(Better late than never.)
Okay, so… 2016 really needs to step up its reading game. I read 6 books in January (2 adult fiction, 1 adult non-fiction, 2 YA, and 1 middle grade), and I only gave one of them more than 3 stars. And because I’ve read so much crap recently, my desire to read has gone down significantly. Hopefully I’ll dig myself out of this rut soon.
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
I wrote a very, very long review about this modern feminist classic early in January. I didn’t except it to be my 2nd favorite January read, but here we are… It’s entertaining as hell and contains a lot of wisdom about rape culture, how capitalism harms women, and where women’s art fits into our culture, just to name a few things. I’d recommend it to any feminist of any age, with the disclaimer that there’s also A LOT of pseudo-scientific BS in this book. (And if Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright pissed you off this week, take a breather and read Cunt when you’re not so worked up over 2nd-waver weirdness.)
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Easily the best book I read this month, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda was on my to-read list of Goodreads Choice Awards Nominees. It’s an adorable YA LGBT romance sans any unnecessary sap and melodrama. So if that’s your jam, read it and also check out my review.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I always finish books. Except, apparently, when they are as bad as I’ll Give You the Sun. Again, I wrote a very long, very snarky review on this one. Like Simon it’s a YA romance, but I’ll Give You the Sun is full of dumb YA troupes and completely lacks charm.
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper
Out of My Mind is on pretty much every list of middle grade books about children with disabilities. It’s not horrible, but I didn’t love it. Pros: I learned a lot about cerebral palsy and the sorts of accomdations people with severe CP use. There’s also a nice message about not assuming that children with cerebral palsy are stupid and don’t need friends. Cons: This message is delivered aggressively and is spoon fed to the reader, rather than allowing he/she to come to his/her own conclusions. It’s also very pessimistic. In the end, the girl with CP still doesn’t have any friends. If you’re looking for a book that shows children with disabilities in a positive light and discourages bullying, I’d recommend Wonder over this.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
A Little Life won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Adult Fiction Novel and was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, but I really don’t understand the hype. This 700+ pager about the life of a man who was orphaned and abused as a child is trite, melodramatic, and weirdly elitist. I’ve heard multiple people say that it’s one of the most depressing books they’ve ever read, but it didn’t move me in the slightest. I’m going to get around to writing a proper review on this one soon.
Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter
Yet another horrible choice for a Goodread’s Choice Award Nominee… Almost every negative review I read of Pretty Girls said it was too gory for their taste. After reading the book I realized that what people meant was that it was too gross for their taste. (There’s a difference, trust me.) Other than being disgusting, this book gets booooring after about the half way mark. I wrote a review on this too.
Here’s to a better February…