🧹🧺 Housekeeping- Just wanted to update you all that I have switched to the 5 star reviewing system. At first I wanted to do 10 stars because I honestly think I thought that it had more wiggle room to be nicer, but now I have kind of come to the realization that the 5 star is more concise and also more commonly used so it would be less confusing. Hope you enjoy today’s post!!🧺🧹
⚠️This first review may contain some potentially triggering material, I am going to try to stay as allusive as possible to avoid this, but also feel free to skip ahead to the next book.⚠️
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn:⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
In all honesty, I was a bit conflicted when trying to figure out what I was going to rate this book. I think it was due to a combination of the fact that I recognized that this book was dark and twisted in ways that takes a certain eye for this kind of novel, as well as a certain skill, but also because of this same fact for me the book was not that enjoyable. I seemed to be conflicted between wanting to see how it ended, but also being disturbed and almost scared of how much darker it could go. But if you like the sort of suspenseful, dark and twisted stories, I think that this book would be right up your alley. Plus It has become a HBO show, so I do think that there is an audience/readers who would enjoy this kind of read.
I think that this is the perfect book for the crime junkie reader, I think that it gives them the suspense of a mystery and the satisfaction of answers. I would also say that this might be due to my overall lack of experience in this genre, but I was honestly not expecting the twist at the end. I think that I was so convinced that they finally had answers that I completely overlooked the clues. If you have read this book I would love for you to comment *spoiler free* if you knew what was coming. This book was also written with a certain level of attention and detail, that would make your skin crawl or your stomach upset. I think that this is both a pro and also a con depending on how strongly you can feel these emotions.
The things that made this hard to read for me I think was the casualty of serious topics such as sexual abuse, bullying, eating disorders, substance abuse, mental health issues, self harm, animal cruelty and much more. I am not going to go into specifics as to how far this book goes with any of those topics, but I will say that if you struggle with any of the previously mentioned topics I would recommend that you not read this book. As even though the book is fairly short in length, it spares very few details. I also think that because of this, the book stays with you, or at least it stayed with me. I read the book earlier in the week and still to this day I remember how my stomach felt reading this book.
Quotes in particular that stood out to me:
“I know the wisdom, that no parents should see their child die, that such an event is like nature spun backwards. But it’s the only way to truly keep your child. Kids grow up, the forge more potent allegiances. They find a spouse or a lover. They will not be buried with you. The Keenes, however, will remain the purest form of family. Underground.”(34)
“Everyone has their own version of a memory.”(54)
“Problems always start long before you really, really see them.”(61)
“How confusing to live in the shadow of a shadow.”(101)
“The face you give the world tell the world how to treat you.”(226)
“A child weaned on poison considers harm a comfort.”(251)
Overall: I would say that I don’t feel comfortable to either recommend or not recommend this book due to its subject matter. But what I will say is that it is written well. As I have said before, I think reading and every types or books that people enjoy is very subjective and while this was not my cup of tea necessarily, it might be someone else’s!
The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory:⭐️⭐️
I was very thankful that after the previous book, I had what I thought would be a bit of a palate cleanser. A sort of fun fact about me, is the fact that my ‘TBR shelf’ is books that I have pulled from my collection that peak my interest at the time, but I pretty much randomly stack them on my shelf and go from left to right with very little thought or planning. Which is both something that I find refreshing as I am typically such a planner, but also can result in me going from something as dark as the previous book to as cheesy as this book. I honestly went into this book with very few expectation but just a bit of relief that this was polar opposite from the previous book, but as I read further and further into this book I came to the realization that this book just missed the mark of being a feel good cheesy book.
There were things that I enjoyed about this book and can appreciate. One of those things is how diverse the characters are. The main character is an African American female, whose love interest is Hispanic, and whose friends are a mixture of Asian and White. I thought that this was refreshing, as I think representation is important. The characters also throughout the books touched on cultural differences, and things that come with the territory of being their ethnicity, which I thought was unique. The book also touched on the topic of women empowerment and the importance of learning how to take care of your own battles, as well as touched on being true to yourself and loving who you love. I also think that the author had an important message that there is a difference between love and emotional abuse, and how to navigate a tricky situation when you are unable to tell the difference. She also briefly touched on how important it is to keep your friends close so you can lean on them when you need to, and how the people in your life should love all of you and not just parts. They should not expect only the perfect version of you at every time, or only take things from you, whether it be emotionally, financially etc.
So as I am sure you can sense, there are things that I did not like about the book. I think that the first problem I had was the fact that I think that book was predictable by page five. It kind of followed the usual format of a romance book storyline, but in a way that left very little to the imagination. This might be because I pick up on random details, but it also bothered me that in the first chapter the author made such a big deal as to how the main characters ex boyfriend misspelled her name, but a few pages later unrelated to the ex the author misspells the name herself. I also got a tad tired of Carlos bringing up his profession, its is life okay we get it you’re a doctor but there must be more to your personality beyond brining that up every time your character is around. I also enjoyed the friend/family scenes more with the main characters rather than the romantic interaction between Nik and Carlos, which I think is not the best sign considering the genre of the book.
Quote that stood out to me in particular:
“We all need a shoulder to lean on sometimes. I wouldn’t have offered mine if I didn’t want to.”(188)
Overall: This is the first book I have read so far this year where I have written only one quote from it down in my journal, I bring this up because I think that it overall hints at my slight disconnect from the book. I just feel like I couldn’t help but feel as though this book was 🧀. I think overall I think if romance is your thing, you might find yourself being disappointed by this book. I would probably recommend you skip this book, but if you don’t mind a little cheesy and you want an easy read than I would say go for it. I am interested to read more from this author to see if I connect to her other books or characters more.
The Anatomy of Dreams by Chloe Benjamin:⭐️⭐️⭐️
This book was another one this week that I had a hard time rating. I feel like I was stuck between the intrigue in the first half of the book that led me to believe this book would be a 4/5 star rating, but was a bit let down my the last half of the book with what I thought to be a pretty mundane/lackluster ending. I do however think that this book did touch on some interesting topics, and if you are at all curious about dreams you might enjoy it, but I also think some parts of the book get a bit lost in translation. It almost created a disconnect where at times you were left confused, or even wanting more from the story. There were times when I felt like the jumps between years was a bit annoying and left you trying to piece the pieces together, which I do not feel like in the end completely fit. I feel like I was stuck in-between a place of wanting either a little more of the sci-fi feel, or a little less of the theoretical talk and a little more building of relationships in the book. But maybe in some parts that not coming to fruition was the authors was of explaining some of the characters thinking. I am someone who does have an interest in dreams, I feel like I have always been curious about the meaning or significance behind my dreams, and while I feel like this book missed the mark for me, there were interesting concepts sprinkled throughout that kept me reading.
Quotes in particular that stood out to me:
“You shouldn’t focus so much on the little details, Sylvie. You’ll miss what’s coming.”(27)
“The brain is an excellent fiction writer.”(62)
“We hide our greatest hopes there, our deepest fears. And when we learn to read our dreams, so to speak- not retrospectively, when we wake up, but right there in the moment-were reading the story of who we really are.”(62)
“Your patients have disorders-fair enough. But you’re still opening up a part of the brain that the brain itself has tried desperately to hide. Theres got to be an evolutionary reason we don’t remember most of our dreams. Some things are better tucked away, if you catch my drift. Some books shouldn’t be read.”(64)
“Sometimes I have to go to a place where there’s nothing to look at in order to see clearly. The more attractive the outside world, the more difficult it is to retreat in my head.”(128)
“The subconscious is made up not only of the awareness of actual experience but also of the awareness of every experience that could have happened- simultaneous potentialities, that the soul has therefore an infinitely tiered or layer psychology and that it is only in traveling through these layers which extend not up or down but inward- that self- knowledge can be achieved in any depth. “(151)
“Mental health cannot be reduced to a numerical score, a true-or-false question, a pass or fail.”(187)
“Once we experience our dreams- not via recollection, but right there in the moment- how long is it before we start to believe this is who we really are, what we really want, how we really feel? When does ones dream consciousness become their consciousness, I mean? Maybe the dreams themselves aren’t dangerous. Maybe what’s dangerous is putting people in contact with them.”(190)
“For I am not of one mind. In moments of decision, it seems as though a thousand versions of myself branch and spread life a deck of cards. One of them I select. Then they are once again stacked, facedown, and put in their box to await their next shuffle.”(307)
Overall: As I am sure you can tell, there were excerpts in this book that really made you stop and consider the implications dreams can have on oneself. I wrote about 3 1/2 pages of quotes from this book that I found to be compelling. So for me the problem with this book in my opinion is not the idea or the theories, but instead the stringing together of the theories with the overall storyline. I felt that there was a bit of an imbalance between the theories and the scientific research and what it meant for the characters. I think overall this book was interesting, but probably one I won’t revisit, unless its to think about the quotes I have written in my journal.
The correlation between the three books:
In truth I do not think that there really was a correlation that stood out to me between the three books, and to try and create one might be a stretch. However I do think it is a week where my readings were so unlike each other that it might say more about me as a reader than the books themselves, in the sense that I do not have one specific type of book I stick to, but at the same time some books are harder to read for me than others, and for reasons that can be on the completely other end of the spectrum from eachother. I think that it could be said that maybe there is the overarching theme of how curiosity plays into the lives of humans and their treatment of others, and how delicate the balance of relationship as a whole can be. But other than that I think that these books were all so different that it wouldn’t really make sense to tie them together.
I hope you enjoyed this post, and as always I would love to hear your thoughts on this post/these books either here or on Instagram @ReadandRamble. I also have created a book-related Tik Tok- it only has three videos on it so far, but if you want to check it out it is also @ReadandRamble :).I love to connect/make new friends so feel free to reach out!! Looking forward to another week of reading and another ramble next Sunday!!🤗🖤📚