The Nest (2015) by Kevin Oppell

★★★★☆ 4/5

For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp’s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered. – Goodreads


Horror/Fiction/YA – read on Kobo Ereader

Writing a good review for this read was a little difficult because I only use my Kobo when I am at the gym during cardio sessions! This should-be quick read probably lasted close to a month for me, but regardless I loved it.

This read has sometimes been referred to as a children’s book, other times a young adult. In my personal opinion, to really grasp the subjects in this book the reader would need to be old or mature enough to understand the pressure placed on a family in circumstances where a family member is sick.

It is hard to give an honest review without spoiling anything, so I will sum it up with saying the reason this book was so great was that it kept the “supernatural” horror alive and real, while simultaneously addressing the natural horrors that can be encountered in life and managed to tie them together. Two forms of horror working as one keeps the reader on edge and curious right up until the very last word, and the fear even continues to linger afterwards.

"But maybe Vanessa was right, and all those other people were broken 
too in their own ways, maybe we all spent too much time pretending
we weren't."

 

The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) by Oscar Wilde

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.” -Goodreads


Classics/Fiction/Horror – can be read in a few days

Written in Old English language, this read was not only entertaining for the story, the brilliant quotes worded beautifully are reason enough to give this book a try. Lord Henry had many wise words about life, I couldn’t even pick a favorite quote.

I was tempted to give it 4 stars, however there was a stretch in the book where I was very confused and missed a significant amount of time. I was still able to understand the general plot of the story, but it did impact my rating of the book. I’m sure if I reread this book I would be able to appreciate it much more.

REGARDLESS – IT IS A MASTERPIECE. 

I definitely had the homosexual vibe from Basil which contributed to the controversy over this book.

In the book Basil keeps emphasizing that he feels he have put too much of himself into the portrait he painted of Dorian, this could be Oscar Wilde’s metaphor for how he has put much of himself into this book when he references that each character is semi autobiographical

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.”

"Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul."
"Youth is one thing worth having."
"Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the
caveman had known had to laugh, History would have been different."

 

 

 

A Man Called Ove (2012) by Fredrik Backman

★★★★☆ 4/5

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations. -Goodreads


Fiction/ <500 Pages / Can be read in about a week 

This book was on the top of my TBR for a very long time, you can imagine my disappointment when I started this book and I didn’t think it was for me – but, I was very wrong.

Ove comes off as a bitter old man, however readers get to learn about what has happened throughout his life and how he feels, and it really influences you to be more open minded when perceiving Ove.

There was such great character development and I fell in love with the story very quickly. One minute I would be crying and the next I would be laughing out loud.

This read was great because it reminds the reader that everyone has a history which has shaped them into who they are today. Ove’s actions and perceptions are heavily based upon the influence of the important people he had in his life.

"Ove feels an instinctive skepticism towards all people taller than one 
eighty-five; the blood can't quite make it all the way up to the brain."

"And she was colour. All the colour he had."

The Bell Jar (1963) by Sylvia Plath

★★★★☆ 4/5

This read was beautifully heartbreaking, you can feel the emotion all the way through.

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Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time. In her acclaimed and enduring masterwork, Sylvia Plath brilliantly draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes palpably real, even rational—as accessible an experience as going to the movies. A deep penetration into the darkest and most harrowing corners of the human psyche.  -Goodreads

 


Classics / <300 pages / Can be read in a couple of days

Fun Fact: When The Bell Jar was originally published the author used the pseudonym Victoria Lewis.

What I personally held onto throughout this book is it deals with mental illness and depression, however it shows that even people who you would say have it “good” can still live unfulfilled lives. It also makes the point that sometimes the severity of an event that drives people to go under does not necessarily have to register as a severe event to everyone. A situation that is no big deal to you may be the breaking point for someone else.

This book is said to be semi-autobiographical, Sylvia Plath struggled with depression herself and sadly committed suicide in 1963.

"The silence depressed me. It wasn't the silence of silence. It was my own
silence"
"There must be quite a few things a hot bath won't cure, but I don't know 
many of them. Whenever I'm sad I'm going to die or so nervous I can't sleep,
or in love with somebody I won't be seeing for a week, I slump down just so
far and then I say 'I'll go take a hot bath.'"

 

 

 

July TBR

So many books.. so little time


My reading list for his month consists of :

  1. Finishing A Man Called Ove
  2. The Picture of Dorian Gray
  3. Whisky Words & a Shovel I
  4. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry 
  5. It (This is going to take me a long time to read, therefore I’m going to squeeze it in every so often, but starting it this month)

 

2017 Reading Goal

SO, unbelievably we are halfway through 2017 already!

I gave up reading during highschool and through most on university because I “didn’t have time for it”. That was an excuse, you make time for the things you love in life. As of 2017, my new years resolution was to read about 12 books (one for each month, you know keeping it reasonable). March I was already on my 13th read, so I definitely had to aim higher.

My 2017 goal was changed to 50 books in one year.

As of July 6th, I have read 32 BOOKS. Evidently my goal is not only achievable, but I may also surpass it!

Not only have I committed to making reading and literature a huge part of my life, I have even opened up to blogging and bookstagramming in order to interact with other book lovers like myself.

I use Goodreads and a self-made bullet journal spread to track my books, here is my read list:

  1. Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson
  2. Challenger Deep – Neal Shusterman
  3. Why is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Mindy Kaling
  4. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  5. 1984 – George Orwell
  6. Sylvanus Now – Donna Morrissey
  7. We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  8. Wenjack – Joseph Boyden
  9. The Pilot’s Wife – Anita Shreve
  10. Doppler – Erlend Loe
  11. Birdman – Mo Hayder
  12. The 100 Year Old Man – Jonas Jonasson
  13. A Thousand Splendid Suns
  14. A Walk Across the Sun – Corbin Addison
  15. The Strange Case of Dr.Jeckyll and Mr.Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
  16. It Gets Worse – Shane Dawson
  17. Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson
  18. The Martian – Andy Weir
  19. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  20. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margret Atwood
  21. Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
  22. Nocturnal Animals – Austin Wright
  23. Project Sunlight – June Strong
  24. The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins
  25. There Are Things I Want You to Know – Eva Gabrielsson
  26. Triangles – Ellen Hopkins
  27. Tilt – Ellen Hopkins
  28. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  29. Shot in the Heart – Mikal Gilmore
  30. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  31. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness
  32. Carrie – Stephen King

July Book Haul (All Used Books)

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A successful (and cheap) book haul!

I met up with two different people I contacted through a Facebook used book group and managed to snag 10 books for $30!!! (1 of them is not pictured because I purchased it for a friend).

Buying used books is something I strongly advocate. Using buy and sell groups – especially book specific ones- are a great way to find books on your wishlist and get them for cheap.

My great finds consist of:

  • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
  • Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
  • In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
  • What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Series
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger