Since today is my 22nd birthday, it’s only fitting for me to list 22 books that have shaped me as a person.
Some books are, in my opinion, world-shifting. Let me explain… I think that by reading you don’t expand just your vocabulary, knowledge, creativity, etc. You expand your mind. The book you’re reading changes the way you perceive the world. And, if the book is extraordinary, you might end up being extraordinarily transformed.
Try to think of a book that did that for you? Is there one? Or perhaps more than one? These are some of the books that have impacted me in the last 22 years!
In her debut poetry collection, Conyer Clayton sheds her skin to reveal true vulnerability. We Shed Our Skin Like Dynamite is the title the author gave a collection of deeply personal poems which speak of life struggles.
The themes of sex, addiction, and emotions are discussed in a way I would describe as tragicomic. As much as the language used is rich, there is also this ambience of contemporary struggle of a young person in the twenty-first century. Because of this, the message is much more relatable and it creates a friendship-like relationship between the author and the reading. I would further explain this relationship as a friendly conversation in which the author tells you what had happened to them.
A Ghost Refused: Kendra’s Denial by F. Stephen Foster is an interesting book, to say the least. My experience reading it was mostly uncomfortable. Let me explain…
The story follows Kendra. She had lost her husband to suicide a few years ago and is left with a lot of grief. In the first chapter, she tries to rescue a man committing suicide and fails. This completely changes her life as she is thrown in a world unfamiliar to her.
This is the best way to explain my experience of reading this book. I felt as if someone just told me they loved me and I couldn’t find the words to respond because I realized I didn’t feel the same way about them. Since page one this book is very dramatic and emotional. The main character is introspective and the first 25 pages are spent on her reliving the event that took place on the first page. It felt so stretched out and I simply couldn’t connect with her. The story is filled with emotions such as grief and pain and as much as the author did a great job explaining and showing them, it only made me anxious. I was anxious when I was reading this book and that made me consider putting it down.
Chasing Love by Vidhi Mohan is a story of empowerment and love. The main character Rebel is a woman is a streak of bad relationships. As much as she talks about bad luck in love, the truth is she simply doesn’t value herself. We follow her story as she jumps once again into an unhealthy relationship. The value of this story, in my opinion, lies in the fact that Rebel manages to break her pattern and improves herself.
Well, this all sounds fun and dandy, but let me assure you, my critical mind won’t let you down. I have four, let me repeat, four pages of notes on this novel. Some are good, some bad…
You know that book you keep seeing everywhere? Everyone seems to have read it? Everyone constantly talks about how good it is? And you haven’t read it?
That was Taylor Jenkins Reid’s The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo to me. At first, I simply didn’t have time to read it, then I could find a copy anywhere… in the end I became very intimidated by it. I avoided reading it for such a long time because I was afraid I would be disappointed with it. As I started reading, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love. I was hooked on the third page. It actually took me by surprise.
If you’re completely out of the loop like I was, then let me tell you a little about this book.
The story follows a journalist named Monique who is hired to interview a movie star Evelyn Hugo. Evelyn is one of the most beautiful women ever, she is a big old Hollywood star and she is simply captivating. She is also, in her own words, awful.
A few moments ago I read the last page of Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo. How dare she…? Such a sadist. I’m done falling in love with her writing. Now I’m just falling into the abyss.
This was the kiss he’d been waiting for. It was a gunshot. It was prairie fire. It was the spin of Makker’s Wheel. Jesper felt the pounding of his heart—or was it Wylan’s?—like a stampede in his chest, and the only thought in his head was a happy, startled, Oh. Slowly, inevitably, they broke apart. “Wylan,” Jesper said, looking into the wide blue sky of his eyes, “I really hope we don’t die.
If this is your first time reading my review on the Grishaverse, let me catch you up on everything that’s been going on. I decided to have a tiny one-person readathon and I decided to read only Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. I’ve been reading the books in chronological order and in that order you’ll find my essays/reviews on them. Firstly, there is the Shadow and Bone trilogy which contains Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. Then, I read Six of Crows. And now we’re here.
Leigh Bardugo is a villain. I will shortly explain why. If you are just now joining me on my little one-woman journey reading Grishaverse, welcome! So, a week ago I decided to read all of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books. My goal was, and still is, to get back into reading YA fantasy. I believe I have chosen the right writer to start with. I started by reading the Shadow and Bone trilogy and you can read my opinions on all three books Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising.
And now, here we are again. I finished Six of Crows. Wow. I couldn’t have anticipated I would like this book so much. I mean, yes, everyone warned me that it was even better than Shadow and Bone trilogy, but still… Now, I wouldn’t say I liked it more. I love them all equally.
Maybe there are no words at the moment for me to explain the emotions I’m feeling right now. Because I can’t seem to find them. When I started this ‘Grishaverse reading project’, honestly, I didn’t expect to be affected in this way. And yet I am.
A few days ago I made a decision to reacquaint myself with YA fantasy. Decision was struck to make Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse my first victim. I am reading the books in order of publication, therefore the first series to read was the Shadow and Bone trilogy. The first book Shadow and Bone was an enjoyable reading experience, then the second book Siege and Stormgave the story a new darkness and I enjoyed it even more than the first one. And so, my journey with Alina comes to an end. I have just finished Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo… and I am ruined.
“Na razrusha’ya. I am not ruined. E’ya razrushost. I am ruination.”
Hello stranger! If you are just joining me on my journey in rediscovering YA fantasy, I suggest you check out my review/essay on Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo where I explain everything. I have arrived at the second milestone in reading the Grishaverse. This morning I finished Siege and Storm. This is the second book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy.
WARNING: if you haven’t read this book by now, I’m (not) sorry to inform you that there will be spoilers.
This quarantine has really turned everything upside down. It even made my posh, I-only-read-adult-fiction ass, read young adult fantasy. I know… I’ve gone mad. What is happening to me? Well, it’s good you asked… Because, we all know by now, that I will certainly tell you all my opinions.
So, picture me, sitting in my room, relaxed, drinking coffee, scrolling through my twitter feed. And I’m becoming more and more confused. I don’t understand anything these people are talking about. There are abbreviations and weird names I’d never heard before. I find it really hard to talk to these people since we seem to have so little in common.
Then, I decided I had to change that as soon as possible. I will, after all, have to read all these ya fantasy books if I want to be one of the cool kids. Peer pressure, I guess.