Welcome to another addition of Lily’s Literature aka Where I Make Myself Sound Well Read. I keep forgetting to add at the end of these posts suggestions for any books that you think I should add to my to-read list. This month I have quite the motley crew of titles and themes. Hope you enjoy!
After last month’s Lily’s Literature, I joined a book club. Just a friendly little get together, but it was really fun and I ended up noticing more patterns once we talked about the book together. The book that was the topic of discussion was And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. Unlike the rest of the world, I haven’t read Hosseini’s The Kite Runner, so I had no idea what his writing style would be like or if the topics he chose would interest me. What really drew me in was the opening story.
The book started with a brother and sister listening to their father tell them a middle eastern folk tale of sorts. It was magical and beautiful and possibly one of my favorite parts of the entire book. The rest of the book is set in reality (bummer). It follows intertwining stories of the brother (Abdullah) and the sister (Pari) and all the roads related to them. Early on they’re separated, while readers spend the entirety of the book wondering if they will ever be reunited. There are reoccurring themes of caring for others while giving up your own life juxtaposed with those who cut ties and choose freedom. It’s very interesting and sad at times. I’m definitely going to look into reading The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns.
After that I picked up the hugely popular young adult novel, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Now, I’ve always been suspect of teen books right off the bat. It’s tough because some are really great, like The Hunger Games, and others are too simple (in my opinion). There was a lot of hype with this book. I mean A LOT. Everywhere I looked, there was praise for it. On Goodreads it gets a super high score in the 4 star range. Everyone talks about it on Tumblr and how it changed their lives. And even at my own bookstore it’s one of the highest sellers. So I was pretty excited to read it.
And then I finished it and was totally underwhelmed. The story follows a teenage girl, Hazel, who lives with lung cancer. She isn’t a survivor per se, but she has survived for quite a while due to certain medications. While in support group for teens living with cancer, Hazel meets Augustus, a dreamboat amputee (his leg) who falls in love with her. The book follows their blossoming relationship and is speckled with bits of humor and tragedy. I just wasn’t a fan of the book because the writing was so pretentious. I had to stop multiple times a re-read sentences because they were so philosophic and advanced. Not many 16 year-olds talk about existentialism on a daily basis. At least, I didn’t think so. In that way, it didn’t seem believable and the characters came across as false and unlikable (in my opinion). Not my fave.
Most recently, I finished another book for my book club called Everything Is Perfect When You’re a Liar by Kelly Oxford of Twitter fame. I’m torn with this one. Humor books are tough for me because I’m harsh judge. The last humor book I read was White Girl Problems and it made me lol many, many times. Ms. Oxford’s book? Not so much. I mean, it was funny, but it seemed like she was trying.
Don’t get me wrong, she chose many snippets from her life that we circumstantially funny, but I wasn’t totally wowed. What I did enjoy, however, is that Kelly was raised in Calgary, and Victoria was even mentioned. So I was digging that for real. But for most of the book she acts like she’s such a terrible person for thinking certain things or saying others. It’s like, calm down, no you’re not. And she also comments on how naturally skinny she is often which really bugged. Must be rough.