Originally published April 1st, 2019
It’s that time of the month again, friends; the point at which I begin to rave about all of the amazing books I’ve read over the past 31 days! Well, I say “amazing” – there was one book this month that was so and, I couldn’t even finish it. Read on to find out which novel has evoked such anger in me…
How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne
Rating: 5/5 stars
Even though this was the last book I read in March, I’ve put in first in this blog post as a testament to how much I fucking loved it. I devoured this book. It was a challenging read, mainly due to some of the topics it discusses. Non-consensual sexual acts, emotional abuse, narcissism, and the effect of social media on mental health are just four of them. However, don’t be put off by the book’s difficult subject matter. These are all highly relatable topics that we as a society need to talk about more. Warning: the book’s main character, Tori, is pretty bitter. She’s miserable, in a relationship that’s “tricky” (that’s putting it mildly), and envies all of her friends who are getting married and having babies. Still, you’ll spend most of the book rooting for her, warts and all. I need about three sequels to this book so that I can read about the rest of Tori’s life. Please, Holly Bourne. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT (and I don’t just mean a second Brexit referendum).
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Rating: 4/5 stars
I think it’s safe to say that The Power blew me away. The premise of this dystopian, gender-politics-infused novel is simple: women all over the world suddenly develop the power to shoot powerful (and painful) electricity from their bodies. This change causes shifts in the gender dynamics and power structures of society. How would the world change if women suddenly had the physical upper hand – and how would men react? Alderman masterfully weaves together the tales of a handful of main characters to explore the implications of this new reality. This book made me think deeply about how power works – especially with regards to gender – and how prevalent it is in almost every aspect of our lives, whether that’s religion, work, or even our home lives. I firmly believe that everyone should read this book, regardless of your gender. A warning, though – it’s not for the faint-hearted. I found the violence a bit gratuitous sometimes, hence why I deducted a star from my rating. Otherwise, this book is flawless.
House of Names by Colm Tóibín
Rating: 5/5 stars
House of Names is a retelling of a few Greek myths and stories, primarily the Oresteia. For anyone out there who’s not familiar with this subject area, the story of Orestes and his family is more than a little bit wild. There’s a lot of murder involved, mostly between family members. Cheerful, right? In all honesty, I adored this book despite its aggressively dark subject matter. Tóibín did a fantastic job of filling in the gaps that exist in the myths, and also created a genuinely immersive setting. I often felt like I was in Ancient Greece, living through the Trojan War and its fallout. The book also made some interesting points about the Ancient Greek gods, and just how far some people would go to please them. This book is a must-read for fans of Greek mythology, and for everyone, really. Plus, it’s super short and easy to get through. There’s no excuse not to read it!
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Rating: 1/5 stars
It’s been a while since I left a book unfinished, but I could not bring myself to keep reading On The Road. I made it about two-thirds of the way through before I just gave up on this self-important garbage. I know, I know – this book is a cult classic! I should revere it and the impact it had on literature! Well, not today, Satan. While I initially got caught up in the excitement of the opening chapters of the book, I quickly descended into a cloud of boredom and irritation. There is no real character development in this book, and it’s horrifically repetitive. I did learn a lot about the leading figures of the Beat Generation, which I’ve given the book a star for. It was pretty informative in that sense. However, I can conclusively say that I hated everything else about it. If I wanted to hear about the misadventures of white dudes who spend all of their time getting wasted, I’d go back to uni. It would probably be less painful than reading the rest of this book.
What have you guys been reading lately? Do you have any recommendations? If so, leave them in the comments below!