September 2019 Wrap Up Pt. 1
This is almost not worth bothering with. I haven't read very many books this month. I fell behind on my reading and I didn't get to spend the weekend catching up. On the other hand, I sure hope to catch up in the second half of the month. If I do that, I don't want to end up doing a huge wrap up at the end. So, we're doing this dinky little one now.
Aquicorn Cove by Katie O'Neil - This was a cute little graphic novel about a girl who goes with her dad to help her aunt clean up after a hurricane devastated her little island village. She saves an aquicorn (think: cross between a seahorse and a unicorn) in a tidal pool and mets the aquicorns. They tell her that their home is dying because the village is no longer using sustainable fishing techniques. Also, her aunt knows the quicorn queen.
Romanov by Nadine Brandes - Brandes' last book was a fictionalization of the Guy Fawkes situation. This one takes on Anastasia Romanov. In this version, Anastasia can do a little magic. She learned it from Rasputin, but didn't learn more than a few healing spells before he was assassinated. Mostly she uses them to help her brother, Alexei, deal with the pain from his hemophilia. When she and her family are imprison in Ipatiev House during the revolution, she falls in love with one of the guards. When the family is slaughtered, she uses magic from a family heirloom to save herself and Alexei. This book plays on the fact that Alexei and Anastasia were not among the bodies in the mass grave at the bottom of a mine shaft that the rest of her family shared. Their bodies were found elsewhere. There are several instances of near-death in this book where it could have explained why those bodies were separated, but in the end they lived on, with the soldier, in an alternate reality. It was told really well, but I can't decide how I feel about it. I don't know if I like the messing around with the facts and the added magic.
Texts From Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg - This is a bizarre, hilarious collection of "texts" to and from famous literary characters. The Wuthering Heights ones were some of my favorite. They don't necessarily tell the stories the characters come from, which is what makes them so delightful. You have to have at least a passing knowledge of the originals to get the jokes. Luckily, they are pretty well-known stories.
Girls on the Verge by Sharon Biggs Waller - Man, this book is tough to read. It's about a girl in Texas who gets pregnant the very first time she has sex. And it's with a boy she doesn't know who promptly skips town. She tries to get an abortion, but the laws in Texas are pretty restrictive and the people she has to see to get it are all condescending and rude and try to convince her not to. Even her best friend is not supportive. She meets up with another girl who helps her get to Mexico to get a packet of pills that are supposed to induce a miscarriage, but it doesn't work. Then they hear that the laws in New Mexico are much better, and they go to New Mexico where everyone protects her right to choose and don't even require parental permission even though she's 17. Is this an accurate description of New Mexico's abortion laws? I'm not sure. The things this poor girl goes through are ridiculous and so, so hard to read.
The Sphinx by Bernard Evslin - I read this real quick one day because I needed a book to replace the one I quit that met a Read Harder challenge. It was to read a book about mythology or folklore. So, here it is. I didn't fall in love. It was fine. It met the challenge. I'm done. This book is so old, Goodreads couldn't even be bothered to increase the size of the cover, so we get this dinky little thing.
The Pioneer by Bridget Tyler - I was looking forward to this all year. Jo is part of a team that is going to a planet to scope it out. The Earth is dying because of pollution and bad management and they have 50 years to find a new place to go. A former team had landed on this planet and then moved on to look at others, but said this might be an option. Many things go wrong on this exploration trip and Jo finds out that the previous team did not move on, they died on this planet. All except for one. She has taken up with one of the sentient groups of beings on the planet. Many people die because of space ship wrecks and this group of animals called phytoraptors who are predators. It's pretty fast-paced and there are lots of harrowing adventures. I had issues with the YA trope that, of course a group of teenagers is who saves the day, over and over again. That seems unlikely in the extreme in space.
Descendant of the Crane by Joan He - This takes place in an Ancient-China-esque land. Hesina is made queen by the death of her father, who she believes was murdered. Her first act as queen is to open an investigation into the murder of her father, which almost immediately goes awry. She doesn't know who to trust because all her friends and advisors show their true colors. There is political intrigue galore. The whole question revolves around the subjegation of "Seers" who can kind of tell the future and when they bleed, their blood flames blue. Everyone hates them, but Hesina feels it is wrong to hate someone because they are different. Only, she can't tell her people that. She has to figure out a different way to change their minds. Lots of people die. The story is brilliant. The main character is no genius, she's just trying to be the queen at a stupidly young age. There are so many little subplots that add to the story. It's just fabulous.
And that's it. Which now that I look at it, it's more books than I thought it was. Ok. 7 books isn't terrible. Maybe this wasn't a waste of time, after all. Well done, me.
What have you been reading?