I haven’t written any book reviews in a while, mostly because I haven’t really read anything in a while that I really feel is worth a whole blog post – a short caption on my Instagram account has seemed to suffice. But I have missed writing book reviews, so here are a few mini reviews of some books I’ve read recently. Let me know if you’ve read any of them, or if there’s any you’re planning on reading soon!
The Rosie Project – Graeme Simison
At the end of March, I was really craving a nice, easy, charming love story. I often feel that romances/love stories are fairly denigrated in popular culture, which really bothers me because it’s one of the most universal experiences and even cynics usually fall in love once in their lives. (I have so many thoughts about this that I’m probably going to write a blog post about it soon.) I had heard good things about The Rosie Project, and seeing as I had bought my mum a copy for Christmas… Does anyone else buy presents that they secretly want for themselves?
I really liked this book. It was exactly what I was looking for, with the added bonuses of being intelligent, quirky, intensely readable and having a (paradoxically) very appealing protagonist.
The Gigolo – Francoise Sagan
My first Penguin Modern! I have definitely given into the hype of the Penguin Moderns, because I think they’re a fantastic way to sample a writer’s work if you’re not sure you’ll really like their style or focus. Unfortunately I was not keen on this one. I have already read, and really liked, two of Sagan’s novellas – Bonjour Tristesse and A Certain Smile – and in comparison, these short stories just felt clumsy and indifferently written.
The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House – Audre Lorde
Thankfully, this was a Penguin Modern that I did thoroughly enjoy. I had never read any of Lorde’s essays or poetry before, and I thought these were amazing. She is so rigorously intellectual that initially I found them a bit difficult to read, but they are so worth the effort. Her writings on intersectional feminism and her belief that, in order to lead fulfilling lives, we need to embrace the ‘erotic’ (in other words, the joy and potential of life) were just fantastic.
The Waves – Virginia Woolf
I have such mixed feelings towards Virginia Woolf. Some of her books I ADORE – she expresses feelings and humanity in such eloquent, inspiring phrases that she honestly makes me look at the world in a different way – and other books I really don’t like. I read The Waves for the first time last year, and by the ending I felt like I hadn’t appreciated it as much as I should have. So, I re-read it last week. Turns out that the beginning and the ending are my favourite bits and, despite a few illuminating passages and ideas of brilliance, the experimental style of The Waves just isn’t for me.
Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
No photo for this book, because I borrowed it from the library – but I loved this YA LGBT romance! Not sure if I’ve said before, but I really don’t like young adult novels because the writing irritates me and they’re often a bit too simplistic for my taste, but I thought this one was brilliant. I loved the film Love, Simon too – it’s just really nice and wholesome and inclusive. But I thought the ending was a little too cheesy.