1. Arsen: A Broken Love Story by Mia Asher
I wrote an entire post about how I dislike this type of book. You can find that by clicking here. If that’s TL;dr, the abridged version of my anguish is as follows… This book is similar, content-wise, to what I imagine 50 Shades of Grey is like. If you like to get caught up in sexual fantasy fiction, maybe you’ll like it. I, on the other hand, assumed this was a very different type of book than it turned out to be.
I was not a fan of the overly graphic sex scenes (complete with a number of great words for pieces of the female and male anatomy) or the idea that it’s sexy when men keep going for it even after the woman says no. But then, I don’t think I’m the type of reader this author was going for.
2. Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas
I am a huge fan of Rob Thomas. This is not, by the way, the same Rob Thomas who fronts Matchbox Twenty (though he’s cool too). This is the Rob Thomas who is the creative force behind wonderful television programming like Veronica Mars, Party Down, and iZombie. I binged Party Down and iZombie recently, so I was behind excited when I found out that he’d published a YA novel back in the ’90s.
Rats Saw God is told from the POV of Steve, a high school senior who spends most of his time smoking pot and avoiding life. Steve, who is a National Merit Scholar with dismal grades, is forced to meet with his guidance counselor concerning his impending graduation. Steve is one English credit short of being able to graduate on time. His guidance counselor gives him an assignment — to write a 100 page paper about anything he wants — in order to replace the missing credit.
This assignment gives Steve some catharsis and allows us as readers to learn exactly what happened to cause this former straight A student to turn into an apathetic burnout. It’s a story told in non-linear fashion — going back and forth from the present to the past. It’s also a story full of heartache.
Thomas does a really good job at crafting a multi-layered protagonist. Steve is so much more than a stoner. He is a friend, a brother, and a son with a strained relationship with his astronaut father. He’s also a guy who unintentionally fell in love and found his heart decimated into a million pieces.
I recommend this to anyone who likes good YA and, of course, anyone who likes Thomas’s TV projects.
3. Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani
I read this as my borrow-for-free Kindle book for the month of March after having my mother highly recommend it. This was a really good family drama with a lot of character development — two of my favorite things to find in a book.
This book revolves around an Indian American family in the wake of their patriarch falling into a coma. Youngest daughter Sonya, a photographer who has traveled the world since graduating college, finds herself back at home — a place she never felt welcome. Middle daughter Trisha, who had always been her father’s favorite, lives a seemingly perfect life with a wonderful husband. But there’s one thing missing — children. Oldest daughter Marin, a businesswoman who loves to be in control of every aspect of her life, is having trouble with her 15-year-old daughter, Gia. Sonya, Marin, and their mother, Ranee, had all been victims of domestic abuse at the hand of their father. The entire family are now faced with the psychological remainders of physical wounds that have long since healed — and it’s threatening to tear the fragile fabric of their lives apart.
I found this book to be incredibly well written. It is told from different perspectives throughout, but it never becomes overwhelming or confusing. Each of these characters feels like a well-rounded human being. I always find in astounding when an author can make all of their characters feel so real and first time author Badani has done just that. She accurately portrays a family that appears very happy on the outside but is actually bursting at the seams on the inside.
That’s it for this month! It was a fairly light month compared with January and February — mostly because I’m currently reading a large, 750+ page book that is taking forever… but which is totally worth it so far. What have you been reading?
Check out the latest video in my vlog series! This week I’m talking about my scariest moment… oOoOoO….