50/50 Friday (74): Best/Worst Book Read in February

50/50 Friday is a meme hosted by Carrie @The Butterfly Reads and I and focuses on the opposite sides of books (best/worst, differing opinions, etc).  Every week will have a new topic and several advance topics will be listed in the tab labeled 50/50 Friday!

Today’s Topic: Best/Worst Book Read in February


Standalone to date
Rating: 5 stars (review to come!)
“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.”

Amir is the son of a wealthy Kabul merchant, a member of the ruling caste of Pashtuns. Hassan, his servant and constant companion, is a Hazara, a despised and impoverished caste. Their uncommon bond is torn by Amir’s choice to abandon his friend amidst the increasing ethnic, religious, and political tensions of the dying years of the Afghan monarchy, wrenching them far apart. But so strong is the bond between the two boys that Amir journeys back to a distant world, to try to right past wrongs against the only true friend he ever had.

The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies.

A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, The Kite Runner is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.”

This was my first time reading this and I can’t believe I waited this long!  Most people I know read it years ago for school but I never had to.  Regardless, I’m so glad I read this and I have plans to watch the movie ASAP.  If you haven’t read this, I highly recommend it!  It’s just so full of sorrow and hope and redemption and has such a lovely circular plot structure and I love it!


Standalone to date
Rating: 3 stars (review to come!)
Five disparate voices inhabit Ali Smith’s dreamlike, mesmerising Hotel World, set in the luxurious anonymity of the Global Hotel, in an unnamed northern English city. The disembodied yet interconnected characters include Sara, a 19-year-old chambermaid who has recently died at the hotel; her bereaved sister, Clare, who visits the scene of Sara’s death; Penny, an advertising copywriter who is staying in the room opposite; Lise, the Global’s depressed receptionist; and the homeless Else who begs on the street outside. Smith’s ambitious prose explores all facets of language and its uses. Sara takes us through the moment of her exit from the world and beyond; in her desperate, fading grip on words and senses she gropes to impart the meaning of her death in what she terms “the lift for dishes”–then comes a flash of clarity: “That’s the name for it, the name for it; that’s it; dumb waiter dumb waiter dumb waiter.” Blended with hers are other voices: Penny’s bland journalese and Else’s obsession with metaphysical poetry.

Hotel World is not an easy read: disturbing and witty by turns, with its stream-of-consciousness narrators reminiscent of Virgina Woolf’s The Waves, its deceptively rambling language is underpinned by a formal construction. Exploring the “big themes” of love, death and millennial capitalism, it takes as its starting point Muriel Spark’s Momento Mori (“Remember you must die”) and counteracts this axiom with a resolute “Remember you must live”. Ali Smith’s novel is a daring, compelling, and frankly spooky read. –Catherine Taylor”

This is one of those books I can appreciate from a literary critic point of view, but not as a reader.  Personally, I just found this book incredibly confusing and twisty (not in a good way) and needlessly misleading.  It’s such a great book if you’re looking for something a little outside your comfort zone structure wise or you need a good book for a literary analysis (seriously, this book is packed full of symbols and themes and such) but I won’t be rereading it for leisure ever again.

Also, yes I know I’m soooo behind on reviews (I’ve been seriously killing it in the reading game, though: I read 17 books total this month!  Nine of those being rereads but whatever) but I will catch up in the next few weekends!  My computer has been having hardware issues which isn’t good news for the blogger side of me but hopefully I’ll get it fixed over spring break (more about this in my monthly wrap-up).

Have you read either of these?  What did you think of them?  What were your best and worst reads in February?  Make a post and link up down below!


Next Week’s Topic: Favorite Book You’ve Reviewed/Not Reviewed

0 thoughts on “50/50 Friday (74): Best/Worst Book Read in February”

  1. Wow! You read 17 books in February?! That’s awesome! I read The Kite Runner a long time ago and hardly remember it. I do remember not being a huge fan but that’s me. So picky. 😉


  2. I really liked The Kite Runner and another of Hosseini's novels, A Thousand Splendid Suns.Ali Smith I am less of a fan. I haven't read this one but was underwhelmed by a couple of her previous books so I don't pick them up anymore.Looking forward to your Kite Runner review 🙂


  3. I saw that Hosseini had written other books and they went right on my TBR! I absolutely loved his writing style.I had the same feelings about Ali Smith. I can see why critics like it, but from an enjoyment point of view, it just wasn't my cup of tea.Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!


  4. Yep! I'm hoping to keep the momentum going so I can actually finish my Goodreads goal this year!Haha that's partly why I love reading your reviews; you're able to actually dislike books which I seem incapable of doing except for like 2 total books… 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!


  5. It had the same sort of impact for me! It was actually such a great book to read for school because I had so much to say about the topics and I actually wanted to write an essay on it 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Olivia!


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