Friday, December 30, 2016

Finishing 2016 With Books

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

So here's the thing: I left the idea of perfect behind long ago, and I was mostly looking for more inspiration on being present. So for a lot of this book, I felt like it didn't suit me. There was a major them of "learn to say no" and I am a rebel so #perfected. It's already in my nature to turn things down when life gets too overwhelming, or just simply doesn't feel good. What's not natural to me, is being present during the "no" moments, so I was hoping for insight on that. Some of her sentiments spoke to me, but maybe not the way I wanted them to or hoped that they would. Though this book didn't serve me as I expected it to, she is a beautiful, comforting writer, and so I still felt at home within her words. And her thoughts on society's picture of what women should be: tired and skinny, exhausted and starving. Wow. That was a turthbomb of clarity, and one that I am not playing along with! There's great worth here, even if the message isn't completely tailored to you personally.

Dreamology by Lucy Keating

I love-love-loved this for its perfect, perfect YA cheese. Like fictional brie! I am obsessed with dreamy, impossible, super-charged love stories and this one was so perfect, and such a quick, flowing read. The weirdo dreams were just perfect and crazily artistic - so says a wild, vivid dreamer. This may even be a re-read sometime - so much cheesy love to be had here!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

You know with YA fantasy, especially one that was born out of a Harry Potter influence, there are going to be some characters that require you to suspend your disbelief. I'm down with that - HP is perfection and I happily accept its rules and realities. Let me lay this one out for you, though. The main story happening here is between a gay magical vampire (seriously), and a savior type who realizes he's also gay in about 30 seconds of pondering over it and is instantly cool with it before going off and growing a set of dragon wings and a devil tail. Seriously. Their Voldemort has the stupidest of names, their Hermione type feels undeveloped, and their Dumbledore is a terrible person with a wild superiority complex. But I think what was the most annoying of all was how fickle their magic was. How ridiculously flighty and iffy it was, and how hard it was to trust it as the reader. It didn't try very hard to sell itself. The book itself felt entirely too long and drawn out, and I didn't get excited to see what would happen until the last 100 pages (which meant the first 400+ were exhausting.) It's crazy, because I looooove Rainbow Rowell, and really liked Fangirl, so I was surprised by how much this did now wow me. There was enough here for me to give it 3 stars, but it was not exactly what I'd hoped it would be.

I Wrote This For you: Just The Words by Iain Thomas

It took me almost an entire year to read this because of how thought-provoking many of the passages were. There were some that I adored, circled, and highlighted because they spoke directly to me, and others that felt odd and daunting and drawn out. There are truths in here for everyone - in a poetic, artistic form - but that also means there's a lot that doesn't relate to the individual reader. If you like the kind of poetry that doesn't exactly flow, but can sometimes strike the perfect chord, check it out!

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

I looooooved this! More than the Cursed Child, despite that one having the original core characters from the franchise. Maybe it's because the format of the Cursed Child prepared me to enjoy this one more, or because I'd already seen and loved the movie so I was able to picture it all perfectly and even gain some clarity on their exact dialogue, but it was seriously enjoyable. My HP loving husband loved it, too. I would still love to see this series turned into full-fledged novels, but I'm excited for the next installments regardless!

Adventures for Your Soul by Shannon Kaiser

I waited on the library's hold list for this one for months and months, so I assumed based on its popularity both there and all over Instagram and in self-help groups meant it would blow my socks off, but only sort-of did. There were some good truth bombs in here, but it was delivered sort of plainly. The author re-tells her story every 10 pages and the distraction of how boring it became overshadowed the value. I took a few things away from the experience, but I was hoping for more. I think this is best for someone that doesn't do a lot of spiritual, self-help reading already, because this felt like watered down redundancy to me. 

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