It has been 3 months since I did a monthly reading summary, and I really wanted to catch up! I used to be a big fan of writing full reviews, but have since decided that I really only have a lot ot say about certain books, where others I feel like I pull teeth to get a good three paragraphs of opinions. So, some of these do already have reviews while others will get mini ones here! (Sorry for the obscene length of this!)
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
I fell in love with this book (and did write an entire review, as I had TONS to say about it). What a beautifully written book accompanied by such a tragic personal story.
How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky by Lydia Netzer
After reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette two years ago, I fast realized that I was a fan of the “quirky” reads. My co-worker has come to pass anything described as “quirky” my way, which is how Netzer’s second novel landed in my lap. Toledo tells the story of two lovers who were literally “made” to be together. Their mother’s, childhood friends, organized their births and lives in a way that would separate them, and bring them back together to form a lasting, pure love. But things obviously go very awry. This book may have actually been TOO quirky for me, but something about the mother’s back story propelled me forward. I still can’t decide on exactly how I felt about the book, but I was curious enough to pick up Netzer’s debut novel, Shine Shine Shine. I will get to that eventually!
East of West Volume 1: The Promise by Jonathan Hickman
This first volume of a new comic series had some of the best art but most confusing storyline. I did a full review here!
Saga Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
If you haven’t already picked up Saga, I beg of you to do so! This comic series is absolutely amazing. Accurately described by so many as “Romeo and Juliet meets Game of Thrones in space”, this series is action-packed and has some of the most unforgettable characters (including Lying Cat *insert heart here*). I love it!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
I read Jenny Han’s Summer series years ago, and tore through it (which is not normal for me). I gave Burn for Burn (the first in her series co-authored with Sioban Vivian) a shot as well, but didn’t love it. However, this sounded like the perfect summer read, and it was! To All the Boys is the story of Lara Jean, a teen who loves fashion, baking and of course, boys. She keeps an old hat box under her bed full of love letters that she has written to boys who have stolen her heart. The letters are a form of therapy to help her move on, and she has no intention of ever letting them get out, until one day they are mysteriously mailed to each and every boy. This would have MORTIFIED me as a teen, which made the book a lot of fun! I didn’t develop a connection with the characters like I did with the Summer books, but I did enjoy the read!
This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki
I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about the Tamaki sisters, so I was really excited to read this one. Though I enjoyed the art and thought it dove into some very deep subjects, I did wish it went a bit further. There are discussions of marriage, sexuality, adolescence, pregnancy and more, however I wanted to know more about some of the characters and wanted to see some further resolution. I will definitely be reading other works by the Tamaki’s in the future.
The Secret Lives of Great Authors by Robert Schnakenberg
This was a totally fun before-bed read. This book is divided into a large number of famous authors whom have had interesting personal lives. From dominatrix tendencies to scandalous drug affinities, this book is full of the weirdest stuff you’ve ever heard about some of the most revered and beloved authors.
Locke and Key Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom
Locke and Key Volume 5: Clockworks
Locke and Key Volume 6: Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
These books were dark, fantastical and unputdownable. I love this whole series and wrote a review raving about it here.
Sweet Tooth Volume 2: In Captivity by Jeff Lemire
Sweet Tooth has captured my heart. It is heart-wrenching but such an interesting story. Much like The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Sweet Tooth takes place in a dark and terrifying version of the future. Our main character, Gus, is a young boy-deer hybrid, and perhaps the first of his kind. In this volume, we get the back story of his protector, the haunted and mysterious Jeppard. Prepare the tissues.
Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer
I have been meaning to read Meg Wolitzer since reading about how much Shannon over at River City Reading adores her. This was the perfect introduction! Belzhar is a YA novel about Jam, who has suffered a trauma and is sent to a special school for children coping with personal situations. There she is placed in a Special Topics in English class where their teacher assigns them one author to read the entire semester. This time, it is Sylvia Plath. The students see far too may similarities in themselves to Plath’s feeling of being “inside a bell jar” and when some mysterious things begin happening to them, they begin to question if this class is more than just an added grade in their cirriculum.
Side note: Wolitzer seems to really love Plath. Her first novel, Sleepwalking, dealt with students studying dead writers, Plath being one of them. I find this extremely curious and as a lover of Plath myself, I can’t wait to get my hands on that one as well.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
This was a re-read for me and it was just as wonderful as the first time I read it. This time, I read it along with Jay, and was surprised to see him develop an attachment to the characters as strong as mine. Not normally a fiction reader, I didn’t expect Jay to become as invested as he was. When we finished the book together, we went to see the film and compare, and spent the ride home speculating that if we were pulled over, we could be accused of being high for how red our eyes were. This book is wonderful.
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
I feel like I haven’t shut up about how much I love this book since I started it. Raving review to be found here :).
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
There is a reason people always sigh when you ask if they’ve read The Road. It’s because it will rip your heart out and tear it apart piece by tiny piece. And yet.. I feel like it should be manditory reading. Terrifying, dark, but ultimately about the power of love. I’m so glad I finally read this.