Monday, September 30, 2019

The Great Believers - by Rebecca Makkai - Book Review





Time for a #60secondbookreview! And this week, we'll be discussing "The Great Believers" by Rebecca Makkai.

I love this book *so much* and just want to scream it from the rooftops - it is that kind of book love. What do I have to say to you so you'll be motivated to read this book, too - because it's all that matters to me right now. I want even more people to read it, fall in love with it, and it for it grow in popularity so that Amy Poehler, who owns the production rights, is forced to adapt it as quickly, but also beautifully, as possible. And that's not asking a lot because this book is amazing and really important, as well!

"The Great Believers" follows what is now, one of my absolute favorite literary characters, Yale. He is a gay man living in Chicago in the 1980's. He has this amazing crew of friends, including a woman named Fiona. The story in the book is told from dual perspective and timeline, following Yale in the 1980's - what it was like to be gay at that time, why it was terrifying but also how it could be wonderful. Side note, his story is also so much more than that plotline, and I really didn't feel this book falling into a trope-y or contrived story, which was awesome. The story also follows Fiona in present day as she tracks down her daughter in Paris - which I realize sounds separate, but it's not - omg this book is so good. The layers, you guys! Not only did the characters pull me in, but the book is SO well executed, with the perfect balance of plotting and character development with beautiful writing.  

Have you read The Great Believers? Comment down below and give everyone more reasons to check this book out! Thank you so much for reading! Have a great day!



Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Mars Room by Rachel Kusher - Book Review




#60secondbookreview aka reviewing books as quickly yet thoroughly as I can! And this week's review is for "The Mars Room" by Rachel Kushner.

"The Mars Room" by Rachel Kushner was a two-star read for me, and it's hard to not blame the description writer for some of that. Going into the book it really appealed to me, based on what I had read about it, I thought I would be reading about main character Romy Hall, a woman serving two life sentences in prison, and she is also a mother who is struggling with being away from her child. I'm not totally naive to the hype and also my own preconceived notions of what "female-centric prison stories" look like, I knew that this wouldn't measure up to Orange Is the New Black, for instance. But the reading experience is just SO incredibly different than the description because it leaves out the two other male perspectives that take up a good chunk of the book! Seems like a pretty important thing to include. At its best, for brief fleeting moments, this book did feel a bit like "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" where you had this behind the scenes look at the power trips, unfair treatment, and absurdity that runs amok in institutions like these, but then the perspective would change to the other characters that just added nothing for me to the novel. Overall, it was a pretty terrible reading experience.

Have you read "The Mars Room"? Comment down below and let me know what you thought of it! Was it as much of a reading struggle for you as it was for me? Or, drop a comment below with a female prison novel that you really enjoyed  - because I'm definitely open to trying others! Thanks for reading and watching! Have a great day : )