Tag: Coming of Age

Janis Jonevs – Doom 94 | Review

Title: Doom 94

Author: Janis Jonevs

Type: Fiction/Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 258

Rating 4.5/5

 

 

This book was fantastic for two simple reasons objectively, because it’s different, and subjectively, because it reflected my own childhood. It turns out that the Latvian city of Jelgava in the mid-nineties had a lot in common with the British town of Tamworth in the mid-2000s.

As you’ve probably guessed from that, Jonevs is a Latvian, and I actually met him at a party/networking event when I was invited to Riga to learn more about Latvian literature. This book wasn’t out at the time, at least not in English, but I’d heard enough about it to think that I was going to like it. I just didn’t expect to like it this much.

It’s basically a coming of age story, following Jonevs and his fellow metalheads as they finish up at school, discover drink, drugs and cigarettes and get into the Latvian metal scene. I hadn’t heard of most of the bands, of course, but there were mentions here and there of those that I had heard of. Kurt Cobain’s suicide plays a part in the plot and there were shoutouts for bands like My Dying Bride, Mayhem and Burzum. There was even a mention for Cynic, who are probably my favourite out of all of the heavier bands that Jonevs talked about. How Could I? and Veil of Maya in particular.

The only reason for 4.5/5 and not 5/5 is that there were a few typos.

 

 

Click here to buy Doom 94.

 


R. J. Palacio – Wonder | Review

Title: Wonder

Author: R. J. Palacio

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 316

Rating: 4*/5

 

R. J. Palacio - Wonder

R. J. Palacio – Wonder

 

I’ve heard a lot about this book over the last few years, but I only actually picked it up after seeing it in a charity shop. After all, if you can get it cheap then it doesn’t matter if the book is any good or not. Now, after finally picking it up, I can safely say that it’s worth paying full price for, too.

Wonder follows a kid called Auggie who was born with a facial disfigurement, and it’s basically a coming-of-age story as he starts going to a public school and coming to terms with life. I’ve heard this described as middle grade and I suppose it does follow a middle grade protagonist, but it works well as an adult as well and it’s earned its comparisons to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.

Of course, life isn’t always easy for kids like Auggie, but he’s still a pleasant kid and as the reader, you only want the best for him. In terms of its writing style and easy readability it reminded me of Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, but personally speaking I preferred this one. Either way, they’re both about accepting other people and I think that’s an important message to share. I have a lot of respect for books that try to do that.

All in all then, I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily a must-read, but it is still a pretty good book and I’m glad that I finally picked it up. I think that Palacio is starting to milk it with the number of spinoffs that she’s releasing, though. I was going to check out more of her work but it seems like all she has is more random Wonder stuff. It’s a shame, but oh well.

 

R. J. Palacio

R. J. Palacio

 

Click here to buy Wonder.

 


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