Books set in university that aren’t entirely pre-occupied with romance are surprisingly tough to find. During my own undergraduate studies I wished for so many more but had to make do with books set in high school. Maybe “make do” sounds like I didn’t enjoy those books but I did. It’s just that the university setting tends to be rather neglected. That’s why I was pretty excited to learn that Counting Stars featured university students.
When it comes to contemporary fiction, I love books with protagonists who have ambition and passion for something. Cut the Lights fully delivered in that department. Drama and theatre were the main focus and very little detracted from that. I think in part that stemmed from the shortness of the book. The length didn’t allow for much else beyond theatre, which means there were no unnecessary distractions.
Winter’s release was postponed by many months, leading to lots of sadness all around. As consolation, we received Fairest (#3.5) earlier this year to ease the waiting. Now the question is, was it worth waiting so long for Winter? I say, definitely! For one, it takes a lot of time to write 824 pages. It also takes a very long time to edit these pages to perfection.
There’s so much that spoke to me when I read This Song Will Save Your Life. For this I loved it very, very dearly. It reminded me why I crave stories and why I can care so much about fictional people. Elise was my girl. She reminded me that I’m not alone and never have been. All that bullying I went through in high school, searching for acceptance, wanting to be someone — these aren’t alien experience to many of us. Despite that, resultant feelings of loneliness can be very overwhelming. This Song Will Save Your Life tapped into that psyche and spun a raw and engaging tale.
I am so glad I didn’t study English Literature at A Levels. The Great Gatsby was a set text for the exams and after finally reading this novel, I don’t think I would’ve enjoyed taking it apart. I have a friend who absolutely adored The Great Gatsby back then and still avidly references it in his conversations with people. Frankly, I don’t see the appeal.