A review and rating of the last 5 books I read and a look into my TBR list

Come As You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life
Author: Emily Nagoski
Publication Date: March 2015
Genre: nonfiction, feminism, science
Method: paperback, borrowed from TPL

Review: I’ll be honest, I had higher hopes for this one because it came so highly recommended by one of my favorite authors/makers. I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style, I would have preferred something more straight forward, scientific, and technical. I found some of the ‘dumbed down’ examples and comparisons childish and misplaced, what is this about a rat and Iggy Pop again? And again? I can see the merit in having the various hypothetical couples to drive home themes but by the time I made it to the last chapter, I was skipping those antidotes all together. I think I needed this text 2 or 3 years ago. At this stage in the game, I’ve figured basically all of this out with love and trust in my body and my partner. Read this if you need a text and an author to empower your sexual identity and sexual health. Not bad by any means, just very VERY repetitive, not what I was looking for at the moment.

A Separate Peace
Author: John Knowles
Publication Date: 1959
Genre: classic, fiction, historical fiction
Method: paperback, personal collection

Review: I apparently read this book 8 years ago for my honors sophomore English class but was surprised that I literally didn’t remember a thing. Some details were coming back the farther along I got but I hadn’t even recalled the climax correctly – which is wild to me! I would or should have written papers about this book, had quizzes and tests, but no, barely remembered anything beyond the main characters names. All to say, this was not for me. I just found it so dull and boring. If anything I’m realizing historical fiction is just not for me, at least, not in this season of life.

The Girl Who Reads on the Métro
Author: Christine Féret-Fleury
Publication Date: October 2019
Genre: fiction
Method: hardcover, borrowed from TPL

Review: This was a huge miss for me. I thought I was going to be reading a beautiful and romantic book that would transport me to the streets of Paris. A book lover (me) reading about a book lover (main character Juliette) in the city of love (Paris) sounded well and good, but I didn’t get there. Nowhere close. I don’t know if it was due to the translation from French to English but it just felt so disjointed. I felt lost along the plot in nearly every chapter, and this is a fairly short book at 175 pages. Au revoir.

When No One is Watching
Author: Alyssa Cole
Publication Date: September 2020
Genre: thriller, mystery
Method: paperback, lent from a friend

Review: This year I’ve read a lot of suspense and thrillers, but all from white authors. I had been looking to diversify my readings in this genre, so it was perfect match when a friend lent me this book by Alyssa Cole, a black author who covers historical, contemporary, and sci-fi romance. This story was thrilling, but not in a blood and gore or supernatural way. What’s horrifying about this book is how these events experienced by the black characters could and are happening right now. We’re talking modern day racism, gentrification, classism, and nepotism. I loved all the strange occurrences happening in the neighborhood and to the main character – when I finally put the book down, I found myself mulling over all these innocuous details, excited to see how they fit into the story. On the other hand, I found the ending quite rushed and the changing perspective confusing at times – the characters voices didn’t read very differently from one another. I can understand the need for both perspectives, but it felt unnecessary and lent more towards my confusion in the second half of the book when the story was continuing exactly were the previous chapter ended but with a different perspective.

Normal People
Author: Sally Rooney
Publication Date: April 2019
Genre: fiction, contemporary, romance
Method: hardcover, borrowed from TPL

Review: Yes, this is the second time I’ve read this book this year. And I have a lot of thoughts. So much so I plan to write a dedicated blog post solely about the book and the Hulu mini series. When it’s up and ready to read, I’ll link it here. All I’ll say is this time around, it gets a 4/5, one more star than last time.

What’s Up Next

Until tomorrow, Meryn


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