Hi, friends! The other day I read two super short books with some female female rep, so I thought I would write two super short reviews.
Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann
Summary from Goodreads:
Addie has always known what she was running toward. In cross-country, in life, in love. Until she and her boyfriend—her sensitive, good-guy boyfriend—are careless one night and she ends up pregnant. Addie makes the difficult choice to have an abortion. And after that—even though she knows it was the right decision for her—nothing is the same anymore. She doesn’t want anyone besides her parents and her boyfriend to know what happened; she doesn’t want to run cross-country; she can’t bring herself to be excited about anything. Until she reconnects with Juliana, a former teammate who’s going through her own dark places.
“When my brother started college he stopped going to church. His faith had faded and shrunk like an old shirt, and he could hardly remember back to when it still fit.”
Content warning: abortion, underaged drinking, references to/mentions of underaged sex
I have no idea where to start with this book. Given that it is not well known, I think that a good place to start is by explaining what it is about. The issue is, I am not entirely sure (despite the fact that I read the entire book). Addie goes to a Catholic high school, she finds herself pregnant and gets abortion and then spends the rest of the book trying to cope with that decision. This book is written in verse, but you have no idea how much I wish it hadn’t been. I think that the story and message of this book could have been so powerful, but the medium in which it was expressed meant that I felt very disconnected from the characters and the story line to the point where there were points where I was questioning what exactly was happening.
Given that I gave this book two stars, there were a lot of things I saw as not great about it. The first one is once again the writing, I know I just said this but it bothered me so much I am repeating it. I felt so disconnected from the story and characters and I honestly hated it. Another thing I hated was that Addie’s parents seemed to not make sense, it was like they said and agreed to one thing and then turned around and did the complete opposite. Yet another thing was all of the lying Addie did, while I understand some of it, it just got to be too much for me towards the end, especially when Addie got upset at people for being concerned. I also feel like the entire line of discussions concerning abortion was not good and once again not written well. There was also an ever so slight female female romance (which was the whole reason I read it), but it seemed very sudden and also I was left questioning whether Addie had actually broken up with her boyfriend at that point or if she was cheating on him.
All in all, I don’t really recommend this book, but it is super short and written in verse so its a very quick read if you think it is something you would be interested in.
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour
Summary from Goodreads:
You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…
Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.
“I was okay just a moment ago. I will learn how to be okay again.”
Content warning: grief, loss of a loved one/parental figure, underaged drinking
My thoughts on this book are a complicated mess. On one hand, it was oddly comforting and I really enjoyed it. On the other hand, it felt like nothing happened and some of the revelations towards the end confused me. However, since I listened to this on audio, I am going to take a brief moment to talk about what I thought about it. The narrator’s voice was really soothing and comforting, but at the same time, it seemed like she did not vary her tone of voice when acting as different characters. Don’t get me wrong, it was a really good audiobook and I would recommend it (especially since its pretty short, like only fiveish hours), but at points when Mabel and Marin were talking I couldn’t differentiate between them.
As for the book itself, I have startlingly little to say about it. I saw a lot of reviews saying it was boring or pointless, but for the most part I enjoyed it. I was oddly comforted in the beginning by the plot and Marin for no real reason. I didn’t even notice that there wasn’t much plot until I was about forty percent in, but it still didn’t bother me too much. One of two things that really bothered me was that a plot still didn’t appear or pick up by the end of the novel, it was very much just a “follow a character around all day” book. That isn’t exactly bad, but normally when novels are character based there is still a semblance of a plot. It didn’t bother me, but also it bothered me a little? I know I make no sense lol. There was also a revelation towards the end of the novel that I didn’t understand because it seemed under explained.
All in all, this wasn’t a bad book. I actually really enjoyed it, especially the mental health rep. I wouldn’t recommend this if you don’t like character driven books, however, as this book barely has any plot.