Looking at the books from February, I can’t help feeling like I’m missing one (and I don’t mean Lola & the Boy Next Door, which simply isn’t in the photo). Nonetheless, I was pleased overall with this month’s selection.
Lola & the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
This is one of those books that I snatched up from the library on a whim one day, since I’d already read Anna & the French Kiss. While I think I enjoyed Anna a bit more, this book was still fun to read. It was in the same vein, and even had appearances from a couple of characters from Anna, but sometimes I felt myself getting frustrated with the characters to the point of almost being bored rather than excited. Lola was just annoying sometimes, which on the one hand made me roll my eyes at times, but on the other hand made her something of a realistic teenage girl; they don’t always make the best, most obvious choices. Overall, it was a good time, and I’m excited to read Isla & the Happily Ever After when I get a chance because this series is a good, light-hearted read.
Cometbus #56: A Bestiary of Booksellers by Aaron Cometbus
Honestly, I have a hard time remembering much of this book for some reason. I know I liked it. I know it processed in my mind as enjoyable and interesting, but it’s a curious struggle to remember exactly why. The characters Aaron introduces to us are so weird and intriguing, with their different approaches and attitudes within the greater world of book selling with its own rules. The only part that really didn’t interest me was his pursuit of the Raccoon, his nickname for this woman who captures his attention and affection before disappearing. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t latch onto that plot point. I did enjoy the rest of the book, though, and if it didn’t make the world of book selling (particularly used books) so intimidating, I might considering dipping my toes in.
American Isis by Carl Rollyson
I opened the door to Sylvia Plath biographies back in December, and it seems there’s no going back now. This one turned out to be equally as fabulous as Pain, Parties, Work, but different in that it covered her entire life. Rollyson made it a point to avoid the details that most Plath fans/scholars are expected to already know, so I do wonder what I might have missed out on. Still, it felt like he covered the significant parts of the story it was working towards: her adult life and, ultimately, her death. What particularly interested me was the fact that he went even further and discussed life after Sylvia, including her work being published and how Ted reacted and interacted with others. American Isis makes me just want to to keep devouring all the Sylvia Plath biographies I can find, and I can’t wait to choose my next one.
Asylum & Sanctum by Madeleine Roux
I’m reviewing these two together because although they’re part of a series (with the third book coming out later this year, I hear), I had different reactions to them. Asylum is the first of the series, and while I was excited to read it and the premise sounded (and was) intriguing, the novel itself felt a little simplistic in some aspects. I felt like the characters weren’t fully fleshed out, even when there were interesting details about their lives and personalities that could have been built upon. This book felt like it was written for someone younger than the characters actually are, which was a little unfortunate; I’ll read YA until my eyes bleed, but if it feels too young then it’s a challenge even for me. However, the second book, Sanctum, felt like a step in a better direction. The sequel felt like the big brother to the first book, without inconsistent characterization (one minute they’re up! the next minute they’re down! and no one knows exactly why!) and a poorly paced plot. Instead, Sanctum takes place in an amount of time that I think Roux is more naturally suited to writing within and the motives of the characters are less confusing and mysterious. It was definitely a step up that was not only enjoyable but actually makes me enthusiastic for the next book, when I was considering quitting on the series after the first.
What did you read this month? Have any of these books piqued your interest?