22 Aug 2018

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This was one of few Mitch Albom books that I didn't already own or have read. So, after seeing it in the charity shop I thought it'd be worth a quick read. It centres around a man named Charley who has hit rock bottom and decides to take his own life. However, after the attempt, he wakes up where he lived as a child and his mother is there; what's confusing is she's been dead 8 years. For the rest of the day he spends time with his mum as well as people she introduces him to along the way. We see him reconnect with his mother and also understand his childhood a lot better.

Like Tuesday's with Morrie, it's a quick read but can still pack an emotional punch into just 200 pages. It's a book that looks closely into the naivety of childhood and times when you may dislike your parents because of decisions that you may not realise actually benefit you. From the Mitch Albom I've already read,  time, death and afterlife are big themes he continuously explores and these are, again, strong themes throughout this book. However, compared to his other books such as Five People You Meet in Heaven and The Time Keeper, this book didn't have the same effect on me as those. It may be that I'm getting bored of the themes that run throughout and it seems like the same ideas are just being exhausted. However, I didn't hate it. While I would recommend other Mitch Albom books before this one, if you've read his others I'm sure you'll enjoy this one. 



In my student house, we had lots of conversations about books and we spoke about one's we studied at both GCSE and A Level. One that two of the girls had read was Lord of The Flies and both had differing opinions, especially about the ending. However, both said it was one of their favourite books they had to read at school so I thought I'd see what I made of it and gave it a go.

I could tell from the start that, if I was reading this at GCSE, it would have been a long read. But, now being 20 and having more of an understanding of the way these books are purposefully written, I was able to get through it quickly. On the whole I enjoyed it; it was fast paced and was a really interesting concept. Throughout, I could see similarities to some Dystopian books such as The Hunger Games and Maze Runner in terms of the survival aspects of the book so I wondered if this was a little inspiration for those books. I understood what the different characters symbolised and I enjoyed seeing their different perspectives on decisions which the narrative allowed. I also did enjoy the writing style but at points I did lose my way. I would get caught up in some of the more wordy paragraphs and miss a big event and would have to go back and reread; it was a point of the book I both liked and disliked.

As for the controversial ending, I could see where both my friends came from. Without spoiling anything, it really highlighted the themes of the book but at the same time I thought it was a little rushed and would have liked a bit more from it.

If you're someone who likes books that need a little more thought into the underlying meanings then this one is for you. While I've only given it 3 stars, I'd say it's more of a 3.5 especially after reading more into the plot which definitely allowed me to appreciate it that little bit more. 



I'm so annoyed I left this book so long to read. After getting it last year I never found a good time to sit down and read it but, finally, I did. This book follows 16 year old Starr as she navigates through a white high school in the suburbs while living in a poor neighbourhood. After witnessing the shooting of her friend Khalil, Starr's story unfolds.

I was shocked to see this contemporary book being more than 400 pages but oh was it worth it and more. Every chapter I enjoyed; the writing style flowed and especially loved the dialogue between the different characters.  There's nothing about this book that I would really change; the story was an impactful and educational one as it focusses on police violence as well as the marginalisation of poor, black communities in America. It looked at the faults in the justice system and also the failure of governments in helping these communities while still being a book that got me hooked throughout.

I thought I was well educated with movements such as black lives matter but, from this, I realised you can never understand enough about oppression and the angle that this book takes really helps readers, who may be a little naive, understand what is happening and how nothing is being done. While this book is based on characters, I found it hard not to think of them as real people because the events in this book have happened to many across American and across the world. 

I love that this is YA and that it's speaking out to thousands of young people about something I wish I read more about when I was younger. I'd love to see more books like this on the shelves. What's also worth mentioning is that, unlike all other books, I actually read the "Author's Note" at the end and I recommend you do too. I'd be interested to see a sequel of sorts to this book; whether that be of a similar story or about one of the side characters. 

Also, if anyone has any recommendations similar to this I would love to hear them! I'd be interested in reading more about race in education because I did enjoy that element of this book. 

Have you any of the books I mentioned? What are you currently Reading?

Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

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