Book Reviews

How to Love by Katie Cotugno

How to Love is about a girl named Reena who has always loved Sawyer. They form a complicated relationship made messier when Sawyer leaves without a word. Heartbroken and pregnant Reena adjusts to life without Sawyer, until suddenly and unexpectedly Sawyer shows up again.  

This book alternates between the present and the past. Cotugno does a great job of blending the two time periods together in a way that makes sense and complements the story.

I found the characters a tad annoying but I also couldn’t help but to care for them. I spent a good half of this book wanting to strangle Sawyer and the other half desperately wanting to like him, and little bit of it genuinely liking him (I know, my math doesn’t add up).

Overall How to Love is a pretty good story.

My Rating: 3/5

Book Reviews

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall is the story of Sam, a popular mean girl. One day after a party Sam dies, only to find herself reliving that same day seven times.

For about the first half of the book I couldn’t stand Sam. She’s selfish and mean so so mean. However, by the end of the book she’s grown so much that she’s almost an entirely new person – someone who I was rooting for. This is not a book I would describe as great – it can be frustrating at times – but it was worth reading.

Immediately after finishing this book I watched the movie version. Not a good idea. So much of the story was completely dropped in the movie. You don’t get to hear Sam’s inner monologue, you don’t get to really know her, to know her guilt. Skip the movie, read the book.

My Rating: 2.5/5

Book Reviews

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

Lucy wants nothing more than to find Shadow, a mysterious graffiti artist. On the last night of her senior year she ends up on an all night adventure to find Shadow; with the help of Ed, a guy she hasn’t seen since an awkward date two years prior. 

Graffiti Moon is an incredible and artistic novel. The characters are intriguing and complex. The writing is absolutely stunning, completely lyrical. This story shocked me, made me laugh, and wish it wouldn’t end.

My Rating: 5/5

Book Reviews, Mental Health

Letting Ana Go by Anonymous

Letting Ana Go is a story about a teenage girl who develops an eating disorder. The story is told through a series of journal entries from the main character.

This book does a great job of highlighting how easy it could be to develop anorexia without even realizing it; as well as how difficult recovery can be. The story is very well done and intriguing.

I do advise caution when deciding to read Letting Ana Go or recommending it to someone else; this book could be very triggering.

My Rating: 4/5

Book Reviews

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This Is Where It Ends is follows four high school students as one of their classmates takes their school hostage in a deadly shooting. 

This is such an emotional story; following these characters as they experience something so harrowing. Nijkamp does an incredible job of bringing these characters to life. It’s a great book with diverse characters and a compelling storyline.

My Rating: 4/5

Book Reviews

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

The Rules of Magic is a prequel to Hoffman’s beloved Practical Magic. In this novel we get to know the aunts – Franny and Jet – and their brother Vincent. As the Owens siblings begin to learn about their family secrets they face various challenges.

This book is phenomenal! The characters and storyline are great. I found this book to be very emotional; this is the kind of book that makes you want to fall in love, even if it’ll end in heartbreak.

My Rating: 5/5

Book Reviews

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of Achilles follows the story of exiled prince Patroclus and hero Achilles. We see how their friendship develops over years and the trials they face from family and war. 

It’s a good story, although I did find it rather slow paced. The ending is so emotional, it had me bawling, despite that by then I quite disliked Achilles, pride is not a good look.

My Rating: 2/5

Book Reviews

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr is a black girl from a poor neighbourhood who attends a mostly white private school. She has different personas for her school life and her home life, the line between these personas blurs after Starr witness her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer. 

The Hate U Give is a phenomenal book. This is such an important story; and extremely well written. I have so many feeling about this book and no words for them.

This book will make you angry, and it will make you cry. I lost track of how many times I had to put this book down in order to get my crying under control.

My Rating: 5/5

Book Reviews

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is about Offred, a woman living in a newly formed social order. Offred can remember what life was like before, now she struggles to find her place in a society where her only purpose is to bred. 

This is the first Margaret Atwood book I’ve ever read. I don’t love her writing style, I found there was a little too much attention to unnecessary details. However, the premise of The Handmaid’s Tale is so phenomenal that the writing almost doesn’t matter.

The best and worst thing about this book is how easy it is to picture Offred’s world becoming our world.The Handmaid’s world is composed of events that have actually happened.

My Rating: 4/5

Book Reviews

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is about two boys who meet at the pool and form the unlikeliest of bonds. Ari and Dante are very different, yet somehow their friendship just works, despite all of the hardships they go through.

This novel is very emotional. They story will have you crying and laughing, sometimes at the same time. I believe most people will relate to either Ari or Dante. So much about this story is relatable that there is something in it for everyone.

Personally I found a lot of myself in Ari, which is a little sad. However, it’s nice to know there is someone who could relate to me, even if they are a fictional character.

My Rating: 5/5