My last four books have been for grown ups and I have read only two YA books so far this year (out of ten total books). Who have I become? I don’t even recognize myself anymore.
There’s not much to report around these here parts. I’ve been working and watching TV and that’s about it. I did finish Judas and the Black Messiah this weekend. Oh, and Schitt’s Creek finally but other than that…I got nothing. Okay, that isn’t entirely true, but I am trying this new thing where I don’t cram everything into one blog post a week.
Anyway, here are the two books I read since my last update:
Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
I think what I’m trying to describe is loneliness.
If you know Hyperbole and a Half (blog or book) or the “Do all the things!” meme, you know Allie Brosh and her work. Solutions and Other Problems is a follow-up to both her book and blog, complete with new essays, including one quite in-depth one that shows why she disappeared from the scene for a while. Apparently, she was very, very sick and then her sister died.
While that essay is quite heavy given the subject matter, the rest of them are not–even when they touch on the loneliness and existential crises Brosh faced after such traumatic events.
Because nobody should have to feel like a pointless little weirdo alone. Especially if they are.
The book is honest and raw and also filled with so much humor that I found myself laughing out loud several times. My only quibble with the book is that a few (very few!) panels were hard to read because of a lack of contrast between the text and background colors, and there is also this too long for my tastes comic about a cat.
I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes Brosh’s previous stuff or who may only know her work from the meme.
We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge
What I envy is not their skin but their insouciance. I envy the freedom to sin with only a little bit of consequence, to commit one selfish act and not have it mean the downfall of my entire people. Where indecency and mischief do not mean annihilation.
I almost quit We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge around the 50-page mark and then kept reading because I honestly couldn’t figure out how I felt about it. I certainly didn’t hate it, but I also didn’t like it or dislike it, which…I’m not even sure how that works. Now that I’m done, I still don’t really know, which I guess means I like it and certainly that I found it intriguing.
I have a lot of feelings and opinions but none of them about the book itself except that it’s so different and strange that I don’t know how I feel. The book is well-written and engaging (and includes two of my faves: complicated family relationships and a focus on a teen narrator) but it is also sad and unsettling. All of the characters are fascinating and worthy of discussion, for sure. I was also hoping for a happier ending but am not surprised there wasn’t one since the ending matched the melancholy of the entire book.
I do wish there had been an author’s note because I had a lot of questions.
3.5 stars because I DON’T KNOW HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT but I also want other people to read it so we can talk about it.
Also here’s where I share that if you click on the links in the post, I may get a little commission because I signed up as a Bookshop affiliate! I am very excited about this because I GET TO MAKE LISTS. I was so jealous of all the people (read: published authors) making lists because I wanted to make one and thought you had to be all fancy pants to do so, but nope! I only have one list so far, but the possibilities are endless.
I AM FILLED WITH POWER.