I made a promise to myself to write something about every book I read this year, even if it’s just “meh”. Since I read seven books this month, which would make for a rather long blog post, I’ll split it up into two parts.
Let’s jump straight into part numéro un. Part numéro deux will follow on Friday so keep your eyes peeled for that. 👀
#1: “Everything is Illuminated” by Jonathan Safran Foer
I had a very hard time getting through this one and pretty much lost interest halfway through the book. The story is comprised through two narratives. One is detailing events in the past in the town of Trachimbrod, which is wiped out by the Nazis and the other is that of a Ukrainian named Alex and is set in the present. Alex’s parts are written in an intentionally misused English, which was supposed to be the comedic aspect of the book, but frustrated me to the point where I just started skim reading those chapters. The two different narratives are told in a nonlinear form, with chapters ending in very strange places and the story picking up at an entirely different point, which is the biggest problem I had with this book. It confused the hell out of me.
I did however really enjoy the storyline set in Trachimbrod and the writing in those chapters was really beautiful and felt more like Jonathan Safran Foer’s style, which I came to love in “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”, which is one of my favourite books. This however, was not very impressive!
#2: “Utopia” by Thomas More
Ugh. Just UGH! I know this is a classic, beloved and praised by many, and I know Thomas More is a very important human being, but this book was so FUCKING BORING! Also I think I made a huge mistake reading this on my kindle, because my edition had no formatting whatsoever so the whole thing read like one gigantic sentence, which made this experience even less enjoyable for me than it already was.
It took me way too long to finish a book that only has 122 pages, which, to me, says everything. 😩
#3: “Serena” by Ron Rosh
I went to see the movie (coz JLaw, duh!) with my mom on New Years Day and really loved it and I had started reading the book a while ago already, so after seeing the film I picked it up again to finish it. And boy was I surprised! The differences between these two mediums couldn’t be greater.
Serena in the movie is a pretty likeable character and has kind of a romantic air around her, whereas Serena in the book is not likeable at all, pretty effing ruthless and just an overall badass bitch who doesn’t take shit from anybody. And I loved her! I have a thing for the slightly deranged characters (*cough* Cersei *cough*).
She has a very, let’s say, “unique” way of handling things that don’t work out the way she wanted it. Your business partner doesn’t agree with you – hunting accident. Someone is disloyal – send your lapdog to “cut the ties” so to speak (those of you who read the book will understand that little joke). Husband has a kid with another women – here doggy, more work for you to do.
I was expecting this to be a full-blown romance and it couldn’t be farther from that. The writing was great, the characters were in some instances very relatable, although altogether pretty unlikable, and the pace was rather quick. Highly enjoyed this one!
#4: “The Sleeper and the Spindle” by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell
This was my first Neil Gaiman book and I ADORED IT. It’s pretty clear to me now why there is such hype surrounding this author. This is a fairytale retelling that combines Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, which initially put me off, because I’m not a fan of both of them. However the story was amazing. Snow White is a post curse BAMF warrior queen in this adaptation who sets out to save the realm and the Sleeper from the sleeping curse after hearing about it, all the while looking hella fine in her armour, I must say.
The writing was beautiful and there were so many interesting twists and turns. It takes you less than an hour to read it, but even though it was very short this was my favourite book of this month by far.
And those illustrations! Chris Riddell is an amazing illustrator and showcases his talent to the maximum here! The illustrations are so detailed and so beautiful and two of them are already framed and hanging on my wall!
I mean, just LOOK AT THIS:
Absolutely gorgeous!! 😍
I hope you have a fantastic week, lovely humans!