Lily’s Literature #5

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. 16115612

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.The_Fault_in_Our_Stars

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. 13609922

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.


35 thoughts on “Lily’s Literature #5

  1. I haven’t read any of these. Brigid read the Fault in Our Stars and really liked it but she’s 13. Bought her another of his books and I don’t think she could get through it.

    • I think The Fault in Our Stars is much better for a younger audience. It’s full of love and drama and I just kept over analyzing it so I probably ruined it for myself. However, if they make a movie of it, I would be really interested in that!

  2. Lily’s literature is TOTES my favourite literature column in the world.

    Out of interest, how many people are there in this book club of yours? ‘Cos two of my own books are now available in paperback and I’d be willing to send some free copies to you to read and mull over.

    One of them is a collection of three short stories whilst the other is a thriller novel. I could, say, send ten copies of one of them to you, or five of each, and you could dish them out to anyone interested.

    Just an idea, like. I promise not to stalk you any more than I already do.

    • Aww thanks Michael! How kind of you!
      I’ve already purchased my choice for the next month, but when my turn rolls around again I will def consider it.

      The three short stories sound interesting. I know some of the girls don’t like books with a lot of death in them (I don’t mind it at all) so I don’t know if the thriller one would be their kind of thing, but I can ask!

      I don’t mind being stalked! It’s pretty flattering. I’ll never forget that you were my first follower! 😀

    • I know! I think I just over hyped it in my head so I would’ve been let down no matter what. There were parts I really did like, but overall I think I had trouble bonding with what the characters were saying.

      Never read Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close! I’ll check it out though! It’s a movie now too, right?

  3. Naturally skinny? I hope that fire on her legs wasn’t planned. I think we need to stop making things based off Twitter/MySpace/Facebook fame. This lady, Shit My Dad Says the TV show, everything Tila Tequila did were all disastrous. It’s nice they can come out of nowhere, but what works one place may not work in another.

    • So true. I hate when people are famous because of Twitter. Like, THAT’S your talent? Little sarcastic quips? Grrrreat. I mean, parts were pretty funny but not enough for me to crack a smile.
      Lol Tila Tequila….

  4. Carter says:

    You didn’t read Etgar Keret? Aww your loss babe. But seriously, do it. It’ll rock your literary world. And if you happen to mention the charming boy who suggested it, I won’t be upset about that

    • No I didn’t! Not yet! Now that I’m in the book club, I have less time to read books of my own choosing. Also, I hadn’t ever heard of Mr. Keret so I wasn’t sure, but I looked him up on goodreads and he gets very high ratings. Which book did you suggest again? I will most defs mention you when I read his stuff! A doy.

  5. I haven’t read The Kite Runner either! High five!
    Always nice to read these posts. There’s a fine line between a good and a bad book and often the books tend to be just not good enough. I mean, we only deserve the best, don’t we?

    • High five!
      Thanks Astrid! Yeah you’re right about good books and bad books. Sometimes I feel like I’m too picky because I’ve read a lot of good ones. I just want to keep searching for equally good books! Lolita is on my list of books to-read! 😉

  6. I haven’t read any of those. I am getting into some YA now because I figured I’d better read some of it if I want to write it. I recently finished The Heist Society by Ally Carter which was pretty good. It was a quick and easy read. Nothing deep. It’s one of those books you can read on your lunch break and not worry about brain drain.
    I am currently reading Code Name Verity which I am enjoying so far.
    Outside of YA, I enjoy Kate Morton’s work. She is an awesome writer of women’s fiction with great historical/family saga/multiple timeline-ness. I most recently finished The Distant Hours which was slower than the others I’ve read. I highly recommend The Forgotten Garden. AWESOME!

    • Those sound like good recommendations! I don’t read a lot of YA, but I’m trying to get into them more. I like that you want to write in that area. Always good fans with those kinds of books!

  7. Whhhaatttt?? You really didn’t like The Fault In Our Stars? How heartbreaking. I can see where you’re coming about the whole ’16 year olds don’t act that way’, but I dunno, maybe it’s different when you’re a 16 year old and you know you’re going to die? Plus, if you really think about it, if it were totally accurate it would be the most boring and irritating thing ever, since teenagers are a pain in the arse.

    In saying that, it make me cry like a baby (I was warned) so maybe I should of been in your boat. For some perspective, I did hear that he wrote it in honour of a fan of his that did end up dying of cancer as a teenager.

    I’ve read The Kite Runner so would be interested in his new book, but it’s a bit further down on the list at the moment.

    • I just felt like it was sooo deep and dramatic. But you’re right. If you have cancer, you probably will have a way different outlook on life. I guess I just really built it up in my head so maybe I was expecting something different?
      I didn’t know that he wrote it to honor one of his fans–that’s a sweet little fact 🙂

      Yeah I need to read the Kite Runner for sure. This one seemed very different from his other books, from what I’ve heard.

      • Yes, and yes. I have a post on my blog wherein I ask people how much I should pay them to read it. There has been little interest in that posting, as there has been in the book. Nevertheless, I’m think of setting up an account where anyone who reads it gets paid five dollars.

      • Aww haha. I’m sure people will read it eventually. Maybe I’ll even give it a go. I just have a list of so many books I want to read, so it will be further down, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it!

  8. Nice post! May check out the first one as I did read his other two and they were good, but alas yes, all set in reality (bummer). Which means I have to be in a certain mood/mindset. I just finished Light in the Ruins by Chris Bohjalian. I absolutely loved his book Midwives and I sped through this new one, but when I finished it I wasn’t sure how I felt. I would love to hear your take on it. (to add to your ever-growing list)

    • Thank you so much! Well, “And the Mountains Echoed” also takes place in reality which can be depressing as well, but there is a good mystical story at the beginning that you might enjoy! Thanks for those recommendations! I’ll try to get to them for you!

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