Hi guys! Before I start with this post, I wanted to share with you something I've been thinking about. Maybe you've noticed I've neither posted a monthly wrap-up nor a review in a long time. See, I do enjoy writing both posts. Trouble is, with my monthly reading amounting to 10 or more books, it was become a little tedious for me to write wrap-ups. The posts were simply getting too long. I also wanted to tell you about all the great books I was reading but narrowing these to 1 or 2 per month, in view of reviewing them, was also becoming a little difficult. I simply couldn't pick which book I wanted to review!
So I've thought about it and I think I've come up with quite a good solution. Starting this month, I'll be doing a wrap-up of a 'selection' of the books I read the previous month. And for each book mentioned, I'll write a mini review so that you can know what I thought about them. The books to make the cut will either be books I enjoyed a lot or new releases you guys might be interested to know more about.
Alright, time to get started. I hope you enjoy this post. Let me know what you think of my revamped monthly wrap-up. Your feedback is, as always, most welcome ^^
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult
My Rating: 5 stars
The Plot: Eleanor is the unfortunate new girl in town. At school, she’s bullied for her weight, mismatched clothes and unruly red hair. At home, she does her best to stay out of the way of her violent stepfather and finds what little peace she can in the chaos of a family too big crammed in a house way too small. Park seems to come from an entirely different world than hers. Dressed all in black, his headphones on and his comics open in his lap, he plays it cool enough for everybody else to leave him alone. And then, one day, Eleanor and Park meet on a ride in the school bus. What ensues is the unlikeliest of friendships and the strongest of young loves.
My Review: This was a reread for me and I loved it even more than I did the first time. The prose is beautiful, the story is as unique as it's touching and the characters are not only relatable but they are also very likable. It's a YA novel that breaks away from tropes and clichés and asserts itself as a powerful piece of literature of its own right. It might not be for younger teens due to certain topics discussed but it's the perfect book for adults who don't normally read YA and young people who are seeking books about people of their age but with deeper and more meaningful stories. Oh, and by the way, Eleanor and Park totally made a mess out of my heart.
The Plot: Girl meets boy is a modern retelling of Ovid’s tale of Iphis, in which a woman disguises her daughter as a boy to save her from infanticide, only for the girl to fall in love with another girl when she grows up. By the grace of a Goddess, the girl is turned into a real man and is then able to marry the girl she/he loves. Although as in the original myth the book discusses gender and sexuality, it remains above all a love story as timeless as it is charming.
My Review: Though at first glance it might seem simple, the writing is both deep and poetic. The approach to the prose though, makes the depth of the story more easily approachable for a reader who may not necessarily read such adult fiction frequently. The story isn't quite as linear as in regular novels, although the narrative is simple enough to follow and is accompanied by just the right amount of descriptions to make the story vivid and easy to follow without being overwhelming. I would recommend this one to people who are either interested in discovering Ali Smith's books or who simply might want to make the transit to adult fiction. The book also does a brilliant job discussing sexuality and gender in a way that will make the story relatable to concerned parties without scaring away readers who are only now beginning to explore this genre.
Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Genre: Children Mystery
My Rating: 4 stars
The Plot: It’s winter and at Greenglass House, an old inn famous for its clientele of smugglers, the innkeepers and their adopted son, Milo, are getting reading to spend the holidays together during what is supposed to be the low season. Then, as snow begins to fall and it slowly starts to get colder, five guests unexpectedly show up. These strangers all seem to be rather secretive and no sooner has Milo begun to wonder about what secrets they might each have, things start to go missing in the house. And thus, as the snow deepens around the remote inn, inside its walls, secrets begin to unfold.
My Review: This is one of the best children books I've read lately and I'd recommend it to everyone who enjoys a good winter mystery read, especially during the holiday season. It was very well written in a fast-paced and compelling way that will suit adults and children alike. The book is full of secret maps, treasure-filled attics, smugglers and pirates and a good share of mystery. It was a fun read and I'll definitely be checking out the author's other works.
So those were my mini reviews for some of the books I enjoyed in December. Have you read any of these books? If yes, do share your thoughts about them with me in the comments.