Here’s February’s book reviews!
Eleanor & Park – Rainbow Rowell
Oh, Eleanor and Park. I am so sorry I did not read you sooner and that I thought you would be an over-hyped cliche Tumblr mess. I was wrong. About everything. So very wrong.
A lot of people have said when reviewing this book that it makes you remember what it feels like to be a teenager and to be in love, and even though I am only 22 and have never been in love, that statement couldn’t be truer. I had butterflies the whole way through. This was beautiful and so well done. It wasn’t trying to be anything – it just was. Rainbow Rowell knows what she’s talking about, she knows how to write young people and more importantly, young love and all of the feelings that go with it. The actual feelings though, beneath the surface – the magic. And it wasn’t a bit cringy. It wasn’t cringy because we all knew exactly what she was talking about. It felt like someone was writing the truth for once, like someone had just taken all of the magic and the thoughts and what it’s actually like and put it in a book. Someone was telling it like it is. The truth. The good truth. It was very real, the kind that makes you forget that you’re reading about fictional characters, because I guess Eleanor and Park exist in a lot of people and in the way things are. Like I said, the truth.
In some of the scenes where they were just with each other and spending time together just the two of them, alone, I’d be reading it and my eyes would be brimming with tears because it was so beautiful. It wasn’t sad, it was just so…real, and beautiful, it made me emotional. Like I was reading something I used to know. I don’t know. It was just so raw and real that it got me.
I’m writing this specific paragraph after I’ve just finished the book and put it down. I feel a little choked up, like I might cry if I try and speak. The ending…frustrated me? Frustrated is too strong of a word, but it irked me a little bit on Eleanor’s part and therefore I couldn’t properly get emotional and cry over it because I just kept thinking Eleanor, just do it. No Shia pun intended. I was just thinking it’s so easy to just do it so why are you not helping yourself. Why are you making things worse. but then I have to remind myself that I am of course not in her situation and therefore don’t feel the way she feels, and maybe I just don’t understand. I don’t know. I can’t write what I actually want to say because I don’t want to write any spoilers but, I just felt like Eleanor could have helped herself (and Park) out a little at the end, and then it wouldn’t have made me feel so sad. I hate feeling sad.
It reminded me of All The Bright Places, which is my favourite book in the entire world as you guys probably know since, I talk about it more times than I can even imagine. This is the first and only book to have ever done that so I thought it was worth mentioning. I don’t know what it means but yeah, it’s something I’m sure.
EDIT: After being educated on how this book is in fact incredibly racist, my opinion on it has drastically changed and I am retracting my review and my rating but am leaving this review up for reference. I categorically do not and will not support books and authors conducting racism in their work and I apologise for not noticing this sooner.
Come Rain or Come Shine – Kazuo Ishiguro
I’ve wanted to read Ishiguro’s work for a long time and so I thought I’d start with this one (for no particular reason) – it’s technically a 3 star but because it’s so short I couldn’t justify rating it in the same way as I do full books so I gave it a 2, but the story itself is very nice. I like Ishiguro’s writing style and will hopefully read more of his work in future.
Men Without Women – Ernest Hemingway
A collection of short stories by Ernest Hemingway and unfortunately, I was kind of disappointed. I thought I’d have a great love for Hemingway but these stories fell kind of flat for me, I just couldn’t love them. I don’t know if that’s due to the fact they were short stories or what, but I just…yeah. This wasn’t it for me. I have a lot of Hemingway’s other work on my shelf though and definitely won’t be giving up on him just yet – hopefully his other work will pleasantly surprise me.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson – John Green & David Levithan
3.5 / 5 stars
I really didn’t think I was going to like this book, for some reason I thought it was about…Winter? I’ve no idea. I bought it second hand a few years ago and it’s been sitting on my shelf ever since, and because I’m trying to read all of the unread books on my shelves at the minute, I finally got around to picking this one up and well, I was really pleasantly surprised.
I feel like this really is the epitome of don’t judge a book by it’s cover. I honestly thought this book was a boring Wintery tale about…boring stuff. And it’s not. It’s not even about Winter. I don’t know where I got that idea from or why it was in my head, but I’m annoyed I’d let myself think it for so long because I could’ve read this book ages ago otherwise. John Green’s books are split into two categories for me, the ones that I really love (hits) – TFIOS, Looking For Alaska, Turtles All The Way Down or the ones that I really dislike because I find them super boring (misses) – An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns (it was alright…but the movie was way better than the book) and well, I thought Will Grayson, Will Grayson was going on the miss list, basically. But nope, I really enjoyed it!
Yeah some parts of it were repetitive and a little annoying – I never wanna hear the name Tiny Cooper again for starters, also I thought some things were quite rushed, for example Will and Jane’s romance…he was saying all of this deep poetic stuff about her when we were only a few chapters in and therefore hadn’t had enough time to even care about it yet, I felt like John Green was trying to be too serious too soon in that sense. Also, the Will (other Will, not original Will) and Tiny thing…so random and rushed and came out of nowhere ??? I’m definitely not complaining about it because I thought it was cute, but I felt like we spent the whole book being fed this one idea of Will, but then he meets Tiny (aka, the complete opposite) and it’s like…the thing ?? Happens?? And I was sat there thinking wait a second, but I thought Will hated that ?? Isn’t the idea that he has this personality of essentially hating everything Tiny is and then …? What? Confused. There were a couple of other things I wasn’t so sure about either but I’ve forgotten them already so they couldn’t have bothered me that much, therefore we shall forget about them.
I really loved David Levithan’s writing as well, which is another thing I didn’t think I was going to do. It was very honest and rude, but much needed, he created his character perfectly. I know his Will Grayson was written in all lowercase for the purpose of effect, but it suited me down to the ground considering that’s the way I write myself 24/7 anyway (apart from on this blog, though you’ll know that if you’ve ever read my About Me page). I loved the layout of his chapters and how quick they were to read given all of the above, very much my kind of format.
Overall a really good book and one that I’m glad I read, I definitely won’t be judging books by their covers in future!
And there we have it loves, let me know if you’ve read any of these!
All my love,
Goodreads – ChloLuna