I haven’t read very much lately. My brain has been used for other things like planning big events (and the daily minutiae) for both of my jobs, grieving the loss of a friend, and working hard on strengthening my body and increasing my mobility. It’s been quite a spring.
But I finally feel up to sharing the few things I’ve read in the past few months. Just a reminder that the links in this post do go to support my bookstore, Twice Told Tales.
This book was so wonderful. Something about it felt like the comforting, coming of age stories that we read in middle school–though obviously not for a middle school audience. In the wake of their father’s death, Kenyatta and her older sister are going to spend the summer with a grandfather that they’ve never met before and they’re not entirely sure why…
Kai Harris made such a wonder-making choice by making Kenyatta–our narrator, an eleven year old girl who is trying to figure out the world around her. She’s at an age where she believes that she’s capable of understanding more than the adults around her are willing to share and that can be so frustrating. She’s doing all she can to make sense of a super complex situation that she’s living in and she learns so much throughout this summer. Five stars from me.
I’ll fully admit that I only listened to this book because it was narrated by Mae Whitman, who I have had a crush on since Arrested Development. I gotta admit–this book wasn’t my favorite thing she’s ever done. Not that it matters. I hope she had fun.
This book has all the makings of an excellent story but I just felt like it fell flat (or it could have been the narrator–several times she read the dialogue in a way that didn’t make any sense to me). A young rock star and her estranged father are forced together onto an Alaskan cruise in the wake of her mother’s death. They’re both grieving and they both have animosity toward one another. This is the story of their reconnection. I loved this book in theory but in execution… just fell flat for me. But I’d love to hear from someone else about it! If you loved it, please tell me. (It’s also not this book’s fault that I read it after What the Fireflies Knew and that book was just so, so good.)
This book is released tomorrow and I hope that I ordered enough copies for the store (I’m confident that I did not–let me order more real quick). This book was so fun! McQuiston took a little more chaste turn with this book, considering it’s geared towards a more YA audience. There are still some titilating parts but no full on graphic scenes like you’ll find in, say, One Last Stop.
From the beginning, this book had big Paper Towns energy for me. Which is great! It’s got all the fun elements of a blockbuster teen movie, to be honest. The hot girl goes missing and leaves behind clues to find her. There’s a deeply satisfying party scene. A very cool and broody best friend who keeps the main character grounded. The coolest queer kids that you desperately want to become best friends with. AND it all takes place at a private Christian high school in Mississippi. Listen to me, this book is gonna get banned so damn fast. It’s going to be released tomorrow. And it’s gonna be banned from all the schools by Wednesday. LOL! I mean, I’m laughing but book banning, obviously, enrages me. Anyway–read this book. It’s really good.
Okay so here’s the thing… this book needs 800 trigger warnings. It’s a horror book after all. There’s a cult and creepy baby dolls and secret passage ways and people keep ending up dead. Some of you just noped out of this book and some of you were like “I’m all the way in”! So… I was neither of those people.
For me, I was reading it skeptically. Personally, I thought I figured out what was going to happen in about chapter 3. The only reason I kept reading was because my hope was that a big juicy plot twist would pop out and surprise me! It… did not. I called the whole thing so early and I don’t even like doing that! I didn’t even try. Such a bummer for me.
In summary, every other book I read was awesome. 😉