April 2019 Wrap Up

bookish, Writing

Wow I’m finally posting my April wrap up almost half way through May. I’m going to be honest with you, April was kind of a fail in terms of reading. I had a lot of books that I wanted to read and I ended up reading some completely different things, and not nearly as many as I had originally planned. That being said I did still get through 6, which puts me a little over halfway to my reading goal a month before the halfway point! Let’s get into it.

Envelope Poems – Emily Dickinson: Charming charming charming. Perhaps not Emily Dickinson’s greatest work since they were mostly unfinished and unintentional but entertaining all the same. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

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Bloom – Kevin Panetta: You guys this is just so damn precious. 5 out of 5 stars!

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The Sun Is Also A Star – Nicola Yoon: I always like Nicola Yoon’s books so much more than I think I will. I liked the whole fate theme in this one. Very well written. I can’t wait to see the movie! 4 out of 5 stars.

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Invisible Monsters – Chuck Palahniuk: Pretty typical Palahniuk. I definitely didn’t guess any of the twists which I always appreciate. However it was written in the 1990s and definitely a little trans/homophobic. Overall though an interesting story and a very intriguing unlikable main character, which is what Palahniuk always does best. 3 out of 5 stars.

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Where The Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens: I love a good southern novel, plus a thriller, plus a murder mystery!? It’s like this book was made for me. I had no intention of reading it, but am so grateful that a colleague recommended it to me, because it was fantastic. 5 out of 5 stars, and added to my all time favorites.

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Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 1 – Kamome Shiraham: So super cute! I don’t have a picture of the cover since this one wasn’t on my tbr to begin with, but it is a super adorable manga about little girl witches. What’s not to love. 4 out of 5 stars. ⭐⭐⭐⭐✩

That’s it for April! Sorry for the very inconsistent posting schedule as of late. What books did you read in April?

April 2019: Rebirth

playlists

Here’s a new playlist for you all. Be reborn…just like Jesus.

  1. Bad Reputation – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  2. Sunflower – Vampire Weekend and Steve Lacy
  3. Closure – PUP
  4. Die Young – Sylvan Esso
  5. Baton vanille – Phanee de Pool
  6. In Bloom – Nirvana
  7. Where’s The Catch? – James Blake and Andre 3000
  8. 100 Bad Days – AJR
  9. The Record Player Song – Daisy The Great
  10. This Life – Vampire Weekend
  11. Morbid Stuff – PUP
  12. Walking On Air – Kerli
  13. You Yes You – Tune-Yards
  14. The Glow – Sylvan Esso
  15. Begin Again – Dispatch

Like always, playlist is available on my Spotify.

Chaos Walking Trilogy Review

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Head’s up everyone! This review contains a lot of spoilers for the “Chaos Walking” trilogy! So if you want to avoid that, click off this page now!

The last time I read a series, it was adult fantasy and was also one of my all time favorite series, the “Shades Of Magic” trilogy by V.E. Schwab. I can’t even tell you what the last YA series I read was. It was probably “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” or something. I have read so many YA apocalypse/distopia that I hated, that I’m not even sure what made me pick up Patrick Ness’s “The Knife Of Never Letting Go” in the first place. I am however very thankful that I did.

When I read the synopsis, I was feeling pretty “meh” about this one. The first book follows “almost a man,” Todd Hewitt as he escapes his hometown on New Earth, a planet that humanity escaped to once the o.g. earth’s end was inevitable, where everyone can hear each other’s thoughts and there are no women. He runs into a girl along his way named Viola Davis who crashed in a scout spaceship from a new group of settlers from the old planet earth. They end up running together, and adventure ensues as the two escape a crazy preacher, and an army. This plot develops into what becomes a civil war in the second book, and a global war in the third. I thought it seemed like a lot, but having read Ness’s “A Monster Calls,” I was hopeful.

Out of all three I think the second book was my favorite. The addition of Viola’s perspective made for an intriguing dynamic and a break from Todd’s hick dialect. I also really enjoyed the first one. The third one I could give or take, it was still well developed and entertaining but I also thing this series would have been just as powerful as a duology. In “A Monster Calls,” I was amazed by Ness’s use of metaphor, which is also found in the “Chaos Walking” trilogy. I also was impressed by Ness’s powerful character development, practicality, and themes. The development of Todd and Viola throughout the series is a big one because they are right at that young teen age where they essentially go from being children to being adults. Todd and Viola’s growth from everything they know being wrong, is enthralling and also very accurate to real life despite being on a more severe scale. I also appreciated the attention to the fact that people should not be comfortable with killing other people! I feel like a lot of times in the dystopian genre particularly. (*cough*, “The Hunger Games,” *cough*) people are murdering people and then just not having any emotions about it at all. I don’t care if they had to do it to survive, or whatever, they should still feel some residual guilt or mental turmoil over it, ESPECIALLY when they’re not doing it of their own free will. If they don’t feel torn up after that, then they’re just a straight up sociopath (*cough*, Katniss, *cough*, Everdeen, *cough*.) But I digress.

In “Chaos Walking” almost all the characters are constantly questioning where they stand morally and I appreciate that greatly. I also appreciated the awareness Todd had of his own masculinity and the fact that he had to keep it in check. For once toxic masculinity did not ruin the party because for once a straight male character was raised by two gay men and not a total piece of shit. (I mean toxic masculinity ruined the party for every other character in the book, but still.) This brings me to another thing that I really liked about this book. I went through the first two books thinking “wow, I can’t believe that he’s never going to mention that Todd’s guardians Ben and Cillian are totally gay for each other and that’s why they were able to save Todd from the toxic masculinity of this town.” Then in the third book, HE DID. And it wasn’t a big deal. It was never a secret from anyone because they can all see each other’s thoughts, they just never mentioned it because no one in this whole society thought it was a problem, and I think that is an amazing choice on Patrick Ness’s part. The whole book is so solely focused on the divide between men and woman and our two main characters are so starkly different in their thoughts on gender from the rest of the world that it’s impossible to miss the point that is being made.

A lot of other issues with gender are brought up with the pretty much genderless race of aliens. It is made clear from very early on that they are much more united than the humans, thinking as one entity instead of individuals. Thankfully it is also seen that lack of individualism in a society can cause problems of it’s own, when half of the race is left behind in slavery. Ness really covers all his bases. Overall, this trilogy is the greatest depiction of very real societal flaws that I have ever seen in a YA book. Which is crazy, because you would think books catered to youth would want to provide some kind of thought on their world. I think a lot do, and that it just ends up buried under a pile of flaming love triangles.

In the end I gave them all 4 out of 5 stars because they did of course all still have YA aspects to them. That flaw is completely based on personal preference, and I think if I had read it back when I was 12 or 13 it would have been put on the favorites shelf. The only plot aspect I really didn’t like was the whole power of love thing Todd and Viola had. It was fine in the more adult relationships, like Ben and Cillian. Todd and Viola’s relationship however, especially in the first two books, seemed very juvenile, so I had to suspend some disbelief there. I also was left with some questions at the end of it all, like: “What about Todd’s dad?” or “What happened to the Mayor’s wife?” or “Can I have a whole spin off series about what happened to that human/alien couple from the short story at the end of book two?” Other than that I thought this series was amazing. For anyone who read the book that wants to know, my favorite character was absolutely Davey Prentiss who is being played by FUCKING NICK JONAS in the upcoming film so I cannot wait to see my sweet baby boy come to life.

I hope you all enjoyed this, kind of all over the place, review. This month is going to be pretty heavy on reviews of movies and books, so if you like these kinds of posts make sure to sign up for email notifications! Now get off the internet and go read this trilogy!

April 2019 TBR

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It’s the fourth and I haven’t posted a TBR yet?? Well don’t worry because here it is. It’s a big boy, and I am almost certain I won’t finish it but we’re going to give it the good old college try. Also I will be posting three times this week so check back for a series review on Saturday. Posting will continue regularly on Mondays and Fridays next week. Okay! Let’s get into the books!

This isn’t even all of them.
  1. Envelope Poems – Emily Dickinson: This month had a ton of large novels, and literary fiction so I needed to pick a couple palette cleansers. I love Emily Dickinson’s poetry and I have had this compilation for years so I think I should get around to reading it.

2. This Is Not The End – Chandler Baker: You guys, I. Have. A. Problem. This is yet another book that I bought for the cover, which is ridiculous because this doesn’t even seem like a book I’d like! It’s YA and the author’s name isn’t capitalized on the cover which bugs the living fuck out of me. I have very low expectations for this one so maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

3. Bloom – Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau: It’s another graphic novel! It’s about gay boys! That make bread! What’s not to love! There’s something about monochromatic illustration that just gets me every time. This one will hopefully be another quickie.

4. Looker – Laura Sims: This has been on my list of new releases to read since the beginning of the year. It’s a suspense/mystery novella with an awesome cover. It’s also Laura Sims debut work so I am pumped.

5. Clever Girl – Tessa Hadley: Another book without capital letters on the cover! I picked this one up at the Boulder Bookstore because…I liked the cover! (shocking I know.) It’s a contemporary set in the UK.

6. Lullaby – Chuck Palahniuk: A few years ago, I inherited my ex-boyfriend’s Chuck Palahniuk collection, and I have two left. I’ve decided to torture myself and read them both in one month! Hopefully, these are two of his less fucked up books.

7. Invisible Monsters – Chuck Palahniuk: Here’s the second one! I have this one on audio book from my library so I’ll probably end up listening to it.

8. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn – Betty Smith: This month’s bookclub book! If you are interested in reading with us this month, message me on instagram @avejam_ !

9. The Sun Is Also A Star – Nicola Yoon: I read Everything Everything a couple years ago, and since this one is being made into a movie next month, I decided to read it. I don’t think I’ll like this one too much, but it’s an easy read so I kind of need it this month.

10: Where The Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens: This was not originally on my TBR at all but just today a volunteer at work gave it to me, after telling me how great it was, so I’m throwing it on the list!

And that is my April TBR! I know it’s excessive, but I did finish nine books last month so I have faith in myself. What are you guys reading this month?