Hello, friends and foe! I hope you had a great and SAFE New Year’s Eve! This year, I decided to write mini reviews of all the books I read throughout the year, and this is my last collection of those reviews!
For the rest of the month, I’ll basically be talking about all the books I read in 2020. My full wrap-up post will be on Monday, and then I’ll have my favourites, least favourite, and new-to-me authors. I’m very excited to talk about those books, so I hope you’re excited to talk with me!
Anyway, let’s get into these reviews!
The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker: 4 stars
I’m very glad I’ve finally read this book. It was my first time reading anything related to the Iliad, so I really went in blind and knowing next to nothing. I ended up really enjoying this. Briseis’s perspective was really interesting, and a lot of her musings on being a woman still hold up. The different men and the commentary on masculinity were really interesting. Overall, if you’re interested in Greek mythology or historical fiction, I’d definitely recommend this one.
Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds: 4 stars
This book was really great! I’ve always loved the Groundhog Day-like stories, where a character repeats the same day or days, so I was really intrigued by this one. And luckily, it held up! I loved Jack and Kate and their dynamic. I loved Jack’s relationship with his friends and his parents. My biggest issue with this book was that parts of it were far-fetched, largely re: the medical aspects. Sara’s review really covers that aspect, so I’d recommend her review for more in-depth on that. Some of Jack’s decisions also didn’t make sense. And I KNOW that he’s a teenager in a weird situation and he’s going to act irrationally, so I don’t mean those decisions. But some of the little things he did were odd. But overall, I really enjoyed this book and my enjoyment outweighed the issues I had with it.
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: 4 stars
This book was fine in a good way, if that makes sense. It was decently well-written, it covers some good points, and is a great introduction to feminism. I definitely would have enjoyed this book more had I read it four years ago. But 24-year-old me didn’t get a lot out of it. So I think as an introductory book, it’s great. But as anything more than that, not so much.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver: 4.5 stars
I really enjoyed this book! For a book that deals with heavy topics, it was surprisingly light and funny. I loved Ben and their relationship with their sister and brother-in-law, as well as their friends and love interest. The love interest was so sweet, and I loved him. I loved Ben’s development and seeing how comfortable they become with themself throughout the book. I loved how therapy was portrayed in this book, and thought it was really realistic. Ben was hesitant to go at first, but ended up enjoying their therapist. They struggled with their medication but was still willing to try it and accept that it might help. It was one of the best portrayals of therapy I’ve seen in a YA book, so I loved that. Overall, this book was really solid and I highly recommend it. I will definitely be looking out for more by Mason Deaver in the future.
Shut Up, You’re Pretty by Téa Mutonji: 4.5 stars
This is a short story anthology, following the same main character throughout different points in her life. I really, really enjoyed it. It was super realistic in a lot of ways: the relationships and friendships, the complicated feelings, the weird justifications. It was really dark and harrowing in some places, and really funny in others, and there was a really great balance between the two. The humour never felt out of place, and it worked with the overall tone. The writing was also fantastic, and I will be keeping an eye out for more from Mutonji in the future. I highly recommend this one.
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman: 4.5 stars
I also loved a lot about this book. I loved Frances as a main character. I really identified with a lot of her feelings, and thought she was a great portrayal of a lot of teenagers. I loved her relationship with her mom, as well as her friendships. I also loved the fandom aspect of this book. I tend to not enjoy fandom in books, but it felt so realistic in this one. You can tell Oseman has actually spent a lot of time in online fandoms, because the book reminded me of old tumblr, in a good way. I loved the side characters as well, and really thought they fleshed out the book. The representation was great, as well. Overall, a really solid book.
The Majesties by Tiffany Tsao: 4 stars
This book was super entertaining, but probably won’t leave a long-lasting impact. If you want something that’s fun, entertaining, relatively high-stakes, and interesting, I’d definitely recommend it. The plot is intriguing and moves along at a good pace. The characters are interesting and felt fairly real. I wanted to keep reading this book, which is always a good sign. But, it had one of my least favourite tropes of all time at the end, so I was ultimately let down. BUT I would still recommend it for a fun, entertaining read.
So there are my last batch of 2020 mini reviews
(that’s a lie, my mini review of The Poppy War will be up in a couple of weeks, but this is the last collection of reviews I’ll be posting)!
Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Let me know!