I am 10 books ahead of schedule on my Goodreads challenge. Clearly I underestimated the free time I would have this year 😛 Here’s all the books I read in July:
Y: The Last Man, Volume 1: Unmanned by Brian K. Vaughan (3/5 stars)
This is a comic in which a mysterious plague kills every single male on the planet, humans and animals both, except for the main character, Yorick and his (male) pet monkey. I started reading it because it was recommended by the hosts of the Only Stupid Answers podcast, which is perfect if you’re interested in geeky movies, TV shows and comics. The concept of the story is fascinating, but the execution is a huge disappointment. In a world where there is only one man, the story still manages to be sexist. I am going to finish the series, because listening to the way the hosts talked about it made me excited for the rest of the story. I just hope that the portrayal of women improves.
Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson (5/5 stars)
This book follows the main character, Emily as she completes a bucket list of sorts that has been left behind by her best friend, Sloane, who disappeared without any notice. I originally gave this book a four star rating, but I went back and rated it five stars, because I really enjoyed. I could relate to Emily so much, the way she sits backs and kind of hides behind her more extroverted best friend. I also like how she deals with losing her best friend, and how she would do anything to find her. The reason for Sloane’s disappearance was so simple, but not disappointing, and I was very surprised by that, as usually a build up such as this could very easily end up disappointing. I also liked the use of flashbacks and playlists in the story. Besides Emily and Sloane, the other characters were awesome, and interesting in their own right. I couldn’t recommend this book enough.
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (5/5 stars)
The tagline of this book is “The story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die”. That’s pretty accurate. This was one of three heartbreaking books I read this month. I had a HUGE hangover after I finished this book. I know that a lot of people didn’t like the book because they felt that the characters were nothing but their illness. I understand this to a certain extent, but sometimes when you are suffering from a mental illness, your illness can define you. It sucks, but it is true. This book was honest and real, and reading the author’s afterword also made me tear up. I loved it so much. Most of the time the most heartbreaking books are the best ones, and that is definitely the case for this book.Theodore Finch is an amazing character and I love him and feel for him so much. And that ending just killed me, but I understood it and why it happened.
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson (4/5 stars)
This was the perfect book to read after finishing All The Bright Places. It’s about a girl, Taylor, and her family who move to the lake house they haven’t been to n five years because their father is suffering from cancer and he wanted one last summer together. When Taylor arrives, she realizes that she needs to deal with people she hasn’t seen for five years, and who she didn’t really treat well the last time she was there. I loved this book because the main focus was on Taylor and her family, and it was so refreshing. The three siblings aren’t very close, but they all want to make an effort for their dad, and it is kinda awesome how they all come together and make such beautiful relationships among them from a situation that is terrible. This book also made me go give my dad a hug after I was done.
Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill (4/5 stars)
This book is set in a dystopian future where girls are “manufactured” to be either wives or concubines to all the men, and it follows Freida as she navigates the last few months before “graduating” and being chosen, and her relationship with Isabel, who is kinda her former best friend/frenemy. Their relationship is beyond complicated. OMG THIS BOOK. I have no words. This was the second heartbreaking book of the month. I am conflicted by both this book and Louise O’Neill’s other book, Asking For It. I love them both, but the stories are so fucked up that saying that I love them makes me feel like a bad person. I don’t know if any of this is making sense. Everything in this book is relevant to today. It sounds crazy, but it is true. The sexism, racism, homophobia, constant need for approval from people who shouldn’t matter and the behavior of girls towards other girls is just so real and accurate that it makes me really sad. Obviously the issues are much more overt and out there in the book, but they’re so relevant to the problems different groups of people face today. I loved this book so much, but I took one star off the rating because I wish the relationship between Frieda and Isabel was explored more. Isabel was barely in the book, which made sense to the story, but introducing flashbacks to show the relationship between the two girls would have made this book perfect.
Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore (5/5 stars)
This comic follows the Joker as he tries to convince Batman that “all it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy”. I have so many feelings about this book. I completely related to everything the Joker was saying. “So when you find yourself locked onto an unpleasant train of thought, heading for the places in your past where the screaming is unbearable, remember there’s always madness. Madness is the emergency exit. You can just step outside, and close the door on all those dreadful things that happened to you. You can lock them away. Forever.” That quote just made me think and think and honestly, relating to the Joker so much creeped me out 😛 But the story proves Joker wrong, and I think ultimately it’s one bad day and the type of person you are that reduces you to lunacy. Some people are stronger than others, and the Joker was not strong enough. Also, despite relating to him so much, there was no way I could look past the fucked up things he did to Barbara and Commissioner Gordon. It’s a difficult book to get through but extremely interesting.
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (5/5 stars)
This book is set in France during World War II, and it follows two sisters who are very different, but both very strong women, and it’s about how they survived. This was the final heartbreaking book I read. I don’t really know where to start with this one. I’ve obviously read books set during wars before, but this was different for me because it was set in Paris, and because the women weren’t just sitting at home waiting for the men to return. They played an active part in the war, helping people, saving them and sheltering them. The only gripe I have is that some events, especially character deaths, happen so fast and abruptly that it feels weirdly paced. I am not sure if this is author’s intention or not, but I did have to go back and reread paragraphs to figure out what was happening. I loved the two main characters, and the descriptions of the consequences of war was difficult to read because it was so brutally honest. The flashbacks were also an interesting concept, especially since it isn’t clear which sister’s point of view it is being told from. I loved this book so much
I am pretty proud of myself for almost finishing my Goodreads challenge. I actually want to see if I can finish reading 50 books this year. I just need to sell a few organs to be able to afford it 😛
Reading: Check out my Goodreads widget to the left 🙂
Watching: Outlander (OMG it’s so good holy shit)
Playing: Nothing sadly, because my TV needs to be repaired 😦