While I wouldn’t say I’m in a reading slump—I want to be reading—it’s been a busy time. With less time to read, it didn’t help that some of my choices were slow moving and didn’t motivate me to pick them back up. None of these novels blew me away, but sometimes that’s how it goes. Here’s looking at you, September…
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
The beginning of Shatter Me was an exquisite mix of beautiful, unique prose, complex character, and expert soft worldbuilding. But after that big bang beginning, it gets…soggier.
I think if anything, I’m more disappointed by the lost potential than by the actual product. Because I really did enjoy myself in the reading.
Check out my full, er, critical review coming soon.
Zodiac Academy by Caroline Peckham & Susanne Valenti
I have so many problems with this book I don’t even know where to begin. It’s clearly meant for younger YA readers, and yet it’s about college-age kids. It handles adult themes with disturbing flippancy. My skin crawled and I, who am hardly ever triggered by a book, was triggered by some of the disturbing interactions.
Read more in with the full force of the furious review here.
When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro
I loved this book. It’s slow paced, and you hate the main character for about 90% of the novel, so I couldn’t tell you why I loved it, other than I think it’s accidentally critical of the society it exists within, and that’s my favorite thing. Though I believe Ishiguro is deft enough to make it seem accidental but really be incredibly intentional. I listened to this on tape; the narrator’s voice alone was 5/5.
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong (DNF)
I need to come back to TVD at some later time when I have a lot of bandwith for slower-moving YA. It moved slowly and I felt I already knew everything that was going to happen—or at least the vibes—by the time I was a quarter of the way in. I think audiobook was not the medium for reading this. If I ever find it in paperback, perhaps I’ll return. But yeah—it was slow-moving, and the story was not suspenseful enough or unique enough to keep me reading, despite the lush world.
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Read Neuromancer for the sizzling, kaleidoscope cyberpunk prose, dreamlike and gritty, woozy with the great clash between make-believe AI worlds and humanity-flesh that Gibson calls “the meat.”
Connecting to these characters is hard, and not necessarily rewarding, even at the end. But that empty kind of discomfort…it reminded me of how modern netizen-dom can feel.
Read my fun, full review here.
The Meritocracy Trap by Daniel Markovits
I really enjoyed this! While I don’t agree with everything, there were certainly many times when I very much identified with the phenomenon Markovits is trying to diagnose. However, I don’t think it’s the be-all-end-all source of all our society’s problems as Markovits hopes…