Posted in Book Reviews, Writing

Two Book Reviews #3

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the “Fun Home.” It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.

Fun Home is a memoir told in the form of a graphic novel. When I first picked up the book, I wondered why in the world Alison Bechdel decided to tell her story through that form. After reading the novel, I realized just exactly what they mean when they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”

Through the pictures, narration, and little dialogue, we see the true relationship Bechdel had with her late father. Throughout reading the book you’re left wondering, “was her father a good father or a bad one?”

After he dies, Bechdel learns a lot about her father. She realizes just what kind of a man he was and she learns all sorts of secrets about his life. She discovers she was like her father in many ways and as she discovers who he was, she learns a little bit about herself.

The pictures in the graphic novel are dull in color and it’s very rare any member of the family is smiling. It goes to show just how much of a “fun home” it was. I thought it was odd at first, but upon realizing what the characters were like, the pictures were really a great fit to the story. I think the story would be told better as a graphic novel rather than if it was told as a novel.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Grief takes many forms, including the absence of grief.” –Alison Bechdel, Fun Home

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads):

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes; and three girls secretly plotting revenge.

KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.

LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.

MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.

None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together anything is possible.

With an alliance in place, there will be no more, I wish I’d said…; or, If I could go back and do things differently… These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.

I was originally going to review this book as a series (this is the first book of a trilogy), but decided against it so I can look at each book individually.

Burn For Burn is co-authored by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. I have heard of both these authors and their books are on my TBR list, but this was my first taste at what their writing is like.

I have a love/hate relationship with this book. Every time I picked up the book to read a few chapters, I only had complaints about it. Yet, I couldn’t put the book down; I read it in two days.

I didn’t love the three main girls who are out for revenge. The characters make or break the book and since I couldn’t find any interest in these girls, that was a deal-breaker for me. All three of them talk like the stereotypical “dumb blonde” adding the word “like” unnecessarily in the middle of their sentences. It made the girls seem annoying to me.

On the other hand, that kind of voice is unique and really showed the personalities of the girls. The novel is told in three different POVs, one for each girl and each POV is in first person. In that case, the voice was well done and makes sense.

Do you see why I have a love/hate relationship with the book now?

The characters are seniors in high school, which makes them about 17/18-years-old. For their age, their revenge tactics were kind of weak. Switching sunscreen with a different lotion to make the boy’s skin burn and break out isn’t exactly what I had in mind for high schoolers to do… middle school maybe, but not high school.

Then drugs get involved and the book becomes predictable–someone is going to get seriously hurt or even die.

And that’s how the book ends. You don’t know the result or consequences of the drugging. The girls panic for the last chapter and that’s all she wrote.

I guess we’ll have to read the next to book to figure out what happens.

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“It’s funny. I don’t think boys even know how to hold a grudge.” –Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian, Burn For Burn

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page!

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Author:

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Rachel Poli is a writer and blogger. She has an associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Studies. She enjoys writing young adult novels, middle-grade, and children’s picture books. She is currently working on her first novel.

3 thoughts on “Two Book Reviews #3

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