Only girls and almost only names that start with an ‘E’. I only noticed this when I started writing the post, but isn’t it cool?
So, I read not only one, but TWO hyped up books this month! And they were… well, you’ll find out below. I’ve also read a terrible one and a really great one in between them so it’s been a rollercoaster of a month. Here they are:
This book… it’s so good I don’t even know where to start!
Okay, first of all, I have to say the synopsis for this book is a little bit misleading. I went into it thinking I was going to read some fluffy pup love story involving some fluffy quirky teen girl, but this is NOT AT ALL what we get! There is no love story, and every bit of relationship we get (that is, if we can even consider any of Evie’s dates a relationship) only serves to show us a different aspect of how her mind works. And reading all this from inside her mind was heart-wrenching. I’ve never read a book that dealt with mental health so realistically, yet sensibly. Some parts of this were so hard to get through, I found myself desperately wanting to get inside the book and do something to help her.
Another thing that really worked for me was how her OCD, the ‘bad thoughts’, was incorporated into the formatting of the book. I haven’t experienced any of the mental health challenges Evie faces, but from reading a lot about them and having friends that went through similar things, I felt like this ‘trick’ really encapsulated the feeling of going through it.
I also love the structure of it, how things don’t escalate into a climax, but spiral down into the black hole. I loved that it wasn’t a story of recovery, but one of relapse. I loved that we see how it happens, how heartbreaking it is for everyone involved, how difficult it is for the person going through it.
And, most of all, I loved the feminist take on it! I loved the friendship they formed, I loved how she addresses the mental health stigma head-on. I read some people saying it felt preachy or that it even fell flat because all the girls are obsessed with boys, or judgmental of one another, but I didn’t feel so at all! I think that’s exactly what 16-year-olds would be like (even if I wasn’t so myself), and it was quite refreshing to read young people actually be young, make mistakes, learn and grow. I feel like if I had read this when I was 16, it would have changed my entire life.
Lastly, I have to mention that one of my favorite parts was the one where they talk about the Bechdel test – what a way to tear the fourth wall and be critical of your own text! Way to go
This was a tricky read.
It took me a good portion of the book to warm up to Eleanor. At the beginning of the story, she comes off as this overly intelligent, snob, judgmental woman who seems to think the rest of the world is not worthy of her efforts and time. When I finally understood her social ineptness, she started to remind me of Sheldon Cooper (off of Big Bang Theory fame).
There were a few things that annoyed me in this story – her “project” with the musician, which ultimately served as her wake-up call, but could easily have been about anything OTHER than a man; the fact that said wake-up call happened so suddenly and then changed the whole tone of the book – I felt like I had started reading something entirely different after that; and the ending that, although showing an important part of recovery that we don’t usually get to see explored, rushed by. I wish the events prompting her seeking professional help had happened earlier and that therapy was what actually made her slowly change and progress throughout the story. I also have to mention that Raymond stating – more than once – that Laura was “high maintenance” really rubbed me off the wrong way.
On the bright side, though, the writing is exquisite! The funny bits made me laugh out loud more than once, the darker bits made me teary-eyed more than once. The main plot is so strong and impactful. And I ended up falling in love with Eleanor. I learned to love her and her “quirks” and went from looking down on her to rooting for her – much like every other character in the book.
Side note: why can’t a character be quirky without actually having endured some horrible trauma? Why authors present emotionally scarred characters as quirky? Is it just me or does anyone else has a problem with this?
This was… a no from me. And it was so frustrating. I went into this book with high expectations (my own fault, I know) because it has such a high rating and interesting premise, but it fell flat on every single thing it set out to accomplish. The only thing I took from it is to not set my hopes up because of a book’s classification.
What. A. Book. How can I even?
First of all, I have to say that the format of this book is pure genius. I would never think something like this would work out, but it did and it was such a perfect way to tell this story.
Second – the female characters. For me, this is where this story truly shines. It’s the strong, independent, fierce women that shape this world and make this such a great read. They are all so admirable, so self-aware, so decisive, I’m in awe.
All characters are so well-written and complex. They’re all so HUMAN! Personally, this is what I look for in books, either when I’m reading or writing them. Believability. Consistency. Flaws. It’s the imperfections, the rough edges, the raw parts that make us truly connect with one another. I loved and hated all of these people at some point, I pitied them and got angry with them, I understood them and judged them – and this rollercoaster was one of my favorite parts of reading this. All the feels!
My absolutely favorite part, though, was when they’re writing for Aurora. I personally have such a strong connection with music, and to see Daisy and Billy writing, connecting, falling for each other over the songs was so magical, so real. The way the songs are described, how they come to be, what they are supposed to make you feel, and then how you actually FEEL about them even without listening to the final record, was a whole experience in itself. Finding the lyrics at the end of the book was a pleasant surprise, and I can’t wait to actually listen to them! I mean, they’re using the original songs for the TV show, right? THEY BETTER!
Daisy Jones & The Six left me aching. And turned me into a fan. I went right into The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, also by Taylor Jenkins Reid, because I need to read all of her books now! I think you’ll know what to expect from the next #RecentReads post.
Have you read any of these books? Do you want to? Do you have any recommendations? Let’s chat!
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