March 2019 Reading Wrap Up » Part 1

Hi everyone. I’m rincey and this is
rincey reads. Today i’m going to be doing my March wrap-up part one. I didn’t put
up a video last week. I was actually planning on doing my March wrap-up last
week. But life and work were just kicking my butt. So I decided to give
myself a break. And it was a great decision because as soon as I like had
the thought of like, “wait, I don’t actually have to put up a video this
week because, you know, this is all voluntary” like a huge weight was lifted
off my shoulders and I very much appreciated having that time off. Anyways
yes, I am doing my March wrap-up part one. So I will be talking about the books
that I read in the first half of the month. The first book I have is the
plotters by Un-Su Kim. This is a relatively new release that was
translated from Korean. So in this story you are following this character named
Reseng. He was abandoned as a baby and he was picked up by this man named old
raccoon. And old raccoon basically runs this crime assassin organization. In this
organization, there are the assassins and then there are the plotters who are the
people who put together the plan of how the assassination will go down.
Reseng grows up in this organization. He ends up becoming assassin himself. The
way this story starts off is that Reseng is sent on a job and he wavers from the
plan. And so from that point forward you are following Reseng as he like
starts questioning things about the organization and just sort of like
looking into things a little bit. But also just having general like life
existential crises type of feelings. He starts realizing and recognizing certain
things and he starts just you know making changes about the way things are
happening in his life. It’s a really vague synopsis because that’s sort of the best
way to go into this book. I gave this book a 3 out of 5 stars.
I think either three or three and a half but it’s right in that range. This is
like a really interesting book to me but it wasn’t like a great reading
experience. I saw comparisons to this book to like Quentin Tarantino and Wes
Anderson and I think those are kind of apt. There’s a large cast of characters
in here and they’re all like really I feel like wacky or weird, I feel like
wacky’s a better term than weird. They have like a very Wes Anderson
really out there sort of feeling to them. And then the Tarantino comparison I
think comes from the action scenes in here. They’re all like super violent and
very again sort of over-the-top and almost cartoonish in that very Tarantino
way. But those are not necessarily things that draw me to a book. Like I don’t mind
wacky characters and stuff like that but I think a lot of that deterred from the
actual main plot itself. It takes a significant amount of time before it
feels like things really get going. You spend a lot of time flashing back and
learning the histories of a lot of these characters who are just side characters.
And it feels like that’s sort of wasted time almost or wasted pages because a
lot of times I was reading all that and I wanted to either get back to the main
storyline or I didn’t really care about the character at all. Or I was like
getting invested thinking that this was going to mean something later and it
doesn’t really. So I feel like that really deterred from it. But there came a
point I think it was like maybe at like the 50 or 60 percent mark of this book
where the plot really takes hold and really becomes the point. Like it feels
like you’re finally getting started and once you get into that, it like moves
ahead and I had a lot of fun and I feel like that wasn’t enough of the book
itself. So I feel like if you’re someone who wants something kind of like fun and
out there, if you like really action-packed of thrillers, this is kind
of a fun one to pick up. But it’s not something I can give like a full
wholehearted recommendation to because I think the beginning is a little bit
tough to get into. For me, like I was enjoying the writing enough to keep
going with it and I found it compelling enough to keep going with it because I
wanted to know what was going to happen. But I think it just like gets too
sidetracked too many times to be a really, really enjoyable experience for
me. So yeah, like I said, I gave it a 3 out of 5 stars. Not terrible but not the best.
The next book that I have to talk about is the dreamers by Karen Thompson
Walker. This is a book that I, since I found out it was coming out I’ve been
really excited for. I read the age of miracles when that first came out. I
think I even have a review of it on the channel, which I may or may not link to
because it’s really old and it might be terrible. So what Karen Thompson Walker did in the age of miracles is she took sort of a
dystopian world and looked at like a very specific character and family. And
in this one she creates a slightly dystopian world but she looks at it from
a broader point of view. So it takes place in a Southern California
college town. You are basically watching as this disease spreads where people
fall asleep and don’t wake up again. They basically go into like a kind of
comatose state but there’s enough brain activity that people know that they’re
like dreaming and not you know vegetables or anything like that. And you
see how it impacts different people in the town. So you are following like this
college girl named Mai who is like super quiet and doesn’t have a lot of friends
but her roommate is one of the first people to fall into this state. You follow
this married couple with a newborn baby who have just moved to Southern
California to teach at the school. You follow this other teacher who is
significantly older. You also follow this like survivalist type of family whose
father is basically like a doomsday prepper type of person and he has like
two young girls. And so you start to see like sort of how this disease spreads,
how it impacts all these different people, and sort of the choices that
everyone makes. This is a book I think they gave a four out of five stars on
Goodreads. It’s another one that’s more like a three and a half stars. Like I
said, it takes a very broad view of this world and it’s much more about the
choices that people make when they are put in these sort of situations of like
really impossible choices that you need to make and less about like the
individual people and the characters. It does have the problem for me of like too
many perspectives. There were certain storylines that cared about
significantly more than others. If you are the type of person who wants like
explanations for the dystopia or like why things are happening, this book will
be very unsatisfactory because there’s like no explanation for the disease or
how everything sort of wraps up. It just sort of occurs and you just sort of have
to accept it. Because also that’s not really the point of the book either. But
just like know that going into it. If you see this described as like it dystopia or
anything like that and you are someone who likes the explanations behind why
dystopias take place, this is not that for you. But i think this book suffers
compared to the age of miracles just because again with the age of miracles,
you’re just following like one character in one family and so you get really
attached to them as people, and this one you don’t get that attachment. And so I
feel like it loses some of that heart and connection that you can make with a
book. But this book has a very like airy, dreamlike feeling to it which i think is
very impressive as well. So yeah, I gave it, again, a three and a half
out of five stars. I think that if it’s a book that sounds interesting to you, I
would recommend it. Or if you enjoyed the age of miracles and you’ve been
wondering about this one, I think it’s worth picking up. And also as like a side
note, I read the whole thing in like a single day. iI’s a really fast read and a
really like addicting read. So it’s also good if you are in the mood for
something like that. Okay and the final book I have to talk about in this video
is the care and feeding of ravenously hungry girls by Anissa Gray. This is
another relatively new release. I think it also came out in February. This is a
book I have really complicated feelings about. I think I also give this a 3 and a half out of
5 stars. I feel like this happens to me at the beginnings of every month. Like
all of my reads are just three, three and a half star reads. Anyways.
So this book is getting pitched as like the mothers meets an American marriage,
which i think is apt. But also it’s not quite as good as those books in my
opinion. So you are following the butler family and specifically the three girls
in the butler family, Althea, Viola and Lillian. And they also have a brother but
you don’t get any of the chapters from his perspective. Althea is married to this
man named Proctor and at the beginning of the story they’ve been arrested.
They had a restaurant and they took a bunch of people’s money saying that they
were raising money for some charity or for the town or something like that and
they ended up just taking the money for themselves and doing a whole bunch of
other like Food Stamp schemes and stuff like that. And so they end up going to
jail. So Lillian ends up taking in their two high school-aged girls and viola
comes back home from I think it’s Michigan or something like that. Or maybe
they live in Michigan. I can’t remember. But anyway she had like moved out of
town and she comes back for this whole situation. And you are just following
them as they like deal with their new life. Althea and Procter were like
really beloved and well respected in their town. Obviously now they’re not and
a lot of people hate them and they’re taking it out on the rest of the family.
But you’re also following each of the sisters as they deal with their own sort
of demons and history and background and all their sort of baggage. A couple of
things about this book. One of the characters in this book has an eating
disorder and I feel like the way they talk about her eating disorder is like
one of the most realistic but also a little bit graphic ways that I’ve ever
read an eating disorder described. So it’s like fantastic for someone like me
who has never experienced that sort of disordered eating before,
giving me insight into that mindset and what that experience is like. But I
think that if you are someone who has maybe struggled with disordered eating
and considers things like that a trigger, I feel like this book is gonna be
extremely triggering in that effect. So be forewarned for that. Also if you are
looking for books that feature like people of color as well as LGBTQ
characters, that’s all in here. The entire Butler family is a black family and one
of the sisters is, I don’t know if they ever say explicitly like it how she
identifies, but she is with another woman. So yeah, like I said, I had very
complicated feelings about this book because this book does a really good job
of talking about topics that are often not talked about, I
especially I feel like in certain communities and circles. You know, talking
about people who have eating disorders, people who are in complicated
relationships, talking about complicated mother-daughter relationships. The
way that they talk about Althea’s relationship with one of her daughters
who is overweight is really, really complicated but I also feel like
really well done. There’s also topics about abuse, physical abuse. But I feel
like some of the topics are so deep and worth spending time on but because
you’re following all these different perspectives, you don’t really go deep
enough. And also you’re in the heads of all these characters and all of these
characters kind of don’t want to confront these demons. And so you don’t
get the good discussions that I think I was at least hoping would come out of
this book. Like you see one of the characters
talk a little bit about the fact that she was abused but like barely and she
more like hints at it and things like that. And there isn’t really like a
resolution to that. You see sort of Althea’s complicated relationship with
her daughter but you don’t really see it evolve or resolve or anything like that.
You know that Althea and Proctor have done all of this
financial stuff but there’s no explanation as to like why they really
did any of this. You’re just posed to take it as it happened. This book also
does the thing that kind of annoys me where like characters hint at things
happening but the way that they hint at it it’s like not natural. It’s not like
the way people naturally talk to each other. But it’s meant to be a way to like
create mystery about like what actually happened. That like writing style so
it’s really bothers me. It always feels very like amateurish. So yeah, like I said,
I have really complicated feelings about this book. I feel like if
you are intrigued by, it’s worth picking up from like the library or
something like that because I like that it’s tackling topics like this. But I
wish it had gone deeper into all of these topics because they are all
complicated and deep and I feel like deserve more time and pages to really
dig into it a little bit more. But I know a lot of people who really, really love
this book so it could just be my own personal preference. I mean, it’s always
my own personal preference but you know your mileage may vary. So yeah, that is
everything I have for this video. Let me know down in the comments below if
you’ve read any of these books or if you have any questions about any of the
books I talked about here. March got off to a very slow reading start. I’m hoping
that things are picking up a little bit more in the second half of the month.
But it looks like I’m on track to read like six or seven books total this month,
which is fine but not great and I was hoping to do more but whatever. But
you’ll hear about the rest of the books that I’ve read so far this month next
week. So yeah, that’s all I have for now and thanks for watching.

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