This book was wonderful, but also had a lot of heaviness. Cancer. Divorce. Anger. Fear. I think I pushed myself to read it through the night because I wanted to get to the end of all the intensity. BUT it was very honest and funny and hopeful and the conflicts seemed true to life. (Okay there was a romantic-comedy theme as well, but enough characters were messy/real enough that I WAS NOT MAD about the happy ending.)
This book was adorable. It had a bossy French lady and a stubborn single mom. And a lot of other complex, sympathetic characters.
I read it on the plane, and found it on my kindle, so I’m guessing it was one of those free books offered at the beginning of the month through Amazon. (Does everyone else know about these? They offer you the option to take one of six free ebooks at the beginning of each month. I think they’re frequently new releases or pre-releases.)
1. New Kindle Fire! Okay, it’s not VERY new. I bought it when I moved, so I could download Amazon shows and watch them in my internet-less home, but this is the first time I’ve read/finished any books on the the new Kindle Fire, and I love having FULL COLOR book covers!
2. I bought these before vacation, even though I had a string of unread ebooks sitting on the Kindle, mainly because I still live in the shadow of that one summer I ran out of books to read at the beach.
3. These were really good. Solid sci-fi series. One thing I enjoy about Butler in particular is that she’s not afraid to jump FAR ahead in time between one book and the other, or to have two books in a series about completely disconnected things so that she can draw them together in the finale. I appreciate that she respects her readers enough to leave them hanging like this.
4. Though the theme of xenophobia is still present in these books, she didn’t follow that path as thoroughly as she has in others. I feel like there was an extra book missing, that went deeply into the connections between these two hybrid races. (Technically, there WAS a book missing – the series originally had five books, but Butler hated one of them and stopped re-publishing. I wonder if it moved in this direction, but didn’t do so in a satisfactory way.)
I’ve been a fan of AHP for a few years now, starting back when she was still an Adjunct Professor teaching media studies and writing on her blog. She had a FB fan page that I subscribed to before FB became a toxic place. Then she left academia (I remember she either wrote an amazing essay about that, or was included in one around that time) to write for Buzzfeed, and every time she posts an extensive star study, I drop everything and read it. (As I was gathering links for this post, I found something she’d written about furniture that I hadn’t yet seen, and I had to stop and read it.) (It was delightful. And she linked to a rant about a particular sofa that was hilarious. So AHP is also someone I trust to send me down Internet Rabbit Holes.)
Where was I? Oh, talking about how awesome Anne Helen Petersen is. Right. Let me wrap that up by promoting her twitter feed and also encouraging you to sign up for her newsletter.
I was trying to figure out some good beach reads to check out from the library, and AHP has a new book out. This is not it. (I’m still coming to terms with the reality that libraries either don’t have fresh new books OR they’re checked out with epic waitlists.) This is her first book, and I realized that the beach would be a PERFECT place to finally read it.
Except I didn’t end up reading it at the beach. My mom did. When she finished the book she brought. And she got about 80% through this book before the end of the week, at which point she had to write down the title and take a picture of the chapter where she stopped, so she could find it in her hometown and finish reading.
So my mom loved this book. And I loved this book. The end.
I have no idea when I picked up this book, but it’s been on my shelves for a few years. (Maybe a used bookstore?)
It’s really delightful. Much less traumatic than The Handmaid’s Tale.