Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

This book is another that I’ve recently picked up, my fifth this year. It is a book that follows a twin that is overshadowed by her sister, and scorned by her family. She’s a very interesting narrator that helps introduce you to the world. I really have been enjoying this book so far. It does take place in a universe that was established in the author’s previous works Seraphina and Shadow Scale but this book is actually able to introduce you to the universe without any difficulty. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to read a well-built fantasy universe with a strong female protagonist that has an equally strong and interesting personality.

The 7 1/2 Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

This book was one that I had been meaning to read for a while, and I finally got around to it after the new year started and I decided I would read 36 books in 2023. This was my first one, and it was pretty interesting.

The main premise of this book is that a man named Aiden Bishop is trapped in a time loop, and every day, he will wake up in the body of another person. He has eight days to solve the murder of Evelyn Hardcastle, who dies every night at 11:00 PM.

When I first read it, I enjoyed it, but there are a few things that I think are confusing. This book definitely requires you to pay close attention to it, and even then, the ending will catch you off guard. I really enjoyed this aspect of it, because there is truly no way to know how the mystery will be resolved.

Unfortunately, while the time loop provides room for a lot of interesting worldbuilding, you never really find out what’s going on behind the scenes. There’s certainly some clarity provided in order to reach a resolution, but if you’re looking for a book with time travel mechanics that are very well thought out, this isn’t it.

I recommend this book if you like complex murder mysteries, books you have to pay attention to, and amnesia and time travel with tiny elements of psychological horror.

I would not recommend this book for those who don’t like scenes of violence, semi-anticlimactic endings, and complicated plot lines. There’s also not much humor, and the font (at least in the copy I got) is pretty tiny, the text is pretty dense, and the book is very long ( 133,607 words/~528 pages).

1 of 36: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (Rating: 3.5/5)

The Butcher [Reading Update]

I just started reading The Butcher by Laura Kat Young, but it caught my attention right from the beginning. The premise is intriguing and horrifying: a world where people are punished for their crimes by having body parts removed. However, that requires somebody to have the job of removing them—and that duty falls upon the shoulders of the Butcher. I’m not super far through this book just yet, but it’s already become one of my favorites.

The plot does set up a lot of violence, but from what I’ve seen so far, there’s also a lot of psychological elements to it. The world is set up in such a way that it makes the reader and the characters question and discover whether punishing bad acts with more suffering is justifiable. I highly recommend this book for people who like stories that make you think deeply about both the fictional world that’s written and the world we live in.

The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. With a mysterious dystopian world presented right from the beginning, the formatting and storyline will hook you right from the beginning. If you like sci-fi and complex characters, I highly recommend this book. Warning to possible readers, there are a few slightly graphic scenes as this is an apocalypse book. Nothing awful, just your standard fighting-aliens-with-guns type chapters. Overall, the characters are very unique individuals and I enjoyed this book so much. It’s one of a trilogy and I’m working on reading the second book, The Infinite Sea, as we speak.

Miss Missing You: Music Poetry

The song “Miss Missing You” by Fall Out Boy (lyrics here) is a poetic song because it utilizes poetic language. It compares ‘you’ (as in the person the singer is singing to) to “a picket fence,” showing that this person’s partner was their symbol of normalcy. It has a striking line as well, saying “the person you’d take a bullet for is behind the trigger.” This emphasizes a feeling of betrayal typically associated with breakups. The final example of an interesting line is “cue all the love to leave my heart,” which comes across as the subject sarcastically saying that all the feeling will simply vanish, perhaps comparing to the way the breakup seemed sudden and irrational. The main line and the title, “miss missing you” implies that the person singing the song does not miss the person they were in a relationship with, but misses the feeling of being in a relationship. The concept of this song is fitted around the idea of getting out of a relationship, but missing the feeling of loving someone rather than the person themselves.

Internment by Samira Ahmed

Internment by Samira Ahmed is a beautifully written book that is intended to both educate and scare the reader. Not in the sense that it is terribly violent (though it does have its scenes), but it is a projection of the future based off of America’s history.

The main character is Layla Amin, a seventeen-year-old Muslim American. Her family is forced into an internment camp with other Muslims, forcing Layla to leave her life behind, and the conditions there are very bad. Due to this, Layla and a few of her new friends decide that they want to fight back against the Director.

I highly recommend reading this book, it was eye opening and inspiring, and the characters are well developed with incredible motivations and personalities. It only took me a few days to read because of how well it hooks the reader. It is 275 pages long.

Pocahontas’s Stereotypical Presentation of Native American Culture

The Disney movie Pocahontas displays Native Americans in an extremely stereotypical manner, such as their conflict with white Europeans. It depicts Native Americans as uncultured people with strange religions. It also displays their housing in a very historically inaccurate manner.