It’s July 4th, y’all, and around here that means fireworks and flags. As for me, I’m going swimming with new friends that thankfully also do not enjoy fireworks.
But before I go gallivanting around in my bathing suit, I thought I’d share my reading progress from this year. Though I’ve barely posted since this last September (god, time flies…), I definitely HAVE been reading. According to my Goodreads account page (add me!) I’ve read 36 books so far this year. 17 of those fit the purposes of this blog.
So what I thought I’d do today is write a few mini-reviews of my favorites thus far. And by mini, I mean MINI. But hey. This is my segue back into book review life, you guys! Happiness!
The Power, by Naomi Alderman
Read: January 1, 2018
TW: Rape, assault
Synopsis: It starts with the young women and teenagers. It is sporadic at first, then begins building in consistency. Soon, they have harnessed it. Women can now send electric current through their skin and use it to tease…freeze…paralyze…kill. And suddenly, the world is turned upside down as women everywhere gain unprecedented power–but without the privilege.
Is there a way to have both? And at what cost?
Review: My synopsis there is utter crap compared to just how amazing this book is. So please don’t let my feeble words keep you away from this gem. The Power was my first read of the year, and definitely a favorite. I’ve recommended it to so many people I’m sure they are sick of hearing about it.
The story follows three major characters: an abused foster child from the USA, the daughter of a crime kingpin in the UK, and a teenage boy turned journalist from Nigeria. From the beginning, it’s evident that their stories are more than passing anecdotes in this female-Power world. Eventually, they come together in unexpected ways. But the beauty of it all actually resides in their separate experiences, which gives the reader a chance to see the implications from a variety of perspectives.
To be honest, this book terrified and sickened me at times. There’s a lot to contemplate. It’s not a light read. But it’s brilliant. And necessary.
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, by Erika L. Sanchez
Read: February 2018
TW: Suicide, self-harm, sexual assault
Synopsis: Julia knows she’s not perfect. She’s always known, by the way her tias stare and her and whisper, by the way her mother compares her to her sister Olga, by the way she feels on the inside all the time–angry, frustrated, turbulent.
And now? Now Olga is dead. A freak accident. And what fragile peace Julia ever had shatters in the wake of it as her mother and other family members ramp up the criticism and comparisons to the point that Julia cannot breathe under the weight of it.
To make it worse, Julia misses Olga more than she can ever say. But did she really know her sister? An accidental discovery sets her on a course to discover Olga, and herself, in a new, more honest way.
Review: This was one of my audiobook selections this year. And pretty sure I haven’t cried at anything as much as I cried at this book. Having myself struggled with depression and anxiety throughout my life, listening to this girl’s struggle and guilt in the wake of trauma–it broke things inside me.
The grace with which Erika L. Sanchez handles the intricate nuance of Julia’s experiences (and her parents, and her friends)…it’s beyond explanation. This is definitely one I’ll be reading again…and again…and again.
The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, by Teresa Toten
Read: February 2018
Synopsis: Adam wants to be taller. He wants a girlfriend (specifically Robyn, oh, man!). He wants his mom to clean the house. And he wants to be better.
Adam has OCD, and attends a support group where everyone goes by superhero names. He is 15 years old. And from the very first time he sees Robyn, he knows that it’s up to him to protect her.
But getting better for someone else only can take you so far.
Review: Yep. I cried. Actually, I almost had a hair-pulling session (yay, trich!) then had an anxiety attack. Yup. Cause the OCD is SO WELL WRITTEN. You guys, wow. Just wow.
What I really loved about this is how complex all the characters are. Adam is a great kid! He’s SUCH A FIFTEEN YEAR OLD. And he’s sick. And coming to terms with that. And with everything else going on. Honestly, this is going to be a favorite of mine for a long, long time.
These are just some of my favorites this year! And starting Friday, going back to full-on weekly reviews. I got my TBR shelf all organized; got more books ordered (why can’t I stop buying them?!); and it’s gonna be glorious. It’s good to be back ❤
What have some of your favorite reads been this year?