Oh the feels. If this is my first (and her first) Marchetta book, I'm a little afraid to see what her other works will do to me. This is what 'coming-...moreOh the feels. If this is my first (and her first) Marchetta book, I'm a little afraid to see what her other works will do to me. This is what 'coming-of-age' books should look like. If I ever recover my coherence, I'll craft a better review.(less)
I'll pretend to be anyone or anything other than myself, but the problem is that no one is ever fooled.
You think it's so easy to change yourself. You...moreI'll pretend to be anyone or anything other than myself, but the problem is that no one is ever fooled.
You think it's so easy to change yourself. You think it's so easy, but it's not.
Okay, here goes nothing. My first long review in a long time, which also happens to be a confession of sorts. If it's not clear enough, this book spoke to me. I related to Elise in a way that I never expected to, but just to clarify something, I was never bullied in school, never picked upon, never the odd one out. Why then, or rather how on earth could I claim to be able to related to Elise? Quite simply put, I was normal. Plain normal. Your typical teenager who went through the phases of wanting to be popular but failing and instead sailed through high school without making much of an impact nor accomplishing anything outstanding.
I had normal grades and friends to call my own, but it was not enough for me because you see, in my head, I was anything but normal. I would look at the popular kids and think that they're popular and attractive but they're probably nothing special inside. It was childish and a self-coping mechanism but what did I know at that age? I don't think that feeling of wanting to be accepted and to belong has ever left me but if there's something about growing up, it's that I grew into myself as a person. I'm not amazing with words nor am I crazy talented in a specific area but I'm normal and I'm surprisingly okay with that.
It might be wrong of me to say that I can related to everything Elise went through but her character spoke to me and I'm betting my life that she will speak to so many teenagers in the world out there. Their escape may be music or it may be something else like books, but more often than not, we would have experienced feelings that Elise went through. I'm utterly amazed at how eloquently and aptly Leila Sales has managed to portray Elise's voice and for that reason, this is definitely an all time favourite of mine. I've gushed over books for their lovely prose, amazing characters and strong world building but very rarely do I give this praise to a contemporary book. I always say that I read books as a form of escape, but it's the opposite for this case. This book seems to have had a glimpse into my soul and translated my feelings into words and for that reason alone, I cannot and will not stop recommending this book.
With all that gushing being done, this book is not perfect. Elise is a flawed character in so many ways. Her voice comes across as arrogant and pitying at times and it is exactly because of these flaws that I find her so relatable and real. I don't think this book is perfect but it speaks to people and it makes me reflect, which is more than enough reason to justify the five magical stars it is getting from me.
So I guess my main take away from this and from living out 23 years of my life is that it gets better. It sounds cliched but it really does get better. Life is so much more than high school and wisdom does come with maturity. I will never stop wanting to be special but I choose to believe that I am to the people around me. I wish that this book had been written ten years earlier or that I could go back in time and tell my high school self that it's fine to be normal, but I'm glad this book has been written and is out there as an inspiration for teenagers now.
Okay, well. This review turned out to be much more personal than I had expected it to be and less of a review than a confession. I apologise for that and if you're still thinking on whether or not to read this book, I say go for it. (less)
So Ms Brennan, you end on THAT note for Unspoken and we had to wait an excruciating year for Untold. And when we finally get our hands on Untold, you...moreSo Ms Brennan, you end on THAT note for Unspoken and we had to wait an excruciating year for Untold. And when we finally get our hands on Untold, you decide to end on THAT note for Untold and now we have to wait ANOTHER year for Unbroken.
Don't get me wrong (or rather, my 3 starred rating), I still adore Kasie West's writing while this was a fun summer read, that was it. It was a fun re...moreDon't get me wrong (or rather, my 3 starred rating), I still adore Kasie West's writing while this was a fun summer read, that was it. It was a fun read and didn't do much more for me. Perhaps it was the high expectations and all, but I definitely didn't enjoy this as much as her other books. I really liked what she did with Charlie's family issues as well as Charlie's entire family but the rest fell a little flat.
Oh well. Here's to hoping her next book (2015, nooooo) will turn out much better for me!
Edit: Hmm, not mad about the cover, reminds me a lot of Distance actually...
After reading The Distance Between Us and the synopsis for this new contemp novel, my emotions can be summed up with one gif.