The Handmaid’s Tale–Margaret Atwood

*I’ll warn you before the spoiler comes* 

This is the first Margaret Atwood book I’ve even read. 

And damn dude. She came in hot! 

This book was hella compelling! (And far more well written than that basic bitch statement I just used to describe it.) 

As most of you know already this is a television show (of which I have not watched yet, but am planning on it.) and it was getting rave reviews. Which made me think: Hey. I should read that book before I watch the show. Get some context. 

I had no idea what the fuck I was walking into. 

No clue what this society was about, where this story was going, or what the fuck the characters names were. 

…and I still don’t. 

Just kidding! I really liked this book because while it wasn’t like thrill upon thrill, it was actually quietly compelling and a huge statement on feminism and society as a whole.

Just kidding again. I mean, I’m sure that was in there, but I never read into that stuff, I’m just there for the story. 

And the story was fucking timeless. I had no idea that it was based in the 90’s, I thought it was written in the 60’s because I genuinely thought that Margaret Atwood was older than she is. 

(Did I mention that this was the first time I’ve read her books?) 

Legitimately thought she was born in the 1920s. 

Like…she’s still alive. Thought she was long dead. 

I also keep thinking her name is Ann Margaret and I know that’s seriously fucking wrong. 

I’m not dumb, I’m just an idiot. There’s a difference haha. 

Spoiler Ahead:

Anyway, I really liked her writing, the story, where it went, and how where the characters ended up.

However, slight beef: She needed to actually finish the fucking story. All we see is that they are coming for Offred. 

They grab her…and then NOTHING.

 

NOTHING.

How dare you. How dare you Margaret Atwood. I trusted you. I had so much faith in where this story was going and you lowballed me like that. 

Ugh. So good though. 

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Mr. Pip–Lloyd Jones

This. This book. Woof.

This was a case of judging a book by it’s cover and then not getting what I thought.

The cover is a fun looking mosaic of flowers, really colour popping look to it.

The actual story is beautiful and colourful and genuine and heart breaking.

Not to mention a fantastic story. This book sort of broke me for other books for awhile.

It’s a tale of thirteen year old Matilda who lives on an island in Papua New Guinea torn apart by war, and is constantly harassed by soldiers and rebels alike. Her only family member left is her mother, who is a God fearing and preaching type woman who accepts nothing but the utmost respect from all around her.

Their school is non-exist after so many people left the island. Then one day a man (Mr. Watts) helps the kids clear out the school of plants and trash and begins reading Great Expectations to the children who are allowed to come.

Matilda relates to Pip (the lead character in ‘Great Expectations’) in such a deep way. Soon the soldiers (or the rebels, I can’t remember) begin to try to find this Mr. Pip after so many kids are enamoured by the stories and talk about him as if he’s a real person.

This book came out of nowhere on my bookshelf, I just picked it up to read it and I loved it. It actually led to my reading Great Expectations again soon after.

Great book, must read!

Constant vigilance!

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The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing–Melissa Bank

This book was not what I expected. It was one of the books that I just happened to keep seeing everywhere and thought the title was intriguing and didn’t read the back of the book until I was finished reading the actual book. It was a complete surprise and a terrifically easy read (hello reading Storm of Swords as well, I kind of needed an easy read! Especially since I dragged my heels on Mr. Penumbra as well.) and a fantastically written book.

It’s a coming of age story about a girl named Jane Rosenal who is trying to figure out love. I really related to her and enjoyed her sarcasm and sassy comments. (Although I’m not into dating men 28 years older than me. That’s just: Ew.)

I think the best part about this book wasn’t just the way the characters acted or interacted; it was the way that she kept changing her writing style without being apologetic about it. She kept switching it up and that didn’t take away from the story one bit. It was beautiful and it worked.

Definitely read this.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince–J.K. Rowling

Were you under the impression that I would stop reviewing these?

I laugh at your naïveté!

I was reading this while being trapped in the land of Trainspotting, my brain was in shambles, my spirit was low and I couldn’t find a book in sight that could hold my attention for more than thirty seconds. I put down probably six books before I picked this one back up. It seemed fitting since the last time a book (and I think it was still Trainspotting) busted up my noodle I turned to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

C.S. Lewis once said “It is a good rule after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” I think that’s a good idea, but since I have a reading list that outstretches my lifespan I don’t always listen to that advice.

But man oh man was he right this time. Reading Harry Potter is that feeling of coming home after a long hard day. That feeling of being curled up in front of a movie with hot chocolate. That feeling of being snuggled up with your pets. That soul filling feeling of complete and utter calmness that I get from meditation, singing, and painting all in one.

I’m over selling this again, aren’t I?

HP and HBP may be sad, we lose a beloved character and the wizarding world is in turmoil, but it’s still home and I’m always glad to be back.

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The Kite Runner–Khaled Hosseini

This book made me hate online dating. Now I know what you are thinking “What in the HELL does The Kite Runner have to do with online dating?”. Nothing. Nothing at all. There isn’t online dating in the book AT ALL. BUT, I was in one of my weird ‘Boohoo I don’t have a boyfriend’ jags so I thought that it was a good idea to try online dating again since meeting people in person with my Bitchy Resting Face Syndrome isn’t helping me at all.

Again, what does one have to do with the other? Well, I was reading this during that point and I end up talking to guys about books since I make a point of writing:

“If you don’t read, don’t bother.”

Because I also have Bitchy Writing Face.

So I’m just sitting here (well, in Vancouver) reading this book and thinking how wonderful it is and sweet and these kids are such cute friends and how Hassan is amazing (and the fact that I remember his name after I read this book MONTHS ago speaks volumes since I can barely remember my own name half the damn time) and a sweetheart and I want to put them both in my pocket.

Fool of a Took that I am, I mentioned to this one guy that I was casually talking to for a day and a half, that I was reading The Kite Runner and he IMMEDIATELY drops a huge spoiler!

Obviously I’m not going to tell you what it is. But can you imagine a perfect stranger just BOOM. Here’s what happened to the kids and changes the entire tone of the book for every reader.

I deleted every single online dating account I had and I haven’t been back since. You don’t just do that to a person! That’s the rudest thing anyone can do to an avid reader! Especially on a book where you’ve told the person you haven’t heard anything about it and are excited to read it because it’s been on your reading list for years.

He’s just lucky he wasn’t in the room with me because I would’ve thrown a lamp at his head.

Although, I guess if I didn’t beat the holy crap out of my cousin for spoiling Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince then I wouldn’t bludgeon a complete stranger.

Spoilers are a no-no in my world and I would rather be alone with my books forever than be with someone who thinks that is okay.

CONSTANT VIGILANCE.

….I should probably mention that this book is amazing and interesting in how it flips on you and that you should add it to your reading list because it was infuriating (not just because of the spoilers) and sickening and made me so mad I threw it across the room and sobbed and so happy and just every extreme emotion at some point while I read it. When you are done, message me and we can cry about it together.

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A Complicated Kindness–Miriam Toews

I loved this book. It was so well written and beautiful and sad and just everything, you know? It immediately made me a fan of Miriam Toews and I’ve had it on my shelf for years because my sister had been telling me it was one of her favourite books and it reminded her of one of her favourite people whenever she saw it on her shelf.

And finally after all this time I read it. It was worth the wait because it was just so lovely that if I had read it when she told me to I wouldn’t have been mature enough to appreciate it. Back then (I’m talking like six years ago I think) I was all (cringe, cringe) Twilight and romance novels up the ying yang. Sure I read some lovelies, but I wasn’t developmentally ready for this book. I was too far-gone in school and trying to figure out life. (I still haven’t.)

It’s about a girl called Nomi Nickels who lives in a Mennonite community and her family is torn apart by it. She lives with her odd duck of a father after her mother and sister have left the family and town never to return.

I can’t even tell you how much I just genuinely liked this book. Cover to cover, inch by inch, it was interesting. Definitely add it to your list.

Constant vigilance.

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