Reading Recap – May 2017

Hey guys! This past month finally kicked off my summer break from college (I’m now a rising senior? Wild), and I’ve been reading and writing more than I ever have before. Which wasn’t much to start with, but we won’t talk about that.

Anyway, I took out eight books from the library and, instead of ignoring their existence, I’ve been speeding through them one by one. Like a good “avid reader,” finally.

Here’s what I’ve read of them so far:


Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

This is the third installment in the “To All the Boys” series, which was initially only supposed to be a duology. It follows the main character of the series, Lara Jean, as she decides on what she’s going to do after high school. I have been looking forward to reading this book since it was announced in, like, October. Jenny Han is my favorite author, and I desperately needed more of Lara Jean’s boyfriend, Peter K, in my life. The only disappointment I had with this book was that I wasn’t as engrossed in it as I have been with all of Jenny Han’s other novels (I used to finish them in one night, and this one took me a few days), but that doesn’t mean it was bad by any means.

recap5Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman 

Put simply, Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs is a collection of essays about pop culture, but that description doesn’t do it justice. I just recently got into the creative nonfiction genre, and I’m glad I started with a gem like this. Somehow, Chuck Klosterman is capable of being hilarious and deep at the same time. Several parts of this book made me incredibly introspective, and then I found myself laughing out loud two pages later. He covers topics such as music, romance, sports, and television, and even if you don’t enjoy the whole novel, you’re bound to find some part of it you relate to. All I gotta say is Klosterman is an entirely underrated writer, and I’m 100% going to be reading more of his stuff in the future (not spons).

recap2The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

I have one word: Ugh. And not a good “ugh”; not an Ugh by the 1975 kind of “ugh.” Just…ugh. Based on the actual description of the novel, The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is about a girl whose friends died in an accident she miraculously survived, and she has no memory of what happened. Supernatural elements are hinted at in the summary on the back, etc. But this is hardly what the novel focuses on. It’s mainly about Mara’s relationship with an incredibly cliche boy with a British accent and questionable past, who can speak like 12 languages and is rich enough to pull out thousands of dollars from his pocket on a whim. If you didn’t cringe at that idea, that’s fine, but I did. A lot. This was a lot of hype surrounding this novel, so I was excited to read it, but I was in pain by page 5 and had to force myself to finish it. 😦

recap4Room by Emma Donoghue

This made up for the horrendous journey The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer put me on. Room follows Jack, the 5-year-old son of a woman held captive in “Room.” His only knowledge of the world is that 11×11 space, which is a heartbreaking concept to begin with. The novel starts off kind of slow, but quickly picks up its pace and left me in tears, yo. I loved this novel especially because it’s told from Jack’s point of view. I feel like writing from the point of view of a child is something incredibly hard to do (I mean, I already find it hard enough to write my main character’s conversations with his 6-year-old brother), and an author either excels at it or completely misses the mark. Donoghue definitely excelled. I felt like I was actually listening to a 5-year-old, and that made the story ten times more harrowing.

June is off to a sluggish start for me when it comes to reading and writing, but hopefully I can get back into my groove. I’m currently reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, a book I’ve been meaning to read for a year now! I’ll keep you all updated as much as possible.

To keep up with me outside of this blog, follow me on twitter at @stephclaires and on instagram at @steph.claires

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