Words and Their Meanings by Kate Bassett Review

Wednesday, 4 March 2015
Words and Their Meanings, by Kate Bassett
Publication: September 8, 2014, by Flux
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Death
Pages: 360
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed

Anna O’Mally doesn’t believe in the five stages of grief. Her way of dealing with death equates to daily bouts of coffin yoga and fake-tattooing Patti Smith quotes onto her arms. Once a talented writer, Anna no longer believes words matter, until shocking discoveries– in the form of origami cranes– force her to redefine family and love.
As Anna goes in search of the truth, she discovers that while every story, every human being, has a last line, it might still be possible to find the words for a new beginning.

 Every once in a while us humans are prone to be lurking for something tragic and heartbreaking. I find that it's human nature that we always will be longing for something that's hurtful and upsetting, although we don't want it to happen to us. It's a temptation to want raw and enforcing objectives that will hurt our minds until we're incapable of reading these kinds of books any longer. After hearing about this one and its upsetting message, I knew that I wanted to get kicked into it, another temptation of my life.

Words and Their Meanings lacked a meaning. For me, there was a lack of just about everything, and there was an imbalance of good romance. Books with a romance to help the protagonist heal are too cliché, and we see them so often that our heads begin to shake out of frustration. Here's another example of that typical story.

"Because here's a universal truth: You never feel more aware of what it means to be alive than when you're falling in love. Or dying."
Five stages of grief? Ms. Bassett, what on earth are you possibly talking about? So this is a book that's probably supposed to show you mourning and the total "typical" act of what to do when in this situation. Anna O'Mally's uncle Joe (who happens to be a few years older than her) has died from something tragic and she's in complete sorrow and grief. It's difficult for her to now communicate with her friends and family, and she feels completely lost. She makes discoveries and falls in love.

I guess that some people are probably able to enjoy this more than I did, for the sake of the origami cranes and the coffin yoga stuff. It seems too absurd for me, and I just don't feel like making any connections or using my time to read this, for the sake of the concept. Maybe, just maybe, if there were some sort of interesting plot twist according to fate or better characters, then this would've made it to a four star rating.

I began off with high expectations. Okay, that's usually how the story goes since I usually trust the reviewers and pick up the books that they recommend. I actually did discover this book a while ago during the summer where I was bored out of my mind and was all caught up with blogging and reviewing and... well that's another story. But I was completely satisfied and anxious to read this book as I had heard that it was like the new Gayle Forman book and we all needed it in our lives. My local library got it in their 'New Arrivals' section and... I couldn't resist! You see, there's another thing about the temptations.

When I began reading, I was thoroughly enjoying the grieving part of it. Don't get me wrong—it did shatter my heart into a million pieces and I did have a lot of sympathy towards the characters... but I just couldn't feel everything. There was no anticipation for any romance, there wasn't any happiness or crying. After I finished reading, I just dropped it into the overwhelming pile of books that I need to review on my desk, and I completely forgot about it. That shows the care that I have for books, huh?

"Dead people. Joe is a dead person. Joe is a dead person because of me. 365 days later, those words don't seem real. Time's up."

You see, this book doesn't seem real to me. Anna as a protagonist was interesting and completely wicked, though she lacked something raw and sweet. She seemed too whiny and I didn't feel all of the grief inside of her, instead I saw whine.

Cry me a river. I WISH I COULD'VE CRIED A RIVER! Crying in books really does show the majestic-ness that a book could possibly give you and that the author's words are unbelievably gorgeous. I felt like Bassett could've gotten that to happen to me, though we would've needed a ton of good stuff, like a purpose. Yes, the romance between Anna and Mateo was cute, but I can just shrug it away with no problem, if you know what I mean. He was a sweetheart, but it seemed like their attraction wasn't applicable for this sort of novel. *shrugs again* But Bassett's words were gorgeous and pretty, so you can take that as a positive remark.

No crying, no feelings, no purpose. You may be thinking that this is an all-negative rant review, but I have to tell you that I liked it, but not too much. I've read tons of better grief-tragedy books, and this one can't even compare to them. Anna, as a protagonist, was bittersweet, and sympathy was all over the place coming from me, but really, romance? It's like it was added in to make her feel better, not like fate made it come for her because it's what was supposed to happen—you know what I mean? Overall, I've seen better, but I love this genre, so you should go ahead for this treat as well.

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