I’m Too Old For This || Estoy Muy Vieja Para Esto

I’m Too Old For This || Estoy Muy Vieja Para Esto

(English)

Hello and happy Wednesday. My name is Camila, I’m in my mid-twenties and most of the books I read feature teenagers. The more I read these novels, the more convinced I am that I outgrew them. I know about all the tropes and I can’t stand most of them. I’m over the fluff and the miscommunication and the unnecessary drama, and after reading The Summer After You and Me by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski I have the feeling that I’m just too old for YA.

I read this novel between October 5th and October 6th, 2019 and gave it two stars. Right off the bat, I got the feeling that the author was an older woman trying too hard to sound like a teenager. I then looked at the author’s Goodreads profile and confirmed my suspicion. The chapters start with a quote, which is interesting because that often gives readers an idea of what’s going to happen, right? In this case, though, the quotes belonged to an essay written by the main character about animal mating patterns, which was very odd.

This is one of those stories that you can figure out entirely by reading the first page, and I know that sometimes we as readers need something like that, easy, predictable, quick. If you’re looking for a diverse read, look elsewhere because this is straight and white as can be. Additionally, if what you want is an original story, something you’ve never read before, this isn’t it. Like I said, it’s tropey, it’s predictable, and it’s also very stereotypical. Let’s just say that the author didn’t take any risks whatsoever regarding this plot.

The love interest is introduced in the very first paragraph, and it is not hard to gather that he is a tourist in the town where our main character lives and that there was some history there. Now, by history, I mean a kiss and maybe sex although that’s never told explicitly. The two characters had a “moment” right before a storm and then they got separated and didn’t hear about each other until the following summer. We all know that this “not knowing about each other” means we’re going to have a miscommunication trope, which I really don’t like because it’s plain dumb in this day and age when we have so many different means to stay in touch. I also don’t like the “getting back together with an ex” trope, so you see now why this book was definitely not for me.

As if this couldn’t be any more tropey, the main character, whose name is Lucy (I think), has a boyfriend. But don’t you worry, she’s quick to tell everyone who can hear that she only loves him as a friend and that she feels nothing romantic for him. Still, we have this dumb and completely unnecessary love triangle. Like I said, I’m in my mid-twenties, I’ve read my fair share of trashy YA, and this is the cherry on top. However, if you’re a young-ish teenager, like fifteen or so, and you’re just getting into young adult, you might like this book. The only plus side I see is that it’s a very quick read, so at least you won’t invest a lot of your time on it.

I’m not saying I would recommend this book, I’m saying someone else might like it. The reason why I wouldn’t recommend it is that there are male chauvinist comments about “girlish figures” that just made me gag. On top of that, there was a comment along the lines of “you’re not fat, you’re gorgeous,” and we all know why I think that is wrong. Some people are able to read stuff like that and not be bothered by it. I’m clearly not one of those people. Finally, because I’m old and bitter I must say that this novel needs some serious editing. There were so many grammar errors that you would’ve thought this was self-published.

Do you have any suggestions of YA summer books that I might like? Tell me about them in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

***

(Español)

Hola y feliz miércoles. Mi nombre es Camila, tengo vientiséis años y la mayoría de libros que leo son acerca de adolescentes. Entre más leo estas novelas, más me convenzo de que estoy muy vieja para ellas. Ya sé todo acerca de los conflictos y no me soporto a la mayoría de ellos. Ya superé toda la suavidad y la falta de comunicación y el drama innecesario, y después de leer The Summer After You and Me bde Jennifer Salvato Doktorski tengo la sensación de que simplemente estoy muy vieja para leer libros de adultos jóvenes.

Leí esta novela entre el 5 de octubre y el 6 de octubre de 2019 y le di dos estrellas. Desde el comienzo, me dio la sensación de que la autora era una mujer mayor haciendo un gran esfuerzo por sonar como adolescente. Luego miré el perfil de la autora en Goodreads y confirmé mi sospecha. Los capítulos comienzan con una cita, lo que es interesante porque eso normalmente le da a los lectores una idea de qué va a pasar, ¿verdad? En este caso, sin embargo, las citas pertenecían a un ensayo escrito por la protagonista sobre los patrones de apareamiento de animales, que era muy raro.

Esta es una de esas histories que uno puede descifrar por complete leyendo la primera página, y yo sé que a veces quienes leemos necesitamos algo así, fácil, predecible, rápido. Si buscas diversidad en tus libros, mira en otra parts porque esto es lo más heterosexual y lo más blanco possible. Adicionalmente, si lo que quieres es una historia original, algo que nunca has leído antes, esto no lo es. Como dije, está lleno de clichés, es predecible y también es muy estereotípico. Digamos que la Aurora no asumió ningún riesgo con respect a esta trama.

El interés romántico se introduce en el primer párrafo, y no es difícil entender que él es un turista en el pueblo donde nuestra protagonista vive y que hubo algún tipo de historia ahí. Ahora, por “historia” quiero decir un beso y de pronto sexo aunque esto no see dice de manera explícita. Los dos personajes tienen un “momento” justo antes de una tormenta y luego fueron separados y no oyeron hablar del otro hasta el verano siguiente. Todos sabemos que esto de “no saber acerca del otro” significa que vamos a tener un problema de comunicación, y eso realmente no me gusta porque es tonto en esta época cuando tenemos tantos medios para estar en contacto. Tampoco me gusta la trama de juntarse con un ex, entonces ya ven por qué este libro definitivamente no era para mí.

Si esto no pudiera ser más cliché, la protagonista, que see llama Lucy (creo), tiene novio. Pero no se preocupen, ella le dice a todo el mundo que ella solamente lo ama como amigo y que no siente nada romántico hacia él. Igual, tenemos este triángulo amoroso tonto y totalmente innecesario. Como dije, tengo ventiséis años, he leído una buena cantidad de libros para jóvenes que son basura, y esta es la cereza en el pastel. Sin embargo, si eres un adolescente joven, si tienes quince años más o menos y apenas estás comenzando a leer libros para adults jóvenes, este libero te puede guitar. El único lado positive que veo es que es muy rápido de leer, entonces por lo menos no vas a tener que invertir mucho tiempo en él.

No estoy diciendo que recomendaría este libro, estoy diciendo que a alguien más podría gustarle. La razón por la que no lo recomendaría es que hay comentarios machistas sobre “figuras femeninas” que me hicieron querer vomitar. Encima de eso, hubo un comentario del tipo “no eres gorda, eres hermosa” y todos sabemos por qué yo creo que eso está mal. Algunas personas son capaces de leer algo así y no molestarse por eso. Yo claramente no soy una de esas personas. Finalmente, porque soy vieja y amargada debo decir que esta novela necesita un serio trabajo de edición. Hubo tantos errores gramaticales que alguien habría podido pensar que esto fue publicado independientmente.

¿Tienen sugerencias de libros para jóvenes que podrían gustarme? Cuéntenme en los comentarios.

¡Feliz lectura!

Con amor, Miss Camila

Mediocre

Mediocre

Before you read this post, make sure you have read my post I Can Do Better to know how and where to donate, get informed, support, and follow the Black Lives Matter movement and people from the Black community. Si hablas español, y especialmente si vives en Colombia, lee mi publicación Puedo hacer algo mejor para enterarte cómo puedes apoyar a la Comunidad afrocolombiana. 

Hello and happy Wednesday. Yes, I’m super witty, so of course, I had to reference the title of the book I’m reviewing (and ranting about) today. Sadly, it didn’t live up to the expectation, and if I do say so myself, it wasn’t even close to what I was anticipating. I am talking about Great by Sara Benincasa.

I read this book between April 5th and April 7th, 2019 and gave it two stars. Like I said, my expectations before reading this novel were high because this is a retelling of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and I love retellings and really enjoyed the original novel, especially because it was super extravagant.

There is one redeeming quality to Great, and it’s the relationship the main character/narrator/ Nick Carraway has with her father. I don’t think we see enough good parent-children relationships in Young Adult, and it was interesting to read about a daughter who doesn’t hate or resent her father.

I think the author was trying way too hard, and she totally didn’t need to. For one, this story features an LGBTQ* romance, which clearly deviates from the original story. I am all for representation and diversity in fiction, but not when there is an obvious hidden intention. To me, making the main romance a lesbian one wasn’t anything more than an attempt of a rebellious gesture that didn’t really pull through. I mean, yes, two females become a couple, but they are both white, as well as all the other characters in the story, so it’s not even an accurate representation of diversity. Also, I could write an entire essay about how the fact that a homosexual relationship does not necessarily imply that the members of the couple are both homosexual, but I won’t because I really don’t want to make this too long.

So, yes, the story just felt forced because it was trying very hard to emulate The Great Gatsby. Now, before you roll your eyes at me and tell me that was the whole point of the novel, I think it is important to understand that a retelling is still an independent story. What I mean by this is that the author might take elements from the original novel and put them into their own, but they also need to add new elements because that is where the success of the retelling lies.

The author might have had a good idea, to begin with, but it was not well-executed. I felt like I was reading a young adult novel written by a much older person, who was still stuck in the ’70s or something. Actually, had this novel been set in the ’70s, it would have worked way better than it did. I just pictured the narrator as Vivian from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt reminiscing about her youth instead of a teenager talking about her summer.

Honestly, if you’re torn between reading this or The Great Gatsby, I’d go for the original novel. It was a way easier, faster, and more enjoyable read altogether; and if the LGBTQ* aspect of the story was what drew you to Great, I am sure you can find something better out there. This really isn’t worth your time.

Have you read any retellings that you really liked? Tell me about them in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Series Saturday: A Southern Thing

Series Saturday: A Southern Thing

Before you read this post, make sure you have read my post I Can Do Better  to know how and where to donate, get informed, support, and follow the Black Lives Matter movement and people from the Black community. Si hablas español, y especialmente si vives en Colombia, lee mi publicación Puedo hacer algo mejor para enterarte cómo puedes apoyar a la Comunidad afrocolombiana. 

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Hello and happy Saturday. We all know that I don’t have guilty pleasures when it comes to books, but there are some topics that might be controversial and that I love. I, for example, and for some strange reason, really like to read about conversion camps. Look, I don’t know what it is and I know it is completely wrong, but those stories always feature someone rebellious fighting for their freedom and a hidden love story, and that does it for me. That’s probably why I picked a book from the series A Southern Thing by Sara York. I also might have gotten that book for free or really cheap. Here’s how I’m doing with the series:

READ

Sending Jack Off to Jesus (Book #2)

I read this between July 2nd and July 3rd, 2016 and gave it three stars. I think this is the only book in the series that actually takes place in a conversion camp. In 2016, a three-star rating was bad, and I can understand it. This is a novel featuring two gay men, but it was written by a woman, so the “own voices” element isn’t there. There are definitely better things out there, is all I’m going to say.

TBR

There are no books in this series that I own at the moment.

WISHLIST

Pray the Gay Away (Book #1)

My Big Fat Southern Gay Wedding (Book #3)

Billy (Book #4)

Is there a series, preferably own voices, that features a queer romance? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Yes Please!

Yes Please!

Before you read this post, make sure you have read my post I Can Do Better  to know how and where to donate, get informed, support, and follow the Black Lives Matter movement and people from the Black community. Si hablas español, y especialmente si vives en Colombia, lee mi publicación Puedo hacer algo mejor para enterarte cómo puedes apoyar a la Comunidad afrocolombiana. 

Hello and happy Wednesday. I am super happy to be reading novels that focus on LGBTQ* topics again. I guess re-inventing my TBR list worked because I am now back to reading more of what I like instead of what I feel that I have to read.

A book I really enjoyed and I think you will too is One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva. I read this between March 25th and March 28th, 2019 and gave it a four-star rating.

Like I said, there’s LGBTQ* representation, but this is not the only reason why I thought this book was awesome. The main character is Armenian-American, and I had not seen that in any YA novel I’d read. This is a novel about identity and understanding what makes you who you are. I love that it’s beyond the typical “coming out” story that some YA authors serve us. I also appreciate that nothing extraordinary happens, it’s just a novel about life, but those are the books I prefer.

I also have good news related to this book. There’s a sequel coming up, so we’ll get more of Alek and Ethan. I requested it on NetGalley, and I hope to get it. If not, it might take me a while to read and review this book, but if I remember to do so, I will.

What sequel are you very excited about? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

Oh Wow

Oh Wow

Hello and happy Wednesday. Have you been missing my in-depth reviews of books that are more like four-paragraph essays? Good, because I’ve been missing writing them. I’m also back and at least the two reviews you’re getting this week will satisfy your need to read me gush (in this case) and rant (on Friday) about books. Make sure you’re comfy and that you have a drink and a snack because I have a post-it full of notes for you about none other than Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. Let’s get started, shall we? 

I read this between May 15th and May 24th, 2020 and gave it four stars. For the sake of accuracy, it’s more like 4.5, but I always round down on Goodreads. This was simply amazing. It was like reading an action movie and I was totally into it. I had heard other book reviewers talking about this so I kind of knew what it was about, which I probably would’ve preferred not to, but I wasn’t spoiled or anything like that. Even though I have many thoughts and opinions, I’m going to try to be very vague so that you can go into this book, if you choose to read it, which you should, with as little information as possible. 

To give you a general idea of the vibe, I’ll say that at first it reminded me of More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, which is a book I read last year and that totally destroyed me. When I say I was reminded of the vibe, I don’t mean the plot or the unique elements of each story, but I mean more in terms of genre. It is no secret to anyone that I am not a sci-fi reader, right? But I do enjoy books that have some sci-fi elements or that tend to be speculative. I like to read about a world like ours in which the reader, along with the main character, learns about this new thing. In More Happy Than Not it was this memory-altering treatment, and for a moment I thought that Dark Matter would go down that same route, but it didn’t. 

Dark Matter is way more sci-fi heavy than More Happy Than Not, but not in a way that went over my head or that confused me or made me want to wish I were smarter. I even appreciated the fact that there was stuff the main character didn’t know or couldn’t figure out. Oh, right. Without going too much into the plot, Dark Matter is about how there are infinite alternate universes in which the versions of ourselves live as a result of the choices we did not make. I’m making it confusing, but I tell you, it’s not. Blake Crouch was way better at explaining that than I was. 

Even though it took me so long to read this book because I was sort of in a reading slump at the time, every time I sat down I had to at least read an hour-long chapter. I am overcoming my fear of long chapters and now I’m starting to prefer them, but besides that, the author had an amazing ability of make each chapter seem like a short story. I swear, they could stand on their own. I had never read something like that, and it made me keep going. If you like Black Mirror, each chapter in this book is like watching an episode of the show, only way better. 

You know I’m a sucker for happy, closed endings, and I knew that I would most likely wouldn’t get one in this book. This isn’t a happy book at all. But I also knew that even if I didn’t get everything wrapped in a little bow, it would totally make sense. I’m not going to lie, I got a bit of a book hangover and I think I will still wonder about the characters for a while. And yes, I cried towards the end. 

Have you read anything by Blake Crouch? Should I? Let me know in the comments. 

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila 

I Don’t Know What to Think

I Don’t Know What to Think

Hello and happy Wednesday. I hate the idea that some books are meant to be read by some people because what it implies is that they are not meant to be read by some others, you know? I feel like books are there, they must be available and accessible, and as consumers we are the ones to decide the types of books that we want in our lives. Now, I’m saying this because I recently read In Darkness by Nick Lake and my one persisting thought was “I wish I knew more about Haiti.”
I kept thinking that this book would’ve impacted me a whole lot more had I known more about the context and the history of where and when it was taking place. But I also thought that no, that’s not the idea of a book, is it? I mean, it’s great that I asked myself questions, but nobody should read a book feeling that they missed out on something because they needed to know more about a topic. Or at least I don’t think anybody should. 

I read this book between May 12th and May 18th, 2020 and gave it three stars. Now, before I continue this review, I want to share another reason why I don’t know what to think about this book, and it is the fact that the author is white. This book is set in Haiti and follows not one but two main characters, both of whom are black since most people in Haiti are black, and this white dude writes an entire novel, half of which is narrated in the first person? And he isn’t even Haitian! He’s British. Talk about neocolonialism.

No but really, am I saying that a white British guy shouldn’t be writing a book about black Haitians? I’m not going to answer that, but I know for a fact that there are many own-voices novels about Haiti that don’t have the recognition that they should because people are reading In Darkness instead of their story. Proof of that is the fact that I’m reviewing Nick Lake’s book in this blog. I keep saying that I will be more mindful about the authors I read and the fact is that I’m not doing a great job at that, so I’m sorry and please hold me accountable. 

The story itself was hard to get into. I felt like I didn’t make any progress on the first three days and that I had to force myself to keep reading. Then the reading experience got better for me, although clearly this is neither an entertaining nor an enjoyable book. I anticipated it to be more hard-hitting, and objectively, it was; it just didn’t reach me and my feelings the way I thought it would. 

We get two perspectives and two timelines: now, told in first person by a fifteen-year-old gangster, and then, a third-person narration about Toussaint L’Ouverture, a black enslaved man who led Haiti to its revolution and freedom from the French. These two characters, as we find out throughout the story, somehow share a soul because they both had twin sisters who died, so their souls are thought to be incomplete. I think this would be a required reading at school if the English and the history teachers decided to have a project about Haiti. No, that’s not a compliment. 

Do you have any recommendations of books written by people from historically oppressed countries or ethnicities? Let me know in the comments. 

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila 

 

Dark Places Review (pt. 2)

Dark Places Review (pt. 2)

Hello and happy Wednesday. Last week I started talking about Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, but I did something I almost never do, which was post a review about the book before I’d finished reading it. I did that for the #BookReviewBlogChallenge, which I’m a part of and which has been really fun. Now that I’ve finished the book, I’ll give you another part of my review. I will try to avoid saying what I already did in the first one, so if you want to read about my initial thoughts on the book, click here

I finished reading this book on May 9th, 2020 and settled on a three-star rating. I feel like my new readers/followers are probably thinking that three stars is my go-to rating, and you wouldn’t be wrong. I have partaken in so many challenges over the years that my TBR is now a mess of books that are not really my type but that I read nonetheless because “what if.” Dark Places specifically caught my eye because it was written by Gillian Flynn and I wanted to compare my experience reading both books. In terms of enjoyment, the winner is Dark Places all the way, but there were still some elements that I considered weighed enough when it came to give it a higher rating. 

A quick reminder about the plot: the main character, Libby Day, was a witness to the murder of her older sisters and her mom when she was seven years old, and her testimony got her brother Ben in jail for life because of the murders. Now twenty-five years later, Libby is broke and in order to get money she starts helping this group of people who call themselves the Kill Club and who are obsessed with trying to solve the case because they believe Ben was innocent. The novel alternates between her perspective in the present as well as Ben’s and Patty’s, the mom’s, the day before the murders. We can actually read about the events leading up to the murders and I thought that was an added bonus because mystery/thrillers always tell us about what happened but years after it happened. Here, we are living it with the characters. 

Again, trigger warning for basically everything. I am serious when I say reading this while you are in a vulnerable or unstable state of mind could really mess you up. If you really want to read this book, wait a few months or years until you feel strong enough because otherwise it won’t be an enjoyable experience whatsoever. At first I thought that Libby sounded exactly like Amy from Gone Girl and I was disappointed. I mean, yes, Amy is a brilliant character, but I didn’t want to read about her over again. Fortunately, there was room to grow for Libby and I actually sympathized with her and rooted for her throughout the story. 

I know how you can think that the alternating timelines and perspectives might seem confusing, but it wasn’t, for different reasons. The first one is that Gillian Flynn is very organized with the structure of the story. Nothing is random or haphazard; everything is calculated, so we always got the same order: Libby, Patty, Libby, Ben. The chapters about Patty and Ben also indicated the time it was so there was that chronology to the whole thing. The story from Libby’s perspective takes place in a short time. I don’t think she indicates how much time passes between the beginning and the ending of the book, but it felt like no more than a few weeks. There’s also the fact that I read this book in five days because I was hooked, so my suggestion would be to read it at a time when you know you won’t be interrupted a lot so that nothing gets lost or forgotten. 

If you’ve been around, you know that my absolute favorite mystery/thriller/whatever-you-want-to-call-it is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and that, although I have read my fair share of books in this genre, nothing had come close. Well, Dark Places does. And I think, in a way, Gone Girl does too, and now that we’re in it, You by Caroline Kepnes does as well, although I’ll be talking about that one in a different post. What all those books have in common are unreliable narrators, and I don’t mean a depressed woman or an alcoholic woman (it’s almost always a woman). What I mean is that you cannot believe anything or anybody at pretty much any time of the plot. You doubt every single thing. You even think for a moment that the main character, the person who is supposed to be solving the crime, might have been the one who committed the crime in the first place. 

Now, this sounds like a review I’d given a higher rating, no? Where are the elements I didn’t like? Well, glad you ask because they’re right here. I think I touched on this in my initial review, and it was that Ben was thought to have committed the murders because he was part of a devil-worshipping cult or something like that. Well, as much as I love reading about cults, I didn’t like how that whole devil thing was explored. In my opinion it eas overdone, and in the end, the plot would’ve been exactly the same without that. I understand that the murders happened at a time when that was all the rage, but still, it could have been mentioned a few times, but not seriously considered an important part of the story, in my opinion. 

Another thing I discovered I wasn’t really into was all the gore. The murders were pretty brutal, each done in a different way, and that itself was pretty gross to read about. What I’m really talking about is a scene that involves animal brutality, and yes, I’m one of those people who can stand (to a certain degree) reading about (fictional) brutality against humans but not animals. To me, it was too much, even for Gillian Flynn, and it ties with this other opinion of mine, which was that we got 500 pages of buildup and then no more than ten pages about what actually happened. I would’ve been fine with only the buildup, but if you’re going to tell us what happen, Gillian, you can expand a tad on that, you know? Give us at least fifty pages. Reading about everything happening so quickly and so suddenly was confusing to me and anticlimactic. 

The end, in general, was a bit cheesy and rushed. Don’t get me wrong, I did cry at one part, but it was like the author had lost interest in the story altogether when she reached the 500-page mark and then did whatever she wanted to end the book. There are a few plot twists and I think they were done in a brilliant way, in which you as a reader kind of start discovering things alongside the characters, but you’re still surprised when they happened. Two particular plot twists, though, were maybe overdone. The twists were good, but then the author tried to establish these connections with other stuff that, again, weren’t really necessary and made the story seem like a cheesy detective novel, like “it was all part of this scheme.” No, that wasn’t necessary. 

Wow, I wrote an essay. How do you like your mystery/thrillers? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know in the comments below. 

Happy reading! 

Love, Miss Camila 

 

NetGalley Reads: The Light Fantastic

NetGalley Reads: The Light Fantastic

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Hello and happy Friday. Today classes ended early, so I have more time and energy to blog. And of course, when I have time and energy, I like to use them for book reviews, more specifically book rants. The book I’m going to discuss today was sent to me via NetGalley for reading and reviewing purposes, so I’d like to thank them, the publisher and the author for this opportunity.

I read The Light Fantastic by Sarah Combs between October 28th and November 4th, 2019 and I gave it two stars. If I could summarize my reading experience, I would take a quote from the book: “a replay we couldn’t bear to watch but strangely couldn’t get enough of.” I could’ve binge read this book, especially considering the fact that I took in on a trip in which all I did was read, but I didn’t because I couldn’t stand it for more than a few minutes at a time.

This novel is written from multiple perspectives and it is about school shootings. Now, I’ve had this book for a while, so it’s not like the author was being opportunistic when she wrote it, capitalizing on the horrible events that have had a spike in 2019 in the United States. Nevertheless, I do feel like stories about shootings should be handled super carefully, and I don’t think this was. There was nothing structurally wrong with it, in my opinion, but in a way it gave me the feeling Thirteen Reasons Why did, in which they’re basically blaming other kids and negating the existence of other deeper issues such as mental illness and the overall toxic environment in which American teenagers live.

I don’t know if I could consider each of the seven narrators a “main character,” considering that at least two people were given more chapters than the others. Anyway, the first person we read from has this condition in which she has an amazing memory for events in the past. I found this very interesting, but my problem was that this character only tied her memories to traumatic events including, you guessed it, school shootings.

One of the characters is a mix of black and Caucasian and the way he speaks is absolutely horrible. The author is white but she is trying to “sound” black and the character’s voice is just this caricature. I don’t even know what the author’s intent was.

Honestly, there’s not much to say here. The more I read, the surer I was that I’d heard people talk about this book, and from what I recall those comments were not positive either. If you still want to read it, keep in mind the trigger warnings for school shootings and suicide.

Do you think there is a “good way” to address these extremely sensitive issues in literature? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

It Was Neither Thrilling Nor Mysterious

It Was Neither Thrilling Nor Mysterious

Hello and happy Wednesday. Some of you might wonder why I keep reading mystery/thriller novels when most haven’t gotten more than three stars and the reason is, I really want to find what I like within that genre. Judging by today’s title, we know that All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda wasn’t it.

I read this book between April 7th and April 10th, 2020 and gave it two stars. I knew I was going to give it a bad rating since the very first page because it was consistently bad. The first problem I had was that it started in the middle of a scene, which I know is common for mystery/thrillers but in this case, we get stuff explained almost as an afterthought, or at least that’s how I felt. 

Nicolette, the main character, gets a call from her brother and because of it decides to go to her hometown. Now, the reason we are told that she’s going is to have her dad sign some papers to be able to sell the house where they all used to live. Oh, and by the way, the dad apparently has dementia. I did not like the fact that dementia was used as a plot device, and I knew the moment I read about it that it was going to be used as such because it makes the character unreliable, right? That was lazy, in my opinion. 

So we said that Nic goes back to her hometown, and she keeps saying she’ll stay only for a few days, but she literally packed the contents of her entire apartment in her car before leaving. I overpack whenever I go on a trip, but I’m not going to pack my nightstand if I’m planning to stay only for a few days somewhere. That was one of the several plotholes I found in this story, which generally shouldn’t occur but even less if you’re reading to find out how a mystery happened, or who did it, or how it was solved. 

I don’t like “easy” mysteries. I don’t like when the main character finds out key information within the first minutes of talking to someone, and that happened in this book. The secret item she needed in order to advance with her “investigation” was found by chance in a drawer…on her first try. Okay. Oh, I haven’t told you what the mystery is about, right? So, Nicolette’s best friend had disappeared ten years earlier, which is why she decided to leave her town, and now that she’s back, another girl has disappeared. See, I told you it was lazy. 

Do you have any recommendations for mysteries that are actually mysterious? Let me know in the comments below. 

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila 

All the Coziness

All the Coziness

Hello and happy Wednesday. Today is time to review a book I took my sweet time reading but that I thoroughly enjoyed and I hoped that you do too. You see, I’ve discovered that I love stories that have to do with Old Hollywood, and when I say this I don’t mean I like the old movies but rather I like to read stories about the actors and their lives. If this is something you enjoy too then you’ll love All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani. 

I read this book between March 28th and April 7th, 2020 and gave it four stars. I’m never sure what genre to place stories like this in, but I would say it’s either literary fiction or historical fiction, with the added component that it is the novelization of true events. This novel follows the life of actress Loretta Young and her friendship with Alda Ducci, her secretary. 

Now, I used Wikipedia a lot while reading this book because I wanted to corroborate some facts, but I wasn’t really obsessed with knowing how accurate the novel is when it comes to how events truly unfolded. I say this because I know some people care more about the accuracy of the information provided than the actual novel. This is something you should look into more in-depth because, like I said, I cared about the novel as that, not as a true account of anything. For example, I am pretty sure the figure of the secretary was fictitious and so was her storyline, but I loved it nonetheless. 

We follow Loretta Young from her early 20s to her late 50s, and the story mostly focuses on her relationship with Clark Gable, which started in the set of The Call of the Wild. Again, I am more interested in reading about how the movie was filmed than I am about watching the actual movie, but I know that’s not everyone’s opinion. 

When I say this is a cozy story, I mean that it wasn’t something I wanted to binge read and be done with over a couple of days. I took my sweet time and enjoyed every page. I think this would be a great read for this time in which many people (myself included) are at home trying to find activities to do. I think this will keep you entertained for a week or so, and it has the advantage of being one of those books that many people will like regardless of the genre they usually read. 

What are you doing to help you pass the time at home? Let me know in the comments below. 

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila