Reading Wrap-Up #03

I’ll be publishing a few of these relatively close together as I play catch-up!

I have also edited my previous posts and current post to show how long it took me to read each book and when exactly I read it.

As a reminder, here is how I rate my books:

  • (★★★★★): Loved it
  • (★★★★): Really liked it
  • (★★★): Didn’t hate it, didn’t love it
  • (★★): Barely finished it

Another few notes: I will warn if there are any spoilers with (start spoiler) and (end spoiler) so you know when to stop reading and pick up again if you don’t want to ruin the book for yourself. I also try to watch as many adaptations as I can, just to compare, so I will comment on all the ones I’ve seen.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

9780062457806_p0_v1_s550x406Rating: ★★★

Genre: Fiction, young adult, LGBT+

GoodReads rating: 4.15 / 5 (43,300 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 20/1 – 27/1

Summary: Two young men due for an untimely death find each other to spend their Last Day with.

Thoughts: I was really attracted to the premise of this book; the idea that you’re told the day you’re going to die, stories of how people have tried to evade their fate and how this service has effected the society was a really interesting idea. But the story kind of fell flat for me. It wasn’t that memorable, the deaths could have been more climactic and (start spoiler) the romance seemed really forced. I was really excited to see two young men have a vulnerable platonic relationship, but I feel this just furthered the stereotype that men can’t be open with each other as women can unless they’re romantically involved. (end spoiler)

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

9780061120084_p0_v4_s550x406Rating: ★★★★

Genre: Classic, historical fiction

GoodReads rating:  4.27 / 5 (3,800,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 27/1 – 31/1

Summary: Scout and her family are the talk of town in their small Southern neighborhood when her father defends a black man for the alleged rape of a white woman.

Thoughts: Just like everyone else, I read this book in school but was too young to appreciate it, probably because it was forced down my throat. Luckily, I didn’t remember much so it was like reading it for the first time and I liked it a lot. I love historical fiction and a good legal thriller and this is the best of both worlds through the eyes of a young girl in a coming-of-age story. This classic is definitely one you shouldn’t skip over.

Other adaptations: The 1960’s movie is so gripping. I was particularly fond of Atticus, his character was so dignified and the actor did an incredible job. But I don’t need to tell you that, it’s gotten its fair share of critically acclaim and awards. Obviously, the movie is more streamlined, but nothing from the book that they didn’t include in the movie made me think twice.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

51vkcuypuXLRating: ★★★★

Genre: Classic, fiction, dystopia

GoodReads rating:  4.12 / 5 (1,500,000 ratings)

Medium used: Audio book and e-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 1/2 – 2/2

Summary: In the perfect community of “sameness,” Jonas is assigned the task of bearing the memories of societies past.

Thoughts: Another great classic for the shelves. This is a short read but really thoughtful.

Other adaptations: The movie came out in 2014 and it was… okay. The book is really philosophical and a lot of the plot exists in the mind of the reader and has a real point of view that’s hard to portray in the movie. The screenwriters had a gargantuan task translating this adaptation and did the best they could, but fell short even with a stellar cast (I especially love the casting of Cameron Monaghan as Asher). The first half of the movie was good, but the pacing and diversions from the book plot (start spoiler) (making the mom a total bitch, a forced romantic plotline, etc.) (end spoiler) really lost me in the second half.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

81FX7MLN6RLRating: ★★★★

Genre: Fiction

GoodReads rating: 3.91 / 5 (328,000 ratings)

Medium used: E-reader (borrowed from library via OverDrive)

Date started/ finished: 3/2 – 6/2

Summary: Eccentric mother and former architect Bernadette goes missing after stirring trouble amongst the private school moms and acting rashly in a way that made her husband fear for her safety.

Thoughts: This book is really unique in that the first 2/3 or so is written as different correspondences between the characters that develop the plot and characters really well. I think of this as Eleanor Oliphant, but actually good (sorry about it) with a more satisfying ending.

Other adaptations: I’m excited for the movie coming out later this year with Cate Blanchett!

Have you read any of these? Which did you enjoy most?

Photo by Radu Marcusu.

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1 Comment

  1. February 20, 2019 / 8:34 am

    My mum read The Giver and she really enjoyed it but yeah the movie definitely didn’t translate it well from what I’ve heard. I’d like to read the book though to give it another go because I mean usually the books are always better than the movies.

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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