Quick review for a quick read. I actually enjoyed “By Your Side” in it’s own right. It’s a light, fluffy read for the most part, despite having some rather harrowing conflicts in tow. The story starts with Autumn hanging with her friends, getting separated and ending up locked in a library over a holiday weekend. This wouldn’t be such a bad scenario (because let’s face it: being locked in a library would be every bookworm’s dream, mine included) if Autumn didn’t have an anxiety disorder and didn’t have access to a phone.
Quick review for a progressive read. Katie Cotugno’s “Fireworks” was a struggle for me to read in places, but in the end, I’m glad I read it, especially considering the turns it took in the story. The ending was bittersweet and not quite the impression and direction I thought it would go given the beginnings of the story. Yet even saying that, I’ll admit I struggled to hold interest in the novel for a while.
Quick review for a quick read. Leave it to Nina LaCour to tug at my heartstrings every single time I pick up a book from her. For what it’s worth, I did enjoy “We Are Okay” though it wasn’t as strong for me as some of the author’s other narratives (a.k.a “Hold Still”). It’s the story of a young woman named Marin who escapes her life after a series of tragedies and has to come to terms with them as her best friend reunites with her over Winter Break while she’s in college.
Quick review for a progressive read. It’s hard to describe my reactions to this novel, because, on one hand, this is quite apt to Melina Marchetta’s style of writing – strong characterizations, compelling family-centered stories, and emotional revelations on the topics she touches upon (particularly with respect to race, violence, prejudice, etc.) I enjoyed the journey this novel took me on for the most part, even as it handed down its revelations progressively rather than in one felt swoop like the magnitude of the crime(s) this book centers upon.
Quick review for a somewhat quick read. I’d probably give this read 2.5 stars overall. I read this over the course of a few days in audiobook form, and I’ll admit that I didn’t care for it despite having some practically useful ideas. I decided to read this for exploring methods of minimalist living and retention, since that seems to be a pervading topic when it comes to productivity and organization. The text itself has useful ideas if you haven’t read very many delcuttering/minimalism guides, but the narrative itself is cumbersome in its narration. Simple and key to remember ideas often get lost in explanations that go on much longer than necessary. I found it too superfluous in its communications. As the narrative went on, I honestly didn’t like many of the suggestions the book gives to approach a minimalist lifestyle (a.k.a. “Participate in sports that require less stuff.” Yes, this was an actual suggestion in this book among other methodologies.) It’s interesting that a key idea of this narrative communicated learning to control your stuff, not allowing your stuff to control you and what you want to do, but yet ideas like that give the opposite impression.
I would take this guide with a grain of salt, and it may be better just to use this for what is useful to the person reading it and to supplement other guides on organization and minimalist living. The figuring out what to keep sections were good, but its overarching useful mantras are taken over by redundancy and counter-intuitive suggestions.
Overall score: 2.5/5 stars.