What I’m reading this week

This week I had planned on reading The Ship Beyond Time, but then the sequel to Not Your Sidekick landed in my inbox, and I switched to Not Your Villain. Sorry ’bout it. Except I’m not sorry at all. I’ve been dying to read this one. I’m also listening to Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy, which has been on my TBR list for far too long. And since it’s about her struggles with mental illness, I thought World Mental Health Day would be a great day to talk about it.

Things I’m loving about Not Your Villain: Everything! I love getting to know the Sidekick Squad from another point of view and Bells is just so freaking charming. And his crush on Emma? Be still my YA-reading heart! As always, I love C.B. Lee’s representation of her marginalized characters, and the overall world building. This series skews a tad toward Middle Grade, but don’t let that stop you. It’s such a fun read, you won’t even notice.

Things I’m loving about Furiously Happy: I’ve loved Jenny Lawson’s (aka The Bloggess) sense of humor since she first posted about Beyoncé the Giant Metal Chicken so I was pretty sure I was going to love this. What I didn’t expect was to laugh-cry at the realism of Jenny’s struggle with MI. I especially love that I snagged the audio book, because getting to hear this in the author’s voice? Golden. I may have to get Let’s Pretend This Never Happened just to hear her say “Knock-knock, motherfucker!” 😂

Related Recommendations: If you are looking for something a bit more firmly in the YA camp than the Sidekick Squad, check out Blood Surfer by Debra Jess. I read this one about a year ago now, but it was a really great urban fantasy with super-powered characters. Jess has a few novellas in this world and I believe another book coming out in this series (don’t @ me if I’m wrong – UPDATE: confirmed!)

And obviously I’d recommend Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. Happy reading!

Up Next: I think I’m going to opt for reading about more feminist, zine-making girls and read Moxie. It reminds me a lot of Grrrls on the Side (which is currently 30% off on Amazon!) so I have a feeling I’m going to love it!

In the meantime, what are you reading?

What I’m reading this week

This week I chose to start on a dollar store find called The Sweetheart by Angelina Mirabella. This one is about a 1950s female wrestler, and I was sold on buying it on the description alone. Unfortnately, the execution is leaving much to be desired. After the prologue, this book is written in second person, as if the author is talking to herself or remembering events. But instead of saying, “I did this,” or “She did this,” the author used, “You did this.” It’s an uncommon style for fiction writing, and with good reason. And in this case, it’s not working. The second-person narration is really taking me out of the story, and I’m having a hard time staying focused on the story and characters.

Things I’m loving: The main character, Leonie, is charming so far, and I am invested in what happens to her. Also, the plot is solid enough that it’s not become a DNF for me yet, but man, the desire to put it down and not pick it up again is strong.

Related Recommendation: I recently read another book written in second person that wasn’t distracting, and it’s proof that this style can be done well. History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera is a young adult novel written from the point of view of a young man whose ex-boyfriend has died. The novel is written as if Griffin is speaking to Theo. I think in this case it works because Griffin is going through his grief process and believes he is actually speaking to Theo.

Up Next: I think I’m going to dig into Heidi Heilig’s The Ship Beyond Time. It’s the sequel to The Girl From Everywhere, which I loved. So I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, what are you reading?

What I’m reading this week

Hopefully this will be the first of many posts about books I’m currently reading. This installment features Island of Exiles (Book 1 in the Ryogan Chronicles) by Erica Cameron and A World Without You by Beth Revis (which I’m technicaly listening to as an audiobook).

Things I’m loving: Island of Exiles is such a lush world, despite taking place in a desert. The setting, characters and plot are all richly crafted. I’m dying to finish this one. I hope book two comes out soon because I have a feeling I’m going to want to dive right in again.

I started listening to A World Without You on my way home from Hurricane Irma evacuation because I had met Beth Revis at a Malaprops Bookstore event in Asheville, NC. I knew she had written the Star Wars: Rogue One prequel Rebel Rising, but when she mentioned a time-traveling, mentally ill character, I knew I had to read this book. Knowing I would be trapped in a car for several hours had me opting for the audiobook. I’m loving the narrator and so far the story has me wondering. I’ve heard it keeps you guessing until the end, so I’m dying to finish it as well.

Related recommendations: Beth Revis was kind enough to host a Q&A for me and fellow YA author F.T. Lukens at Malaprops and we talked about our writing process and read random snippets from our books.

Check out F.T. Lukens’ The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic. It’s a great coming-of-age tale juxtaposed with the world of myth and magic. Main character Bridger just can’t seem to get his shit together to follow through on his crush on the cute boy next door. Supporting characters Astrid and Leo are also charmers, and mentor Pavel is a gem.

Up Next: After I finish these two I think I want to dig into a dollar store find that I hadn’t heard of before and I can’t remember the name of. But I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, what are you reading?