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.

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.

REREAD Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare


City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)

Title: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Release Date: March 27, 2007

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 485

Source: Public Library

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It’s hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary’s first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It’s also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace’s world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know…

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare’s ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

5 out of 5 stars


I don’t even remember how many times I’ve read this book anymore, but rereading it made me so unbelievably happy!

I LOVE this series, and the Shadowhunter books are my favorite books. For me, these are my Harry Potter books. So many people went through their difficult preteen years with Harry Potter, and that’s great. I love HP, but the Shadowhunter books ARE my HP. These books have helped me through so much from horrible anxiety to switching friend groups. Reading this brought back so many memories for me.

You can read my original review if you want my original thoughts and gushing even though it’s HELLA CRINGE because I wrote the post when I was 15. Yikes.

This book gets better and better the more I read it. I have this plan that I’m going to read all the Cassandra Clare books before the release of Queen of Air and Darkness on December 4th. I don’t have that long, but it won’t be difficult to read all the books considering I’ve already read them and I LOVE THEM ALL.

I forgot where this book ended. Lol in my original review I said I liked Jace and Clary as a couple and as siblings. ha ha ha hell to the no. They are such a cute couple and I forgot that because they’ve never really been my favorite, but I still really like them. I think my favorite couple is Alec and Magnus, and I can’t wait to find out about this new warlock baby child they adopted because something is up. But this book reminded me that they are so awkwardly horrible at not showing their emotions when they’re siblings. I laughed out loud during the big reveal because I just remember how shook I was when I first read it. Man, good times. This is where it all started.

I also forgot how bad I felt for Simon when Clary was blindsided by his declarations of love and didn’t say that she loved him back. It just hurt my heart. Also, when he fricking shoots the skylight out and kills the Greater Demon that was Dorothea you can tell that he is a vampire. I just realized that because it talked about how he moved unnaturally fast and how he acted so strong. Yes, boi because you’s the Daylighter. I can’t wait for them to realize he’s a vampire again and then we’ll get the Sizzy sexy times with the vampire bites. Yep. Excited for that.

I forgot so much of this book and I’m so glad that I re-read it. I love this series and it means so much to me. I honestly can’t wait until I get later in this series and get to re-read the Dark Artifices again because they might be my favorites, but I’ll also get to revisit Will and Tessa. Yayyyyyyy. I love everything about this re-reading of this series. I can’t wait to see all the things I’ve missed for the books I’ve only read once.

TIME TO REREAD ALL OF THE BOOKS.

Review: Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4) – Ted Naifeh


Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4) – Ted Naifeh

Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Title: Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Author: Ted Naifeh

Release Date: October 22, 2013

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 128

Source: Public Library

Courtney Crumrin’s adventures continue — this time in a newly remastered, full-color edition! Courtney and Uncle Aloysius’ European vacation has brought them into the heart of a country rich with mystical history and tradition. At first, eastern Europe seems like the perfect place for Courtney to strengthen her abilities, but just as Courtney begins to tap into the mystery of the old country, she comes face-to face-with overwhelming magic and even larger moral ambiguities.

4 out of 5 stars


Courtney Crumrin travels to Europe with her Uncle Aloysius and finds out more about paranormal beings. She gets wrapped up with werewolves, vampires and even more warlocks. Courtney feels lonely even though she’s traveling with her uncle, so she befriends a vampire boy. He makes her swoon and he whisks her away with his magical wings. So romantic. Courtney has to deal with her new sense of loneliness while away from home…

This book was a great continuation of the first three. I think this one has been my favorite so far because she gets into some trouble, but that causes some cool additions to the plot. It makes me sad that Courtney is lonely because she gets semi-depressed. I also must have missed something because I’m not really sure what the horrible thing her uncle did that made her not want to talk to him anymore. I thought they were friends. Idk.

I liked that this took place away from the mansion and her parents. I don’t like her parents because they’re too focused on being fancy in the rich neighborhood. They don’t seem to care about her, so it’s nice she got to spend some time away from them. I wish that she was still buddy-buddy with her uncle because that would have made this story so much cuter.

There was a lot more action throughout this graphic novel. There were some fights between a few different groups of people which added some suspense and mystery. I like that she befriended the vampire guy, but I wish he wouldn’t have turned on her. Sorry, not a huge spoiler. He seemed like a cool enough guy and it just made me sad that they couldn’t be friends. They both needed a friend.

I’m sad because I don’t know how I’m going to get ahold of 5, 6, and 7 in this series. My library doesn’t have them, but I don’t like buying graphic novels because I read them so fast ugh. It’s a struggle being a book worm let me tell ya.

Series:

The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Review: The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3) – Ted Naifeh


The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3) – Ted Naifeh

The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Title: The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Author: Ted Naifeh

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 134

Source: Public Library

Courtney Crumrin returns in a series of newly remastered, full-color hardcover editions! To her new classmates, Courtney is merely the grim, quiet girl in the back row. But when a group of students accidentally turns a young boy into a goblin, Courtney must lead the children into Goblin Town to find a cure. Unfortunately, misfortune seems to follow the group straight to the Twilight Kingdom – misfortune and a misguided lawkeeper who has it out for Courtney!

4 out of 5 stars


Courtney gets some new friends from her school filled with witches and magic and takes a trip to Goblin Town to try and change a classmate back into a human. The newly-founded friend group has to venture far into the forest in order to save the boy who has gotten turned into a goblin. They eventually find themselves in Twilight Kingdom where they end up in trouble with the law and have to fight there way back to their town.

This one was just as good as the first one! There was action and an actual plot. Yay for plot-driven stories.

I am really starting to enjoy Courtney more as a character. She’s spunky and sassy and a little mean, but I think she’s a solid character to have a series about. I’m so excited that she finally has a group of friends because now I don’t think she’s going to be so sad. She’s been so sad and lonely, so it’s nice to see her be a little happier.

My favorite part of this book was right at the end when her uncle offered for her to travel with him this summer. Aww cute.

Yay the horrible parents are back. Not yay in the sense that I like them in the story, but yay in the sense that they haven’t just randomly disappeared. In the last book they just were randomly gone, so I think it makes sense that they were back in the story this time.

I didn’t like her friend Malcom from the beginning, I don’t really think he had anything important to do with the storyline so idk why he was even there. I’m sure that he’ll come up somehow in the rest of the series, but he just seemed like a very stagnant character.

I really appreciate the art style because it’s so unique and the color scheme is so pretty. I love when the colors are more neutral but still fall into the darker side of cool colors. Theres a lot of green, purple, and blue so it feels very… cold and mysterious maybe? I’m not really sure but I think it complements the storyline nicely.

I’m sad because my library only has the first four volumes of this series so I don’t know how I’m going to read 5, 6, and 7 :( #tragic. I’ll have to find them somewhere because I think I’m really going to want to finish this series!

Series:

The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Review: The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2) – Ted Naifeh


The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2) – Ted Naifeh

The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

Title: The Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin #2)

Author: Ted Naifeh

Release Date: September 11, 2012

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 133

Source: Public Library

Fan-favorite and critical darling Courtney Crumrin is back in a series of newly remastered, full-color hardcover editions! When the night things of Courtney’s community start causing trouble, it’s up to the girl to find out why. The town’s powerful coven of mystics thinks it knows who to blame, but Uncle Aloysius doesn’t believe their simple explanation. His misgivings start Courtney down a twisted path that leads to the true mastermind behind all the horror! But does Courtney stand a chance against a being that powerful and manipulative?

3 out of 5 stars


Book two of this dark fantasy graphic novel series.

The Coven of Mysics follows Courtney Crumrin and her adventures with her Uncle Aloysius. This installment of the series shows Courtney being turned into a cute kitten, capturing an evil monster, and helping her Uncle through some scary events. The creature called Skarrow has been caught and is being hunted for cursing a local witch, but is he responsible? Why are the townspeople after him?

Although I didn’t like her parents in the first book I think it’s a little unrealistic that they’re not even in this book now. You can’t just have side characters completely disappear without any explanation. Her parents were the whole reason she even moved in with her Uncle in the first place, so I think their disappearance should have been explained a little bit.

I enjoyed this one less than the first because less happened in this book. There wasn’t as much plot or adventure in this one as compared to the first.

I still think it’s very strange that she isn’t drawn with a nose. I just want to know why if there is a reason. lol why does everyone else have a nose, but the main character doesn’t? hmm.

The whole story followed Courtney trying to help this creature called a Skarrow. He has been wrongly accused of cursing the most beautiful witch in the town, but he didn’t do it. Courtney is trying to help him and prove to the town that he’s innocent, but then the woman who was cursed doesn’t turn out to be on her side even though she loved the Skarrow. Triggered. How is that okay? You can’t just leave a helpless creature to get attacked and die just because you’re not willing to speak up.

I have a question. Why are there so many witches and warlocks in this town, and how do the non-magical people not know about them. If there are so many there has to be a specific reason. Is it because of the Coven that’s in the town? Even though I didn’t like this one as much as the first I am still looking forward to reading the next ones!

Series:

The Night Things (Courtney Crumrin #1)

The Twilight Kingdom (Courtney Crumrin #3)

Monstrous Holiday (Courtney Crumrin #4)

Review: Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler


Why We Broke Up – Daniel Handler

Why We Broke Up

Title: Why We Broke Up

Author: Daniel Handler

Release Date: December 4, 200827, 2011

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 354

Source: Library

I’m telling you why we broke up, Ed. I’m writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.

2 out of 5 stars


Let me preface this review by saying that this was not really what I was expecting.

This story follows Min Green who is writing a letter describing the reasons that she broke up with her boyfriend Ed Slaterton. She gives him trinkets back that remind her of him or things that he gave to her with explanations of why the thing reminded her of him.

The concept for this book was very cool, but I think it was executed poorly.

I love that there were pictures/illustrations throughout this book. It was partly the main reason that I picked it up, but I honestly didn’t like much more than that. Sad but true.

I didn’t enjoy the characters, and I thought the fact that Min was so obsessed with Ed was hella annoying. I also don’t really get why Min liked him so much. He was so rude and was just so immature about some things.

Al, Min’s best friend, was there the whole time! Why not choose him? He was so obviously in love with her. Ugh. Come on.

The formatting of this book really annoyed me. There were SO MANY RUN-ON SENTENCES. I am not here for that. Come on, I do not need a full page paragraph that consists of three sentences. *might be a slight exaggeration, but you get the gist* The hardcover version also has the shiny magazine pages which are annoying to read, and as petty as that sounds, it did inhibit my reading experience with it.

I got quite annoyed with how much name dropping there was in this. Min loved movies and wanted to be a director. Great, good for you, but I don’t know all these silent films and indie actors and movies. I don’t want to see the names in quotations and italics because I just feel like I’m missing out.

The fact that Ed said ‘gay’ in rude terms made me angsty, also. Min calls him out, but he doesn’t even try and fix it at all. That should have been the first indicator that he didn’t really love her, but she was just blinded by wanting the idea of him.

There wasn’t really a plot to this, either. I get that it’s a letter to her ex, but why isn’t there a real story? It makes me so sad that she was so controlled in this relationship, but she didn’t realize it at the time.

All in all I was thoroughly disappointed with this book. Fun fact, though. Daniel Handler is Lemony Snicket from The Series of Unfortunate Events. Crazy stuff.