Book Review

I Was Here By Gayle Forman|Book Review

I was here
Image belonging to Goodreads, Gayle Forman and Viking Juvenile

Cody and Meg were inseparable.
Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss. (Goodreads)



Review: 

starsstarsstarsstars/5 :(TRIGGER WARNING: DOES CONTAIN CONTENT ON SUICIDE)

I am a huge fan of Gayle Forman. I loved her book “If I Stay”, so I did have rather high expectations for this book. To be honest going into this book I really had no idea what it was about. I have been reading so much Stephen King for my writing class that I felt I need an easier read to follow and just lose myself in the story.

This book did it. I really enjoyed all of it. It is a dark book, if suicide is a trigger for you I recommend you read it with caution. With that said let discuss the book. The story follows our protagonist Cody, who is dealing with the grief of her best friends Meg’s death. When Meg’s parents gift Cody, Meg’s old computer Cody stumbles on files that may hint that Meg wasn’t the only person involved in her death. Add in a attractive rockstar and Cody hits the road to figure out what really happened to her best friend.

Like I said this book was very enjoyable. There was literally almost every element you can think to want in a book. It started of with being a mystery, grief stricken book, mixed with romance and a lot of family dynamic. It is so easy to fall in love with the characters. Cody is so relatable as the angry, grief stricken friend who just wants answers. Meg’s parents are just the perfect touch of creating a warm family dynamic in this book and also showing the contrast of Cody’s own dysfunctional family. What I really liked about the book is how open the characters and the conversations were between them. They faced challenges and at first our main characters Cody and Ben, a boy who is tied to both  Cody and Meg have difficulty of putting down their defense but as the story goes on you witness a strong friendship unfold as the characters are forced to really be there for one another as they are solving the mystery of Meg’s death.

I really enjoy Gayle Forman’s writing. She has a way of really taking the reader into the story. I felt like was on the trip along with Ben and Cody.  When I was done, with the book it felt like my friends had gone home after a day of hanging out. It was almost as if something was missing. I really enjoy books that make you think of them after you are done reading them. I love Gayle Forman and this book was no disappointment. If you want a quick read that will captivate your attention and make you wish the story never ended try this book out.

With Warm Cups of Tea and Just a Few More Chapters,

Rina


 

#booktube · 0 by 2020 · Book Discussion · Book Review

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman|Book Review

Synopsis:orange is the new black With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before.

But that past has caught up with her.

Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187–424 — one of the millions of people who disappear “down the rabbit hole” of the American penal system.

From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance.

Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Kerman’s story offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison—why it is we lock so many away and what happens to them when they’re there.

Review (Spoiler-Free):

This book was extremely enjoyable for a non-fiction. It was fast paced and it really kept you on your toes. As a reader I really got invested in the lives of the characters and felt along with them.

I sympathized with Piper’s story and it got me thinking a lot about the offenders in our prison systems, the types of conditions different prisons have and how tax dollars affect the prison system.

It also didn’t hit me that Martha Stewart served time. This was one of the topics of the book as the prisoners hoped that Martha would have come to Danbury.

There was LGBTQA+ representation in this book as it did follow a relationship of Nora and Piper, when Piper was younger. However, there was very limited interaction between Nora and Piper which was different from the Netflix show. I wanted to see more of the relationship between Piper and Nora. This was for many reasons, but mainly because the relationship between Nora and Piper in the Netflix show put a lot of strain on the relationship with Larry, who is Piper’s fiancee. And I had to remind myself that the Netflix show is more fictional and has difference then the non-fictional narrative.

Going into this book, do not expect it to be like the Netflix show. It is a lot more fact based and about Piper’s personal experience  as it was written from a collection of letters that she sent to her family and friends. Overall, it was very enjoyable and I gave 4/5 stars. I would really recommend this book if you are a fan of the Netflix show or what to give a go of non-fiction I think this is a really good place to start because this book will suck you in.

Reflection (Contains Spoilers):

I picked this book up after I watched the first season of the Netflix series and was hooked. I first started reading this as an audiobook, but in reality I am not a huge fan of audiobooks. I ended up picking the book half way through and reading an e-book version of it, although I owned the physical copy as well. Marina, why do you need 3 copies of the same book, if only I knew.

This book was very addictive, it goes through the Piper’s journey through the law and prison system after being accused as an accomplice that took large sums of money into the U.S. for an ex-girlfriend that was part of the drug cartel.

Some of the interesting things I found in this book was that the book was not heavily concentrated between the relationship of Piper and her ex Nora as the Netflix series does. Looking back, the show seems to be drawn out because I had to remind myself that Piper only did 10 months in prison before she was let go.

It was shocking to me how the woman of the prisons came together and became a family to Piper. I was also shocked to see how different Danbury was from the high security prison that Piper was at.

I wasn’t expecting that Nora had a sister. This surprised me because I didn’t understand why Piper had to carry the money back to the U.S. and stayed innocent. While Nora’s sister who is already in the drug trade would have been able to travel with the money. I also enjoyed getting to know Piper’s fiancé/husband and watching how supportive their relationship was.

This book was an excellent piece of nonfiction that a reader could tell heart and soul was put into it. I loved this book, please don’t be hesitant to check it out.

Happy Reading (OneLoveAlways),

Rina