September Reads – 2017

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This month I read three books.

Since I read so much and write less than I’m reading (eek, bad habit) I’ve decided to force myself to write a little more by writing about the books I’m reading.

Please follow my bookstagram for real-time updates @tonksreads (I take pictures of my beautiful cat, Tonks, and write a short review from her perspective. Preview below!) And friend me on goodreads so I can stalk you in return!

Finished Sept. 5th, 2017: The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John BoyneIMG_20170906_101443_291

First sentence: Long before we discovered that he had fathered two children by two different women, one in Drimoleague and one in Clonakilty, Father James Monroe stood on the altar of the Church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in the parish of Goleen, West Cork, and denounced my mother as a whore.

The Heart’s Invisible Furies was my Book of the Month Club pick for August but I didn’t finish until September (it’s big). If you’re a book enthusiast or addict (like me!) Book of the Month Club is a great way to get brand new hardback books for about half the cost. The only catch is often you don’t know a lot about the book before buying. Luckily, a panel of judges is there to aid in your decision. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a coming-of-age (and coming out) story about a gay man growing up in homophobic Catholic Ireland. The story mostly follows closeted Cyril and his best, and very straight, friend Julian. The two friends have a lot in common (yay friendship!) and so much that divides them because of what Cyril keeps secret (gay!) in order to live a safe life. When the truth about Cyril finally “comes out” (eyo!!) it threatens their friendship, forcing Cyril to accept who he is and create his own path outside of restrictive Ireland. The book is funny, charming, absolutely heartbreaking, and LONG. It’s a freaking saga. And for the first three quarters this saga was worth it. Cyril and Julian are both incredibly flawed but somehow I fought for their friendship. The other relationships in the book are more forced and less thrilling. The last section of the book focused on these other relationships and because of that the ending dragged. It was an unfortunate way to end an otherwise brilliant book.

Pages read: 582

Rating: 4/5 stars

Finished September 12th, 2017: How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky

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First Sentence: I started writing these pieces as a form of self-reflection following a series of dumb and personally destructive decisions.

How to Ruin Everything by George Watsky is a book of autobiographical essays penned by poet, youtuber, hip-hopper George Watsky. I’ve been a fan of Watsky’s since high school and have seen him live in concert about 5 times (and only 3 of those times were Vidcon) Suffice it to say: I’m a fan. His music is funny, thoughtful, clever, everything! His collaborators are amazing and his writing is awesome. Buuuuuut not so much in essay form? I didn’t find the writing in this book bad by any means, but it wasn’t thrilling or memorable either. I have a little more insight into Watsky’s life but I didn’t feel like I gained anything personally from the book. If you’re already a Watsky fan it’s worth the read. If you’re not, you won’t find much here.

Pages read: 240

Rating: 3/5 stars

Finished September 21st, 2017: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

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First Sentence: Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

Little Fires Everywhere was my Book of the Month pick for September and BOY, WAS I PLEASED. First of all, I am a huge fan of Celeste Ng after her debut book Everything I Never Told You  rocked my world and left me a teary mess of admiration for her writing. This book had a LOT to live up to and it did not disappoint. The story is hard to explain briefly. There’s lots of moving parts. If you can tell anything from the first sentence the story starts with a family living a peaceful, “perfect”, suburban life and ends with the youngest daughter, Izzy, burning that big, perfect, suburban house to the ground. They know it was intentional because there were “little fires everywhere”. What sets off the madness? Photographer-artist Mia and her daughter Pearl move to town and change everyone’s perception on what a family should look like and what “motherhood” means. Sounds simple enough. You wouldn’t believe it from the summary but the book is THRILLING. It’s not a perfect novel and I still like Everything I Never Told You more but I think Ng is one of the best writers of our time!

Page read: 336

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

What’s next?

Since I’m writing this in October I can tell you I’ve already finished one book, Ancillary Justice, and started on another, The Hate U Give. Also, John Green’s new book comes out in a week and I’m so very excited for what October brings. Happy Reading!

 

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