Monday, December 31, 2018
This book has such a unique premise and that usually translates to a big thumbs up for me but I'm feeling somewhat ambivalent about it. There were parts that I found intriguing and wanted to keep reading, but overall it wasn't a page-turner for me. It would've helped a bit if the roles of the Shades, Summoners and apprentices were more clearly explained earlier on but I got there with it all. It also would've helped if the terms of The Agreement had been explainer earlier on but again, I got there. But really, those are small quibbles. I think the biggest problem for me was that the solving of the mystery and the role each character played in it didn't become fascinating for me until too late in the book. Also, the feeling seemed to vacillate between spooky/scary and more straight up mystery. With supernatural suspects. Not a bad book, but not a favorite.
In thinking about this post I was going to say that I enjoyed this book immensely but that there is nothing groundbreaking in terms of rom-com. Then I shook myself back to reality with a reminder that the main character is a fat, queer girl who gets to have a romance that is not all about either of them struggling to come out so it IS pretty groundbreaking after all! Now, Abby does have to do a bit of coming to terms with who she is as a fat girl, but I can love that too because no matter how body pos you are, you still live in society. There are a few things I would've liked to be a little different - more resolution in the mother/daughter relationship, more time with her best friend, and a stronger focus on the new friendship with Jax because the "Best Burger" stuff doesn't seem like enough of the plot to warrant it's own title shout out - but, hey, I'm not gonna let that bring me down. Because the rest of the book is just good with fun characters who love and support each other. It is exactly what I wanted it to be both in terms of a fat character and a not-straight teen. It ended my year of reading on a high note!
Sunday, December 23, 2018
I expected a silly book from M.T. Anderson and I was not let down. Werfel is wonderfully hospitable and his feelings are so easily bruised by his rude guest who doesn't start to realize what all they have in common until things start to go wrong. It's not until Spurge is in danger himself that he began to interest me as that was the point where he finally developed some sort of personality. And the revelation about the gemstone was also a turning point in my interest in the story. While I ended up liking the book and chuckling at the humor, I feel like it is another one of many books that appeals to adults but will have a very limited audience with teens. The cover does it no favors and the humor is sly. Since it is nominated for a reading program in my county I will have the chance to see if my assumptions about how teens respond to it are accurate.
Another beautiful book from Elizabeth Acevedo. The way I could tell I was loving it is that I read for 30 minutes and then realized I hadn't checked the percentage counter on my Kindle in all that time! That is unheard of for me since I am competitive with myself and always feeling like I'm behind on my To Do list. So, things I love:
- Emoni is so in love with her daughter and although there are a few others who try to make her feel ashamed of being a teenage mom, she knows who she is and holds her head high. The book is not about being a statistic other than that her dedication to being a good mom drives some of her other choices and decisions.
- I was unsure of Malachi when he was first introduced but he ends up being a good guy. The progression of their relationship is slow and drama-free which is such a difference from the formulaic "Just when we were about to get close a huge misunderstanding made me sure he didn't really like me at all" thing in every other book and movie and TV show.
- 'Buela is great and I am so happy that she - spoiler alert! - doesn't die or have some other major health issue. That would've been the easy choice to make for Acevedo but again, she goes for real life.
- Acevedo's writing is just lovely and makes me happy to read!