And done! Holly danced at her last regional competition this past weekend, which means I get my weekends back again. I took full advantage of it too by participating in Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon on Saturday. An added bonus is that now that it has finally shifted to spring-like weather, it might even mean hammock reading. I’m so excited!
FINISHED SINCE THE LAST UPDATE:
Justina Ireland does it again in her zombie-filled alternative historical fiction novel. The entire story filled me with a sense of anger at the injustice of the situation at the same time I admired and was inspired by Jane’s fierce determination to not just survive but thrive in a world which was against that.
Listening to Madeleine L’Engle’s most famous novel served to reiterate why I was not a fan of it as a child. Honestly, I am not even certain why so many people love it. My own kids did not. I did not. As an adult, I still do not see the attraction. Yes, it is well-written, creative, intense, a bit scary, filled with witches/stars, monsters both good and bad, kids as heroes, and so forth. Yet there is something about the story which did not mesh well for me. Perhaps this is because kids’ literature today is so nuanced and complex. To me, L’Engle’s novel is overly simplistic and too structured. You can almost see the “and then’ connecting each section; for a novel about jumping around through time and space, the story is very linear in nature. In addition, the characters lack in development, and there are certain elements of the story that have not aged well. I was not expecting much from this re-exposure to this classic considering my memories are blank when I try to recall my first reading impressions; thankfully, those low expectations kept me from being too disappointed that I did not enjoy it more than I did.
I know a few people who were not fans or could not finish the Tom McAllister novel. Personally, I loved it. There is very little plot or character development, but I found myself pausing almost every sentence because of what the sentence had to say about today’s society, the gun control battle, life as a woman, and pretty much every other hot topic making the headlines today. It hit all the right notes with me.
If the Tom McAllister novel was all about highlighting the ills of today’s society, Charles Soule’s novel showed just how fear and the need to believe in something bigger can spiral out of control. Twisted, intricate, sobering and yet surprisingly hopeful, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Michelle McNamara’s posthumous novel about the Golden State Killer was a surprise addition to the readathon that was literally a could-not-stop-listening choice. She was meticulous in her research and brutally honest in her obsession with this previously obscure serial killer. Anyone who chooses to read this one now has the added benefit of the latest updates with the recent arrest of a suspect. This is a definite must-read and will be a highlight of the year.
The K. C. Archer novel was the last novel I finished for the readathon. It is a testament to how good it is that I started it at midnight and finished it just before 4 AM, reading without pause. It is a boarding school sci-fi/fantasy with the added benefit that all of the students are adults and therefore not subject to the angst that typically besets such novels. Mystery, suspicious activity, psychic abilities, with a little bedroom action and a whole lot of intrigue make this a compelling read.
DID NOT FINISH:
I did not even make it to the 25 percent mark before I gave up on this odd futuristic dystopian story where people worship the space shuttles and carry around the heads of people as talismans. The lack of world-building as well as the incessant cryptic sentences made this one through which I was not willing to wade.
April Review Copies:
At least I finished the March review copies before May. I need at least two more good readathons to catch up, I fear. Especially because my May review copy list is equally long.
So, what are you reading?