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.
HELLO I AM ALIVE. Sorry I have not blogged much recently, or like, a whole lot this year. I could make excuses, but the truth is I’m just kind of waiting for my inspiration for it to return? It will. It’s just elsewhere right now. But I’m still here!! Anyway, Hadeer tagged me for this award, with these questions by Rachel. Thanks Hadeer, and Rachel!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ahhh it has been a while since I have done a Top 5 Tuesday! This was a really fun topic, and I’m glad I got a chance to do it today. Even though I’ve been a bit quieter on my blog this year, the blogging world continues to inspire me to try books I never would have. These are just a few of them! I tried to pick books that I most likely would never would have picked up on my own.
Top 5 Tuesday is a meme by the fantastic Bionic Book Worm, and it explores a different bookish topic each week. See her top 5 here!
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
This is one of my favorite books – and series – ever, but I probably wouldn’t have picked it up if I hadn’t seen it so raved about when I first started blogging. Simply because the cover isn’t exactly my style or something that would have attracted me on it’s own (though I love it now). I’m glad I gave it a chance, though, because I love this series and its characters with all my heart.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton / ★★★★★
Summary: Ava Lavender was born with wings. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others.
And that might just be the root of the problem: we’re all afraid of each other, wings or no wings.
The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis / ★★★★1/2
Summary: Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.
Because there are others like him still. Tonight they used words they know, words that don’t bother people anymore. They said bitch. They told another girl they would put their dicks in her mouth. No one protested because this is our language now. But then I used my words, strung in phrases that cut deep, and people paid attention; people gasped. People didn’t know what to think.
My language is shocking.
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton / ★★★★☆
Summary: Louise is a broke writer trying to survive in New York City when she meets the wealthy, vivacious, larger-than-life Lavinia. Louise wants to be Lavinia’s best friend, she wants to have what she has, and she wants to be her, and the two strike up a friendship, which evolves into something all-encompassing, intoxicating, and tragic.
It didn’t matter if you weren’t special, she’d say, or even if you weren’t pretty, not even by the standards of Devonshire, New Hampshire, as long as you wanted it badly enough. The city would swoop you up and carry you skyward to all your vaulted aspirations; every single party on every single night in that whole, glistening, glaring city would make you feel like you were the only person in the world, and also the most special, and also the most loved.