Literary Reviews

A sample of literary reviews written for booknectar, a book reviewing blog that I created and co-run.

Circe by Madeline Miller

Growing up, I used to drown in fantasy books on a daily basis. I would curl up in a corner of the treehouse in my backyard or lay in the bathtub until I was more prune than person and I would submerge myself in places that didn’t exist (and the impossibly fascinating people who populated them). Eventually—and always against my will—I would be yanked out of the story to eat dinner or get ready for bed but all the while, I‘d still be wandering ancient forests and fictitious mountain tops and hoping that someday soon, I’d wake up to discover a magic power or divine guardian of my own.

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Every now and then, something without blood finds itself in the curious position of having no choice but to bleed. In my twenty-five years on this planet, I’ve been lucky enough to only witness a handful of these woundings, and from a distance at that: the nation after 9/11; the Middle East during the Iraq War; and finally, Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Like most children who experienced the storm as a string of upsetting news clips rather than surviving it firsthand, my memories of Katrina are clouded by a haze of safety. More than anything though, I remember the pause.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

As is the case with most stories that have 900+ pages, The Mists of Avalon is a book you could do bicep curls with. When all five pounds of it showed up in the mail (note: buy this book at a shop unless you’re okay with paying a small fortune in shipping), I walked into the kitchen with it and one of my roommates apologized. “That sucks,” she said, actually wincing. “What class is making you read that?” After struggling to explain to her why I was voluntarily reading a book the size of a small dictionary, I went into my room, took a deep breath, and dove right in.

4 Movies We Wish Were Books

To all the cinephiles who are pulling out their pitchforks and preparing to skewer us for daring to suggest that any of the following movies should be books instead of films: put your weapons away, because that is NOT what we’re advocating. Whether it’s for their sweeping panoramas of the Pacific Northwest, their gloriously convoluted plots lines, or their generally morbid themes, we love these movies not only for their stories but for their brilliant cinematography.

Black Hole by Charles Burns

Set in a Seattle summer sometime in the 1970s, Black Hole follows a cast of high school seniors as they cope with The Bug- a painful, stomach-curdling disease that’s passed through saliva. The afflicted develop horrifying side effects that they attempt to conceal for as long as they can, but everyone infected with The Bug eventually ends up in the same place: deep in the woods, in a camp of misfits and outcasts who have no one to rely on but each other.