Back at you again this month with some more book reviews! As you all know, I love reading and talking about books so much – I definitely want to try and incorporate more book related things onto my blog because I’m a reading machine and would love to become a part of the book blogging / booktuber etc. community, because I think it’s so great and like I said, I love talking about them!
Anyway, here are some April book reviews (click here to see what I read in March).
M Train – Patti Smith
I love Patti Smith, she’s very dear to me and I will forever be inspired by her both as a writer, artist, and soul in general. The first book of hers that I read was Just Kids (see my review for that here) and instantly fell in love, but I knew I was going to feel like that about it anyway because hey, it’s Patti Smith, she’s magic. It took me a good while to actually get around to buying M Train even though I knew I wanted to read it straight after I’d finished Just Kids (as you can see, that didn’t happen) but recently I finally purchased it and began reading straight away. What I will say about M Train is that I wasn’t in the right mindset to read it, but I knew that before I went ahead and did it anyway – I just wanted to because I’d had it on my TBR for so long and finally it was in my hands, so I didn’t feel like I could just leave it on my shelf until I felt like it was the right time to read it. I read the whole thing out loud to myself as I like to hear things spoken the way Patti writes them, if that makes sense – it’s very whimsical and I feel like I connect with her more by hearing myself speak her own words, so that’s what I did. I didn’t connect with it as much as I did with Just Kids but that’s understandable, because this book is about the later parts of her life as oppose to the beginning, so the subject matter was different. Her writing as always was the same though and I still thoroughly enjoyed it – I also loved the polaroids featured throughout, some of them were almost pointless in my opinion but I feel as though that’s what made them great – they didn’t necessarily have to be there, but they were anyway. I feel like this is one I’ll reread at a later date when I’m in a better mindset for it but considering I wasn’t when I read it this time and still ended up really enjoying it, it gets top marks from me. Lots of love to Patti as always.
Turtles All The Way Down – John Green
Oh my. I’m writing this the second after I put the book down – I read the whole thing in a couple of hours and all I can say is what a beautiful book. I’ve really missed John Green, really really. His writing is so easy to read, it’s like you blink and you’re at the end of the story in no time at all, he has such a way with words and he knows how to tell a story, he knows how to make you feel something. I feel like this book is something everyone needs, even if you have no relation to it or the subject matter. I wish this book was around when I was 16, just like Looking For Alaska was, because I feel like it would have been nice to have both of those books around at the same time, I feel like this is another one I would have needed to hear back then. Now that I’m older, I can read the stories from a bird’s eye point of view rather than feeling that I myself am in them, and it allows me to understand, see things for what they are and truly appreciate the beauty of a book – after reading this I don’t feel like I’m going to go into a sad and depressive state which is what would usually happen, because I feel words and everything else so deeply. But not this time, now, I feel inspired. John Green is an incredible writer and has once again produced a beautiful piece of work and a beautiful story, I have missed him so much.
Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
Okay…guys, I know what you’re thinking and to be honest, me too. I’ve never read Twilight or seen any of the films (apart from Breaking Dawn part 1 which I passed out during anyway & pretty much have no memory of) but I saw all 4 of the books in a bookstore for £1 each – meaning I got the whole collection for £4, so I couldn’t not buy them. I’m on a book buying ban at the minute because I have so many unread books on my shelf but I just keep buying more & more new ones, so I’ve told myself that until I read all of my currently unread ones, I’m not allowed to buy anymore.
Anyway, I really fancied reading some fantasy and Twilight was the only unread book I had that fell into that category, so I picked it up, and I think it’s fair to say that at first… I wish I hadn’t.
What is this book, forreal guys, what is it. Fair enough I’m 20 years old therefore I’m probably not the exact target audience for this type of stuff and I’m definitely not going to be as impressed with it as I would have been had I read it when I was 13 or whatever, but seriously, the writing in this is so bad. It’s like, a fanfic written by a 13 year old – two chapters in I literally Googled how old Stephenie Meyer was when she wrote these books because the writing was so childlike…and she was 30. 30!!!! I literally cringed at every line – the idea is great which is the only thing that kept me reading as I was trying to ignore the horrendous literary aspect of it, but I found myself wanting to take whole pages out and just rewrite them for her because they were so awful – like I said, I cringed at everything. It was like reading someone’s diary.
It was all written just so unrealistic (and yes, I’m aware I’m talking about a book based upon vampires here) but the human side of things was just so unrealistic – anything that went on I just sat there like…that would never happen in a million years. Even the vampire side of things was unrealistic – the way Edward was with Bella within the first 0.2 seconds of meeting her and every moment after, it would just never happen. In the end in order to get through the story I just told myself that Meyer had intended to portray Edward this way, as of course, he was a vampire – he had no concept of human interaction – he was ‘hungry’ and therefore there was no waiting around in his eyes, he just decided to fall in love, become obsessed with Bella’s every move and act like they were in a committed relationship within weeks of meeting each other because obviously, he wasn’t human, there was no messing around and playing games here.
I know all of that’s bullshit and that Meyer never intended Edward to be like anything and that his whole character was just down to poor writing – but that (it was intended) is what I had to tell myself to get through the story, otherwise I would have sat there smacking my head against the wall after every single line saying that.would.never.happen.
It was like cliché fanfiction – girl moves from big city to small town and goes to new school, every boy in sight falls in love with her and becomes territorial over her, following her around like a lost puppy even though for the other 17 years of her life no one has even given her a second look – the most reserved yet beautiful boy in the whole school that has never spoken or taken interest in anyone suddenly takes an interest in her and everyone she meets seems to want to mention it – then magically she’s almost killed in a car accident and said beautiful boy saves her life like some kind of movie. Even writing it makes me cringe, especially the part where every boy in sight seemingly wants to ask her to the Spring dance and she has to politely turn them all down – cringe cringe cringe, and the part where she almost gets hit by the truck and Edward saves her and suddenly everyone is “running around with tears streaming down their face” and the fact that “the whole school was in the hospital waiting room” waiting for her afterwards… how stupid. She’d been at the school how long at this point, 5 days??? She says she knows all of the 300 kid’s names by heart and apparently now all of them are in the hospital waiting for her, because she’s just that popular.
The whole thing was just so badly paced, it’s like Meyer got over excited and decided she couldn’t hold off from including a love story, a near death experience, car crash and an almost rape scene within the first quarter of the book, I was like…what the hell is going on here. It was as if she couldn’t be bothered to do any character development or expand on the plotline and instead thought she’d just throw in as much unrealistic action as she could to try and make things interesting.
Also, the fact that Bella calls her dad Charlie, instead of Dad. That’s not quirky or interesting, it’s just annoying. I feel like there were so many unnecessary things included throughout this book – the whole thing was so wordy. The book could have literally been halved if you took out all the rambling crap that went on throughout it, there were so many things I read where I just thought…where is this going – what was the point of that? Some (most) things could’ve been explained in one sentence but instead she used 4 paragraphs. It was just annoying. I genuinely wanted to rip the pages out of the book and rewrite them for her because I just thought STEPHENIE HONEY YOU’RE DOING SUCH A BAD JOB. She wanted to describe everything, which was nice sometimes when wanting to learn more about Edward’s reaction to the dumb things that came out of Bella’s mouth, but not after every single line. There’s good, descriptive writing, and then there’s just excessive description in order to fill words on a page…and that was this book. The entire thing was just…he did this, he did that, his eyes did this, his facial expression changed to this, his voice sounded like this, his hands did this – she’d describe the fact Edward’s facial expression would change 3 times after each line was spoken. We don’t need to know that. It’s too much. Like I said, wordy and excessive.
When Edward first sees Bella and starts giving her evils for no reason (dumb), the line is literally “It just wasn’t fair. He was so mean.” I was about ready to throw the book across the room at this point. WAS THIS BOOK WRITTEN BY A 13 YEAR OLD BECAUSE I REALLY THINK IT WAS.
I feel like after the initial shock of feeling like I was reading a teenager’s diary, I got used to the writing and so it didn’t bother me as much as it did initially, but I was still a little bleh…about the whole thing. I didn’t stop reading though because as I mentioned, I think the idea for Twilight is actually quite good and I genuinely did want to know what was going to happen between Bella and Edward (Jacob was just boring and I’ve never been too keen on Taylor Lautner either so already I was uninterested on that part) but overall, the book for me was…bearable. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read, but it definitely wasn’t one of the best – the story and plot was intriguing which is where the 2 stars come from, but the writing was atrocious. I’m also not dying to pick up the next book in the series yet either, which is never a good sign when reading a non-standalone. Once I’d finished the book I kind of gave out a sigh of relief like phew, glad that’s over. Not sure I’m quite ready to torture myself with any more of Stephenie Meyer’s writing just yet.
Opinions on Twilight anyone ??? Let me know if you’ve read any of these!
All my love,
Goodreads – ChloLuna