen reasons why she did it. There are 13 sides on the tapes he has to listen to in order to understand why she did it. Worse though is the fact that each reason is a person who has received the tapes – what has he done to deserve to hear them? I’ve seen several reviews of this, and many state that the reasons she gives are not reason enough to kill yourself. I think this is a hugely shallow view. Yes, her reasons might seem petty to you – such as getting a reputation for something she hasn’t done – but how can you know what’s going on in her head and the rest of her life? They might be small reasons, but these have all built up on top of each other and she feels her life is not worth living anymore. Anyway, enough of my opinions on that – the book itself was good, but not much more than that. I was intrigued to find out what Clay had done to become one of the reasons, and I wanted to know why she came to that final conclusion, but it wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. It was definitely bit teenagery (which we have established I like, but not that much) and would be interesting for older teenagers to read – perhaps to understand the consequences of suicide on everyone else a bit more.
More Than This by Patrick Ness – 7/10 – This was our book club read for the month and is a fairly new release. If you’ve read any other reviews of it or read the book itself, you’ll know just how difficult it is to write about it without giving away any spoilers, but I’ll give it a go! I’m not ruining anything by telling you that the boy dies: it sounds like I am, but that is like the first thing that happens, okay?! But then he wakes up, and finds himself not at the bottom of the Pacific where he drowned (and he definitely did), but on a suburban street in England that has a significant resonance with him. He is completely alone and everything is covered in a thick layer of dust and decaying. Every time he falls asleep he dreams of his life in such vivid detail that he can’t believe it’s not real again. So where is he and why? Is it his own personal hell and what will he do for the rest of his ‘existence’? The premise of this was really interesting, and kind of terrifying too. I really loved the start of it, and up until about the middle I was hooked, but there are a few turns that give the book more action than I would normally like. I was still interested enough to read to the end and find out what was going on, (spoilers blanked out – highlight to read) but I was annoyed that you don’t ever seem to get a proper answer, and the end left me wanting to read more, which I suppose is sometimes a good thing! But I would still recommend the book to people – not necessarily for younger readers because of some of the distressing content and dealing with death. I would have given it an 8 or 8.5 if it had continued in the same branch as the beginning, but the second half knocked it down to a 7 for me.
The Returned by Jason Mott – 5/10 – Another book that deals with death! Gosh, I had it in for death this month! This time, the dead were returning though, so looking at it from a different angle. This was another that had an interesting premise but didn’t quite live up to it. Harold and Lucille are couple entering their old age – their son Jacob drowned on his eighth birthday more than 40 years ago, but one night he turns up on their doorstep with a government official. All over the world, the same thing is happening. No one knows why they’re returning from the dead or how, or if they’re even ‘real people’. Lucille and Harold are torn between believing he’s their son or some product of the devil, but they take him back into their home. But soon, society can no longer hold all these people who are returning, and something needs to be done. There are upheavals from those who believe they are unnatural and should be killed again, and those who want to save them. Unfortunately, the book went, again, in a direction I didn’t want it to, with too much ‘action’ and less of focus on the ‘why’. I wanted to know what was going on and why it was happening, but there wasn’t a lot to answer this question, and I found myself skimming parts to reach the end. It was unfortunate because I really wanted to like this book and the characters were great, but it just didn’t work for me.
Will You Love Me? by Cathy Glass – 8.5/10 – Of course I was going to like this book – it’s by Cathy Glass, who I’ve said before is one of my favourite authors, and focused in particular on the daughter that she fostered and later adopted. This is Lucy’s story – Lucy has appeared in nearly every one of Cathy’s books, and she believes that her and Lucy were meant to be mother and daughter. So it’s only natural that I’d want to hear the story of how they found each other. Like all of Cathy’s stories, it’s a heart-wrenching tale of a little girl who was not treated how she should have been, and the troubles she faced being brought into care. There isn’t much more to say about it, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes these sort of books.
Sia by Josh Grayson – 6.5/10 – I really went for the YA books this month, but at least this one’s not about death! Sia wakes up on a park bench with absolutely no idea where she is, who she is or how she ended up there. She wanders for a while until stumbling across a homeless community where she is taken under the wing of a kindly lady for a week, until she is hit by a car, taken to hospital and found by her family. And it turns out that her family is the complete opposite of homeless, one of the most renowned families in LA. She soon finds out that her old life is nothing like she thought it would be – the old her was focused on her appearance, being popular and mean. Deciding she doesn’t like this, she sets out to right her wrongs and change her life for the better. It’s a very cliche type of story, but a really nice, easy read. One of those ones where everything is bad, but the main character will change her life and put the world to right, literally.
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