Books That Defined My Decade

Books That Defined My Decade

This post was entirely inspired by Kate @ Your Tita Kate’s post, The Books That Defined My decade. I never thought to even reflect on my decade, but after reading Kate’s post, I immediately wanted to do the same.

I have a terrible memory, so I don’t remember much from my childhood, which makes me feel like I didn’t genuinely exist until 2010. At the start of this decade, I was eleven years old, turning twelve that March and, at the time of writing this post, I am twenty-one, about to turn twenty-two this March. I went from primary school, secondary school, college and university all in this decade alone. And just thinking about that blows my mind. In some sense, it shouldn’t because it’s just time passing but, at the same time, that is a lot of significant milestones in my life. I went from a child to a young adult, and reading Kate’s post made me realise that’s not a small thing. Reading is a big part of my identity, especially during this decade is where I had more choice over the books I read. While Kate’s post is more about books published in each specific year, my list is naming the books that I read in that year that made the most significant impact on me. So not all of them were great reads, but I feel like they deserve some acknowledge from impacting me in some way.

I’m going off what years I’ve put in my Goodreads profile but I feel like I might be off by a year or so hence I’ve added some books here that I actually read in 2009.

  • Thief – Despite Malorie Blackman being of the UK’s most beloved children’s author, I never read her acclaimed series Noughts & Crosses. Instead of the books, I knew her by were Thief and Hacker. I think this part is due to the face we didn’t have her books in my primary school library. (Maybe we did, and it was always being borrowed?) But anyway, I found Thief by accident when someone had randomly left it lying around after Golden Time. (lol remember Golden Time?) Anyway, someone remind me actually to read Noughts & Crosses in this decade.
  • Theodore Boone – The early 2010s was before I joined proper social media, so my ability to find books were severely limited. I don’t even remember how I managed to find Theodore Boone because it wasn’t from my school library, nor did anyone buy it for me. But I loved this series a lot as a kid. I used to watch a lot of crime shows with my family, so reading a series set in a similar environment to all the shows I was watching, but with a protagonist my age blew my mind.
  • The Lighting Thief – Funnily enough, this was the last time I actually up a Rick Riordan book before picking up the second one in 2019. I really loved The Lightning Thief, but my school library didn’t have the rest of the series so sadly, and with my fish brain that forgets everything every five seconds, I never got around to finishing this series. I tried continuing the series, but life got in the way. I really hope to get back to this series soon. 
Continue reading “Books That Defined My Decade”
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BOOK REVIEW: Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

you can find the book at:

GoodReads
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Author Website

goodreads summary:

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

my review:

Rating:
★★★☆☆

~ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review~

This is the first book I’ve requested from NetGallery, and I’m so glad that they accepted. I’m not a big fan of contemporary YA novels- to be honest, they bore me. But I’ve enjoyed Tamara Ireland Stone’s previous novels,so when I read the description for this, it sounded interesting. And it was.

The main character Sam was diagnosed with OCD as a child, and she’s been hiding it from her friends ever since- worried that her ‘perfect’ friends would find out that she isn’t like them. She keeps it well hidden, trying to be as ‘Normal’ as possible.Tamara Ireland Stone does a decent job of making Sam real. Her portrayal of OCD felt truthful, and it was obvious that she spent some time researching the topic and taking great care in depicting the struggles that Sam must go through. The novel was engaging and I felt an intensity I truly didn’t expect. Her relationship with her therapist as one of my favourite through the book. She’s a strong presence in Sam’s life, and is such an amazing character.

Sam also meets Caroline who introduces her to the Poet’s Corner. A place hidden beneath the school where a small group of students meet, sharing their burdens in the form of poems. This gives Sam an outlet, and soon becomes more confident and comfortable here. It felt right seeing her happy when she spends so much of her time miserable.

I loved the development between Sam and AJ, but I didn’t like their story. Sam used to bully AJ. This wasn’t just childish jokes, it was extreme bullying to a point where he just stopped speaking and wasn’t until he found music/poems as a way to speak again. This is probably the reason it didn’t get a 5 from me. The way it dealt with the issue of bullying was completely false. Sam may not be a bully, but she does so out of peer pressure.. Bullying is a very serious issue, and this book does not give weight to it. It glosses over the fact that Sam was a bully, peer pressure or not, it was still unacceptable. She feels bad about it, but there is never any feeling of sincerity upon her reflection into it.

Overall, Every Last Word seems like a typical contemporary book but it was enjoyable.