ssgcedits's reviews
152 reviews

John, by Cynthia Lennon

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emotional informative reflective sad fast-paced

4.0

Love: Vintage Minis, by Jeanette Winterson

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reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

The Anthropocene Reviewed, by John Green

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emotional funny hopeful informative reflective medium-paced

4.5

Green's wittiness and lyricism are even more evident in essay form than in narrative. And there are as many funny, wacky facts in this book as you would expect from a celebrity nerd. Green's books always leave me feeling a little more hopeful.
My only criticisms are that for a book that claims to review the Anthropocene it is obscenely American in perspective (despite a couple of essays being on non-American topics/stories); and that, if you've followed John Green for a few years, even if you don't listen to the Anthropocene podcast, a lot of these stories will be at least familiar to your ears.

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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, by Hank Green

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adventurous informative lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

Ah, yes... The better Green.
A very fast-paced adventure with much information and reflection on social media, media narratives, and how we see international/global problems. It reads a bit like a stream of consciousness but in a very effective and organised way. It is clearly written by a science person, but I mean that in the best way possible. It is very straightforward and unpretentious. Because it is so rooted in what our culture is actually like, it feels extremely possible, even real, despite being an alien invasion sci-fi story. I can't wait to pick up the next book in the series and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a page-turner regardless of their interest in sci-fi.

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The Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles Dickens

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Did not finish book. Stopped at 59%.
I couldn't take the unnecessary dragging of this story anymore.
Pan, by Ssgc Edits, S Ellan

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emotional reflective fast-paced

5.0

Working on this collection really was a pleasure. I hope the poems touch the readers as much as they did the editor.
Night Boat to Tangier, by Kevin Barry

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challenging dark emotional mysterious sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

I had to pause several times while reading this and got a sadness hangover for three days after I was done--it's that depressing. But, of course, it wouldn't make that much of an emotional dent if it weren't masterfully written.

I ticked the lovable character box, not so much because they are particularly good people but because they grow on you as their story is revealed and stay with you long after as their nostalgia clings to you. You get the feeling that this pair of criminals could very well be your uncles, that they could be you. I always love an accurate depiction of mental illness and addiction. Sad as it may be--and this one is--it always makes you feel a bit less alone.

And, of course, the Irish charm on every page completes the package.

It deserves all the praise it got and more.  

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To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, by Christopher Paolini

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adventurous challenging dark mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

And he did it again. Paolini never writes anything below epic.

This story is brilliantly researched, packed with action (even a bit too much for someone used to slower books) and well-rounded, diverse characters. It feels like a perfectly plausible future, but there are also nods to the Empire series that make it seem like a plausible future in that same universe.
It is definitely more adult and explicit than Empire. I am not saying that Empire isn't violent, bloody and nasty at points, because it is, but this book goes into more gore-ish detail, I think. So, be ready for that. I had to pause at various points not just because of the violence but also the sense of impending doom that builds up throughout the novel and to the very end.

Another great skill of Paolini's is in depicting relationships from the most formal to most intimate. Nothing is instantaneous or unexplained. It all makes sense to those characters in that moment and under those circumstances (almost always abnormal). Similarly, the saddest moments are often bittersweet and the happiest tend to be quite complex, which I also appreciate.

There is a lot o subtle and not-so-subtle commentary on racism and 'otherness,' on government, corporations and the exploitation of space and workers such as miners.  I always admired the way Paolini handles the interaction of different species and it is no different here. In such a dark narrative, the inclusion of comical or lighthearted characters was very welcome.

And, again, as usual, at the end of a long book, there are still many mysteries to uncover and stories to tell beyond the protagonist's. So, is that an open door for (a) sequel(s)? I hope so.

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Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne

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adventurous funny lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5