I actually got quite a bit read this week! I’m not sure what was different, except that I read several books in a row that I really enjoyed, which might have gotten me back in the reading groove.
Pure by Julianna Baggott: I really liked this adult SF–you could put a dystopian label on it, but it’s quite different in feel from most of the YA dystopias out there these days. The characters were well developed, and the world was both interesting and believable, at least for the space of the novel.
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes: The family parts of this were lovely, as was Izzy’s coming of age and the different cultural aspects. As an outsider, I found them lovingly and carefully depicted. I really appreciated the range of experiences that Cervantes manages to show. I wasn’t quite as much a fan of the magical elements, which didn’t seem to ever quite coalesce. But that’s less important in this story, so I wasn’t hugely bothered.
The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke: Sequel to The Assassin’s Curse. I wish I had gone back to re-read the first book, as I was a bit fuzzy as to timing. However, once I got over that initial disorientation, I really really liked this one! A nice romance, plus pirates. In some ways it was a little muted, but I didn’t dislike that; it’s really about Ananna and her journey.
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow: This is a hard book for me to assess. On one hand, it tells what feels like a very important story. On the other, I felt that the writing style was not my favorite–the sentence level writing was fairly weak, IMO. On the third hand, I suspect it would be possible to sell this to reluctant readers, or readers who are wary of historical fiction, because of the sports aspect.
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White: This was a really quick, fun read. And the design is absolutely gorgeous, inside and out. However, I really felt that a lot of the worldbuilding aspects didn’t quite make sense, and Isadora was occasionally very inconsistent in terms of what she knew about the outside world. It’s a great popcorn book, and that’s about it.
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia: The sequel to One Crazy Summer. I liked a lot of it, especially the range of different attitudes and experiences that are portrayed (anytime the idea of a monolithic culture gets broken down, I am happy). However, I was really surprised at the ending, which felt abrupt and unfinished–not so much open as simply cut off.
I’ve also started Rusalka, by CJ Cherryh. Her books often take a bit to get off the ground, and I’m just getting to what looks like the main plot. So, we’ll see! I like the Russian-inspired setting, and her descriptions are always so lovely and vivid. And yet, the whole effect is somewhat muted, or distant, or something. It’s work to read one of her books, despite the fact that they’re not conventionally difficult.
My (ambitious) List:
Poems by Akhmatova
The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood–DNF
Pure by Julianna Baggott–finished
Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Flip by Martyn Bedford
Echo by Alicia Brewster
Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes–finished
Savage Fortress by Sarwat Chadda
Rusalka by CJ Cherryh
The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke–finished
The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton
The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
The Lost Kingdom by Matthew Kirby–finished!
The Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher
The Caged Graves by Dianne Salemi
The Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow–finished
Poetry of Vernon Watkins
The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White–finished
P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia–finished
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
Golden Girl by Sarah Zettel