| Books & Reviews |

August MiniReviews (with not so mini topics!)

All The Bright Places

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Having been massively bigged up by my sister, I went into All The Bright Places very optimistically, and I must say, I wasn’t disappointed.

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One-sentence summary:

Having met on the verge of committing suicide, Violet Markey, and Theodore Finch find great inspiration in eachother, and their wandering around Illinois, as they both try to make the most of their upturned lives.

What I liked:

  • The rogue facts about suicide dispersed through the story were actually really interesting, and ramped up the tension as the novel drew to its peak.
  • The plotline – although with few vainglorious boasts, it had amazing moments of warmth, and emotion.
  • VIOLET AND FINCH were two very well-written protagonists, and Niven made sure we cared about them enough to DEFEND THEM WITH OUR LIVES *clutches at fictional characters and stares intently*
  • This book really inspires and although I HATE IT AT THE SAME TIME FOR WHAT IT DID TO ME MENTALLY, I loved Finch’s hobbies and past-times. I immediately wanted to create a random wall of post-it notes (who knows what I’d write on them though?!), learn how to play the guitar (even with my lack of musical talent), and randomly wander around my area (I can go stare at the GREAT ABYSS OF NOTHING HAPPENING).
  • The fact that it’s a popular, hyped book that deals with mental illness – this tends to be under-represented in the fictional world.
  • The Dr. Seuss “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” references were BEAUTIFUL/MAGICAL/EVERYTHING I’D HOPED FOR.

What I didn’t like so much:

  • THE ENDING?! *wails*
  • I can’t believe I’m going to say it, but it was cliché in places. The whole “weirdo meets girl at school, freaks her out at first, then they start to like eachother” trope has been done 32941021 times already. BUT, that being said, it was such a well-written plot I’LL LET IT SLIDE.
  • The secondary characters kind of fell to the back of the novel. I mean, I’m not complaining that 98% of my adoration was with Finch and Violet, but it would have been cool to have slightly more depth to the others!

*now hides from the blog-a-sphere for saying anything bad about their baby, ATBP*

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Favourite Quotation:

“She wraps her arm around me like it’s second nature, and I lean into her and she leans into me until we make up one leaning person.”

Rating?

All The Bright Places Overall4.5/5 stars

4.5 stars

Recommend?

UM, of course?! ARE YOU SANE. DID I EVEN NEED TO ASK THIS QUESTION?


Brainwalker

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*I received a free copy of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Mundell & Lacast’s debut novel was penned considerately, and was a quick and enjoyable read – easy to follow, and packing a whole host of thought-provoking facts and concepts. Whilst the book seemed to be aimed at a YA audience, I think it would pretty much appeal to anyone 12+.

One-sentence summary:

Bernard heads inside his father’s brain, and is stunned by the civilisation that lies within – we follow him as he attempts to save his dad (from the inside), and absorb as much information as possible for his science project at the same time.

What I liked:

The world-building was pretty sublime; it was SO COOL to contextualise the brain in this way, and learn about it at the same time.
The characters were provocative, and captivating – all pretty well developed, and interesting enough to follow. They sometimes became a little unrealistic, but hey the whole plot revolves around a wormhole into the brain (unrealistic in itself), so it’s acceptable in my books, and not something to dwell over!
The whole concept was incredibly clever in itself.
– There was a good conglomeration of humour, with drama, and (FINALLY) NO ROMANCE FOR A YA BOOK *cheers*
THE ILLUSTRATIONS WERE ALL SO REFRESHING TO SEE – it’s been too long since I’ve read a book that isn’t afraid to support the plotline with pictures!

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What I didn’t like so much:

The ending was a little abrupt for my liking, but I did like where the story closed.
– I’m no scientist, but I always thought that the left/right brain theory was disproved? Hmm, I’m not sure, but I won’t hold it against the book because they utilised the brain so well in other areas.
– I couldn’t help but compare the Holons (residents of the brain) to the characters in Inside Out. I’M A TODDLER AT HEART.

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Favourite quotation:

“Resentment is like swallowing poison, then waiting for your adversary to die.”

Rating?Brainwalker Overall3.5/5 stars

3.5 stars

Recommend?

Yes, and no. It’s a deserving quick read with an absorbing plot and likeable characters, but I wouldn’t tell anyone to move it to the top of their TBR’s. That being said, I really enjoyed the book, and with their ability to conjure gripping plots with an easy-going writing style, I’m looking forward to what Mundell and Lacast have to offer in the future!


 Highly Illogical Behaviour

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This is the first book I’ve read from Corey Whaley, and I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by it; I definitely would pick up another (and yes, I’m eyeing up Noggin, because who wouldn’t be hopeful of a plot involving head preservation?). A warm, summer contemporary with characters that you root for, and an introspective look into mental illness. WHY AM I READING SO MANY MENTAL ILLNESS BOOKS RECENTLY?! I didn’t plan this, I swear.

One-sentence summary:

We join Solomon, an introverted 16 year old with a mental disability, who hasn’t left the house in 3 years, as he makes a friend in Lisa; she’s college-conscious and attempting to “cure” Solomon, so she can write an essay about it, winning the scholarship of her dreams.

What I liked:

  • CLARK AND SOLOMON’s “relationship” *possessively bats away Lisa*
  • The writing-style was easy-going, and understandable, which aided the conveyance of a pretty warming plotline.
  • The progression of all of the characters was pretty great; it’s unusual for a YA contemporary to be able to divide time/backstory/energy between more than 2 characters, so I was very appreciative.
  • The fact that Solomon owned an Adventure Time chess-set, and my new-found DESIRE to purchase one. I just relate to that show on a SPIRITUAL LEVEL.

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What I didn’t like so much:

  • The story became semi-unrealistic at points; if I hadn’t left the house for 3 years , I don’t think I’d be half as welcoming as Solomon was (especially to Lisa…)
  • Which brings me on to how much I disliked Lisa. SHE WAS SO ARROGANT AND ANNOYINGLY SELF-RIGHTEOUS. In places, I wanted to scream. And my, oh my, was I happy when Janis stood up for herself.

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Favourite Quotations:

“She also knew that there were a lot of people in the world who regretted never doing the things they felt were right because they were afraid of seeming strange or crazy. Lisa wouldn’t settle for that sort of mediocre existence, one bound by invisible social cues.”


“There are no boring places, only boring people”

Rating?

Highly Illogical Behaviour Overall

3.5/5 stars

3.5 stars

Recommend?

Give it a go, I think it’s worth it!


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10 thoughts on “August MiniReviews (with not so mini topics!)

  1. Ooooo I love your little header thingies for the books!
    Okayyyyyyyy, I haven’t read any of these. Nikki loved All the Bright Places (like, seriously loved it), so I KEEP MEANING TO READ IT BUT HELLO 600-SOMETHING TBR HAS 600 OTHER BOOKS ON IT TOO.
    And I LOVE the cover for the third book. GAH, TT, YOU’RE GOING TO MAKE ME ADD TO MY TBR. I’M TRYING NOT TO DO THAT.
    -Amy

    Like

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