You’ve probably noticed that I don’t post on this blog very frequently over the summer. That’s largely due to the fact that my husband is a teacher and has most summers off, so I take advantage of the opportunity to spend lots of time out and about with him and our two boys. I think there’s also a bit of residual summer vacation attitude involved: I like the idea of summer as a break from routine and obligations. And, while the blog isn’t exactly an obligation, I like the freedom to fly through books all summer without taking notes or writing reviews. I read some excellent books this summer, though (and some not-so-excellent ones…), so I want to put a few thoughts together about the two-foot stack of books I read (that’s not counting ebooks). Here goes!
I got an advance copy of this book at BookCon; I’d been waiting in line at Penguin Random House’s booth and things were getting so hectic that I thought I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on one. Penguin was so busy (and the crowd so crazed) that the line wasn’t moving; people kept pushing ahead, so those of us waiting patiently in line weren’t getting anywhere. They eventually started to send a security guy back and forth from the book table to the back of the line with armloads of books. And that’s how I got this one.
The cover is stunning; I’m in love with the colors and design. I was not, however, in love with the book. I was interested in the ancient Egyptian elements, and the action and adventure scenes were pretty good. Not the best I’ve ever read, but readable. The romantic aspects were…disturbing. I wanted to find out what happened to the couple, primarily because I didn’t know how the author would write them out of their particular dilemma (you know, an immortal falling in love with a mortal and all that). I didn’t feel emotionally invested, though, since they’d only known one another for a few days and their initial bond was based on a spell. I mean, Amon forces Lily to help him; she’s bound to him until he accomplishes his duty. She tells him that she will never forgive him for doing this to her. And then…she falls in love with the guy?! No, thanks. [Side note: I loved Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as a kid, but the falling-in-love-with-your-jailer theme becomes more and more troublesome for me as the years go by. I’m still working through it.]
Also, the narration drove. me. crazy. I hate it when a character TELLS me who they are instead of just showing me, and Lily tells the reader, time and time again, in lengthy asides. I kept getting yanked out of the flow of the story, and it was terribly frustrating.
Not the worst book I’ve read this year, but not a particularly great one, either.
I requested a copy of this one from the Novl newsletter. I love their request form because it doesn’t tell you whether or not you’ll get a copy. They send the books out in the order that requests were received, so if you requested it in time, you’ll get one with no advance notice. I love checking the mail and finding a book that I wasn’t anticipating!
This one’s about a community where all the teenagers “breach” on every full moon. The rest of the town stays indoors and the youths run, naked and wild, abandoning all rules. It’s narrated by a girl named Lumen who insists that she has never breached, that she was the only one in her town who didn’t. As she delves deeper, though, looking back on her life, some disturbing memories surface.
The writing in this book is clean, evocative, and chilling. The story is wonderfully symbolic, frightening and moving all at once. I initially thought it sounded interesting, but I enjoyed it so much more than I expected to. I’d love to teach this one to a high school or college literature class.
This is a companion piece to Every Day, which tells the story of A, a bodiless individual who spends every day occupying a different person’s body. He doesn’t know how he came to be this way, and he’s mostly content with it…until he meets Rhiannon, the only person so far that’s made him want to stay in one place. Another Day tells things from Rhiannon’s point of view, showing the reader how difficult it is for her to wrap her head around A’s way of existence.
I loved Every Day because of how it explores gender and relationships; A isn’t male or female, and it’s beautiful to see Rhiannon’s preconceptions about the type of person she’d fall in love with being challenged. (I describe “A” as “he” in this review because it’s generally how Rhiannon thinks. “They” is probably more appropriate, though I struggle with that one for grammatical reasons. I so wish there was a singular gender-neutral pronoun in use!)
I didn’t love this book as much as Every Day because I didn’t enjoy the writing as much. Levithan’s usually-gorgeous, almost gauzy language wasn’t as present in this book, at least for me. I also didn’t like how much Justin was villainized when he doesn’t seem like a horrible guy, just maybe not-quite-right for Rhiannon. But I still adore the concept, and I also have a major thing for reading the same story from two different points of view. You should read this one if you loved Every Day and want to hear it from a different perspective, but don’t start here.
Aaaannnd that’s it for now. More soon!