Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Piranesi [review]

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing on September 15, 2020
my rating: 4 stars
Goodreads avg:
4.26 (as of 2022-09-15)
Spoiler-free review

There is a thing that I know but always forget: Winter is hard.

What a bizarre little book. This is difficult to review without giving anything away, but I’ll give it a shot. I went into this pretty cold, knowing only that it was somewhat related to mythology and fairly fantastic. I honestly think that was best, it took me a bit to settle into the narrative style but witnessing the story unravel while trying to figure out what was going on was very satisfying. Piranesi is an oddly satisfying character to follow, I appreciated his emphasis on logic and his understanding of the world around him. Although his naivety could have been frustrating, I found it more sad than anything else and I found him very sympathetic. Clarke did an excellent job with this and I’m glad it was the Women’s Prize winner of 2021.

Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

The Butterfly Lampshade [review]

The Butterfly Lampshade by Aimee Bender
To be published by Doubleday Books on July 28, 2020
my rating: ★★ (2 stars)
Goodreads avg: 
3.15 (as of 2020-07-04)
disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for review consideration. All of the opinions presented below are my own. Quotes have been taken from the advanced copy and are subject to change upon publication.

Spoiler-free Review

Goodreads | IndieBound | Author’s Website

“What would I do?” “You would cry,” she says. “And what would you do?” She looks at me with surprise. “Honey,” she says. “I would stop.”

At its core, this feels like a book about processing trauma through fantasy. In theory it sounds like something I would enjoy, but I just found the execution lacking. While highly readable (I managed to get through this in a single day), I just didn’t feel particularly connected to the characters or the story. I wasn’t reading because I wanted to see what would happen next, but because I wanted to finish the book and get on to another. Those who like slow-moving plots and magical realism are more likely to get along with this, but I found it just didn’t hit the spot for me.

content warnings: intrusive thoughts; psychosis

Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook

Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Blanca & Roja [review]

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
Published by Feiwel & Friends on October 9, 2018
my rating: ★★★ (3 stars)
Goodreads avg:
3.80 (as of 2020-07-05)
Spoiler-free review

Goodreads IndieBound | Author’s Website

My first read for Transathon! Anna-Marie McLemore is nonbinary and one of the main characters is a trans boy whose pronouns are both she/her and he/him.

While I enjoyed this, I wish I had liked it more! I thought that it was trying to do a little too much at once and subsequently ended up a bit scattered. The characters and their relationships really made the read worth it, but I was mainly confused about the magical realism element and felt like the ‘rules’ were kind of arbitrary. I also never felt a real sense of danger and thus wasn’t too invested in the swan aspect of the storyline. I definitely felt a lot could have been cut out of this to make it more enthralling. As a sidenote, I really liked the menstruation rep! Roja has heavy, painful periods and I appreciated their inclusion, although it also felt a bit heavy-handed at times.

Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Facebook