Netgalley Mini Reviews #1

Hi everyone! Recently I took part in the #netgalleylibrary readathon hosted by Anniek’s Library and The Library Looter – a week long readathon to help everyone takle their Netgalley TBRs! I had a great time and read some great books, so I thought I’d compile all the mini-reviews into one blog post!

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Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo

This book was not an easy read, and I found myself both very angry and very emotional whilst reading it. The story details Kim Jiyoung’s life, from being a young child to being married with one child, and displays the harsh sexism that she, and every other woman like her, goes through on a daily basis. The story is interspersed with facts which just make the reality of life in South Korean for women seem even less hopeful. This was a tough read but ultimately a necessary one and I’m looking forward to buying my own physical copy to share out to family and friends!

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Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

This book was okay, and only okay. The characters felt quite underdeveloped and, although I liked their group dynamics a lot and they all grew on me, I felt that we’d occasionally just leave a character for them not to bee seen again for another 100 or so pages (or about 300 in the case of Ines). The plot and world building left me quite confused at times (part 2 really seemed to come out of nowhere) and I found it quite difficult to really picture this parallel Chicago in my head, perhaps that was just me, or perhaps it was a bit underdeveloped. Besides that, I know a few readers felt bored by the story, and I know that it is quite slow going, particularly for a sci-fi, but I honestly couldn’t stop reading and I was thinking about this book constantly whenever I had to put it down. I also thought the use of case files and poems and other typed of media to show what the characters had been through in the past was really effective. Overall, an enjoyable enough read that I’ll most likely pick up the sequel!

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

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I really had mixed opinions about this book. On the one hand I absolutely adored the whole NASA space program aspect. I loved all the hype around the mars mission, the sort of “found family” among all the astronauts families and when the experts talked about their different projects – you can really tell that Phil Stamper loves what he’s writing about! I loved the drama with the news station and the last 20 or so percent of the book was so much fun, I really had a ball reading it! I also really appreciated the discussion of mental illness (for the most part) and therapy in particular, especially this quote – “People aren’t broken, and therapists couldn’t fix them if they were. But maybe someone can make things a little better, or help them be a little happier”.

However, I did have a few pet peeves about the book. I didn’t really like the main character at all. He was very selfish and really does not know how to communicate! He fell out with his best friend over something quite silly very early on in the book, didn’t contact her for half the book, gave her a pretty meh apology and everything was fine again. I also didn’t like how he kept pushing Leon to apply to universities, particularly when he supposedly understands how tough Leon’s battle with his mental illness is. Furthermore, I also wasn’t a fan of the relationship, unfortunately. It was the biggest case of insta-love I have seen in a long time! They knew each other for about a week and decided they were in love with each other! The pacing felt very off and I just couldn’t really get into it, but I did think by the end they were quite cute together (when they finally decided to communicate!)

Overall, I had a lot of fun with this readalong! I still have quite a few more Netgalley reviews to come so look forward to those! Take care and stay safe!!

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