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.


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1Q84: Review


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.


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Review: A Gathering of Shadows


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.


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One Day: Review


Title: One Day

Author: David Nicholls

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Rating: 3.5/5

It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met on the night of their graduation. Tomorrow they must go their separate ways. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another.
Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.

Twenty years, two people, one day.

It’s been a million and one years since my last review but I’m back and my god this book was a whirlwind.

I had some issues with this book, but overall I really enjoyed this book. It was entertaining and beautiful, but also heartbreaking.

That’s really I can say without spoiling you because believe me, you don’t want to be spoiled.


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Review: Gone Girl

gone_girl_flynn_novelTitle: Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn

Publisher: Broadway Books

Rating: 4/5

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 

Oh wow. This book creeped me the eff out. It wasn’t scary scary, but really freaky. I don’t really know if that even makes any sense but it’s the only way I can think to describe the way this book made me feel. It irked me, made me rethink everything, and ultimately, was a really great thriller.

This book was really sneaky and managed to keep changing my perspectives and ideas as the novel progressed. I’d go from hating Nick, to sympathizing with Nick, and back to despising him. The same goes for Amy. Gillian Flynn really has a talent for twisting and turning the story so you don’t know who to trust. I loved that about this book.

I didn’t know what to expect when I came into this book. I heard it was a mystery/thriller type thing and that it rivaled or was similar to We Were Liars, which I loved, so I thought I’d check it out. Honestly, I think it’s best to go into this book blind, as it allows  for more suspense and thrills.

There isn’t much else I can say without spoiling you, except that this is a phenomenally gripping read. It’s captivating, thrilling, and sneaky. However, if you’re squeamish or get triggered by self-inflicted pain, I’d say to step away. Otherwise, this is a very intriguing read.


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Lunar Chronicles Full Series Review

favelunarTitle: Lunar Chronicles

Author: Merissa Meyer

Publisher: Feiwal and Friends

Rating: 5/5

Once upon a time, in the future… The Lunar Chronicles are futuristic retellings of classic fairy tales. In CINDER, a teenage cyborg (half human, half machine) must deal with a wicked stepmother, start a rebellion against the evil Queen Levana, and decide how she feels about a handsome prince. As the series continues, Cinder forges alliances with Scarlet, a spaceship pilot who is determined to solve the mystery of a missing loved one — with the help of a magnetic street fighter named Wolf; Cress, a computer hacker who is imprisoned by Queen Levana; and Winter, a princess who’s in love with a commoner, and who discovers that Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress may hold the key to saving her kingdom — and the world. (source)

This is hands-down absolutely fantastic. There was badassery, awesome female characters, diversity; it was, simply put, amazing.

The character development in these books it riveting. I loved how every character intertwined with each other and added to the story. I also loved how small seemingly random bits of the different fairy tales the books were based after, found their way into the story.

Another seemingly simple thing that I really enjoyed was how unique each character’s perspective was. Sometimes with books with multiple POVs, the voice of the individual character gets lost. With these, though, there is a clear and distinct voicing to each character. For instance, in Iko’s sections, you can immediately tell her android thinking, and with Winter, you can sense how she isn’t always quite there. The same goes for the rest of the characters, and I love that so much.


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Fairest Booktalk

latest (1680×2539)Title: Fairest

Author: Marrissa Meyer

Publisher: Fiewel and Fiends

Rating: 5/5

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.

I have a lot of feelings right now. That ending…

So this bo0k is a novella following Levana, the antagonist (that’s as nice a term as I can put it), from the Lunar Chronicles. I read both Fairest and Winter at the same time (I’m currently reading Winter in physical form and listened to Fairest as an audiobook) and oh my god.

I’m not sure how much I can say without spoiling you. This book was so entertaining and insightful to read. It was dark, gripping, and I loved it so much. I loved reading about Levana’s childhood, even though it gave me no sympathy towards her. Whoops, I still hate her.

This was a really fun (fun? I can’t believe I’m saying that) little read and added a lot of color to Winter, which I’ll probably finish within the next couple days.

If you loved the Lunar Chronicles or are about to start Winter, I 10/10 recommend.


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