Wednesday Reading

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:10 am
scordatura: (person: black socks)
[personal profile] scordatura
Hey gang! I'm going to make a life post, as promised, sometime soonish.... probably... (I'm waiting to hear back on a couple of things, SIGH, so fingers crossed I do so soon!!), but for now, Wednesday reading! \o/ An even mix this time around, of stuff I really liked and stuff I... pretty didn't, lmao. :")

Stephanie Danler, Sweetbitter
I should have known that p much any super highly praised new literary fiction (the ~voice of our generation!!) would underwhelm me, and I should have known that a book with a Sappho epigraph that stars a hetero romance would be bullshit!!! (In all fairness, there were two lesbians in it! They... were both terrible, but so was everyone else, so.) But yeah, overall... highly underwhelming. I thought the plot of someone working at a restaurant and the drama it involved would be interesting, but the style was super weird (like, that strange slightly false artsy-for-the-sake-of-artsiness excess nonsense a lot of literary fiction tends towards) and the plot made no sense?? I spent like 75% of the book just having no idea why anyone was doing the things they were doing, and I think a large part of it was a first-person narrative from a person who had no personality. Like, every time another character described something about her I was like "news to me!" bc the actual narration did nothing to give me even the remotest idea of what kind of person she was. It just sort of felt like most of the plot happened because... it was happening? And not for any actual reason? All of the food stuff, too, just felt... so weird and pretentious (man, why can't I read a food book with good food descriptions!!), and next to none of the characters were even remotely sympathetic.

I will say this: about 75% of the way through the book, the plot started getting interesting and the characters started behaving in ways that made sense! And I actually felt compelled by the story! Amazing! The ending still felt... very weird, and I definitely wouldn't recommend it, unless you LIKE weird literary fiction nonsense with annoying characters and incomprehensible plot, but it was slightly less terrible than I had previously thought, which is always nice. :")

S. J. Goslee, Whatever
Ugh... man, I really wanted to like this book? Published origfic! So many tropes! But... just... ugh! I couldn't do it. I didn't like the writing style at all; I should have known from the, like, first few chapters just being about the MC getting high and doing nothing that it wouldn't be my jam? Also the book did that thing a lot of debut novels do where they're just... clearly so enamored of every single detail they've thought up that they want to cram as much as possible into the narration, even though it often detracts from the actual narrative and is distracting. Also, like, there was... so much misogyny in the narration?? So much referring to boys as "girls" or "pussies" and I just... mb that's realistic for teenage boys, but it's not what I want to read about?? It's not at all relatable or fun or a character trait I empathize with??

And speaking of which, I didn't like most of the characters-- they felt more like stock high schoolers than actual well-rounded people with legit relationships in which I was meant to be invested. I couldn't get invested in or fond of Mike at all-- he just dicked around SO many people, especially Rook, and I didn't understand his thought process at all. Also I felt like there was a lot of like... nonsense (for lack of a better word, lmao) that was meant to be ~cutesy or relatable but was actually awful and dickish? e.g., Mike's grandmother referring to him being bi as "indecisive," but it's hilarious and great bc she's accepting that he's gay! It's cute that Rook beat up Mike when they were kids bc ~he just wanted an excuse to touch him! (Seriously, Mike was fucking awful to Rook, but I can't believe that past bullying was just never fucking brought up after they kissed??? ??? How is that okay??)

So just... overall, ugh. Not my jam. Not cute or quality or compelling enough to even be fun trash fluff reading. (Also, minor nitpick, but why the heck would you give a character a cool name like "Rook" and then not use it!!! Rude!!)

Sharon Shinn, General Winston's Daughter
A wild reread appears! These have been rare this year! :") But since I'm about to be moving, I didn't want to overwhelm my book selection with stuff I was unsure about, so I went with a lot of fluff and a tried-and-true classic. As you know if you know me at all, you know that I adore everything Sharon Shinn does, and this book is no different-- a gorgeously wrought world, a beautiful love story, a wonderful female lead who grows and changes and has great female friendships... The "imperialism is bad" story arc is, of course, pretty heavy-handed, as such arcs tend to be, lmao, but the plot twist helps to mitigate that somewhat, I think. And I love all of the characters and I love the story, and it's such a good and fun reread that I love coming back to again and again!

Laura Wettersten, My Faire Lady
This book got picked up as one of aforementioned fluff books -- I expected it to be silly YA nonsense, and it sure was, but it was actually surprisingly good overall!! Of course the Renn Faire environment endears me to the entire cast instinctively (GOOD NERDS), but it was just so sweet and good-spirited overall: a lovely found family with great well-rounded characters, a hilarious and relatable lead with so many good friendships, a great story arc about discovering one's dreams, and a genuinely adorable love story with a dude I LOVED (a rarity in YA! :")). I wanna read a sequel or like watch a whole TV series about this, because it had such a lovely sweet cute tone that I just wanted to live in. Would def rec to anyone wanting some high-quality fluff!

Wednesday Reading

Jul. 13th, 2017 12:13 am
scordatura: (food: cookie jar)
[personal profile] scordatura
HI PALS, it's been a while!! I have a lot going on in my life, so I'll do a general-update post soonish, but for now, a wild Wednesday reading appears! In the form of a post I kept forgetting to put up the past few weeks, oops!! >_> But as always is the case when this happens, at least y'all get a HELLA extra-long post, soooo. :")

Cut bc SO MANY BOOKS BELOW OMG )

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