Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

51vhe12rxjl-_sx324_bo1204203200_Title: The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

Publisher: Vintage

Rating; 5/5

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now…

Well damn. I heard about this book and thought it’d be an interesting read. I wasn’t prepared for how raw and frightening this book would be. I was immediately drawn to this book from the first page. The writing style just seemed so bleak and hopeless while also straight to the point. I was immediately hooked and wanted to know more about the society Offred alluded to and how it worked.

This was a harsh awakening to the fact that rights aren’t always permanent. It’s scary how quickly they can be stripped from you. It was scarily relevant in today’s society, especially with what’s going on in the White House. In some countries, women still don’t have the right to vote and countries such as Saudi Arabia only legalized it a couple of years ago.

I watched a couple interviews with Margaret Atwood and she’s quite adamant about not taking our rights for granted. She talks about how a bunch of new generations are born with the rights and see them as given to them, and she wrote the book to remind people that things aren’t always secure. She’s right, in a way. I grew up barely thinking twice about, but really, decades ago, women were still fighting against gender descrimination in the workspace, and it’s still not exactly equal yet.

This book taught me to value my rights, to not take them for granted, and to continue to fight for women’s rights around the world.

It served as a warning to me, and to others of how things can become, if we allow things to progress as they did in the book.

In short, this book was eye-opening and raw. A definite must-read.

SPOILERS:

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Books I Read in June

I skipped the past couple monthly wrap-ups because I felt like they were kind of boring and irrelevant, but today I thought it’d be fun to do one again.

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Night Film by Marisha Pessl: I finished this book in the beginning of June but this book has stuck with me. This book creeped me out and I was intrigued the whole way through. I loved the premise and I definitely recommend it.

 

 

 

 

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The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir: This is a completely random book but I found this in my house and I thought it would be interesting so I decided to pick it up. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book and I loved ready about the 1500s and Henry VIII.

 

 

 

 

sky_375wThe Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson: Oh my god, I loved this book. It was a really quick read for me and I loved every second of it. I really enjoyed the way Jandy illustrated grief–it was raw and real and didn’t feel romanticized. I used to play in a band, and I loved seeing Lennie play the clarinet and interacting with the band and I enjoyed the musical aspect of the book.

 

 

 

91v1my0wjwlThe Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: I recently read Of Mice and Men for school and I quite enjoyed it. I had The Grapes of Wrath lying around my house and I’d been putting off reading it and decided to just go for it. I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked this book and found it interesting to read into the lives of migrant workers and families during the Great Depression.

1Q84: Review

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Title: 1Q84

Author: Haruki Murakami

Publisher: Knopf

Rating: 3.5/5

A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver’s enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 —“Q is for ‘question mark.’ A world that bears a question.” Meanwhile, an aspiring writer named Tengo takes on a suspect ghostwriting project. He becomes so wrapped up with the work and its unusual author that, soon, his previously placid life begins to come unraveled.

As Aomame’s and Tengo’s narratives converge over the course of this single year, we learn of the profound and tangled connections that bind them ever closer: a beautiful, dyslexic teenage girl with a unique vision; a mysterious religious cult that instigated a shoot-out with the metropolitan police; a reclusive, wealthy dowager who runs a shelter for abused women; a hideously ugly private investigator; a mild-mannered yet ruthlessly efficient bodyguard; and a peculiarly insistent television-fee collector.

I was really excited to read this book. Maybe it was because of my somewhat high expectations that this book fell relatively low. Or maybe not, I’m not sure. All I know is that this book felt kind of empty to me by the end. It’s a huge book but after the first 300 pages or so the plot seemed to slow down considerably. Nothing much seemed to be happening. There were a couple bumps after that but overall the plot was pretty flat.

That being said, I really enjoyed the setting. This is the first book I’ve read set entirely in Japan and I loved reading about the culture and Tokyo.

I’ve heard that many others enjoyed this book and the characters were engaging and relatable, but as a mostly plot-based reader, I felt a bit disappointed at the end. However, there were still really interesting parts that got me thinking and I’d still recommend this.

SPOILERS:

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Authors I’d Love to Meet!

Even though I read a lot, I haven’t been to very many book signings, mainly because I’m always in the wrong place for book signings. There are so many authors I’d love to meet, and it was so hard to narrow it down to five.

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5. V.E. Schwab: I just love her books and her writing styles. I’d love to meet her and tell her how much her books have impacted me.

 

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 4.26.42 PM4. Jojo Moyes: Y’all know how much I love Me Before You and if I ever had the chance to meet Jojo Moyes, I’d never pass on that. Me Before You was just so incredible and I’d love to see her and have her sign my copy and for me to be able to tell her how much her book resonated with me.

 

cassandra-clare3. Cassandra Clare: I’ve read so many of her books and loved all of them. My favorites are, of course, The Infernal Devices. I’d just love to meet her and fangirl about Will and Tessa.

 

 

JK Rowling2. J.K. Rowling: This one doesn’t really need any explaining. She’s some sort of childhood hero in my mind and meeting her would be a dream come true. Her books formed the basis of my love for reading and I’d just love to talk to her.

 

114661.Markus Zusak: Again, not surprising. His books have completely changed my life. I can’t even put to words how much I loved The Book Thief and I am the Messenger. I’d just love the chance to meet him and tell him how amazing I thought his books were and how much I love his writing style.

That was it for today’s post, just a few of the authors I’d love to meet.

February Wrap-Up

I read seven amazing books this month:

18460392All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: Oh my god, this book was beautiful. I wish I’d done a full review on this book but I forgot and then somehow a month had gone by. I read this book in a sitting and was constantly amazed by the beauty of it. I loved the theme of discovering new things and doing things that scare you. It was absolutely brilliant and if you ever get the chance, you should most definitely check this book out.

 

theevilwelove-680x1024 The Evil We Love by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman: I’m slowly but surely making my way through this series of novellas.

 

 

 

 

world_war_z_book_coverWorld War Z  by Max Brooks: The format was really interesting and really helped to make it seem as if these events had actually taken place. While it may have been a bit boring at times, it made all the events that much more real and never ceased to give me chills.

 

 

 

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The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater: I finally finished this series! I’m a bit sad to see it over, but the ending was really satisfying and I think it did the series justice. Overall, I really enjoyed this series, but the first book is still my favorite.

 

 

 

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: So the anniversary of me first reading this book was sometime in February and I just felt it right that I should reread it this month. I’ve mentioned before that I was hesitant about rereading because I felt like I wouldn’t feel the same about reading it the second time around. Of course, I was wrong. I was completely blown away by the beauty of this book once more. My love for this book has only grown now that I’ve reread it. Again, if you ever get a chance, you should most definitely check it out.

 

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Pale Kings and Princes by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman: Looks like I’ll be starting Lady Midnight next month at the rate I’m going. I love the constant chemistry tension between Isabelle and Simon and I’m really happy they worked it out.

 

 

 

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Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin: Ahh! I finally got to this book, after months of anticipating it and wanting to read it. It was honestly so amazing. It was hands down better than the first one and I couldn’t put it down. It was brilliant, the character arcs were amazing. I honestly love the relationship that grew between Yael and Luca. Oh Luca…

 

 

Anyway, these were the seven books I read this month. Leave a comment about the books you read this month.

Review: A Gathering of Shadows

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Title: A Gathering of Shadows

Author: V.E. Schwab

Publisher: Tor Books

Rating: 4/5

It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.

It was so refreshing to be completely wrapped up in a book and everything that’s going on. At first, it took me a while to get into, as it’s been a really long time since I read the first book. However, after a couple of chapters, it all came back to me and I really enjoyed the book.

It was an incredible read and I enjoyed it immensely.

SPOILERS:

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January Wrap-Up

I read three books this month:

Golden Son by Pierce Brown220px-golden_son_2015

 

 

 

 

The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan88b83b9fa25b29525aacf8c227b43b13

 

 

 

 

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab20764879

 

 

 

 

That’s all I read in January. How about you? What did you read in January?