RECENTLY READ #14

9 Apr 2016


It seems that prep reading has taken over recently and when I explain the first book I tackled I hope you understand why it's taken me so long to post another Recently Read.

THE TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG // PETER CAREY

I tackled this book back last year and if you've been around these parts around then, you might remember how much I despise having to study this book for my English exam last year (my review: here). After not doing the best in that exam, I've decided to retake the test this May so it was time to give this book it's fourth read. I wouldn't wish my worst enemy to reading this book four times. It's about the Irish immigrants who were banished to Australia for committing crimes and about The Kelly family in particular. It follows young Ned  Kelly as he grows up having to deal with the prejudice towards him due to his family and his Irish heritage. It's supposed to make you sympathise with the treatment of Ned and to realise that it's that which pushes him to become a criminal. In some ways I agree but a lot of the time I couldn't sympathise with him. It basically just isn't the book for me and my age bracket. However, I hate to admit it, but I enjoyed it slightly more the fourth time round; I think I've finally got used to the way it's written and the lack of grammar. It's still not a book I would recommend though.

TROUBLE // NON PRATT

After putting myself through that torture, I decided I wanted something light to read and when I saw this on offer on my Kindle, I thought I would give it a read as it looked like an easy YA read and it was just that. I've heard a mixed bag of opinions on Non Pratt and my feeling on this book are no different. I read it quickly and always went to pick it up without feeling like "urgh I need to finish it" but there were a few plot points that bothered me which, in fairness, I knew would just from reading the blurb. The whole Who's the Daddy plot wasn't one I enjoyed and it felt very soap opera-esque and I quickly guessed who it was and once I'd worked out  who it was I wasn't happy with it. It wasn't the most realistic twist and I think they could of done something bigger with the twist. I wasn't 100% sure on the ending but after having time to think about it, I did like it as it didn't try and tie all the loose ends up perfectly which I love but it gives a bit of room for your imagination to choose what happens next. I think it depicts British teenhood well; maybe not the way I live/am living it but it's realistic in some sense and I think it would be a good read for those 14-16.

THE BELL JAR // SYLVIA PLATH

It was back to the English A level reading and it's given me the chance to read a classic I've wanted to read for a while. I know this is a lot people's favourite book covering mental health and feminism which are two topics that are very important in our culture today just as it was back when this was written. I sadly, didn't enjoy this book as much as I would have hoped. I loved what it stood for but I found the writing to be a bit all over the place and jumped from place to place, person to person. Having said that, I understood what Plath was saying and why she included most of the incidents she did. I wasn't very emotional involved as I would have liked but by the end I was really routing for the main character of Esther. Plath does a great job in illustrating the struggles of a Esther, a working woman trying to navigate through life while her mental health declines but under the pressures to date men.  The are so many comparisons that can be made from the book to Plath's own life and I really like this aspect and while I haven't given it as high rating as I would have liked, I would still recommend for you to give it a read. However, I'd like to give a trigger warning as it does go into detail of numerous suicide attempts and so if you find that triggering in any way I would refrain from reading this. 

THE YELLOW WALL-PAPER // CHARLOTTE PERKINS GILMAN

When one of the stories your teacher recommends for you to read is just 30 pages long, it's definitely the right option and when I found this had been published into one of the little black penguin classics I was looking forward to giving this a read. I actually found that this 30 page story had a bigger personal impact than the 300 page Bell Jar. It follows the story of a woman who is told by her doctor and husband to stop writing as they try to help her get better but secretly she carries on writing her feelings of her imprisonment that is supposed to be helping her get better but isn't working. She continues to write about her thoughts as she descends further into madness. I've not read many short stories but this has to be one of my favourites covering feminism and declining mental health in such a short space. If you don't think it can be any more like The Bell Jar, it too is semi-autobiographical so if you enjoyed The Bell Jar I would definitely pick up this 80p book from Amazon and give it a read along with the other two short stories that I am yet to read but will be doing soon!

It's coming up to exams now but I want to keep the reading up in preparation for my exams but to also be my time to relax so hopefully it won't be long till I have another Recently Read post for you! 
Do you have any book recommendations? 
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

P.S Add meas a friend on Good Reads to keep up with me reading!

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