supercheesegirl: (books - reading girl)
Whitehead does a spot-on job of capturing the voice of this character Ben, a nerdy kid who doesn't quite fit in to any of his various worlds. The book is really funny, witty, well-written. In addition to capturing Benji's story as he navigates this pivotal summer, Whitehead also captures the feel of the African American Sag Harbor community: the feel of this place, at this specific time, really comes through. I was reminded of Eudora Welty's Delta Wedding, which also captures a very specific place and moment in time, and a set of characters on the edge of becoming someone else.

Downside to this book: the pace. It's a book about summer, so it has that slow summer feel, and for about half of this long novel, it feels like we're just setting up. Also, Ben as the narrator is reflecting on this summer from some future time, so he keeps hinting at a larger perspective, things that would happen to the characters down the line that aren't ever fleshed out because the focus is on THIS specific summer. Part of me didn't want that additional context because for the most part we ARE grounded in this summer, so that felt a little off to me. But the book overall was incredibly well done and the voice was smooth for the most part. Admittedly, I may have enjoyed it more if I hadn't read The Underground Railroad so recently. Highly recommended.
supercheesegirl: (books - narnia lucy)
Listened to this and also read it in hardback. We had a long gap between when we started and when we finished due to reading Rinkitink in the middle. I liked that this adventure takes place entirely in the land of Oz and introduces Scraps Patchwork, who is a really fun character. I also get a big kick out of the glass cat, and it's good that Ojo isn't some perfect hero. Downsides are that Ojo really gets on my nerves, and the ending wraps up way too quickly. But overall a great Oz story, and highly rereadable.
supercheesegirl: (books - narnia lucy)
We listened to this in audiobook and also read it in hardback from the library. Although the "Oz" connection is really more of a deus ex machina (couldn't Baum have gotten Inga out of the Nome Kingdom without you know who getting involved? Would I have read it if he had?), it was really enjoyable, fun story with great magic. Almost as good as Ozma of Oz.
supercheesegirl: (books - Matisse reading lady)
This book was amazing. It's a long book, but Tartt earns every page. And Boris! What a character. Fantastic book.
supercheesegirl: (sandman - delirium)
I'd give it 2.5 stars. The first two volumes gave me such incredibly high expectations for the series, and I doubt it could have ever lived up to them; I wasn't really happy with where Hannah's plotline went at all, and the characters seemed to be drawn more sexily and more scantily clad (which I didn't love and which is odd, since it looks like we went to a female illustrator with this volume?). At the same time, there was a lot here that was good: dialogue and one-liners still sharp, Betty continues to be awesome, and we got some good backstory. I liked the one-off about Braga as well. I'll definitely keep reading and hope that the low points here are just the growing pains of settling a hot new story into a long-term arc.
supercheesegirl: (books - narnia lucy)
I really enjoyed the twists at the end of this one, and I'm excited for where this series is going to go next.
supercheesegirl: (books - petals)
This book was absolutely amazing. It completely lives up to the hype. What I kept thinking about as I read was that saying that "Fiction is a lie that tells the truth". In this book, Whitehead has invented a version of America's past. He's envisioned the underground railroad as a literal train track, and that's given him freedom to revise other aspects of this time period. Knowing this, it's hard for me to tell what in the book is historical fact and what is fiction - but this book tells the truth in the best ways that books can achieve. I feel like this book, this character, has helped me to hear the stories about this period of history in a new way. Highly, highly recommended.
supercheesegirl: (books - narnia lucy)
This was a lot of fun. Not just your usual "kid goes to a magic school" YA novel. Looking forward to the rest of the series.
supercheesegirl: (books - reading girl)
Really enjoyed the way that Miéville plays with the concept of language in this one. I genuinely did not know what was going to happen next.
supercheesegirl: (books - narnia lucy)
Read this back in October and forgot to post about it. Apollo was really annoying and not as much fun to read as the standard interchangeable Riordan hero, but the book was pretty enjoyable for that reason: seeing Riordan do something different, seeing our heroes through entirely different eyes, hearing about events from someone without superpowers for once. I'll read the next one (presumably next Christmas, when I buy it for my dad).
supercheesegirl: (books - reading girl)
Read 11/9/16 - 11/10/16. This book was SO GOOD and I am really upset because my library doesn't have the rest of the trilogy in ebook format! Gwyneth still has a little ways to go as a heroine, but I'm in.
supercheesegirl: (books - Matisse reading lady)
Finished 11/9/16. I love Ann Patchett's work. With this book, the ending came up suddenly and surprised me, partly because I was reading an ebook so I couldn't see that the ending was coming up, and partly because I was enjoying it so much I could have easily gone another 100 pages. Narratively, when I think about it, I think Patchett did hit everything she needed to hit within the book, I just would have happily read more. Five stars.
supercheesegirl: (books - hugged by words)
Finished 11/15/16. This series continues to upset me, but I liked figuring out more of what's going on in this book, getting more of Hoa's backstory, and seeing where Nassun is. I want the next book like immediately.
supercheesegirl: (books - narnia lucy)
Read this aloud to my daughter. It was a little above her level (Ramona is, after all, twice her age) but she really liked it (there's throw-up, and a smashed egg in someone's hair, so really what's not to love?) and she recently insisted on starting it over again. Guess I'll have to renew the library book.
supercheesegirl: (book - medieval)
Read 11/2/16 - 11/3/16. I get why we needed a POV book on Sophos, and I liked the idea that all the first-person Sophos chapters are him telling his story to someone. But I'm still more interested in Gen.
supercheesegirl: (books - can't talk reading)
Finished 11/2/16. At first I was frustrated with this book because we didn't get enough first-person POV from Gen, but then I really got to like Costis, and I can understand why Turner approached this book from the perspective of a character observing Gen as a new addition to the Attolian court. Definitely a worthwhile read.
supercheesegirl: (books - reading girl)
On one hand, the combination of a new magically genderfluid main character with the existing devout Muslim Valkyrie character makes this book read a little like Rick Riordan Trying Really Hard To Be Inclusionary. But on the other hand, Samirah is written in a way that makes sense, Alex kicks ass, and hooray for a transgender teen hero/ine in a genre book! Not something I remember seeing in all my reading. Oh yeah, Magnus was there too. He got a haircut.
supercheesegirl: (books - cute reading)
Read 10/20/16-10/22/16. Honestly, I was disappointed. The "is he lying or not" with Leon, the continued love drama with the other men, and the single-minded evilness of the bad guys - I mean, do they seriously never think of anything except babies and dominating over others? I didn't find it believable even for a dystopia. And I didn't love where the ending left Gaia - I mean, of course she'd have special genetics, she's our heroine, but still. This trilogy started out so strong but didn't wrap up the way I would have liked to have seen.
supercheesegirl: (books - cute reading)
Finished on 10/21/16. A really enjoyable look at American revolutionary history, sharp and funny. The first of Vowell's books that I've read, but it won't be the last.
supercheesegirl: (books - reading girl)
Finished this yesterday. I'm a little concerned about the romantic relationship that develops in this book - not that I didn't see it coming, but I guess I don't feel it evolved naturally? Or maybe I'm just worried about Gen - but this was definitely a compelling read.


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