Hey Everyone! I know I haven’t been that active this month – I’ve kind of been in a blogging slump – but I did get a lot of reading done!
I finished reading Medea and Bacchae for my mythology class and actually really enjoyed them both! The translation I was reading was easy to understand and the Chorus wasn’t too complicated and abstract. My favourite has to be Medea – I gave it a 3.5/5 ⭐️’s! Bacchae was a little weird and very violent – I’m not sure why, but the majority of the plays I’ve read always end with someone getting exiled from their town and having to spend the rest of their life wandering around Greece. It’s kind of sad, actually. Anyway, I gave Bacchae a 3/5 ⭐️’s.
I also ended up reading The Walled City, The Rest of Us Just Live Here (YAAY!), and Me Before You. I was going to write separate reviews for TWC and TROUJLH, but I couldn’t really come up with enough to write about for The Walled City, so I just thought I would write a mini-review for both of these books in my Wrap-Up. WARNING THE REVIEWS AREN’T AS “MINI” AS I THOUGHT THEY WOULD BE, BUT PLEASE STAY WITH ME.
THE WALLED CITY
By: Ryan Graudin
Rating: 2.5/5 ⭐️’s
I think I went into this with too high expectations. So many people were talking about how amazing Wolf By Wolf is that I thought The Walled City would be the same. The first few pages definitely drew me into the story – I was curious and a little confused (the good kind of confused), but after that everything was just meh.
I think the problem for me was that I didn’t like the writing style. I’ve read a couple of reviews for this book and many people really enjoyed it, but it just wasn’t for me. You know when you’re reading a book and you start to notice that you’re reading and not fully immersed in the story? That’s kind of how it was for me. When you’re reading a book with writing that just flows into images and pictures and scenes, you don’t notice the words; you don’t notice that the characters have stopped talking and are now thinking or observing or whatever they happen to be doing. I’m not saying that I couldn’t picture what was going on – I’m saying that I knew that was what I was supposed to be doing. Sometimes the characters’ thoughts seemed unrealistic or forced – I honestly don’t know how to explain it better than that. The dialogue wasn’t bad – it worked with the characters and I enjoyed it. But I found myself skimming over the rest.
The plot was definitely interesting, but a little predictable at times. I think it kind of dragged on too – though that might just have been the writing style. There was definitely a lot of action, and the predicable romance – which I need to discuss. The rest of this isn’t really spoilery because the romance is kind of predictable if you read the synopsis of the book, but you can ignore the next bit if you want…
Jin Ling was my favourite character, but I felt like she went from being the main character to a side character because of the romance b/w Mei Yee and Dai. The minute Dai appeared at Mei Yee’s window, I knew where the story was going and I just didn’t like it. Now I’m not a fan of romance in the first place, but I’m willing to go with it if it’s compelling. In this case though, I didn’t care. I didn’t feel anything at all – no butterflies in the stomach, no inner-squeals of joy, nothing. I think the problem was that the romance was used to drive the plot of the story and also the character development. Like I said, Jin Ling went from being a main character (at least who I thought should be the main character) to being a side character. The story focused instead on Dai’s redemption – and a way to redeem himself from the past was to save Mei Yee (and her sister). There’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t know…something was missing.
Anyway this is kind of getting long, but you can see why I didn’t like this book as much as I thought I would. I’m not really sure if I fully explained myself because I suck at reviewing books, and I don’t really like reviewing books I didn’t enjoy because it makes me feel bad.
THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE
By: Patrick Ness
Rating: 3.75/5 ⭐️’s
I really, really, really liked this book, to such an extent that I finished reading it in about 24 hours!!! (Which I haven’t done in a while!)
If you haven’t read this book, but are thinking about it, it’s definitely going to be a bit confusing at first, but hang in there and it gets much, much better!
I love how we get the perspective of the “non-heroes” of the story – though when you really think about it, like Mary McCarthy said:
“We are all hero[es] of our own stor[ies]”
Throughout the entire book, all I could think of was Harry Potter. Can you imagine what was going on through the other students’ heads while Harry, Ron, and Hermione were running around saving the world? I mean, Harry comes out of the third task in GoF with a dead body, there’s a huge battle at Hogwarts in HBP which definitely resulted in collateral damage and another dead body, and the list goes on…I’m sure a lot of the students were curious and scared, but I’m sure some of them were just like:
“Well, I wonder what it’ll be this year? More dead students? Or…maybe Harry’s going to take on a full-grown dragon? Never mind he did that two years ago. Ohhh! Definitely a duel against Snape! That would be interesting! Though I’m pretty sure Harry would win since he’s the hero.”
I love how at the end, Mike (main character) and Jared end up playing a minor role in the “Indie” kids storyline, but when they offer to help out the kid, he’s like “I don’t think you’re supposed to help” and then runs off. It reminds me of Harry in the fifth book, when he’s about to go to the Ministry of Magic and Neville, Ginny, and Luna show up and he’s like no, it’s just going to be me, Ron and Hermione – we’re the ones who are supposed to save the day.
My favourite part of the book was how it handled mental illness – specifically OCD and anxiety. The part where Mike meets with his psychiatrist was just so beautifully written. I’m not going to go into it, but if you’ve read it you’ll understand what I mean. I listened to a short story for my writing class that was written by a man who also suffers from OCD – he wrote about what it was like growing up with it. If any of you are interested it’s called A Plague of Tics by David Sedaris (this is just a small clip of it).
ME BEFORE YOU
By: Jojo Moyes
Rating: 4/5 ⭐️’s
My short mini-review can be read here.
*Lets out long-held breath* I’m kind of in a reading slump – I think Me Before You may have some role in that – so I haven’t read anything since.
Finals are coming up and I’m sooo not prepared. I shouldn’t really be reading next month, so I can focus on studying, but usually I get into this huge reading mood the day before a final and it doesn’t end well. I might pick up a classic though, so we’ll have to see.