Books of December

Not pictured, Don Quixote and Singoalla

Traitors Kiss

Erin Beaty 

This book suffers from I’m-not-like-other girls-syndrome, but other than that it is enjoyable. The main character is at times annoying, she considers herself better than other girls due to not being interested in fashion or marriage. Given that she lives in a fantasy world where matchmaking is everything this do make her odd. Beside the matchmaking part of the story it is quite an ordinary YA fantasy. That doesn’t make it bad, it was a fun read, but it is not something that I’m going to remember. Side note, I appreciate that the author fulfill basically all american stereotypes.  

Everything Everything 

Nicola Yoon

This book was fine. It wasn’t out of the ordinary good, but it wasn’t bad either. I mostly read it because I knew a lot of people did in fact like it, it was even made into a movie, I haven’t watched it. I found the whole story to be quite tragic and I felt a bit unsatisfied with the ending. I think that Maddy (the main character) deserved a better fait that the one her mother gave her and that the author could have written more about how Maddy adjusted to normal life. Also, I hate the name Oliver, especially when called Olly. That is the name of The Boy, who is perhaps the most stereotypical teenage love interest. A bit of a bad boy, always dressed in black, fit and good at some form of athletics (parkour in this case). Overall, this book is a fun and easy read, and it gets kudos for having a main character of colour (yay for inclusivity), which is sadly still a rarity everywhere.

The sun is also a star   

Nicola Yoon 

Her second book was much better that her first (Everything, Everything). This one managed to be both a good YA romance and tackle difficult subjects in a very education way. She writes about racism, both conscious and unconscious, pressure from parents, fear of the future and deportation. Deportation is and always will be an awful thing, it is not fair to uproot someone from their home. I liked how Yoon wrote short chapters from supporting characters POV, it made them more humane and easier to understand. It also added something extra to the storytelling. This book managed to be both fantastical and realistic, something that is not an easy feat. It’s fun, it’s relevant and it’s good. Definitely a worthy read. 
  

All the bright places

Jennifer Niven

I cried when reading the ending, but then I always cry when someone dies. It is a curse, never a blessing. The book takes up some more important and difficult subjects, that seems to have become an accidental theme of my YA books (I did manage read one that was so bad I won revive it, there is nothing to say). Instead of discussing racism, Niven writes about mental health, a subject that is a bit more relevant for my life. The story is sweet until it isn’t, and then it is tragic. It’s well written and probably a good read for people that have no knowledge/experience with mental difficulties. That is not me, and therefore the message of the book felt a bit irrelevant to me, I already know that mental health improves if you talk about it. Nevertheless, a good read                

Don Quixote

Miguel Cervantes 

Somehow it took me longer to read these 900 pages than the 900 pages of torture that was Ulysses. I blame November on it. The book was delightful, though I prefered part one over part two. Part one was lighthearted and fun, Don Quixote interacted with many different people with interesting characters with fun stories to tell. And while it did get a bit annoying to have all the female characters either described as the most beautiful person in the world or ugly as hell, it was still fun to read. Long as namn wrote what was at the time a rather forward thinking piece, and parts of what he wrote is still very much relevant. Due to the forward thinking it was almost comical when he casually threw in some rasisme in the text, it was very clashing. The second part of the book was a worse read. Not due to a decline in writing skill, but due to Don Quixote and Sanso Pancha being ridiculed by the nobility. Long as name probably wrote it that way in order to chritesise the upper class, the one group of people that constantly needs to be chritesised, but that does not mean that it’s fun to read about about a genuinely nice character getting mocked and humiliated.  

Singoalla 

Viktor Rydberg

I read this book for school, otherwise I wouldn’t have finished it. Actually, that is a lie, the book was so short and easy read that I probably would have finished it. Still wouldn’t have enjoyed it. The thing about this book is that I can’t pinpoint what it is that make me not like it. The concept is fine, the storytelling is okey, the characters are average, there is just something about the composition that does not work for me. Beside not enjoying the book itself I really don’t like the fact that Rydberg writes about the Romani in a discriminatory way. Rydberg portrays the Romani as thieving, uncivilized and exotic, all of that is just harmful stereotypes that should be stopped. If you want to write about a people that faces discrimination then the least you can do is to reachers and not spread future lies. Also, I would have liked it more if Erland had died in the end.                        

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