Quick Reviews #2

In the past two weeks I was really lucky, because almost every book I picked up was really cool. I initially wanted to do separate reviews for these books, but a few of them were so mind-blowing that I was almost scared of reviewing them. And before I knew it there were five books on my review list. So I decided to review all of them in one post.

1.White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi- I don’t even know where to start with this book. It’s so weird, there’s nothing else quite like it out there. It’s the story of a house and the people who live in it. The house is not just a symbol for the life of this family, it has it’s own consciousness and control over the people in it. The twins Miranda and Eliot, try to accept their mother’s death. Miranda also struggles with an eating disorder called pica. She craves thing that are not considered edible, like chalk. And strange things happen in the house. But everything changes when Miranda leaves for college. I don’t know what else to say about the plot. This is not a very plot-driven book, it has other qualities. It’s a beautifully written book, even though the strange style requires some patience, so I can see why some may disagree. It’s also very atmospheric, with a Gothic feel, even though it’s set in modern times. It’s a horror book that doesn’t feel like regular horror. It’s aim is not to shock you and scare you. It’s to pull you slowly into the creepy and strange atmosphere and leave you thinking about all of the questions that are left unanswered.

2. The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry- This gorgeous and unusual young adult book was published only a few weeks ago, but I have a feeling that many people are already putting it on their ‘Best of 2016’ lists. The young adult genre can sometimes feel repetitive, with many authors recycling the same old tropes, but this book gives something unique. The main character is a girl called Natalie and she’s having her last summer break before college. And then she sees Grandmother again, after three years without a word from her. Grandmother is a godlike being that has appeared in Natalie’s dreams since childhood and told her stories. This time, however, Grandmother tells her to “save him”, without giving much more information about exactly who “he” is. And then Natalie meets a beautiful boy named Beau. I loved this book and the only thing that made me give it four stars instead of five is that sometimes the dialogue felt unnatural and I was reminded that I was reading a book. But other than that it was awesome.

3. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami- My favorite part of the Hunger Games is the beginning of the actual Games, where everyone is scared and suspicious. Some form alliances, others hide and don’t trust anyone. Battle Royale is all that. It’s over 600 pages of teenagers fighting and killing with various weapons, such as a sickle, a knife or a machine gun. It’s set in a fascist Japan, where rock music is illegal and not liking the national sport is considered having rebellious ideas. Yeah, it takes a leap of faith to trust the world that it’s set in, but it’s still really cool. I loved the cheesy dialogue during some of the fights. I also found it morbidly funny how the sociopath who actually liked killing got the deadliest weapon. Yeah, I am a horrible person. And now some HUGE SPOILERS: I didn’t really like the ending. It was just too unbelievable. More than anything else in the book. And I kinda liked the part where Shogo pretends to betray and kill the two remaining students. It was tragic and shocking, but a really good ending. Another good ending would have been if their plan failed so the boys sacrifice for Noriko and she wins. Maybe I just like tragedy too much. END OF SPOILERS

4. BITCHfest- This is a book of feminist essays that were published in BITCH magazine. It was very informative and it highlights some very important issues that women face today. Of course I didn’t agree completely with every essay, because they were written by many different authors and covered different issues, but I did agree with most of them. I recommend this to every woman. And man. Men need feminism too. So I recommend this to everyone.

5. Guilt Trip by Maggy Farrell- Melissa is diagnosed with Survivor Syndrome after surviving a car accident in which her mother died. But when she goes to a holiday she starts seeing things that are not there. She is not sure if she’s hallucinating or there’s something stranger going on here. And it seems that the key to the mystery is the handsome, older Luke. This was just meh. I wasn’t shocked by the big twist because I saw it from miles away. There weren’t many hints towards it, but it’s a thing you just assume after having read a few good thrillers. The plot was not well planned and by the end of it, it kinda seems that the author brushes aside everything that happened just to deliver a plot twist. It was not believable at all.