Holly Black seems to be getting better and better! I think this is my favourite of hers so far, although part of that might be that it’s my kind of story — more so than The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, through no fault of its own. I’m a sucker for magic and banter, what can I say. And a book which actually addresses neglectful parenting! Amazing. Sure, it might make it easy for the plot, but it sucks for the characters, and Black shows that.
This should be getting a whole blog post to itself. Maybe when I recover from the plague? Fantastic, well-grounded setting in a future Brazil. This book made me think about race and sex and art. I didn’t always like the main characters, but I found the concept fascinating enough that it didn’t bother me. Also now that I’ve finished it I notice how fantastic the cover art is — everything connects to themes within the book, from the green algae to the lights/tree to the pyramids… it’s great! Nice to see such thoughtful design. I should add that the Book Smugglers covered some problematic elements of the Brazil setting which is worth reading.
Waiting for Unicorns, Beth Hautala
So-so. I was hoping there’d be more about Sura and Inuit ways of living, but it was mostly about grief and narwhals, which is fine but didn’t particularly stand out for me. Doesn’t help that I’m sick at the moment so my concentration isn’t fantastic. Anyway, it’s a perfectly adequate middle-grade read, not sure why it’s shelved as YA.
My Heart and Other Black Holes, Jasmine Warga
Couldn’t remember why I’d put this on hold but I really enjoyed it! If enjoyed is the right word? I totally snotted it up at the end.
Hilda and the Black Hound, Luke Pearson
I’m always a fan of Hilda and this is no exception. Also hello cameo appearance from Soppy! I see you sitting on your couch, you cuties.
Moonpenny Island, Tricia Springstubb
This was a lovely and thoughtful book about friendship, fractured parents, and growing up in an isolated place. I was going to write a whole blog post about this, but I’ve come down with some kind of horrible virus since I finished reading it and my brain is dribbling out my nose.