Mini Reviews – A Long Way Gone, Half Brother & Highly Illogical Behavior⚚


Hello Bookworms, mini-reviews are one of my favourite posts to read. They are brief and engaging, they get the information across and it’s a winwin situation all around. As I’ve said in my past posts I am clearing out all my drafts to make way for fresh new ideas! And although these books were meant to be individually reviewed, at this point, it would take me years to get to them. The books in this post are “A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah“, “Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel” and “Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Summary :

The devastating story of war through the eyes of a child soldier. Beah tells how, at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and became a soldier.

In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now twenty-five years old, tells a riveting story: how at the age of twelve, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence. By thirteen, he’d been picked up by the government army, and Beah, at heart a gentle boy, found that he was capable of truly terrible acts.

This is a rare and mesmerizing account, told with real literary force and heartbreaking honesty. (goodreads)

My thoughts :

This book was given to me as required reading material for a school course last summer. As someone whose bookshelf is 99% contemporary and fantasy and 1% memoir I wasn’t sure how this book was going to go. Along with reading a physical copy, I listened to the audiobook(which I recommend 10000000% if you read this book) as it is read by the author himself.

I had to stop listening or reading at some parts because of just how IMPACTFUL the subject matter was. I cannot fathom ever going through the things Beah went through, but I am glad he was able to share his story with the world. It blows my mind that people have gone through and still suffer through these cruel and horrendous events. No child should EVER have to endure that.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book brought me to tears more times than I can count. Simply put it was an eyeopening read that EVERYONE needs to read.

This book has inspired me to read more memoirs and autobiographies because there is something so extraordinary about reading about someone’s story, as they reveal their struggles and their bravery.

If it wasn’t already clear I recommend this book to everyone who is reading this review. Children under the age of 14 shouldn’t read it simply because of the violence, rape and drug abuse detailed in the book.


Summary :

For thirteen years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all that changes when his mother brings home Zan — an eight-day-old chimpanzee. Ben’s father, a renowned behavioral scientist, has uprooted the family to pursue his latest research project: a high-profile experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills. Ben’s parents tell him to treat Zan like a little brother. Ben reluctantly agrees. At least now he’s not the only one his father’s going to scrutinize.

It isn’t long before Ben is Zan’s favorite, and Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment. His father disagrees. Soon Ben is forced to make a critical choice between what he is told to believe and what he knows to be true — between obeying his father or protecting his brother from an unimaginable fate.

Half Brother isn’t just a story about a boy and a chimp. It’s about the way families are made, the way humanity is judged, the way easy choices become hard ones, and how you can’t always do right by the people and animals you love. In the hands of master storyteller Kenneth Oppel, it’s a novel you won’t soon forget. (goodreads)

My thoughts :

This book was recommended to me by my mom almost five years ago(I think, all I know is that it’s been a long time). This book was out of my comfort zone in terms of genre and initially the summary didn’t seem that appealing. Somehow I decided to give it a try, and thank goodness I did because Half Brother is to this day one of my favourite historical fiction novels.

A story not only about animals but family, loyalty and trust. Me being the emotional toad I am, you can be sure I cried multiple times. On top of all that Kenneth Oppel’s style of writing was the perfect touch to this powerful and emotional story.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The ending was amazing, and it flawlessly reflected the bond the characters had formed by the end of the novel. I hate it when endings let me down, they really do ruin the entire book, but I couldn’t have asked for more with this one. This book is quite a short read, so it’s the perfect book to read this summer! I would recommend it to the ages of 13-25.


Summary :

Sixteen-year-old Solomon is agoraphobic. He hasn’t left the house in three years, which is fine by him.

Ambitious Lisa desperately wants to get into the second-best psychology program for college (she’s being realistic). But is ambition alone enough to get her in?

Enter Lisa.

Determined to “fix” Sol, Lisa steps into his world, along with her charming boyfriend, Clark, and soon the three form an unexpected bond. But, as Lisa learns more about Sol and he and Clark grow closer and closer, the walls they’ve built around themselves start to collapse and their friendships threaten to do the same. (goodreads)

My thoughts :

As a whole, I LOVE this book. I re-read it ever so often because it’s just the type of book that you can revisit. I adored the plot, the characters(well some of them at least..) and the ending(the most important part of course!).

I loved Solomon, his character and his anxiety was portrayed so well that’s it’s impossible not to like him. Flawed characters are my weakness and all the characters in this book are ~definitely~ flawed… Now onto a character, I HATED. Lisa. Lisa, Lisa, Lisa. She is… how do I say this nicely? A brat. Her character drove me nuts, and whenever I would read her POV I was just wishing it would end.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Overall, this book is just relatable and raw. And that’s why I enjoyed it so much because even though Lisa wasn’t my ~favourite~…. she’s not perfect and that’s okay. The writing was also 🙌🏼!!! John Corey Whaley’s writing although sensitive and respectful was also quirky and charming. I would recommend this book to the ages of 14-19.


Do you enjoy reading mini-reviews? Have you read any of these titles before? Let me know in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Mini Reviews – A Long Way Gone, Half Brother & Highly Illogical Behavior⚚”

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