Here’s some March book reviews!
Things I’m Seeing Without You – Peter Bognnani
I thought this book was gonna ruin me and, it didn’t. Which, I guess in some ways is a good thing. It was okay. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t life changing either. I think nothing was developed properly enough in order for the reader to be able to care about it enough, if that makes sense. The character that the story is based around is no longer alive, but we’re not told enough about him throughout the book in order to really care or feel bad about it – the other characters that then come into the story are just kind of there. It feels like they were put there in order to move the story along but other than that, they didn’t really have much purpose, I just didn’t really find myself being invested or caring about them too much. The book is very mis-matched, the events that happen are very dramatic and it’s trying to teach a big lesson and give some form of revolutionary enlightenment through dramatic actions and long speeches, but the original story isn’t developed enough in order for it to have any impact, or work. It’s like when I get an idea to write a story but I only want to write about the main event because I’m not interested or excited about writing the build up in order to get to that moment, but if you don’t develop the story and characters properly…the main event is irrelevant, because the reader doesn’t care about it enough for it to have an effect.
I think it was trying too hard to be a distraught love story structured around grief and self discovery – it had the potential to be something great along those lines, but unfortunately it just wasn’t. It left me feeling very neutral – bland, if you will. It’s not a bad book, it’s an average book, an inoffensive book. A few times I found myself wondering if Bognanni had simply read too many YA novels and was trying to write his own take on it by stealing ideas from other books, because I found a lot of the content to be all too similar. If I could describe it, it was like the understudy of All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (my favourite book in the world), and by understudy, I mean, the smart price version you buy at the supermarket because you don’t want to pay full price for good quality. It left a lot to be desired, is all I will say.
As someone who has been through grief in such ways, the book didn’t impact me as much as I thought it would and I feel that if I’d read this earlier, when my grief was more recent, I probably would’ve been angry at this book for not exploring a lot of the stages of grief properly in depth because like I said, the novel did have potential.
All in all, 3 stars – it wasn’t bad, I didn’t dislike it, but it wasn’t amazing either. I think Bognanni needs to take a few writing courses in YA literature and hopefully his next novel will be more contextual than this one – it didn’t feel rushed, but it kind of grazed lightly over a lot of things that could have been explored further.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Patrick Ness
This review is going to be short because honestly, I have no idea what it is that I’m actually reviewing…
I lack any substance to rate or describe this book because honestly, I have absolutely no idea what happened. I could read this book 100 times and still be completely clueless about what was going on. It was so random, nothing made sense, everything popped up out of nowhere, there was no lead up, no build up, it was the most random book I’ve ever read and I don’t know how to rate it because it didn’t make enough sense for me to actually form an opinion, because I don’t know what it is that I’m supposed to be having an opinion on. There was no introduction as such, it’s like we were just randomly thrown into the story during events that were happening and there was no explanation or breakdown of what anything meant and therefore I just spent the whole time thinking…what?
Probably not the best book I could have chosen as my first read of Patrick Ness which is what I’ve heard a lot of people say when discussing this book but nonetheless, he is a good writer hence the 3 star rating. Would I pick up another one of his books in the future? Maybe. Will it be anytime soon though? Nope.
The Book of Dust #1, La Belle Sauvage – Philip Pullman
I really enjoyed this book, I’d seen it a lot in stores and a lot of people were talking about it so I thought I’d give it a try. I’ve never read Pullman’s writing before but will definitely be reading more of it in future, especially the second book in this series once it’s released. I loved the characters in this book and the whole little world Pullman has created, if I’m not mistaken this novel is set in the same world as his previous trilogy His Dark Materials and therefore a lot of people recommended to read that series first before starting this one, but me being me I was too eager and therefore went straight into it instead, and it didn’t hinder me whatsoever. There was only one thing at the beginning that I had to Google because I was unaware of what it was (since I hadn’t read the other series) but other than that, there were absolutely no problems or anything I’d consider to be a spoiler.
This was different from the books I usually read as normally if I read a fantasy it’s always YA, so this was definitely different but I absolutely loved it. I also loved the fact it was set in England, I mentioned this in my February Book Reviews but I tend to (subconsciously) read a lot of American authors and therefore it’s always a pleasant surprise when I get to read something British, it makes me realise that for me personally, you simply cannot beat good old British literature.
I literally have no negatives about this book, I really loved the story and I loved the way the characters were developed and portrayed – a lot of author’s could take a note out of Philip Pullman’s book. I think whilst I’m waiting for the second book in this trilogy to come out, I might go back and read His Dark Materials as like I said, I really love Pullman’s writing and the little world he’s managed to create.
And there we have it! Let me know if you like / have read any of these ✨
All my love,
Goodreads – ChloLuna