book review, young adult

Review: As I Descended

Between the atheism and the lesbian thing, Lily was a terrible Catholic. Even before she’d added murder to her list of sins.

As I Descended, Robin Talley

28218948

FORMAT: audiobook

RATING: 3.5/5 stars

SUMMARY: Delilah basically rules Acheron Academy, the prestigious Southern private school, and is set to win the prestigious Kingsley Prize that will guarantee her admission into Princeton University. Maria is second in line to win the Kingsley Prize, and her (secret) girlfriend Lily is determined that Maria beats Delilah in the prize running. If Maria wins the Kingsley, then she would be able to attend Stanford University and openly date the love of her life, Lily. The extents to which Lily and Maria will go to achieve this dream, however, have the potential to change the landscape of Acheron forever.

THOUGHTS:  This adaptation of Macbeth rocked my world. A female Macbeth totally worked, and the Macbeth’s as a LGBTQ couple also worked nicely. The combination of the Southern Gothic genre to the inherent spookiness in Macbeth works extremely well. The diversity in the cast of characters was also a huge plus.

I also appreciated the addition of Latino culture to the narrative. It only enriched the Southern-Gothic tradition in the novel, and I feel as if this perspective can be omitted from that exact tradition. It was also interesting to see how the Latino versions of ghost stories and the American versions of ghost stories intersect and interact in this novel. I adore the efforts taken on by recent authors to diversify the Young Adult genre, and this novel certainly takes a step in the right direction.

I did not give this book a higher rating due to the fact that i felt it was lacking in some explanations and detail. While this kind of omissions makes more sense in a play, it did not work as well in the novel form. However, if you like young adult books and if you like Shakespeare, then I would definitely recommend this book for you!

Advertisements
Standard
miscellaneous, reading recommendations

My BEST Assigned Reads

Assigned reading, you either love it or you hate it, right? I have been lucky enough to encounter some of the best books that I’ve ever read through school. Here are my absolute top five favorite books that I had to read for school (in no particular order):

  • Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood

persepolis

I read this one for school last year and it absolutely blew my mind. Persepolis is an illustrated memoir by Marjane Satrapi detailing her childhood during the Iranian Revolution. It is full of topics such asdialectical materialism, as well as the horrors that accompanied such a drastic political change. It forever altered my perception of modern Iranian society and I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

  • Jane Eyre


cvr9781416500247_9781416500247_hr

This is one of my absolute favorite classics. I related to Jane and her tragic, heartbreaking story and I adored the darker elements of this novel as well. All in all, it has a strong female protagonist that manages to defy and conform to many of the expectations set for her in Victorian society and a romance with a tall and dark man with a mysterious background…what more could you want?

  • To Kill a Mockingbird

to-kill-a-mockingbird

Although I don’t have one true favorite book, if I had to name one, it would be this novel. I read this my freshman year of high school, but if I were to reread it now I am sure it would have the same pull and effect that it had on me several years ago. Most of you probably have read this book so I won’t go into it that much, but I adored it absolutely.

  • Middlesex

middlesex

If you have not read this book, drop what you’re doing and go read it now. This is a book by Jeffrey Eugenides, the same guy that wrote The Virgin Suicides. It is so complicated that it is hard to think of a good synopsis. There are elements of legacy, immigration, family, gender identity (or mis-identity) and the story spans three different generations of a Greek family in America. The main character is Cal, who was brought up as a girl but is neither entirely female nor entirely male because of his familial history and his complicated genetics. It’s a longer read, but it is absolutely worth it.

  • Macbeth

cvr9781451694727_9781451694727_hr

I could talk about this play f o r  h o u r s on end. It is my favorite Shakespeare (so far) for so many reasons. I had the absolute joy of getting to study it twice- once in my senior year of high school and once last year for a Shakespeare class that I took. I am sure many of you had to read this in school as well and while I think Shakespeare is a genius in general, I feel as if this play is so much more complex and has so much more to offer than some of his other plays (I am really only throwing shade at Taming of the Shrew tbh. I really like Shakespeare but I cannot like Taming of the Shrew even if I tried).

What are some of your favorite assigned readings?

Standard