We are nearing the end!! Only 26 days left in the year and still 10 books left to read. I may not have completed the NaNoWriMo challenge, but I WILL complete my reading challenge. Last time it was so fun doing head to heads that I decided to do it again! There were a lot of really close calls this month, so make sure you read my little comments. I would recommend all these suckers except for one.
Last year I started my first 100 Books in a Year challenge with the Ender Quintet. It was awesome. So I was super excited to read Ender’s Shadow, which takes place during the same time as Ender’s Game but from the viewpoint of Bean. This book was amazing! I loved seeing another aspect of Orson Scott Card’s earth in learning about Bean’s history. He is a very thorough world builder and the author that made me love science fiction. I have nothing negative to say about this book.
But Ender’s Shadow doesn’t have the little gold star on it because The Circle Series is AMAZING. I am still in the middle of the last book, but this month I read Green, Black, and Red and loved every second. The series takes place in a distant future but also in a very near future. It’s a biblical narrative and it’s smart and deep and, again, thorough. This series of books won out over Ender’s Shadow because a scene in Green changed the way I think about my relationship with God. It also won this little challenge because we need more C.S. Lewis and JRR Tolkien types – talented authors who just happen to be Christians, who write excellent stories for the glory of the Lord.
Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley is about the Bronte family and the secret worlds they write themselves into. It’s a very imaginative and fun story that also has arc and growth and lessons about truth and relationship and recklessness.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne was in a word, underwhelming. I have been looking forward to reading this sucker for months and had it on hold at the library for just as long. I kept my expectations low because I didn’t want to read it with judgment and discernment. I wanted to enjoy it. And I did enjoy it! But I thought it was kind of lazy that the story was basically just a rewrite of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
I don’t really like that this is a category, but How Queer! didn’t fit in with anything else so I had to stretch a bit. Mad About the Hatter by Dakota Chase features gay characters, but it’s way more about Wonderland. Alice’s younger brother, a doubter, travels to Wonderland and has to save the Hatter, but also be saved by the Hatter, or something. Anyway it’s one of those stories that could easily be super cheesy and lame but it wasn’t. It was fun and different from Alice in Wonderland but still congruent and there was even a surprise character twist in the end! Plus a little romance, which I always love.
How Queer! compiled by Faith Beauchemin is a necessary read. I am starting to sound like a broken record but we have to listen to people who are different than us. I can only ever know what is’ like to be a straight, cis, white female, so I have to listen to people who are not straight or cis or white or female in order to know what their experience is like. This book is a chance to listen to bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, sexually-fluid, and other non-monosexual perspectives. Which are important perspectives. Which is why this one got the little gold star.
This one wasn’t a contest. Show and Prove by Sofia Quintero is about two teenage guys living in NYC and uh.. well.. just living life. There’s no real forward motion and I didn’t get the point.
Bleed by Laurie Faira Stolarz was a fast paced and intense read. It’s a collection of stories about teenagers whose lives intersect in different ways. I loved the style and the format and the different crazy characters. Clear win.
I didn’t save a lot of quotes from this batch, but you can always check out my favorite book quotes at Words, Wisdom, etc.