Review #43

I recently read To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee but I forget to create a Currently Reading post. It is very important that I share this book with you all, as it was spectacular.

This story is told from the point of view of a young girl from the deep south in the 1930’s. Every page is packed with imagination, humor, wisdom, learning, and curiosity. Scout was exceptionally bright and quick for her age, and seeing the world of Maycomb, Alabama through her eyes was quite an experience. This novel was brutally honest. Right is right and wrong is wrong. The life lessons and truths in this book are universally known, and it’s no wonder that it’s considered an American classic still today.

With some people, the word “classic” may make them shudder. Some may dread the reading of classic novels simply because they have preordained notions that to be old is to be boring. Well, this book is fun. It was fun to be 7 years old again, to run wild with an older brother and a neighbor, to terrorize neighbors and wreck gardens but have to pay for it later, to read on your father’s lap, and to go to school. Every moment of this story, even the times when sadness and death were at hand, had a lightness to it. Seeing through the eyes of a child brings you joy, innocence, and laughter. Scout was unashamed, snarky, and sweet, and she was wise beyond her years. You will undoubtedly fall in love with Lee’s characters.

This novel slowly builds and builds, settling you down in the quiet town and feeding you character after character until you feel as though you know every Tom, Dick, and Harry, and then suddenly the power and meaning behind every word comes crashing down on you. Finally you realize what it really means to kill a mockingbird, and it changes you.

(This image belongs to

Please read this book, you’ll be better for it.

With Smiles,

Ivy B. Lake

Review #42

Thirteen Reasons Why has gained impressive popularity from my peers since the release of it’s Netflix TV series. I had heard of the book a few years ago, but I never picked it up… until now. With everyone watching the show and not reading the book, I wanted to see what the book was really like before judging the filmed version. Everyone hearing the story for the first time loved the show, but I wanted to know what was at the heart; what had Jay Asher written so long ago that was now so famous? Well, I found out.

Unfortunately, I was not very pleased.

This story was disappointing to me, but I lend that to all of the excitement I was hearing about the TV show. Maybe I was expecting too much? I’ll never know, but I would never want to read this book again.

The story was not engaging, suspenseful, or heart-wrenching, which is what one may expect from a book about teen suicide. Instead, it was just a bland recounting of the reasons Hannah killed herself, and at such a fast pace that there was nothing hidden from you. The reasons came one after the other with no break in between, so there was no mystery or anything keeping you on the edge of your seat. I honestly don’t know what made me finish this book. Probably sheer curiosity as to why people liked it.

There was no passion in this book and very little love. Hannah was irrational and immature. She did not look to her parents ONCE, although she admitted to never having any problems relationship-wise with them. She hardly reached out to anyone, and when people presented themselves to her she pushed them away. Hannah wanted to die and no one could change that, and thus this book was depressing and boring. Even her reasons were lack luster and for the most part, fixable. She cared too much about the reputation everyone had made up for her, even though you shouldn’t care what people in high school think because in four years you won’t have to deal with them anymore. She let herself fall apart and it seemed to even entertain her. She was bored and upset, and so, she killed herself. Not the best idea for a book.

Was it realistic at the very least? I’m not too sure. Possibly. However, the parts where it was reminiscent of high school reality were simplistic. Going to a locker, the peppiness of cheerleaders, and the general character and attitude of all high school student bodies. This book was nothing special and it was the opposite of uplifting.

I do not recommend this book. If you are looking for help, this is something you should steer clear of: all it will do is make you feel more alone. I hate to have to give such a harsh review, but trust me, I’m downplaying it.

With reluctant Smiles,

Ivy B. Lake


Review #41

The Sun Is Also A Star is brilliant, engaging, fresh, and endlessly enjoyable. I thought that Yoon couldn’t top Everything, Everything and yet here she did it.

This book is centered around 1 day. 1 day where Daniel, a boy pressured by his Korean parents to go to Yale and to be better better better, and Natasha, a girl from Jamaica who is being deported that night, meet under the rarest of circumstances and have a wild day of events that bring them closer despite the odds. Everyone is connected, and one thing you say or do can change someone’s life, end someone’s life, or make their day just a little bit brighter. This book was witty and snarky, and within minutes of reading you felt as if these characters were right beside you.

Natasha is fact-driven, desperately unemotional, and determined to make things better for herself so that she can have the future she wants. Daniel lives in the clouds, where poets are respected and loved, and where love at first sight is a normal occurrence. However clashing their personalities may be, these two somehow run into each other in the city of New York and slowly (within a day) fall in love. Between Korean Karoke, thieving ex-boyfriends, an attorney who almost gets killed, and a girl mesmerized by a phone case, this novel weaves together the lives of so many people and creates the most perfect, intricate, and deep love story that you could ever imagine.

I recommend this book 1000%, it’s a perfect mix of joy and heartbreak, and I never want to stop reading it.

With Smiles,

Ivy B. Lake

Review #40

I’m a huge fan of Stephanie Perkins, so I decided to read another one of her books. Lola And The Boy Next Door was amazing! I was thrilled to find that there were peeks into the lifes of the other characters we know and love from her other installment (Anna and Etienne).

Once again, I cannot recommend this book enough, and Perkins has done a phenomenal job. 

Here is my currently reading cover:

With Smiles, 

Ivy B. Lake 

Review #39

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon was spectacular. I was swept up by this story, and the love that evolved was so pure and consuming. The development of this book was very impressive for a first novel, and I can’t wait to read more of Yoon’s work.

This book was a love story, but it had just the right touches of mystery and tragedy to make it irresistible. I highly recommend this to anyone.

I didn’t make a Currently Reading yet, so here it is!

With Smiles,

Ivy B. Lake

Review #38

I decided to read Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl because it seemed to have been well received both as a book and a movie, and I was told that it was similar to John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars. This was a mistake.

This book was many things that I did not like, but I do have to say that it was honest, believable, and raw. Nothing about it was fake. There’s something to be said about that.

However, I did not enjoy how brash, disjointed, and frankly insensitive this book was. (Yes, I understand that this was meant to be written by a teenager, and teenagers are usually all of these things, but it was done in distaste). I respect Jesse Andrews, and I even respect this book, but I did not enjoy reading it.

I’m sad to have to write this review, but I always want to be honest. I was disappointed that I didn’t like it, not disappointed in the book itself.

This book is the story of a teenage boy who is forced to befriend (this term is used in the lightest sense) a girl who has been diagnosed with cancer. Rather than show any compassion at all, this character blatantly shows how little he cares for her. When she dies there is no emotion. I have a personal problem with this, but it doesn’t make it a bad book. I’ve known people who have had deadly diseases and cancer, and I know people who have died from them. It breaks my heart to think that there are people, people I don’t know, that died without knowing that someone cared. When the girl in this book died, it felt as if she had no one that did more than shrug afterwards. That was terrible to witness.

I did not create a Currently Reading post, so here is the cover should you care to read it:

With some smiles,

Ivy B. Lake