I didn’t think I was going to get this post done. I hadn’t even looked at the topic until this morning, and this is one that requires some thought. But man, it’s right up my book/music alley. And I was one of the people that sent the B&B the suggestion to do this topic. So, I had to get it done. So I thought about it while I went about the rest of my packed day. And tada, we have a list.
There are a couple duplicate authors here. Some of that is because I didn’t give myself a lot of time. But it’s also because these books spoke to me in a way that easily connects with music. For some I have specific scenes related to the songs. For others, it’s just a general feeling.
The Replacement – Brenna Yovanoff
It’s all fire and brimstone. baby.
The Mission – Puscifer
This song gets to the overall feeling of the book, but would really highlight some of the scenes. I’m thinking the cemetery scene or going through the underground for the first time.
Today’s top ten list is a Valentine’s Day freebie. I’m sure this will mean many lists about romantic books and love and whatnot. But my favourite part of Valentine’s Day (besides the abundant amounts of chocolate) is Galentine’s day. Wait, you don’t know what that is? Let’s fix that.
All too often we get so caught up in trying to be the things we’re supposed to be – wife, mother, career woman, crazy single cat lady, whatever. To be the best at all the roles we’ve been assigned. In the need to be all things to all people at all times, we lose track of our relationships with other women. Relationships that aren’t about competition. The friends that support and sustain us. That give us an outlet to stop being those other things for a while and just be friends. Because for so much of our time, we’re expected to be all these other things.
My book picks this week focus on women caught in struggle. Women trying to find their footing when they don’t seem to fit anywhere. Women who could have used a good friend. Continue reading
Damage Done is right. Damage to my time and my reading sensibilities and my respect for YA literature. I have got to stop picking books from generic lists of ‘awesome books’. But when I saw Damage Done on one of these lists, I was immediately attracted to the simple cover and the idea of a Gone Girl style YA book. And there’s something about a book on a subject as gutwrenching as school shootings that’s meant to be read by an audience that is the age of the typical victims that’s intriguing. A book that challenges our treatment, not of the perpetrators of such crimes but of the people related to them. That shows how those people treat themselves. How we are coloured by the actions of the people in our inner circle. That’s the book I wanted to read. Panitch promises the story of Julia Vass in the aftermath of her twin brother’s mass shooting at their high school. A shooting in which she, and he, were the only survivors. But what we get is a mildly ridiculous love story where the shooting feels a like little more than a plot device.
Julia is now Lucy Black. In a new town, with a new name, and a new past. Her family relocated to escape the nightmare of media and threats that became their lives after Ryan killed eleven students. They run from the blame. Julia/Lucy’s parents were easily the most interesting part of the novel. Their reactions to the shooting were heartbreaking. Even though we don’t see them often, we see the impact of their withdrawal. The Blacks have essentially cut off all interactions with their daughter. They refuse to talk about Ryan at all. All pictures and memories have been removed from the house, left behind when they moved. Lucy has only one picture left. Hidden in the back of a drawer away from her mother’s cleaning hands. Mrs. Black has irised her life into cleaning. All she does is scrub. Bleach and scrub. A physical manifestation of her need to remove the memories of her child. Mr. Black is mostly absent. He allows his work to take him away from his wife and daughter. And he refuses, absolutely refuses, to allow Ryan’s name in the house. Any reference to their life as the Vasses is met with an immediate shut down. At least it is when Lucy wants to talk about their past.
Turns out (and from here you continue at your own peril) there’s been more Ryan discussion happening than Julia/Lucy thought. Ryan’s been out of his coma almost since he went into it. He’s awake. He’s semi-healthy. He’s not talking to anyone except Spence – his former psychologist. Julia’s parents know. They’ve made a conscious decision not to tell her. If you haven’t predicted the upcoming twist by the time this information appears, it seems a little cruel, but also makes sense. Why would they tell her that her twin is awake when she’s never going to be allowed to see him? They’re protecting her from more pain. If they keep his condition quiet, they save their family more pain. But there’s more to their silence than initially thought. Julia isn’t the girl she’s led us to believe she is. Continue reading