I’ve been thinking of doing an “Author Spotlight” for a while now. I think it would be a cool way to expose myself (and my followers) to new genres and great books! I would do this once a month and feature an author (who contacts me) and one or two of their books, depending on what they send me. I would be open to novels of any length and genre.
If you’re interested in being featured, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Author Spotlight” ! Please keep in mind that I greatly prefer physical copies of books over kindle editions. I find that I give more thorough reviews when I can tab and highlight memorable quotes and events. All of my favorite books are full of rainbow sticky tabs! I look forward to hearing from some wonderful authors!
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Theo Decker is 13 years old when his mother dies in a terrible accident that he, somehow, manages to survive. This accident miraculously leaves a priceless piece of art, The Goldfinch, in the possession of young Theo. After losing his mother, this painting is the only thing that Theo holds close to his heart for the next decade. The loss of his mother throws his life into the hands of other people–his best friend’s parents, his alcoholic father, and many others who claim to only want the best for Theo without actually helping him. As he grows older, Theo finds comfort in working at an antique shop as his life never seems to take a normal turn.
I have a really hard time with long books, and let me start off by saying that this book is long. I’m often turned off by books that are more than 600 pages and get discouraged when I’ve been reading for 3 hours and haven’t made a good dent into the novel. That being said, I can appreciate lengthy books when they are appropriate. Unfortunately, this was not one of them. I do think that this book could have been trimmed a bit. Still, my review goes on.
This book just sweeps you in. The first 100 pages are so tragic and heartbreaking that it’s impossible not to go on from there. Poor Theo has his world turned upside down with the death of his mother and to stop reading would have been abandoning him. I respect Donna Tartt for successfully toying with my emotions from the very beginning of the novel.
I feel like reading this book was a privilege, like Theo was letting me into this mind for a few days. For 5 days, this young man narrated these terrible events that occurred in his life and how he coped with them. I saw his weaknesses and lowest moments and it all felt so personal. I’ve never felt that way about a book or character so that’s pretty incredible.
It’s been a few days since I finished this book and I’m still processing what happened. I think that’s a sign that this was an incredible book with a great journey. I’m really glad that I got myself to pick up this rather large book and stuck with it the entire time. It was definitely worth the read and I loved getting to know the mind of Theo. No matter how much he tried to come across as reserved, Theo let me in.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
“You were born at a pretty crappy time in history. And it looks like things are only gonna get worse from here on out.”
Wade Watts is born in the year 2044, when the Earth is in shambles and most people live in trailers stacked on top of each other. The only thing that keeps humanity going is an online world called OASIS. In OASIS you can choose the features of your avatar and tone of your voice. All you need to do is put on a pair of video glasses and you’re transported into an online world where kids attend virtual school and everyone spends their free time completing quests and exploring the endless game worlds. OASIS is threatened to be taken over by a large corporation looking to make money off of the free virtual reality. That is, unless Wade can become the best OASIS player and beat them to the finish line.
This was such a fantastic dystopian novel! I loved Wade as a protagonist–he had a very complex brain that held thousands of facts about pop culture of the past decades. His friend and love interest, Art3mis, was a great secondary character and definitely a strong female role. Their dynamic was very fun and put a smile on my face.
Many dystopian novels these days are repetitive but I’ve never read or heard of anything quite like Ready Player One before. Pop culture from the 1970’s-1990’s is such a prominent theme in this novel and multiple facts about classic video games are thrown into each chapter. I feel like I learned a lot about old movies, songs, and games while reading this book. That was a great twist to the storyline.
Even though I finished this book in only a few sittings, I still feel very attached to Wade and the future Earth he lives on. It’s interesting to think what our lives would be like if people spent all day in a virtual reality. It’s no wonder that Wades world became trashed and abandoned by humanity. Long story short, this is a great read that can fall into both the young adult and adult science fiction categories. Please pick up this book!
I’m back from my hiatus and ready to keep this site active with book reviews every week. I apologize for being gone for so long–I was in a pretty bad “book slump” and couldn’t get myself to finish anything! Thankfully, I’m out of that rut and ready to keep reading.
All Inclusive by Farzana Doctor
Rating: 2/5 stars
This book follows the life of Ameera, a woman who works at a Mexican resort and dives into the world of Swinging every now and then. Her work and personal life finally begin to clash as multiple anonymous complaints about her work ethic are filed for getting, perhaps, too personal with her residents. While her work life seems to be crumbling, Ameera is also haunted by the thought of never knowing her father–she constantly wonders what he looks like, where he lives, and what his family’s like. Somewhere, Ameera’s father is out there longing to meet her too.
I set this book aside a little after I passed the half-way point. I rarely abandon books, but I felt like this novel was putting me in a slump. I read it for over 3 weeks and couldn’t manage to finish it. That being said, I don’t think I can give it a fair or full review. I can understand how this could be a great novel for some people, but it just wasn’t for me. Ameera was a very fun character to follow, but the writing kept confusing me and I couldn’t keep track of what was happening. Also, swinging is a very foreign concept to me and I got caught up thinking about it.
I really wish I could finish this book and give it a little more time, but I must move on to the rest of my requests and to-be-read lists. Like I said, this review cannot do the full book justice, as I did not finish it. A big thank you to NetGalley for providing me an eCopy of this book!