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

Les ramparts III_RET

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?

Continue reading

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

tumblr_nrqzt9LPA91tb5nvvo1_500

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…

Continue reading

MK’s Book Reviews: I’ll Give You The Sun

tumblr_nhr771Udjr1ssite1o1_500

Today I’m going to be talking about Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun.

You have to read this book.

Why?

Continue reading

MK’s Book Reviews: Every Day

10249124_1473979316196215_763413341_n

Because there’s no day that begins with B so I can’t make it alliterative, I’ve decided Tuesday is now Book Review Tuesday.

Instead of reviewing a few at a time, whenever I have time, I’m going to be reviewing books one at a time, once per week. I’ll include 3 main things: the Goodreads summary, so you know what it’s about, the first 250 words of the book, so you know if the writing style is for you, and my favorite quotes, because I love quotes.

Sound good? Let’s begin then.

Today’s book: Every Day by David Levithan

Continue reading

Good Reads Lately

11232804_1385377158459784_1227329333_n

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!

Lovely image found here

Book Review: The Infernal Devices

ID-Wallpapers-the-infernal-devices-6827384-1920-1200

“Heroes endure because we need them. Not for their own sakes.”

I finished The Mortal Instruments series a couple of months ago, and while I most certainly enjoyed it, it definitely had its highs and lows, a mix of 3, 4, and 5-star moments. I put off reading The Infernal Devices because I thought my experience would be the same.

I was wrong.

“You and I, we’re alike. We live and breathe words. It was books that kept me from taking my own life after I thought I could never love anyone, never be loved by anyone again. It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone.”

I loved these books.

They were more well-written, more well-plotted, the setting more richly-imagined, with the characters more finely-drawn. They surprised me, had me looking forward to waking up each day so I could start reading, had me fighting sleep every night so I could keep reading.

“It is the only way any of this can ever mean anything. Otherwise it is only—”
“Pointless, needless suffering and pain? I don’t suppose it would help if I told you that is the way life is. The good suffer, the evil flourish, and all that is mortal passes away.”

The Infernal Devices is a prequel trilogy to the Mortal Instruments. It takes place in Victorian London, and tells of the demon-hunting ancestors of characters I’d already come to know, with a few (immortal) characters actually appearing in both sets of books. The basic plot set-up is similar: girl with no knowledge of the supernatural world is suddenly thrown into danger, she learns of her mysterious heritage while helping to fight demons, and along the way meets a cute boy.

Or two.

“And I came to see that I could not bring someone home when they were already there.”

The real draw to this series, of course, is the thing all my favorite books have in common: well-written characters.

“You cannot buy or drug or dream your way out of pain.”

The secondary characters were all fine and good, but Will, Tessa, and Jem absolutely captured my heart. Their relationships were so perfectly constructed. I will always, always, prefer relationships that start as friendships, the long and drawn out sexual tension, to be culminated in some beautifully-written scenes where … but I don’t want to spoil them for you.

Spoilers after the jump…

Continue reading

MK’s Book Reviews: We Were Liars

WeWereLiarsSlider

God. This book.

The setting pulled me in. Rich cousins on a private island off of Massachusetts? Yes please. Love developing between two childhood friends? I’m a sucker for that.

“He was contemplation and enthusiasm. Ambition and strong coffee. I could have looked at him forever.

The voice was so well done, lots of sentence fragments filled with bits of beauty. It could have come off oddly in the hands of a less talented writer, but Lockhart did it wonderfully.

“It is good to be loved, even though it will not last.”

You know from the beginning something bad is going to happen, and then when something does, you aren’t even entirely sure what it is. To find out, along with Cadence, you keep reading. But before you even know the extent of Cadence’s struggle, you admire her strength.

“I’d a million times rather live and risk and have it all end badly than stay in the box I’ve been in for the past two years.”

“I lie there and wait, and remind myself over and over that it doesn’t last forever. That there will be another day and after that, yet another day. One of those days, I’ll get up and eat breakfast and feel okay.”

And oh, Cadence and Gat.

“When blood dripped on my bare feet or poured over the book I was reading, he was kind. He wrapped my wrists in soft white gauze and asked me questions about what had happened. He asked about Dad and about Gran—as if talking about something could make it better. As if wounds needed attention.”

“Someone once wrote that a novel should deliver a series of small astonishments. I get the same thing spending an hour with you.”

And the end. I did not see it coming, though in retrospect there were so many clues. That’s a real accomplishment, as an author. It was so good and so devastating. Think first-time-reading-Fault-in-Our-Stars levels of sobbing.

“They know that tragedy is not glamorous. They know it doesn’t play out in life as it does on a stage or between the pages of a book. It is neither a punishment meted out nor a lesson conferred. Its horrors or not attributable to one single person. Tragedy is ugly and tangled, stupid and confusing. That is what the children know.”

Go read this book. Now.