Recent Reads | The World From the View of Two Teenage Girls: Recent Reads

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Recent Reads

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Love Letters to the Dead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I feel a bit torn about this book, but I really really did like it overall.

This book is comprised of letters, written by Laurel, a high school freshman, writes to her different idols. All of whom are dead.

I read Love Letters to the Dead back in December.  I found the writing similar to Ketchup Clouds.  However, I think this novel did a much better job of actually using the letters and working them into the story as well.  It was evident that writing these letters really did help Laurel.

On the subject of her sister’s death, I was honestly expecting a larger reveal.  (Another similarity to Ketchup Clouds)  Laurel blames herself for her sister’s death, when there really wasn’t anyway she could’ve prevented it.  I think this is huge, because in real life, people go through the same thing.  I’m sure so many families who had a loved one die in 9/11, or anything really, always think it was their fault, “If I only I hadn’t let them go into work that day.”  It’s still not their fault, but they feel like they had some way to prevent it, but there was no way of knowing what outcome that would lead to.

I also feel the delicacy at which the lesbian relationship is handled is incredibly important.  It isn’t made out to be a big deal- Laurel doesn’t really think anything of it.  I feel like most authors just put queer characters in their book as a punch line or for the sake of diversity, often without even flat out saying they’re not straight.  This didn’t feel like either.  There weren’t just hints of their sexuality; it was all there, laid out in plain sight.  Often times, it also seems like books with queer characters spend the whole time trying to learn to accept themselves.  Although, it is important to discuss the problems that sometimes arise when a teen comes out, in terms of being accepted, this wasn’t the only thing discussed about their relationship.  There was a lot of focus on the fact that the girls needed to love and accept themselves before they could come out in the open as together and I think that was extremely important, however there was more depth to their relationship than that.

At times, I feel like Laurel talked and acted a lot younger than she really is.  However, I feel at the same time that is how a teenager who lost an older sibling would act.  This is especially true, since her mother walked out and she can’t talk to her bible crazy aunt about stuff.  While it can be a bit annoying at times, I feel this was an accurate portrayal.

I really did like this book and I’m glad I was able to read it at my age.  I will definitely be suggesting it to most of my friends.

The Fangirl's Guide to the Galaxy: A Lexicon of Life Hacks for the Modern Lady Geek

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

*Goodreads sent me this book in exchange for my honest opinion*

It starts off talking about different kinds of fandoms (ie. Potterheads, SuperWhoLock) and their shows/movies/books. This section obviously didn’t cover them all, but it covered most of the main ones. I felt this section was fairly accurate on the ones I knew about.

Maggs then goes through relevant lingo and I was surprised at how much I already knew. I felt the definitions were accurate as well as helpful. However, I did feel they were a bit random. I'm not sure all of them are relevant (I've never heard them) and there were some not covered people might not know.

She went into great detail on conventions. Maggs talked about a variety of cons and the fans that would want to go. There was also a lot on what to expect out of a convention- not getting to see EVERYONE, not getting a lot of sleep, etc. I think her section on what to bring was the most helpful, but that's just me. I’ve never been to a con, but the information seemed useful and I would definitely use her advice if I planned on going to one. Later, the book went over cosplay and such.

The last chapter is about feminism. It’s pretty short, but I do feel it’s an important chapter and that it does a good job of talking about feminism and its importance. I didn't expect it at all, but I'm very glad it was included. I don't think it is out of place at all especially since it is the FanGIRL's Guide to the Galaxy. Especially in a male dominated community there are a lot of problems that arise for women and I think this addresses them well.

Overall, I thought this book was really cute, and I'm already loaning it to friends.

We Were Liars

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow. Best book I've read so far this year. (Not that I've many to compare it to yet.

After reading reviews and such I expected a plot twist (I mean it's called We Were Liars). But I just kind of accepted the first one, no big deal. Then there was the second one that changed everything. Yeah. Excellent.

I feel like all of these characters had quite a lot of depth. Probably the best written characters I've experienced in a while. Though all the liars are around 17, they talk like they're about 12 which makes a lot more sense later on.

There really isn't much else to say other than that I absolutely loved it.

Cassandra's Books Read in 2015

Anna and the French Kiss
The Dress Shop of Dreams
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Second Chance Summer

Cassandra's favorite books »

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