8 February 2016

Read in January | Part Two


I posted Part One of what I read in January a couple of weeks ago so can click here to read it if you haven't. Now it's time to review a few more books which I finished in the second half of January. As usual there will not be any spoilers in these reviews, so I hope you can find something you're interested in reading!

What We Saw By Aaron Hartzler* - This book first of all may be a trigger warning to some people. This story follows a girl called Kate, a witness amidst an American High School rape case. It deals with things like the importance of victim blaming, the classic mantra "boys will be boys", consent, and speaking up. It revolves a lot around social media and the spreading of photos, tweets and video. I believe this is based somewhat on the Steubenville case, where a reporter said that the allegations would destroy their "promising careers". Absolutely ridiculous. That is why books like this are so important and necessary.

I thought there were several moments in this book which were really powerful and important, and it was eye opening (and quite shocking) to read about communities who lean towards the perpetrator's side because they don't really know the reality of nonconsensual sex/rape being a serious crime. They think that the victim is just a 'slut' - all from how they behave to how they dress. The book was from the perspective of a witness and therefore dealt especially with the idea of speaking out, even if that meant going against everyone else. It was raw, and didn't sugar coat the subject, or shy away from detail. I found myself really riled up with some of the characters and things that were said about the victim - obviously all completely out of line. That's why this book is important - because this happens in real life, and to real people. 4 Stars. By the way this book was given to me to review from Sophie via Harper Collins.

Jamie's World: They Let Me Write a Book By Jamie Curry - Jamie is a New Zealand YouTuber who goes by the name 'Jamie's World' and started getting noticed on the Internet with her Facebook page where she would post relatable pictures. In her book she writes about her school life, growing up, and her rise to 'Internet fame'. There are other bits and pieces to break up the writing, all strewn with the same humour you see in her videos.

I haven't actually read too many YouTuber's books because honestly it's not something that interests me that much (unless I'm obsessed with their videos, ahem Dan and Phil). This book was just okay for me - it didn't blow me away, it wasn't revolutionary. I think it was a fair book for Jamie to write though because the humour throughout was consistent (even though I didn't really find it all too funny - just being honest as this is an honest review). It was an easy read - I think I read it over a couple of days for about 2-3 hours. There were surprisingly sincere elements to the book in what Jamie had written about personal things, but overall I didn't come out of it feeling like it was the best book ever. I'm not particularly a fan of her YouTube videos anyway, so if you are then maybe you would enjoy it more. 3 Stars.

Darkmere By Helen Maslin - Kate is invited along to Leo's summer holiday at a castle he inherited on the English coast. The castle, called Darkmere, has been passed down from generation to generation and something sinister has always happened to each new owner. It seems Darkmere is haunted with ghosts, and as Kate gets increasingly interested about the castle and it's history, the book follows a story in the past of a girl called Elinor.

This book was a contemporary YA with a gothic and historical twist. The book is broken up into different sections of past and present which I found interesting to read, to hear about two different girl's lives and how they intertwined. In the beginning, I didn't get proper time to sit down and read a big chunk so I could get into the story, therefore it took me a little while to get into it. However, I found the second half more interesting and even a little scary in some parts (this is by no means a super scary book though). I ended up giving this book a high rating because I found this book to be page-turning near the end and it's a great example of a decently written, quite interesting YA story. 4.5 Stars.


Would you read any of these?

-Emma


*Review Copy
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