Review: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Bentley’s Grade: A+

Title: Brave New World
Author: Aldous Huxley
Publisher and Date: Arcturus Publishing Ltd. 2018 (Originally published in 1932 by Chatto & Windus)
Pages: 220
Genre: Dystopian Fiction

Brief Summary:
Bernard Marx is unhappy, even though in the year AF632 “everybody’s happy nowadays.” Despite all his Alpha-Plus conditioning, no amount of soma, the feelies, readily-available women, or Orgy-Porgies can make him forget how abnormal he is compared to the rest of the people in his perfectly bottled and engineered caste. To distract himself, he decides to take a trip with a girl he wants to have. Marx and Lenina Crowne travel to a Savage Reservation in America, excited to experience an “uncivilized” part of the world; however, they find an unexpected surprise soon after arrival. They promptly return to London, where the lines of what constitutes “civilized” and “uncivilized” behaviour become blurred. 

I certainly don’t need to review Brave New World, but I so enjoyed it and wanted to share a few thoughts with you. I can see why the novel has been, and continues to be, so popular because the issues Huxley manages to bring to the forefront are just as relevant today as they were in 1931. Continue reading



Title: Fat Girl on a Plane
Author: Kelly deVos
Publisher and Date: Harlequin Teen, 2018
Page Length: 376
Genre: YA Fiction

Brief Summary:
Cookie Vonn is an aspiring fashion designer and blogger who dreams of making clothes for all women, including, and especially for, the plus-sized women. Two years ago, Cookie herself was plus-sized, weighing in at 337 pounds. But now that she’s skinny, Cookie believes that without all the weight holding her back, she can accomplish anything; unfortunately, it’s not that simple. When Cookie finds herself at a crossroads—attend Parsons, the top fashion design school in NYC, or return home and continue her studies at Arizona State—she is forced to reevaluate her goals and confront her deepest insecurities. 

As someone who’s spent a large part of her adult life being the fat girl on the plane (and the fat girl on the subway, and the bus, and the train, and the Uber…), I want to start by saying how refreshing it is to see a plump girl in such a positive leading role (well, plump for half the novel at least). Continue reading

Review: One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Bentley’s Grade: B

Title: One of Us is Lying
Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher and Date: Delacorte Press 2017
Page Length: 358
Genre: YA Mystery

Brief Summary: 
Addy, Nate, Bronwyn, Cooper, and Simon end up in detention with Mr. Avery for having cellphones in his class; however, those cellphones don’t belong to them. Shortly after detention begins, Simon’s allergic reaction and subsequent death interrupt the boredom. The police declare his death to be premeditated owing to the peanut oil found in the cup Simon drank from immediately prior to his fatal reaction. So who killed Simon? Was it one of the four students with him in detention? They all certainly have motive, for Simon ran a gossip app that was scheduled to release new secrets about each of them the following day—secrets that could potentially destroy their teenage lives forever.  

As far as YA fiction goes, I enjoyed the novel. Continue reading

Review: Adèle by Leila Slimani

Bentley’s Grade: D+

Title: Adèle
Author: Leila Slimani (translated from French by Sam Taylor)
Publisher and Date: Penguin 2019 (translation) 
Page Length: 216
Genre: Fiction

Brief Summary:
Adèle doesn’t know what she wants. On one hand, she’s got the perfect life: mother, doctor’s wife, journalist; on the other hand, her insatiable desire for sex and secret rendezvous with various men leave her unsatisfied and discontented. After months of cheating, Richard finally learns of Adèle’s infidelity and confronts her. Unable to leave Adèle, and with the hope of rehabilitating her, Richard decides that they will leave their home in Paris and live a quieter, less complicated life in the countryside. But is rehabilitation possible for Adèle? 

I found myself racing through the novel not because I was enthralled, but because I wanted to get it over with. Continue reading

Review: All of this is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Bentley’s Grade: A

Title: All of this is True
Author: Lygia Day Peñaflor
Publisher and Date: HarperTeen 2018
Page Length: 418
Genre: YA Fiction

Brief Summary:
After the book reading, Miri, Penny, Soleil, and Jonah not only manage to meet Fatima Ro, but they also receive a personal invitation to the author’s upcoming book talk. In the weeks that follow, the four friends form a bond with Fatima, a bond that allows for intimate conversations, and the sharing of what Fatima calls “genuine human connections.” But when Jonah becomes the victim of an attack sparked by the publication of Fatima’s second novel, Miri, Penny, and Soleil head to the press each with the intention of telling her own version of what really happened during their time with the famous author. 

Third time’s the charm. Three reviews in, and I can finally rave about a book! I’ve had to pare this down quite a bit because I was going on and on and on about all the great elements of All of this is True, but you don’t want to read an essay, right? No, I thought not. Continue reading