julianna ➹'s Reviews > 500 Words or Less

500 Words or Less by Juleah del Rosario
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the mc's thought process is basically a depiction of all my darkest thoughts on sleepless nights

Maybe I was broken inside,
with a moral compass
that no longer pointed north.

Or maybe I just wanted
to be wanted,
to be heard,
to be seen,
by someone.


500 Words or Less is about a half-Chinese, half-white girl who went through a breakup in the past and basically lost the friends most important to her. And while she's trying to discover herself, she starts a business where she starts writing college admissions essays for others in exchange for money.

My original rating was five stars, but I've decided to lower it to three. Mainly because I feel like the concept of this novel was fantastic, but it was honestly kind of lackluster in execution.

When a book is written in prose, the main reason is usually that it has more of an impact rather than if it was written in storytelling format. However, I feel like this book would still literally have had the same impact if it was written in novel format, and honestly I wish that it was written in novel format.

In some instances, the writing was really beautiful, but in other instances I almost laughed out loud at the poems because they were... pointless, really.

I feel like to me, personally, I didn't notice the weirdness of the poems because I read really quickly and kind of just clump together the words, but when I look at the poems again I just.... want to cringe.

"It's not smashed.
Your sandwiches are always
Kitty said.

Like... what was the point of these line breaks here.

But besides this, I feel like this was a really poignant novel on racism and I honestly wish that this novel was longer so that the characters could be more fleshed out and we could have explored Nic's friendships and relationships more.

Everything seemed kind of thrown together haphazardly to create a novel, and while this really did have a strong and important message, I wish the execution had been done a little better.

Trigger and content warnings for death and excessive alcohol.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an arc via Netgalley!
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Reading Progress

July 24, 2018 – Started Reading
July 24, 2018 – Shelved
July 24, 2018 – Finished Reading

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