Category Archives: 2 stars

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2/5 stars.

I cannot count on my fingers and toes how many times I wanted to throw this book across the room. Or better yet, slam it down on the floor. (get it? “slam”?)

I kid. I didn’t have such an intense reaction to Slammed. I barely had any reaction at all; I sat through the book like one sits through a cheesy, melodramatic romance movie. Bored and waiting for the next feature, or in this case, the next typo…

Slammed had such a fascinating premise. My favorite part of the book was Hoover’s inclusion of slam poetry, because I had only heard about it a couple of times before reading the book. Hoover incorporated love at first sight, forbidden romance, death, tragedy, and a multitude of other themes/motifs in the story. It should’ve been fantastic.

But it wasn’t. Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Reviews, Books

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2/5 stars.

When I first heard of As I Lay Dying, I imagined a grand romance with star-crossed lovers fighting to stay together until the very end. I imagined a more mature Juliet calling out to Romeo to rescue her from her imminent doom, and I imagined a bittersweet ending bathed in pathos and poignancy. I expected an epic story featuring several deep themes: love, loss, heartbreak.

Well, now I know not to judge a book by its title.

As I Lay Dying is actually about the Bundren family, a messy group of uncouth Southerners who embark on a journey to Jefferson to bury their wife and mother, Addie. On the way they encounter difficulties ranging from storms to broken body parts, and their ambitions are tested accordingly.

I could justify any star rating for this book, but I based my two-star rating on how much I personally enjoyed it. Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Struck By Lightning by Chris Colfer

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2/5 stars.

Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal by Chris Colfer details Carson Phillips’ struggle to gain admission to the school of his dreams: Northwestern University. He absolutely abhors everyone in his small, narrow-minded town – everyone aside from his ailing grandmother and depressed mom. When he realizes that he needs to create a literary journal to bolster his chances of acceptance, he blackmails various people from myriad social groups to write for him.

I empathized with Carson. Trust me, I did. I don’t live in the most conservative, small-minded town ever, but my area is far from New York City or Los Angeles. My yearning for college stems from my need to experience a different setting. In that respect I connected to Carson; his development in the ending spoke to me as well.

However, overall, I detested Carson. Lately I’ve read books with unlikable characters who are unlikable for no reason – like Carson, they’re not fleshed out or written well. Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Reviews, Books

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2/5 stars.

If I had read and rated this book two stars a year ago, perhaps I would have felt guilty. But that phase of my life is over. Though I am still somewhat scared that all of my future English professors will peer into my mind, feel my distaste for A Farewell to Arms, and proceed to punch me in the face.

There are a lot of great literary things going on here, and I can see why Hemingway in general is so well-received. Despite his imperfect personal life, his writing conveyed great beauty at times. This book delves into the brutality of battle and war, the torrid tale of two star-crossed lovers, and a multitude of other motifs and themes. If my ratings were based solely on literary merit this book would be much better off.

But, this is a book I wanted to feel. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2/5 stars.

When I finished reading this book in my AP Literature class, I literally cheered, clapped, and high-fived my friends sitting next to me. The cycle of complete despair had been broken! My soul could now sing a song of optimism and joy!

Before I read this book, I still had a sliver of doubt in my mind. The doubt that I should include a myriad more classics to my reading list, that my brain would rot and rupture under the strain of contemporary fiction.

No. Just, no. Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Story of Us by Deb Caletti

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 2/5 stars.

I must make a comparison to Sarah Dessen. Sarah Dessen’s books deal with teenaged girls finding their way in the world while fixing some flaw or issue in their lives. Her books are consistently great – so consistently great that some say they are formulaic. I, for one, love Sarah Dessen. Maybe it’s the romance maniac in me, or maybe I just love how she always amazes me with her writing. She’s like that annoying kid in your AP English class who always picks up on the simile or metaphor before you do, and always recognizes the right answer.

Deb Caletti’s books also deal with teenage girls finding their way in the world while fixing flaws and overcoming issues. This is where the similarities between Caletti and Dessen end. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Rating: 2/5 stars.

“You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile.”

Well, that’s depressing.

I actually thought that while reading most of the novel. Either something along the lines of “well, that’s depressing” or “oh my gosh, so much violence.” There is definitely a reason the book is titled Fight Club.

And the book should be depressing, as it deals with heavy and unpleasant topics such as excessive materialism, lack of individualism, and deindividuation. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under 2 stars, Book Reviews, Books