Weekly Reviews and Recommendations: Week 30 Part 1
Hello, everyone! So, as you probably all know, John Green's new book, Turtles All The Way Down came out yesterday, and I could barely keep it together all day waiting for my copy to arrive. Between sacrificing sleep and reading in the extra time after the PSATs, I'm 30 pages out from finishing it! I can safely say that it is an amazing and important read that really spoke to me in a way few books have. I'll be posting a full review of that on Wednesday right before I go see John and Hank in Indianapolis on Thursday!
I'm (briefly) finished talking about Turtles All The Way Down, but be sure to check out the instructions below for following us on all social media channels and the email subscription to be the first to know about new posts and to get special extras before and about posts. I'll be linking last week's reviews and my favorite mental health reads in honor of Mental Health Awareness Day (which was yesterday).
As a last note, the books this week were really awesome reads that I highly recommend! Krystal Sutherland definitely delivered the John Green vibes that were promised on the back of the book, and Rainbow Rowell's epic Fangirl got me through while the power was out with Harvey. I'm also reviewing Sutherland's newest title, A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares, Halloween week!
Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland (313 pages)
Overview: Henry Page has made it to senior year with one singular focus, become editor of the school paper. No amount of high school hijinks ever pulled him away from working getting what he wanted until Mr. Hink announces that Henry is going to have a co-editor for the paper, recent transfer, Grace Town. Walking the a cane and dressed in baggy cloths from the men's department, Grace draws a feeling in Henry that he's never felt before. As he gets to know Grace Town and the deeper parts of her life, Henry gets pulled into her hurricane, letting his whole life fall away just to follow Grace and her cyclone of highs and lows. Even as he starts to realize he's letting his life fall apart over something that barely makes him happy anymore, Henry can't let go of this girl that made his world shine in a brand new light. Overall: 4.3
General Thoughts: I think the special part of this book is how honest the feelings come across. Beyond the words and the things that happen, what makes me love this book and recommend it is how the book just made me feel understood. The themes in this book, contemplating death and the universe, first attraction, and loving someone you shouldn't, are executed beautifully and with the upmost authenticity in a way that can't be ranked through any of the regular categories I grade on.
Characters: 5 Henry Page is just such an honest character. He loves wholeheartedly, wants the best for people, and is maybe a touch naive, but aren't we all when we're faced with something difficult. He's the one we ride the rollercoaster with, and Grace and his heart is the ones that run it.
Grace is also another well crafted character. She has clearly suffered through a lot though feels the need to keep suffering. She's definitely a character that builds and grows over the course of the book purely from the reader learning more about her past.
The other character I wanted the discuss here is Lola, one of two of Henry's two best friends and definitely the more important of the two. Lola serves as the story's anchor that tries to keep Henry grounded and realistic during the worst of his infatuation with Grace. She tries to keep the world centered and in check.
Plot: 4 The plot is overall strong, though there are many predictable moments. While this is mostly a character driven plot focusing on Henry and Grace's evolution, some of the plot steps added for comic relief, mostly staring Henry's over-exagerated, Australian friend Murray, diminished some of the severity of the plot in a way that I felt did not service the book.
Writing: 4 I enjoyed the writing which is light and easy to read, and I marvel at the author's ability to have so much levity in her words and so much grounding and honesty in the emotions embedded in this story. There are some hokey parts that I feel diminished the book a bit, overall, this is a very strong story that I would recommend to anyone who likes realistic romances that might not have a happy ending.
Links Of Interest:
Week 29 Part 1: Buzz Kill: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/10/weekly-reviews-and-recommendations-week_4.html
Week 29 Part 2: Grit: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/10/weekly-reviews-and-recommendations-week_6.html
Mental Health Awareness Week Picks:
Under The Rose-Tainted Skies: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/05/standout-book-under-rose-tainted-skies.html
All The Bright Places: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/03/standout-book-all-bright-places.html
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful: http://www.readingwritingandme.com/2017/05/weekly-book-reviews-and-recommendations.html
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