It has been a while that I read a book that has opened my eyes on a few issues. And this book did that exactly, without cutting the entertainment factor. Let us get on to the book review of I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver, shall we?
About the book
Book Name: I Wish You All the Best
Author: Mason Deaver
Genre: Fiction – Romance, Young adult
Characters: Ben De Backer, Nathan Allen, Hannah and Thomas, Mariam
Setting: Raleigh, North Carolina , The USA
When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as a nonbinary, it doesn’t go well with them. They are thrown out of their house and is forced to reach out to their estranged sister Hannah and her husband, Thomas.
Thomas and Hannah let Ben to stay with them and help them join a new school. Ben comes out only to them and their therapist and wants to keep a very low profile at their new school.
But when Nathan Allan, a charismatic student, decides to befriend them and to include them in their gang, Ben’s plan fails spectacularly.
What does Ben actually want? Is it okay if they were actually attracted to Nathan? Read I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver to know more!
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver is probably the first book I have read with a nonbinary/enby lead and honestly, I have learned a lot from it. Yet educating the readers about nonbinaries is not the main motive the book.
The book is filled with sadness and poignancy due to the plot. And at the same time, I Wish You All the Best makes sure there is hope and a chance for happiness.
I love the fact that the romance was not an end or to cure all the mental health issues. While I am all fluffy rom-com books, I somehow love the fact that I Wish You All the Best was not one of them, mainly because the topic is very important. And kudos to the #ownVoice author to have handled it so well.
If I had to complain about just one thing: I wish we had heard a little more about their relationship with Nathan, after the big reveal. You know, sorta acceptance or them dealing the issues together as a couple etc. Of course, that I Wish You All the Best didn’t do that doesn’t reduce it for me in any way.
What worked for me
- I loved how I Wish You All the Best deals with anxiety and mental health as a part of identity crisis and then its acceptance.
- Romance takes a backseat to themes like identity and friendship.
- I really liked the friendship between the two main characters and adored Nathan.
What may have been better
- I wish the big reveal to Nathan happened a little bit earlier.
Disowning parents, Kicked out of the house, panic attacks and depression, peer pressure into drinking, constant misgendering, stressful coming out.
I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver is an emotional and heart wrenching book that will not just educate the readers but also an entertaining read. Kudos to the author in maintaining that delicate balance.
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Reading a pretty hyped up book has its own disadvantages, mainly the pressure to like it because everyone else did. But did Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens pass the test for me? Let’s get on to the book review shall we?
About the book
Book Name: Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owens
Genre: Fiction – Romance; Thriller
Characters: Kya Clark, Tate Walker, Jumpin’ and Mable, Chase Andrews
Setting: Barkley Cove, North Carolina, The USA
The book begins when six year old Kya watches her mother leave their shack and her five children with her drunk, violent and often absent father. Soon one by one her siblings also flee, as does her father eventually, leaving her behind to fend for herself.
She attends the school for a day, forced by the authorities and tempted by the meal, but realizes she would be hungry rather than be laughed at. When Kya learns to accept her loneliness, two boys enter her life.
One of them teaches her to read and discover more about the marsh life and another shows what her life could be if she were a “normal” girl. And to make things worse, both of them abandon her at some point, just like her family.
Fast forward to 1969, when they recover a local athlete, Chase Andrews’ body near the marsh. Without much evidence, they arrest Kya when the villagers come to know Chase and Kya were closer to each other than they all thought.
Why was Kya arrested and who murdered Chase? What happens to Kya forms the rest of the story in Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
In this historical fiction, there are two timelines – one following six year old Kya’s life from 1952 and the other follows Chase’s murder investigation in 1969. There are vast differences in the writing styles, almost like they were written by two authors.
But I think that worked, because for me they felt like they were different genres (a coming of age romance and a murder/legal thriller). And I am sure fans of both the genres would have something for them.
It is apparent that Delia Owens knows the marshland very well. And her writing ensures the reader gets transported to the wetlands themselves. Once I suspended the skepticism about a kid living all alone, I really liked Kya and her will to survive everything that life throws her way.
I loved how Where the Crawdads Sing spoke of several themes like abandonment, parental neglect, alienation, bullying and racism. And yet made it all about hope and love.
The romance part was a tiny bit melodramatic. But when you are 20 something everyone is allowed to be heart broken and decide to “never love anyone ever again”. There were quite a number of red herring and I was at a point convinced someone particular was the murderer. But surprisingly they were not!
What worked for me
- Where the Crawdads Sing works mainly for Owen’s writing and her ability to grasp the reader’s attention – be it the romance or the court room drama!
- Kya herself is an unique character and she will be cherished as one of the strong female literary characters in my mind.
- Despite talking about so many serious themes like abandonment, parental neglect, alienation, bullying and racism, it is hope and positivity that I ended up feeling.
What may have been better
- The first part contains a lot of descriptive writing, so if you are not into those type of books be warned.
- Also a warning people who are not into alternative timelines.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is one of those books that survived the hype and came through for me. I liked the author’s writing style and her character building. Catch Where the Crawdads Sing before the movie comes out!
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Have you read Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens? How did you like it? Which hyped book worked well for you? And which didn’t? Let us talk.
I have a thing for funny biographies. Either I love them or hate them completely there is no in between. So when a couple of my friends went gaga over David Sedaris, I simply had to pick Me Talk Pretty One Day up. I know it has been a while since I read this one but is never too late right?
About Me Talk Pretty One Day
Book Name: Me Talk Pretty One Day
Author: David Sedaris
Genre: Fiction – Non Fiction, Humor
Characters: David Sedaris
Setting: Paris, France, Raleigh, North Carolina, and New York, The USA
Plot summary of Me Talk Pretty One Day
Me Talk Pretty One Day consists of two part. The first part deals with David’s life before he moved to France that talks about his childhood, the speech therapy for his lisp, his odd jobs and his girlfriend.
The second part about his life after moving to Normandy with his partner Hugh where he struggles with the language.
Book review of Me Talk Pretty One Day
As I told you earlier, I chose this book only due to the hype around and I should confess that I wasn’t impressed. I smiled at a few places but most of the time I was bored. I felt Sedaris was ranting about his uninteresting life on and on.
I guess talking about drugs, poop and making fun about one’s family is not my kinda comedy. I felt like I was reading someone else’s diary filled with private jokes.
Things that worked for me
- The essays are short and of the perfect length that will hold your attention.
- If you are a fan of slapstick comedy then this book will work well for you.
- I heard that the audiobook is much better.
Things that didn’t work for me
- I couldn’t relate with Sedaris or his lifestyle at all.
- Me Talk Pretty One Day talks about the author’s addiction to narcotics in detail, and I didn’t personally find them funny.
I couldn’t stop thinking a dull, wry version of Michael Scott while I was reading the book. If you like comedy that are based on self deprecation and narcotic drugs then this book is for you.
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