Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released.
Title: Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews
Publishing Date: August 25th 2020
This is book 5 in the series so I will skip the synopsis. Think magic, action, sisterly awesomeness. Maybe guys without shirts on.
And man, that is one hideous cover. And it is actually one of the better covers in this series. BUT I AM JUST REALLY, REALLY EXCITED FOR IT TO COME OUT.
My old roommate got me hooked on this series and I blew through the first 4 books (and the two extra short stories) in under a week. And now I have to wait till August! Ahhhhhhhhhhh.
Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. But when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a school counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.
I feel a teeny bit irritated with this book. As a former homeschooler, I put up with far too many people assuming my education resembled Cap’s to read about someone portraying exactly that kind of homeschooling with any equanimity. Let’s be clear, yo. I did have friends. I did use books. I did use a computer. I did not have goats. And yes, I did do school in my PJs. And with quarantine, I still do.
So, please, stop portraying homeschoolers as a bunch of weirdos!
But I get it in this book. The point isn’t so much that Cap was homeschooled in a hippie commune. (Though obviously, that plays a central motivating role.) The premise is what happens when you drop a kid raised by hippies and without much sense of modern technology in a public school.
It actually paints a really affirming and sweet look of a kid raised to know at his core who he is. And while his extreme naivety gets him in some unlikely situations, I liked how his personality changed the people around him. The book does not sugar coat middle school. And because of that, it shows why homeschooling helped Cap become his own person without dealing with all the crap associated with school.
There was a lot to like. Thanks for the recommendation, Dad!
Counting from my first month of law school to now…I have officially read 736 books while in law school.
737 if I finish The Enchanted April tonight.
It is a tiny victory, and yet a satisfying one.
I’ve recently been enjoying the works of D.E. Stevenson, a writer from around WW1. I have avoided posting reviews of her books because I think several will appear on my end-of-the-year favorite book list. But as The Young Clementina only garnered three stars from me, I thought I might share this (unsuccessful) venture into vintage fiction.
Written in 1935, the story follows Charlotte Dean—a woman life seems to have forgotten. At 35, she lives a monotonous life in London with no friends. Her life takes a dramatic turn when her former fiancé suddenly appears and asks her to take care of his daughter while he travels in Africa. Now Charlotte must face her past to bring healing to the difficult and withdrawn child.
D.E. Stevenson is a master of human emotions. Her comedy of manners books (like the Miss Buncle trilogy) somehow make the whole world feel cozy and good. Alas, with The Young Clementina she goes more Brontë than Gaskell, and the end result whips from excruciatingly depressing to predictably trite.
The description I gave of the plot, while the crux of the story, really doesn’t kick in till halfway. First we get to relive Charlotte’s childhood, her experience with WW1, and the tragic break with her fiancé . And despite how depressed it made me, I still low-key loved it. I felt moody and depressed reading it, but I also felt like it summarized how WW1 changed people. I read into it a bigger analysis about dreams and hope and lost youth.
Turns out, I was too ambitious in my interpretation. I still held hope for an alternate love interest to pop up and change the path the story was heading towards. No luck. The story shoulders on with some rambling paragraphs that don’t hide the very obvious, sappy conclusion. Characters generally get their comeuppance. I think I still would have rated this book 4 stars because I did love the tragic nature of the beginning, but the ending killed it by undercutting much of the character motivation.
If you like melodrama that feels vaguely Gothic without being so, you might enjoy this one. But personally, I found it underwhelming.
My friend Hope and I decided to try and do a quarantine book club! We compared our currently reading and to-read shelves and came up with a few ideas.
The thing is…I read too fast to make a very good book club person. She told me today she was thinking of giving up on the book we chose. I had to go to Goodreads to remember which book that was. Ah yes, What Remains of Me by Alison Gaylin. Two stars, not very good. Lots of terrible characters.
Thing is, that was six books ago for me. And possibly one of twelve books read since we decided to do a quarantine book club. (More or less. I don’t remember what day we officially started.)
I’m not a slow enough reader to make a comfortable buddy reader. Or book club member.
So we’ve come up with a new solution! I sent her a book I already read and loved. That way we can compare notes without the pressure of reading at the same time! If anyone wants to join us, we are starting with A Brazen Curiosity by Lynn Messina.
I’m also in the middle of The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Feed by M.T. Anderson, The Two Mrs. Abbots by D.E. Stevenson, and Oedipus at Colonus by Sophocles if any of those capture your fancy instead. Who knows for how long, though!