Holding Up The Universe – Review

3.5 stars.

I’m genuinely curious as to why people believe that not reading a book means you can or should write a full review about it. Especially, when that review happens to be negative. If you are going to complain, at least do so after reading the book. Also, and here’s a thing that a lot of people LOVE to do which is talk over those who actually go through things or have a say in the matter. And to be more specific according to the book, if you aren’t overweight then please kindly refrain from speaking on the matter.
I don’t care if your brother, cousin, next door neighbour is overweight, it’s not a free pass to write your claims or praises by using someone else’s – real life people in this case – as your excuse to do so. This also goes to the author herself, I ge9780141357058t that as writers we can’t be everything or go through everything that we write about but some subjects should be taken less lightly when you decide to write about them.

And why am I saying this? Apparently, this book received a lot of negative reviews because of the way it portrays an overweight girl. I will not speak up about Jack because he’s not the character I relate to and I’m also not familiar nor do I have his disorder. But as an overweight girl, I will speak about how I felt about this book. First of all, if you think it’s offensive then clearly you have no idea what you are talking about (and I’m talking towards those who aren’t or never were overweight), what’s offensive is what people actually do and how they treat overweight people. What Jennifer wrote is just a small demonstration of the cruelty that goes around and god forbid someone actually writes a book with an overweight girl, her perspective and having her fall in love. While also showing her struggles and the bullying she goes through.

Libby is strong as hell, honestly, she became like my hero. I wish I had even half the courage she has and I wish I accepted myself the way she does. Yes, she’s overweight but at some point, she’s happy with who she is. And unlike what a lot of people said, no, Libby does not see a boyfriend as her salvation. She accepted herself long before she fell for Jack and when he breaks her heart, she didn’t let that slow her down. Did she have a moment of weakness? Yes. She’s human. Did she want a boyfriend? Yes, she’s a teenager and please don’t try to tell me that that it wasn’t accurate or “in real life, it doesn’t work this way”, sadly it does. And I would understand if Jennifer gave the idea that Libby wouldn’t be happy with herself nor her body unless she had a boyfriend who would love her and suddenly she would love herself too, that it would cause people to react negatively but that’s not what happens.

I get it, the book insists a lot on the fact that Libby is fat and on Jack’s disorder. Personally, that didn’t really bother me. And yes, people are cruel as hell. And some parts of the book that people feel as if Jennifer is being offensive or that she’s fat shaming, I have a question: Do you even understand what writing is? When I’m writing a character and it happens to be in their Point of View, for example, I’m going to write down their feelings because that’s how they feel or think and guess what, not everyone is perfect, not every book is fantasy so if you want accurate and realistic characters you are going to have to write feelings and thoughts that sound realistic. Here’s where it gets tricky, some parts don’t feel realistic in her book but it’s a YA book about two teenagers falling in love, it’s going to get sappy. Now, having my girl fat shaming herself doesn’t mean the author THINKS and FEELS that way as well.

And truth is, I feel that way a lot. I wonder if maybe having a boyfriend would make me feel better. Make me accept the body I have. It isn’t healthy thinking but it’s accurate. All the nasty things someone could say to me, I’m going to think them first. But seeing Libby being so brave and happy with who she is, it’s truly refreshing.

This wasn’t a story about the hot guy who saves the fat girl, in fact, it felt more like Libby was the one to save Jack. The constant mention of the fact that she is fat is nothing but an honest representation of what goes on in school and real life. Everyone sees you as the fat girl even if you do lose some weight. So yeah, no one was congratulating Libby for losing the weight because they still see her as that same fat girl. So for most people – for bullies – they don’t care.

To sum up, this isn’t a perfect book but it hardly deserves all the negative praise. And if you love TFIOS and god knows what else, then I find it hypocritical that you are going to call out this story for romanticising overweight people and Jack’s disorder. It’s contemporary so it’s a light and easy reading, it’s not a big book and with YA it’s not like you can go too much into things. If you can’t relate to it, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad book.

Our Chemical Hearts – Review

3 stars.

This was an interesting reading but it wasn’t mind-blowing. Mostly because I’ve seen and read stories like this so many times by now. And the problem is that while reading this book it was like also reading The Fault In Our Stars and many other YA contemporary books. It was more of them same, not even th9780399546563e names felt like a proper escape. Hazel Grace – Grace Town. I get that writing about teenage love and tragedy can end up being really similar but it’s also getting boring.

The thing that really did make me like this book a bit more, was the fact that usually, you read books about Grace and Dom’s story. That’s what we are used to. But on Our Chemical Hearts, you read from the point of view of an outsider, an unlucky bastard who happened to love the right girl but at the wrong time. Or maybe the wrong girl too. He even realises that in the book. That was refreshing. I also enjoyed overall the message it gives about break ups and love.

I was heart broken for Grace. It was sort of creepy how much she was living for Dom or kinda pretending to be Dom. But I understand everything. She had barely lost him and then there she was expected to fall in love again. It happened too fast.

It’s an easy book to read like most contemporary YA is. More of the same, it is original for the fact that usually, characters like Henry are not the main ones. You don’t get to see their point of view. But besides that, it didn’t really feel unique nor original. That’s why I’m only giving it 3 stars.

With All The Bright Places, for example, it’s also not really something we haven’t read before but it made me connect with the characters and it really really messed me up, which it didn’t happen this time with this one.

About my short stories 

So far I’ve only posted my reviews but I guess it’s time for my short stories as well. I’ve tried before with another blog but I decided that joining both things would be easier to work out. 

My stories would be found in a new Category – soon to be – I’ll be posting in English and since that’s not my first language, I would like to apologise in advance for possible mistakes and the fact that it is going to show on my writing sometimes, that English is not my first language. I see it as a learning process, the more I write, the better I will become and since I want my blog to be mainly in English, I should share my stories. 

As for the genre it usually has some paranormal in it, there’s romance and bad endings. 

There’s a funny story about the bad endings. When I was 12 or so, I wrote a story for a class and it had a sad ending. My teacher left a note in it saying I should change the end and make it happier. After that, I made it a personal goal to write and prove to him that stories do have sad endings. Not everything is a “happily ever after”. Maybe he thought due to my age at the time that I should write happier stories, too bad. 

At 14 I ended up writing a book based on that story, one day I’m going to publish it and it will be dedicated to him. 

All The Bright Places – Review

3.5 stars. (spoilers) 

I usually avoid writing reviews soon as I finish reading a book. This time I decided I wasn’t going to wait. 

Before I start talking about the plot and characters, I would like to address how I usually try to be cautious when reading or going into a book that speaks about Mental Illness. It has become popular to romanticise MIs, especially in YA books. I’ve seen it happen multiple times so I when I saw what this book was about – I was afraid. 

Mostly, my biggest issue is using romance as a way that it becomes a “cure”, you might be depressed or dealing with any other disease but you find love and that’s it. You are now fine. Or trying to make being ill something to desire, treat it as cute and cool. Seems like authors also have a tendency to poorly represent MIs. 

I got quickly attached to the characters, yesterday when I started reading by the time I was half way done, I had to force myself to stop. And yes, the book involves romance and it sort of becomes a way to initiate the healing process for Violet because of her sister’s death which doesn’t really take long due to what happens to Finch. I won’t call it insta love because it’s teenagers we are talking about plus only towards the end when Finch goes missing, Violet starts calling him her boyfriend. Other than that the relation between the two is never established even though you are aware that they are sort of a couple. 

Personally, I never saw this story as a romance or something other than a book about a boy with a Mental Illness and how the world and everyone around him reacts to it plus a girl dealing with the loss of her sister. 

The adults in this story – especially finch’s parents – are completely oblivious to their sons mental illness. And even though I saw some people criticising this detail about the story, I think it was actually well done. Because it’s accurate. Some parents yes but honestly, most adults will just ignore when a child/teenager shows any sort of symptoms whatsoever. The world can’t seem to be able to handle or understand Mental Illness. If they try to avoid it they will. And it’s no exception in this book. 

I think overall the book accomplished the goal of showing us in an accurate way how people perceive and act around those who might be “different”. Whether it’s being bullied at school, home, ignored etc. Even Violet tells him that they are teenagers, it’s okay to get moody sometimes. 

What made me consider and give this book more starts than I intended to was the authors note. This book had a lesson and something to take from this reading. How MIs are perceived and suicide is seen compared to other death causes, the impact of labels and I think that if you are going into this book don’t do it because you want romance, do it to take something out of it. And the fact the author went through something similar, therefore writing about it, really moved me and it just makes the book even more important. 

If you are easily triggered or currently going through a situation that it’s going to cause this book to trigger you then I suggest you put it down and leave it for some other time. I found Finch’s death or well, the moment they find is body really intense. I cried so much and now I’m left with this feeling in my gut, overall it did not make me feel good, I feel affected by this story. I did not get a warning so if you decided to read this before reading the book – Be careful. (this just reminded me of something in the book and the use of those words is just making me feel worse). 

Trigger warnings: mention of suicide, grief, depression, bipolar disorder etc. 

I feel so messed up after reading this, I don’t think there’s more that I can say. Whether someone reads this book for the romance and sees it as something else, that will depend on each person. 

I might make another post, once my feelings settle down and write a little more about Mental Illness and the rights and wrongs when it comes to representation in books. Especially YA because I think that’s where the problem lies the most.