Card Catalog: April 2016

April saw me plowing through a mixture of you-should-absolutely-go-read-this-right-now books and do-yourself-a-favor-and-never-bothers.

After I finished Matched, you damn well know I feverishly needed to get my hands on Crossed, the second book in the trilogy, but alas, it was not to be immediately, because I had to wait on the library e-book. (I wasn’t about to spend good money on the darn thing.) Much to my delight it appeared mere days after I finished the first one! I ranked it at a 3 out of 5, high enough that I then sought out the third and final book.

April’s book club pick, inspired by an anecdote about it in our March pick, Big Magic. This was a really enjoyably meaty novel. It had one of the more gruesome scenes I can remember reading, so you know that means the writing is pretty good. We all agreed it wasn’t perfect—some of the characters were not fully fleshed out, not all of the relationships were believable—but I think on the whole we were glad to have read it.

It’s come to this, the final installment in the Matched series. As often seems to happen with these YA series, it was not as good as the others. In fact, I almost wished I hadn’t wasted my time on it, except that it satisfied my burning need to know how it ended.

On the other end of the spectrum, this book was well worth reading. In some ways I enjoyed Americanah, by the same author, better, but I learned about a piece of modern history that I literally had never even heard of before from this book, which I think is important. Adichie deserves to be on every lists she’s made it onto, and not just ones that are designed to “diversify” your book shelf or whatever. I look forward to reading more by her. (Although I’m currently somewhere in the abandoned phase of her short book We Should All Be Feminists. More fiction, I should maybe specify.)

Do not read this book. It was utter, absolute drivel, and that is coming from a lady who loves Nicholas Sparks et al. The Devil Wears Prada was okay. I evidently (according to Goodreads) read the sequel, but it was so terribly that I’ve expunged it from my memory. So goodness knows why I gave this one a shot, but I did, and now you don’t have to.

Again on the flip side, go read this book right now. It’s a middle-grade novel, so it’s a pretty quick read. If you have ever felt that you didn’t understand what it means to be transgender, let George explain it! Gino handly a touchy subject with a deft, sensitive hand. Imagining a generation of kids reading this at age 8 gives me a little bit of hope for humanity.

I can’t remember if I finished this in April or in May, but it was close, so we’ll stick it here. Amazingly enough, this first book in a Nora Roberts trilogy didn’t leave me rushing out to get the next one! I do not have strong feelings about it one way or the other—it was simply fine.