Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles (Book Review)

Publisher: Little Brown Books
Page Count
: 305

TW: police brutality, murder, violence, racism

Tyler Johnson Was Here was on my TBR before it ever even got released. When I saw the cover and read the blurb, I knew this was yet another very important read. It’s not the first time I am tackling the issue of police brutality through fiction on my blog. The thing is, those reads are never easy (and they’re not supposed to be), but that’s not the reason I hadn’t gotten to Tyler Johnson Was Here earlier. I don’t know why it slipped through my fingers, but the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed in the US and all over the world were a terrible reminder of how this is still very much the reality for Black people and people of color out there. So, I felt more compelled than ever to finally get to this book.

Jay Coles does not shy away from making it very clear that police brutality is a constant companion in some people’s lives. I hate the thought that children who should be carefree and playing with friends have to be educated by their parents about how to behave when the police stops them. How they could have done not even the slightest thing wrong, but everything they say or do could be construed as dangerous at the whim of some stranger. While most of the novels I have read before focus on one specific event of police brutality, Coles shows several incidents, each one shaking you to the core alongside the characters. So, while the main turning point that is mentioned in the blurb “only” occurs at the half-way point, you get this build-up of this constant companion of fear.

The cop yells, “Everybody shut the fuck up.” He looks at the three of us. “You three better get out of here before you’re next.” And now I’m wondering: What does next mean? Next to be treated like a punching bag or an animal? Next to lose my life?

I found myself very quickly attached to Marvin, the main protagonist. He is gentle, kind and smart and has a voice I loved to read about. Tyler is different and similar to him, two sides of the same coin. They were on the verge of growing apart a little bit, but still had that unbreakable bond. Marvin’s sadness was palpable on every single page while reading and I was close to shedding tears more than once. I never doubted that he was stronger than he thought himself capable of (albeit sad he had to be), but he was so incredibly brave towards the end. It was great to see his development throughout the story and see him stand up for what he believes in.

Yes, I’m willing to die for this cause, but the fact that there’s even a chance that I’ll die, become a hashtag, be remembered briefly, and then be completely forgotten and marked as a statistic fucking terrifies me.

I only wish I would have learned as much or at least a bit more about his friends and love interest. I understand that his mind was very much occupied by a traumatic event and I could see how much he cared for and appreciated the people in his life. But still, they fell a bit flat for me in comparison to Marvin, who we got a great feel for! Nonetheless, I enjoyed the focus on community and how it can be a source of strength in such trying times.

Some days, when I do, I just stare at the blackness I see in the mirror hanging on my closet door. I tell myself that I love this skin, that I’ve always loved my blackness, that if the world doesn’t love me, I will love myself for the both of us. After reminding myself that I matter, that I’ve always mattered, that Tyler mattered and still does, I make a promise to myself. I promise to never be silent about things that matter.

I don’t think the story needed a stronger focus on the trial, because the outcome wasn’t what was most important to Marvin in the end. He found his meaning of freedom and what mattered most to him through other means and in honoring his brother in his own way. Still, I’d like to say something: Video evidence should not be necessary to get people heard or to get a conviction or even as much as an arrest. People should not have to be excellent in order to not get killed by the people who were supposed to protect them. It all makes me so very angry, but I’m not surprised anymore. If you are still surprised by any of this, you haven’t been paying attention, because this has been happening for a while now.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Another very important read!

If you want to engage with this topic through fiction some more, here are a couple books I have read and can recommend (as I am sure there are many more that I have not yet read that are really great):

The Hate U Give (The Hate U Give, #1)          Dear Martin (Dear Martin, #1)          All American Boys

Having said all that, I also encourage you to check out some non-fiction books. I have to work harder on that myself, but I found Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (part memoir, part essay) very insightful. I have also heard great things abut Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad.

More resources: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/


Have you read Tyler Johnson Was Here? Do you plan on picking it up? Let’s chat!

Something Different: Duskwood (Game)

I don’t think that I’ve ever, in all the years I’ve had this blog, talked about a game on here. And yet, I’ve been quite fascinated by this one and somehow felt compelled to share it with all of you!

*I have not been asked to talk about this game by the developers! I am sharing these views of my own accord.*

Duskwood is a free crime and detective game available for Android and iOS. It’s been developed by an indie company (Everbyte) from Germany and I’ve had so much fun with it so far. I’m playing it in German, but it’s also available in English, Portuguese and Russian.

Basically, it’s an interactive thriller, where you have to solve a mystery through chat-based conversation, online research and some good old-fashioned match-three-interludes to “hack” the missing person’s files.

It’s been 72 hours since Hannah disappeared without a trace. Out of nowhere, her friends suddenly receive a message from the missing person’s phone. The mysterious message only contains a number… your number!

Duskwood is a small, sleepy village surrounded by dense forest. Rarely do strangers get lost in this remote area and when they do, they have always described the area as strange or even scary. The inhabitants of Duskwood have never been worried by this. But since 72 hours, many things have changed and even among them there are more and more concerns… Join a clique from Duskwood and help them find their friend Hannah. The old frightening legends of the forest seem to come alive – will you be able to find Hannah before its too late?

(all game blurbs taken from the official website)

Why Do I Like It So Much?

  • Duskwood is one of the best chat-based games I have ever played. While you obviously can’t just write whatever and have to choose from some given dialogue options, I rarely found myself forced to interact in a way that was contrary to what I wanted. All characters seem very well fleshed out and have their own style. You immediately know who you are talking to.
  • The way you choose to interact with the characters matter! It’s possible to befriend people, but also flirt with them (the amount of people who want to romance a mysterious hacker is … huge! Like there’s really just so, so many), but most importantly you should probably try to gain people’s trust and be prepared for them to talk to each other without you too.
  • I personally found the season pass, which is required to unlock certain video-calls and voice messages or other media (which you don’t need for the game, but which add to the atmosphere immensely), very cheap. So far, it’s a one-time payment, but it might change in the future into a monthly fee or something. Still, it’s not necessary to spend money if you don’t want to – the game is free!
  • It’s SO thrilling! I get nervous talking on the phone with regular people and now, getting those video-calls from strangers and seeing creepy wood cabins really get my adrenaline pumping. There’s always something new and unexpected that happens, even if you thought you started to figure things out.

Downsides?

  • This game is still in development and while I am 100% obsessed with it, there are only four episodes out so far and it takes almost two months for a new one to arrive. Patience is paramount!
  • Another point that requires some patience is the match-three-game-part. In order to progress with the story, you have to “hack” a cloud via playing some mini-grames. Most of them are easy enough, especially in the beginning, but certain levels are massively irritating and frustrating. However, this, again, just requires some patience until your lives fill back up again.

This is probably a ridiculous comparison, but to me, Duskwood is like the Dark (Netflix show) of games. It’s dark and creepy and complex and entertaining (although no time travel or parallel worlds … yet). I know some people don’t love the mini-games, but I don’t really mind them. The wait in between episodes is really the hardest part, but other than that I can’t think of anything to complain about. In fact, I am SUPER pumped for episode 5 (click here to track the developer’s progress for the new episode).

If you end up playing this game, definitely let me know! I need more friends to talk about the characters and story with!! 

Even More Songs I Wish Were Books!

I have done this before (check out the old post here) and everyone always really seemed to like me sharing some of my at times strange and at times super mainstream music selection. Just to summarize what this post is, I will be sharing songs that I think either make for a great story based on the lyrics or the music video and then describe what I’d expect the book to be like in a couple sentences. I hope you all enjoy and feel inspired to maybe do the same!

Hard Place by H.E.R.

This makes for the perfect base for a toxic relationship novel. I’d imagine this to be more in the adult genre than YA, but it could be on the cusp between the two. Either way, I think it shows the struggles of loving someone deeply, putting them before yourself and losing bits of yourself through that, because nothing ever changes and resentment grows. The challenge and ultimate goal would be to break free from being stuck and accepting heartbreak (the hard place) rather than a love that does you wrong.

 

Pleader by alt-J

When I first saw this music video, which is basically a short film in itself, I was so mesmerized. I wouldn’t want it to be the exact same glum thing as the video (which is based on Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice along with the music), but here’s what I imagine: A small, close-knit community has been prophesied a life altering extinction-level event (the meteor), but they manage to save one child. The story follows that kid as it grows up in an unfamiliar environment and as to reclaim its roots.

 

I Lost a Friend by FINNEAS

I just think there aren’t nearly enough books about friend-break-ups, which can honestly be just as heartbreaking and earth-shattering as romantic break-ups. I don’t know what specifics I would give for this book, I’d just like people to talk about this more, because not everyone has the same best friend from High School to old age?

 

IDK You Yet by Alexander 23

In my head, this is not a contemporary novel, but something with Fantasy or Science Fiction elements instead. The main character would go through a hard time (“cause lately it’s been hard”) and maybe they’re not human (let’s take the lines “They’re sellin’ me for parts, And I don’t wanna be modern art” literally). An old model of an android, forgotten by humanity and used for parts, yearning for a place in this world, until they meet the person that fits them (does not need to be romantic).

 

Now You’re Gone by Tom Walker feat. Zara Larsson

Again, this is very much inspired by the video. Let’s make him a real magician, constantly putting the life of his true love and assistant at risk, because he wants more global recognition. His mania and drives him to desperation, making it impossible for her to stay. I’d imagine this to be the kind of cruel book with an open end where you don’t find out if she survived the last trick or not.

 

Devil Town by Bright Eyes

This is a comedy about a person who’s living in “Devil Town” and all their friends are vampires as well as themselves, but due to some curse, they keep forgetting it and always have to rediscover it again. Underlying messages about consumerism and the darker side of human nature are an option, but it would generally be on the light-hearted side.

 

Graveyard by Halsey

Honestly, lesbian ghost love story and have it set at a deserted amusement park. Enough said.

 

Every Time I Breathe by Arlissa

I just want this to be a love story spanning over decades, where one tiny decision in the grand scheme of things tore them apart while they are still pinning for each other. (Or, considering it’s connection with Charmed just more Hacy fan fiction. I’d be down either way)

 

Play With Fire by Sam Tinnesz feat. Yacht Money

A firefighter with secrets they can’t share with anyone else. They live on the edge, “playing with fire”, but are at a breaking point when they become too reckless and endanger their entire team. Will they be able to overcome their need for adrenaline?

 


Gosh, I hope I articulated myself alright with some of these, but I’m pretty sure everything sounded better in my head? What did you think of my selection and book wishes? Let’s talk!

Seven Years of Blogging – I’M STILL HERE! (+Giveaway!)

SEVEN YEARS! It never ceases to amaze me for just how long I’ve been doing this. When I started Life and Other Disasters, I was still in uni and even had a previous blog from High School on my track record that barely lasted a couple weeks. In my mind, there was no way I would keep going for so long. I won’t lie to you, the seven-year-itch has caught me too, and there were times I wondered if I should maintain it at all or maybe let it slide into oblivion with shinier platforms like Twitter, Instagram and YouTube (don’t even get me started on TikTok, I’m too old for that one) out there to take over.

But this isn’t about how things have moved on a bit or how I feel like a lot of people forget about the work bloggers put into their posts. There were definite ups and downs, sometimes entire months without any posts other than trailers. I am guilty of not always bringing my A-game myself. However, I found, no matter what life threw at me, I never regretted having this blog to come back to. But most of all, I cherish the people I have met on here that have become some of my dearest friends. I would never ever want to miss you!! (I hope you know who you are)

So, basically, I’m saying I am still here! And even though I have no clue what the future holds and for how long I will stay here, I think seven years is a mighty fine reason to celebrate. I haven’t done this in a while, but I really wanted to give back to everyone who takes the time to visit Life and Other Disasters, like and comment on a regular basis. It really means so much to me, whether you’ve been sticking around for years or have just recently discovered the blog! Long story short: I’m doing a giveaway!! You lot have been the greatest at doing Q&As and other alternatives I have tried these past years, I thought it was about time I did one of these once more. And nothing seemed more fitting than to take a look at some of my favourite reads from the past years and let the winner choose one of the books I am suggesting.

GIVEAWAY RULES

  • I am giving away ONE (maybe two if enough people take part) of my favourite books (see list below of books to choose from).
  • The giveaway is international as long as Book Depository ships to you or you can link me up to an Indie Bookstore of your choice that will let me order from where I live.
  • You have to be 18+ or have the permission of your parents to give me details such as your full name and address. None of the information will be shared!
  • The giveaway starts today (June 8, 2020) and ends on June 14, 2020. The winner will be chosen at random, contacted via the comment section and asked to send me an email with the necessary information.
  • TO ENTER: you must follow the blog and comment about either a favourite memory we share OR your favourite blog post of mine. (You don’t yet have to pick a book, but feel free to tell me which ones interest you most!)
  • These are the bookish options I’m giving you:

Words in Deep Blue Anna K: A Love Story (Anna K, #1) Jackaby (Jackaby, #1) We Are Okay

Words in Deep Blue | Anna K | Jackaby | We Are Okay

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager All American Boys To Kill a Kingdom Echo North

Field Guide to the North American Teenager | All American Boys | To Kill a Kingdom | Echo North

A Very Large Expanse of Sea Saints and Misfits Dear Martin (Dear Martin, #1) The Light Between Worlds

A Very Large Expanse of Sea | Saints and Misfits | Dear Martin | The Light Between Worlds

How I Live Now Wolf By Wolf (Wolf By Wolf, #1) This Savage Song  (Monsters of Verity, #1) Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1)

How I Live Now | Wolf by Wolf | This Savage Song | Red Rising

The Serpent King Normal People The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood

The Serpent King | Normal People | The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society | Born a Crime

I tried to make it a good mix of different books. There’s everything from YA to adult, contemporary to Fantasy and even non-fiction book. You can find more info on all of these by either clicking on the titles to read my review or the cover to get redirected to Goodreads!


I wish the best of luck to everyone who decides to participate and am looking forward to reminisce a little about the past years! 

May 2020 Wrap-Up

I usually start these posts by just jumping right into what I have read, but it wouldn’t sit right with me to do that amidst everything that’s happening. If you follow me on Twitter, the social media platform I’m probably most active on, I hope I’ve made it clear and obvious where I stand. I stand with Black Lives Matter and all intersecting identities and I beg of you to educate yourself and support Black people during this time. We are now entering Pride month, which obviously also deserves attention, but you can do both! You can show up for the LGBTQ+ community as well as people of colour!

Also, please, don’t add to the exhaustion and pain by demanding more emotional labour from them, but instead look up resources yourself. Staying silent in the face of oppression is complicity. There are so many links and threads all over the internet for you to get information from. Click here for ways to help right now and here for tips on allyship! (This is by no means all there is out there, but it’s a start.)

No one can do everything, but everyone can do something!

Having said all that, I’m now not so smoothly transitioning to the books I read. It wasn’t the most productive month in terms of reading, but my mind was really occupied with other things. For the first time since June 2017, I’ve actually reviewed an ARC though, so I don’t know if you want to count that as a win or not?

  • Lore Olympus (Season 1) by Rachel Smythe (5 stars)
    Lore Olympus is a web comic about the story of Hades and Persephone. It’s stylish, modern and drama-filled, but also cute. I loved it! You can check it out here.
  • Again Again by E. Lockhart (3.5 stars)
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney (4 stars)

Lore Olympus, Season 1 Again Again Normal People

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above.

I’m not going to lie to you, May was a tough month. I felt like there was blowback after blowback on a personal as well as global level. My country is actually reopening pretty much everything mid-June though and I’d like to think we are ready for that step. Still, I feel like this year will stay with a lot of people and no one will be able to escape it unscathed entirely.

Wow, I’ve rarely sounded this glum, but I’ve tried to stay as busy as possible, just finding activities for myself to do since I didn’t have a job to bury myself in. Like the month before, I’ve continued writing my Football WIP and am currently at 21.5K words. It’s not exactly double what I had last month, but’s progress and I’m very proud of it.

I actually did a thread of aesthetics for all my characters, even the ones that hadn’t been mentioned at the time. You can check it out here:

And then, on top of that, I also started drawing my own characters from the Football WIP. Some looked better than others, but I’m generally really pleased. It’s only three so far, but I think I’m going to continue with the rest of the Football team and other side characters.

I did some more drawings of various actors and actresses. You can check them out on my instagram account here. I am not too happy with the quality of the photos I take sometimes, as the colors often look washed out and less vibrant or clear than in real life, but I’m learning and maybe going to share close ups or random shots of my notebooks in the future, instead of a head on photo.

MY FAVOURITE THINGS

I’ve unfortunately not been as active as I would have liked to be on everyone else’s blog. If you are up for it, feel free to share one of your own posts that you consider one of your faves from this past month in the comments below! I’d love to check it out!! But here are a couple I liked:

  • The Orang-utan Librarian wondered if reviews can truly be unbiased (spoiler alert: no)
  • Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books is one of my oldest blogging buddies and she took a look at how much this community and platform of book blogging as changed in the past 5 years. (Yep, we are blogosauruses over here)
  • Lois @My Midnight Musings talked about SciFi and Fantasy books she would like to see adapted to the small and big screen and I couldn’t agree more with … ALL of it!!!
  • Trang @Bookidote clarified what it is a blogger actually does and how much work goes into it.

MY OTHER POSTS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

I hope you are all taking care of yourselves and allow yourselves to take a step back when things become too overwhelming! Whatever June will be (let’s hope it’s good), we’re going to get through it!

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (May 25-31)

This feels like an incredibly trivial post considering the world’s current state. I’ve tried to retweet and share sources and links that I found helpful on Twitter and encourage everyone to educate themselves in case they still don’t know what’s going on right now. We need to stand with the people seeking justice and equality! This is a global issue.
Regardless, I also know that a lot of you are looking for distraction, so I hope this will offer such a brief moment.

Read More »

Normal People: Book vs. TV Show

Normal People has been all the rage when it first released with people binging it up and down. Since the book it’s based on is also a bestseller, I can only say I missed out on that hype as well. Late to the party, as I tend to be quite a lot sometimes, I really wanted to catch up on the phenomenon and indulged in both recently. So, what else would be the perfect subject for yet another book vs. TV show post?

General Plot

Connell and Marianne have known each other since school, running in different circles and yet finding and undeniable connection between them. Even when life takes them into separate directions, they find themselves gravitating towards each other continuously. Told through snapshots of specific moments and turning points in their lives, often with time jumps of several months in between them, you get to witness their unending love, their platonic and romantic entanglement.

TW: emotional, physical and sexual abuse, depression, suicide and suicidal ideation, anxiety/panic attacks (+for the show especially: graphic nude scenes, full frontal nudity)

Book

Normal PeopleI went into this book without any sort of expectation. I might have come across the trailer at that point, but I’m consuming so much media, I hardly remembered anything. I was a blank slate going into Normal People.

Reading it ended up being exhausting and frustrating and intimate and soul-crushing and strange. I was not ready for the harshness that the reality of the situations brought with them. In the beginning, I was too distracted by the format and lack of quotation marks (which I really, really missed) to realise just how deep this story was going to cut.

It’s rare that you find someone you click with on such a profound level. Connell and Marianne could be their best and their worst selves with each other and I found very little judgment that came with it. They were infuriatingly frustrating in that they lacked the communication skills to just tell the other person outright what they wanted, when all they seemed to need was each other, happy. A connection like that is nonetheless rare and even when they, once again, messed everything up with each other and hurt deeply, it was undeniable that they preferred to be in each other’s lives.

It’s a tough read, because it feels truthful and real in a frightening way. The situations were always portrayed as vulnerable and ugly, but also warm and hopeful in far fewer but still existing moments.

This book carves a hole into your soul and leaves you with an empty pit inside you. There’s simply nothing there afterwards and you want to fill it with something, but just like the characters have proven time and time again, it’s really difficult to find something that will actually make you feel better instead of just more miserable. I don’t know if this open end was genius or the final cruel gut punch. It leaves it up the reader to interpret whether happiness is fleeting and we should appreciate the moments we get, or whether this is not the end. Not truly at least.

Fazit: 4/5 stars! The only reason I subtracted a star is because this book made me feel miserable in so many moments, but that’s a very personal reason.

Page Count: 290
Publisher: Faber & Faber

*click on the cover to get redirected to Goodreads*

TV Show

For those of you who know me, you are well aware that I watch a lot of shows and movies that have been adapted from books (sometimes even vice-versa), but this one truly hit me in an unexpected way. It’s rare to see something so flawlessly translate to the screen, where the vibe, the expressions, the dialogue, the atmosphere and the feeling remain exactly the same as I had felt them during my reading experience.

The casting of (at least to me) rather unknown Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones was a bold choice that paid of in its entirety. The show hinges a lot on their talent, but they were magnificent in their roles. Their performances felt authentic and raw, dragging you into the tumultuous emotional life of the characters even deeper. There was something so utterly intimate in the way they portrayed Connell and Marianne, I would have believed they were those people instead of acting if anyone had claimed it to be the case.

There’s a couple things that are hard to watch. All these moments are existent in the book as well, but there is something so very different about imagining it and seeing it actually happen in front of you.

The only real difference I could spot was maybe Marianne’s mother. It’s not that she was necessarily a better person, but while I found her completely uncaring and cruel in the book, I thought she had glimpses of thought and care for her daughter on the show.

I must give great credit to the various directors of the episode, editors and just all crew involved. Whoever did the score (actually let me look that up real quick to tell you) … it’s several people, but the score is comprised of mostly acoustic and instrumental tracks, with some covers here and there that fit the atmosphere perfectly. So, whoever did the song selection, you also did a phenomenal job! Everything about the show managed to convey emotions, be it in the framing of the shots, the music, the silences, the colors, the set design or looks interchanged between the actors. Everything felt intentional and there’s very few instances that don’t manage to hit home.

From the massive response the show has received, I can tell that there is a certain want or need for a second season. This sequel would be completely unrelated to the book, because it finishes the exact same way as the show has. Open, free to interpretation, mournful. I would be interested to see this end on a happier note, although I am not sure that’s what the story is destined to be. For now, the cast has said there is no definite talk of a continuation. Maybe that could change with the increased interest?

Until then, you can lust after Connell’s chain with me and the rest of the internet. I love how iconic it has become and that it has its own Instagram profile. Even more so do I love the fact that Paul Mescal is raffling off one of his chains for a good cause. You have until the 8th of June, 2020, to try your luck here. Paul chose a great organisation, Pieta, which provides free therapy to those engaging in self-harm, with suicidal ideation, or bereaved by suicide in Ireland.

Conclusion

There is no better or worse in this case. I have rarely encountered such a faithful adaptation that doesn’t just match the actual dialogue, but also manages to convey the exact same vibe of the story. While I do think that the book adds a bit of inner monologue that’s helpful in some scenes, and I’d therefore recommend reading it first, they are equally as good as the other.


Have you read Normal People? Have you watched it? Are you as obsessed with Connell’s chain? Let’s chat!

The “I Should Have Read That” Book Tag

I wasn’t very consequent with my Friday is tag day proclamation, but the lovely Kirstie Ellen @Upside-Down Books tagged me for the “I Should Have Read That” Book Tag and it seemed deliciously fun. I feel like I’ll have to expose myself with some of those answers, so, I want to thank her for the opportunity and hope you all enjoy it!

RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 10 others to take part (I’ll just leave this up to whoever wants to do it)
  • ENJOY THE TAG!

A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read

Beartown (Beartown, #1)Alright, so, Lois never specifically urged me to read Beartown in any way, but she knows me so well and every time I see her talk about it, I just want to pick it up right away … I just haven’t even bought it yet …

For real though, it’s a small town sports drama with deep human emotions and I just know I’d be so here for it!

A book that’s been on your TBR forever and yet you still haven’t picked it up

Testament of YouthI actually have briefly picked it up, because I adore the movie with all my heart, but I never made it all the way through Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. It’s quite heavy and since they are her diaries, it’s all real life stuff and I just couldn’t … I think I’d rather rewatch the movie.

A book in a series you’ve started,  but haven’t gotten around to finishing yet

Dark Age by Pierce Brown is still chilling on my shelf. That book scares me SO much! I don’t know why, but it’s just MASSIVE and I haven’t really read any big books like that for a long time and I know it’s likely going to wreck me emotionally on top of it all too.

Just look at it compared to some other books on my TBR …

A classic you’ve always liked the sound of, but never actually read

War and Peace? I don’t know … it’s just that I know quite firmly that I don’t enjoy very many classics, but I quite like movie adaptations of Russian materials, so that’s one of the few I could think of.

A popular book that it seems everyone but you has read

HA! I know that one! Harry Potter, and I truly mean the entire series. Sometimes (looking at you Percy Jackson), I start a series and then life gets in the way and I forget to continue, but I’ve literally never picked up the Harry Potter books and at this point, I just don’t see it happening.

A book that inspired a film/TV adaptation that you really love, but you just haven’t read it yet

The GoldfinchLet’s not go overboard by saying I really loved loved The Goldfinch, but I loved the trailer? I enjoyed the movie, I just thought it would have been a better fit for a limited series or some other longer format. Anyway, haven’t read it, but can definitely see the appeal.

A book you see all over Instagram but haven’t picked up yet

The Priory of the Orange TreeHmmm … a confession that wasn’t even prompted her but that is coming regardless is that I’m not really in the bookstagram realm. A book I kept seeing everywhere, especially on Twitter too was The Priory of the Orange Tree and it’s another very daunting size.

 

 

 

 


I TAG THEE

I haven’t really been up my blogging game, so I’d like to leave it up to anyone who sees this tag and wants to do it. CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED!


What did you think of this post? Can you relate? Are you shocked? Let’s talk!

Again Again by E. Lockhart (eARC Review)

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Page Count
: 304
Publication Date: June 2, 2020

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

This is not a love story, or, at least, not a romantic love story.

I feel like that’s what the cover might suggest and what you could interpret the blurb to be, but it’s not. Maybe it is part of why I went into this book with a sort of wrong idea, but then, I learned a long time ago to never truly expect E. Lockhart’s books to be any specific way to begin with. I quite enjoyed her earlier chick-lit-esque work (for those of you who followed her career and are fans of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, you’ll get a fun little easter egg) but was truly the most enamored with We Were Liars, which was what I would consider more in the mystery genre. Now, Again Again, doesn’t really fit into either category and proves once again that E. Lockhart won’t be confined to any genre.

Again Again is partially written in verse and takes place in a multitude of universes, although mainly two. I think this approach could go over either way with the reader. Sometimes it felt repetitive in a tiresome way, other times it showed you how one moment can unfold in such vastly different ways that you yearn for a different outcome. It definitely takes time to get used to this unconventional style of storytelling, although I think the visual formatting helped get the point across. Still, I’m really torn on this matter myself, because I would be lying if I told you that the final universe wasn’t my favourite and I was so very relieved that it existed – imperfections and everything – whereas I really struggled with the others.

As far as the characters go, I found it a bit difficult to really fall for Adelaide. She was putting on this bubbly front of happiness, which didn’t reflect her inner sadness and turmoil at all, bordering on obsession in so many departments of her life. Her erratic behaviour made me dislike her sometimes, especially when she was impulsive and neurotic about boys that were only an escape, but not a solution. I understood why she acted the way she did.
Grieving for someone, even if it wasn’t the kind of grief related to death, and being burdened by constant worry will change you. It makes you act strange and impassive and everyone deals differently, but even though I got that on some level, it didn’t prevent me from getting frustrated with her sometimes. I appreciated the realness of her brokenness, while also resenting it. I am contradictory that way.
I did really like her creative side though! I would love to see some of the stuff she made in this book in real life!

However, as I said at the very beginning of this review, this is not a romantic love story, because all these boys (which were really only three) couldn’t have been more inconsequential, if I’m being completely honest. The most important relationship in this book, at least in my eyes, is the one between Adelaide and her brother Toby. Theirs is a love story of a different kind, because loving a family member can be just as hard and disappointing and necessary. Them finding their way back to each other was the only thing that really mattered to me.

Lastly, I just want to mention that I always love it when dogs are in the mix! I want to warn all of you that a dog gets punched in the face in this book (out of defense), but that they also seem to be able to talk to the main character in a way and that was surprising and quirky and I still don’t know what to make of it.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! Hit and miss in a lot of ways.

Do you want to read Again Again? Have you read previous books by E. Lockhart? Let’s talk!