The Wangs vs The World, by Jade Chang
This was my Book of the Month pick for October, despite the fact that I’ve recently been trying to avoid books that have had a lot of launch buzz. I’ve been finding that while many of these books are good, maybe even very good, few of them are as mind-blowingly brilliant as people will have me believe. In theory, I want to go back and read some books from a few years ago that people are still saying are good even after they’re off the “new” tables in fiction. In practice, when people like the Book Riot crew and Rachel Fershleiser are as adamant about a book as they about this one, though, in the end I give in. (I may give in on the much-lauded The Mothers soon, too.) So we’ll see!
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
This was another buzzy book that I was kind of avoiding, but I’ve been intrigued by it for a while and since I plan to work on a YA novel next, it’s important for me to take a look at recent books that have been successful among teens.
Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here, by Anna
I really enjoyed the voice and the pop culture references in this book – there’s even a reference to Aaron Sorkin. Scarlett Epstein is a fangirl of a popular TV show and she writes fanfiction based first on that and then on the people in her life. I worried at one point that the fanfiction elements would make up half the book, and I really wasn’t a fan of that (I don’t love those excerpts in Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl either, but hey, maybe that’s just me, and I’m not the target audience for YA fiction), but it turned out they stuck around just enough to move the plot forwards and then were dropped. I wondered if maybe a little too much of everything was happening to Scarlett – dad problems, boy problems, friend problems, writing problems – but I guess that is how life feels at times as a teen and maybe that’s how teens like their fiction too.
In The Queue
Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell
If we’re talking successful YA books, this one has almost a cult following, and I bought it forever ago for my Kindle, so I think it may be time to unearth it and give it a go.
What have you been buying and reading recently?