September 2016 Wrap Up

I can’t believe that it’s already October. The cool weather is really settling in Brooklyn and I’m pulling out the scarves, jackets, and hot cups of tea. It’s my favorite time of the year and it’s also the perfect reason to go out and read (more than I usually do).

Anyway, here’s my September Wrap Up. I had a few books on my list in September, but as always, my plans changed (lol). I only read four books in September, but I feel like I’m more enriched by my reads. Here’s my reads:

  1. P.S. I Like You by Kasie West (5/5 stars) – I got this book in my Owlcrate box in August, but haven’t had the chance to read it until now. This was such a sweet little read. I love doing “in-betweeners,” which are books that you read to separate out some of the more heavy and serious reads. Not to say that this book isn’t serious. It’s the kind of book that doesn’t remind you of the strife and struggle of reality.  I don’t know if you deal with this kind of thing, but when I read too many serious books I get some serious anxiety about life. When you’re so enveloped by a book, you forget what’s reality and what’s the fiction and in those situations, the anxiety is real. If you haven’t felt anxiety after reading a serious book then you’ve got a stronger mind than me.
  2. One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4.5/5 stars) – I was reading One True Loves as another “in-betweener” because I wasn’t ready to read something serious yet. However, as I got into it, I realized that this was a bit more serious. Dead husbands and finding love and finding old loves again. Those kinds of conversations are reserved for the reality of the world and not the fun world of “in-betweeners.” But I fell in love with this book the way Emma, the main character, fell in love twice. No spoilers here, but it’s really difficult to choose someone you want to be with when you have feelings for more than one person. I will keep the rest to myself, but I strongly suggest this book.
  3. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (5/5 stars) – Alright, when I talk about serious books, this is a serious book. However, it’s an important book and something I think everyone should read. If you’ve ever asked yourself what your ethnicity and heritage/background is, then you should read this book. Coming from a very family-centric environment, it was frustrating for me to read about a family lineage where it gets so muddled because of something as barbaric as slavery and war. It reminds me of the Syrian refugees ripped from their families and their homes. I think with modern technology they may be able to be together again, but back in the 19th century, that wasn’t an option. It brings a sad tear to my eye knowing that some families will never be together again. Everyone should read this if only to value the families they have.
  4. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison (4/5 stars) – I read this one for Banned Books Week. There is something about Toni Morrison’s voice that compels me to read more and pushes me away from her. Her words are haunting and visceral like looking at a surrealist painting. The Bluest Eye is the first novel she’s published and if you’ve ever struggled with your own identity and accepting who you are, then you should definitely read this book. In the end, the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t struggle to try and be something you’re not. Love yourself for who you are and enjoy your youth as much as you can.

Enjoy!

 

Book Review: P.S. I Like You

 

25486998Summary (from Goodreads.com) – While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

 

 

Rating: 5/5

My thoughts-

Going to be honest with you, I didn’t really feel interested in this one. I’d received this book in my Owlcrate and I’ll be honest, I judged the book by its cover and to me, the cover read as cheesy and predictable. I didn’t have high hopes for it, but I still gave it a shot.

Living in the city and living on the subway line that I take everyday, I’m greeted with an abundance of readers enjoying everything from one of the books in the Harry Potter series to the works of Kafka. And to be honest with you, it’s downright intimidating to walk on the subway with a book cover the likes of this one.

“But Simone, you should be proud of the book you’re reading. You should be proud to be amongst one of the readers who actually read.”

You have no idea how many times I’ve tried to lift my head up from the intimidation, but then I get that glance from that one pseudo-intellectual that is book shaming me for reading YA and I crawl back into my introverted shell of shame.

But I persevered and I sat on my commutes to work and back completely encroached in this novel. Although you can argue that the story itself is overplayed and it’s just that old high school trope, but the reality is that sometimes you need to remember what it’s like to be a kid and what it was like to fall in love.

Lily Abbott is the kind of character I can resonate with. I was the girl that sat in class and instead of paying attention wrote poetry and thoughts in a journal I carried with me all the time. I was listening to obscure punk bands and sitting with the less popular group of friends. While I never exchanged letters and never really dated anyone outside of the occasional blind date, I resonated with her. I resonated with the entire story.

You can’t help but to feel good and even at the end when I thought everything was going to go south, it didn’t. My cold heart warmed up reading this book and I’m so surprised by every YA novel I pick up and how detailed and emotionally stirring they all are.