Review: Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy #1) – Chinua Achebe


Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy #1) – Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart

Title: Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy #1

Author: Chinua Achebe

Release Date: September 1, 1994, originally: 1958

Publisher: Anchor Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 209

Source: Foundations of the English Major

THINGS FALL APART tells two overlapping, intertwining stories, both of which center around Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first of these stories traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world in which he lives, and in its classical purity of line and economical beauty it provides us with a powerful fable about the immemorial conflict between the individual and society.

The second story, which is as modern as the first is ancient, and which elevates the book to a tragic plane, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo’s world through the arrival of aggressive, proselytizing European missionaries. These twin dramas are perfectly harmonized, and they are modulated by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul. THINGS FALL APART is the most illuminating and permanent monument we have to the modern African experience as seen from within.

3 out of 5 stars


Things Fall Apart follows two storylines that intertwine. The underlying message deals with European invasion and taking over of culture in Africa. I read this for my Foundations of the English Major course, and it was fairly quick read because the writing style was so simple, but the story was a little hard to follow.

I LOVED the writing style because of the simplicity. It was beautiful and easy to read, but there was something that made it difficult to understand. I’m not sure if it was because the names were hard to pronounce and distinguish or if I just didn’t know enough about the Ibo culture to fully appreciate it, but there were some parts that definitely went over my head.

The beginning was about the Ibo culture, but then part three was all about the Europeans coming in and trying to convert everyone to Christianity and that just made me angry. I’m a huge advocate for the fact that all cultures matter and that cultures aren’t wrong, just different to your own. It makes me sick that this happened and is still happening today because, yes I understand that you want people to believe what you believe, but other people’s cultures and religions are valid.

I’m looking forward to the discussion about this book for class because I want to understand more about the story. I think this was an interesting read and would recommend it if you’re looking to dive into another culture.

Upcoming Rereads


I’ve fallen back in love with rereading old favorites!


I recently checked out Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell from my public library and am SO EXCITED to reread it! I originally read it at the beginning of 2014… so I was 14 when I read it. I think my perspective will change about it because I’ve become a more critical reader, but I hope that I’ll still love it!

I recently got a copy of Carry On by Rainbow Rowell and wanted to reread Fangirl before starting the spinoff/companion book, so here we are! I think I’m going to pick it up next!

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I’m also currently in the process of rereading Cassandra Clare’s books! Meaning I’m literally on City of Ashes lol. The last time I read this was ALSO 2014 so yikes about that. I love this series and can’t wait for The Queen of Air and Darkness yay!

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2)

Push Through or DNF?


My name is Aubrey and I am a huge advocate for pushing through to the end of a book.

BUT

I’m so ready to be done with the book I’m reading right now and I want to DNF it.

 

What to do what to do.

Have you ever felt pressure to finish a book even though you weren’t enjoying it? I feel like not finishing (DNF *did not finish*) a book isn’t anything against the author *in most cases*, but sometimes it’s okay to not finish a book if you’re just really not enjoying it. I’m REALLY not enjoying the book I’m reading right now but know that I’ll feel guilty if I don’t finish it.

I know this isn’t the right mindset, but I know I’m not alone in my way of thinking. An author put a lot of time and effort into writing a book in the first place and it almost seems like giving up on the author if you don’t finish their book! I really don’t want to read this book but know that I’ll be so relieved when I’m done and have reviewed it.

Plus, this is a review book sent to me by the author, so it feels like it’s my obligation to get a review to them… even if it will be a negative one. I don’t know. This was a super rambly kind of pointless post but that’s just how I’m feeling today.

I’m not with it. I can’t wait for classes to be done. 4 WEEKS LEFT! So close to being done and the start of summer YAY!!

How do you feel about DNFing books?

Review: Goblin Market and Other Poems – Christina Rossetti


Goblin Market and Other Poems – Christina Rossetti

Goblin Market and Other Poems

Title: Goblin Market and Other Poems

Author: Christina Rossetti

Release Date: March 5, 2012 – originally: 1862

Publisher: Dover Publications

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 68

Source: Foundations of the English Major Class

Features 32 works — among them “The Convent Threshold,” “Up-hill,” “Cousin Kate,” “Winter: My Secret,” “Maude Clare,” and celebrated title poem.

3 out of 5 stars


This wasn’t what I was expecting. The title poem suggests mischief and magical creatures, and yes the goblins were that but I thought there would be more.

I think the first poem was the only one with a fantasy element which was very disappointing to me. I LOVE fantasy obviously if you’ve seen a lot of the books I read, so when you go in expecting that and get only tragic poems about death and despair it throws you for a loop a little bit.

That being said, the poems were beautiful. I will say that. There’s a reason Christina Rossetti is known for “Goblin Market” because the poem was beautifully written. But I found myself getting lost in the poems! Let me explain a little more.

These are short poems; most of them were only a few stanzas, but the wording was almost too flowery for me to understand. I think this is a time period situation because a lot of the other literature I’ve read from around this time is very similar in the sense that the descriptions are very in depth and the word choice is a little over my head at times. I kept getting lost in the little poems! I would try and focus and pay attention to them, but I think most of the deeper meanings went over my head. This could also be because I read it late at night, but that’s on me.

I think there are worse things to have to read for a class, so I’m happy with this as a required reading. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this to anyone not interested in literature and poetry because it is hard to understand sometimes.

Review: Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley


Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Frankenstein

Title: Frankenstein

Author: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Release Date: October 21, 1994 – originally: 1818

Publisher: Dover Publications

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 166

Source: Foundations of the English Major Class

Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.

4 out of 5 stars


I read this for my Foundations of the English Major class and I was pleasantly surprised, but I still didn’t love it.

The synopsis of this book explains everything so I’m not going to go into detail, but I liked the framing of this story. It started off with letters from a captain of a ship to his sister and Frankenstein’s story is told by him in his letters. I’m not going to lie, I was kind of shocked when I found out how the letters connected with the story.

I don’t know if this was just me being clueless, but I thought the creature/monster was named Frankenstein. Nope. The man who creates the monster is Frankenstein and the monster doesn’t get named. This is apparently a big deal, should probably learn a little more about why that is before I write my essay over this book… ha.

This book took me forever to read. I read it when it was assigned, but it just went so slowly. There were so many words on each page in the edition I have and omg it was dragging on and on and on. I listened to an audiobook I found on YouTube while reading through it.

I annotated this and there’s honestly nothing better than flipping through an annotated book. #englishmajorlife It’s so cool seeing what you thought was important while going through it. Love it.

Yeah, I don’t want to talk a ton about this because I do have to write a paper on it (ugh why tho). I would recommend this, but only if you’re going to be talking about it in a class. It’s hella boring if you aren’t.

Currently Reading (1)


College is really hindering my reading progress…

I’m currently 8 books behind on my Goodreads goal.

I haven’t read that much for fun because I have to read SO MUCH FOR SCHOOL. That English Publishing major life.

I sometimes don’t feel like reading for fun *tragic* because of all the reading for class. Vicious cycle.


Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Frankenstein

I’m currently reading Frankenstein for my Foundations of the English Major class. We’ve been having to speed through it because my professor spent too long on Middle English texts. Love the organization skills in college.

I’m actually enjoying this book! I’m currently 65% of the way through this, but have to be done by Wednesday and write a 4 page paper about it by Friday. A lot of work to do still but it’s an interesting story. I’m kind of confused because the creature that Frankenstein creates can speak well. He was never taught but can hold conversations and can read. That seems a little far fetched to me. I mean any more far fetched than creating life? Maybe not, but I think he should be explained a little bit more.

 

Ivy Introspective (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #2) – Kellyn Roth

Ivy Introspective  (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #2)

I got sent this book by the author and it is the second book in The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series. I think I gave the first book three stars, review here. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first book but decided to give the second book a try.

I feel like I’ve read this already! It’s so weird. I don’t know if I started this and just forgot I did, but I feel like I’ve read some of the sentences before. Not just, ‘wow this seems familiar’ but more like ‘I’ve literally read this before did I finish it or did I just stop I’m so confused why do I know what’s happening?’ I’m 20% of the way through this book but it’s gone quickly so far. I just haven’t had any time to read it…. oops.

 

Shakespeare’s Sonnets – William Shakespeare

Shakespeare's Sonnets

I read some of the sonnets from this book a few weeks ago for my Foundations of the English Major class and really liked sorting through the wording and annotating. Obviously am in the right major lol. I started reading the super boring introduction and they’re not real page numbers so I can’t technically track it, but I’ve probably read 20 pages of this. I really like the few sonnets I read, so am excited to continue on with this. I have NO idea when I’ll actually pick it up, but it’s on my currently reading shelf sooo.


Side note:

I’m so excited for summer. I love school and being at school, but I can’t wait until I’m done with these classes for the semester. I’m in some pretty rough classes and taking dance on top of all my classes is very taxing.

*English Publishing and Dance double major*

I am so excited to wear swimsuits everyday. I am pumped for my Chaco tan lines. Gonna be a receptionist at a local hair salon. Going to eat snow cones as often as possible. Taking two online classes over the summer, but we’re just going to pretend it’s not really a thing. It’s fine.

Hope everyone is doing well and thank you so much for reading my posts :) I hope you’re not as far behind on your Goodreads goal as I am lol.

Review: Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli


Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Title: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Release Date: April 7, 2015

Publisher: Penguin

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 303

Source: Parnassus Books *super cute bookstore in Nashville!*

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

5 out of 5 stars


Why did I put off reading this for so long?! I think I didn’t want to be disappointed because I knew it was hyped up, but there’s a reason it was! THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD.

I’ve had this book on my radar since it came out and took the Booktube community by storm. I wanted to read it and have wanted to since it was released. Why did I wait so long? Because I’m a freaking idiot.

This book follows Simon Spier who is a normal 17 year old boy who goes to high school. He’s involved in the theatre department at school and has a great group of friends. One thing no one knows is that he’s gay. No one except his secret email correspondent he found on the school Tumblr page who goes by the name Blue. Simon and Blue use pseudonyms so they don’t know who the other is, but they email back and forth and Simon finds himself falling in love with this boy. He wants to know who he is but doesn’t want to lose him, so he doesn’t push Blue into revealing who he is.

This story was so cute and I don’t even understand how someone could not enjoy it. It was the perfect mixture of cute, heart-warming and smirking happiness with a very real-life feel. I loved that the only reason Simon didn’t want to come out was because he didn’t want it to be a big deal, not because he was scared. There aren’t enough young adult books about people with good, strong families who are supportive and loving all the time.

The whole time I was making guesses and trying to figure out who Blue was, and I did guess it, but I wasn’t disappointed that I guessed it. I kind of knew right away when the character was mentioned, but still SO CUTE.

“And I can’t stop smiling. I mean, there are times when it’s actually more work not to smile.”

Simon’s group of friends was amazing and had just the right amount of drama for a high school group. This made me miss high school and how simple it was, but how everything seemed like a huge deal. In the best way possible. *I mean I’m only a freshman in college but it’s very different from high school.* When you’re in high school EVERYTHING is a big step. From having your first kiss to starting to drink coffee. Everything seems like the biggest deal, and it’s adorably accurately portrayed in this book.

“White shouldn’t be the default any more than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t be a default.”

I love that Simon isn’t scared to be who he is. He never apologizes for being gay and I love that. It shouldn’t be a big deal, just like he said he didn’t want it to be. His family is so supportive and the scene where his parents come into his room and his dad tells him that he’s so proud of him… I was so happy for him! Even though he wasn’t worried, his parents were so supportive. I strive to be like his parents when I have kids.

“I know I didn’t make it easy for you to come out. We’re very proud of you. You’re pretty brave, kid.”

I LOVED that this book was about the love story and life of Simon, not the fact that he was gay. There isn’t enough of that portrayed in literature. Sexual preference and identity should have no impact on finding someone to love, and the story of that. This was cute and beautiful and perfect. I loved it.

The writing style reminded me of John Green and Jenny Han. Very easy to read and fast enough to read it in two days *raises hand.* Also, the acknowledgments section of the book is so cute and is such a bonus part of books for me now. There are so many hints and clues put in there and awwww. I love when authors mention their other author friends because it makes you feel like part of it because you’ve read books by all of them. So cute.

If you’ve been putting off this book, read it. If you’ve never heard of this book, 1. where have you been? 2. read it because it’s a perfect story.