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Athena

Athena's Reading List 2018

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I read C. G. Drews - A Thousand Perfect Notes. I have been reading the author's blog for I think about a year and a half now (Paperfury), I love her blog.

 

This is her debut novel (though it's actually the 16th book she wrote, it's this book and another that she got a 2-book deal for; the second book will be released in 2019, both are standalone YA contemporaries. Most of the books she's written are fantasy I believe). A Thousand Perfect Notes is a YA contemporary about a boy named Beck. His mother abuses him and makes him play the piano, to live out her dreams. School makes him do a project together with a girl named August.

 

This is a heavy hardhitting contemporary. I felt for Beck and the situation he's in. I teared up during certain scenes, a few other scenes made me feel angry. The book is also funny in places, I loved the snarky banter. I loved Beck and I loved August and I loved Joey. I think those three are my favourite characters (but I also liked the other characters, except the ones you weren't supposed to like). I loved the way the piano music is described (the author herself used to play the piano). I loved that there is German in the book, yet it takes place in Australia (the author is from Australia, though she got a book deal in the UK). I also loved the mentions of food throughout the book. The book is written in 3rd person from Beck's point of view, and I liked that, I thought it was well done (since often YA contemporary fiction novels are written in first person).

 

Overall I really enjoyed reading this book. I guess I'm biased since I know the author and have been looking forward to reading her debut book since she announced it would be published (so a while now). I'm so excited I finally got to read it and that I loved it.

 

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I read Anna Lyndsey - Girl in the Dark. This is a memoir of a woman who gets an illness, she gets extremely sensitive to light. Her skin burns when she's in the light, so she has to spend a lot of time in the dark.

 

I thought it was a pretty good memoir. I felt for Anna (she writes under a pen name). Her life is pretty difficult, but I'm also glad for her that she has a supportive husband and family.

My only downside with this memoir was that on occasion the descriptions were a bit too much, too metaphoric, for me, too flowery perhaps? Other than that I quite liked reading this memoir. The writing was good otherwise and I liked reading about Anna's life. The short chapters made it easier for me to focus on just a small part of the memoir.

 

Overall I thought it was an interesting read.

 

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I read Jen Wilde - The Brightsiders. This is a book about a teenage girl named Emmy King who's in a band with two friends. Emmy is struggling with being a celebrity, and one night her partying ends up with her in an accident and in the hospital. The book has LGBT+ elements (and the author herself is bisexual), and also some racial diversity. I read Queens of Geek, another book by the author, in 2017 and it was one of my favourite books of the year. That was partially due to the great autism representation. This book (The Brightsiders) doesn't have that element.

 

It was a nice enjoyable read. I quite liked the writing style. There was one scene in the last quarter of the book that I wasn't so keen on, basically thinking to the main character, no, don't do that, that's not going to end well, but other than that I really enjoyed reading this book and I enjoyed the message.

 

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I read No You Don't: Essays from an Unstrange Mind by Sparrow Rose Jones (now Maxfield Sparrow).

 

It was an interesting collection of essays written by a person with autism. I recognised a lot of myself in certain parts of their story, which was quite nice, I always love that feeling when someone writes something and I think 'Yes! I have that too.'. I am fortunate that I've not gone through some of the things they went through. It was an interesting book to read.

 

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I read Kelly Bruno - Sound. This is an #OwnVoices book about a teenage girl named Jessica, who has misophonia. Certain sounds are really hard for her to bear, they make her feel extremely angry. I think I found this book through GoodReads or a Dutch webshop, somehow. I hadn't heard anything about it but I bought it because the synopsis sounded interesting. Jessica, the protagonist, feels like she's going crazy, because even all the doctors her mum takes her to don't understand what she is going through. I didn't have a lot of (high) expectations for this book, it seems pretty unknown with not many reviews and such. But I actually really enjoyed the book and was pleasantly surprised.

 

The novel is not that long, and some of the side characters were not very developed. I quite enjoyed reading this book though, and I really felt for Jessica (the main character). Gladly I don't have misophonia, but I felt I could relate to Jessica a bit because certain sounds / inputs can be difficult for me to bear too. I don't get really angry like Jessica, but I can relate to her hating certain sounds and wanting to run away from the situation. The book was nicely written, I felt like I understood Jessica. I also liked the family and friendship elements in the book.

 

Overall I quite enjoyed reading this book. I didn't know anything about misophonia until I encountered this book, and it was interesting to learn more about what it's like to live with it.

 

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