Welcome to the first book review here on kayteable! Last month I posted a blog called November’s Reading List which included:
I will start with reviewing the two poetry books by Rupi Kuar as the review is short and sweet and then we shall gently tear apart Glowing Blue by: Shane Hall.
So as I mentioned in “November’s Reading List“, I had previously read Milk and Honey and really resonated with her poetry. I think she portrays a voice for both herself and many others on subjects that we often shy away from speaking about. It talks about pain and heartbreak and how to feel it truly and then find the beauty in that pain. I found that the poetry was very connective and brought tears to my eyes. It had nothing on her second book, The Sun and Her Flowers, for me however. It was all about growth and the death of the old to grow the new. I, personally, very much enjoyed the poetry and illustrations and found Rupi Kuar’s words mesmerizing- give BOTH books a solid 10/10. Highly recommend them to anyone-especially for a more “feminine” perspective of heartache.
Now- Glowing Blue by Shane Hall. I have to say upfront-that I personally know the author and found that personal perspective kept getting in the way of the main character Noah Hales from having a voice of his own. BUT- that being said, in the most loving way-I am very critical about this particular read and my feelings about it were unexpected.
This book was all about the main character, Noah Hale and his coming of age story. It focuses at the beginning on a fast paced summary of his upbringing- revealing some disturbing relationship dynamics between him and his mother. It delved into how he had never been able to relate well to other students/peers and how he really only interacts with his father Jen Hales as both his son and employee. All of the book was written from Noah’s first person perspective, so you get to read along to his thought process and he is clearly brighter than most children or even really people in general. He struggles with some anxiety and self harm which leads him to make and strike a deal with a counselor, Mack Reynolds- who throughout the whole book help’s Noah process his feelings and some incredible losses he experiences throughout. As he is a teen he becomes aware of peculiar abilities and is surrounded by some mysterious disappearances, occurrences, and deaths-and it is later revealed his true nature of who and what he is.
Now- let’s start with what I really enjoyed about this book. I really, really liked the concept- in fact I wish there it was more fleshed out as I found it very interesting. I enjoyed reading about his and Jen’s relationship and laughed at Jen’s cryptic wisdom he would often pass onto his son. He was a man of very few words but when he spoke it meant something. I liked Noah’s banter with himself and how he related to everything around him. He was beyond intelligent and I like watching his very mathematical brain connect dots I wouldn’t have every seen. I enjoyed Noah’s character, as he seemed very raw and honest- never seemed too wildly ashamed of his strange behaviors.
Alright-the knitty gritty critiques.
- Like I said- I really enjoyed the concept and I wish it was fleshed out more. While I really enjoyed getting to know Noah- I wish rather than 3/4 of the book focusing on building his character and then 1/4 filling out the plot and working on the important relationship dynamics that it was the opposite. There would have been more time to connect with the characters, to absorb all the new information of a world unfamiliar to us, and have a greater understanding of the inner turmoil happening if it wasn’t all dropped at once.
- That leads me to- the fast paced relationships. I understand that Noah and Megan were supposed to be a bit of a fast paced couple…however, almost every relationship whether it be a friendship, an enemy, or a love interest all evolved within a few sentences when I think it should have been paced between chapters. At least for me- a lot of the “affection” and “connection” was forced and that later affected how I would feel about what happened to certain people in future.
- This goes along with number one, but I wish the explanation for the reveal of what Noah was- wasn’t so rushed and wasn’t so jam packed with information at once. It was hard to grasp a whole new reality, have multiple characters introduces or revealed all at once. It was again…very rushed.
- I wasn’t particularly a fan of HOW the relationship with his mother and then later sister was handled. It wasn’t really that it happened- it was how the energy, mindset, and clarity about the situation was nonchalant and kind of…just excepted? I could tell there was an attempt to create tension around the subject but it just ended up feeling a tad…”fetishy”. All that to say, I don’t think that was how it was intended…that’s just how it read.
All of that to say- I am so very proud to have read and supported a local author who, I have to say, has a many great talents…so I wouldn’t and couldn’t expect his first book to be perfect. So even though I personally rate it 5.5/10, I recommend supporting him and reading his book and if he ever published again I would be one of the first to buy his book. 🙂
I hope you all had a good month of reading and here’s to a cozy month of reading ahead! I will see you all again in the book nook here soon enough with a few more reviews! Also, if you decide to read any of these- I always recommend buying them from a local book store or trying to find them second hand…but I know that is not always possible…so the links are provided above if you want to get a copy of your own.
Until next read-