Monthly Reading: January

Book Reviews, lifestyle

As I mentioned in my resolutions post, I want to read two books a month in 2018. I’m currently subscribed to Book of the Month, which I love, but I’ve gotten a little behind with my reading so it is on hold for now until I catch up. Both of the books I read in January were BOTM books and so far they haven’t disappointed.

The first book I read was Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong.

Goodbye, Vitamin, by Rachel Khong.

It was kind of a coming-of-age story but about a young woman named Ruth in her twenties instead of pubescent teenagers. Ruth is at a junction in her life where she is dealing with a recent breakup as well as family issues that lead her to move back in with her parents. It is one of those books where you don’t realize the big picture until it’s over. I had a firm grasp on what was going on throughout the book, but it wasn’t until I finished it that I was like, oh shit, I get it now. It was a beautiful story and nothing at all what I thought it would be when I first received it.

The second book was Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

This one was definitely my favorite of the month. Recently, Jessica Knoll has become one of my favorite authors (I wrote about her debut novel, The Luckiest Girl Alive, and I’m eagerly awaiting her next novel) and this was a book that she had recommended, so when I saw it as an option, I went ahead and ordered it from BOTM even though I already had an impressive stack of novels yet to be read.

Eleanor is such an interesting character, and I loved every second I got to spend in her head. She is complex and endearing even though I’m certain I would dislike her very much if I ever crossed paths with her in real life. Eleanor is a creature of habit, but throughout this book, she takes measures to examine her past and try new things and meet new people. She reminded me that it really is never too late to change the course of your life. No matter what has happened to you or impeded the plans you had for your life, you can overcome it with enough perseverance and gumption.

I highly recommend both of these books, and I hope this kind of post is something I continue throughout this year (as long as I keep my resolution to read more).


Luckiest Girl Alive: A Review

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

I haven’t been doing so well with my resolution to read more. Since January, I’ve only read two books. This past week, I read Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll, and it is so beautiful. I can already tell that it will be one of those books that you pick up year after year to read again.

I first heard of this book through a weekly newsletter that I am subscribed to. For those who don’t know, I am OBSESSED with Lena Dunham (blog post to come, I’m sure). She and one of the producers of Girls, Jenni Konner, started an online newsletter called Lenny Letter. Knoll wrote a piece in one of the issues a year ago today about her book. In the Lenny Letter, Knoll talked openly about how her personal experience with sexual assault led to the idea of her novel (you can read her piece here). She was so open and raw in her piece that, without even knowing anything else about her book, I had to read it. And on one fine day, I found myself once again strolling the aisles of Target when a familiar book cover caught my eye. I’m so glad it did, because I instantly fell in love.

The novel follows the soon-to-be Ani Harrison (formerly TifAni FaNelli), who strives to recreate herself in an attempt to alter people’s perception of who she was. She is a senior editor at The Women’s Magazine which is most comparable to our Cosmopolitan, and is engaged to the attractive, blue-blooded Luke Harrison. It would appear as though she has the perfect life, but very quickly you can tell that there is something unnerving about her. Throughout most of the novel, the reader is left in the dark about Ani’s past, but through small glimpses and memories, we slowly begin to understand the dark and twisted person that we’ve been unapologetically subjected to. Knoll creates a very realistic mindset that we get to experience throughout the entirety of the book.

Personally, I felt an instant (yet frightening) connection with Ani because her internal monologue mirrored my own in a dark way. Perhaps it is just a testament to Knoll’s writing that her readers can understand her character so well, or perhaps I should seek professional help. Either way, I definitely miss Ani’s quick wit and dark humor.

It is beautiful, inspiring, and suspenseful. I have told all (two) of my friends about this novel, and now I urge all of you to do the same.

Carve the Mark: A Review

Book Reviews

I would like to start a series of book reviews, since another one of my goals this year is to read more. Ever since I started college, my leisurely reading has dwindled. I used to go through a book a week, and now I’ve been stuck on the same book since Christmas. So, I went and bought some books that I had been meaning to read and will be posting reviews as I read them.

Today’s review will be on Veronica Roth’s Carve the Mark, which came out the end of January. I have always loved young adult fiction, though I am trying to branch out a little with my reading. There is just something about these kinds of books that suck you into something you never could have imagined. I’m a little biased since the Divergent series is one of my favorites, but this book was incredible. I’m still trying to mull it over. I didn’t think it was possible for Roth to create a world even more complex than the one within Divergent, but she did. Carve the Mark covers so much ground, but it never felt like it was too much. She has a very clear writing style so there isn’t extra fluff and I’m not left feeling confused about what just happened.

Carve the Mark is a dystopian novel about two (out of three) “fated” rival families. In this universe, which runs on a current (I would most easily compare this to the Force in Star Wars), your fates are decided when you are born. Only certain people know the fates of everyone, and you learn of your fate once you are at an appropriate age and have developed your currentgift (think back to the Force). In this novel, the fates are released across the universe so everyone knows everyone else’s fates, like how they will die or something they might overcome. Cyra and Akos are the two main characters in this novel, and the perspective switches between them throughout the book. I usually don’t like this approach, but because both of the characters were so unique, it wasn’t hard to keep track of whose mind we were in.

One of the greatest aspects of Roth’s books is her characterization. They seem so real; they have real pain, real pasts, real emotion. Good characters are what make a story. The plot could be complete shit, but if you have real characters with actual dimension, there’s at least something to work with.

I don’t want to give away too much, because I really loved this story. There’s action, violence (actually pretty gruesome at times—I was impressed), and of course, romance.

I hope you enjoy this review and choose to check this book out. This has been my first ever book review, so I’m sorry if it’s a little all over the place. Hopefully, I’ll get better as I go along. In the meantime, thanks for reading!

**Side note: I just love when authors use their title within the story, and the first time it came up, it was like the perfect puzzle piece falling into place in my mind. Sorry, I just had to share 🙂