I thought I’d do something a little different to shorten these posts and videos and bust up the wrap-up in two parts. This is the Fiction wrap-up, and accompanying this will be a non-fiction wrap-up! And just like other posts there will be videos for both of these as well if you’d like to listen as opposed to read! The link to the channel is always on the sidebar.
First up is the adult novel I read Exit West by Moshin Hamid. This was a super buzzy book, from being in my BoTM selection list one month, to hitting every blog and channel, to awards list. This book has been there, so I might have had some high hopes. Unfortunately I wasn’t completely convinced on this one. The writing I found… was not to my taste. The sentences were strangled, choked with content while being incredibly long. A sentence could take up half a page! I also had trouble with the way the book seemed to give up and become dreamy in the second half. The story left any confrontational edge or risk behind itself once the characters go through the doors that drive the novel. I can see how it became so popular but for me it didn’t work.
The next adult read I had was The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion by Margaret Killjoy. This was a great Urban Fantasy Tor.com novella that focuses on what was an abandoned town that’s taken over by squatters, anarchists, and travelers. To this town comes Danielle Cain who is investigating the suicide of her best friend who slit his own throat. I really enjoyed everything about this but the character’s motivation left me… confused. If I allowed myself to think very hard on it I stopped enjoying the story because it just didn’t quite convince me. Otherwise I liked the setting, the characters, the ‘demon’ faced by these individuals. I enjoyed all of that. I’ll definitely even continue the series on since this seems to be the first. Just don’t think too hard about the fact that she seems to be risking life and limb with no solid reason.
The first of the two middle grade reads from last week is The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg. This was a delightful middle grade adaptation of Sherlock Holmes in which Sherlock is a red headed girl named Shelby, Watson is an African American boy just transferred off an Army base with his mom, and Shelby’s English Bulldog Arthur. This was delightful, absolutely so! The adaptation of Sherlock to Shelby was so clever as well, from Shelby’s addiction to sugar to her street contacts in teenage gangs of what seems to be drug dealers. The mystery was simple, but it is for middle grade readers, the joy came from the writing and adaptation. I really recommend it if you like either Sherlock or Middle Grade.
Finally I read Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller. This was a solid three star book for me, good story and fun adventure. What really made it excel for me was the narration of the audio book which Jason Segel does. You can really tell he enjoys voices and goes out of his way to make every character shine and stand out. He truly brought that audio book to life. It follows a young boy whose mother dies and when his Father remarries and moves them into his stepmom’s purple house he doesn’t handle it well. He begins to have nightmares so vivid and real that they become really real, the witch who wants to eat him showing up at school one afternoon. It has one of those moral messages of facing your fears but I think does a good job with characters, even on a middle grade level. Another one I recommend if you like middle grade reads or if you find the premise intriguing. Also, the illustrations are top notch.
That’s it! If you’ve read any of these or have thoughts let me know and thanks for reading guys!