WHAT I’VE READ // Girl Made of Stars, Everything I Never Told You and more!! [CC]

so I’m gonna be honest right now. most of
these books I read over a month ago and I honestly don’t have as much to say
as I might have, had I talked about them a month ago. I really don’t like the
background of this video, hold please. here are the books I read in the month
of January. the first book I read is a book that I’ve been meaning to read for
probably since it came out, so years. this is Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. I wanted to pick this up for ages because I was told it was a lot
about the American dream which is something that I wrote my dissertation
on the American dream. I’m very fascinated by the subject and the
culture surrounding it and also how it’s changed and whether or not it’s all just
a lie. it’s a lie. everything I never told you is the story of a chinese-american
man, professor marrying a white woman in the 50s the woman really wants to
pursue education but instead they end up having three children Nathan, Lydia, and
Hannah. at the start of this book, Lydia is found dead and it kind of follows, it
flashes back to when the couple first met and also from their childhoods, and
trying to figure out more about them, but then is also set in Ohio during the
1970s when they find the body and kind of the repercussions of that. this book
tackles a lot it tackles race, age, gender, sexuality. it really shows how
microaggressions wear away at people over time, especially in the context of
this book in terms of race. it’s a really incredible look at race in America. it’s
again it’s a lot about the American dream. I wouldn’t go into this wanting a
like murder mystery type thing. yes, one of the daughters is found dead but it’s
really not about that. it’s also just about like what children keep from their
parents and everything they never tell you. I give this 5 out of 5 stars. I
really really enjoyed it. I’m very excited to read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I think I’m gonna love that. next book is The Accident Season by
Moira Fowley Doyle. I read Spellbook of the Lost and Found around Halloween time. really liked it, really liked her writing.
again, I really liked more finally Doyle’s writing. this was her first book
I believe. it’s real weird. basically, this family curse causes an
annual season of broken bones, torn skin, and
bruised bodies, but why? what is the accident season? why like for
a month or whatever every year are they just constantly being wounded or even
worse? it’s really weird. it’s not quite as spooky I guess as a spell book of
lost and found, I didn’t love it. I didn’t even really like it that much.
like, I read this and really January, it is now mid-february and I remember
nothing. so that says a lot. sad about that, will
continue to read her books though, because I do quite like her writing. next
book I read was a graphic novel and is Fun Home by Alison Bechdel who you might
know of the Bechdel test. titled fun home: a family tragicomic it is a graphic
novel about family, a lot about sexuality, obviously. it’s very academic, it’s very
literary. it relies heavily on literary allusions that I didn’t even necessarily
understand a lot of the time. ultimately, so much about the stories about is the
relationship between her and her father and also both of their relationships
with their sexuality and also how her father’s death affected her. I find it
really hard to look at graphic novels on the whole. if you’ve watched me for a
while you know I’m not big on them, especially with memoirs. I’ll be looking
at them as a diary, as a novel, as a graphic novel, as kind of a comic, I’m
looking at all of the pieces but I find it hard to look at them as one whole
solid thing. this does rely a lot on text, this is a very text heavy graphic novel,
so if you prefer ones with more imagery the images and this didn’t seem to
further the story for me. I think this is a great piece of like queer literature
and it’s a part of the zeitgeist of queer literature and it’s really
important but I just myself didn’t enjoy it because I don’t like our graphic novels.
so the next book is one that I feel like is a really important book and I’m gonna
link some other reviews to it down below because again I read it a while ago and
I think there’s so much to be said about it that I feel like other people have said
and said better so I’m gonna link to some other reviews about Sing, Buried, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. this is story about three generations, ghosts,
it’s a story a lot about the black body, it’s a story about how ordinary
people become mythic. Ward has an incredible–she has an incredible
ability to make you empathise with every character even characters that do and
say terrible terrible things that you kind of loathe them for but you still
empathise with them and understand them from a certain aspect. content warning
for this book, there are a lot of racial slurs, there are mentions of rape and
murder and abuse, especially child abuse. to say a little bit about what the
actual plot of this book is because I feel like I haven’t done that. it’s a
story of this boy who’s 13 years old and he’s kind of taking care of his little
sister and while his mom is a drug addict. at the start of this book they
find out that their father is going to be released from prison and so they go
up to pick him up essentially and it’s kind of a road trip story but also
there’s this ghost story element where their mother is seeing the ghost of her
brother. they’re also like, there’s this plot line about the drugs that they’re
trying to get ahold of there’s a lot going on it’s a very focused on family
and race and yeah again I’m gonna link to other reviews. I did really like this
book I didn’t love it as much as some other works of literary fiction I’ve
read recently but I’m very happy I read it and also Obama loves it and if Obama
loves it, I have to read it. my favorite book I’ve read so far is Girl Made of Stars by Ashley herring Blake. Ashley herring Blake wrote
How to Make a Wish, which I read last year and really loved. this is a story of
a girl named Mara. Mara has a twin brother named Owe,n Owen is accused of
raping his girlfriend. Owens girlfriend is also Mara’s best
friend or one of her best friends, so she has to deal with the repercussions of
that. it’s very hard to read. it’s painful to read because it is so much about rape
culture, that’s the whole book. sometimes you deal with books that deal with rape or
sexual assault and they’re mentioned there this whole story every single page
is about that and it’s about the rape culture and it’s about the way we treat
women when they come out about their sexual assault.
it’s about queer stories and it’s beautiful. the main character in the
story is also dealing with a recent breakup with her partner who is also
genderqueer, so that’s really interesting and you
don’t see a lot of that in YA. Our main character is also bi, so if you’re
looking for some bisexual representation, it’s in here, it’s
pretty great. There are a lot of important conversations on consent and yeah, but be careful, severe content warning/trigger warning
for rape and sexual assault because it’s all over this book. next book I read is
one that I’m not gonna talk a lot about cause I didn’t like it uh-huh and that’s
The Cruel Prince by Holly black. I’m not big on faerie novels. I think I’m just
maybe gonna stop reading faerie novels cause I consistently dislike them.
You’ve probably heard a lot about this book. main character’s parents are murdered
and her and her sisters are stolen to live in the high faerie court and she’s
raised there. she’s there for years and she wants to stay there so she has to
find a way to do that. there’s political drama, there’s a civil war kind of
brewing, honestly I was just bored. it wasn’t for me, other people seem to love
it though, which is awesome. books aren’t for everyone, you know? Content warning
for suicide and abuse. The final book I read in the month of January is one that I
listened to on audiobook and it is the Immortalists by Chloe
Benjamin. The Immortalists is a story of four siblings in New York in the 60s/70s
who go to a psychic and find out the day they’re going to die. the story then
follows the four of them as they like live and eventually die. two of the
siblings move off to San Francisco, one of them is gay and he kind of is living
in the Castro district and living, being a dancer and living that life in the 70s/80s. his sister goes off to live in Vegas I think as a magician. one of them is a
war doctor, I think and then one of them is actually trying to extend life
expectancy. she’s testing, she’s a scientist working on that. so they all do
very different things and they all kind of tied together in certain ways.
ultimately it’s the story about whether or not our destiny is predetermined and
we have a hand in changing it if we know when things are gonna happen? does the
idea of knowing when you’re going to die affect your life by making you want to
live life to its fullest or live in dread and fear knowing that it’s predetermine that you have no control over it? a lot about that. I didn’t love
it, I liked it a lot and I thought was really interesting and I think it’s
gonna be a big book this year I think a lot of people are talking about it so
that’s cool. um I will also say there are explicit sex scenes so if you’re younger
or you are uncomfortable with that, take note, ummm yeah. Those are the books that I read in January. I haven’t read anything in February and it’s the 20th, so doing
well. let me know what you’ve read recently in the comments below and I’ll
see you real soon, bye!

18 thoughts on “WHAT I’VE READ // Girl Made of Stars, Everything I Never Told You and more!! [CC]

  1. Girl Made of Stars sounds really interesting. I'm gonna have to check and see if my library has that.
    Also, I read a book recently called We Were Witches by Ariel Gore that I think could possibly be something you might enjoy. It's kinda strange but I really liked it. It's like a cross between a memoir and a magical realism novel and it's super feminist and queer 👍

  2. Literally everything I want to read
    Cruel was overhyped as fuck even though I really liked it lol
    Hmmm I’ve been eyeing the immortalitalsts but I’ve heard mixed things
    Can’t wait to see you soon in NY:))

  3. I wish!!! I had more time!!! To read for fun!!! When I’m in school! Not even time I guess, but mental energy as well. So many good recommendations.

  4. I actually handed in an essay about the american dream in of mice and men today! Fun fact about the essay: i wrote it for a class I took in the winter of 2015/16, and our professor never gave us a deadline. that's right, I procrastinated writing this 12 page essay for 2 years. today, my biggest shame has finally been lifted off my shoulders. 

    girl made of stars sounds like a very interesting read, but very painful too. I assume you have read Asking for It by Louise o'neill, but if not i would recommend it! very similar to girl made of stars though, in the sense that is a very painful read.

  5. if you like musicals i would highly recommend fun home the musical. i tried to read the graphic novel and failed, but i LOVE it as a musical.

  6. I recently read The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, which are the first two books of the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. This is his epic fantasy series that manages to bring the settings of his other books together. I thought it was very slow going but the books build to a conclusion of several hundred pages each. They are told from the perspective of multiple characters that alternate, which is fairly common in fantasy. I am currently reading The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, which is beautiful so far. I won't say much since I'm not finished. I'm also reading Outlaws of the Marsh, which is an epic Chinese novel written in the 14th century.

  7. Love these lil’ reviews, and I appreciate you including the content warnings! I’m not surprised you didn’t enjoy Black’s book — honestly, every time I’ve tried to read her writing, I haven’t been able to connect with it at all and always leave bored out of my mind. :/

    Dear Martin and Salt to the Sea are my favorite books that I’ve read so far this year. I just recently finished Lincoln in the Bardo — I enjoyed it, I guess. It was definitely well written, and I appreciated what Saunders was doing, but there was a point where the experimentalism kind of lost me and I really wanted to just be told a story. 😬

  8. I liked the graphic novel Fun Home but I loved the broadway musical adaption of it even more. I highly recommend it if you ever get a chance to see it. I really want to read Sing Unburied Sing. I need to get that soon.

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