YA Book Thoughts

  • The Black Witch, a YA novel set in a misogynistic and racist society with an unlikeable main character, has received a ton of controversy. Today, I read the Vulture piece about the backlash but I still need to read the original criticism that was the rallying cry for the book’s critics. I’m fascinated by the whole thing, the book’s author has really hit a nerve here and the reaction has shown the power and limitations of social media when it comes to literary criticism.
  • Finished reading The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid about a genetically modified humanoid named Nemesis, a killing machine that looks like a teenaged girl. The author has described the book as I, Claudius set in space, and I can definitely see the merit in that. Reminded me a lot of Red Rising with the revolution plot against an oppressive society and government, the main character’s attempts at concealing their true nature, and the court intrigue of a decadent society with violence ready to erupt from beneath its shallow surface. The books would be interesting to compare side-by-side because of gender swapping of the characters and how they handle certain situations. Both are satisfying and made me want to beat my chest, gather comrades, and overthrow something.
  • Went to the library today and walked away with:
    • Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (author of Dumplin’)
    • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
    • Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
YA Book Thoughts

Defending Jacob by William Landay

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A teenager is found stabbed to death next to a New England wooded bike trail. Andy Barber, Assistant District Attorney, gets the call and rushes to the scene of the crime. He’s all the more eager to catch the killer when he discovers that the victim is his son’s classmate. However, when Jacob is implicated as a possible suspect, Andy is taken off the case and he must consider the worse while trying to keep his family from imploding.

Defending Jacob is an interesting blend of thriller, mystery, courtroom drama, and family drama. I love it when stories defy genre. It often makes for more complex and interesting stories.

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Defending Jacob by William Landay

Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente

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Valente’s novels are hard to describe because they are so crazy and random and ambitious. This is about a documentarian Severin who investigates the disappearance of a town and becomes a mystery herself. This is about what would happen if during the 1920s we colonized the planets in our solar system. This is about space whales!


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Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente