Life Among Pages

Book Reviews and Personal Musings

Author: Mikaela

Where She Went by Gayle Forman | Review

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Where She Went by Gayle Forman lying in a garden bed surrounded by vibrant green plants

5 stars

 

“A day might be just twenty-four hours but sometimes getting through just one seems as impossible as scaling Everest.”  

I was quite intrigued when I heard there was a sequel to If I Stay, titled Where She Went, because I considered the ending of If I Stay fairly satisfying. Sure there were some questions about how she would react to her life and if she would remember her out of body experiences. However,  I didn’t entirely require those answers to think the book was great.

Where She Went proved that yes, yes I did need those answers, because this book is phenomenal. Better than the original which isn’t something that happens often. The great thing about this book is that it isn’t a rehash of the first book, its entirely different and very original. This book is told from Adam’s perspective after Mia leaves for Juilliard and never comes back, and the whirlwind his life becomes. By focusing on Adam, we get more character development, plus a fresh perspective on the events from If I Stay.

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Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle | Review

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Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle book lying beside paper snowflakes

3.5 – 4 stars

Let It Snow reminds me of Love Actually, where it tells a few stories about incredibly different characters, but in the end, you realise that they are all connected in some way. It’s a trend Hollywood loves these days. That was this book, though I hope that isn’t a deterrent, because it’s an enjoyable light hearted read.

Let it Snow is split into three short stories, each written by a different author: ‘The Jubilee Express’ by Maureen Johnson, ‘A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle’ by John Green, and ‘The Patron Saint of Pigs’ by Lauren Myracle.

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Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley | Review

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Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley laying on pieces of paper

5 stars

 

 “Second hand books are full of memories”

I know people often talk about the feeling that lingers after you finish reading a great book. When the words from that book are still wrapped around you, lingering. I don’t often feel like that. But, finishing Words in Deep Blue made me feel that and more.

“This is a love story. It’s the story of Howling Books, where readers write letters to strangers, to lovers, to poets. It’s the story of Henry Jones and Rachel Sweetie. They were best friends once, before Rachel moved to the sea. Now she’s back, working at the bookstore, grieving for her brother Cal. She’s looking for the future in the books people love, and the words they leave behind.” – summary from Goodreads

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs | Review

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photo of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children book beside a Halloween skull candy bowl.

3.5 stars

 

“I had always known the sky was full of mysteries—but not until now had I realized how full of them the earth was.” 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children tells the story of Jacob Portman, and the stories his grandfather told him, the ones he daren’t believe were true.

“A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.” [summary from Goodreads]

I’d heard about this book for a while, but since the movie has been announced, I decided that I needed to read the book before I saw the adaptation. I borrowed a copy from my friend and was surprised by how quickly I read it.

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Why reading is my comfort and inspiration

A photo of the top three shelves of my bookcase that is scattered with little pop vinyls

“We read to know that we’re not alone”
– William Nicholson

I have always had a passion for books which is why Nicholson’s quote resonates with me. It was through reading that I discovered who I was. Books gave me a way to escape my worries, my stress and anxieties. In books, I was the heroine I longed to be in real life. They also inspired me; I started thinking that I would love to be able to write something that could affect others the way my favourite books affected me.

However, I hit a few bumps in the road. When I was younger, I was bullied and put down by my peers and even some teachers. When I decided to try my hand at writing a few short stories in primary school, I was always proud of the fact that I could write 10 pages where my classmates would only write three. I was filled to the brim with ideas and I couldn’t wait to pour them onto the page creating my own little masterpiece. But a certain teacher tried to squash these habits. I was made to feel bad about writing, because “it caused him to have to stay up late because of how long the stories were”.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell | Review

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My copy of Fangirl, beside items from fandoms I Fangirl over. Including my Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes and Arya Stark pop vinyls. And my laptop with its 10th Doctor and Hermione Granger laptop skin.

5 stars.

” Underneath this veneer of slightly crazy and socially inept I’m a complete disaster.”

This was my first ever Rainbow Rowell novel, I walked past it in the shops and instantly knew that I had to read it. I was hooked by the title alone.

Now I know this book isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea. But for those who are a part of any fandom on the internet, will undoubtedly be able to connect to some part of this book.

This book tells the coming-of-age story of twins Cath and Wren who are heading to college, and whilst Wren wants to go out partying and living the “college life”. Cath wants things to stay the same and is perfectly content writing Simon Snow fan fiction in the confines of her dorm room.

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman | Review

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If I Stay book cover laying on a pile of pages with a fake indigo rose beneath it.
4 stars.

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

This was one of those rare times where I read the book after I had seen the film adaptation. The movie was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So when I stumbled across the book at Dymocks, I just had to buy it, I had to experience the story in its original format.

If I Stay is a powerful novel that is more about life than it is about death. More about taking the time to notice the special little moments in life and how they can change you without you even realising. It’s about the pause between heartbeats and those moments that just take your breath away. The things that can keep you going, keep you fighting, even when all odds have been stacked against you.

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