Image by Sofia Hernandez

Sofia’s Book Corner and reviews

Book Review Series

February 16, 2023

Welcome to this beautiful book corner. It features reviews of all sorts of books, most books ending in tragedy. I hope you find a level of comfort in these stories, or I hope you find pieces of yourself within these characters.


Total Trauma Island

“There is not even a scrabble word for how bad I feel.” And there is not even a scrabble word for how speechless this book leaves you. It leaves this empty feeling. A feeling that you can’t really pinpoint, but you feel it there. We Were Liars written by E. Lockhart and published in 2014 is the story about four liars, four beautiful liars.

This book is a twisted mystery and drama of an imperfect family. In no way is there any form of normalcy in this family. From the outside they look normal, but the story reveals an insider perspective. They have their life together spending the summer as a whole family on their private island. But the summer of ’15 changed their lives forever. The main character, Cadence Sinclair had an accident that changed everything. When she returns to the island two years later, everything is different. Especially the way her cousins are now treating her, as their relationship has shifted for the worst. Cadence always knew her family had flaws, but now she’s trying to piece all those imperfections together to reveal the truth of what really happened during the summer of 15′.

Each main character has a quote they live by, that encourages them to “do what [they’re] afraid of.” The most insightful quote in my opinion is by Cady’s summer love, Gat. The words that give him courage to be himself are, “Do not accept an evil you cannot change.” And with his characteristics and struggles, that quote relates to him as a whole.

Personally, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes pain when reading. The book isn’t necessarily a type of sad that makes you cry, but it does definitely leave you feeling so empty yet feeling so much at the same time.

It would also be good for anyone who likes mystery. If you like the book One of Us Is Lying, you would enjoy We Were Liars. They both include mysterious aspects and intense plot twist that keep you on the edge of your chair.

As someone who stopped reading for a while, We Were Liars is the book that got me back into reading!


Image by Sofi

Book review for Everything I Never Told You by Celest Ng

Everything I Never Told You

TW: Death and Mental Health

There are so many things you wish to say in your lifetime, but there are so many things you don’t say out of fear, but in the end–when you’re on your last breath– you’ll regret all the words you never said. Everything I Never Told You is the story of a Chinese-American family trying to find their place and seeing the division between races. What appeared to be a perfect life to parents James and Marilyn began falling apart once their daughter Lydia left home and was found dead by the police.

This book takes you through an emotional rollercoaster of a family trying to find their place after dealing with the grief of their favorite child. The characters are so beautifully messed up and imperfect in every possible way, yet I found comfort in some of them.

Lydia had an odd family dynamic. She was what appeared to be the perfect child. She followed what her mother wanted for her without any question in order to not disappoint them. “People decide what you’re like before they even get to know you,” is one of the quotes that stuck out to me when reading the book. It’s so true and people judge before they even get to know someone. They never get to see the true, authentic side of someone because of their blind judgment. They choose who you are before even knowing.

People decide what you’re like before they even get to know you,

— Lydia Lee

The characters in this book are so well written that it’s hard to detach from them once you turn the last page. Nathan is the eldest in the Lee family. He has dreams and goals that his parents don’t find ideal. Though he’s the eldest, he lives in his sister’s shadow and no one acknowledges his presence or achievement.

Lydia Lee is the middle child. She’s the golden child. She never disagrees with her parents and follows their rules and expectations, though parts of her want to be freed. There’s this part of her longing to feel what it’s like to be herself but the fear of disappointment overruled her.

And my personal favorite is Hannah Lee, youngest child. She’s overlooked. For a more minor character, she had the biggest impact on me. Her parents don’t even realize she exists at times. She could slip away from their view and they wouldn’t bat an eye. She got the short end of the stick, dealing with her older sister’s death and then having to live with her parents’ grievance and her brother’s uncontrolling spiral of regret and anger towards the boy next door, Jack.

This book would fit anyone who has a feeling that they’re alone or going through a rough patch with their family. It gives you this sense of comfort knowing that these characters are on the same boat as you. And each character has aspects that are so relatable.

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