Because I have officially finished my Masters degree and passed my boards (plus am working from home due to the current pandemic), I have been able to get in a lot more free reading than I used to! I had the hardest time trying to free read when I was taking classes and struggled to get back into reading in the few short weeks in between semesters. I personally had difficulty letting my brain focus on a book other than my textbooks or anything relevant to passing my exams. So now that I am finally able to allow myself to free read whatever books I please, I would like to begin doing monthly book reviews of whatever books I finished that month!
For the month of April, I am going to be reviewing two books. I definitely had not yet found my groove with getting back into reading for pleasure, so I had a bit of a slow start, but now I cannot put books down! If you enjoy checking out what I’m reading, follow me on GoodReads! I love to see what other people are reading! Follow My Reads!
Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave by Adam Alter
- Rating: 6.5/10
- Read from 3/28/20-4/10/20
- Overall, this was an interesting read. I have a lot of psychology/behavior related books in my collection and I gravitated towards this one for my first quarantine read because it seemed to be written in a manner that would help to ease my way back into reading. This book is divided into three parts (The World Within Us, The World Between Us, and The World Around Us) and within each of these parts are three chapters. The author addresses several phenomena and how they play a role in how we behave, such as how the presence of different colors impact our behavior and feelings and the role our own cultures play in our day to day lives. The structure of the book works very well for how the author broke everything down, and the author doesn’t stay on a single topic for too long (although there were some where I wish there had been more!). There were a fair amount of studies that the author summarized very briefly (which I really enjoyed!), but there were also moments where the author appeared to be jumping to his own conclusions as opposed to sticking to scientific facts (the jumping to conclusions and assumptions were what made me drop my rating of this book the most – this book is advertised as a scientific read, where the reader would most likely believes everything that is written is factual, but that is not the case here). This turned out to be a little more difficult to get into than I originally thought, but there were still many phenomena that I felt I immediately needed to tell my husband about because they were so interesting! I definitely wouldn’t say that this book is purely factual and scientifically based, as there is definitely a mix of wonder and creativity from the author, but I think that helped the book not be straight up boring, since it was not just spitting out a bunch of facts at the reader. This book would be a great tool when it comes to debating the role these different phenomena play in our everyday lives and will challenge the reader to think about how they have been impacted by the various topics the author breaks down. Overall, I took off points due to some of the assumptions the author made and in some instances where I simply wanted more information, more studies, and more narrative about some of the topics. This book definitely is not for everyone (especially those who prefer to just lose themselves in a book and become completely immersed in a different world), but for those who find patterns of behavior and how outside forces can impact thoughts and feelings interesting, this is definitely a decent read!
If You Knew Her by Emily Elgar
- Rating: 8.5/10
- Read from 4/11/20-5/3/20
- This was a book that I really enjoyed reading! I did struggle getting into this book, mostly because of some of the phrases and adjusting to how the book was written. The author is from England so the English used is not entirely the same as American English and some of the phrases in the book I was unfamiliar with. Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the characters and there are three characters who’s views the reader gets to see. The story is told from the perspective of Cassie, a young woman who lands in the intensive care unit after a hit-and-run accident, Alice, the head nurse who is caring for Cassie, and Frank, a patient on the same unit as Cassie who has been deemed to be in a vegetative state but who is fully aware of everything going on around him and is suffering from locked-in syndrome after a stroke, so he has no way of communicating everyone else. I loved the constant changing of points of view and the author did a phenomenal job of connecting them all so the reader did not feel as though there were gaps in the storyline when changing between character perspectives. I was always finding myself wanting to read another chapter to see what the next character had to say about what was happening! There are many surprises within this book and even I was shocked at how everything ended. Overall it was a mysterious, interesting, and at times very emotional journey where the reader is along the ride with Alice and Frank trying to uncover who hit Cassie and if she is still in danger. Some of the writing was a little hard to get through, as I mentioned above, and the novel started out slow, but near the middle of the book, the story took off and was much more captivating. The ending came as a bit of a surprise to me, and some of it made me emotional, but overall I felt satisfied with how the story wrapped up. Aside from the book being a little difficult to get into at the beginning, I would definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy a little mystery and a storyline that will tug on the heart strings a bit.