Hi guys! I am back with a book review! It has been a long time since I picked up a book to read, but reading is always my favourite thing to do, as always. Ignore the picture above lol, I just feel like I need a thumbnail for each post loll (so that the layout of my blog looks consistent), and I don't mean to pose like a tutor trying to sell reference books lolll but this is the only good photo I got from the 30 photos I've taken, it's so hard to do the focusing when you're doing the photo shoot alone...ughh. I've always wanted to write about the books I read, but I don't read as often as I used to do back in secondary school and back in that time, I don't have a good device to take pictures and I don't own a personal laptop so it's really hard for me to write, but I'll start writing book review from now if I read any new book (I usually read fictional novels, especially young adult book), but please don't expect me to do book review very often because book is expensive and study is kinda busy right now, so book review will be done like how I run this blog, which means updating whenever I want to hahaha. Anyways, I read two books recently, they're both written by Nicola Yoon which are her famous first book Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also The Star.
So, let's get into the review part!
The story of this is about a 17 year-old girl called Madeline who has SCID since young, which is a type of immune system deficiency, so she is basically allergic to the whole world, this disorder cost her freedom of getting out of her house, she has lived in the house with her mom and her personal nurse Carla for 17 years until she meets Olly, who just moves into the house next door to Madeline with his family. Madeline loves to observe people from her window and that's the only thing she can do staying all day in the house, Olly notices her and leaves his email address on his bedroom window which is exactly opposite to Madeline's. From that day onward, they start to send email to each other, chatting until late night, then Olly start to have short visit to Madeline house under the supervision (help) of Carla, but they are never allowed to touch each other, Olly even has to be decontaminated before he enters the house. Their relationship becomes closer and closer afterward.
The beginning of the story up until like 120++ pages is boring, I'm sorry but it is. I was so close to stop reading it, I thought it's just another "sick teen" y/a story, but luckily I stay reading until the end lol, because it's not at all bad, it's just the beginning part that is boring. The beginning part only revolves around the house and how Madeline starts to develop her friendship with Olly, I understand that Nicola Yoon is trying to show us how boring Madeline's life is being trapped in the house, but I think the whole part of this can be shorten a bit, so that we have more pages for the ending, which I'm going to rant about later. Moreover, the character of Olly is not well presented in the beginning part, I could say that the beginning part (I mean from pg 1 to pg 120++) did not show many dimensions of his character, he is presented as a cheerful, charming, sporty guy with a lot of knowledge of the outside world and tons of cheesy lines lol, I felt like Madeline is too naive for him. I didn't like his character up until the middle part, where the story is not just revolves within the glass house they meet each other anymore because it shows more of Olly's characteristics. BUT, the nice things about this whole part that I claim to be boring is Madeline's character development, how her view of the outside world and mentality changes and she starts to aware that she's slowly falling in love with Olly.
Then, when the story reaches the middle part where it's not just within the glass house anymore, this is where it gets interesting and following by a major plot twist (DENG DENG DENG), the plot twist is genuinely so good that I didn't see it coming, but after I finished it and go through the story again, there are definitely some hints at the front. After the good plot twist, here comes the ending :) The ending is so freaking rush that I kinda hate it, there are a lot of things that need to be explained, but they were just kind of ignored for some points, after the plot twist there should be a drastic change in Madeline's view of the world but it's being written so briefly that I don't like it, there are more details to write about Madeline's changes.
Overall I'll give it a 3.5 out of 5, I love the writing style and the presentation of the story. Unlike traditional novels that are words after words and lengthy chapters after lengthy chapters, the chapters are short which can keep people for reading, and there are a lot of illustrations, small notes that Madeline wrote which are so cute, I especially love her spoiler review on books she read, those reviews are written according to her mood changes and the situations that she's in at the moment. I really recommend this book to anyone who is new to reading novels, because it's short and easy to read, the vocabulary for this book is kinda easy, at least I have no problem reading throughout the whole book. (Anyways, English is not my first language.)
The Sun Is Also The Star
The story revolves around the magical day when Natasha, an undocumented Jamaican immigrant in America who's facing a deportation that night and she's trying to get help to stay in America through legal procedures, meets Daniel, an enthusiastic Korean American future poet who is arranged to attend an admission interview to get into Yale college. The story is a little too unrealistic and too magical for me, I guess that's just the way Nicola Yoon likes her stories to be, same goes to Everything, Everything. BUT the story is good in reflecting the differences of concepts and beliefs that Daniel and Natasha hold for their life and how they somehow change their long-believed concepts after they meet each other. it also allows you to think from both of their views. I love how different Daniel and Natasha are, and I absolutely love their characteristics, Natasha is a smart realist that believes in nihilism and science while Daniel is a typical Asian soft good boy, optimistic and poetic, plus he is a contagion crier who cries when he sees someone's crying, which is so cuteeeee. I love that the story talks about races (and explain the background of certain racist topics), immigrants (the different mindsets and culture that the different generation of immigrants hold eg the parents and the kids), interacial relationship (which is a huge deal to Asian family aka Daniel's family) and how love means differently to different people, and the universe cannot be explained in any extreme definitions that you hold and believe in. I feel like this second book has more meaning into it and it has more impact than the first one.
For the writing, I really like that it's written in the point of view of Natasha and Daniel in different chapters, and there are also some side chapters beside the main story line of Natasha and Daniel, those are use to explain some terms, history and background of something features in Natasha and Daniel's chapters, the side chapters also includes the stories and pov of the other characters that Natasha and Daniel came across, and it seems like everyone and everything is connected. Nicola always tend to have new ways in presenting her story which is very creative and she still keeps her style of writing that I really like, no lengthy chapters, she always keeps her chapters short which will effectively keep you reading instead.
This book is a little harder to read compares to Everything, Everything in terms of vocabulary, I look up for more words than I did for that book, I didn't really look up for words much for that book and English is not my first language so looking up for words is also a way of learning, but still manageable to read and comprehend. (To kill a mocking bird is the one that I need to read with a dictionary beside me.) I'll give a 4 out of 5 for this book, I really like it even better than the first one that causes me to binge reading I literally read 320 pages of the book and finished it in one day.
That's all for my book review today, see you next time! 🌻