I have unconsciously decided that my new year’s resolution is to read more. Being a self-regarded bookaholic as well as a struggling author, I realised that I wasn’t reading as much as I should (I can’t really count my psychology books for my degree, that would be cheating!)
I have my excuses, of course; being ridiculously busy. But I decided that I shouldn’t make excuses and read those books I bought and get that To-Be-Read pile down. So, the next time I buy a load of books, I don’t feel so guilty!
Anyway, I decided that it would be a good idea to write a short review of what I have read so far this year. Give you my personal opinions of them.
The books I have read this year, so far, are:
- This Savage Song, by V. E. Schwab
- The Undesired, by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
- The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
This Savage Song, by V. E. Schwab
My first thoughts; brilliant, couldn’t put it down. Want to buy the sequel asap!
If you like YA in a dystopian / sci-fi / futuristic setting and monsters this is for you! The book is based in a world where monsters are real, they are real because of a ‘phenomenon’ where any act of violence, murder or genocide creates these monsters. There are three types, each getting even more deadly than the next. But it has a twist. The book is split into two views, a view of a girl and a view of a boy – but he’s not quite a boy, he’s actually one of the monsters.
I’m going to leave it there as I don’t want to give too much away and of course make this post too long. But one thing that struck me as a little far-fetched in this world was that one of these monsters, which feeds off human souls, do so by playing music. So one of the characters is always carrying around a violin. That was a little weird for me, but once you get around that, the overall book is really good.
Still going to buy the sequel.
Star rating, I’d say 4/5.
The Undesired, by Yrsa Sigurdardottir
This one, left me feeling a little weird. Like I was missing something. I’m undecided on this one, I have to admit.
I like the fact it was based in Iceland, I love reading books that are based in new places and I might learn a little bit about that place. Even if it might not be 100% true, it still gives me the element of wanting to learn more.
The book starts off really interestingly, it starts with ‘The End’ so you read the rest of the book wondering how the characters got to that point. Although I was a little worried it would ruin the experience of mystery, but it didn’t really.
I will admit, I had trouble putting the book down, as I found myself wanting to know more. But there were times where I could see what was going to happen. Sometimes these bits are fun, you get a sense of “I knew it!” and I don’t necessarily mind that. There were also times where I was left guessing. But when I got to the end of the book and I realised there was no more left – and yes, the ending was interesting and unexpected! – I still felt like I was missing something. Like there was parts in the story that didn’t really make sense.
Star rating; 3/5
The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger
Now, this one is a classic. And maybe I read it with high expectations because it was a classic. But I wasn’t overly enthralled by it.
I got this book from a friend, when I was going through a really REALLY rough time. I had just broken up with my boyfriend (whom I bought a house with) and I was extremely depressed. It was a lovely gesture from my friend, but I was left wondering ‘why’ when he bought it for me. Why this book?
At first, I found it a little difficult to get into. A few chapters in and I was wondering where the story was going. Feeling a little curious at the characters and they were going too. Until I got half-way through and realised that there wasn’t really a plot like we get in these days, there wasn’t a huge ‘Hollywood style’ adventure that the main character goes on and I was left wondering ‘why?’
I will admit though, that I did have trouble putting it down. I did want to know what the character was going to do next. And started to grow sorry for the boy and wanted to just climb into the book and help him.
And it wasn’t until the end of the book that I realised at least one point the book was trying to make; the boy was going through a rough time and was just trying to figure out his life. He was sixteen, he was starting to go from a boy to an adult.
I read reviews on Goodreads about the book and one person made a very valid point, that I can’t really agree or disagree because I don’t personally know the answer, but the book was apparently written in the time just after the war, and it was the first book of its kind; to show the true nature of what the world was like in those times, through the eyes of a boy trying to struggle to adulthood.
I think I gave it a 3/5 star rating on Goodreads, but I believe it is somewhere between 3 and 4, maybe 4/5 if I was being generous.
Now… onto reading my next book 1985 by George Orwell!