Monday, November 26, 2018

Thanksgiving Reads

Over Thanksgiving break, I finished some books! And here they are:

My Sister the Serial Killer (by Oyinkan Braithwaite)

A Tournament of Books longlist pick and I'm so glad to have been introduced to it! It's a Nigerian novel vaguely reminiscent of We Have Always Lived in the Castle, about two sisters, one of whom is a psychopathic serial killer. (The book opens with one sister helping the other dispose of a body.) I tore through this in a day and absolutely loved it. Great characters and a killer (no pun intended) ending. Highly recommended.

The Proposal (by Jasmine Guillory)

A companion to The Wedding Date, about a couple who meets in a baseball stadium when Nikole's casual boyfriend proposes to her on the Jumbotron and she says no. Pretty standard romance formula but still so enjoyable, and I love the feminist flavor and the romance between people of color.  I'm not usually a romance fan but I'll read Guillory's future novels, for sure!

Laura & Emma (by Kate Greathead)

I really loved most of this -- it's a compulsively readable story about a privileged New Yorker who takes full advantage of her privilege while also condemning it and hiding behind it in many ways. It's told in a vignette style that's quite pleasing. But it ends super abruptly and the ending itself, I didn't like. (Nor did most people, I gather, because the author in an interview mentioned how many people have told her they hate it.) So I can't quite recommend it.

This Is Kind of an Epic Love Story (by Kheryn Callender)

I love the idea of this book, by a non-binary queer author of color, featuring lots of queer characters, and even a love interest who is hard of hearing. However, it was disappointing. I didn't fall in love with Nate as a main character or most of the other characters. I didn't even like them much (except for Oliver James). The conflicts are pretty much characters behaving like brats and giving each other the silent treatment, and it isn't a good look for anyone.  Plus everyone seems to be bisexual and race and sexuality are not even obliquely addressed. I'll give Callender's next novel a try in the hope that they'll improve on this debut effort.

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