MK’s Book Reviews: Stephen King’s It

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Okay.

I am not a horror fan, not a violence fan, and definitely not a clown fan.

Why did I read this book?

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MK’s Book Reviews: All The Light We Cannot See

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You’ve likely heard of this book, as it was everywhere this summer. It also won a highly coveted prize.

Is it worth the hype?

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MK’s Book Reviews: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

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I’m back after a long, amazing weekend at Lake Sacandaga in upstate New York. I missed a few days due to no wifi at all (which can be quite nice) but now I’m back and it’s Tuesday which means it’s time for a book review.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is one of the best books I read last year. You should read it too. Here’s why…

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Learning from the Masters: Voice

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So I’ve written a lot about what we can learn from the masterful writers who’ve come before us, focusing mainly on the first 250 words of the manuscript. Today I want to focus on something else: voice.

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Good Reads Lately

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Been a little while since I updated you all on my reading list. Here are some recent good reads (and incidentally, you can follow my other good reads on Goodreads).

Vanishing Girls Firstly, the prose is beautiful. Lauren Oliver’s prose is always beautiful. This is the story of two sisters, distinct enough from one another but both very realistic, compelling characters, who have issues with each other in the way only sisters can. The setting is perfectly drawn. The other characters are flawed and so real. I read through this in a few days, and loved spending time in this world so much I just didn’t want the book to end. My only issue? The same one I had with all her other books: the ending. It just wasn’t my fave. But that won’t keep me from reading everything Lauren Oliver writes, and it shouldn’t keep you either.

Attachments This book was insanely cute in the way that only a Rainbow Rowell book can be. It’s actually an adult novel, in that everyone in it is in their late 20s or older, but it reads very much like Eleanor & Park and Fangirl to me–maybe because some of us (myself included) never stop being teenagers at heart. It’s a story about finding yourself and figuring out who you’re supposed to be with and what you want to do with your life. It was really well done and you should just go read it, now.

Isla and the Happily Ever After It’s no secret I loved Stephanie Perkins’s other novels, Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. They were adorable, well-written, with interesting, relatable heroines and swoon-worthy boys. But I loved this one THE MOST because it struck very close to home for me: it so perfectly captures the obsessive sensation of first-time love. I’m no longer a teenager, but this book transported me back to being 18 and in love for the very first time–the butterflies, the feeling that every moment apart is total agony, the text from him after being separated meaning everything to you. I’d kind of forgotten that feeling, actually, and it was so lovely a thing to be reminded exists, especially as we get older and get into more comfortable, less fireworks-inducing stages in our love lives. Can’t wait to see what Stephanie Perkins does next!

All the Light We Cannot See This was lovely and haunting and beautifully-written and deserves every ounce of praise it’s gotten. I keep wondering when people are going to get tired of World War II stories, and the answer is, I don’t think they are, as long as talented writers like Anthony Doerr continue to bring them to live so vividly. It’s sad, as expected, but also hopeful. Just read it. And then, when you’re done, come with me on my journey back to Saint-Malo.

You can also follow along with my reading adventures on my bookish Instagram!

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Friday Things

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After an amazing wedding weekend (my boyfriend’s sister’s) it was hard to return to real life this week. My boyfriend’s parents rented a big beautiful house in Avalon, in south Jersey, and it was a flurry of days filled with family and friends stopping by to help with last-minute projects, eat, drink, or just hang out. It further cemented my idea that happiness is just a steady stream of seeing people you like (and a nice home, with good food).

Here are three things that caught my attention this week:

1. This is my new favorite Instagram.

2. I really loved this piece about struggling to find a heroine in literature you can identify with. I went through something similar as a teenager; while I was never that overweight, I was quite unattractive for a number of years (acne, bushy hair–oh fifteen, you are so unkind). I remember being frustrated that every girl I read about was always beautiful (to be fair, I was primarily reading Sweet Valley High at the time). This has sparked some ideas for a new novel; more on that later.

3. I can’t decide where to go for vacation this year. There’s just so much attempted life-changing going on the prospect of planning a vacation is overwhelming me. But I’m finding this list intriguing, especially Cuba…

Reading: On the subway this morning, I finished Red Queen. And I gotta say … I don’t understand the hype. It started off interesting enough, but the rest of the book was filled with flat characters, uninspired dialogue, obvious plot “twists”, and my biggest book pet peeve: showing and telling. Sentences like “I grin, pleased with myself”, and “he douses the flame, putting it out with water” make me want to scream.

Watching: ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK comes out today! Must be careful not to let the binge-watching intrude on my writing time.

Listening to: More nineties emo stuff, and I love it 🙂

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MK’s Book Reviews: Chaos Walking

chaos-walking-wide-560x282I’ve been reading up a storm lately, barely pausing to update my Goodreads, much less write a review. But I recently read a trilogy of books that merits one.

The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness merits a lot more than that.

 “Without a filter, a man is just chaos walking.”

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