[REVIEW] Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover @PRHGlobal

Where do I begin? What a memoir. This is one of the most interesting and disturbing true stories you’ll read this year. With its title Educated you already get a sense on what this memoir is about: an education, but it’s also a lot more.

Tara Westover has been raised in a very unconventional way [this might not be unconventional to everyone but it is to me and I’m sure most people reading this]: she didn’t go to school until later in her adolescence, her family raised her with such ludicrous beliefs and ideas. I usually write the synopsis of the book in my words but if you’re interested in it you can go to the books Goodreads page.

Educated is a very strong memoir in every sense of that word – from the bravery of our heroine, Tara, to the will and emotional strength it took for her to be where she is now. I mentioned that her childhood was very unconventional and it truly is because no child is supposed to do the things her father makes her do, his ideas of the end of the world and preparing for it signaled something in me. After getting a little deeper into the book I could assume that her father wasn’t a mentally healthy person – I presumed he was schizophrenic or had bipolar disorder. One of my guesses was right and it was bipolar disorder because even as Westover mentions exactly this it can be caught early on because of his behaviour. What I salute the author for is showing her struggles with academia. Yes, you read the synopsis and it says ‘She earned a PhD at Cambridge.’ but what I am thankful for is the author showing that it’s not that easy to earn one. The struggles she faced were real and might happen to other people which made her very relatable to me and I’m sure it will to other readers.There is so much more I didn’t say about this book from because I feel like you should read it and experience it as it is not someone’s retelling of it.

This book left a bitter-sweet taste in me even though I craved finding out more about her upbringing and education I felt that she as a person hasn’t dealt with certain things in healthy ways. If I were put in her shoes I believe that I would deal with it differently but who knows? It depends on the effects that life has left on the person.

Educated: A Memoir is truly a special work of literature which I’m sure many people will enjoy. I felt empathy, got enraged and felt the positives and negatives of Westovers life and I must say that it was a darn good ride.

I would like to thank PRH Global for sending this free book my way in exchange for an honest review. The opinions written here are my own.

My rating: 

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Tara Westover is an American author living in the UK. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. She spent her days working in her father’s junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist and midwife. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom, and after that first taste, she pursued learning for the next decade. She received a BA from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014.

Find her on: Website, Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads.

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[REVIEW] The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones @PRHGlobal

The first thing that attracted me to this book was the cover – look at it and admire that gorgeousness. The second thing is its genre dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel which I don’t read often and try to read more of. Synopsis of the book also intrigued me and lured me to find out what’s hiding behind that cover.

The Salt Line by Holly Goddard Jones is about a post-apocalyptic world where there are salt lines that protect communities against very deadly ticks. Many people live in a zone that is free of ticks but they still have some fear that the ticks will get to them in some way. The society has created some out-of-zone tours which cost pretty big amount of money for people who want to venture outside the Salt line in order to see the nature and see what’s outside. We have a famous pop star, Jesse and his girlfriend, Edie, a well-known tech guy, Wes and a woman who has a few secrets called Marta among other characters. On this journey they have been prepared for the dangers that are ahead but not quite for the dangers that actually await them when they go outside the Salt line.

Before going into this book I came across a one-star review of it but the reasons for the rating wasn’t that clear so I went with an open mind because I liked the sound of the synopsis. I didn’t expect to enjoy this book this much! It was a very interesting dystopian book filled with government conspiracies, dangerous ventures and much more. The thing I enjoyed the most about this book was the way Goddard Jones wrote her characters – I loved reading about Wes and Marta and how they bonded, I have to note that the first part of the book was mind blowing to me and that ending was so good and when the second part came I was a bit underwhelmed because I expected something else but I still enjoyed reading it and it didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the book. There were a few parts of the world-building and explanations for some actions that were unnecessary in my opinion but this was still an enjoyable read which I couldn’t put down.

Fans of dystopian and post-apocalyptic books will find The Salt Line very interesting and very enjoyable.

I would like to thank Penguin Random House International for sending me a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: 

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**I am in no way compensated by these sites. I am simply sharing it so people can find this book easier.

Holly Goddard Jones is the author of The Salt Line, The Next Time You See Me and Girl Trouble (stories). Her work has appeared in The Best American Mystery Stories, New Stories from the South, Tin House magazine, and elsewhere. She was a recipient of The Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. She earned her M.F.A. from Ohio State University and her B.A. from the University of Kentucky. She teaches creative writing at UNC Greensboro and lives in Greensboro with her husband, Brandon, and their children.

Find her on:  Website, Facebook, Twitter and GoodReads