Anna: New favorite book alert! Dystopian is one of my favorite genres, and I’m trying to read more sci-fi. Borne had the perfect amount of both! Verdict: 5 stars
In an apocalyptic city, a corporation called the The Company that has poisoned and polluted the world. Strange creatures roam the remaining landscape: Mutant humans, Company proxies, and most noticeably, the Company’s biotech experiment gone wrong, a giant flying bear called Mord that terrorizes the City and its survivors.
Rachel and Wick live in a dilapidated apartment building, spending hours every day fortifying their home to stay alive. One day while she’s out scavenging, Rachel finds a sea-anemone like creature that she takes home. She names it Borne.
Sounds crazy, right? It is. Borne is adorable, but at the start of the book his nature and purpose is unknown. Wick is suspicious that Borne may be more deadly than he appears. Rachel begins to care for Borne like a mother would a child, except he grows in size and intelligence faster than any human. Rachel and Borne’s relationship is sincere, heartbreaking, and unable to define. This book had me thinking a lot about what it means to be good. There’s also an overall question of if we can control or nature or not, or if we’re predestined to be what we’re made to be.
Borne is the most creative and quirky book I’ve read in a long time! It was so original and I loved the three central characters, especially Borne. What I found most impressive is its ability to be light and laugh-out loud funny despite its dark setting.
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This is a beautifully written, important book that deserves more attention. When Mary was eight, she killed the baby that she and her mom were babysitting…allegedly. After she’s released from jail as a teenager, Mary lives in a group home where she is harassed endlessly by the other girls. Meanwhile, she can’t remember what happened that night that baby Alyssa died- the night that landed her in jail for years.
This book is about a lot of things. It’s about a mother’s responsibility to her child, it’s about the corrupt prison system and the state, it’s about the mistreatment of blacks in the justice system. I loved Mary as a character who wants to take the SAT and go to college, who loves her mother and finds the strength in her to trust those trying to help her despite everything that’s happened to her.
Sometimes I find it hard to connect with YA because it can be superficial. This is not the case at all with Allegedly. Mary is a character in a position where she can’t even attend high school or afford an SAT prep book. It’s a perspective I’m not used to reading in YA. This is a heartbreaking and eye-opening read that I recommend to everybody.
VERDICT: 5 stars
Normal People by Sally Rooney is a book that one hundred percent deserves all the hype! I read Conversations with Friends last year, and it was one of my favorite books of 2018. I couldn’t wait for this one to come out, and I preordered my copy from a local independent bookstore.
Normal People lived up to all my expectations and maybe even exceeded them. Sally Rooney has such a literary talent, and I love her writing style. Her characters are unique but–dare I say it–original. Set in Ireland, this novel captures the joy, anxieties and difficulties of college life perfectly.
This follows Marianne and Connell’s relationship over many years, beginning in the Irish equivalent of high school and continuing through the end of college or university. Marianne and Connell have an intense and complicated relationship that began in secret because Connell was popular in high school and Marianne was not. This dynamic shifted when they went to university, creating an undertone of shame, jealousy, and insecurity that they must continually grapple with.
A prevailing theme in Rooney’s writing is the role that miscommunication plays in relationships. She also frequently writes about how differences in social class, the presence of mental illness, and time abroad and apart affect and change relationships. It’s difficult to describe what happens in this book, because it’s kind of about everything. I love how Rooney writes about everyday life so simply but beautifully, and I loved, loved, loved these two quirky central characters.
I cannot wait until her next book!
VERDICT: 5 books