Book Review: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

Title: The Opposite of Loneliness

  Author: Marina Keegan

Publication Date: April 8, 2015

  Published by: Scribner

Genre: Non-Fiction, Short Stories

    Pages: 208

Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of writing that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. Her short story “Cold Pastoral” was published on Her essay “Even Artichokes Have Doubts” was excerpted in the Financial Times, and her book was the focus of a Nicholas Kristof column in The New York Times. Millions of her contemporaries have responded to her work on social media.

As Marina wrote: “We can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over…We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.” The Opposite of Loneliness is an unforgettable collection of Marina’s essays and stories that articulates the universal struggle all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to impact the world.

I read this book because a lot of people said or wrote amazing things about it, and I was really intrigued by the title of the book and the tragic story behind the writer. This book has an introduction, a speech, nine stories in the fiction part, and eight essays in the non-fiction part. I loved the introduction to the book written by one of Marina’s teachers, I liked the speech “The Opposite of Loneliness” even if it was not as extraordinary as I thought it was gonna be, I really liked four stories in the fiction part and four of the essays in the non-fiction part, which basically means I enjoyed around half of this book and the rest of the time I was a bit bored.

I think Marina Keegan was a very talented writer, but when I was reading this book I often felt that I could see the talent and the potential in the writing, but it still needed a lot of work to be truly great. Nonetheless, I could see the potential, and I think this book would have recived a higher rating if it wasn’t because not only did I feel like the writing needed more work, but also because a lot of the stories or essays were focused on random or very particular things that would only be interesting to certain people. I felt like Marina’s writing was better when she focused on subject or topics that were closer or more personal to her, because for me, when she wrote about more random topics it was really hard to connect with the stories.

Nonetheless, while I was reading this book and after I finished it, I felt this incredible desire and inspiration to write more, and I feel that just because of that, reading this book was a great experience. I would really reccomend this book to every aspiring writer.

Rating: 3,5 Stars
Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Are you planning on reading it?

Book Review: The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel

             Title: The Book of Ivy

Author: Amy Engel

Publication Date: 2015

Published by: Entangled Teen

Genre: Dystopia

Pages: 290

Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty–forced marriages and murder plots–for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall’s borders.

But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy’s life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she’s fought for

I started to read The Revolution of Ivy inmidiately after I finished the first book in the series, The Book of Ivy.  I have to say that the first part of the second book frustrated me a little bit, I though it was a bit boring because the first book had an ending that made me want to know what happened next and the start of the second book didn’t give away any information, it was focused in a completely different thing.Honestly, I spent the first few chapters  just wanting them to be over. 

Nonetheless, after that initial part, I found this book to be a quick and enjoyable read. I felt like the new characters added interesting dynamics to the book, which I enjoyed a lot, and I found myself appreciating the relationships between all the different characters. Also, the character development of the protagonist of the previous book was well-done, it was very entertaining to watch it happen. One thing about The Revolution of Ivy  that I would like to say is that it was not as romance heavy as the first one, and that didn’t make it better or worse. I guess I didn’t mind the romance in The Book of Ivy, so that was why I felt like it didn’t make any difference, but if any of you is thinking about not reading the second book because the romance, just know that the second book has a little less of it.

On the other hand, the writing was good, and even if the pace in the first part was a bit slow, later on it picked up. Over all, the writing and the pacing worked very well with the story, this book had a lot more action that the previous one, and there was an interesting twist towards the end of the book that I wasn’t expecting at all.

My main issue with this book was the same one I had with the first one; there was so little world building, two entire books later and we know almost nothing about what happened after the nuclear war and how the world worked after 50 years of the war. I wanted to know more, the information the books gave was simply not enought. 

I would recommend this duology to people who enjoy dystopia books with a lot of romance and not so much action, and to people who are looking for quick and entertaining reads.

Rating: 3,7 Stars

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? 

December 2015 Wrap Up

It’s been a while since I made a wrap up post, but I’m glad to be making on for december because I read a lot of good books that month. 

Favorite of the Month

    The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
I really liked this books because it has an interesting world, an intriguing mystery and great character development. I would recommend this book to fantasy fans that enjoy stories with  a slower pace, but also to Throne of Glass fans, I’m not sure why, but it reminds me of it a little bit. 

   Rating: 4,5 stars

Read This Month

Vicious by V.E. Shwab
I had tried to read a Victoria Shwab book before and didn’t like it at all, but I decided to give this a chance and it didn’t disappointed me. It had an amazing concept and  fascinating characters. If you like books with villains as main characters, I would totally recommend this!

                                      Rating: 4,2 Stars 

The Book of Ivy  by Amy Engel

I had not read a dystopian book in a long time, and I was a bit esceptical when I started this book, but I ended up enjoying it a lot. It was a quick read, thought provoking and  romance-heavy (in a good way!).
              Rating: 4 Stars

The Revolution of Ivy by Amy Engel

I liked the first book in this series a lot more this one. Even if The Revolution of Ivy had a lot more action and had some new characters that added a new dinamic to the story, I had some problems with the pace and the world building. I still recommend this duology, it’s a quick and enjoyable read. 
                             Rating: 3,7 Stars

The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

I liked this book because we got a lot of character development for Lisbeth and there were some new and interesting characters, but I think that the mystery was all over the place and the book dragged a little. I still really enjoyed it. 

                                              Rating: 4 Stars

The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson

I really liked this book, I loved the romantic relationship that started in this book, I  liked the new characters, and I really liked the ending. It’s not a 5 star book because when the main characters finally arrived to their destination what happened there was a bit disappointing. 
                                     Rating: 4,5 stars

The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson

This book was a good end to the series, but there were some things I would have changed. I really enjoyed the first part; actually I enjoyed most of it, it was just the last bit that I found lackluster. 
                                         Rating: 4 Stars

Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic by Meghan Ciana Doidge

I read this book because it was free on Amazon, and I liked it. It had and interesting cast of creatures, and the mytological aspect was well explained, things like the rules about their behavior and their interactions. Nonetheless,  I feel like this book tried to hard to be funny, the plot was quite predictable, and the main character was frustrating because she couldn’t see the things that were right in front of her eyes. 

                                                     Rating: 3,5 Stars
Have you read any of this books? What are you thoughts about them? What did you read in december? 

2016 Reading Challenges

Hi guys! I have never participated in a reading challenge, but that’s gonna change this year, because I just signed up for a bunch of challenges. I think I went a little bit overboard, I’m participating in 5 challenges and I put really high goals for all of them. Nonetheless, I think it’s gonna be alright , because a lot of the books I want to read in 2016 count for more that one challenge, so I’m not that worried. I think I’m being optimistic. Let’s begin! 

Flighs of Fantasy 

This is the first challenge I signed up for and I’m really excited to be participating. Flights of Fantasy is a reading challenge hosted by Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books and Rachel @ Hello, Chelly, and the goal is to read as many fantasy books as you want.  Fantasy is my favorite genre and it was my most read genre in 2015, so I feel like this is the perfect challenge for me. My goal is to read 30 fantasy books this year. 

Backlist Books Challenge 

This challenge is hosted by Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews and all you have to do is read backlist books. I’m really excited about this challenge because I read a lot of backlist books, if you check my reviews they are mostly for  this kind of books. Another perfect challenge for me! My goal are 20 books. but I think I’m gonna read a lot more. 

Rock My TBR 

This challenge is hosted by Sarah @ The YA Book TravelerI decided to participate because the other day I was looking through my kindle and I realized that I buy so many ebooks and never read them, so I decided that I would take this challenge as a way to take down the number of ebooks I own and have not read. Nonetheless, I will also read for this challenge some of the books I have on my shelf. Sarah (the host of this challenge) recommend s reading at least one book a month, so that’s what I’m gonna do!

Finishing the Series Challenge 

The goal of this challenge is to complete a series from whatever book your up to until the last published book, and it’s hosted by  Bea @ Bea’s Book Nook. I will try to complete level 3 (expirienced), which means I’ll try to complete 3-6 series. 

Goodreads Reading Challenge 

My goodreads goal in 2016 will be the same one than last year, which was 52 books, that means 1 book per week. I just don’t want to put so much presion on myself with this reading challenge. 

Are you participating in any reading challenge in 2016? If you are participating in any of this reading challenges and you are interested in organizing buddy reads with me, let me know! 

Bout of Books 15

Hi guys! I just wanted to let you know I will be joining the Bout of Books read-a-thon for the first time and I’m really excited. I think it’s the perfect way to start the year, reading as much as I can. 
If you don’t know what Bout of Books is: 
“The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog” 

It’s gonna be so much fun! Who else is joining?