One problem with checking giant stacks of books out from the library at once is I never remember what those books are about when I get them home or why I checked them out.
After a pair of depressing adult fantasy books (Passing Strange and The Unbroken, review of the latter coming soon), I was craving some lighthearted YA adventure. So I picked up Thorn by Intisar Khanani. The cover’s so pretty! And it has such a nice coming-to-market story! Surely, I thought, this is a book that will cheer me up after reading 600-something pages of violence against women.
I was mistaken.
I did like Thorn. The writing is compulsively readable, and the major twist was both surprising and satisfying. If I decide to read it again in a different headspace, I might even come to love it. I just didn’t enjoy reading it when I did.
Another thing I was mistaken about: Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie is partially set in the U.S., so I’m not going to be using that book to fulfill the non-US centric category.
Instead, I’m reading I’ll be the One by Lyla Lee. Somehow, I wasn’t aware of this YA novel about a fat (!) bisexual (!!) girl trying to become a K-Pop star when I created my initial list, so this was a happy accident. I’m stoked.
After Thorn, I took a break to read Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo, because I needed something dependable. Also, my hold had come in and I didn’t want to wait to get to the front of the line again. It has mixed reviews on Goodreads, but I really liked it. Probably because one of the POV characters is a fat bisexual girl.
By then, I was craving something to bring down my average page count. I chose The Collected Schizophrenias by Esme Weijun Wang. It’s a collection of personal essays about mental and physical illness, art, science, magic, and legacy.
Surprisingly, it’s also one of the lighter books I’ve read this year. It’s not inspiration porn by any stretch, but it’s also not trauma porn. It’s about how Weijun Wang has sought to make meaning out of her pain.
I’m currently reading A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi, which I hope will turn out to be at least 2 parts Yearning for every 1 part Suffering. So far, so good.