Saturday, August 29, 2020

Book Reviews - Four Kinds of Feels

Y'all, what a ride this quartet provided - literally four very different books that evoked four very different types of feels. Read on to learn more. . .

Dress Coded by Carrie Firestone was a fantastic middle grade read about the ridiculousness that are dress codes that unfairly target girls. I can even remember my own high school dress code from twenty years ago! That said, I'm glad there is a book girls can read that gives voice to how problematic these are. The story focuses on Molly. Molly has decided to start a podcast after Olivia is "dress coded." Olivia has to take her sweatshirt off and tie it around her waist. When she's asked to put it back on, she cannot because of something else that has happened. Due to this, their class trip is canceled as the deal with the administration was the class would get a special trip if no one was "dress coded" all year. Molly then connects with a number of other students who have had negative experiences with the dress code and spotlights them on the podcast. She and other students also look at another avenues to enact change. This was just such a smart and powerful story. It got real REAL about the damage these codes cause and how they impact girls. I love that there is a book for this age group about this important topic!

This Time Next Year by Sophie Cousins was a story about two people who'd always been connected. Quinn and Minnie (Cooper - yes, that's her real name) were born in the same hospital over New Years' Eve/Day. Minnie's name was actually supposed to be Quinn until Quinn's mother "stole" the name, so Minnie's mom had to go with something else. Minnie has heard this story for years, and it isn't until New Years' Eve 2019 that she finally meets Quinn. The story then progresses through "real time" with Quinn and Minnie, while also showing New Years' Eves and Days past. What the flashbacks reveal is there two stories have unknowingly intersected before, and it also shows where Minnie in particular has struggled with the day to the point she believes it's cursed. In real-time, Quinn and Minnie keep running into each other and build a relationship. I will say I could kind of guess how this was going to play out, BUT I still really enjoyed the journey getting to that point. Sometimes you need some love and predictability, and this so met that need for me. This was a delight of a read! Thanks to NetGalley for the early look at this December 2020 release.

She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb is a book I've known about forever, but have not read until (obviously) now. I can even remember my mom buying this book when it was an Oprah's Book Club selection way back when. I do think it was a book best read by thirtysomething me. This is such an emotional journey with captivating writing. The story focuses on Dolores who goes through some stuff, then more stuff, and then even more stuff. Y'all therewas so much emotion and feels reading through this. I'm glad to have finally had the experience of reading this one even 28 years after its initial release.

Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom by Louis Sachar was such a throwback. I loved the Wayside School books as a kid, and I didn't even know there was a fourth in the series until my sister-in-law posted about it. To be honest, I probably should have re-read the others to reconnect with the source material, and I would recommend this for maximum enjoyment. However, it was still the same ol' Wayside shenanigans. It was ridiculousness and quirkiness, and it's just what made me as a kid love this series.

Onto the next ones!