It seems I'm loving the book posts at the moment but I thought I better get my February reviews up so you can see what I've been reading. In February I took full advantage of all my time off from Uni, but now that time has sadly come to an end as my summer is over. Nevertheless, I'll still be reading lots. Time to show you what I read last month...
Simon vs. The Homo Sapien's Agenda by Becky Albertalli - This book follows a teenage boy called Simon. He's gay, but no one really knows it apart from Blue, an anonymous someone who he talks to online via email. Long story short, someone starts blackmailing him and if he isn't careful his sexuality will be broadcasted to everyone he knows.
First of all, do you ever just cry because you love a book so much? This was the best book I have read in a while, maybe ever. It's rare I feel so strongly about a book but if you have any of the same taste in books as me, just do yourself a favour and pick this one up. I stayed up 'til 2 am to finish this and that's not such a regular occurrence. It was genuinely funny, really well-written as it made me really believe Simon's character, and it had the sweetest romantic touches to it which I completely died over. I legitimately cried. Read - now. 5 Stars.
The Siren by Kiera Cass* - Kahlen is someone who is led to sing as one of the Sirens - known in myths and stories as luring, sexualised women. She doesn't feel good about practically murdering people, but has to endure living out her 100 year sentence as a singer designed to bring ships down. Kahlen has to question whether breaking the rules of the Ocean is worth it to feel somewhat human amongst a boy she feels a deep connection to.
I was very excited to start reading this as I had enjoyed The Selection series by the same author. I was slightly disappointed with it though, as I felt the plot wasn't the strongest or the most gripping. In my opinion there was a bit of insta-love going on which I'm not so much a fan of. In saying this, I didn't struggle to get through this book; it was something I read relatively quickly. This book is about mermaids essentially, which is a very cool concept. I felt the concept was there, and I liked the originality of certain aspects throughout such as The Ocean being treated by the author as a character, but unfortunately this wasn't one of my favourite reads. I still gave it 3.5 Stars though.
Keeping The Moon by Sarah Dessen - Colie is a girl who has come from a bit of a rough past. She doesn't have the best perception of herself, nor a huge amount of self-confidence, but that is perhaps hidden by her dyed black hair and lip piercing. She is staying in Colby, North Carolina over the summer as her Mum is busy being Kiko; basically a famous TV personality for weight-loss products. She feels like an outsider, but along the way Isabel and Morgan help her to see what friendship really is, and how she can see herself in a new way.
This was a light-hearted, beach kind of read, which I fortunately read while I was on holiday. It was a short read, being only 200 pages. This is what you would probably describe as 'Chick Lit' but I love reading these types of books now and then anyway. I feel like after reading many long or fantasy-themed books it's just nice to get lost in the world of short chapters and American teenagers, right? I didn't have any expectations for this book so I probably enjoyed it more than I thought I would've. I did really like the overall message of the book, I think it's important to feel like you can be yourself and not care what others think. 3.5 Stars.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin* - Gretchen Rubin is a successful Law-educated woman with a family living in New York; there's nothing really wrong with her life but she finds herself dissatisfied by it. She makes it her mission to stick to a Happiness Project for a year, taking little actions to better herself and her life in different ways.
Gretchen takes a very practical approach to happiness. She is a very orderly and methodical person herself, so it's easy to see how she tries step by step processes to 'be happier'. At first, I found her book to be quite unrelatable because her life is so different from mine; she being a fully fledged adult while I'm a teenager in Uni. But as I went on, I found little bits and pieces in this book which did resonate with me, made me think, and actually had impact on me. There was one little thing Gretchen tried to do more of which resonated with me in particular, and that was to identify the problem, and try and fix it. Sounds simple, but thinking about it logically and simply just doing whatever is required is helpful to me. I don't know if that sounds silly but it was aspects like that which stuck with me. After reading this book I felt motivated to set up a budget and get things relatively organised, which was nice. This was different from what I was expecting, but I think that was useful as it gave me new perspectives. 4 Stars.
I also finished Everyday Sexism this month but included a review of this book in my Feminism Shoutout post.