Wednesday, July 22, 2015

21. All the Bright Places

By Jennifer Niven (293 pp ebook)

This is a YA directly aimed at people who loved The Fault in Our Stars. And it totally succeeds. It's about a high school girl who has lost her sister in an accident and she connects with the "weird kid" over what seems to be a suicide exploratory mission. The story is sweet and funny and obviously sad - but I really liked it. Also a bit of a love letter to Indiana. Recommend.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

20. Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

By Roz Chast ((228 pp)

Last year there was a piece in the New Yorker by Roz Chast about dealing with, uh, "end of life" talk with her parents. Link:

It's funny and sad and heart-breaking and relatable. When her memoir came out I wanted to read it. It'a also funny and sad and heart-breaking. And really, really tough. It's like a horror story about aging. I remember once my Aunt looked at me and said, "You aren't old enough to be scared."

I am now. "Quick and painless" is my mantra.

I recommend for its honesty but it's a tough read. And she did have a tough relationship with her parents that contributed to the difficulty - so comfort yourself with that.

Friday, July 3, 2015

17. 18. 19. The White Mountains Books

By John Christopher

The White Mountains (214 pp)
The City of Gold and Lead (218 pp)
The Pool of Fire (218 pp)

My Mom gave me this set when I was in middle school. The last one was written in 1968. I love this series. I've read it at least 6-7 times over the years. It's a post-alien-invasion YA story where the aliens "cap" humans when they are 13 to control them and make them loyal to the aliens, known only as tripods, as the series opens. The story is about a small group of uncapped that try to free the world. It's a great story. There's lots of action and conflict. Cool ruins. The person telling the story is deeply flawed. You know what else I realized at this reading? There are no women. The protagonist has a Mom but she doesn't figure into the story. They end up at a castle at one point and there is a Comtesse and her daughter and they get speaking parts. That's it. No women anywhere in the resistance movement, not even stuck cooking and cleaning. How are they going to remake the world without women? I know that's how most stories were written then but it was still annoying to see how obvious the omission is, this time through.