I love that this month’s linkup falls the same week as Book Expo America. I thought I’d be able to get there this year but alas, it was a no go. But chatting books with you guys is a perfect substitute.
This month’s reads. I swear, they made me feel like I was driving around in a Delorean, trying to fill up my flux capacitor. Every single book I read had time jumping in it. ALL OF THEM. I generally don’t mind it as a way of telling a story but it’s a gimmick that gets old after the third consecutive book you read does it. It doesn’t mean they were bad books–most of them were quite good–but it became annoying.
Admin note: Steph and I will be discuss Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy for the May 26th episode of The Armchair Librarians. As always, it’ll be spoiler free but just in case you want to read it ahead of time, you can. I’m also discussing it in this month’s recap if you can’t decide if you want to read it or not (unlike what I typically do in a review, I’m including a bit of a plot summary to help you out).
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy. This book tells the story of Alice, diagnosed with cancer, and Harvey, her lifelong friend and boy who’s in love with her. Thinking she’s going to die, Alice exacts revenge on those who’ve wronged her but then she goes into remission and she has to live with the consequences. I enjoyed the journey, told at different points in time, and the revenge fantasies she carried out but the way Alice used Harvey enraged me. As did the way he mostly accepted it. It wasn’t quite as good as Dumplin’ but overall, it was a very good, well written YA book. She writes strong, real characters and has a knack for dialog which carries the story when the plot falls flat.
We’ve Already Gone This Far by Patrick Dacey. I thoroughly enjoyed this book of short stories about the residents of a hurting town. The stories all wind up being connected, and most can trace to a single event, and they’re just enough real, sad, happy, and weird to keep you engaged. If you’re a fan of short stories, definitely read this one. If you’re not a fan, I don’t know that this would be the best book for you to read.
Liar by Rob Roberge. This is a NetGalley book (see, NetGalley! I do read the books I request!). At first, I was all “holy fuck, this book is incredible and I love it and this is how you do a book about mental health and addiction”. Then I was all “this book is too weird and this guy is seriously fucked up and how many more shitty things he’s done do I need to read about?” I mean, it was a very open and honest book about his struggles with rapid cycling bipolar disorder and a pretty serious addiction, and he’s a hell of a writer, but most of the time, I just fucking hated him. I mean, I get that his diseases made him do most of what he did that was so despicable but still. He’s not really a likable guy. And the time jumping made me dizzy. It was all over the place. OH! Stylistically, he wrote it in present tense. So that was cool and different.
13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad. I liked the idea of this book more than the execution. Lizzie, the main character, made me constantly sad and frustrated and while I enjoy varying POVs in books, including this one which had Lizzie looking at herself and her life at different phases like she was a different person, it just didn’t really work in this book. Also, it read more like short stories than a novel. I like short stories but when I want to read a novel, I want it read like one. BUT. I loved how the author addressed body image and happiness and how they’re not always connected (skinny does not always equal happy, for instance). And Lizzie was extremely complex and well written. Like an actual person. So, I can’t really decide how I feel about this book.
How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz. I read this book because of Lauren. She read it last month and I told her it was on my TBR and now, here we are. This also had time jumping and different POVs but it worked quite well. Like The Girl on the Train, the book’s main characters are wholly unlikeable yet together, they told a weird, incongruent, messy story that I could not stop reading. Part mystery, part character study, part ugly facets of life, this book hit me in a bunch of different places. So much so, I stayed up until 1:30AM to finish it, fell asleep with 40 pages left and didn’t get out of bed the next morning until it was done.
Currently reading Holding Smoke by Elle Cosimano. I got it from NetGalley. Don’t remember requesting it but when I checked my shelf, there it was. I think it archived so it made sense to pick it up.
Now it’s your turn! Leave your link below and tell us what you’ve read. Non-bloggers, let us know in the comments. Don’t forget to visit some of the other participants, too!