Book Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy, #2)

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden (Winternight Trilogy #2) / ★★★★☆

Summary: Vasya, now a young woman, is forced to choose between marriage or life in a convent and instead flees her home—but soon finds herself called upon to help defend the city of Moscow when it comes under siege.

“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other; of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other, each way will have its bitter with its sweet.” 

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Book Review: Tin Man by Sarah Winman

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Tin Man by Sarah Winman /  ★★★★★

Five years after the death of his wife, Ellis lives in a state of loneliness. His childhood best friend, Michael, is nowhere in sight, but as Ellis falls back into memories, their lives together – and apart – begin to unfold.

I wonder what the sound of a heart breaking might be. And I think it might be quiet, unperceptively so, and not dramatic at all. 

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My Favorite Books of 2018 (aka 5 very sad books)

Hello!!! I am here!! Sorry I have been so absent this year!!

So yeah.

I had Goodreads reading challenge to 62 books for 2018. But that was before I decided to take art classes, and to write more, and move a new place. Before I had, like, a block on writing reviews. But I still read 27 books in 2018, which isn’t…terrible! And I believe the ratings I gave them averaged out to 4-point-something, which means they were a good 27 books. However, I don’t have ten books to call my favorites this year, but I do have a very solid five.

Warning…….they are sad (but great).

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Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
This was the very first book I read in 2018, and I guess you could say it set a bit of a standard for the rest of the books I read this year. This book centers around a Korean family in Japan in the 20th century, and sprawls over several generations of characters. This book is long, and has moments of sadness, sweetness, awfulness, and is a fantastic exploration of cultural identity and history. And while I love history, it was the characters that left the biggest impression on me. There are a lot of people in this book, and I loved how Min Jin Lee connected them and juxtaposed them against one another, in their personalities, choices, and their reactions to life and culture.  Full review.

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Book Review: Normal People by Sally Rooney

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Normal People by Sally Rooney / ★★★★★

Summary: Connell and Marianne both grow up in the same town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. But they both get places to study at university in Dublin, and a connection that has grown between them despite the social tangle of school lasts long into the following years.

How strange to feel herself so completely under the control of another person, but also how ordinary. No one can be independent of other people completely, so why not give up the attempt, she thought, go running in the other direction, depend on people for everything, allow them to depend on you, why not.

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Book Review: Human Acts by Han Kang

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Human Acts by Han Kang / ★★★★★

Summary: In the midst of a violent student uprising in South Korea, a young boy named Dong-ho is shockingly killed. The story of this tragic episode unfolds in a sequence of interconnected chapters as the victims and the bereaved encounter suppression, denial, and the echoing agony of the massacre.

I grasped your hand and tugged you forward, toward the head of the column, while you muttered to yourself in blank incomprehension, our soldiers are shooting. They’re shooting at us. I pulled you toward them with all my strength, opening my throat to sing while you seemed on the point of tears. I sang along with the national anthem, my heart fit to burst. Before they sent that white-hot bullet driving into my side.

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Book Review: The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey

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The Curse of the Wendigo by Rick Yancey (The Monstrumologist #2)/ ★★★☆☆

Summary: When young Will Henry and his mentor, the Monstrumologist, are called on to save a man from the Canadian wilderness, they must come to terms that perhaps the man that they pull out isn’t the man who went in- if he is still a man at all.

This was his universe, and no doubt, if every particle of light had been sucked from out atmosphere he could have found his way through the utter blackness left behind.

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Book Review: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt / ★★★★★

Summary: Theo Decker survives a terrible accident that kills his mother, and he escapes the scene with a priceless 17th century painting that she loved. In the ensuing years, Theo bounces from  his rich friend’s house, to Las Vegas, to an antique shop in New York, the painting always in his mind. As Theo gets older, the painting, the influences around him, and his own aching heart lead him down increasingly dark paths.

But when I think of you, it’s as if you’ve gone away to sea on a ship – out in a foreign brightness where there are no paths, only stars and sky.

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Book Review: The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

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The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang / ★★★★☆

Summary: Rin defies the odds and passes the Keju, a prestigious test that gets her a spot in Sinegard, the nation’s most prestigious military school in the nation. From there, she continues to work her way to the top and discovers she is capable of things beyond what she thought possible. When a terrible war against a nearby country begins, Rin is pulled into something more deadly than she ever would have expected, and goes to impossible lengths to avenge her people.

I have become something wonderful, she thought. I have become something terrible.

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