Let me first preface this by admitting that I was trying to expand my Young Adult horizons and was not entirely successful. There were several books that I actually read all the way through but chose not to list here because I wouldn't even know what to say about them. They weren't necessarily bad and if I were an actual teenager I probably would have loved them. But I'm 32 and they made me feel 32 and I think it's best to just put those aside and not dig too deeply into it.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. So good. I mean, just so good. There's nothing I can say that others haven't said better already. I'm only sorry I waited so long to read it.
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. This book was recommended by a blog-friend, who was certain I would love it. Sadly, I did not. At all. I actually disliked everything about it, which I just have to laugh at. I had a very strong negative reaction to every character, every plot point, every bit of the setting. It was gross and weird and confusing and, in certain spots, lazy. When I hear aspiring writers complain about the state of publishing, I always assume it's because they've just read something that sat as poorly with them as this book did with me. That said, lots of people liked it. It has decent reviews on Goodreads and it was suggested to me by someone whose opinion I totally trust (and would take recommendations from again, in good faith). But it was not for me. And it actually made me think that I could be barking up the wrong tree altogether when it comes to YA. Not the first time that thought has seriously entered my mind…but that's another post.
The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. I loved this book. This book gave me nightmares. And not just the way you get nightmares when you see or read something vaguely unsettling and then later dream of equal-but-differently unsettling things. I literally had nightmares about the exact things that happened in this book. Which was great! It scared the crap out of me! Hooray! Apparently I don't know much about science fiction because a peek at Goodreads informs me that it was all totally derivative and unoriginal and terrible but I enjoyed it because I guess I just don't care enough about little details like that. It got soft near the end but not soft enough to keep me from reading the next in the…series?...trilogy? See what I mean about the details? Either way, a win.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. I hadn't read this in at least 20 years but it still felt so familiar, which is the mark of a classic. This time around was a pre-read for my daughter, a consideration for her book club selection (ultimately we decided no on this one because we have a mixed crowd and there are the occasional mentions of God and Faith and Things Much Too Sensitive For Me To Discuss With Someone Else's Second-Grader but she loved it on her own anyway).
Percy Jackson something something something something by Rick Riordan. I don't know the proper title here. Percy Jackson is part of it. Also, "The Lightning Thief." And maybe "The Olympians?" Or maybe that's only for the series as a whole? Or the movie? Another pre-read for my daughter. This one we borrowed from the library and there were several variations on the title, I think ours just said "The Lightning Thief," but that doesn't seem accurate. Either way this was as cute as everyone already knows. Cute and predictable and great for kids.
So, overall, a weird but not unsuccessful month. You'd think by my age I'd have a firmly defined set of parameters for what I do and do not like to read but it seems I'm still pushing at the edges, trying to figure it out. It is equal parts fun and frustrating.