I don't have anything insightful or wise to say about all the things going on right now in the world and in our country. All of it makes me too angry for words. So I'm just going to talk about some of the books I've read recently that made me happy.
Eleanor and Park - It's been a long time since I've read a book that was as pure and wonderful as Eleanor and Park. It is nothing less than a simple love story about two weird people like you or people you know. Rainbow Rowell's writing is stripped down and bare, like her characters, and they were both real and raw and frustrating and brilliant. This is one of those books that deserves the hype. I've thought a lot about whether this would make a good movie, and I think the brilliance of the book relies on Rowell's uncluttered, beautiful prose. I'm not sure a movie would be able to do it justice.
Live Through This - Mindi Scott's followup to Freefall is a sucker punch to the gut. It's tough watching Coley Sterling's life crumble on the page, but utterly riveting. I'm not sure a lesser writer could have pulled off this book without veering into melodrama, but Mindi writes with confidence. I'm not going to lie, this is a tough book to read. I've had it for about 4 months. I kept putting off reading it because I knew it would be tough. But I'm glad I finally read it, because it's so worth it.
Marco Impossible - The plan is simple, Marco and his best friend Stephen are going to break into the high school prom so that Marco can tell the boy he likes how he really feels. Marco as a character was difficult to like. He's bossy, rude, excitable, and not always nice. But we come to love him the way his side-kick and best friend Stephen loves him. And we root for him to get the guy. This is a rare LGBT book for tweens and those readers on the cusp of MG and YA books. Hannah's writing, as always, is brilliant, and her ability to create and write families that feel realer than our own is sheer genius.
When We Wake - Karen Healey's book about a girl who's frozen and wakes up 100 years in the future isn't hard sci-fi, but it also doesn't shy away from the science behind cryostasis and the future. When We Wake was fun and hard to put down. I loved rooting for Tegan to figure out what was going on and win the day. I wasn't as convinced by the conspiracy that popped up near the end, but if there's a second book, you can bet I'll be reading it.