Shatter Me | Book Review ft. Unpopular Opinions

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If you loved this series then I don’t mean to offend you. I would just like to share my critical opinions on the first book, though I will give the rest a try!

I don’t know whether to hate or love Shatter Me. It was a very stereotypical dystopia and the romance wasn’t all that special. I would have loved to see the love interest being a female because that would make the pair more criminal (obviously this world has rusty opinions, especially on same-sex relationships). It followed a pretty basic plot (beginning, climax, resolution, end) and there were no plot-twists which was really disappointing. Imagine if Adam had just escaped with Juliette and then killed her or shared her secrets to the Reestablishment? I would’ve loved to see some betrayal because it would make me feel more emotions towards the book.

Mafi wanted to expose her read­ers to the mind of a girl whose san­ity is frag­ile. I think that the contents of a trou­bled mind would result in more than artistic metaphors and a crazy obsession with num­bers. Despite the fact that Juliette’s back­story is inter­est­ing, we don’t get anything interesting in her present self. I hate seeing the same cookie-cutter ‘hero­ine’ that can be seen in most YA novels. At this point, I have read so many books that my expectations keep getting higher. I am becoming more critical of what I read and, to a certain extent, it’s quite annoying. Why do I have to keep correcting or thinking about the character development and plot? Why can’t I just sit down and read a book without judging it?

I’m seeing a lot of repetition in Young Adult Literature. It’s rare that I find a unique book within all of the shelves. Exploring new genres is always fun because you can’t compare it to other books within that genre. My problem with reading Shatter Me was that I was comparing it to Delirium. I read Delirium earlier this year when I first got into reading and I really enjoyed it. 

I didn’t find the writing style annoying at all, and it showed Juliette’s development and she stopped crossing out words towards the end of the book. Although Juliette is really troubled and she shouldn’t be creating such weird metaphors, I did like them. 

If you want to read this because of it’s dystopian value, please don’t. Go and find another dystopian YA novel with better plot and characters. As I have mentioned, it’s a very stereotypical world with a dictatorship, poverty and a crumbling planet. 

This book is a full-on romance with a happily ever after. Sometimes I like a bit of soppiness but 300 pages worth is just cringe. I will give the rest of the books a chance though. Some series get better as they go on!

Do you enjoy dystopian novels? Have you read Shatter Me? 

Please share your love or hate for this series in the comments below. I would love to have a full-on discussion about it!

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You can also view the review on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com

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August Reading Wrap-Up | 18 Books & One Fully Completed Reading Challenge

Thank you for being patient with me as I took a little break. It’s been a bit weird that there have been no notifications but taking a step back helped me appreciate and indulge in the summer. It’s over by the time you’re reading this and I’m over-excited for Autumn! I hope you have a good September.

How was your August?

I’ve seen these wrap-up posts all over booktube and the book blogging community and I felt very inspired to try it out for myself. I have read many books last month which makes me very excited to review them! 

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Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell

The first book I read this month was Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. I have a whole post dedicated to this book and it disappointed me slightly. The book community can influence your expectations and this was a novel that I went into with high expectations. Being let down by a book is a horrible feeling but it’s a learning curve. I will make sure to not look at too many reviews before I read them for myself! I think I will give Rainbow Rowell a second chance though. I hear that Eleanor And Park is a good one but I’ve heard so many bad things about it as well!

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The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas 

I picked up this book from The Works for £3 (I know, an absolute bargain). Gracie from A Light In The Darkness recommended me this one and, to be honest, I didn’t know about the hype until I looked at the hashtag on Instagram. I must have been living under a rock to have not heard about THUG before. It was such an amazing novel, focusing on social and racial issues. Books like these are legendary because of how they bring light to old problems that still haven’t been tackled. I’m so glad that I purchased this one (usually I use the library) because I look forward to reading and enjoying it all over again. 

Flawed – Cecilia Ahern

Flawed also has it’s own book review so check that out because I won’t be talking in detail in this post. The synopsis gives away a lot of the plot which is a real shame. There’s not much tension building up to the climatic parts which made me rate it two stars on Goodreads. There’s nothing I completely detest about this book but I don’t love it. I’m sure some younger readers would like it, but it’s a bit boring for me!

1984 – George Orwell

This classic, as you may know, is a perfect example of dystopian fiction. I loved some of the writing but the overall plot was uninteresting. The world is very intriguing but the best part, for me, was the conclusion. Coming to the end of this book was a bit of relief but then I really enjoyed the last few pages! 

The Miller’s Tale 

If you are a bookstagram friend, you will know of my participation in Day Dream’s Readathon. It was my first ever readathon and I really enjoyed the idea of a set TBR for the month. There were only eight prompts so I read a lot of books that weren’t related to the challenge at all. Though, A Miller’s Tale was the book I submitted for the ‘short story’ prompt. It’s written by someone close to home and they are not published on Goodreads or anything like that. I think it was on sale at a church fair and it’s all about the author and her time in a miller’s life. The idea is very poetic and soft. The book also has drawings on the left-hand-side page which reminded me of reading picture books as a young child. 

Rebel Of The Sands – Alwyn Hamilton

I reread this book as part of the Day Dream’s readathon. The prompt was: “a book you’ve owned since forever” and I’ve had my copy of Rebel Of The Sands for almost three years? (or maybe two, it could be younger than I think) Books are so much better the second time around – unless they’re thrillers, of course! I loved revisiting the characters and the very unique fantasy world. When I read this book two years ago, I wasn’t as into reading as I am now. It was a lovely dose of nostalgia and for any young adults, I would definitely recommend it! The main protagonist is a strong female: a crossover of Katniss and Princess Leia who are the characters I always wanted to be like as a child.

A Court Of Thorns And Roses – Sarah J Mass

This is one of my favourite books of the year. I loved it so much and I am really glad I bought this one, instead of library lending. I look forward to reading again (if I have time) and finishing the series! I have one big review for it linked here. I would appreciate if you checked that out.

Shatter Me – Tahereh Mafi

Well, this one was a wild ride. And not in a good way. Though the other books in this series get better as you go along. The last one’s ending made me incredibly frustrated but that’s the magic of books!

Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index

I picked this one up after hearing about it somewhere on the book blogging community. I didn’t really know what to expect and wasn’t that excited about it either. I was pleasantly surprised! This one was so, so good and I’m surprised about the lack of hype surrounding it.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children – Ransom Riggs

I spotted this gem in the library but I sadly couldn’t find the rest of the series at that time. I enjoyed this book for the way that it integrated magic in a way that wasn’t totally unbelievable. A family friend recommends I read The Night Circus, because it has the same magical realism that I love ☺️

Unravel Me – Tahereh Mafi

Unravel Me is definitely better than the first one – though my opinions are still incredibly mixed. There’s not much complexity to the characters but the plot is getting more exciting. I’m less than 100 pages in but there’s already been a lot of drama! I want to know where this goes which, in one sense, is a good element. It’s page-turning.

The Lost Hero – Rick Riordan 

The Lost Hero is a solid 5 stars for me. I enjoyed revisiting Percy Jackson’s world – about 4 years after originally reading them. There were no flaws in the plot and the characters had not only good wit, but also complexity. By switching perspectives, the characters were developed and I love them all. As part of #daydreamsreadathon, one of the prompts was to read a book from multiple perspectives. This was my idea and I think I’ll read the whole series sometime. It’s not a priority, but something I would like to get to. With school starting a few weeks, I will have to read more complex books in my free time so these will have to wait until Christmas!

Ignite Me – Tahereh Mafi

The Shatter Me series has a very common theme. The books start off awfully but then conclude in a way that makes you so angry but also satisfied. I don’t know whether to love or hate these books. I think a good book is one than provokes strong emotion and, in this case, it’s anger. I love this book for how much I hate it (if that makes any sense?)

Restore Me – Tahereh Mafi

THE ENDING SKSKSKSKS

Girl Online – Zoe Sugg, Siobhan Curham (Ghostwriter)

I was feeling in a very cosy mood, so I read this in less then two hours straight. It was my childhood dream to be like Penny and my whole world surrounded these books a few years ago. I can now see all the problems with this book though, for an odd reason, I still enjoyed it? I think it’s partly because I do not want to admit that I’ve grown out of my ‘Zoella” phase 😆

It was after I finished this book that I hit a pretty harsh reading slump. I’ve never experienced something like it. I was demotivated to do anything so, for about 5 days, I was baking and drawing (things I don’t do often). Then came my birthday, and I had a few new books and that really helped my reading habits improve. I’m enjoying The Knife Of Never Letting Go and I’m going to read it for as long as I need and certainly not rushing.

The Knife Of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness

I’m very happy to say that I did finish another book by the end of the month!

 

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I may have added extra number to the title but not added them in the post. These are books that I finished just before posting and I didn’t have enough time to review 🙂

 

Dystopian Fiction & Under-Developed Characters

Have you ever read any dystopian novels?

My most recent delves into Dystopia were 1984 (George Orwell) and Flawed (Cecelia Ahern). I read them both on the same day and they were so different to each other!

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Flawed is Ahern’s debut novel. It was a good retelling of persecution in 50s America. The problem here is that I don’t think that was what the novel was meant to come across as. The idea is that everyone is pure until they do something against the morals of the government. Things like playing music or reading old English literature (similar to the delirium trilogy, if you have read those). If you are caught doing something like that, you will be taken away by the ‘police’. There’s a small, unfair trial before you go through a branding process. If you crime is bad, your brand will be more noticeable to the public. If it is less so, it will be somewhere you can hide it. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but the synopsis sums up the book anyways (I hate blurbs like that).

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The branding is like wearing St David’s star or a white feather. It’s something people look at immediately recognise you as ‘inferior’. These Flawed people have separate seats on buses and different schools. It’s exactly like segregation.

The main protagonist is arrested for helping a Flawed person. You follow her story as she struggles with being imperfect. The characters are not well developed which is what lets me down. If the characters were more interesting, I think this would be a great book. The plot is very good if you separate it from the protagonists!

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I also read 1984, but is there really much to say? It’s an amazing example of literature.

Have you read either of these books? What are you thoughts?

I hope you have a really good day,

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My First Time Reading Rainbow Rowell | Ft. Fangirl & Disappointment

I’m sorry to be pessimistic, but ‘Fangirl’ was a let-down. I enjoyed all the characters (Cath was especially relatable, if we minus the fact she was obsessed with fan-fiction) but the plot wasn’t really there. I don’t personally understand the pressure of having an older, more popular twin. Though, I have read many books which have this concept as the main idea.

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Having the awkward romance situation made it more enjoyable. I feel a tiny bit sorry for Reagan and I also am getting the vibes that Levi is a player. The chemistry between Cath and Levi is undeniable but Reagan surely must have had some connection to have had such long-term relationship with him.

I wasn’t interested in Carry On (Cath’s fan fiction) and I’m so disappointed that Cath, Wren and Levi aren’t in the ‘sequel’. Simon and Baz were an exact recreation of Draco and Harry. It didn’t seem very original.

Should I write in past or present tense for these book reviews? I’m so confused.

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I was disappointed by this book because I’d heard so many good things about it. It was also my first ever time reading Rainbow Rowell. If I went into this with no expectations, I wouldn’t have come out being so disappointed.

Fangirl is a cute and cozy read but there’s no plot to it: a few family mishaps and a little bit of anger. If you are a romantic, this may be for you. However, it was just too cliché for me.


We all have books that let us down and I really want to share these opinions with you. Not every book you pick up is going to be good. Just push through it! Leaving it half-done might mean leaving a good ending (we all know classics have slow starts, but they get better by the end).

Have you ever read Rainbow Rowell? Have you written fan fiction in the past?

I hope you have an amazing day and that no books let you down!

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Turtles All The Way Down | Anxiety, OCD & Book Review

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I’ve just finished another John Green book!

I didn’t read the synopsis of Turtles All the Way Down before going into it. I’ve never done this with a book before, but I quite enjoyed being blind. From the first few pages, I gathered that the main protagonist suffered from severe anxiety and OCD. Though I do not understand the conditions much, the book explained as much as I needed to know. This book brings awareness to mental health conditions without glamourising it. The story is told from the standpoint of Aza, an anxious teenager. Lots of people on social media these days talk about their ‘anxiety’. I understand that some people use the platform to express their problems, but sometimes it’s just a self-diagnosis. I think it is very offensive to claim you have a disorder when you don’t. It can often be stress: which is a daily experience for most people (sadly).

Sorry, I just went off on a tangent.

Back to the review: I think that this book is a realistic insight into the mental health issue, though I cannot say for sure. If any of you have anxiety, would you explain it similarly to this book?

The characters were all so well-written. I loved travelling down Aza’s spirals of thoughts. I’m sure that this relates to the cover, with having a downward spiral.

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You may think the title is random, but your question will be answered: why is it called Turtles All The Way Down? It was one of my questions before I even had my hands on it.

The first paragraph begins with Aza eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich. The same ‘flavour’ sandwich is introduced in the middle and the end. Isn’t that brilliant? Green certainly knows his cyclical structures. Good job.

I very happily finished this book in one sitting. I hope to read again, sometime, and discover things that I missed the first time! What about you?

Have you read any of John Green? Do you think you will read TATWD?

 

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