In June, I celebrated my birthday, went to BookCon 2018, and attended the ALA Annual Conference 2018. That’s a lot of travel. And many opportunities for good reads.
What I Learned: Scary Books for Kids
Read as an ARC from The BookCon 2018. Comes out August 2018. Schwab has written books for adults and young adults with some scares and horror elements, so I was excited for a ghost story. The easy-to-consume details made this book a bit spooky for me as an adult and I know middle-grade Jo would have loved it as well. The scares here focus more on atmosphere than on graphic imagery, making it perfect for a younger audience.
What I Learned: An Appropriate Title
Read as an ARC from NetGalley. Came out May 2018. By the end of The Themis Files, the series shifted away from robot battles and more towards internal conflict and the real human toll these robots have. The alien sequences were masterful and gave a glimpse as to what it means to be human, especially given the extreme circumstances ranging from arriving on an alien planet to the horrors of internment camps.
What I Learned: Finishing Too Quickly
This book had so much going for it, but I really think the ending ruined my enjoyment. In 20 pages, we were supposed to have the Big Fight, the resolution, and the epilogue. It was rushed. It was sloppy. And a great example of what not to do.
What I Learned: So Many Sex Scenes with So Much Purpose
Sex is rampant within the apartments of Amberlough City. But it wasn’t excessive or gratuitous. It just existed within the lives of our characters and did so much to explain their dynamics and to further the plot. There is a fine balance between making sure the readers feel the same rush that characters do and ensuring plot moves forward. Great case study here.
What I Learned: Consequences
The Poppy War is not a light read. Definitely one of my favorite recent fantasies, there is so much weight given to every shocking moment. Most of the length is dedicated to introduction, execution, and fall out. No action comes without reaction or reflection. Most importantly, the characters take drugs to enhance their magic. There is an exploration of what happens when you push yourself too far and what happens when you can’t pull yourself back.
Did Not Finish
What I Learned: Charicatures
Read as an eARC from NetGalley. Came out in June 2018. This book was such a let down. I expected a literary UnReal, but it wasn’t found here. The women were all so catty and seemed to hate each other so much, the book dragged down. While I did appreciate how free the main characters for, their mutual hatred that went beyond rivalry made this a disappointment.
Next month is #QBFFReads with Elliott Junkyard. We have a great line-up this year and I can’t wait to dive in.