What I Read: October 2014

boy snow bird, the bell jar, half bad, rebecca, helen oyeyemi, slyvia plath, sally green, daphne du maurier

BOY, SNOW, BIRD

About- A retelling of Snow White that explores the themes of race, beauty, and identity.

Why I picked it– I heard that this one was interesting and I’ll admit that the cover also captured my attention.

Grade B This book was kind of strange, but I kind of liked it. I liked the writing style, which was somewhat conversational. I felt a bit like I was sitting down with a friend and they decided to tell me this wild and crazy version of their life story. There were a few twists in the plot that I didn’t anticipate and I thought the narrator was an interesting character. This book won’t be for everyone, but if you’re looking for a bit of an experimental read, then this might hit the spot.

THE BELL JAR

About- A young woman struggling with depression; a realistic portrayal of someone dealing with a mental illness.

Why I picked it– I’ve been meaning to read this for over a year now. It’s a classic and I’m glad I finally got to it.

Grade A Our main character, Esther, battles depression and the entire time I was reading this, I really felt for her. At the beginning of the book, she’s living the dream and doing a summer internship in NYC. After the internship ends though, her plans for the rest of the summer don’t quite work out and the depression starts to take a hold of her. Esther feels so alone and although she seems fine on the outside, she’s really hurting on the inside. Plath’s writing is beautiful and I thought this book was really good for anyone who wants to understand mental illness better. This is one of those books that I think will stick with me for a long time (if you want to hear more of my thoughts on this book, check out the video that I made).

HALF BAD

About- A young witch who is Half-White (good witch) and Half-Black (bad witch).

Why I picked it– I’m pretty sure Eva Chen instagrammed a picture of this book a few months before it came out, so I mentally added it to my list.

Grade B- The good: interesting premise, fast pacing, interesting details in this world of witches. The not-so-good: underdeveloped characters, the romance was not really believable, and the ending felt a bit rushed. Overall, I thought this book was entertaining, although I had some problems with it. It’s the first book in trilogy and I’ll be checking out the next book to find out what happens and see if it addresses any of the issues I had with the first one.

REBECCA

About- A young woman gets married to a widower, but feels that she is constantly in the shadow of his first wife.

Why I picked it– This is another book that was on my list of top 10 classics I want to read or reread.

Grade A This book was excellent. I almost want to tell you nothing about this book except for, go read it. I didn’t know too much going into this book and I think that’s the best way to approach it. I wanted to read some spooky/creepy books this month in keeping with the theme of Halloween and this one fit the bill. The characters are fascinating and the plot is a slow burn, which I thought worked perfectly in this case. That’s all I’m saying about this one- let me know if any of you have read it!

If you want to hear more of my book talk, I have a YouTube channel where I upload book-related videos weekly!

Tell me: Have you read any of these books? What are you reading at the moment?

(as always, click the titles for links!)

  • sartorialsidelines

    I’ve never read Rebecca and now I really feel I need to! And I really enjoyed your thoughts on The Bell Jar. I read it many years ago and it definitely resonated with me.

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

    • Rebecca is wonderful, I highly recommend it. I’m really glad I got around to the reading The Bell Jar. It’s a classic for a reason!

  • Nequéren Reis

    Postagem maravilhosa, Siga
    e curta o meu canal Nekitareis,

  • Great selection this month. I remember first reading The Bell Jar in college. It’s such a poignant novel to read. I appreciated having read it in a classroom setting where I could discuss the novel with others and their POVs. I plan to see your video to hear more!
    xo,
    nancy

    • Thank you Nancy! The Bell Jar would have been a great book to discuss in a classroom setting. I wish I’d had a class where that book was assigned!

  • I’d never heard of Boy, Snow, Bird or Half Bad before, but I love The Bell Jar and would like to read Rebecca. I’m psyched to hear that you’re a booktuber – I don’t make videos myself, but I follow several booktubers and love to get recommendations and reading motivation that way! I’ll definitely be following you :)

    ~Isabella
    adventuresinhel.blogspot.fi

    • Thanks so much Isabella :) I just started doing booktube this year and it’s so much fun! If you were only going to read one book out of the ones I mentioned here, I’d definitely recommend Rebecca! What kind of books do you like to read?

      • I watched a couple of your videos, they’re great! I read mostly contemporary literary fiction, but I’ve tried to branch out this year. I’m more open-minded about sci-fi and fantasy now, and I want to read more classics. My growing list of favorite authors includes Zadie Smith, Nicole Krauss, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood, and Frank McCourt.

        • Thank you! I’m so glad you liked them :) I read mostly adult contemporary or literary fiction too, but I do like to mix it up. I’m also trying to read more classics. I haven’t read anything by Zadie Smith yet, but I really want to!

  • Thanks for the recommendations as always, I really need to read more.

    Chic on the Cheap

    • Of course! I love to talk about books :)

  • amazing reads! i have been slacking in the reading department for a bit! eep! the first book you mentioned sounds so so interesting! i’m gonna look into it more!

    • Thank you Jane! Let me know if you end up reading one of these- or anything good, really :)