She Read (Volume One, 2015)

As the new year began, I decided to start some new habits. One of them was to read (offline) every day. I've always loved to read but I'd often slack off, not knowing what to pick up next or getting sucked into longform articles online (informative in their own way, but not a good juicy book). After my old, beloved, first generation Kindle bit the dust (hint: don't throw it in your bag with a bunch of other stuff while traveling without a case, you dummy) I bought a new one and finally figured out how to borrow eBooks from the library (it's actually very easy, I don't know why 2014 Molly couldn't figure it out). All this, plus finally getting back on Goodreads and boom, five books in five weeks. 

So I figured I'd share some thoughts about each! Book report style!

To Rise Again At A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris - Mixed feelings about this one. I definitely got into it and read it in just a couple days, but that could have been because I hadn’t read any fiction in a while and was ready to delve into anything. The style is definitely different, and there were parts of the writing that I LOVED (the one sided conversations, oooooh) but the protagonist is kind of a pain in the butt and there’s a lot of religious imagery that may not be for everyone. Sometimes it’s good to get inside the head of someone who you just do not agree with at all, which is how I felt reading this.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson - You know those books that as you get closer to the end you slow down because you don’t want them to end? This was one of those. Part time travel (but not in a science fiction way), part historical fiction, I just loved this. A lot of reviewers on Goodreads complained that it was repetitive but…that’s literally the point. There’s plenty of historical fiction about this particular era (WWI and WWII) but this felt fresh.

The Disreputable Life of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart - I haven’t disliked a book this much in a while. The same person who recommended Life After Life also recommended this one, so I had to think it over whether I was just grumpy while reading it. But no. I hated it. While it brings up topics that any young woman should be introduced to, namely the fact that you can and should question gender roles and expectations, it does so in such a way that I felt I was being walloped over the head with a THIS IS WHAT A FEMINIST LOOKS LIKE stick. Subtle as a sledgehammer, this one. Also, When I read YA, I want the teens to sound like teens. If this were a movie it would be starring 35 year olds who look 25 playing 15 sounding like pretentious scumbags. MOVING ON.

Among Others by Jo Walton - This is a fantasy novel that never truly commits to the genre, other than listing and talking about other fantasy novels. Written in journal form, with a lot of repetition and a vague back story, there was a lot that I just skimmed because it had nothing to do with the plot (as thin as that was). Maybe if I had read any of the 50 or so other books it mentions, I may have been more into it but I was just bored and the climax was silly.

Paper Towns by John Green - My favorite of the bunch. John Green is internet royalty in some circles and his book The Fault In Our Stars was a huge hit (though not one of my favorites). Paper Towns a smart, quick mix of mystery and coming of age novel that I binge read in less than 48 hours. There's something about the timing in which it takes place - at the end of senior year in high school, on the cusp of big things but not knowing if you're entirely ready to leave. Good, good stuff.

What's the best book you've read recently??