Books: January 2014 – February 2014

I have not been reading much lately, as evidenced below.

1) Eleonor and Park by Rainbow Rowell – This was lovely and bittersweet, and yet I never really connected to it. I feel disappointed not to have found the same magic in this book that everyone else seems to have.

2) Emotional Geology by Linda Gillard- This book took me by surprise – I was not prepared for how it would affect me. And I mean that in a good way. The setting was very unusual and I loved it. The writing took my breath away – the way it switches about, the gorgeous poetry. It comes together so well – and depicts the main characters fragility and bipolarity perfectly. The characters were fascinating and I loved their relationship. It was not one person saving the other, or fixing them, but accepting them, and accepting that it will be difficult with the baggage they carry, but wanting to give it a try nonetheless. You get the sense that they will make it work because of that. And that is what I ultimately loved about this book – the painfully realistic depiction of mental illness. This is probably only the second book I’ve read that really comes across like the author gets it. Gets how messy, ugly, damaging mental illness is, and the way it affects relationships, not always in a good way. How love and friendship can help, but cannot save nor fix, as so many other books would love to show. In the end, two very broken characters find understanding, acceptance and company in each other. Its beautiful.

3) Broken Homes by Ben Aaronovitch- I love this series but it has reminded me of why I do not usually pick up unfinished series. Reading these books makes me nervous. There are a lot of things being hinted at, a lot of interesting characters with back stories I’d kill to see explored more (read: Nightingale) so it makes me very nervous as book goes by without any more information. Just how many books will be in this series? Am I just going to be reading book after book waiting to see more background of my favourite character, only to be continually disappointed? I adore these books – the science-like magic, the characters, the mysteries, the villain, their unpredictability. (The twist at the end of this book really came out of nowhere in the best way.) But I want more Nightingale and I want more of his back story and of the back story of magic. At least in these books we got a hint of how magic works in other countries, although its still very Europe centric, and I also wonder what magic is like outside of London. So many questions, no idea how many books it will take to get answers. It always leaves me feeling a bit dissatisfied reading these books because of that.

Audiobook notes: Kobna Holdbrook-Smith absolutely brought this book alive. He was a wonderful narrator.

4) Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – So I didn’t really like this book either. In fact – for admittedly personal reasons – this book made me fairly angry and annoyed at times. Nonetheless I did appreciate the lovely depiction of fandom and what it means to different people – and how it was never shown as weird. I think I enjoyed the Simon Snow book and fanfic extracts more than the actual story- it was very typical fanfiction but nice nonetheless. I was left wanting to read carry on, simon and everything by magiccath quite a lot.