The first month of 2020 is in the books. I read 6 novels this month. I read two Classics with Little Women and Just So Stories. Little Women I read in anticipation of the movie, which was amazing and I highly recommend, it added additional scenes that enhanced the story. It was one of the best adaptations I have seen in a while. Tangent over see the movie. I read two Advanced Readers Copies thanks to Netgalley called Dreamland and Not So Stories. I read a reread of Speaks the Nightbird one that I read 9 years ago before I started reviewing. Last but not least I read Scythe a young adult that has been heavily hyped on WordPress, and it did not disappoint.
Five Star Book Reviews
Scythe By Neal Shusterman is an incredible young adult novel that looks at Earth’s future in a smart way. Scythe takes the Grim Reaper character and humanizes it, by well making it human and showing the need of death. The novel really analyzes death; it shows the horror of murder, the mercy of a killing, and the romance of death. In a futuristic Earth humans have beat aging. Thanks to Nano technology there is no disease and death can be reversed in most cases. Scythes bring a permanent death to curb over population. The Scythes are human’s who have been appointed, they have a kill quota that must be unbiased in choosing its victims.
Speaks the Nightbird by Robert R. McCammon is one of my favorite stories by one of my favorites authors. This is my second reading of this epic tale that combines Historical Fiction with Murder Mystery, and adding a dash of Horror. We get a tale about witchcraft only 7 years after the Salem Witch Trials in 1699. Where witchcraft was in murky waters of being real or not. This book introduces Matthew Corbett and is the first book in a proposed 9 book series. Speaks The Nightbird is in development at FX with Blumhouse producing, I’m very excited. This is the first reread where my rating stayed the same, this book is a great five star read. I’m currently reading the 2nd in the series now.
Four Star Book Reviews
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott the unabridged version is a classic that remains relevant today. Little Women was written almost 150 years ago and the characterizations of the March sister’s still hold up today, we know those girls I personally see them in my sisters and my larger family, making the story easily relatable to me and probably others. The novel is told almost as vignettes, or more accurately slices of life involving the girls and occasionally Laurie the neighbor who becomes a part of the family. This novel is full of heartache and heartbreak.
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling is an interesting new set of fables aimed at teaching kids about things and expanding their imagination, all while having the subtext of British Colonialism and the Empire, as a good thing. These are stories meant to be read out loud, and they use interesting rhyme patterns, alliteration, and repetition, that add to the way the story is told. I read the version that is accompanied by illustrations and with added text that adds more insight to the story, which I would recommend.
Not So Stories edited by David Thomas Moore takes Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories and flips it on it’s head. With 12 stories from diverse authors, that redirect the subtext of the Empire and British Colonialism in Just So Stories, to stories that embrace independence and mock the empire. This book is not as kid friendly as the original, but would still fall in the Young Adult category as far as content goes.
Two Star Book Reviews:
Dreamland by Nancy Bilyeau is a novel that is insightful when dealing with class warfare and structure, but when it is not, the novel is a fairly obvious mystery that is easily solvable. The novel is called Dreamland after the Brooklyn Amusement Park on Coney Island; it is most infamous for having a ride called Hell Gate. I wanted to like this one but didn’t connect to the characters and found the descriptions really vague.