More Lit Chat!
What is the funniest book you’ve ever read? Did you truly LOL? Have you ever read a book that made you cry? Was it the book or your life?
These books made me lose it. I found them to be hysterical. I do know some people who did not like Eligible. They are typically those people who love Pride & Prejudice and didn’t like seeing it tainted in this way. I liked P&P, but I can’t say I’m a die hard or anything so I thought this re-telling was great. American Housewife is a short story collection and they were all spectacular and so funny. Super Southern. If you’ve lived in the South you’ll love them. Yes, I did truly LOL in both. I listened to Eligible and I remember being in my car crying / laughter so much I couldn’t see the road. It was the best.
Most of my cry books are cliché. Although I guess Eligible made me cry but not in the way I think the question means. Me Before You made me cry, you’ll know why if you’ve read it. A Little Life made me cry but it also made me very angry. Lastly, the Winter Street series by Elin Hildebrand. I love that family so much. They make me emotional. And Christmas. I love Christmas. That series is probably the only one that applies to the ‘was it your life’ question. Because Christmas books / movies / songs (anything really) make me cry. I love Christmas.
I just finished reading The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. I tried reading it ages ago and stopped. No idea why. Here is the premise. Myfanwy (like Tiffany with an M – don’t ask how I feel about that) wakes up in a field surrounded by dead people wearing latex gloves. It’s raining, and while she’s freaking out, she puts her hands in her pockets to warm up and finds a letter with the number 1 on it. In the letter, she tells herself that she lost her memory and she needs to either run or become her old self. Spoiler alert (not really, it happens in the first 20 pages) she chooses to become her old self who it turns out is a secret agent for England against fantasy villains (i.e. vampires, people with special powers, etc). There are 30+ other letters written to herself and to give her back story on her life. Through most of it she’s just trying to survive and figure out who killed her the first time. I liked it a lot. I did. But the ending was kind of drawn out. There is apparently a book two, but I probably won’t read it because this one wrapped up fairly nicely.
Side note, I was explaining to my husband what it was about and he said, “Oh it sounds like The Long Kiss Goodnight.” Which we watched last night. And it is nothing like that.
Scythe, the first book in the Neal Shusterman trilogy, Arc of the Scythe, first came out in November of 2016. The second book, Thunderhead, just came out in January of 2018. I first heard about Scythe when it came out, it was a PW Best Book of 2016 and a SLJ Best Book of 2016 for teens. Exciting, right? I checked it out when I saw this and posted about the Best Books lists but didn’t read it. Then, an old friend from when I lived in Tennessee messaged me on Goodreads and said, read this book. So I did. Interestingly, she also said that she teaches Unwind (also a Shusterman book) to her high schoolers. So maybe I’ll investigate that too.
In my mind I had kept Scythe on the back burner for the same reason I avoided reading The Hunger Games. Now, I don’t want to compare these books to The Hunger Games, other than to say there’s violence and that’s why I avoided them. They are nothing like The Hunger Games. At all. I enjoyed Scythe and Thunderhead SO.MUCH.MORE than The Hunger Games. So much. They are so good.
Possible spoilers ahead. Quick setting explination. The cloud (yes, like Apple) has become something called the Thunderhead. It knows everything and has basically figured out how to run the world and keep people from dying. Therefore, a new occupation was formed called Scythes, people whose job it is to kill people in order to control the population etc. In book 1, Citra and Rowen are chosen to be Scythe apprentices. You quickly learn that this has apparently never been done before, having two apprentices, and it is decided that only one will survive. Moving on to book 2. I have inner feelings about the middle book in trilogies. That is not the case with this book. Book 2 might even be BETTER than book 1. No joke. I won’t tell you much about it other than to say, Citra has won the fight to be a Scythe, Rowen has turned into a semi-bad guy to everyone but Citra, and the real bad guy has taken over the world. It is the best.
I cannot wait for book 3. According to his timeline of release for books 1 & 2 it apparently takes him about 1 year and 2 months. Which means I have one more year to wait.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about death or grief (Scythe)
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion other than your own (Thunderhead)
I received a copy You Think It, I’ll Say It, a book of stories, from Netgalley. And Lord, was I excited! I love Curtis Sittenfeld. Two years ago, I read Eligible which is a re-telling of Pride & Prejudice. It was hilarious. So I was very excited to read this new one of hers.
If you also liked Eligible, be aware that these stories are not funny. I was thinking it would be more like American Housewife, which was hilarious. But most of Sittenfeld’s stories are day in the life, fairly serious and thought provoking stories. I don’t care for the one that came from the book’s title but I really liked most of them. The title story is about a married woman with kids who plays a game called You Think It, I’ll Say It with a fellow dad at parties or sporting events where she rips on other people and he listens. For some reason she thinks this means they have a connection and she believes she’s in love with him. Meh. My favorite one was about this woman who’s obsessed with a celebrity and her social media accounts. This celeb is essentially described like The Pioneer Woman. The character is obsessed with her because in their early twenties they had an affair. And yet now, she’s married with 3 kids! What a hypocrite. It’s a great story.
I love how all of the stories feel well rounded and thought out and you really feel like you know the character and what they’re thinking and doing and even what they’ve been thinking and doing off the page before their story came to you. It’s such a great book. Highly recommended. The release date for this book is May 3, 2018.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with an ugly cover
I finished the Precious Stone trilogy. I had no idea it was called that until two seconds ago but I wrote about book one, Ruby Red, last week and I finished books two and three this week! I actually read Ruby Red in 2011 but went back to read it recently because all 3 books are out now. They weren’t back then and I don’t like waiting.
Aren’t these covers divine? I adore them. Sapphire Blue is book 2 and Emerald Green is book 3. I read them both within a few days so I can’t remember what happens in each individually but basically, Gwyneth has found out she’s a time traveler in book 1. In book 2 she starts traveling with her cohort, Gideon, the male time traveler with the gene. Their alliance is run by a man named Count Saint-German, someone Gwyn has been told not to trust. She soon finds out why, with the help of her time traveling cousin (or is she) and her best friend. I won’t get into specifics of what their goal is because it’s too complicated to explain but eventually Gideon and Gwyneth work together to sabotage the Count’s plan, and they also fall in love. Of course. Because it’s a YA novel. Thankfully, there is not a love triangle. I highly recommend these books to anyone who likes YA and wants a good time travel / historical feel. I listened to them on audio, one from Audible and the others from Libby / Overdrive / Hoopla. The reader is great.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : the next book in a series you started (Sapphire Blue)
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about time travel (Emerald Green)
This was another book from Audible’s first book in a series sale. I bought Ruby Red from that sale and decided to try out Pines because a lot of people in my Facebook Book Club have raved about it. I read Dark Matter last year and liked most of it (except the ending), it’s the same author, so I figured it buying it to see if I like it wouldn’t be a shot in the dark.
Pines is actually very similar to Dark Matter. Ethan, a secret service agent, is sent to find out where / how his old partner disappeared. He gets into a car accident, the other agent who was driving dies in this accident, and ends up in a small weird town called Wayward Pines in Idaho. Turns out this town is super weird and everyone is happy and cagey. They eat real food, not processed, and their money is from the 50s. Ethan meets someone who tries to help him, her name is Brenda, and after they talk everything gets much weirder. Is it the past? Future? Why won’t the let Ethan leave the town or call his family?
This is a trilogy but I think the end of book one ties up nicely and since I wasn’t in love with it I won’t read it. I also heard that book 3 is very violent / graphic and I’m not about that. So I don’t see the need to finish. It was also made into a show on Fox titled Wayward Pines. I checked it out and hated it within the first 5 minutes. I do not recommend the show at all.
I just finished Ruby Red, again. It was on sale on Audible for $4.99 a few weeks ago when they were having a sale for first books in a series. I had previously read it in 2011 (post here about how I was excited for book 2) and I received the advanced reader copy at ALA that year so I even own book 2!
Ruby Red is a German translation about Gwyneth, a sixteen year old in London who finds out she’s a time traveler! Her cousin, Charlotte, was the supposed ‘chosen one’ for the time traveling gene in her family but it turns out that was a mistake. Gwyneth knows nothing about time travel or the circle of time travelers she’s meant to meet in the past with the help of her traveling companion, Gideon. Everything in this story happens within the span of 2-5 days and book 2, Sapphire Blue, picks up exactly where book 1 ends, which I like. Because it’s so quick in time it also reads very quickly. I’m shoving on to book 2 right now, immediately so I don’t stall and crash like I did in 2011. I’m listening and have the print book at my house as a back up if I become enthralled. On a positive note, book 3, Emerald Green, has already been released whereas if I read them in 2011 I would have had to wait.
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a in translation
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with alliteration in the title