Showing posts from November 19, 2023

If I Survive You by Jonathan Escoffery: Booker Prize Short List book review

If I Survive You  by Jonathan Escoffery Overview: Escoffery tells the story of the various branches of one Jamaican immigrant family in Miami. Over a series of either short stories or parts of a novel depending on how you want to look at the various sections, the reader follows this family from a variety of perspectives from the time the children are born until they're grown adults. The book isn't always entirely linear and sometimes traipses through time as well as through parts of the family. Though the younger son, Trelawny, feels like the undeniable main character, we get to see the points of view of his father, Topper, as well as his cousin Cukie. While this is a truly expansive story through time and experience for only 260 pages, it is also an extremely intimate portrait of a handful of people and how they undeniably set the tone for each other's lives. Overall: 5 Characters: 5 Trelawny stands out to me as the central character this book revolves around. Maybe it'

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin: book review

Young Jane Young  by Gabrielle Zevin Overview: Aviva Grossman always had her eye towards the political arena, so it seems like fate that she has a tangential connection that lands her an internship with her local Congressman during her college years. But, even as Aviva thrives with the work, everything falls apart when she kisses the Congressman, and suddenly everything she's built is in jeopardy. The media rips her apart, and her life is over before she's even started. This book follows Aviva in her youth and in her forties, her mother, her daughter, and the Congressman's wife's across all their messy intersections that come together to tell the story of Aviva Grossman's life.  Overall: 3.5 Characters: 3  The character archetypes are interesting enough, and there are some compelling relationships, but the final execution does ultimately make everyone feel pretty flat. For example, Aviva gains depth as we see her as a grown-up and then go back in time to read her di

My Winter Break TBR 2023

Happy November everyone! The year is almost over and I can't believe it. I've been counting down the days to the end of my last fall semester, and I can't believe it's almost over. I've managed to get home for break quite early, so I'm still balancing some school work with enjoying being back in town and hanging out with my family. Also, it's time to break into the giant stack of books I've been assembling all fall to make sure that my physical TBR actually gets read. Something about reading paper books with a highlighter or pen in hand feels so indulgent and lovely.  I don't read paper books during the semester because they're just harder to read on my commute and in gaps between classes than ebooks, but I love getting to savor the books in a different way. Since I've already read 106 books this year and wildly surpassed my wildest dream, I feel like I can really take my time with these books and read them slowly, which is a nice change of p