So last week I didn't post as many post as usual, because I was doing the BookTube-A-Thon which meant lots of reading and lots of video posting!
But as my youtube viewers know, I'm not good at reviewing books in video-format so as a little BookTube-A-Thon wrap up, here is what I read and what I thought of it.
1. Longbow Girl by Linda Davies
So this was the first book I finished for read-a-thon and though I can't say too much now (I have an in-depth review scheduled for the 17th of August!), I must already say that I LOVED THIS BOOK. It is so good and so original and I think that everyone should pre-order it for the September release.
Recommend for: Brave fans, history fanatics and anyone who craves a strong and realistic female narrator.
2. Because You'll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas
This book was a YALC buy and I'm so happy I got to read it so soon after I bought it. The story is about two boys, Ollie and Moritz, who write letters to each other. Ollie lives in the US and can't stand anything electrical. Not only does electricity give him epileptic attacks, he also influences the electricity and makes things go wrong. Because of this reason, he lives in a cabin in the middle of the woods with his mother and only one friend who visits every now and then, Liz. Moritz lives in Germany and doesn't have any eyes. Strangely enough, he can see better than anyone else due to his impressive hearing ability. He can actually "see" what people look like. However, Moritz has a pacemaker and for this reason, the two boys can never meet.
This book was a bit of a roller coaster for me. I found it really hard to get into the story at the beginning. The whole narrative is the letters the boys exchange and Ollie's letters were so confusing at the beginning and Moritz's letters were so stoic and boring that it was really hard for me to continue this story. However, I'm so glad I did. Both boys call each other out on the weird letter writing and once you see the real characters, it is truly amazing. They are real, their issues are real and heart-breaking and you root for both of these boys to find their happiness. I loved reading a YA story that explores the friendship between two boys and the book left me with a smile on my face.
Recommend for: For anyone who thinks YA is only about romance and for anyone who wants a serious book that will still make you laugh.
3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I read this book for the challenge 'Read Someone Else's Favourite Book'. Ready Player One is my roommate's favourite book and also seems to be very popular on Tumblr. I was both wary and excited to read this book. On the one hand, it sounded awesome, on the other hand, it is all about videogames and 80s pop-culture. I don't know anything about either of those things.
It's hard to summarize this story, but the basics are: A billionaire gamemaker, who invented a virtual reality used by everyone in the future, dies without having a heir. He decides to give his fortune, and the control of the virtual reality, to who ever finishes a quest he created and finds the easter egg in his game. Now, this easter egg hunts consists of several difficult stages and it takes years for anyone to figure out the first clue.
The gamemaker loved the 1980s so he obviously put a lot of his favourite videogames and movies in the quest. I enjoyed reading about someone who was so passionate about something, but it sometimes made it hard for this 90s girl to know what he was talking about. However, the writing made that irrelevant and you like the main character, Wade, so much that you can't do anything else but continue reading and rooting for him in this quest. The letdown for me with this book was the ending. The writing was so suspenseful throughout that I really thought something extremely big was supposed to happen at the end - because honestly, a quest about who owns a virtual reality? Is it that much of a big deal? Apparently, it has to be if you want to be happy with the ending.
The ending aside, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and the creativity that went into it. It's one of the most original books I've read this year and the writing keeps you glued to your seat.
Recommend for: clearly any videogame and/or 80s popculture fans. But also anyone who likes any kind of quest stories (à la Lord of the Rings, for example)
4. One by Sarah Crossan
So everyone on Twitter tried to prepare me for this book and how amazing/heartbreaking it would be, but it didn't help. I wasn't prepared. I don't think anyone can be prepared.
One is by conjoined twins, Twiggy and Grace, who against all odds have grown old enough to be teenagers. As anyone can imagine, being conjoined teenagers is really really hard. While I don't want to say too much about the plot (everything would be a give away), the story does not only discuss the issues of always being attached to someone, but also how it influences the whole family, friends and school mates.
What I loved about this book is the writing. The whole story is told in verse from Grace's perspective and it is so effective for this kind of story. We don't need to know exactly what anyone is wearing or how the school looks - we want to know what Grace is feeling from day to day and how she deals with something everyone sees as being really hard. The tight first person narrative allows Sarah Crossan to really explore the fact that Grace and Twiggy aren't unhappy being conjoined - yes they have difficulties, but they are not miserable. The verse made sure that as a reader you really feel like you are in Grace's head and feel incredibly connected to her as a character. And that's exactly what delivers the emotional impact of this story: we feel like we are Grace, like we understand her completely, and that we want exactly what she wants. As far as character writing goes, this is YA at it absolute finest.
Recommend for: anyone who doubts the validity of YA as a genre, any reader who is ready to get really emotionally invested in some amazing characters.
5. A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall
I've had this book for ages and have to admit that it, even though I LOVED the cover, the synopsis never really drew me in. A Little Something Different is described as a love story but then, surprise surprise, a little differently.
Upon reading it however, I discovered that it really is a twist on any other love stories I've read. The story is about two college students falling in love, but we never hear from their perspective. We hear what their friends, creative writer teacher, barrista and even a park bench think, but never how the two main characters feel inside.
This has left me slightly conflicted about the book. When I first finished it, I loved it (which I ranted about in this video), but now that I'm a day further, I kinda already forgot what it was about. I think my problem is that I didn't feel any kind of connection with the main characters, because I had no clue what was going on inside their heads. What were they thinking? Why did they do certain things? I have no clue and so I have no connection to the characters.
It was a fun and very original read, but it was definitely light and doesn't really seem to stick that much with me.
Recommend for: people curing a bookhangover, looking for a beach read.
6. Alex Hughes Has Sex Sometimes by Jules Moulin (CHECK)
And this wrap-up ends the way it started; with a book I can't tell you too much about because a review is coming later. Alex Hughes Has Sex Sometimes was a really enjoyable and funny book that had both awkward situations and wonderful, loving situations. The plot is somewhat divided between two stories that alternate each other each chapter: there's a story from 10 years ago when Alex slept with her college student and there's a story in the present, when that college guy comes home with Alex's daughter. Yeah, I think you already know where the awkward happens. But I can't say more, because I want to save everything for my review in 2 weeks!
Recommend for: Sophie Kinsella fans