Welcome back booksters!
Today, I'll be discussing international bestseller Beartown.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake is the old ice rink, built decades ago by the men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe in a better tomorrow. The junior ice hockey team is days away from competing in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the dreams of this place rest on the shoulders of a group of teenage boys.
Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will change the life of a 15-year-old girl and leave the town in turmoil. Accusations are made, sides are chosen, and the consequences travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.
Beartown is like no other book I've ever read—it's a story of community, friendship, and right and wrong. Even more so, Beartown is a reminder that the choices we make have consequences, and like ripples, they impact each and everyone around us.
This fan favorite is not only wonderfully written, it's brilliantly developed. While the storyline may be difficult for some, it's impossible not to fall in love with the cast: the parents who would do anything for their children, the friends who have an unbreakable sense of loyalty, and every character in between.
Despite this being a story of community, Beartown is a powerful narrative for several other reasons. It's a tale of devotion and violence. The synopsis may give off a light and warm impression, but it's actually quite the opposite.
Nonetheless, it can't be denied that the story is a bit long and dragged out. Although it's difficult not to become invested in the narrative, at times, the book feels like it's on a loop.
The final verdict: this Backman pick is great but definitely hyped by readers.
Beartown is a good choice if you're looking for a fiction piece that is unique and significant. If you're in the mood for something quick, light, and easy, this may not be the book for you.
Welcome back readers!
Today, I'll be discussing Jason Reynold's For Every One.
For Every One by Jason Reynolds
For Every One is a piece for every individual. It's for every dreamer, and especially, for every kid. It is a reminder to never stop chasing our dreams.
Reynolds does not tell his readers how to make their dreams come true. As a matter of fact, he reveals how he's struggled to fulfill his own.
He's here to explain to dreamers that dreams take time to be fulfilled, and there is no shortcut. But no matter how many times dreams get knocked down, we must never let our passion be extinguished--never stop taking that leap of faith.
Reynolds' For Every One, which was written for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, is a raw and honest tribute to every individual chasing their dreams and working endlessly. This poem is not only beautifully written, it's candid and awe-inspiring.
For Every One is a piece that must be read by every person feeling lost and hopeless or even those who simply need reassurance and uplifting. Why? This piece serves as a reminder that no matter how many plans are made, life almost never goes as is expected. No matter, this book is a message to all readers: continue to fight, continue to dream.
Have you read Jason Reynold's speech or any of his other works? Comment your thoughts on his stories below.
Today, I'll be discussing a fan favorite...
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Lucy Hutton is sure that the nice girl will get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work--everyone except for her nemesis, Joshua Templeman.
Trapped in a shared office, Joshua and Lucy have become a part of their very own addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship. The pair are experts at the Staring Game, the Mirror Game, and the HR Game. But this time, Lucy can't let Joshua win—a huge promotion, her dream job, is at stake.
If Lucy wins, she'll be Joshua's boss. If she loses, she'll resign. So why is she all of a sudden questioning herself? Maybe she doesn't hate him. And maybe, just maybe, he doesn't hate her either.
Most of you know I'm not a huge fan of the romance genre, but after obsessing over One Day in December, I was itching to pick up another love story. After a lot of research and recommendations, I decided to give The Hating Game a try. Luckily for me, it did not disappoint.
(Spoiler Warning: This review briefly mentions something that may be considered a spoiler to some readers.)
This beloved Sally Thorne pick features some great elements. For starters, the writing is concise and easy to follow, and the storyline is witty and lighthearted. Together, these components make The Hating Game a quick and fun read.
Despite the writing and storyline being splendid, the star of the novel is the cast—particularly Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman. The characters are strong, comical, and genuine. Their personalities make it impossible to not become completely invested.
Although there's no doubt that this is an amazing novel, I would've liked to see more depth as the story progressed. The Hating Game could've been a five-star novel if it featured more character growth/development and backstory instead of the pair's frequent intimacy.
In spite of the story being predictable and corny at times, The Hating Game is a great choice for readers looking for an amusing and refreshing read.
Did you enjoy this Thorne novel? Comment below!
Hey there, readers!
Today, I'll be discussing Lin-Manuel Miranda's collection of pep talks.
Gmorning, Gnight! by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda spent his days inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement. He wrote these original sayings for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda's audience grew, these messages took on a life of their own. At the request of countless fans, Miranda gathered the best of his daily greetings and compiled them into a beautiful collection. Illustrated by artist and Twitter favorite Jonny Sun, Gmorning, Gnight! is a potential pick for anyone looking for comfort and motivation.
It looks like I'm in the minority with this pick... I did not enjoy Miranda's Gmorning, Gnight! Here's why.
As many of you know, Lin-Manuel Miranda used his Twitter platform to motivate thousands with amusing and unique messages. After some time, he decided to compile his most popular tweets and publish them as a collection. That collection became known as Gmorning, Gnight!
As individual tweets, Miranda's messages are probably great. However, as a book, they are repetitive, corny, and after a short while, plainly annoying.
Despite the writer's good attentions, every passage is so similar, the collection quickly becomes monotonous and uninteresting. The first couple of pages are uplifting, but soon the book develops into something foolish and uninspiring.
I am all for encouraging tweets on social media, but does that mean those tweets should be compiled into a book? In this case, probably not. The idea had potential, and if all the passages hadn't been so similar, this could've been a great motivational piece. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out that way... at least not for me.
Did you like Miranda's Gmorning, Gnight!? Let's chat below.