I’m back…sort of! I know it’s been a while since I’ve done a blog post, and I’m trying to get back into reviewing and blogging again. I’ve been reading, but not up to reviewing. But I still wanted to talk about the books I’ve been reading, so I thought I’d talk a little bit about the books I haven’t talked about yet. I’m a bit fuzzy on some of them, since it’s been a while…but that’s not going to stop me from talking about them!
Book #1: Ghost by Jason Reynolds
I borrowed the hardcover from the library.
Here’s what I thought:
- It’s a middle grade contemporary about a kid who runs track, which I thought was cool. I feel like track doesn’t come up a lot, as far as sports novels go. Cross country, yes. Track, not so much.
- I don’t know that I remember enough to say anything else, but I remember thinking it was okay. Then again, All-American Boys was such a great book that I had really high expectations.
- I did like the parallels between running and what was going on in his life. Especially with how running turned out to be a really good thing for him.
- I don’t know that I’d read the rest of the books in the series- it looks like this is the first one of…I’m not sure how many.
- It’s definitely a must read if you like stories about sports. And also how to move on and deal with your past.
- I think my rating would be 2 stars. It’s okay, and not a lot stuck with me.
Book #2: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
I borrowed the hardcover from the library.
- I really liked this book! It’s a YA contemporary about Amanda, who transferred schools. I felt for Amanda, who tried so hard to fit in, and who had to deal with a lot- bullying and transphobia are the first things that come to mind.
- I really like that it’s not a coming out story- both are important, but I really liked seeing Amanda move to a new town and transition to a new phase in her life.
- I liked the friendships she had too- people can be horrible, but I’m glad Amanda found some amazing people.
- I can’t remember anything about the romance, other than I liked it…but that’s about it!
- I loved the author’s note at the end of the book. Don’t skip over it, because it really does add to an already awesome book.
- I feel like I’m not doing this book any justice. At all. Mostly because it’s been a while since I’ve read it, and I remember next to nothing. But it’s such a great book and really important and I doubt I’d do it much justice regardless. But waiting months to do some sort of half-hearted attempt isn’t helping.
- Part of why it’s important is because of what the book is about, but it is worth mentioning that the author is also trans.
- And I’m not sure if it’s true, but the cover model is trans as well. For some reason, that feels really important as well.
- I know I got really emotional and starting crying at one point.
- My Rating: 4 stars. Had I reviewed it right after finishing it, my rating probably would have been 5 stars.
- But I may re-read it at some point so I can properly talk about it.
- I still really liked it though.
Book #3: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
This is another hardcover from the library.
What I Thought:
- I liked seeing how much Strayed changed during the hike.
- She did seem ill-prepared for the hike, and I can see why some reviewers think she’s whiny and self-absorbed
- and also why some people thought she made poor life decisions
- There’s no judgement from me, though, because she did have a lot of things she had to work through, especially with the death of her mother
- Hiking- especially since she was by herself for most of the hike- seemed to help her
- there was a lot of opportunity for her to reflect on her life
- she did randomly meet up with other people along the way, though
- I think my favorite part was seeing her not give up, even when it would have been easy for her to do so
- I can’t imagine doing such a big hike, especially with no hiking/backpacking experience whatsoever
- It really felt like I was hiking with her, and it never felt boring or repetitive
- I can’t imagine being alone with my thoughts for that long, but props to her for sticking with it
- It’s a memoir of her experience hiking the Pacific Coast Trail, so if you’re looking for more information or history about the trail itself, this is not the book for you
- I’ve heard of it before- because it was adapted into a movie, but I mostly picked it up because it was mentioned in one of the Gilmore Girls revival episodes
- I’m glad I picked it up, though, because I really liked it
- I think my rating would be 4 stars. I didn’t love it, but it was an easy read, and there is something about the way she writes
Book #4: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad is a hardcover from the library.
And now, my thoughts:
- This book deserves a lot more attention. I feel like it didn’t get a lot of attention, despite the fact that it was an Oprah book club pick. The publication date also got moved up because of it. And I know it was recommended by Obama, so I had really high expectations.
- It lived up to all of the hype…at least the hype that I heard.
- It’s totally worth reading
- I admit that I didn’t like it at first, and it took me a while to get into it.
- I’m glad I stuck with it, though, because I really liked it
- It is a hard read, because you see what it might have been like for slaves on the Underground Railroad
- I’m not sure what to call them, but there are ads and wanted posters for runaway slaves, which really added to the journey Cora takes
- The Underground Railroad is quite literal in this book but it was terrifying to see what it was like during that time period
- so many people risked everything to be a part of it- whether they were a stop along the way, or the one trying to escape slavery
- I know I said it already, but it really highlighted what it might have been like
- It really is mind-blowing that people were willing to take a chance to have freedom than spend one more second as a slave
- My rating: 4 stars. It was hard to get into at first, but worth reading.