Thursday, September 7, 2017

August Short Stack


So I usually try to start writing these posts by the end of the month and have them up sooner, but the second half of August was a whirlwind for me. Whirlwind is partially metaphoric, partially literal.

First of all, I saw the total solar eclipse! Zach was super pumped about it, so we decided our to take an end of summer trip to Nashville for the full experience. And since I hate flying and love having a car when we get places, we drove. We split the drive there into two days with a stop overnight in New Orleans for beignets and the WWII museum, spent two days in Nashville, then drove straight back through Arkansas. It was exhausting, but worth it. I mean, look:

It is more amazing in person.

And then we drove back on the 22nd, just in time for Hurricane Harvey the following weekend. Like I said, whirlwind. In Austin, I was never worried about my safety, but our fence finally gave up. It fought the good fight.

What I'm saying is, I've been busy.

Anyway, August accidentally relied heavily on young adult novels, so turn back now if you're close-minded about that sort of thing. While I have been trying to expand my reading habits this year, there are some great authors who write young adult novels alongside their adult works. You'll see.

The Short Stack:

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas:
I regret getting this from the library for two reasons. First, it took a very long time because this book is incredibly popular right now (timely commentary! lengthy for YA! becoming a MOVIE). Secondly, now I can't just thrust it into the hands of everyone I meet. Starr, the daughter of a former drug king who lives on the wrong side of the tracks, goes to a very, very white private school. Her two worlds don't mesh well, but are forced together when her black childhood friend is killed by a white police officer, with Starr as the only witness. There are so many great layers and dynamics within this book that I can't even begin to write about all of them. Thomas' characters are believable, as are their reactions. It's a great book.

2. Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson:
In the complete opposite vein of this-book-is-too-long, Midnight at the Electric could have been longer. I wish it had been longer. Our power went out for about six hours during Harvey's Texas rampage, and I read this cover to cover (I am so grateful for my Kindle). Set in 2065, a girl named Adri has been chosen to rocket off to Mars to colonize the planet. The US's ecosystem is...bad. Coastal areas are gone type bad. She's sent to Kansas to finish her training, moving in with her last remaining relative in the process. She finds a diary, which leads to letters, which leads to a mystery about her ancestors and the giant tortoise who has lived since the Dust Bowl. I loved the seemingly separate stories enough that I would have read novels about each time period, but I had to settle for this incredibly quick, but fulfilling read.

3. Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden, Brenna Thummler, Kendra Phipps, and Erika Kuster: Release date is October 24, 2017! 
I did not grow up with Anne. I'm not really sure why, but it's probably my mother's greatest failing that she never made me read these (not really). I read plenty as a kid, but never Anne. So with the release of Anne with an E on Netflix and all this buzz, I was excited to see this graphic novel up for grabs on Netgalley (where I got a digital copy for free in exchange for an honest review). I needed a primer on what makes Anne such a beloved figure. I really, really loved the art and coloring for this, plus it had enough cute moments that I can look forward to reading the full novels. Eventually. Probably? Sorry, mom.

So that's two great 2017 releases that are available now and something to look forward to next month (or to preorder for that super Anne fan in your life!). Plus, I've already read one title I'm excited to talk about in next month's Short Stack. Til then!