Books – 2018, week 5
I read two books that I really liked this week, among some other more… average ones.
A couple of members from the librarian’s group I subscribe to on Facebook highly recommended The Lunch Lady series as an addition to the graphic novel collection of middle to high school libraries – the first book was alright, but I think it’s a bit young for our students. The Junior library currently has a copy of this as well, and I think it’s great for students of that age, but I won’t be purchasing any of the rest of this series for our age group.
I read a review somewhere (and now I wish I could remember where) that listed this as one of the best graphic novels of 2017, and, well…. Nova: Resurrection is not bad, in fact it actually does the whole resurrection-back-from-the-dead thing quite well – but maybe because I read another graphic novel this week that was so good, it failed to impress me as much as I’d been led to believe it would.
Thunderheads by Neal Shusterman just came out, and our head of library is so excited about it that she keeps raving about Scythe to all of us – especially those of us who love reading YA (you’d be surprised how many staff members don’t. At least, I am!). The premise didn’t exactly grab me from the start, but when I saw it available via NLB’s Overdrive offerings I figured I’d give it a shot – especially since the kids in our library have gone mental over it, and there are about 4 holds still on this book in our Overdrive library.
It took me over half the book to really get into it (I almost gave up, but my boss basically begged me to give it a second chance) and while the second half really picks up, and I finished it thinking “yeah okay, that was a good story”, I never fully got over the slow beginning. I do understand why it was necessary for the story to evolve the way it did, and while the journal entries at the end of each chapter were a nice insight to our different characters, I found them a bit blahblahblah, especially toward the end. It’s odd, because when the plot was slower, they were a nice addition, but as the speed picked up I found they really jammed up my reading pace.
I will admit I really enjoyed Rowan’s character growth, and uhh… okay, confession time, I’m terrible with names. I literally just finished reading this like 6 hours ago, but I’ve already forgotten the name of his mentor. Scythe F-something? He was an interesting character too, and if he shows up in Thunderhead I might be tempted to read it…. but I’m not holding my breath to get my hands on the sequel.
Not all the recommendations I read this week were a bust though – Paper Girls was on more than one list of recommended graphic novels, and I’m not sure if I ordered it, or someone else at work did, but I was cataloguing it which means I totally read it during my lunch break. And omg so good. These characters are amazing, the story is all kinds of crazy Sci-Fi that I was not expecting, and the cliffhanger at the end of volume 1? Ohhhhh shiiiiiit. I wonder if I can get away with adding all the next three volumes at one shot to our next order.
As good as this was though, it doesn’t get my vote for the best read of the week. That honour goes to….
… The Murderer’s Ape, by Jakob Wegelius. This wasn’t on my radar at all, until I came across it while cataloguing. I needed one more book to fill my sheet of spine labels for printing, and I picked this one because of it’s cover. And then I read the blurb. And then I promptly decided it would be my Friday night read, and I’m so glad I picked it.
It’s a charming, sweet, story, and I can’t wait for one of the kids to discover it and fall in love with it because Sally Jones has completely stolen my heart. There’s friendship, and kindness, and music, and love, and jewels, and airplanes, and engines, and sea voyages, and just… it’s so sweet.
It’s not a profound read or anything like that, but I read it in one sitting, cover to cover, and then had one of the best nights’ sleep I’ve had in ages because it was just that feeling I used to get as a kid after reading a good, complete, book. A lot of books that I’ve been reading lately have been so mediocre, or so obviously part of a series (which is fine!), or trying so hard to be complex and deep… and this is just a sweet story.
I’m aware I’ve said sweet about 367 times while talking about this book but I can’t think of a better word to describe it’s warm fuzzy feelings.
And that was it for me this week! I actually got my book post in on time for once, go me!