A Triple Treat of My Thoughts on the Three Books that Ended My April

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Hi everyone! Happy May! This year is flying by so fast. To wrap up April, I finished three books Beautiful Broken Things (Sara Barnard), Legend (Marie Lu) and Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Benjamin A Saenz). And god, they were amazing.

Beautiful Broken Things

A story of Caddy who becomes insecure when her best friend Rosie becomes close friends with the perfect Suzanne. Caddy tries to cut Suzanne out of the picture but soon discovers that there’s more to her than her perfect appearance and perfect life of all the experiences that Caddy dreamed of.

It’s a heartwarming story dealing with domestic abuse and the trauma in a realistic way. None of that romanticising thing and “love is the solution to everything” storyline. There’s no sugarcoating. The book also depicts the indifference towards domestic violence, people including family putting the blame on the victim, especially female victims, and sweeping the abuse under the rug as if everything’s fine and normal. It was confronting, I had to put the book down for a moment.

The book has an interesting point of view of someone (Caddy) being supportive and friendly but is actually just being so so they would look good or having no life leads them to have the need to be something to someone.

I was surprised that the book took a different route to what I expected. That was Caddy trying to win Rosie back and dreaded about reading a story of rivalry, but it soon turns out that she develops a friendship with Suzanne. I found the friendship to be…sweet but also unhealthy since Caddy follows Suzanne’s lead most of the time. And they are both sort of co-dependent on each other. They reminded me of Heavenly Creatures. Relax, they don’t end up killing someone to be together.

If you’re looking for books on female friendships, and abuse and trauma, then I recommend Beautiful Broken Things.

Rating: 3/5

Legend

It’s not another Hunger Games book. In fact, I think it’s better. The story follows two characters Day and June. Day is a troublemaker, a clever one, and a wanted criminal to the ominous Republic. June is a Republic agent on the hunt for her brother’s killer. Day and June collide. Day is unaware of her identity while June is unaware that he’s the guy she’s looking for…

The book is fast-paced and hooks you in. The writing is quite strong and just so…raw that you can feel the characters’ moods and personalities. Despite the typical tropes including tyrannical government hiding behind a respectable and glorious facade, someone dying, teens turning heads, adults killing kids with tests, rebels planning to overthrow, there are surprising twists.

I love how the story takes the rebelling down a notch. It takes time for Day and June to rebel against the Republic, and that’s okay. I’ve read a lot of books where teens instantly become fighters and heroes that I found it hard to relate to them and also made me question “why are they special again?”. June is caught up with her education and career before and after her search for Day, while Day, well, he’s searching for a way to save his brother from a plague. But we know that he’s smart but a failed student, forced to fend for himself.

If you’re looking for underrated dystopian novels, then I recommend Legend.

Rating: 4/5

Aristotle & Dante

This book. What can I say? I. LOVE. IT. Aristotle, Ari, has low self-esteem, friendless, keeps his emotions and thoughts in a bottle, but things change when he meets Dante who shows him a whole new world. Ari soon starts to feel something for the guy but he tries to ignore it because…he’s Ari.

This book broke my heart and stitched it back together. I love how it depicts teens finding their identity and are lost. I can relate to Ari in regards to bottling feelings and thoughts up and beating yourself down when something great comes up.

Though the fear of being open about one’s sexuality is there in the story, there isn’t much focus on it. Dante isn’t afraid. Ari isn’t afraid and would fight back if someone spits at or harms him and Dante because they’re gay. Even though it’s not exactly realistic for some, it is inspiring and comforting.

Rating: 4/5

 

 

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