Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A Little of This. A Little of That.

Y'all, this was an interesting round of reads for me with a variety of feels. I offer the disclaimer that I didn't love them all, but I hope my thoughts can help y'all decipher if they might be for you.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel is phenomenal. I had no idea a book about a pandemic flu could be so absolutely beautiful. This book starts with one of the first moments the flu begins as a lead actor in a production of King Lear passes out on stage. The book then weaves through different times and reactions to the spread of the flu. There's stories of the time before, stories of the spread, and then stories of how life has been since. Much of this involves the story of the Traveling Symphony which is a group of survivors who travel the country trying to keep the arts alive as they visit various settlements. As I was reading, I sometimes had to say to myself, "How can I be so captivated by a book about such tragedy?!?" However, it's just that well-written, and the stories of the characters were just that mesmerizing. 

Read this book if - You want to read dystopian fiction with incredible characters. You like a book that makes you feel all the things. You are looking for a book that captivate you from the first pages until the very last sentence.

Ghosted by Rosie Walsh was a book I so wanted to love but instead ended up just liking. It was an advanced e-galley I received from First To Read, and I was pumped when I was selected. However, I went in with the wrong kind of expectations. I thought this was going to be more page-turning sensational thriller than it was. The story revolves around a couple who spend a week together and have a strong connection. However, then the dude just vanishes. The rest of the story then focuses on just what the heck happened and how the couple had a previous connection that is quite important. The story ended up being more romance/general fiction than thriller which isn't a bad thing. It was just different. I will say I thought I totally had the ending figured out, but there was an unexpected twist that I did not see coming at all. It's an interesting enough story, but if you're wanting more thrill with your vanishing lover, this isn't your jam.

Read this book if - You like your romance with a side of "What the heck happened?" You need a good beach read that keeps you reading to figure out connections in stories.

You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly is first of all one of my favorite covers of the year. The story is about two middle schoolers who find each other via an online Scrabble game. Both Charlotte and Ben are struggling with their middle school experiences, and they find connection they crave over the 1000s of miles that separate them. The interesting piece is that while both are struggling, neither admits this to their online friend. The book covers a week of their game in alternating narratives. I don't read a tremendous amount of J Fiction, but I really liked this one. 

Read this book if - You want a book with a unique spin on the struggles of middle school. You want a book that could start a conversation about how we connect.  You want a quick, quirky read.

Providence by Caroline Kepnes was a read that was way out of my normal wheelhouse. That's not a bad thing, but I think this one is better suited for people who aren't me. Specifically, this one was way more science fiction-y than I anticipated. Oh, and this was an advanced e-galley from NetGalley, so it's not yet available to the masses. Anyway, this story stars with two teenage friends - Jon and Chloe. Chloe is one of the only people that Jon feels truly understands him. Then, Jon is kidnapped by a substitute teacher. Four years later, Jon is released and returns with a new ability that means he has the potential to (literally) hurt those who (literally) get close to him. The rest of the story is then Jon figuring how to manage this power and his connection to Chloe. At the same time, it's Chloe figuring out what her connection to Jon is given his new normal. 

Read this book if - You are a fan of science fiction with relationships at the core of the plot. You like a fiction read that's a bit "off the beaten path" when it comes to the story it tells. You're looking for a book with a bit of a "Stranger Things vibe" going on.