Throughout the last month or so, I acquired a lot of books. Honestly, I didn’t really ask for anything BUT books as Christmas presents, and then went on to spend the majority of my Christmas money and other savings on… you guessed it. More books.
Owing to this, I have a fair amount (or the most I’ve ever gotten in such a short period of time) to show. Some of these I featured in my previous post and therefore will only give them a brief mention to avoid repetition! This post is almost to be a prelude to a hopefully continuing series in which I will take you through the books I have bought with a little bit of commentary. As a side note, I did purchase two additional books that I won’t share as I’m planning to give them their own blog post in the near future.
And now, with the introduction and pleasantries over, without further ado:
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (2015)
I didn’t particularly plan on buying this book; it was more an impulse buy when I saw it on the shelf and having heard so many good things about it through blog posts and BookTube, I decided it was worth buying. I have actually now already read it so I suppose I can class this as a mini review:
The book follows the main character Madeline’s journey to self-discovery as she tries to cope with being, as the book states, ‘allergic to the world’. Until a few chapters in to the novel, she has been used to her life at home, unable to visit and explore the outside world for the risk of devastating consequences. That is, until Olly moves in next door, and she suddenly starts searching for answers and emotions that she had never previously considered…
Granted, this book did have some positive points. I loved the fact that Madeline was an avid reader who sought solace in words, and that she and her mother had a very close relationship for the most part. However, the negatives did outweigh the positives in my opinion. Given that the actual written content of the book is so minimal (there are many illustrations and half-blank pages), I felt that some things became very rushed, such as the relationships that Madeline forms, and the ending being all too sudden and almost entirely unexplained. The major twist did surprise me to an extent, but I felt that it was outweighed by the fact that I had no strong emotions towards any of the characters in general. They were all quite simply…okay (particularly Olly). Despite having read the book in two days, this can be almost entirely attributed to its length and not to my compulsion to keep reading as I found that at the end of it, I really had not gotten anything out of it. I do not want this short review to come across as overly critical as this book did have potential; I just felt that it was never fully enforced.
The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School by Kim Newman (2015)
If ‘Drearcliff Grange’ doesn’t sound like a creepy, haunting boarding school, I don’t know what does. This was yet another impulse buy, but this time I had not even heard of it before I decided to pick it up. It tells the tale of a not-so-ordinary boarding school which mixes practices of science, magic and espionage, and things are all fine, until an abduction sparks the formation of a secret organisation within the school… which is all that I know. This sounds like an extremely unique book, and I can’t wait to get into a good horror/mystery/who knows what else, that I really know nothing about going in to it!
Cinder by Melissa Myer (2012)
I spoke briefly about this book in my last post, so you can see there for further details!
Just One Day by Gayle Forman (2013)
Having continuously seen the hype surrounding the majority of Gayle Forman’s works, this will be my first venture into one of her works. This book contains themes of travel, which is a genre I have rarely read, if ever. The main character Allyson’s ordered life is turned upside down in a whirlwind journey of romance, discovery and adventure which lasts Just One Day.
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard (2015)
I HEAR THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANT. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to tell you a single time in which someone has said something negative about this book; the cover is as beautiful as the blurb is captivating. In a world divided by blood types, the main character Mare does not fit in as one day she finds that she has powers of her own that belong to the privileged, taking us with her on an epic journey of betrayal and discovery. I find it hard to resist YA fantasy, and this one sounds not only unique, but looks like it could carry some important social messages too.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition by JK Rowling, illustrated by Jim Kay (2015)
I’m not going to do a short summary of this book, partly because I think a lot of people will be familiar already, and partly because I don’t think I would ever be able to grace it with the summary it deserves, apart from stating that it is an absolute masterpiece. I particularly decided to pick up this illustrated edition because art is another thing which I am very passionate about, so seeing the first book of my favourite series of all time coming to life not just through JK Rowling’s words but through the beautiful illustrations of Jim Kay was an opportunity I was absolutely not going to miss.
William Shakespeare: Complete Plays (first published 1889)
I think the majority of readers will be familiar with at least one of William Shakespeare’s works; myself with Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest and Othello. I have just finished studying Othello as part of my A-Level English Literature course, but will be returning to it as an exam text later on. For me, his works are absolutely fascinating; everything from the language, to the themes, to the time period is absolutely captivating, and I hope to be making future posts on my journey across this compilation of plays, which I have no doubt is going to take a while as it is literally 1194 pages long!
I currently have fourteen books on my shelves that I haven’t yet read and that, realistically, I will read in the near(ish) future. Roughly two weeks ago, I made a commitment to read at least half of these before I buy any more but if I’m being completely honest, that plan has already gone out of the window. I just can’t help it!
I would be interested to know if anyone has read any of the books I have mentioned in this post, so feel free to leave a comment telling me your views on them.
Have a lovely day.