You Think It, I’ll Say It: ARC Review

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You know those books you rate a medium score and then keep thinking about, months, years later, only to realise you enjoyed them much more than you thought you did at first? And the more you think about them, the more you like them? (Or is it just me?) Curtis Sittenfeld’s book Eligible was like that for me. I read it a while ago, and rated it 3 stars but now I can’t stop thinking about it, and wondering why I didn’t give it a full 5. So anyway, when Netgalley offered me an ARC of her next book You Think It, I’ll Say It, a collection of short stories set to be realeased in April, I gladly accepted without even checking what it was about.

So first of all, thanks to NetGalley and the author for providing me with an ARC of their book in exchange for a honest review, I really appreciate!

Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Genre: short stories, realistic fiction
Release date: April 24th
My rating: ★★★★☆

Thoughts:

This collection of short stories is what I would call realistic fiction, or slice of life, a genre that I don’t read a lotf of, but always end up really enjoying because it is usually extremely relatable. It does not have a magical happy ending, but instead, shows hard working characters that can live a life just like you. You think it, I’ll say it has stories about sex, growing up, and mixed opportunities. It shows divorced couples and single moms, among other stories featuring some celebrities, but mostly people just like you and me. I read this book really quickly, and I couldn’t put it down because I always wanted to know what the next story would contain.

Overall, I found the stories relatable just like I like it. My only regret is that it didn’t have more LGBT+ context (because for some reason, I was expecting this). One of the stories is featuring a lesbian couple with two kids which I absolutely loved, this story really spoke to me. And another story contains a character who has all the potential to be ace though this was never stated, so that’s too bad in my opinion, even though it was nice to see different characters.

In the end, yes I would recommend this book. It’s a quick read with relatable characters, and if you have read it, I would love to hear your opinion!

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January 2018 Wrap Up

Ratings:

Wonder Woman vol.3: Iron by Brian Azarello ★★★★☆
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher ★★★★★
Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me by Lily Collins ★★★★☆ (book talk)
You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld (ARC provided by NetGalley, RTC) ★★★★☆
Mémoires d’une jeune fille rangée by Simone de Beauvoir ★★★☆☆
Le vrai lieu by Annie Ernaux ★★★★★
30 ans (10 ans de thérapie) by Nora Hamzawi ★★★☆☆
Le Pacte autobiographique by Philippe Lejeune ★★★★☆

Unfiltered: I Talk About Lily Collins’ Autobiography

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As some of you may or may not know, I am studying autobiographies and memoirs for my master thesis this year (more precisely, I am working on The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, and Mémoire de Fille by Annie Ernaux). So of course, I have to read more memoirs, more or less similar to those I am studying and one of my latest picks was Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me by Lily Collins, which was published in 2017. One of my friends was surprised to hear that Lily Collins had already written a (sort of) autobiography, since she is still in her twenties. However, I do believe books like this one are important, because people in their twenties can relate to them and their authors more than to autobiographies written later in one’s life. Of course, people in their sixties, for example, would have more to say in such a book, but this is not necessarily what everyone needs to read, or what everyone can relate to, which is exactly why I enjoyed this book.

I really like Lily Collins as an actress, but I have to admit I didn’t know much about her. Through this book, she opens her heart to the reader. She talks not only about her insecurities, which is something we all have, but also about her mental disorders, which is something that not only speaks to me on many levels, but also should be discussed more because it is often disregarded and misunderstood. Lily Collins went through anorexia and bulimia as well as anxiety, and she depicts it in a very moving, heartwarming way. To be honest, at the end of the book, I felt really hopeful about my future, which is something that doesn’t happen really often these days, and the very reason why I would definitely recommend this book.

Unfiltered is full of anecdotes, wise words and stories about Collins’ life and her family. It is divided in chapters focusing on different aspects of her life and struggles, from when she grew up, til the time she was filming Okja in Korea, which is around the time she finished writing her memoir. It is full of pictures and inspiring words.

Overall, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars, and I definitely think I should reread this one. It’s such a feel-good book, and there are too little of those ♥

Thoughts on the Blackheath Duology

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I absolutely love books about witches, but I have to admit I don’t read enough of them. I read a few books by Gabriella Lepore, and really enjoyed them, and now I finally picked up some of her work again, and I’m truly glad I did. This duology had been on my TBR for quite some time, and actually the first book also had been on my kindle for a while, but I only just now took the time to read it, and I don’t regret it. I am so busy with work and classes and my thesis these days, it is nice to have some lighter reads as well.

Book 1: Blackheath
Book 2: Blackheath Resurrection
Author: Gabriella Lepore
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Oftomes Publication
My rating: ★★★★☆

The story:

Maggie is an orphan who lives in the small town of Blackheath, sharing a room in a dorm with her best friend Isla. Blackheath seems to be a pretty boring town, and all Maggie ever has to worry about is being on time in class (and maybe her crush on Joel  Tomlinson, who used to be her best friend… Not that she’ll admit it to anyone.)

Suddenly, a new boys shows up at school, and everyone seems to be enticed with him. Except Maggie. Who suddenly finds herself spending more and more time with Joel, after accusing him of being a witch – which he actually is – in front of the entire class.

My opinion:

My apologies for the very bad summary, I didn’t want to give too much away.

Overall the story is simple, but since managed to surprise me in some great ways. It has magic, and well-developed romance. It also deals with the issues of family and friends which is something I always enjoy in books. It’s well-written and it’s a quick read, so I would definitely recommend it.

The duology is told through two different point of views – Joel and Maggie – which really complete each really well in my opinion, and give the reader a broader view on the story. The plot also contains a “chosen one” trope however I absolutely loved how it was dealt with. It seems typical at first (because you know, it’s a trope we have seen pretty much everywhere from Harry Potter to Percy Jackson) but for starters, the story doesn’t evolve about the chosen one which is an interesting twist, and it also shows that family is valuable even more than chosen ones, however messed up your family can be.

Blackheath and its sequel also contains a very interesting redemption arc which surprised me in the best possible way, and great twists until the end. It was definitely an enjoyable read. As soon as I finished the first book, I knew I had to dive into the second one as soon as I could!

As it seems, I am not able to make a proper review these days, so I will just stop there. If you have read this book, I would love to discuss it in the comments!

Turtles All The Way Down: My Review

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Don’t give up on me just yet, I’m still trying to post on here from time to time, and today I am here with a book review! I have read all the John Green books and really enjoyed them, so of course I was really anticipating his new book Turtles all the way down. To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect because I grew a lot since his previous releases, and I wasn’t sure I would like this one quite as much. However, when I learnt that it was going to deal with mental illness, I knew I had to pick it up.

Title: Turtles All The Way Down
Author: John Green
Release: October 2017
Genre: YA, Mystery
My rating: ★★★★★

What the book is about:

The main character, Aza, deals with OCD and doesn’t know how to get out of her spirals of thoughts. When millionaire Russell Pickett disappears, leaving his two sons and his tuatara behind in his mansion, Aza’s best friend decides that they have to reconnect with Davis, Russell’s oldest son who used to be friend with Aza, and the two girls try to pierce the mystery of his disappearance.

My thoughts:

Honestly, the story didn’t sound like much, but I did love the book.

The first thing I noticed is how much John Green’s style has matured, and I’m so glad it has. The book is extremely well-written, and therefore really enjoyable to read.

MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

I also liked how it dealt with money issues. Aza lives alone with her mom, after her father died in an accident, but they do have money.  However, her best friend Daisy comes from a family with several kids, works a part-time job and is worried about her college fund, so when the reward is announced for any information concerning Pickett’s disappearance, she wants to go for it. But not just for fun, she wants to use the money to go to college. Now that’s an issue I’m not really familiar with, on the one hand because college education isn’t that expensive in my country, and on the other hand because it has never really been an issue with my family. However, I know it’s a problem for a lot of people, and it’s unfortunately something I don’t get to see a lot in books, so I’m glad John Green decided to address it here.

And of course, I loved the mental illness aspect of the book. What makes it powerful in my opinion is the fact that John Green also has OCD, and it’s the first time he addressed this very important issue in a book. No wonder it took him so long to publish a new story. And I’m so glad he decided to write it. I don’t have OCD but I do have depression and anxiety, and you have no idea how much I could recognize myself in Aza’s spirals of thoughts. And it feels to good to be able to read such a relatable character.

I definitely appreciate that we didn’t get a “love saves it all” ending because falling in love doesn’t cure mental illness, and I will never say that enough. I think the romance aspect of the story was well-executed and very realistic. Turtles all the way down feels like a coming of age story, and more than this, it feels like my kind of coming of age stories, and we need more books like this.

In addition, and this is something I like more and more in books, was the way it dealt with friendships and family. Aza and Daisy’s friendship is not perfect. They are very different though complete each other. They have their fights, they make up, and I think that in the fight with mental illness, friendship can be your best ally. Of course, that’s not all you need. But I loved that aspect of the story.

And finally, I couldn’t conclude this review without talking a little bit more about how Aza deals with her OCD. She sees a therapist, and doesn’t see how it helps. She is scared of taking her meds because she is afraid it will make her not her anymore. And I have those fears myself sometimes. Dealing with mental illness is a restless fight day after day. But I promise that seeing a therapist and taking your meds can help.

Meanwhile, I definitely recommend you check out Turtles all the way down, because it’s a fantastic book. And if you liked it, I can also recommend A Quiet Kind of Thunder because it also deals with similar issues and it’s a very wonderful book (review here).