Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Author: Maria Semple
Bernadette Fox is a genius architect on the verge of a meltdown. After two amazing achievements, she disappeared from a world of architecture and became a full-time mother for a brilliant girl Bee Fox. When, after a successful school year, Bee asks her parents to go on a trip to Antarctica, Bernadette’s world starts to collapse. Disputes with her neighbor and contacts with Russian mafia all lead to Bernadette’s disappearance. It’s on Bee now, to find her mother and bring her back to the real world.
The novel is a funny tale about a family full of geniuses who sometimes cope better in recluse than among the people. While I truly enjoyed how the story flowed from one event to another, I found it very confusing for the first half. It has letters, emails and other files from a lot of people in Bernadette’s life and there are also parts where Bee herself is telling a story. Towards the end, you get to know the reason behind the format of this book, but nonetheless, it makes it hard to read because of all the jumping from one person to the next.
I did enjoy the characters though. They are all very complex, with their own life story that makes them who they are. None of them is just a shallow image of what a person truly is. The author really took care of the depth of one’s character that comes with different life experiences. And of course, throughout the novel, these characters change, evolve and grow from personal experience revolving around the events of Bernadette’s disappearance. You could say that Bernadette is a catalyst for the personal growth of people in her life.
On the whole, I truly enjoyed this book but because of its confusing complexity, I couldn’t really dive into it with the same gusto as I do when it comes to really great books. That is why I’m rating this one with 3 stars out of 5.
Published: 14 September 2012, by Back Bay Books
Read: 23 June 2019
Rating: 3 stars
The Summer of Jordi Perez
Author: Amy Spalding
Abby Ives is size plus, fashion-obsessed teenager with a preference of girls. She thinks of herself as a sassy side-kick to her best friend’s love story. As her summer internship starts at a boutique store, she finds herself enjoying the company of one Jordi Perez, a known “criminal”. New friendships, romance, and adventures ensue and the summer of Jordi Perez becomes a personal growth moment for Abby.
Ugh, what to say about this book? I definitely find nothing good about it. The story is sloppy and cliché. The characters are way too superficial for my liking. There is no depth anywhere. The conversations in the book do not flow like natural, spontaneous discussions are supposed to. Abby is a very self-conscious fat girl, who think life is like a movie and this does not make her relatable to us teenagers at all. The only character I truly enjoyed was Jax and even he was over the top sometimes.
I really wanted to finally read a good queer story from a girl’s point of view but to say I’m disappointed is an understatement. Your sexual orientation should not be everything you are. It does not define you completely, therefore it should not be so unnaturally the focus of the story. It feels forced in this book and it poorly represents the reality of relationships.
Unfortunately, I’m giving this book a really low rating. It gets 2 out of 5 stars, which I am only giving because I managed to read it all.
Published: 3 April 2018, by Sky Pony
Read: 24 June 2019
Rating: 2 stars
If Cats Disappeared from the World
Author: Genki Kawamura
The narrator finds out that he has only days to live. With this realization comes an unexpected visitor, the Devil. He offers to make one thing disappear from the world and in exchange, the narrator gets one more day to live.
I’m sad to admit that I did not finish this book. There isn’t even much to say why I’m just indifferent towards it. The book is very short so I tried to finish it but in the end, I just couldn’t. Maybe it’s the translation that is making it so uninteresting. The narrator just sounds like a kid. I even lost the count of how many “wow’s” there are in the book, and I’ve only read half of it.
I truly have no words for this book, which is why I’m giving it the lowest rating there is.
Published: 30 August 2012, by Flatiron Books
Read: Did not finish
Rating: 1 star