Review: The Last Neanderthal by Claire Cameron

TITLE: The Last Neanderthal Image result for the last neanderthal book
AUTHOR: Claire Cameron
SUMMARY: Girl is a Neanderthal living one of her worst seasons yet, meanwhile in the present Rose is coping with her impending motherhood and stressful job as an paleo-archeologist
GENRE: Fiction | Historical Fiction
RATING: 3.5/4

The minute I saw this book and read the synopsis, I knew I had to get it. I found the premise of the story so interesting because it is about a Neanderthal family, and I for one find this type of history fascinating. So I bought the book and started reading it when I got home later that night.

One of the most striking things about the book is the writing style. You can tell Cameron adapted her writing style to fit the story of the Neanderthals. The sentences are simple, the wording is different from ours, and the descriptions are mixture of these things. When I first saw the pages of the book, I was scared because there isn’t much dialogue when we’re reading Girl’s parts. It’s just blocks of paragraphs and barely any dialogue. For some reason, I thought that was genius on her part simply because you can’t expect a different species to talk or think the same way as ours.

Image result for genius gif

Which brings me to how the author portrays the Neanderthals. Instead of the savage primitive beasts we’re used to seeing, Cameron writes a story about family and loss. If they are ever savage or beast like, it’s as a result of their harsh surroundings. Girl and her family are kind and nurturing and intelligent.

Image result for neanderthal gif

Yes I said intelligent, not dumb. We might have survived but they did live for over 70,000 years and we’ve only been around for 50,000; clearly they did well.

The story also brought you to this survival mindset the Neanderthals and early humans must have felt constantly. Through Girl’s mind you see the importance of surviving everything in their harsh environment. Everything was thought through, and everything done was meant for the family to survive from the way they hunted, their sleeping habits, their travels to the meeting ground, and even their interactions with other animals and themselves. Every little bit counted towards the protagonist’s survival, and I really enjoyed that.

It was nice (and rare) to read story about pre modern humans, where the troubles the characters encounter are completely different.

The book alternated between the ancient past with Girl (the Neanderthal) and modern day with Rose (an archeologist who finds Girl). By the time I got halfway through the book, I started losing interest in Rose’s storyline. It wasn’t boring but it wasn’t as interesting as Girl’s story. The author tries to make a connection between the two characters (and it’s there) but I didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t care about Rose’s personal problems, all I wanted to know was about her “science” and conclusions about what she found, and I didn’t get that.

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While I really did enjoy the story, I’m not sure I would read it again. It’s not a page turner the same way other stories have been for me, but the topic is interesting and different enough that I’d recommend it to those who find Neanderthals interesting.

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Review: Story of Your Life by Ted Chiang & Arrival

TITLE: “Story of Your Life” Image result for story of your life ted chiang
AUTHOR: Ted Chiang
SUMMARY: Dr. Louise Banks is hired by the U.S. military to communicate with the recent arrival of aliens on Earth.
GENRE: Short Story / Science Fiction
RATING: 5/5
NOTE: The movie adaptation is called Arrival Continue reading

Review: The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel

TITLE: The Roanoke Girls Image result for the roanoke girls
AUTHOR: Amy Engel
QUICK SUMMARY: When Lane returns to Roanoke after her cousin (Allegra)  goes missing, she recalls the summer she spent there a decade ago after her mother committed suicide.
WARNING: Not suitable for children because of its strong language and explicit sex scenes.
GENRE: Fiction | Mystery | Gothic
RATING: 4/5 Continue reading

Review: Every Day by David Levithan

TITLE: Every Day Image result for everyday david levithan
AUTHOR: David Levithan
RATING: 4/5
SUMMARY: A 16-year-old literally changes bodies every day, never being the same person twice, and never staying longer than one day.
NOTES: This is the first book in a trilogy. The second book, Another Day, tells the story from another character’s point of view.

For today’s review, I want to start off with the one thing I disliked about the book before telling you all the reasons why you should definitely read Every Day by David Levithan. Continue reading