ALL THE CROOKED SAINTS: A Book Review

Most people won’t like this book. Luckily, I am not most people.
download
Do you love magic in the every day? Do you love lush prose that you could fall into? Do love books where you can’t explain them to anyone else because “nothing happens” even if so much does? Do you love character pieces that bring life into the words on a page? Do you love omnipresent narration that makes it seem like the story is being told to you by your grandmother who knows all? Do you love the bizarre and the magical and the strangely beautiful? If so, then you are also not most people.

The thing about Maggie Stiefvater is that she gets better and better with each book she writes. All the Crooked Saints is not a perfect novel, nor does it pretend to be. Like the title suggests, it’s skewed: from the characters to the writing to the story itself, you can’t help but feel that there is something unbalanced, something not being said that needs to be. And that’s okay. It is this imperfect, this “well that doesn’t make any sense” that makes the book so charming.

Don’t read this book if you are looking for answers, because you won’t find anything. Read this book if you are searching for something you can’t articulate, something that exists in that place beyond your dreams.

I love this book. I love it with every inch of me. I can’t wait to reread and reread and reread, and discover that darkness inside me that I’m not sure if I want to name. If anything, All the Crooked Saints teaches you that that brokenness inside of you can define you, but it doesn’t have to. But beyond that, it teaches you that you don’t have to deal with it alone.

 5 owls out of 5.
Advertisements

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN: A Book Review

Sometimes, books make you cry because they’re sad. Sometimes, you cry because you’re filled with joy. And sometimes, you cry because finally someone gets it.

download

Full disclosure: I love John Green. For some reason, everyone decided it was time to make fun of him, and suddenly it wasn’t cool to read John Green, but he is one of my favourite authors because every single one of his books holds up a mirror and whispers see? There you are.  Turtles is no exception. In fact, I see myself more in Turtles than I have in maybe any other book I have ever read.

Aza is a character that has wrapped her way around my heart. I know this girl, because I am that girl, in many different ways. She’s so personal which makes her charming and also very real. I don’t feel like she’s been “smoothed” down; she’s allowed to keep her sharp edges that might make her wonderfully imperfect.

Maybe you’re not an Aza though. Maybe you’re a Davis, who has problems of his own that are quieter, but still permeate the text. Or maybe you’re a Daisy, who wishes someone would listen to the problems she has for once. Every character is so entirely human, and fractured, and for lack of a better term, lovable. I honestly feel like I read a book about me and my closest friends.

Turtles is both personal and subtle.  The writing style is beautiful (as Green’s writing always is) but I found it to be much simpler than his previous works. It’s still wordy, and has metaphors that make you sigh, but it’s all toned down, letting Aza’s quietness reflect the story she’s telling. Plus, it makes the “loud” parts that much more effective.

Now for what you all want to know: yes, there is a romance plot, but no, this is not a love story nor a romantic book. It is entirely Aza’s story, and the true love story in this book is not between Aza and Davis, but Aza and Daisy. Their friendship soars, and that’s the plot that’s going to squeeze your little heart.

Turtles is John Green without being “John Green.” It’s not a quirky romance, but a true story that reflects the reality of having anxiety in the information age. It’s not as beautifully heart-wrenching as Looking for Alaska, nor as romantically devastating as The Fault in Our Stars, but it is subtle and personal and quiet, which is sometimes all you want a book to be.

And yes, the ending made me cry. In the best, most wonderful way.

5 turtle backs out of 5

A Little Light

It’s not hard to see that I haven’t been reviewing books as frequently. I have no need for excuses; the truth is the easiest way to explain. And the truth is this: the internet has been a dark, dark place and being on it for too long sets my brain aflame.

We live in dark times. One simply has to turn on the news to see the darkness that feasts upon the world. What people tend to forget is that the world has always been dark: there have always been wars, and discrimination, and fear, and the few controlling the plenty. Indeed, we exist in the safest point in history. But if there has always been dark, then the opposite is true too: there is always, always light.

I find my light in books. Some days, the darkness overwhelms and I have to read a lighthearted young adult romance, or a children’s lit adventure. Sometimes, I crave escape, and the world of fantasy calls me. In these books, I find a form of reassurance: while reading of a world so different from my own, I come to understand my life. Sometimes, I read the bleakest stories I can find, the ones with no happy ending that leave your pages crinkled from free-falling tears. In these books, my heart hurts, then it is reborn. I can heal with these characters and let out all the sadness that rests in my soul.

No matter what you read, you will understand. There is something that comes out, illuminating the words on the page and igniting emotion in your heart. Search for books that make you feel. Search for books that make you believe. Search for books that speak to what you cannot say.

Find your light.

Find it, and never let it go.