A Book A Day Keeps the Insanity Away

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Another month has passed and unfortunately, I’ve only had enough time to get my hands on two books to read all the way through. Not that I’m trying to advertise or anything, but for someone doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of time these days, Audible really does come in clutch with fitting time in for books I can’t sit down to read myself.
So what did I read (listen to)?
Well, great question! Both books I read come from very different authors and very different concepts— even the age groups for general interest aren’t close to one another. But each of them held an important story to tell, as all books do, about the human condition itself. So without further ado, here we go:

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

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As someone who always went straight for the teen fiction section when the Scholastic book fair showed up at school, I have developed quite a habit for the genre itself so this book was more out of my comfort zone. And I loved it.
Now I’ve had my eye on Big Little Lies for a long time now. Back when my book first came out, I used to peruse bookshelves and imagine mine up there next to it. This one caught my eye every time, in my mind I was thinking, “I want it to be right up next to that one.” I’m not sure exactly what about it had my attention, but clearly it was something because this book is worth the read.
Set up as a murder mystery novel shrouded in the drama of parenthood and catfights (mom-fights?), there were a whole lot of twists and turns I wasn’t expecting. As someone who reads a lot and likes to expect a plot, I couldn’t do that with this novel because it was tricky; this book had some real secrets. Dealing with the concepts of domestic violence, broken homes, sexual assault, and the inner workings of families, there was plenty to unpack in this book.

Even though this novel was long, I wasn’t bored at all— Moriarty found a way to keep my attention all the way through to the ending plot twists. Character wise, I found myself loving parts of them and disliking others, nobody was perfect and I think that’s important in a novel. We have to relate somehow don’t we?
Whether you’re into murder mysteries, romance, comedies, or war stories, Big Little Lies manages to capture it all within its pages and pack a few punches along the way. Though outside my usual realm of books, this book had me thinking that maybe I need to open up my preferences a little bit. Definitely give this one a read.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

With his classics like Looking For Alaska and The Fault In Our Stars, I’ve been reading John Green’s books for years. And while I, to this day, do not see the fascination behind Paper Towns (definitely my least favorite), when people started talking about this bok, I wanted to know why. This month I finally gave in.
Though I would not rank this as one on my top favorites of his books, there were some parts that had me wondering if maybe I should. The way this novel depicted mental

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health was incredible— both in the way it can affect countless relationships to how it can impact day to day life, Green really brought Aza’s character to life in her struggles. He was very real in his depictions of certain situations, such as losing a parent or trying to support someone when you just don’t know what they need, and most people can relate to the second part at least. That’s a pretty big part of life.
Plus, what would a John Green book be without its classic love story— of course this was one of those, though I can’t quite say it was full on classic. Because of the characters’ own issues, the relationships within this story hit a lot of roadblocks and the romantic ones were no exception. But I liked that he made things a little different in this book and to me, it seemed like the focus really wasn’t on their love story but on the life story.
The only reasons this wouldn’t quite make it into my list of favorites from the author, I personally could not get into it. Maybe there was too much going on in my own life to get lost in pages of this one, but I feel like that’s part of the reason I seek out fiction; I need to get lost in drama that does not belong to me. Though the message was there, just the kind of life pertaining and guiding type I like, I had a hard time truly connecting to the story and its characters… While I enjoyed the story, it felt like just another book to me rather than a book that I took a piece of with me after I put it down.

If you’re reading this, I think you at least know the kind of book I’m talking about. And if you’re curious about this book, see for yourself if maybe there was something I missed.


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Liane Moriarty and John Green are both incredible storytellers, I cannot dispute that and neither can their book sales. But one of those books made it onto my (temporary) favorites list, and one of them did not. So if you think maybe I missed the reasons this book should be higher in my list, feel free to tell me why in the comments below; I would truly love to be proven wrong.

Thanks for joining me again in this fine Tuesday. Until Friday, have a great rest of your week!

Another Day Another Book

aaron-burden-243387-unsplashHappy Spring Break for me and Bookworms #2 day for you! With a little more time in the past few days, I have not one, but two books to talk about today. Both of them tie into this idea of adolescence lost; neither quite by choice but in very different ways. Only the second book has been made into an Oscar winning motion picture, but The Hate U Give is not too far behind.

So without further ado, here’s what I’ve got for you.


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

With its title taken influenced from Tupac Shakur in his song Thug Life, this book was everything you would expect it to be after reading a summary like this:

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s supposed to. As a politically and emotionally charged novel, her words do more than give you a little insight into what’s behind movements like Black Lives Matter or even more recently, the March for Our Lives. Whether you advocate for more gun control or less, support the movements or couldn’t care less for them, this book is worth the read. Some things are said that needed to be spoken aloud, offensive to some or not. This book is honest, to the pain, the loss, the confusion, and the change that comes with discrimination, gun violence, and most of all, grief.james-motter-516818-unsplash.jpg

As her debut novel, Thomas has some truly incredible moments in her book, from plot twists to candid speeches on police cars. Each character she added allowed us to see a new side of the story, gave us a new set of shoes to step into. From families coming together to youth forced to grow up too quickly, there’s something in here that anyone can relate to— no matter your background or race.

Though there were some parts of the book that I felt were a little too slow towards the end or suddenly thrown in, I think for the storyline, overall it was a very well-done book and fantastic debut novel for Thomas. If you’ve ever thought about reading this but never got the chance, let me ask you this— if not now, when?

For more about Angie Thomas, check out her website here, and I hope you look into this book the next time you pass by a bookstore.

Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

montse-monmo-82819-unsplashI watched the movie first for this one, I know I know, I should never do that. But just like some of my favorite books, I can’t find a way to compare the two. Each was their own separate entity and the book was great, despite watching the movie first.

It’s been a while since I’ve read something like this– the movie might have left me feeling too much but the book… The book left me feeling nostalgic for something I’ve never had before.

I’ll be honest, I’ve been waiting to read a book like this for a while.

For the people who don’t want to read anything R-rated, this is not the book for you. Because, let me tell you, if my parents stopped me from watching Grey’s Anatomy at 14, they would never have let me anywhere near Call Me By Your Name.

Yet, the explicit honestly of Aciman made it what it turned out to be. As a coming-of-age novel, he gives you the emotion, turbulence, passion, and devastation of a seventeen year old boy. And he portrayed it beautifully, at least from the perspective of a nineteen year old girl.  If you’ve ever read the Catcher in the Rye, the style of this book is very similar. Through several stream of consciousness riffs and paragraphs that lead you from one to the next, you get inside Elio’s head and ultimately go through his experience with him.

Though this is a love story, a complicated one at that, some people criticized the glorification of pedophilia that many perceive the book to be. Though I’m not sure how I feel about that aspect or whether it was glorified, criticized, or disregarded as a whole, I think the age difference between Elio and summer guest Oliver was part of what added to conflict in Elio’s own head. It gave us the story, through to the very end.

aliis-sinisalu-299299-unsplash.jpgI think the focus wasn’t actually on the love part at all, but on Elio and his need for something more than he had— his need to find himself somewhere in the chaos within the years to come. Whether you like love stories or not, this was about something bigger than that, bigger than what you might think it’s actually about. I hope you read it and see for yourself. Maybe watch the movie too, but second of course.


And thanks for reading my reviews, if there’s any book you want to hear about or anything you would like to see more (or less) of, feel free to let me know in the comments below!

 

 

Bookworms

To finish off Black History Month, I wanted to do something I’ve been looking forward to for a while now:

Welcome to my new page called Bookworms!

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So what is Bookworms you ask? Well, this site is called kwilliamsbooks after all, so I thought it would only be fitting if I started doing book reviews along with what I already do. Every month I will do a book review for you all of one or more books I’ve read that month!

And since this the end of Black History Month, the book I read has everything to do with the theme: Without further ado…

Here is Black No More by George Schuyler

Rating: 7.3/10

Originally published back in 1931, the entirety of the book is bathed in the Harlem Renaissance. Though I usually read fiction, fantasy, or sometimes SiFi, this time I got into something new. Black No More is strictly the satire venue of fiction. Let me explain why.

“What would happen to the race problem in America if black people turned white?”

This is the first sentence on the back of the book and if that sounds interesting, trust me, it is. Consider how black people were seen in the 30’s and what was going on back then; this satire addresses the entirety of what people considered to be the black identity and how that identity intersected with racism. When a

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black scientist somehow comprised a way to turn black people white, their society turned inside out.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but let me just say that if you’re looking for someone who critiques the societal norms of black vs white and directly addresses race with a funny, entertaining, to the point, and often sarcastic voice, Schuyler is your guy.

Since this was a new kind of fiction for me to get into, it took me a little time to get into and it wouldn’t be my first choice in a room full of books. But a 7.3/10 isn’t because it wasn’t a good book. It was. In holding so much culture, commentary, and character in each page, it was absolutely worth the read.

If you’re looking for black literature, something new to entertain, or just a quick break, Black No More is a good place to start.

And Welcome to Book Worms; look out for new posts every 4th Tuesday of the month!