THE SUNDAY REVIEW: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

5/5

Screen Shot 2014-12-21 at 8.01.13 PMI know, I know– this book is five years old and everyone’s already read it and seen the movie and NO ONE needs to read a review of it now.

But just in case you are one of the five or ten people who hasn’t read it…omigosh, go buy it right now. It’s absolutely fantastic. The writing is beautiful, the plot is intriguing, but what stands out most of all is the voice. There are three narrators: Minny, Aibileen and Skeeter. Each unique, each lovable, each absolutely captivating. The story moves seamlessly between the three of them, and there is never a point where you think, “I wish I was back in the other character’s head/story”.

I won’t say anymore (because I’ve been awake for about a hundred hours, and I’m not even sure this is making sense), but if you want to fall head-over-heels for three brilliant, inspirational women this Christmas, pick up The Help. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

xo Elizabeth

THE SUNDAY REVIEW: Suicide Watch by Kelley York

5/5

Screen Shot 2014-12-13 at 7.22.48 PMI don’t know about you guys, but I tend to go on writer kicks. Like, after reading Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, I went on a Rowell binge and read Attachments and Fangirl in the span of like, two days. And for the last week or two, I’ve been on a serious Kelley York binge. I loved her NA novel Hushed (which I reviewed a few weeks ago) and I had high expectations for Suicide Watch.

While this is quite different from Hushed, the two have a lot in common: they’re both dark, both intense, and both super well-written.

This sentence from the book blurb pretty much sums the story up – “A year ago, Vince watched a girl leap to her death off a bridge, and now he’s starting to think she had the right idea.

Vince is an 18-year-old who just graduated high school and is contemplating suicide. He finds a (beyond disturbing) pro-suicide group online, and meets two people there – Casper, a girl with terminal cervical cancer, and Adam, a guy whose home life is pretty shitty.

I really can’t recommend this book enough. It’s powerful without being preachy, and it just reads really realistically. I’ve seen a lot of patients with depression/suicidal ideations, and this book rings pretty true. There’s a certain flatness to York’s writing — and I mean that as a huge compliment. If you talk with people who suffer from major depressive disorder, you’ll often hear this distinct, flat, apathetic tone.

Anyway, I’ll stop before I launch into a boring recitation of the DSM-5, but if you’re looking for a great read, definitely pick this one up. It’s a little disturbing and oftentimes super emotional – but ultimately uplifting. It’s also the first book in a long time that made me respond out loud to a scene (“Holy shit!”), and for that alone, it gets the blog’s first 5/5.

Happy reading!

xo Elizabeth