Since I’ve been super busy with finals at school (ugh, the IB life is killing me), I haven’t had much time to actually sit down and read a full-length novel, and since I’m a loyal bookworm, I had to be reading something, so I’ve been reaching for shorter books which are aimed at younger audiences. Short, quick, easy reads to keep that Goodreads reading challenge alive.
Anyways, the last three books I read have been short, quick ones, so I’m gonna just give a brief little review of each of them to ease myself back into the review game.
Also, I wanted to mention that I’ll be addressing my long absence in another post that might be coming up late this summer (hopefully).
(Another sidetone: sorry I couldn’t take any photos of the books. I read all of them as E-books or audiobooks. I’ll be discussing my thoughts on ebooks vs. physical books pretty soon, too, so keep an eye out for that. If you want to see my thoughts on audiobooks, I have a post all about that.)
(Don’t judge the cover, the book is a lot better than the cover)
I think Ali from HardbackHoarder on youtube talked about this a really long time ago and made my buy the audiobook of it, but I never had the urge to pick it up until I saw that the audiobook was only 3 and a half hours long (the actual books is around 180 pages). I decided to give this a go and see if it was anything special.
The plot follows a teenage boy after the plane he was on crashes into a river. He has nothing and has to survive with the clothes on his back and a hatchet he got as a gift from his mother as he’s faced with the danger of nature and hunger.
I didn’t even know it was a super popular book that people read in school until I read some reviews on Goodreads and learned that my best friend actually read it a few years back.
The reviews seem to be mixed, but I loved this book. I never realized how much I love survival stories, but apparently, I find them super interesting. The plot of this was really riveting and kept me enthralled the whole time, which I can appreciate after reading such shitty books for a long time (post coming on that soon). Brian, our protagonist, was flushed out and had a great character arc throughout the story.
I thought the ending was pretty great and wrapped the whole story up, so I was surprised to see that this was part of a series. I’m now reading the second book, The River, which is even shorter than the first, and it isn’t really a sequel; it’s more of a companion novel as it follows Brian a year or so after the end of Hatchet.
Overall, I gave this book 4 stars and would recommend it to people who enjoy survival stories and books with less dialogue and more description.
I think I mentioned in a post a while ago or on my Goodreads that I read Holes for school when I was in 5th grade, and that I remember liking it but literally nothing about the plot, so guess what? I read it again. I don’t think I ever actually finished it though because I don’t remember that ending… like at all. Anyways, I’ve read it and now I know why it’s a children’s classic.
The plot, if you don’t already know, follows Stanley Yelnats who’s been wrongfully accused of a crime he hasn’t committed and sent to a detention center where he has to dig holes to ‘build character’. He finds out that they’re not just digging holes to build character, but to find something, and he’s determined to figure out what they’re looking for.
This was much more complex than I remember it being (I use complex very loosely here. I guess it’s complex for a 5th grader). It actually had a pretty great plot and followed some interesting side characters too, including some from the past. Every once in a while the perspective will change and go back in time to Stanley’s ancestors, which I found to be an interesting choice in a children’s book.
I think there’s a running theme of me not knowing there are more books in a series because guess what? There’s a second book called Small Steps which follows some of the characters we saw in Holes. I’m not 100% sure I’ll actually read it, but never say never, right? I might pick it up during a read-a-thon or something.
Although I liked this book and everything, it was aimed at a younger audience so it didn’t have any depth that completely captured me, so this book got 2.5 stars from me, which isn’t that bad, it just means that book was ok.
I’ve actually tried to read this multiple times but didn’t really understand the first couple of pages, so I always put it down, but a coupledays ago I actually gave it a fair shot and it ended up being much better than I expected. Ali from HardbackHoarder was also the one that made me read this after mentioning it in a video, and I have to say, she has some great recommendations.
This short novella (76 pages) follows a boy called Noah and Grandpa. His grandfather is slowly losing his memory, and the whole story follows how he deals with it and how his family is saying goodbye. From that little blurb, you can kind of tell that tears will fall and hearts will break.
After the first 5 pages or so, I got really invested in the story and jus tread the whole thing in one sitting as it was so short. Every time I read from Grandpa’s perspective, my heart broke more and more. He’s slowly slipping away and Noah is just trying to say goodbye AND IM EMOTIONAL OKAY? I FINISHED THIS A COUPLE DAYS AGO AND I’M STILL HEARTBROKEN.
Long story short, this was great, but I wished it was longer. I gave it 4 stars. If you want a good, sad book, pick this one up, you won’t regret it.
That was it, I hope you enjoyed my thoughts about some books I read recently. I also wanted to say, it’s nice to be back! It’s summer now, and I’ll have more time to post, so expect to see more of me soon!