Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Sunshine: Something Old, Something New

Well, ok, Imaginary Girls isn't that old.  But I feel like the last person to read it, since it made so many end-of-year lists.  My other reviews are some ARCs I got from Netgalley, both of which have just come out. 

I have to bring some rain into this sunshine, though, and acknowledge that I'm in mourning.  Dan Harmon, creator of best-show-on-television Community, has not been asked back for the show's fourth season.  To translate, for those of you who don't share my TV addiction, that's like hearing that there will still be a third book in the Divergent trilogy--but it will be written by someone other than Veronica Roth.  Now, the guys who have been brought in as showrunners might be good--they've worked on shows I really like--but I don't want to read Tahereh Mafi's Divergent book three.  I want to read her Shatter Me book two, and I want to read Veronica's Divergent #3.  In Dan Harmon's own words:

I’m not saying you can’t make a good version of Community without me, but I am definitely saying that you can’t make my version of it unless I have the option of saying “it has to be like this or I quit” roughly 8 times a day.
--Dan Harmon's Tumblr, which is easily searchable, but which I am not linking because this is a family blog and his is, well, not. 

So, Dan, thanks for a great three seasons.  It won't be the same without you.

What I read this week: 

 Breaking BeautifulBreaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**I received a free advance Kindle copy through Netgalley**

This is not my normal beat. A dark contemporary with loads of suspense, mystery, violence, and a dash of temporary amnesia. A car wreck whose only known survivor can't remember the details--and who may have been responsible. An abusive relationship. A bitter ex-girfriend, scary conspiracies, and the new cop in town investigating everything.

So at this point, I know half (three-quarters? more?) of you all out there in blogland are totally salivating. And you should be, because this book hooked me in, and I'm the kind of freak who normally reads the description above and thinks, "Nah."

Honestly, what kept me coming back was the handling of the fallout from Allie's abusive relationship. While I haven't been in that situation, I have friends who have, and the way Allie spoke about Tripp was eerily close to the way I've heard my friends describe their experiences. Her relationship with Tripp soaked into her core and flared up unexpectedly during interactions with nearly every other character in the novel. By the end, I really felt for Allie and even though I figured out the main mystery fairly early on, the ending of the novel still had me gasping.

So the verdict: If this is your thing, you'll love it. If it's not your thing...well, think about it anyway. It's a quick read and you might surprise yourself.

The Weepers: The Other LifeThe Weepers: The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a book I plan to stock in my classroom. I enjoyed it, but I think it will really appeal to some of my students who aren't so crazy about reading. It's short and full of action and gore (not so much my thing, but I know I have students who will go nuts over it.) I actually preferred the sections set in the bunker and Safe Haven to the action sequences--I'm really fascinated by the idea of having to survive with none of the public infrastructure we're all used to. Definitely an interesting premise: after an outbreak of mutated rabies forces people to go into hiding in bunkers (both public and private, which brings back echoes of public disaster shelters like the Superdome during Katrina) the survivors try to figure out if anyone else is left. I will likely pick up the next book when it comes out.

Imaginary GirlsImaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was frustrating to read--in a really fantastic way. There were really very few moments when I felt like I actually knew what was going on, but the writing was so good that I trusted the book and kept going. Like, with most books that have mysteries or withhold information, you spend some time feeling like you're trying to move a huge brick wall with your hands tied behind your back, but then you get clues or info or put things together and have moments where the wall suddenly slides ahead with no effort for a little while. (Usually I can tell when I've reached those moments because my eyes involuntarily jump ahead a few paragraphs looking for key words like "opened her eyes" or "the cannon fired" or characters' names, and then I start breathing again and go back for what I skimmed over.) In this book, to my constant delight and complete frustration, the wall moved at its own pace. I never felt like I got the jump on what was happening or rested easy for a moment. It's not so much that this book has twists as that it just isn't anything you've seen before. I realize I've said virtually nothing about the plot or characters, and that's because I don't know how to do that without spoilers. If you're someone who likes totally new and original stories and you're ok with feeling in the dark, definitely give this one a shot!

View all my reviews

Waiting in the Wings:

I won an ARC of this in the YAmazing Race--and I can't wait to start reading!!!


1 comment:

  1. I still haven't read Imaginary Girls-- or any of these. :0) I need to update my wish list-- these sound pretty amazing. How strange about COmmunity. I don't watch the show, but I have heard it's great. That's a shame that he's leaving. Hopefully he'll get right to work on something else...


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