I can’t quite believe this, but I didn’t buy any books this week! This despite having been minutes away from Strand Books in NYC this weekend. Also, no Edelweiss approvals for digital advance review copies. (Boo!) And no deals that tempted me. Goodreads Deals was great when they stuck to emailing you about books you’d expressed an interest in, but now their emails are hit or miss and so I don’t check them as religiously.
Liccle Bit, by Alex Wheaton
Alex Wheaton is a bit of a legend on the British YA scene, and with good reason. Liccle Bit is the first book in a trilogy about black teenagers on a fictional estate in London (well, not definitely London, but it felt like London to me). Loved the use of language, which really helped bring the narrator especially to life. (Mid-way though I almost texted my flatmate that I was “getting my read on” but feared that might be lost in Anglo-American translation.) It took me longer to read than I’d anticipated, and I think that might have to do with my feeling of dread that something bad was going to happen to Lemar, the main character. It’s definitely not all sweetness and light in his world, and that’s why this book is such an important one. It would have shocked me but also done me the world of good to have read this as a privileged white teenage girl.
Five on Brexit Island, by Bruno Vincent
This book made it to number 2 in the British books chart leading up to Christmas, and I loved the idea of a good parody — we Brits (though not me personally) are good at it in general. But while this was a good idea, it feels like it was rushed out to capitalise on that gift-buying audience without enough thought. The premise is that the Five escape to the island in the aftermath of the Brexit vote and ending up holding their own independence referendum. I think it would have been much more effective if they’d held their own referendum with echoes of the Brexit vote but without mentioning it by name. There was some good ribbing of the Famous Five series, though — I liked the line about how it must be near the end of the chapter, because here comes Timmy the dog.
In the Queue
Creativity and Feature Writing: How to Get Hundreds of New Ideas Every Day, by Ellie Levenson
2017 is finally my year to be a Full-Time Writer, so I need to get more serious about my freelance journalism. I’ve read a couple of chapters and written down 50 ideas for pieces to pitch already — this book works! Highly recommended.