Legion Series by Bradon Sanderson | Book Review

The book Legion is the first of three in a series by the same name, which has also been collected and sold as one bigger book, which is makes it a bit awkward to search for. Here is it all collected in one book.

Genre: Sci-fi

Pages: 350 in total

Synopsis

Stephen Leeds is perfectly sane. It’s his hallucinations who are mad.

A genius of unrivaled aptitude, Stephen can learn any new skill, vocation, or art in a matter of hours. However, to contain all of this, his mind creates hallucinatory people—Stephen calls them aspects—to hold and manifest the information. Wherever he goes, he is joined by a team of imaginary experts to give advice, interpretation, and explanation. He uses them to solve problems. . .for a price.

His brain is getting a little crowded and the aspects have a tendency of taking on lives of their own. When a company hires him to recover stolen property—a camera that can allegedly take pictures of the past—Stephen finds himself in an adventure crossing oceans and fighting terrorists. What he discovers may upend the foundation of three major world religions—and, perhaps, give him a vital clue into the true nature of his aspects.

My thoughts

Rating out of five: Book One – 5 stars. Book Two – 4 stars. Book Three – 2 stars.

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favourite authors, which is what made me pick up this series. It started out with a great concept, a genius who has split himself into aspects, creating side-kicks with specialization in different skills, different personalities and made up backstories. For example can there be one expert in language, fighting, deciphering code or computers. With Sanderson funny dialogues, and an imaginative plot with a camera that can take pictures of the past, the first book comes together into one perfectly entertaining story.

In the second book it starts to get a bit repetitive. The plot is still exciting, the interaction between the different hallucinations/characters still entertaining to follow. But it also brings with it the beginning of what becomes my big problem with book three, where Stephen Leeds becomes even more overwhelmed with the aspects he’s created, and Sanderson repeating how they’re made up way too often. It feels clunky in the story, which is weird since the fact that they’re in Stephen’s mind doesn’t really matter to it. He’s created them in a way where Stephen does everything he imagines the aspect characters doing.

In book three Sanderson doesn’t succeed in portraying how Stephen is suddenly losing his mind completely, and still finish the plot he’s built up. It doesn’t feel as fast-paced, entertaining or exciting anymore. My thoughts through the whole third book was “let’s get to the end and see if the aspects are still there or if he’s gotten rid of them somehow”. To me it feels rushed and much less clever than the first book, somehow. It was the execution I disliked more than the concept of the ending, I think.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially to anyone wanting to read some sci-fi, have a quick refreshing read between larger books or want a book that include some questions of psychology.

Favourite quotes

“My name is Stephen Leeds, and I am perfectly sane. My hallucinations, however, are all quite mad.”


My New Favourite Book: Women in Science

It’s Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
by Rachel Ignotofsky
and it’s so gorgeous and well-done, I was smiling wide while reading the whole thing.

I LOVE THIS BOOK. I realized that the moment I laid my eyes on it because the illustrations are EVERYWHERE and adorable. I love it so much. I found this book by listening to a podcast called “Talk Nerdy” where Rachel Ignotofsky was on talking about the books and other things. She’s also created books with Women in Sports and The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth. This book is written with kids in mind, because the writing is elegantly simple and accessible. I’m going to gift this to every kid I know, I would recommend it to everyone else as well.

Why I think encouraging girls to study science is very needed

I’m going to study science at university, but as I was growing up I’ve seen nearly just male scientists and had only male science teachers (until now). Not only that – growing up I had no female friends interested in science! What you choose as a career isn’t just based on your own interests and views, but things like who you can imagine yourself as in the future, in ways it’s difficult to control or pinpoint. I grew up in a place where people were very encouraged to follow what they were good at and make a living out of it, while where I’ve spent the last five years is more focused at getting the right degree or experience to work in one of the existing jobs. I’ve seen those different mindsets, along with economical situations of course, really make an impact on people’s choices.

I’ve never tried to shape my life after role models, but then I’ve also never had anyone I wanted to be like. This book gives so many examples of women who followed their passions and made their own path. And that’s really needed, because you want science (especially maths and physics, which is still stigma around) to be introduced as viable alternatives.

Here’s the thing that sucks: people don’t understand at even smaller levels what makes it harder to be a girl in science. It’s 2019 and I’ve heard a lot of jokes from my own physics class, every one of them individually harmless, but together they further a division. The fact is that I’m not trying to prove myself every time I step into a classroom, but that’s a choice I had to make to be able to be curious and ask questions, and something I see others are struggling with. I think it’s important to not divide scientists into “scientists and female scientists”, but mostly at a higher level, because as long as it’s not as many male and female choosing the fields, it is needed to encourage girls in different ways to cancel out those different social views that has gotten us here. One of the guys in my class was disagreeing with one of many invitations to visit a university being only for women, and I get the immediate reaction. But it shows how hard it is to make someone understand how it can affect a person growing up seeing girls staying dumb on purpose because doing well on math tests isn’t cool or likeable, or encouraged by parents really, and how it’s so hard to find other girls with shared interests.

But also look at the norwegian scientist featured! I was really excited, even though it’s one of the few I already know more about in this book. To round this off- I’ve seen more initiatives to get girls/women into science fields, some of them natural, others very cringe-inducing, and really think and hope it’s getting better than it was just ten to five years ago.

I really adore how this book shows scientists in different styles, ages and personalities.

Short reviews: sci-fi & poetry

Legion #1 by Brandon Sanderson:

This short sci-fi mystery novella is about a guy who has multiple sidekicks in form of hallucinations, who give him specialization in skills like language, fighting or computers. With Sanderson’s funny dialogues, and an imaginative plot with a camera that can take pictures of the past, it comes together into one perfectly entertaining story.

5/5 stars and I’m excited to read the rest of the trilogy. I received a copy through NetGallet in exchange for an honest review.

The Year of the Femme by Cassie Donish:

I appreciated the themes of femininity and body, but the writing style was messy and disconnected in a way that worked against understanding the message. Also as Donish talks about gender she admits to using “a lot of generalizations”, which she says is not wholly untrue, but come from resentment and socialization. I feel if you want to write a book dissecting gender, do it completely and tear down why and how it hurts people. This feels more like snarky parody with a girl needing a dog because now she’s single and has no one to protect her. Maybe I didn’t get what this storytellers view of women are miserable and happy was supposed to be, but it was boring to read about and added little new. I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for a honest reivew.

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking | Review

Pages: 200

Genre: science – physics

Synopsis

A beautifully written book about our universe and how and why it was designed. It’s written for people of many different levels of knowledge of physics already, from short and clear explanations of atoms to mentioning a few things I personally need and want to look more into like string theory, bosons, where plancks constant comes from and Feynmans sum over histories. This is a book trying to give philisophical answers based on scientific history and theories. As the book says itself:

Why is there something rather than nothing?

Why do we exist?

Why this particular set of laws and not some other?”

My thoughts

Rating out of five: five

I’ve honestly never read a full Stephen Hawking book, even though I take physics classes and am very interested in it. I was personally really surprised at how much I understood, that I’ve gone through in classes before and this book looked more at the “why” behind it, the connection that I so much love. This is the book you need to read if you’re interested in the how and why’s of the universe, no matter what level of understanding you’re at now! 

This book absolutely made me reflect on the nature of the universe, even though I already have some experience there. It also made me so very excited about learning more, and what we could find out in the future, with newer technology. Multi-verse and possibly no objective reality existing are examples of rabbit-holes of information and theories I love to fall into, so this book was ideal.

Favourite quotes

“While concending that human behaviour is indeed determined by the laws of nature, it also seems reasonable to conclude that the outcome is determined in such a complicated way and with so many variables as to make impossible in practice to predict.”

“[…] philosopher David Hume who wrote that although we have no rational grounds for believing in an objective reality, we also have no choice but to act as if it is true.”

“Such calculations show that a change of as little as 0.5 percent in the strength of the strong nuclear force, or 4 percent in the electric force, would destroy either nearly all carbon or all oxygen in every star, and hence the possibility of life as we know it. Change those rules of our universe just a bit, and the conditions for our existence disappear!”

“If the [M-] theory is confirmed by observation, it will be the successful conclusion of a search going back more than 3.000 years. We will have found the grand design.”

Lord of the Butterflies by Andrea Gibson | Review

Pages: 96

Genre: poetry, lgbt

Synopsis

In Andrea Gibson’s latest collection, they continue their artful and nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.

My thoughts

Rating out of five: five

Be prepared to cry, I was definitely not and it took reading three poems for my eyes to start leaking, until I was a sobbing mess. This is what I want poetry to be, I was thinking over and over. I’d just put down another poetry collection that had important themes, but nothing new to convey, even through tough circumstances. Andrea Gibson is the opposite of that, they write poetry so filled with emotion that you can touch it, feel it around yourself.

It’s just such a strange mix of sweet, with stories of queer love, of incredibly traumatic events, with stories of being suicidal or loss, of hoplessness and hope as well. All the stories they had to tell got to me, especially of physical illness as it’s the one I’m most familiar with. One of personal goals this year is to find a better way to describe physical pain, which this did so incredibly well, along with emotional one. The stories are told in such a detailed and personal way, but at the same time putting words to more common emotions and situations brilliantly.

All my love to this poetry collection, I’ve definitely found a poet that will become one of my favourite. I’ll make sure to see it performed as spoken word pieces when I’m having a stable, good day because it took me thirty seconds out of five minutes to completely break down sobbing.

I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Favourite quotes

“You’re in the 7th grade. You don’t even know you want a girlfriend. You still believe in the people who believe in Jesus, can’t even feel that desire through it’s hell threat.”

– YOUR LIFE by Andrea Gibson

[…] but secretly my favourite season is flu season. The season of proof that I’m tough as Christ forgiving the nails. The season everyone I love becomes a raging customer at the complaint counter of life, like their birth certificate were warranties, their bodies promised technology guaranteeing protection from all viruses. They break down, Nyquil drunk and say, I haven’t been able to exercise in three days. The last time I got the flu it took me three days to notice. I thought the pain was just the pain. […] Good god, there isn’t a healthy body in the world that is stronger than a sick person’s spirit. Thirty times last month I thought, I can’t do this another day. Thirty times last month I did it another day.”

– GENDER IS THE KEY OF LYME DISEASE by Andrea Gibson

“During the visit, my niece only broke once, and only when the guard rattled his keys and rushed her to finish hugging her mother, the nightstick of his voice cracking over their bleeding goodbye. I restrained my fist in my pocket but wanted to knock him back to his own mother’s arms, where he might grow into a man without a uniform over his chest.”

– BLACK AND WHITE ANGEL by Andrea Gibson

RESENTMENT (VERB)

1. Loading the past into a cannon and murder this year.

Also the poems IVY (with great last lines), PHOTOSHOPPING MY SISTER’S MUGSHOT, ORLANDO, HURT THE FLY, ALL THE GOOD IN YOU, GIVE HER (so damn sweet), UNTIL WE ACT, LIVING PROOF.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo | Review

Pages: 390

Genre: fiction, lgbt characters

 

Synopsis

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Written with Reid’s signature talent for creating “complex, likable characters” (Real Simple?, this is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means -and what it costs- to face the truth.

The audiobook

Evelyn Hugo sounds just like a movie star. Monique is done by another narrator and they both do a really good job. It really made the story come alive, like Evelyn was telling her own biography, and Monique’s thoughts on it.

My thoughts

Rating out of five: five

fem

Evelyn Hugo, the movie star, was such an interesting character, especially seen through the journalist Monique’s eyes. She’s into playing games, and it has gotten her far in her life, as she’s gotten out of poverty and into mansions. This book brings up ideas around power, it has all the glam of a 1950’s star, but also a lot of moral dilemmas as Evelyn talks about the decisions she’s made in her life and how she rarely regrets them, even those with huge consequences. I really liked her friend-group/family she built up, really this book turned from ambition to impotance of community and love. Of how to deal with loss. And queer characters and love!

“It’s always been fascinating to me how things can be simultaneously true and false, how people can be good and bad all in one, how someone can love you in a way that is beautifully selfless while serving themselves ruthlessly.” 

The story itself seems so real, several times I went to google Evelyn Hugo, to find out a piece of info, before realizing that of course, she was fictional. While I liked Monique, the character, I didn’t care for her descriptions of her own life. It’s less spectacular than Evelyn’s, sure, but there’s ways to find joy even in a “normal” life. The miserable soon-to-be divorced journalist negative view of herself storyline is quite boring and I didn’t get it. The twist of the story blew me away. I didn’t see it coming at all, and it made the entire story make sense, every doubt Monique had, was cleared up.

It’s a fictional biography of a fictional 1950’s movie stars life, and it does it so spectacularly well, making quite an impact on me. This book also encourages you to take more of the opportunities you get, to not be so timid about ambition. I don’t think it’s the right way to look at life, putting your needs before everyone else, but it’s one that should be considered in more situations, especially by women in careers.  

SPOILERY Review: An Absolutely Remakable Thing by Hank Green

So I wrote another spoiler-free review here, where I gave the book five out of five stars. I’ve never made two parts reviews, but I really want to geek out over this book honestly.

So I just listened to an interview by Hank where he said the book was born out around a lot of individual scenes and trying to write a story around them, especially the grape jelly scene. Did he mean Carl making a person turn into grape jelly? Jeez. That’s a great way to start writing a book, and makes my ideas feel a bit more valid.

Anyway, here’s a lot of moments I liked:

  • “You’re a digital girl, April, in a digital world. We all know how to perform.” Already on page 10 I realized that Hank Green’s real life thoughts and concerns would slip through into the book in form of Andy’s bluntness.
  • Maya. All of Maya’s parts. That girl is awesome.
  • When “Don’t Stop Me Now” was first mentioned was when I realized I would have a lot of songs stuck in my brain reading this book. The wikipedia puzzle was creative.
  •  “So here’s a really stupid thing about the world: The trick to looking cool is not caring whether you look cool. So the moment you achieve perfect coolness is simultaneously the moment that you actually, completely don’t care.” I need more time to consider the degree of truth to that. I have a few friends that have become models, they’re also the people that look cool in everyday normal and weird circumstances. They do also seem to care very much. But I get what April’s thinking.
  • April ruining every relationship and “isolating yourself from the love of other humans because of deep, subconscious fears that you are unable to recognize even exist.” and still realizing it. I’ve seen a lot of readers say that they didn’t like her as a person, while many also saying she’s a great character, but I have to disagree. A girl that can fuck up this much and still be aware of it. I had to consider it, but I definitely like her. The internal monologue lists are great and fit with the direct writing style really well, btw.
  • Here’s the first moment I adored: Maya’s no-bullshit reaction when April is purposely distancing herself from her. That “oh, fuck you, April” moment. Wouldn’t have thought of it so highly if I realized we wouldn’t see much of Maya for a while thought. Just wanted her to stick up for herself.
  • The mom’s point of how the dreams could’ve changed people more than they think. That would’ve been a different book if it went down that path, but it really stuck with me and my suspicion for the rest of the book.
  • April feeling burned out and going on “temporary fuel” with cool things happening until the growing hate for Peter became that long-burning fuel and motivation. It’s so dangerous, but I understand too well what she’s doing.
  • Second moment I adored: Miranda taking on the role as CEO of a tech start-up. The idea of the start-up was amazing, with everyone collaborating online on this dream and puzzle they all was given and had equal access to and could prove themselves against. But reading about Miranda, who April had described as pretty shy and smart until then, taking on such a leader role made me appreciate them both. And realize how unreliable April’s narrative is.
  • “One plus of the Dream was that if I stayed in it all night and didn’t wake up, I’d stay out of my nightmares.” OOoff, that hit me.
  • Was concerned for a bit there if Hank Green was going to write a lesbian sex scene and how much I would laugh out loud and cringe at it. The solution seemed like the most Hank thing to do and I laughed anyway.
  • All the pages with messages of what people in power can do faced with uncertainty and ignorance. Of groups moving towards the poles and becoming more radical, and how that happens.
  • When Carl was revealed to be sentient and understand April I was excited. When he didn’t want to be taken pictures of I died laughing for some reason. I just like the surrealness of things like robot hands running around, saving people like superheroes.
  • April’s description – without emotions at the most intense moments. Like she can show frustration talking about “minor” daily life issues, but when she was stabbed she’s describing her scream as awful enough that they had to cut it out of the tape and goes on to describe the mic. The switch happened regularly, really brought out different sides in her.
  • April’s perspective is really interesting because I didn’t realize just how big of a star she’d become before the president told her how it would be a joy to watch her big future.
  • Seeing your own faults and behaviour through other’s eyes suck and it’s part of why April is running from Maya I guess. Relatable.
  • “Call Me Maybe” started playing, I squealed with glee and horror. I love the pop teen songs in this. My heart. They sound so omnious too.
  • I was aware she would die, she says so early on in the book. p.16’s “That night was probably the best night’s sleep I had until after I died.” Which hints that there was a thing after she died as well, so I kept my hopes up
  • Ok, my love for Maya was strengthened by the fact that she had to go on a pilgrimage after April’s accident. And even more Andy staying. Aahh, I really liked these characters.

There’s a sequel coming being currently written, which I didn’t know going into it. The ending was very open, but I had no problem with it. If there was no sequel, I would’ve taken my immediate theory of  April being uploaded to a computer-mind of sorts. That she still lives, but outside of a body. I don’t know if there’s evidence of that yet as I haven’t read theories. Also I’m not sure that she’s completely herself towards the end. I feel there might’ve been a shift, of Carl taking more control or sharing more with her or maybe just more a natural “losing herself”, but haven’t looked too much into it yet.

I loved it: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green | Review

Pages: 350

Genre: contemporary, sci-fi

Synopsis

The Carls just appeared. Coming home from work at three a.m., twenty-three-year-old April May stumbles across a giant sculpture. Delighted by its appearance and craftsmanship–like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor–April and her friend Andy make a video with it, which Andy uploads to YouTube. The next day April wakes up to a viral video and a new life. News quickly spreads that there are Carls in dozens of cities around the world–everywhere from Beijing to Buenos Aires–and April, as their first documentarian, finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight.

Now April has to deal with the pressure on her relationships, her identity, and her safety that this new position brings, all while being on the front lines of the quest to find out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

My thoughts

Rating out of five: five

fem

SPOILER-FREE, i’ve written an entire post filled with spoilers *here*.

I managed to have no expectations going into this book even though I’ve watched vlogbrothers for years. I really really liked this book. Whatever concerns I had of it being a bad choice to have the main characters be a young adult, was completely erased without a couple ten pages. I was drawn into this book extremely quickly and it has become one of this year’s favourites.

It’s a great mix of sci-fi elements put into our real world, with massive robots showing up all over. This book is also about the story of fame told through the eyes of one building her career on a viral hit of “discovering” these robots, which she calls Carl, and putting it on youtube. There’s also critical thoughts around society and community as everyone tries to figure out the mystery behind these robots and cooperate with varying degrees of success to unlock their riddles. It mirrors my concerns about what fame might do, how it changes one’s values and interactions when millions of people are interested in following a person. There’s a unique realness Hank brings into it, being in that world himself and surely having seen friends struggle with these questions.

The writing is very-straight forward and clear, it’s the storytelling that’s mostly the focus. April’s voice seems very true to me, a nineteen year old girl. I liked that she was bisexual in the way that it was one of many traits she had. I’ve watched a lot of youtube. But I’ve always had this line where I realize that everyone’s real people, with insecurities and talents. The internet makes so many forget that, somehow. This book still made me question the cycle of internet celebrities (fuck the name influencers, honestly) posting instagrams to gain attentions and followers and it so easily turning into a vicious cycle of preying on people’s insecurities or paying attention to destructive behavior. On social media, every crisis can gain you a bigger following, and this book has plenty of commentary on that.

I do like all the characters, Maya above everyone else because she’s badass and also sees April as a real person. Miranda the scientist was really fantastic as well. Andy, April’s partner (in crime fame) was the voice of reason sometimes, with a much needed caution. I liked April, which I wouldn’t had if I knew her in real life. She’s a great character, because she’s dimentional and you get to see her thought process changing. Like how can you not like a girl that can fuck up this much and still be self-aware about it. The internal monologue lists are great and fit with the direct writing style really well.

I just loved a lot of parts, but it’s so easy to spoil this book, which is why I for the first time split the spoilers up into a seperate post. It’s absolutely worth a read (or three honestly), I don’t think you will regret it!

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman | Review

Pages: 400

Genre: young adult contemporary, lgbt

The norwegian cover.

Synopsis

What if everything you set yourself up to be was wrong?

Frances has always been a study machine with one goal, elite university. Nothing will stand in her way; not friends, not a guilty secret – not even the person she is on the inside.

But when Frances meets Aled, the shy genius behind her favourite podcast, she discovers a new freedom. He unlocks the door to Real Frances and for the first time she experiences true friendship, unafraid to be herself. Then the podcast goes viral and the fragile trust between them is broken.

Caught between who she was and who she longs to be, Frances’ dreams come crashing down. Suffocating with guilt, she knows that she has to confront her past…

She has to confess why Carys disappeared…

Meanwhile at uni, Aled is alone, fighting even darker secrets.

It’s only by facing up to your fears that you can overcome them. And it’s only by being your true self that you can find happiness.

Frances is going to need every bit of courage she has.

My thoughts

Rating out of five: five

fem

I loved this book, it’s going to be one of this year favourites and be reread many times. It made a bold choice, like Oseman seem to do, in placing the book in this decade and referencing movies and popculture. It also brings out very time-defining characteristics like questioning sexuality through research, celebrities, rise of podcasts, internet and fandoms. Most of all this book is about wanting to be heard, to be seen for who you are. Which is easier with the help and support of friends.

the characters & writing

None of the characters are always in the right, which is always interesting. The main character Frances tries her best, I would say, but at one point she realizes she hasn’t been paying enough attention to the people around her and their struggles. The writing seems very honest, it’s very straight forward as well. Carys, the bestfriend, is going through shit and Frances tells that story in between the right-now action of Frances and Carys’ brother Aled starting to get along and find shared interests (like the podcast). Frances believes that she made a mistake, which partly led to Carys disapperance, and trying to not make a smiliar mistake again  colors the rest of the book. The friendship between Frances and Cary is strange and reletable, Frances admits that she hated Cary for having it all figured out, but loved her for being so perfect.

the podcast universe city

I wasn’t so sure about the podcast part of this book before reading it. I love podcasts, but in general at some point writers could’ve just made the podcast in real life and not have us read it every awkward break or info dump. This book is centered around the podcast in that Frances and Aled finds each other through the making and fandom of it, both things done really well. There’s a chapter where they are having fun outside camping and makes what Aled considers the worst episode ever, but it was all so visually told and really brought out a certain feeling in the book.

 

Feelings reading this book: interest in where the podcast was going, glee over Frances becoming more comfortable, relatable af moments and strong hate for Aled and Cary’s mother.

 

SPOILERS BELOW

my fav moments

  • Frances discussing being bi and relationships of the Universe City podcast and Aled saying the world might be a bit tired of boy-girl relationships anyway. Them geeking out in general and allowing themselves to be “weird” aka being very passionate about things and fandom.
  • Going to save Aled from university. Also his mom was truly awful in one of the probably worst ways physiologically, because so many outside the house thought she was great. Reading Aled scream after going over to his mother to figure things out made my skin crawl.

Finally, I hated Cary when they all met her. I was certain she didn’t want to be found, but the way she reacted … She had worked out a pretty okay life for herself considering she escaped to the city with barely anything, though. She’d tried to leave her past behind, which I can understand. My immediate hate came from having a little brother though, but she didn’t have a perspective to mind to predict how her brother would be treated when she left. There’s a lot taken up in this book and I appreciated it.

 

Review: 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades (While Studying Less) by Thomas Frank

Genre: 160

Pages: nonfiction, productivity

book review

My thoughts

Rating out of five: five

fem

I’ve followed Thomas Frank and his youtube channel and podcast “college info geek” for a few years and picked this book up before the new schoolyear, my last year before university. You know that guilt you feel when you’re not prepared enough? I picked up this book wanting to get tips on a better school – life balance, but honestly I was not expecting a lot of new information. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of productivity resources out there more than most my age. Even though I’ve seen a fair share of College Info Geek youtube videos, I think I’ve gotten A LOT out of this book! It’s obvious that there’s a lot of research behind it, this book is truly like a summary of ten main things you can improve, giving me valuable details. When the topic becomes too in-depth he refers to a couple videos of his or what you can further research or other books on the topic. I am definitely watching the videos on note taking in the next week, along with trying to figure out what’s the most effective way for spaced out repetition.

Some of the many steps that I found valuable to me: tips for organization, a more systematic way to resolving problems and asking for help, tips for actively reading text books, different ways to take notes, recipe on how to write essays. There were also some that were just comforting, like how to learn math and agreeing on how bad group projects are. I took notes while reading it, to have for later in the semester as well, and hope to implement some changes one after the other and see what works for me. I really how Thomas Frank gives different alternatives to do a thing and that it’s easy to focus on one or two steps and bettering your productivity and create habits in that area. Whether you’ve already been interested in productivity or just want to get better grades, reading this book is a good first step.

I paid one dollar on amazon, beut you can also get it for free here: https://collegeinfogeek.com/get-better-grades/