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Recent Reads: Winter Break Recap

 

 

After reading Margaux’s article, I was inspired to write my own recap of what I read over break. I got to read quite a few books and for the most part, I absolutely loved them. I haven’t read anything that was published recently for fun in a long time, so this break was refreshing to be able to catch up on some new books and join the conversations surrounding them.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid (2019)

This is an adult historical fiction book, and I LOVED it so much! Before I got to pick it up and read for myself, I saw that there was a lot of hype surrounding it. I had high expectations, and Reid totally lived up to them. This book is about the rise and fall of a fictional band in the seventies called Daisy Jones and the Six. Reid takes us through things such as songwriting, concerts and tours. As expected, there is a lot of drug/alcohol use mentioned. Throughout reading this novel, I really felt as though I were reading about an actual band/actual people. I really wanted to listen to their songs, but it is all fictional. Reid does a phenomenal job in allowing for readers to immerse themselves in her novel’s world. The story is told in the format of an interview, though, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I enjoyed it. I hope to listen to the audiobook someday, too, as I heard it’s even better when listened to because each character’s reader was specifically selected by the author.

 

Rating 5/5

One Day in December by Josie Silver (2018)

This is an adult romance/contemporary novel that deals with the “love at first sight” trope, which I must admit is not my favorite thing in the whole world. The reader follows Laurie and Jack as they have a moment at a bus station one day in Dec. leading Laurie on a search for Jack in the months after. The following year the two do reunite, however, it ends up being that Jack is Laurie’s best friend’s new boyfriend. The novel takes place over several different years which was a bit annoying as Silver’s time jumps sometimes were spontaneous. Suddenly, it would just be mentioned that a minor character had died without explanation. Overall, though it was a moving story that would be perfect to be read around the holidays. Think of it as a Hallmark/Lifetime holiday film, but better.

 

Rating: 4.5/5

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez (2019)

This is a young adult contemporary novel that follows the whitty narrator, Julia, a Mexican-American teenager as she and her family mourn her older sister Olga’s death. Her family has always thought that Olga was the “perfect Mexican daughter” as she chose to stay at home with the family and provided them with that idea. Meanwhile, Julia is looked at as a disappointment in comparison because she wants different things from what her family expects of her, such as going away for college. Throughout the course of the novel, we see how Julia discovers that Olga may not have lived the “perfect life” people thought she did and how Julia copes with growing up, drifting from her family’s traditional values. I thought it was a great coming-of-age story and a good conversation starter for mental illness.

 

Rating: 4/5

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (2019)

This is an adult romance/contemporary novel following the First Son of the U.S., Alex and the Prince of Wales, Henry as the two turn from enemies to lovers. I had high expectations for this book going into it as it was voted the 2019 Goodreads awards for Best Debut novel and Best Romance, but I was a little underwhelmed with it. A lot of the novel deals with the politics around their relationship on both sides as Alex’s mother is running for re-election while Henry and the Royals try to maintain their image. Overall, I liked the storyline, but I didn’t find myself invested in the story as other people reported being. I thought the protagonists fell a little flat and could have been a little more interesting. I also felt as though the book was unnecessarily long. Some of it could have been cut out or condensed, but it was still an overall decent read.

 

Rating: 3.5/5

With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo (2019)

This is a young-adult contemporary novel following teen mom, Emoni, who has a passion for cooking, however, she believes that realistically she cannot pursue a culinary career because of her responsibilities to her daughter and abuela who raised her. I really enjoyed this novel as I thought it was a beautifully written coming of age story showing how important it is for us to pursue our dreams.

 

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Overall, I’m super happy with the different books I read over the break! I hope that I will be able to continue to find time in my schedule to read for fun throughout this semester as it’s something I have truly missed the past couple of years.

Emily Tsoi

Geneseo '21

Emily Tsoi is a Senior English major with a minor in Art History. She is an avid journal writer who has one too many rolls of washi tape. When she isn’t studying or journaling, she enjoys reading, watching 80s movies and going to baseball games.
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