Welcome to Quick Lit! This is where I partake in Modern Mrs. Darcy’s link-up and share short (sometimes) and sweet (cavities not included) reviews of what I’ve been reading lately.
So this month we had our first book club, reading Peace Like a River, and it was great. The meeting, I mean. The book was good too, but, um, I didn’t quite finish it. (cough I read half cough). I’m thinking of a post about book club, as in I feel almost obligated to write one, so maybe that and finishing the book will have to go hand in hand!
Only four books this month besides that, but they were seriously all fantastic–and really different. Not like I read a happy clappy spiritual growth book, a bloody horror thriller, and Dosteovsky different, or Rachel Held Evans and Nancy Leigh DeMoss different, but different enough.
I CAPTURE THE CASTLE
I’d heard this was fantastic, a classic and a YA one at that. And I bought it, but it sat around until I lent it to Cristina on the whim that she imight like it (despite not even having read it myself.) And when she bought it back with a glowing recommendation, it did seem like it was time to pick it up myself. Which I did, but like two weeks later.
Castle covers some six months of 17- and 18-year old life in the 1930s~ English countryside. It’s essentially a coming-of-age journal full of first love, family disfunctionality, and beautiful descriptions, and Cassandra is a great narrator. Smith captures the ebb and flow of trying to get life down into a journal, including the times when you’re saying, “Oh, I want to write about today, but I still need to write about all of last week first!” Thankfully, Cassandra is adapt at speed writing and I mostly enjoyed the pacing.
THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS
Do you have any books on your TBR lists that you know very little about, yet they’ve been on there for years? Language of Flowers was in that catagory for me.
I finally downloaded it from my library’s Overdrive one day, not really expecting much from it: maybe a lite women’s fiction or even something closer to chick lit. Definitely something rote.
So, so not the case. It’s deep, it’s a little dark (but thematically rather than plot-wise), and I know this is vague and kind of a cheat word but it’s quite compelling.
I’ve noticed, because how can you not, that YA contemporary (specifically with female protags) can get stereotyped as lite, fluffy, and overfocused on boy-crazy girls.
I have feminist feelings about this: the assumptions that, (1) teenage girls only care about vapid things and (2) that the things teenage girls care about are silly or irreleveant or not worth caring about. But it honestly might take a while longer and more reading before I try to put those thoughts and feelings down better than this.
Sometimes, of course, contemporary YA is lite and fluffy. (There’s a whole other conversation that could be had about the legitimacy of fluffy reading, but that’s not neccessary here.) But the stereotype is superficial at best, because these books so often deal well with everyday life–including some of the deeper, darker issues that neccessarily crop up. What I’m poorly trying to say is that I’ve found Sarah Dessen, among other YA writers, to create great, varied female protaganists who deal with some serious s—: abuse, depression, crippling social anxiety, etc. (Dreamland is a great example of this.)
What I’m also poorly trying to say is that I really, really liked this book.
THE HERO OF AGES
Sarah Addison Allen
I loved/hated finishing the three-book Mistborn epic. Loved, because it was fantastic. Hated, because it was over. But the love side gets a boost because Sanderson has books coming out this fall and next January that will complete a second triology set in this same world–just a few hundred years later.
I should read something different from him to be sure (Elantris is on my list of summer reads), but I think Sanderson might be one of my newest favorite authors.
WHAT’S UP NEXT
Theoretically, I’ll actually write a blog about the graphic I already made with my (theoretical)(possible) summer reading , but I might take advantage of the fact that the first day of summer is the 21st, instead of considering summer to be June-August!
Right now I’m reading The Library at Mount Char, an eGalley I nabbed a bit back that officially released a few days ago. It’s twisted and mythology-filled and great. And within the next week I’ll be reading All The Light We Cannot See and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore as fast as possible for book clubs!