UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT RANT ALERT WITH candid OPINION ON DIFFICULT TOPICS,
About three things I AM absolutDNF so no stars Review to come
Update March 8th
UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT RANT ALERT WITH candid OPINION ON DIFFICULT TOPICS,
About three things I AM absolutely positive:
First, Americanah is not the best read for those of us who are starting to discover Diverse reads and diverse authors.
Second, there's a part of the goodreads community-and I don’t know how numerous that part might be-that is afraid to give low ratings to books that recieve critical praise.
And third, I am unconditionally and irrevocably in love with adverbs, they help to save us from unncessary long books.
I don't think I'll be completely coherent in this review (ehem, more like a rant) but you've been warned.
Here's the thing. If you like me like to watch booktube videos you probably remember how a booktuber came to "the defense" of author Victoria Schawb after several twitter users called her out for the lack of diversity in her books. Why Schwab is getting the sh$t on this, when SJM and other authors get a free pass, it's beyond me. Anyway this booktuber who is also a huge supporter of the white supremacist group Alt-right got angry and posted a video saying more or less that "diversity is the worst word ever"
Seriously? So "death" "Murder" "starvation" "poverty" "missing child" "sick child" "cancer" "pain" "rape" "racism" "ableism" are words that mean nothing to her? How come the word "diversity" could be the worst word? Her video made me cry. She doesn't even realize how racist she sounds, even though she herself doesn't consider herself racist.
“In America, racism exists but racists are all gone. Racists belong to the past. Racists are the thin-lipped mean white people in the movies about the civil rights era. Here’s the thing: the manifestation of racism has changed but the language has not. So if you haven’t lynched somebody then you can’t be called a racist. If you’re not a bloodsucking monster, then you can’t be called a racist. Somebody has to be able to say that racists are not monsters.”
I thought that racism and ableims were things of our past that you could only read in dystopias. Funny thing is that she sounded so hateful that Victoria Scwhab disowned her comments.
That was last September, and then there came the Carve the Mark debacle. Suddenly I was, like many other readers, craving for diverse reads. I joined a couple of Diverse-books forums and started to add books from authors from diverse backgrounds featuring diverse characters. When Americanah was chosen by my diverse-reads club I was happy. The blurb makes it look like a romantic love story of two people separated by circumsntaces that are beyond their control. Sounded like a fun read although it was evident that this wasn't a safe romance.
At the beginning I was really enjoying the book. I'm willing to support diverse read as long as they are entertaining. I read for fun! I don't read because I want to become a better person or to learn or anything, I read because I love to live different lives, I read because it's something I really enjoy. In the process I learn and sometimes I become aware of things, but that's just an after-effect. It's not the reason I read at all. I read mostly for fun.
“Race doesn't really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don't have that choice.”
The first half of the book was really good. The blog entries were really interesting and Ifemelu journey was totally relatable. I remember being in a foreign country for 2 weeks when I was sixteen. I was too immature I guess, by the end of the fourth day I was already homesick . I became like Fleur D'lacour (harry potter series) and critized everything and then I was at the same time trying to fit in the foreign country and noticing the cultural differences, admiring and envying the ways the people from this country did things differently than in Australia at times, at others wondering why they had to complicate things for themselves. That was only 2 weeks and a half of my life. Imagine living that YOUR ENTIRE LIFE. You want to fit in a new country without forgetting your country and you don't feel like you fit anywhere. Ifemelu might come across as overcritical and judgemental of her nativie country and of her new country but I think I understand why she feels so out of place.
“How easy it was to lie to strangers, to create with strangers the versions of our lives we imagined.”
But It grows tiresome!!!!! This book is so long! I had to skim to the last chapters and she's still going on and on about what makes her different.
Have you read The absolute true diary of a half time indian? That book also portrays with difficult topics, and the fish out of water, and racism and IMHO is also overrated, but that book makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me rage. Arnold spirit mentions the problems he has for not being part of the priviliged group, but in doing so, he also acknowledges the problematic of white poor people like Penelope and he mentions that there's a place in his hometown where white dudes are even poorer than indians. That makes us relate to Arnold and his problems much, much better. Ngozi Adichie didn't make me connect with the problems of Ifemelu the way that Sherman Alexie made me connect with Arnold.
The author has a very clever mind. I enjoy the blog posts a lot and I'll read Adichie's non-fiction works. But as for this book I think Ngozi was too worried trying to follow the literary rules (NO 1st person narrative, no adverbs, no epilogues) to focus on the story. I wish I could read her draw drafts and notes, because IMHO after Ngozi gave birth to her book premise she tried to make it a piece worth of literary praise. And that ruined it for me. I think this book would have worked better in first person and with less focus in the "realistic" romance. BTW Do you know that a lot of literary experts don't like books like Harry Potter because JK rowling uses adverbs? This book seems to have been written to appeal those kind of experts.
“She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself. With him, she was at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size.. It seemed so natural, to talk to him about odd things. She had never done that before. The trust, so sudden and yet so complete, and the intimacy, frightened her.. But now she could think only of all the things she yet wanted to tell him, wanted to do with him.” The romance is one of the worst I've read. Cheating everywhere!! How can I root for this two to be together if that means that the little girl will lose her father and the wife will lose her husband? Is that supposed to be realistic? Because it doesn't. It comes across as cliche. It's like the contemporary shelf is the cheating shelf. Whether you're reading Dragon Tattoo or gone girl or a contemporary romance you find cheating everywhere. The moment that Ifemelu is willing to sleep with a married man, she loses the sympathy of a lot of readers. I would prefer to read something that presents the characters (disregarding their ethnicities) in a positive light. I doubt I'm the only one who prefers that, therefore my initial comment: THis isn't the best book to understand the problem of immigration. You get too distracted with the whole adultery thing. What a waste of a beautiful prose!
The ending in theory is happy. But I keep thinking of the people that this ending will hurt. Innocent people who didn't deserve what the happy couple did to them. And an epilogue would have been so good! But literary experts says that epilogues aren't necessary, so we don't get to read one.
Conclusion I recommend this book to fans of beautiful prose and literary fiction. If you have traveled out of your country, you might understand Ifemelu better. If you don't have a humongous TBR pile and got plenty of time to read and you're a patient reader, I think you might enjoy the book. This is the kind of book that, like the classics, was written for people who can devote a lot of time to a single book.
I don't recommend if you feel unconfortable reading about cheating couples and social criticism. If you prefer 1st person narrative stay away. Don't get fooled by the promising blurb. This book isn't a romance. It's a social issues book pretending to be a romance. "realistic" and romance IMHO shouldn't ever be in the same sentence.
I don't regret the time I spent on this. I might finish one day, but I won't continue for now. If you like me read for fun and are searching for entertaining diverse reads, don't give up! There are plenty of diverse reads that are gripping page-turners....more
Beautiful, just beautiful. Colton's story really made me think how difficult is for people to accept diversity, but above all this is about how Love cBeautiful, just beautiful. Colton's story really made me think how difficult is for people to accept diversity, but above all this is about how Love can find us all.
This is one of the most romantic stories I've read in while. I love how sweet the romance was and how much the characters cared for each other. The story is quite short, I flew through it in a couple of hours.
There was one thing I didn't like. Colton's mom not telling Lilly what was going on and thinking that Lilly would be okay to unexpectadly throw that rock on her. In front a whole crowd. I got so, so angry and I wish Lilly had insulted her.
As a fan of romantic not graphic (view spoiler)[loss of innocense/cherry popping stories I found Puddle Jumping to deliver in that front. (hide spoiler)] That scene was so beautiful and romantic.
The book is short so there's a lot of internal dialogue and a little bit of tell don't show which is something I always appreciate even if some people think it's boring. I love to know what's going on on the heroine's mind. I like that Lilly was so brave and loyal to Colton.
Meet Simon Spiers a hot gay dude whose name means he's all levels of nosy. He gets into trouble when the secret mails he sends to his crush get discovMeet Simon Spiers a hot gay dude whose name means he's all levels of nosy. He gets into trouble when the secret mails he sends to his crush get discovered. Simon feels like if he wants to be in the closet he has to play Marty's game and try to hook him up with Simon's friend Abby. But as the book progresses we'll see that there's more to this than what Simon thought.
I had a smile on my face the entire time I read this. If work and life hadn't been such a complication I would have finished the book in a day.
This is a coming of age book showing us Simon inner mologue, the way he faces his feelings about his friends, his family, society and sex. No one has connected to Simon the way his secret-pal "Blue" has. Simon feels like they're soulmates and their e-mails ex-changes take a huge part of the book. I LOVE THAT. And I thought the e-mails were well-woven into the plot. Who is this mysterious Blue? Is he lying? What's his secret agenda? I kind of guessed where things were going, but still it was a shock when the final revelations blew my mind.
This book contains sexual commentary which makes me think perhaps the characters were originally younger. I felt I was reading a blunter version of Diary of a wimpy kid. It didn't bother me, but if you're looking for mature characters and plot-driven books this book isn't for you. A shame, because I had a great time reading SVTHSA and I want to read more of this author. I enjoyed the Harry Potter references, the family's attitude toward Simon's sexuality (GOD! WHY can't all people be that lucky?) the descriptions of Oliver's rehearsals and the way the author gives us enough to know each character and where they come from. The writing isn't particularly good or evocative. It delivers its purpose and that's it. But some quotes were amazing! I want to quote the hell out of this book. If you're looking for an easy read, no complications, no violence read this. I'll add parental guidance later because you know, YA books aren't necessarily appropiate readings for the youngest readers....more
Re-read: Amazon sent me a letter to update the book. Love it EVEN more the second time.
First and foremost. I DON'T WANT IT TO END! I WANT MORE PLEASE!!!!!
Thank you Mya Roberts for writing this beautiful, epic LOVE STORY.
Now the theme itself is so HORRIFYING that for a while I debated whether I wanted to read the book or not. Usually rape is not something I want to read. In fact I read the reviews of the V girl first before reading and most of them were accurate, rape is not something that we get to see graphically . I can't stand rape. I just can't. But the INTELLIGENT, MATURE, ALMOST POETIC approach the author used to tackle this difficult topic was brilliant. There's rape, the blurb says as much but it's more than a menace, a threat to the people who live in this world. 90% of the book the story is more about the Heroine's fight, about her feelings, not about rape for the sake of bringing drama. Nothing like game of thrones style.
It's sad to think that The V girl society is very realistic. I think our own society has come to accept rape and abuse as something that can't be avoided. From where we stand as society where rape culture is fed on us daily to the moment a society like this becomes a reality...i'm sad to think about it but it may happen. it seems like whenever there's war there's crime. Looting, Murder, torture, rape, slavery. Honestly just see what Hitler did. I'm sure his high comanders had green card to do whatever they wanted to the people they oppressed. Countless of TV shows, movies and books talk about torture and murder during war. They never talk about rape and that's sadly the reality every women of every country that has been invaded has to live. For them or for someone they know.
YOU HEAR ME PLOT
and subplots too. There's a good story here that made me cry, laugh, throw my kindle to the garbage (literally) swoon REPEATEDLY.
Because ALEKSEY FURST! A SOLDIER WHO DOES WHAT'S RIGHT! what the other soldiers should do. PROTECT PEOPLE and he wasn't expecting to fall in love with Lila but he did. It's a very difficult situation for this couple. On the one hand she FOR OBVIOUS REASONS hates soldiers. On the other hand IT'S PROHIBITED TO HAVE A FOREIGN AND AN AMERICAN getting married and the punishement is torture. (rape? no problem. Love? heaven forbid! how come?)
But aleksey fights his way to get Lila's heart, he changes for her, he risks everything for her, and little by little she'll find that Aleksey is not her enemy. He's there to LOVE HER not to take advantage of the situation.
Would he gain her heart and have the honor to be the one who deflowers the heroine?
There's plenty of sex. yes but it's portrayed in a way that fits the plot perfectly.
And when you reach the 85% mark you'll be ready to cry and soak your kindle. Its that dramatic. And what comes next is horrifying.
But thanks god there's something that Roberts had in store for us that we weren't expecting. (view spoiler)[A HEA (hide spoiler)] just when things looked to be going for the worst, just when I thought happiness wasn't possible, I learned that there's hope and I ended up smiling. It was so beautiful.
Now a warning. The book is BRUTAL, HORRIFYING AND NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART. It's super dark and for your sake if you're squimish I suggest you skim or even avoid chapters 53 and 54. I'll repeat AVOID CHAPTERS 53 AND 54 if you're squimish. They're brilliant but not for the faint of heart. Even so I think Roberts did a great job in presenting a scene like that only when was needed. She didn't overuse the horror of the situation to bring more drama. I think it was beautifully handled. I'm a fan and I'm recommending this book to everyone on my list.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more