Mini Reviews: Still Alice, His Dark Materials, & A Heart so Fierce and Broken

I hope you’re all having a fantastic week so far! Are you participating in the Stay Home Reading Rush? As I only just started this blog a week ago I have quite a few reviews to catch up on.

Title: Still Alice
Author: Lisa Genova
Date Published: July 6, 2007
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Date read: January 5, 2020

Still Alice follows Alice Howland, a Harvard cognitive psychology professor, facing a early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis. It’s a moving and heart wrenching story that everyone should read.

I still remember the first time I saw Still Alice at the bookstore, the cover immediately caught my eye but I didn’t end up picking up the novel since I was still in my late teens/early twenties and I thought there’d be no way a novel about a 50 year old could be relateable to me. Still, everytime I saw it in the store after that moment, I wanted to pick it up. Eventually I caved and I haven’t regretted it since. Lisa Genova has gone on to become one of my favourite authors and someone I admire greatly. Rereading Still Alice has made it clearer to me how much Lisa Genova’s writing has improved so much since this first novel. I still think this is a fantastic debut and I love how much research and thought go into her novels. 

Series: His Dark Materials
Books: The Golden Compass (or Northern Lights), The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass
Author: Philip Pullman
Date Published: 1996-2000
Rating: 4/5, 4/5, 4.25/5 stars
Date read: January 2020

Northern Lights takes place in an alternate reality where individuals have animal familiars called daemons, and these daemons are manifestations of one’s soul. We follow a 12-year-old orphan named Lyra as she tries to uncover the mystery behind children going missing in her city.

I was pleasantly surprised by my read through of the His Dark Materials Trilogy. It features some really likeable and well fleshed out characters, an interesting story, and some great world building. This trilogy is also not afraid to go places most middle grade/young adult shies from. I ended up listening to the series on audio and that was a great choice as the full-cast version is fantastic. Also, I’m not usually someone who likes animal familiars or talking animals but I did enjoy them in this instance, and I’m a sucker for scientific jargon so this series worked really well for me.

Title: A Heart so Fierce and Broken
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Date Published: January 7, 2020
Rating: 2/5 stars
Date read: January 15, 2020

A Heart So Fierce and Broken is the sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely, which was one of my favourite books last year. A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast, involving alternate worlds, one of which is our own, and a kick-butt protagonist with cerebral palsy.

Unfortunately for me, last year my most anticipated book releases, for the most part, let me down. This year isn’t off to a great start either. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to connect with the characters in AHSFAB and I thought the plot relied heavily on miscommunication, something I really don’t like. I especially didn’t like the ending though. Here’s to hoping the last book in the trilogy is better and if you’re planning on picking this one up I hope you enjoy it more than I did!

If you’ve read any of these books or plan to read them, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Happy reading <3.

2 thoughts on “Mini Reviews: Still Alice, His Dark Materials, & A Heart so Fierce and Broken

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