Hello, friends and book lovers! Happy Friday! I can’t believe it’s September, and we only have four months of 2021 left.
Every four months, I like to do mini reviews of all the books I’ve read in the recent months. I’ve reviewed a couple books over the past few months, and have a couple more coming up, but these are mini reviews for all the other books I read from May to August!
From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle: 5 stars
I don’t have much to say about this book other than I really enjoyed it. I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by Thistle, and I highly recommend it. Hearing him tell his story is just that much more impactful. It was really interesting to read about his life, and how the systems failed and supported him. It was a great look into some of the struggles faced by Métis in Canada. Highly recommend.
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead: 3.5 stars
My overall feeling for this book is: underwhelmed. After all the hype it received, I was expecting this book to blow me away. But alas, it did not. I enjoyed it, I just didn’t think it was incredible. I think it tells a really important and interesting story, but it ultimately lacks tension and intrigue. The writing is very strong from a technical standpoint, and it was a fairly easy read. The main character was also pretty good, and I liked the twist at the end. So basically: this book was good and well-written and tells an important part of history, but it’s not as good as the hype (or the Book Riot podcast) would suggest.
Home by Toni Morrison: 4 stars
This was my first Morrison, and I totally understand why she’s as revered as she is. I really enjoyed reading this. I loved the writing; it was so simple yet effective, and was really beautiful to read. I also really enjoyed the characters and story. It was pretty straightforward, but it was a great read. I definitely plan on reading more from Morrison in the future.
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Adhieh: 4 stars
I had a lot of fun with this one. I had mixed expectations: I’d heard good things, and it was a novel concept for a YA fantasy, but it’s a YA fantasy, which I don’t always agree with. But I thought it was really great. It’s not the best fantasy ever, but it’s a lot of fun. I enjoyed our main character and her interactions with those around her. I enjoyed the love interest(s), and while I can recognize how fucked their relationship is, it was still fun to read about. The action and plot were also a lot of fun, and I’m interested in seeing where this one goes. I’ve already put the second one on hold at the library, so hopefully it’s a satisfying conclusion.
Brood by Jackie Polzin: 4 stars
This book was a really great read. It follows a nameless narrator who has recently miscarried, and is taking care of four chickens to deal with her grief. It ended up being an incredibly poignant and brutal read. I really enjoyed the writing: it was very quiet and to the point, which really helped emphasize the themes. It’s definitely one of those books that’s focused on the themes rather than character development and plot, and Polzin did a great job making it not boring. The narrator is super interesting; she’s jealous and petty, but also emotional and loves and cares for other people (and her chickens). She seemed like a super realistic person. Overall, this was a really solid read and I’m happy to have read it.
Islands of Decolonial Love by Leanne Betasomosake Simpson: 4 stars
I thoroughly enjoyed these short stories, and I definitely want to reread this at some point. Unfortunately, I barely remember the individual stories. I listened to this on audio, which was definitely the wrong way to go for me, and is the main reason I want to reread it ASAP. What I do remember is that this was very well-written, and the stories were well-crafted. Highly recommend.
Last Night in Montreal by Emily St. John Mandel: 5 stars
I don’t have much to say for this book except that I loved it. I just love Mandel’s writing and stories. This one was so much fun to read, and very quickly became one of my favourites for the year. It’s atmospheric and interesting and well-written, and everything I’ve come to expect from Mandel. I cannot recommend it enough.
Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl: 4.5 stars
This was just such a fun book to read. I love the time loop/groundhog day trope, and thought it was really well done here. The plot was so fun and interesting, and there were so many twists and turns throughout. I really enjoyed the characters and thought they were a lot of fun to follow. I also enjoyed the glimpses into the pre-time loop life, especially when they were being replayed in the time loop. I liked the ending as well, and liked that we got to see a bot of the aftermath. So overall, a really fun read. Highly recommend.
So there are my mini reviews for my recent reads! Have you read any of these? What were your thoughts? Do you plan to read any? If you’ve read Brood, which chicken are you? Let me know!