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.
I stressed out about this list – what would I put on a syllabus if I could choose to teach anything… Yikes. I don’t know why, but I really wanted to come up with something that could actually be used in a classroom. I have a friend who’s an English teacher. I send her book suggestions all the time. I feel like this list is important, even though it’s really just for me. I also didn’t want it to seem like a repeat of the lists I’ve done in the past. I thought about gender roles and female representation. Group mentality. Collective behaviour. Male protagonists. Self-discovery.
What I ended up doing was going through my Goodreads list and jotting down every book I think would be interesting to discuss in a group setting. I then had to whittle the list down a lot. A lot! If I’d let my OCD take over, I would have pulled out my old university syllabuses and went through what I read then to see what fit where, but that’s just too much research for a TTT post.
I finally decided on Death and Dying in Young Adult Fiction. This was one of my favourite sociology courses, and since I like my books dark, it seems appropriate. I’ve listed an initial discussion perspective for each of the books. There are probably deeper levels we would get to through discussion, but this isn’t a real class. It’s just the idea of a class.
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
Collective behaviour towards torture and death when religion and faith are involved. As well as the treatment of girls involved in crimes related to death. Continue reading
June’s been a slow month for me Top Ten Tuesday-wise. The topics just haven’t resonated with me. But this week’s is doable – best books read this year. Not published this year, but that I’ve read this year. I love topics like this. It lets me share my new loves with people. Maybe someone else will find something on my list that they love as much as I do. So, let’s not take too long to get to the good stuff. Here, in chronological order, are the best books I’ve read in 2015. You only get eight. My reading has been slow this year. I only have 29 to choose from and not all of them deserve a best of ranking.
Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris
One of the most entertaining autobiographies I’ve ever read. It feels honest and genuine. And after getting to see him on a panel at a recent convention, this feels even truer. (my review)
I finished my first Yovanoff novel in a day. This one took me several weeks. On its face, that might seem like a bad thing, but it’s not. This book was just as intriguing and strange and good. It was just so weirdly removed but still within reality that I had to take breaks to let me head wrap around the content. Magical realism always takes me a little longer to absorb than other genres. But Yovanoff’s incredible strength at creating atmosphere got me through. So spooky and strange is this world that I just wanted to know more and more. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Yovanoff is a master craftsman of mood.
Based on the title alone, I had expectations for this book. I kind of expected that our main character would be imbued with titular quality. That she would be evil. Let’s set the stage for Fiendish (as always, I’m going to talk about the content, so spoilers) – as a child, Clementine is bound and hidden in a closet while her home and family burn around her. Ten years later, she’s still sitting in this cupboard, waiting. How can she not be the fiend in the title? How could this happen to a person without them becoming a raging ball of anger. But that’s not Clementine. She knows time has passed, but not how much. She can see, but not really. She has visions she can’t explain. Her time seems verge on comfortable. A boy her own age, Fisher, finally finds and saves her. Both know they were drawn to each other, but they can’t explain what’s causing the pull.
In the YA genre, girl meets jerky boy and instantly falls for him and helps to make him better is a trope that’s been done to death and often done poorly. So, when I realized that this would be a major focus of the book, I took it with a salt shaker’s worth of salt. Yovanoff had done it well in Paper Valentine, but could this book live up to what she’d done there? I’d read some reviews that panned this book for being nothing but a girl saves boy and finds the love of her life story. I gotta say, I do not agree. Yes, there is a relationship in the book, but there’s more to it than simple sexual attraction. Continue reading
Today’s prompt from Broke and Bookish is 2014 releases I meant to read and didn’t. Some of these had reasons. Some of them didn’t. Most of them just didn’t make the cut when it came to finding a spot on the top of my TBR pile. A number of them finally arrived at the library right around Christmas and are going to be read over the next month. I’m in the middle of Fiendish right now.
Visions by Kelley Armstrong
Olivia finds a dead woman in her car, dressed to look like her, but the body vanishes before anyone else sees it. Olivia’s convinced it’s another omen, a sign of impending danger. But then she learns that a troubled young woman went missing just days ago—the same woman Olivia found dead in her car. Someone has gone to great lengths to kill and leave this young woman as a warning. But why? And what role has her new home played in this disturbing murder? Olivia’s effort to uncover the truth places her in the crosshairs of old and powerful forces, forces that have their own agenda, and closely guarded secrets they don’t want revealed Continue reading