Hello all! I have been reading a fair bit recently as I have really dived into the Library scene. The number of books available there is magical, and I can just search for any book I like and have it in my hands within days or even hours in some cases. As I have been reading a fair bit this month, I decided that this time I would review the four books that I read throughout June within one post. I hope you enjoy it!
Book Number 1: The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort
Having seen the film back in February, I was keen to read Jordan Belfort’s autobiographical book ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ but delayed this simply because I wasn’t willing to endorse him any further than I had by seeing the film at the cinema. Belfort’s book is about his career as a stock broker filled with millions of dollars, loads of drugs, loads of sex and follows him leading a very immoral existence as he basically just boasts about his rich and extravagant lifestyle. The film was shocking – I would actually go so far as to say it was disturbing, and absolutely definitely not date-night material nor Oscar-Winning material apparently (poor Leo). I was interested to see if the book would have the same effect. To some extent it did, it was more disturbing to understand in detail exactly how he justified his actions to himself. He begins the book by stating that he wrote this book intending to accurately communicate how he used to think, and he states something like “I’m totally different now – I even stay in on Friday nights with my children.” (Brilliant. What a martyr right there. Somebody give this man a gold star). I found the book really, really fascinating; I love delving into the mind of other people and I found it both more and less alarming than the film. If you can read this book without giving this man any more money, then please do. However, I have heard on the grapevine than all the proceeds for this book go to charity – I hope this is true.
Book 2: Looking for Alaska by John Green
I have been really enjoying reading John Green’s work recently, you may be able to recall I wrote a previous blog post about the Fault in Our Stars. ‘Looking for Alaska’ had a very similar tone; teenagers trying to find their path in life etc. That kind of genre seems to be John Green’s thing. So, this novel is about a boy named Miles who begins attending a boarding school because he believes it will help him venture out into the world. He meets a girl named Alaska who he gets to know and begins to develop feelings for her. The book has some serious undertones but is ultimately one for young adults/teens. I do enjoy his style of writing though and I’ve said before, he does seem to get the ‘teen style’ more accurately than most authors. However, I don’t think this book was as rich or well-written as The Fault in Our Stars.
Book 3: You’re The One that I Want by Giovanna Fletcher
Yes, OK, another bit of chick lit? So what? This book was great, and I read it within a few days which for me is always a sign of an excellent piece of writing. Well, OK maybe not excellent. A compelling one at least. The story begins with Maddie walking down the aisle towards Robert, the love of her life, but it hasn’t been an easy ride. The best man, Ben, avoids looking at her as she makes her way towards the altar, as they too have a shared history. A love that could have been. It was a different perspective of a love story; a more realistic and I think relatable version of girl-meets-boy. Girl meets boy, and another boy and eventually has to decide which love story she chooses. For this reason, this novel was great, and it was quite fun wondering which guy Maddie would go for in the end. However, I would say for all it’s amazing aspects, the “oh no, which boy should I go for??” aspect got a bit repetitive. However, I did thoroughly enjoy reading this, the second book I’ve read by Giovanna Fletcher and I enjoyed it more than the first.
Book 4: A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
Like The Wolf of Wall Street, a Million Little Pieces is a autobiographical book written by James Frey, a recovering alcoholic and cocaine addict. The writing is so wonderfully choreographed to depict his true feelings and state of mind throughout the book. The memoir begins as he enters rehab, beaten, bruised and crushed, his addition controlling him. We are exposed to his world through disjointed speech, a lack of clear punctuation and an unclear course of events as he attempts to narrate his surroundings. In order to write this book, Frey must have really sunk himself back into that period of his life and that must have been a very challenging and emotional task, to re-experience his lowest point from his recovered perspective. As he becomes and remains sober, the style of writing changes slightly, and suddenly events seem more connected. It is really amazing how in the first few chapters his narration really evokes the feeling of him ebbing in and out of consciousness, just from his style of writing, and how everything he speaks of seems distant and somehow clouded. A really fantastic piece of writing.
So there we have it. Four reviews in one. I enjoyed writing shorter reviews, so I may continue to do this and post a summary each month of the books I have read. Let me know what you think!