I am conscious that the last few posts have either been lists or non-book related thoughts. As this blog is primarily a book blog, I thought it would be nice to just do a final round-up of the last few books I've read.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Sáenz
This was such a beautiful book about family, friendship, growing up and beginning to figure out who you are. For a start, I love the names Aristotle and Dante so I was immediately on their side. The writing was wonderfully poetic and the characters were loveable. Most contemporary YA is about maturing and having mini-breakthroughs. Occasionally it can get tiresome but this story was handled so delicately and lovingly. Yes, it was a book filled with love and it's a great book if you are searching for diverse reads.
First and foremost, the hardback is lovely. The pages are thick and glossy, the colours stand out, and there are loads of pictures. As for the actual writing...BRILLIANT! In a similar vein to Bossypants, there's a mix of memories and advice. I really found Amy's advice helpful - from the very beginning when she advises on saying 'yes please', to smaller nuggets such as a career is something that often happens to you rather than something you sit down and plan at 18 and then carve out (I'm paraphrasing). Anyway, I'd recommend this to absolutely everyone - regardless of age, sex, background, whatever.
We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride
Wow. I was blown away by this book. It reminded me of the film Crash in the way that all of the characters are connected by this one, horrible event. I think the thing that got me was the truth and humanity within the story and I had a lump in my throat throughout most of the story. Nobody's perfect but we just try to do the best for our loved ones and ourselves. Bashkim and Luis will stay with me for a long time.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
For me, this was just ok. I think it started off strongly and the world-building was brilliant in the beginning but then it went off on a tangent and by the time we got back to the original quest, I was a little bit lost and little bit bored. However, I would never describe myself as a gamer, so perhaps I'm not the target audience. A few of the cultural references made me chuckle though and the world in which Wade resides highlights an important question about how far we're going to go with this whole internet thing.
Even in Paradise by Chelsey Philpot
It took a while for me to get into this one, probably because I'm not much of a Brideshead fan (I tried but I just wasn't into it). Also, I continually saw comparisons between Even in Paradise and The Great Gatsby but I didn't really get that vibe. Anyway, I think generally I prefer to just read about the rich and troubled rather than through the eyes of an outsider, however by the end I didn't want it to finish. Just as Charlotte grew to love the Buchanan family, so did I. It was dreamy and melancholy in just the right way. Oh and Charlotte herself was a great character. I will definitely read Chelsey Philpot's next offering.