#July Reads (A Bibliophile’s Reflections)

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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

“I wanted a fairy tale ending for Wavy, because if she could find happiness, there would be hope for me, too.” 

Without a doubt, the story lives up to its title. I found this book to be extremely disturbing since it contains graphically detailed mature content. Yet, it somehow made me feel lighthearted and managed to restore my faith in humanity!

Click here to read the synopsis from Goodreads.

“I liked learning things. How numbers worked together to explain the stars. How molecules made the world. All the ugly and wonderful things people had done in the last two thousand years.” 

I fell in love with Wavy, her strength of character I profoundly admired, her love and belief for Kellen made my heart melt. Moreover, the way Kellen and Wavy cared for and protected each other made me feel hopeful. Wavy was surrounded by all ugly things yet she was resilient and mostly obstinate but after all she turned out fine.

As I looked back, I realized, there was no specific and stable antagonist, maybe Aunt Brenda made life difficult for both Wavy and Kellen. However, she was good at heart and her intentions seemed pure – all she wanted was to protect her niece from what she considered to be bad influence and guide her on the right path. I think the characters in the story were not intentionally despicable but the situation and other factors made them appear vile. Similar to real life, each character had something good about them which made it difficult to pass an overall negative judgment against them.


 

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Confess by Colleen Hoover

Click here to read the synopsis from Goodreads.

Though this is the second book of hers I’ve read, I personally love Colleen Hoover’s simple and eloquent writing style which depicts sophisticated human emotions. A few months ago, I read ‘It Ends with Us’ which was both impressive and empowering. Maybe I had my expectations set really high because I was slightly disappointed after reading Confess. Though it had a remarkable and intriguing plot, I didn’t find the lead characters that interesting. It was good but not as exceptional as I expected it to be.

Below are some of my favorite lines from the book:

“There are people you meet that you get to know, and then there are people you meet that you already know.” 

“I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.” 

“Some secrets should never turn into confessions. I know that better than anyone.” 

“Tell me something about yourself that no one else knows. Something I can keep for myself.”


 

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Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Was insanity just a matter of dropping the act?

Brilliant question, isn’t it? I’m personally fond of psychology or psychiatry because human emotions and mental illness captures my interest. I’m still debating in my own mind about the existence or rather authenticity of the widely used labels for the mentally ill in today’s world (anyway, let’s put that aside).

I found this memoir by Kaysen, an eye opener which points out the shortcomings of a psychiatrist. And also briefly portrays the various struggles of patients in the psychiatric ward. This book does not have a well defined plot yet it was an enlightening read.

Click here to read the synopsis from Goodreads.

Here are some lines that had me thinking:

“Was I ever crazy? Maybe. Or maybe life is… Crazy isn’t being broken or swallowing a dark secret. It’s you or me amplified. If you ever told a lie and enjoyed it. If you ever wished you could be a child forever. They were not perfect, but they were my friends.” 

“Lunatics are similar to designated hitters. Often an entire family is crazy, but since an entire family can’t go into the hospital, one person is designated as crazy and goes inside. Then, depending on how the rest of the family is feeling that person is kept inside or snatched out, to prove something about the family’s mental health.” 

“In a strange way we were free. We’d reached the end of the line. We had nothing more to lose. Our privacy, our liberty, our dignity: all of this was gone and we were stripped down to the bare bones of our selves” 

“Our hospital was famous and housed many great poets and singers. Did the hospital specialize in poets and singers or was it that poets and singers specialized in madness?” 


 

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Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Initially, I didn’t quite enjoy the book and found it difficult to construct the world through the words of the author. Nevertheless, once I settled into the story, I couldn’t put the book down – it was a compelling read.

Click here to read the synopsis from Goodreads.

The book was just like any other dystopian novel, at the same time, the plot felt original. Certain aspects of the plot felt like Hunger Games and it felt similar to Divergent as well. The part where Darrow is at the Institute and belongs to House Mars with Mentors named after Greek Gods reminded me of ‘Camp Half Blood’ from Percy Jackson. The tribal Wars and the last one to be standing was to be crowned the winner sounded similar to Hunger Games. Regardless of these similarities, the book proves to an enticing and a compelling read.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books from this series.


 

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Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn

Click here to read the synopsis from Goodreads.

I truly regret for having chosen to read this book. Well, the style of writing was good enough but the plot was downright terrible. There was nothing new, no challenging or intriguing element in this story. The plot was predictable, dull and boring. Guess what, I’ll leave it at that!

Thanks for reading!

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