March 7, 2018

February Reads

Soooo, I planned on doing a January reads post and I didn’t.  Sorry.   I only had one five star book in January Big Little Lies by Laine Moriarty and, honestly, by this time everyone has probably either read it, watched the mini series or heard of it.  It was still an excellent read and I’ve really like a few of Moriarty’s titles.

So, onto February?

Last year, I began adding award winning and award nominated books to my to-read list.  I added them indiscriminately, only omitting books that were out right mysteries (I don’t mind a mysterious story line, but I don’t like mysteries in general).  Overall, that led to me having a lot more DNF (did not finish) last year as quite a few books fell prey to my “100 page rule”.

What’s my “100 page rule”?  If it’s not working for me in 100 pages, I can quit the book with no guilt. Of course, if I really don’t like the book or I think trying to hit 100 pages is going to kill my reading mojo, I quit, but it does give me permission not have to slog through a book I don’t want to slog through.

This year, I’m being more selective about what gets added to my list and I’m just loving nearly everything I pick up.


And, having mentioned slogging, February was a slogging month for reading.   I read stuff that I really ended up liking, but I had to struggle to get it there.

My Favorite read of the month was Scythe by Neal Shusterman.  It is a series (fair warning!) and while I admit to being over every. single. book. being a series, I’m willing to make an exception for this one.    The book is set in the future where aging has been cured.  Not just aging, but thanks to the introduction of, like, nanogens into the human body no one dies anymore.  You can be hurt, but you’ll be healed and returned to your life with no ill effects.

During this time, the cloud, as we know it, has evolved into an omnipotent presence that, essentially, rules the world.  It’s impartial and intelligent.  It redistributes the population, reallocates resources, heals the injured. builds new islands, assigns (unnecessary) jobs.  It oversees all surveillance and nearly everything is watched.

But what about over population?  Oh, no problem.  That’s where the Scythe’s come in.  Using mathematical quotas they kill, with finality.  They have a quota.  They fill the quota. Scythes take apprentices and while no one wants to kill someone, it does mean a life of eternity for their family with no “gleaning”.  Rowan and Citra end up in a difficult position, the chosen apprentice of one Scythe.  It’s really unheard of and to get around the unusual nature of one Scythe taking two apprentices, and any partiality that would come from that, the council of Scythes decides that if both teens pass all the entrance tests they will be forced to battle to the death to determine who will become the next Scythe.

Like, American Idol but with jujitsu and poison.

I really found the whole premise of the book really interesting and I’m really looking forward to reading the series.  Definitely a YA read, which isn’t for everyone.  I would caution against letting super sensitive kiddos read it because, well, the name of the game is actually murder.


Other notable February reads?

Dark at the Crossing by Elliot Ackerman.  Haris Abadi is an Iraqi with American Citizenship.  He translated alongside the Americans in Desert Storm and that earned him a ticket to America.  He goes with his sister(his family, of course, is dead), gains citizenship and tries to settle into life in Dearborn, Michigan.  He finds, though, that he cannot settle and makes the decision to try and enter into Syria to fight against Bashar-al Assad to try and liberate the Syrian people.  He arrives in Turkey and things go south.  He’s robbed. He’s starving.  He meets Amir and Daphne, a married couple and Amir’s boss, Marty, who will secure his passage into Syria financially.

I have a few other books about the Syrian crisis on my to-read list with Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai on my hold list, currently.   I really appreciate the opportunity to understand more about the planet and different conflicts and cultures that I really only understand in passing.

Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon-Some people have called this one a The Fault in Our Stars knock-off, but I don’t agree.  It’s the story of 17 year old  Richie and 15 year old Sylvie.  They met in hospice.  Maybe Richie and Sylvie are in love.  Maybe they’re not, but they’re the two youngest people in the hospice ward so they, naturally, connect.  Richie and Sylvie are desperate to grab as much of life as they can while knowing their time is horribly short.    Richie has a dirty mouth, a dirty mind and not a ton of clarity, even though he is dying.  I know there are better books written surrounding the “dying teen” genre that is so popular, but I just liked how raw this one was.  It’s YA, but there’s lots of language and sex, so proceed with caution for younger or more sensitive readers.

Other February Reads:

The Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager  ****

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani ****

Fifteen Dogs by Alexis Andre ****

The Dove Keepers by Alice Hoffman ***

More than This by Patrick Ness ****

Currently Reading:

The Changeling by Victor LaValle

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