Consumables #86

This week went by in the blink of an eye. It seems like it should be Tuesday or something. I have been a bit bleary because the weather has been so lovely that we have been sleeping with our windows open (fricking delightful) but there was one night where the neighbor dogs were going straight ba-nay-nays in the middle of the night (my guess is it was a raccoon situation) and another night a group of crows were having a Real Housecrows of Orange County style argument at 4am and so with all of that nature noise the sleeping has not been plentiful.

Let’s talk about books before I fall asleep, shall we?

Family Life, by Akhil Sharma
If you want to feel happy about life, this is not the book for you. I know that doesn’t sound like a great review, but I really liked this book a lot. The writing was clear and simple, the characters felt so true. But it will take your feelings of hope about the kindness of the world and crush it to itty bitty pieces. At least that’s what it did to me. But in a good way. If that makes sense.

Ash Mistry Chronicles, by Sarwat Chadda
A super fun, fast paced adventure series for older elementary or early middle school kids that weaves a contemporary tone and sensibility with a mythic world. Ash, an Indian-American kid visiting his uncle and aunt in Varanasi, India, gets drawn into a world that mixes modern day India with the world of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Demons, gods and goddesses, and lots of action.

Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan
I haven’t been trying to read sad books lately, I swear. It just keeps happening! This one was a story about a young girl who is suddenly orphaned and how she tries to make sense of it with the help of a set of strangers who find themselves entwined in her life. I loved the cast of characters in this one the most, all flawed but trying hard to do right by this girl. There were some especially poignant passages about grief and trust that were just lovely.

The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
One of the things I get tired of is the rom-com set up where the male protagonist has some sort of disability that renders him socially incapable until a quirky, spontaneous lady comes along and shakes him all up and teaches him to love (As Good As It Gets, The Answer Man, Something’s Gotta Give, numerous Woody Allen movies: I’m looking at all of you blerrrrrrg). However, points to this one for having the lady be complex as well, and also points for this one in balls out referencing As Good As It Gets. If you’re going to go there, then just saying you’re going there makes me like it just a touch more.

The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann
I get where the marketers are coming from in saying this is a Hunger-Games-meets-Harry-Potter book, and the elements in it make that a fair comparison, but that makes it sound like this is a sort of knock-off book, and it isn’t. That said, it doesn’t offer the same level of complexity that those two series does either. I would definitely recommend this to middle grade readers who are looking for thrilling fantasy, but I don’t think it has nearly the same crossover appeal for older audiences.

So, two sad books, two adventure series, and a romantical yarn. That probably covers it for now. I hope you have a good weekend that is untroubled by raccoon-terrorized canines or bitchy avian conversation.

Here’s a song to dance us out. Happy Friday, y’all.

Papaoutai, Stromae

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